Scenario and strengths were the same as the previous post as Jim had not had the time to finish the additions as he- like most of our group -works for a living.
However the playing area was a good bit larger- 10 feet by six as compared to the 8 feet by 5 of the last game..
Player were- as previously Andrew and I for the Prussians but Mechanical Shaun had bee replaced by Theatrical Steve on the Austrian team- A late substitution cased by Shaun not being able to get in until after midday.
So immediately things changed. Would Floating Jeff's uncanny ability to roll 6s just when needed be offset by Steves equaly uncanny ability to roll 1s when not needed......
|The Prussian advance- already taking casualties,|
|The Austrian Infantry line. Jim's lads look superb.|
This was a very different game from our previos outing for Honours of War.
The Austrain sat upon the defensive but deployed ignoring the hill on their flank other than to use it as an anchor.
|The Austrian battle line.|
As previously the Prussians had 5 brigades(4 foot 1 horse) as against the 4 brigades- 2 of each including a HUGE 5 battalion brigade of foot which alone contained almost 400 figures. Prussian brigades were 4 battalion(except 1 of 3) averaging 240 figures each.
The Prussian got of to an -intentional - slow start advancing in line of Brigades except for the smallest brigade on the extremeleft who occupied the hill. However the Austrian nailed themselves down so we had to go and get them.
First clash was on the right where our single cavalry brigade(2 Cuirassier 2 Dragoons 1 hussar) closed with the Austrian cuirassier Brigade of 4 regiments and mutual massacre ensued, By the end of the series of charges and counter charges both brigades were finished despite Jeff rolling his customary 6s
|Theatrical Steve- having thrown another 1 !!|
In the centre more mutual massacre ensued albeit at a slower rate- though not much slower-by the end of the carnage no one had any usable units left- the second Austrian cavalry brigade immolated itself on the Prussian infantry BUT did enough damage to force that brigade below 50% effective and therefore out of the battle..
Next left brigades also destroyed each other and on the Prussian left the Austrian big brigade saw off our brigade facing them BUT despite holding on by their fingernails our small reserve brigade- still fresh- had flank marched aroud the rear of the "Austrian hill" and appeared behind the Austrian lines prepared to deliver a volley into the rear of that brigade. This was enough to finish them off. So - if victor there was- it was a single 3 battalion Prussian Brigade
In the meantime 2 small battalions of Russian had appeared but nobody had any troops to fight them. At least not for several turns so the Umpire declared "game over"
If Prussia had won it was singularly unsatisfying.
We found HoW in its second out extremely bloody- the game -even with all those troops was over by 1.30 - not having got started until after 10 in the morning. If getting a conclusion is you major reason for playing then these are fine. But if that is so then why start in the first place?. . Artillery can be deadly and armies on the defensive seem to have a singular advantage. There was much "all or nothing" here . Units either function or do not and standing still to rally simply gets you dead .
Generals seem to have little to do other than influence movement- but then maybe I'm missing something here.
I don't think- so far- that we have tested these rules to destruction but I'm not convinced either. I don't see how for example you could reproduce the British assault at Fontenoy- no battalion would last long enough to get within the 80 paces the Brits did before they opened fire. Equally though somewhat out of period I doubt Salamander Cutts would have made it to Blenhiem.
Both sides lost over 50% of their troops- even if we assume that those battalion not actually destroyed made it off table.
Indeed at one point Mechanical Shaun observed that
"These rules seem to work well if you don't move or fire! "
Now I wouldn't go that far - they certainly will do the deed for larger games with a little tweaking. How 18th century they are will depend upon the players. They are far too dice controlled for my taste- too much luck is needed for even a hope of success and they are far far too bloody. Certainly they give a good GAME but for those wanting a little more than that I remain to be convinced as does Jim.
|Some Prussian waiting resignedly for the slaughter.|
|The Prussian reserve brigade finally gets around the Austrian flank.|
As to the rest of the show it is small but nicely formed about a dozen traders a decent cafe and a relaxed atmosphere. I picked up some guns from Eagle figures- these are large enough to go with my 30mm Stadden crew and are nice chunky pieces without being overdone.
Whilst wandering about came across- in one of the side rooms - a little boutique called Attic which was nothing whatsoever to do with wargaming at all. Therein lay its strength.
Now my wife is into retro jewellery and clothing so this little place sparked my interest. After a conversation with its very pleasant lady owner I bought a splendid silk scarf for my wife Carole.
This certainly helped to lighten the mood away from the by now repetitive mutual slaughter. Man shall not live by wargaming alone.