This was my first game of 2020, and I have not played an opposed game since mid-November. I have resolved this year to get some of my underused figures out of their boxes and on to the table. Therefore for this game I would use some of my extensive Napoleonic forces which comprise 25mm Minifigs from the mid-1970’s. I also wanted to try the Lasalle rules, with some new house rules I’ve worked on. These house rules cover terrain selection (similar to those found in Sword & Spear), plus a ‘recoil’ mechanism where disruptions are caused by enemy fire may force a retrograde movement (basically a Discipline test). The need for the ‘recoil’ rules were to allow for the possibility for defensive fire to halt attacking units, preventing contact. I hope this will make artillery less vulnerable to frontal attack, and reduce the certainty when attacking lines with multiple columns.
|French turning the Russian left flank|
We used forces from 1812. Ian was attacking with a French Infantry Division with an organic Light Cavalry Brigade. I was Russian, defending with an Infantry Division and a reserve Dragoon Brigade. Terrain selection resulted in a fairly open battlefield with an area of rough ground in front of my centre sector. I deployed first in a compact central position, with artillery on either side of the rough ground. Ian’s deployment was heavily weighed on his right flank, with a small covering force on the other half of the table. It was clear that my Russian left flank would be under pressure, but I was confident I could transfer sufficient units to hold on. This exactly what happened, but Ian moved faster and in a more determined manner than I had expected. Although I did move covering units, they were not able to deploy in an organised defensive line. More significantly, Ian’s rapid advance effectively denied me of a major part of my baseline on which I could deploy my reinforcements when they arrived. The gallant Russians on the left were ground down, whilst the Russian cavalry had to make a wide sweep around the right, only to run into massed French artillery protected by squares and cavalry! The highlight of the game must have been when one of my Russian squares was attacked by two French columns and a Chasseur unit; I rolled all hits whilst Ian rolled poorly, resulting in a French recoil! The square did not survive long though.
|Russian dragoons swinging around the right, whilst the left collapses|
The Russian break-point was reached on turn 13, but we held on until turn 18 when the Russian morale collapsed (a couple of turns more and I might have got a draw). Ian fully deserved the win. As for my house rules: The terrain selection worked but might need a little adjustment. The recoil rule worked well; simple to use, utilised an already established game mechanism, made attacking columns less predictable, allowed artillery a better option to hold and fire rather than just retiring. We both enjoyed the game which moved along at a rapid pace. It was interesting that my old Minifigs generated memories from other gamers at the club. I plan to have another game soon and try a different rule set; General d’Armee by David Brown.