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Albuera July, 1815

Game Reports and Reviews

Albuera July, 1815

Postby ochoin » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:59 pm

Our fourth & final (for a while) Napoleonic game was fought out yesterday on a scorching Queensland Summer's Day (40c).

The scenario was a disguised historical battle (Albuera) set in Belgium sometime after a French victory at Waterloo.
An Anglo-Dutch force, under Orange (miraculously healed from the bullet wound inflicted by Sharpe) held their ground against a larger French army under Marshal Davout (rushed up from Paris to replace Ney).

The A-D had some Veteran British infantry brigades but also recruit-quality Dutch-Belgians & a Campaign quality D-B light cavalry brigade. In terms of unit size & quality, they tended to the extremes. The French on the other hand were nearly exclusively solid Line quality.

The battle ended with an emphatic win for the Anglo-Dutch.

POI:
1. We have now all had at least one game and the 'General D'armee' rules have everyone's seal of approval
2. Whilst a few rules (eg the fact all cavalry moves at the same speed, you can't fire a village, & the Destiny rules) may or may not need tweaking in the future, the rules produce a fast, enjoyable & acceptable result.
3. Skirmishers, used aggressively by both sides suffered. Indeed, a skirmish line of 95th Rifles, attempting to shot up a Horse artillery battery was wiped out whilst a French skirmish line was forced to retire by a well directed volley from a Dutch battalion. This ticks my box as I think skirmishers were way too powerful in other rule sets.
4. A brigade of Belgian militia battalions, stationed as sacrificial lambs in front of the A-D line, stood up to artillery barrages & repeated assaults by French cuirassiers, losing a battalion & having others mauled but blunting a strong French attack. In the previous games, such recruit quality troops have been a weak link so interesting to see how with some lucky dice, such troops can be battle winners.
5.The judicious use of ADC taskings is crucial to the game's outcome. Indeed, this major aspect of the rules means the game is a tactical exercise for the players & not just a slug-fest.

donald

(I may get around to sticking up a few photos but I think you've all seen enough of my layout for a while).
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Re: Albuera July, 1815

Postby paintinglittlesods » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:13 pm

Great stuff,

Our last game was played at 33c and I came straight from work in business digs so I was hot and bothered after a while. We have had a few good hot runs and to be honest it has effected my painting as when its 24c at night I dont paint.

Anyways back to GdA.

I forgot about the destiny throws. One of the problems in our Waterloo refight using GdB was half the French command died on turn one so we soon ignored it. In our game the French were veteran Legere heavy but the issues caused we more due to game balance than anything in the rules.

Mark has the only copy of the rules and I do plan to buy them but I will leave it a few months as my spending on hobby items in the last few months has been excessive.
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Re: Albuera July, 1815

Postby ochoin » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:16 pm

paintinglittlesods wrote:I forgot about the destiny throws. .

In 4 games, would you believe it has only come up 3 times.

I'm OK with the idea but one of our jolly company thinks it far too gamey.

(for the uninitiated, if you throw a double six during charges or volley fire, you get a "destiny" throw of the dice. Results take you to a table where different events from casualty restoral to removal of a general take place.


donald
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Re: Albuera July, 1815

Postby paintinglittlesods » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:56 am

I recall we had about ten in the last game which is why I am dubious on it all.
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Re: Albuera July, 1815

Postby ochoin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:59 am

paintinglittlesods wrote:I recall we had about ten in the last game which is why I am dubious on it all.

Ten! That's a lot. Could you set a limit, maybe? EG a maximum of 4 Destiny rolls in a game?
My gut reaction is maybe not use it for historical re-fights but save it for devised scenarios.

donald
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Re: Albuera July, 1815

Postby paintinglittlesods » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:55 am

Maybe just triple six as we roll those at times too
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Re: Albuera July, 1815

Postby ochoin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:14 am

BTW I think we'll live with having all cavalry move at the same speed.

However, I think there's a minor tweak needed for games starting with the 2 sides outside of contact ie games of manoeuvre.

The rules mention columns of attack & columns of manoeuvre and that you need to take a turn to move from one to the other (unless you are veteran or above) & that you cannot fight in a manoeuvre column. All this is good.
The rules also reluctantly allow a 5cm road bonus if you are moving down a road in a manoeuvre column. We're going to allow this.

However, we want to compensate for the penalty of being in a manoeuvre column, so we will give any such formation (infantry & cavalry) an additional 5 cms for normal movement, across any terrain. Attack columns will move according to the distance stipulated in the rules.

This also isn’t in the rules but I already have ‘imposed’ the idea that to visibly differentiate between the two types of infantry columns, attack columns should have 6 figures in front rank, followed by ranks of 4 figures to differentiate them from manoeuvre columns (4 figures wide) & lines (which are two bases deep).
Cavalry columns are either closed up for manoeuvre or with small gaps between the bases to indicate a column of squadrons (an attack column).

This is all minor stuff & I am reluctant to change much more.

donald
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Re: Albuera July, 1815

Postby olicana » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:56 pm

BTW I think we'll live with having all cavalry move at the same speed.


I don't know about the rules you are using but the only time I think the speed should vary is when in pursuit when, all things being equal, lights would probably outpace heavies. My reasoning is fairly simple, horse speed at 'manoeuvring pace' is governed by the horse's gate (canter, etc.) not the weight of the man on top. Only over a distance at the gallop would the weight (the handicap, if you like) noticeably tell. Also worth remembering is the fact that bigger men generally rode bigger more powerful horses to compensate. Just my two penneth, for what it's worth.
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