A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Monday, December 19, 2016

(sitrep) Maurice at the Snappswine

Stirrups in
(Dragoons prepare to charge)

British lines advance
A few days after the first game of Maurice ICs and myself got another play of the rules. This time we tried something a bit bigger using a 6’x8’ table and army list from the Brandywine scenario in the main rule book with national rules for each army.  Effectively this is an upscale version of the last game with the British again attacking with the option to send a small force of up to three regiment on an outflanking manoeuvre to try of the reserve rules in the game.  

Americans formed up ready to defend the hill
The British attackers consisted of thirteen regiments of foot, of which three were elites and three were hessians, one regiment of cavalry and two batteries of artillery, Defending against the assault the Americans had thirteen regiments of foot, of which two were conscripts, one regiment of cavalry and two batteries of artillery.  
British Dragons wait in reserve
Terrain wise the setup was pretty generic but the key features was the advance to the American lines bordered by woods at either end making for a narrow approach for the British. In Maurice difficult terrain cause disruption/wounds on units and mental this means the terrain is impassable unless absolutely necessary.  This influenced the planning on both sides. For the British their army was formed up three regiments wide due to the size of the gap they had to pass through. With the remaining regiments arrayed three lines deep. The idea being the units would advance down the valley and replace the front line as it suffered damage. The British also opted to outflank with two regiments of regulars supported by a unit of elites.

British flank force
The American plan differed in that three regiments covered each flank to protect against outflanking while the balance arrayed in a single line around the gap intent on maximising fire power on the advancing units.

British flank force arrives
First activation by the British saw their out flankers arrive. “They are too early” the British commander commented. Not only were the outflankers outnumbered and isolated against an uncommitted enemy the British now had the dilemma of having to split their resource between supporting the flank attack or pushing forward with the main advance.  In the end the cavalry were committed to support the now beleaguered flank force while the main force advance.
The British flanking force is reduced to just the light infantry who are hard pressed to hold their ground

British Dragoons move forward to support the flanking force
The Defender were not ideal during this time.  The flank guard wheeled about and put fire on the new arrivals causing two regiments to break leaving just the elite light infantry holding the line.  Artillery from both sides tried to influence the battle with the British getting the better  of it destroying an american regiment while the Americans pummeled a Hessian regiment that steadfastly refused break.
British artillery fire in support of the infantry advance
On the flank The Cavalry arrived in the nick of time to relieve the pressure on light infantry. A cavalry flank charge broke a defending regiment while the light infantry broke another regiment facing them.

That is not on the map
(British advance hits a swamp)
In the centre the British advance hit a problem when the line found an unexpected swamp blocking their advance.  The gap three regiments wide was now reduced to one regiment wide and the lead regiment was the Hessians the American artillery had be stubbornly pounding all day.
American and British lines fire at point blank range

(I think the Cavalry only activated twice in the entire game. Second time was to deliver a lethal flank charge to relieve pressure on the hard pressed light infantry
But fortune favors the bold the British pushed forward and found the swamp was not as deep as feared. With both lines in musket range a general fire fight broke out with the British getting to fire first on their opponents.  British lethal volleys were quickly telling and the American line started to quickly break down.  The Americans redeployed all the regiments from their idle left flank to form a reserve to reinforce their hard pressed centre.  But casualties in the centre kept mounting in the end the army morale scattered before the reserve could be committed.

The Rebel first line crumbles leaving a single regiment to face the second wave of British
Overall another excellent game of Maurice, while it may not feel like AWI, it sure feels like fun.  Visually the rules encourage a stunning game as the units form into line and advance into contact while massed cavalry gallivant around the flanks. I really appreciated the way the game encourage players to focus on their unit formations and maintaining a coherent force.  The command decisions are thick and fast. Actual it should be command decision because normal you can only do one action and usually there is multiple challenges that need to be address, some quiet soon.
American left flanks redeploys to act as a reserve for the centre
From the hill the American general directs the american reserve to the battle

Rebels reserve form to repel the British advance
That is all for now thanks for stopping by

1 comment:

Frank O'Donnell said...

Looks good fun, I always love playing on bigger tables as I find it adds so much to the game from both a visual & tactical point.

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