Old enemies once again engaged in battle. France and Britain were once again at war, and the first land-based clash took place over a small stream that locals call (nomen omen) La Manche. So I invite you to read the battle report from the battle on its shores 🙂
Wojtek was my opponent this time. Our armies counted $ 1,500 (game points, to see more visit our army builder: http://www.gmboardgames.com/ab/index.php), and we played the battle at Bolter.pl, where a cyclical event is held on Sunday, called: “Dice Warming Wars” where you can come and play any game.
Of the two available French armies, I chose the Army of the Orient. Its weaknesses are the lack of a cavalry corps (only independent divisions), which I really like to play, and the lack of La Hitte rifled cannons, so it is necessary to rely on the smaller range “Napoleon” guns, mountain artillery or naval cannons.
The challenge for the French is also that – as cavalry tactics – they cannot choose “army cover”, which means that usually the enemy will be the first to capture at least two strategic points. You can read how I tried to deal with this challenge in the photo descriptions below.
My Army of the Orient consisted of 1 large infantry corps (as many as 9 infantry regiments, including Zouaves and the French Foreign Legion), an independent light cavalry division (2x hussars), an independent heavy cavalry division (2x cuirassiers) and army’s reserve artillery with naval guns (3 batteries ). The commander-in-chief of my army was Saint Arnaud, the infantry corps was commanded by Canrobert, and the army’s reserve artillery was commanded by Forgeot.
The British army was assembled in a completely different way. It had two more or less equal corps. The first – a bit stronger, was commanded by J.H. Grant, the second by Pennefather, an independent cavalry division by Paget, and the army’s reserve artillery by Dacres. The commander-in-chief was the Duke of Cambridge. Wojtek played the Main Army, which simulated the British army at the turn of the 1850s and 1860s, so he had some technological advantage (rifled muskets, breachloading rifled artillery – Armstrong guns). However, this is offset by the army’s higher point cost.
We started to place the terrain. I won the initiative, so we were setting up terrain for the Army of the Orient, which meant a lot of hills (great for artillery), some forests and fields. Wojtek put up a stream (La Manche stream), providing cover to the central strategic point, I set up a diagonal road connecting all 3 strategic points and making it easier to cross the stream. Then each of us added one more road leading to the central strategic point. We started to place the remaining terrain. My main goal was to place a hill that would allow for a good positioning of my army reserve artillery, which has as much as 24 inch range, and at the same time conceal the approach to the mid strategic point, preferably by placing the forest. It worked (visible in the first photo, a bit below).
When I was about to choose my army’s tactics, I decided first of all to give up defending my base of operations. This, coupled with the army roster, made offensive tactics the obvious choice (one of the goals of defensive tactics is to defend the base of operations. I wanted to avoid that). I was hoping to get my opponent’s operational base, deal him 25% losses and get 2 strategic points, which would be enough to win.
The main French corps was supposed to attack one of the opponent’s corps, I was hoping that he would have at least two corps, it would be a dream if they were separated (I could win by “defeat in detail). Regarding cavalry tactics, I chose “crushing charge”, which gives you extra victory points for each enemy unit destroyed by my heavy cavalry.
As predicted, Wojtek chose the “army cover” cavalry tactic and placed the patrol marker at a strategic point in the middle at the very beginning of the battle.
Merde! – I could have said, had it not been for the fact that we had a great game and we were both in very good moods.
At the end of the battle, we were able to reveal our army tactics, which define the objectives to be completed and for which you get the most points.
Wojtek had a defensive tactic. He accomplished two goals out of it – he kept his own operational base and kept at least two strategic points (the middle one and the one on the top right). It meant getting 50% of the point value of his army (if he had achieved 3 goals – suffered less losses – it would have been 100%). We count points from the remaining units on the battlefield. Wojtek had 6 units left, so he scored … 3 points (50% out of 6 units). On top of that, we added a few points for my units he destroyed and my general who fell during the hussar charge. Plus 1 more point for “card debts” – a special feature of the French: The opponent gets 1 point if I counter his card with my card. Napoleon III liked to use military funds to pay off card debts (his and his friends) …;)
I chose an aggressive tactic and … I achieved only one goal, I destroyed at least 25% of the enemy’s units. It’s not enough to score points (each tactic describes how many goals you need to complete to score points). I did not take over half of the strategic points, I did not take the enemy’s operational base, I did not destroy his morale …
So failure? No. I was saved by the destruction of Grant’s corps, more precisely: points for destroyed units. In addition, 3 points for taking lower losses in battle and 1 point for the “crushing charge” cavalry tactic – the cuirassiers destroyed VRC.
After the count, it turned out that I had 4 points advantage, which meant a minimal victory (almost a draw …).
I hope that with this battle report we have introduced not only the gameplay of “Lee”, but also the tactical dilemmas that you face as the commander-in-chief of the entire army.
Good luck in your battles!
PS. We are working od DTP of the English version of the rulebook for Gods of War: Lee, so its release is close 🙂