We liked the ACW rules we played at Salute so much that we wanted to give the Napoleonics a try. For our first game we lined up with 5 Big Men each and infantry in 6 groups, even though I’m keen to give cavalry and artillery a go as well. The British had rifles and lights along with 4 Line groups of 12 men each, while the French had 2 groups of Voltigeurs and 4 of Line. The objective was a village in the middle of the board.
My 2 groups of voltigeurs on my left flank under a level 2 Big Man had their eye in, and spotted 2 groups of Line led by a Colonel coming down the road, and the rifles and lights hopping over the wall across the field.
The French Colonel (me) had a cunning plan – as his blinds were unspotted, he would deploy into line beyond the village. He had 3 “grasp the nettle” bonus cards as well – more than enough initiative to get his three groups into line ready to deliver a crushing volley to the British as they passed the church. Unfortunately he rolled low on movement, and his groups never made it out of the village yet were too constrained to change formation in the village, so the opportunity passed – the Colonel never got the chance again.
Meantime, the British Rifles and Lights just couldn’t make it to the field wall to shelter from the Voltigeur fire – the Tiffin card kept coming out before they could be activated to move by their Big Men, and the Voltigeurs kept firing on it, though caused mostly shock rather than any real casualties.
Tom managed to get 2 groups into formation under his Colonel and started peppering the French group emerging from the village with musket shots, leading to a stalemate on the road. I sent my final blind with 1 group and a level 2 Big Man around my right flank, but Tom met them with 2 groups of his own – even though I charged and defeated 1 group, this bogged down into a musketry exchange as well.
Eventually Tom’s Rifles and Lights made it to the field wall, and though my Voltigeurs fared well in the musketry exchange, they must lose soon as the British were behind a wall and were getting twice as many dice as me. With all units firing and loading for their 2 actions, we called the game a draw.
Tom got frustrated that the Tiffin card (which ends the turn leaving any remaining Big Men in the deck unactivated) came up too soon too often, so next time we may put in 2 and end the turn on the second. In the end, the game revolved on who got into formation first (Tom), and given time his line formation could have fired and advanced under the “Thin Red Line” bonus card which would have carried the village. So, not quite as enjoyable as our ACW game, but then the Lardies had put a lot of thought into the scenario at Salute, whereas we just threw it all on the table and got on with it.
I don’t usually post photos of painted troops, but I’ve been hard at work over Easter in an attempt to clear the backlog so here are some of the results – 2 units of ACW Zouaves – coming to a game in the near future.