Monthly Archives: May 2012

Field of Battle 2 Napoleonic (27/05/12 – Nick) Pt 1

A figure game by gad – and against an opponent to boot – spiffing! I have tried the 1st Edition of Field of Battle for ACW actions, but this is my first game with 2nd edition and also my first game using Napoleonic figures. The action is set somewhere in Spain and, with 37 units on the table, is larger than anything I’ve attempted with Field of Battle. The new edition of the rules has a detailed pre-battle procedure to generate a scenario and inject some uncertainty into the proceedings, so instead of just turning up and fighting, units are delayed or don’t turn up at all; can redeploy if they choose to or when forced to by their opponents; or even set up in forward or enemy zones if they win the reconnaissance event by a big enough margin.

Action early in the game

Though both leaders are skilled, the French general is rolled as LD10 while the British general is rolled as LD12+1. Both leaders managed to roll a “skilled” deck. The French army has 19 units while the British have 18.

French fate

  • 2  Strength  – March to the Guns (up 1) & Strategic Defence (down 1)
  • Tactical Adjustment – Unprepared (up 1)
  • Deployment – Captured Orders (down 1)

British fate

  •  Tactical Adjustment – Outposts (down 1)
  • 2  Deployment – Inactive (down 1) & Seize (up 1)
  • Reconnaissance – manoeuvre (up 1)

Random allocations of what advantages are used in each of the 4 categories give the following dice to roll.

Tactical adjustment French D12 British D8 – result is 9-2 giving a difference of 7 to the French.

The French can reposition all units from 3 command groups in their deployment zone, change facing and formation, but they may not move to another deployment zone.

Strength French D10 British D12+1 –result is 8-4 giving a difference of 4 to the French.

One British unit does not arrive until the 4th move card – random roll to determine who is the Light Cavalry Brigade, leaving the British with no cavalry on the board at the start of the game!

Deployment French D6 British D8 – result is 1-6 giving a difference of 5 to the British.

The French must deploy 2 Command groups down out of sequence at any time when asked to by the British.

Reconnaissance French D6 British D8 result is 6-6 so equal giving no advantage to either side.

Nick rolled and got the British forces, and he then deployed the whole army on the right hand side of the board, refusing their flank – obviously waiting for the cavalry to ride to the rescue. I as the French deployed my 3 infantry brigades line abreast in the centre (mostly in attack column), with my light cavalry brigade facing Nicks’ forces on one flank, and my heavy cavalry brigade facing thin air on the other flank. I assumed the thin air would be where the British cavalry would arrive, so the challenge would be to outflank his line and defeat it before the cavalry arrived on the 4th move card. Army morale was rolled as an appalling 14 for the British and a more respectable 19 for the French.

I got off to a perfect start – I won the leadership roll with a difference of 8 cards, so I would get to turn 8 cards before the British got to turn one over. First up was artillery reload, so I softened up the lines a bit, than a move card came up. All the infantry brigades leapt forward but only rolled enough for 1 move, however the heavy cavalry brigade rolled 2 moves and ended up facing the exposed flank of a Portuguese battalion in march column.

The French Heavy cavalry move to the flank

I rolled for my light cavalry brigade and they got 3 moves on an even die – this would allow them to both contact the Highlanders to their front and then engage them in immediate melee before they could form square – they only had to survive fire from the Highlanders and the artillery battery on the way in.

Hussars charge Highlanders

Luckily the battery missed completely, but the Highlander’s first volley drove off one of the Hussar regiments. The second regiment charged home however, caused 2 UI losses and rode the Highlanders down. I then drew another move card, but through inept rolling I couldn’t get the heavy cavalry into the British flank, nor get my infantry brigades too far forward. There followed a succession of pretty useless French card draws and it was then the British card draw.

An early move card with an even command roll allowed the Portuguese on the flank to reform facing the heavy cavalry, but to my surprise they didn’t form square. Another unit of Portuguese infantry formed attack column in front of my Hussars, then charged them on a melee card – I was shocked, but luckily rolled high, caused 2 UI and the regiment ceased to exist. Things were going well for the French, especially given our army morale advantage.

The British flank is shored up

Part 2 of the battle report and some thoughts soon – to be continued…


No Peace Without Spain 20/05/2012 (Nick)

Spain at the end of the game

Another chance to play my game of choice at the moment face-to-face. Thinking I’d picked up some strategies to try out from my game with Gary, I was raring to go, but I should have known better – I have yet to see this game play out the same way twice, and after turn 1 it looked like it was going to be the shortest game yet! On the opening turn Cadiz and Liege fell easily, then the fortified lines at Namur were skilfully bypassed by Marlborough and the French fell back again, thinking he’d never take Namur in one turn – wrong!  In an attempt to distract the allies, the French attacked Eugene in Italy but he pushed them back and they spent the rest of the turn re-organising. So by the end of turn 1 the French were on the ropes, and the 2 event draws didn’t help either – “Camisard Rebellion” lost the best French leader, and “Savoy switches sides left the French army in Italy out of supply.

Low countries at the end of the game

Turn 2 was a bit of a blur to be honest. I just about held them at the French border, but the allies made good progress in Spain and managed to trigger the Spanish revolt at the end of the turn. Then the allies won the contest for the Med even with 2 French RPs spent on the roll and the “Political Intrigue” event card removed another of the decent French leaders – arghhh. The only positive note was that I drew the “Command conflict” card to hold until I chose to play it.

France at the end of the game

On turn 3 I drew a good hand of cards and decided that I had to cripple Marlborough for the turn early on then go all out for Vienna – a risky strategy, but France looked doomed otherwise. Marlborough confidently attacked the French army at Bouchain, but in the ensuing dice-fest I managed to win helped by playing the “Command conflict” card. The only downside was that Vendome was  killed in the battle, but Marlborough had been given a bloody nose and went back to Namur to lick his wounds. My march to Vienna commenced with a successful siege at Salzburg and was helped by the Allies having a hand full of 1’s. I moved on to Vienna and it fell to the Elector on the first turn of siege by rolling a 6, but instant victory wasn’t achieved as the French didn’t have a LOC to Paris (Freiburg still in Alliance hands) – damn, missed that in my rush to take Vienna.

Vienna at the end of the game

The Bourbons had a 3 card to play for initiative which the Alliance couldn’t match, so they were able to lay siege to Frieburg.  Marlborough moved to break the siege and the Bourbons gambled and stayed put – the Alliance lost the ensuing battle rolling 12 dice to 9 and only scoring 1 hit against 3. Eugene than attacked the same French army, but lost as well – the French luck was holding. A roll of 6 for the siege at Freiburg saw the LOC from Vienna to Paris complete. There then followed phase after phase of battles with armies under Marlborough and Eugene taking turns to attack the French army around Freiburg and Ulm. After they had both lost the first battle they were demoralised  but they had to keep coming to try and cut the LOC to Paris. In the end they ran out of troops and the line held.

What a game! Even though it ended after 4 turns, there were probably more battles in this game than in any game I’ve played. In the first 2 turns the Allies seemed to be unable to roll anything except 6’s, while in turns 3 and 4, the same applied to the French – amazingly, given the number of battles, only 1 leader was killed. Now, back to my Vassal game with Gary, which isn’t quite going so well…

No Peace Without Spain (PBEM on Vassal – Gary)

My first attempt at this game PBEM on Vassal and I must say it works very well, though we haven’t had to handle a card interrupt yet.

Gary has done all the hard work and posted a turn-by-turn report on his blog – the screen shots are all hand-crafted by Gary as the Vassal module doesn’t have the normal screen-capture button for some reason.

I’ll add links to the new turns as they’re played.

1702 part 1 –

1702 part 2 –

1703 –

1704 –

1705 –

1706 –

1707 –

1708 –

1709 –

1710 –