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"Might and Reason - Battle of Warburg" Topic


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1,550 hits since 6 Mar 2007
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2007 10:01 a.m. PST

The Corlears Hook Fencibles test-drove the new Might & Reason rules last night, using the Warburg scenario from the rule book. It was a pretty smooth ride, with just a few minor hiccups. We prepared for the game by eating some cookies that Dennis' wife Lillian had baked. Then we selected sides. Rick played French General Du Muy (a poor commander), Dennis was the Anglo-Hanoverian Erbprinz von Hessen-Cassel (an average commander) and I umpired. The French set up with Segur's infantry on the left, Meaupeou's infantry in the center and Fischer's infantry on the right, with the light infantry holding the town of Warburg. The French cavalry was in reserve, watching the open left flank. The rugged Heinberg was not contested, unlike the actual battle. Dennis set up with Brunswick's British/Hanoverian infantry on the right, over-lapping the French left, Zastrow's Hessian and Brunswick infantry on the left and Granby's British cavalry in reserve behind the center.

Dennis won the initiative and started off slowly as only his cavalry became active. The French had a similar rate of activity but since they were defending didn't much care. Dennis then doled out some command dice and his army woke up. The first volleys saw very few hits, both sides rolling everything but sixes. As the turn went on the firing became more accurate and hit markers appeared. The first bayonet charge went in and was resolved by rolling for sixes, the same as musket fire. Then I realized that close-combat counted the total dice score so we re-did the first bayonet fight. It was indecisive and the Hanoverians fell back after putting some hurt on the French. The first turn lasted a full 4 pulses, starting at 6:55 and ending at 7:50, about 15 minutes per pulse.

The second turn saw some more action and ended after the first pulse at 8:15.

The first pulse of the third turn saw two French brigades broken with lots of markers on both sides. Meaupeou decided to attack with his wing, something Rick wanted since the Hessians in front of him were shot up even worse then his troops. His infantry closed I forgot to make them take attack tests. One French brigade broke their Hessian opponent; the other brigade was broken by Hessians. A French cuirassier brigade charged and broke a rather shot-up Hessian dragoon brigade. On the second pulse a Hanoverian infantry brigade was broken by musket fire, and one of Fischer's brigades rolled 3 sixes, putting another Hessian brigade out of action. On Dennis' pulse he gave out command dice to his subordinates and everyone became active. The British Guard cavalry brigade Blues and Life Guards charged and broke a French infantry brigade. Segur had only one brigade still fighting. The second pulse was the last one. Both armies had reached breakpoint and it was time to see if anyone broke. Rick rolled first, adding one to his roll because he had one more brigade broken over his 4 breakpoint and 3 for the game turn. He rolled ten, plus four made fourteen and the French broke. Dennis was just at breakpoint and so only added the game turn. He rolled a nine, plus three to become twelve. It was close but no cigar and the French streamed off the field. There was no pursuit, since the Hessian dragoon brigade had been broken and the Hanoverian dragoons with two strength points left were faced down by the French dragoons. The game ended at 8:40, having taken an hour and 45 minutes to play three turns with a total of 7 pulses. It averaged 15 minutes per pulse. It was time for more of Lillian's cookies.

For a change I only made a few errors with the rules, none of them game-shattering. A big moment in the game was the getting the sixes-only shooting separated from the total-score method for close combat. You could see the light bulbs going off around the table. I realized today that units that win close combat decisively have a 50% chance of getting away without hits, so there would have been a few less hits. Again, it was nothing that decided the game. That's quite good for a first game. Credit is due to the well laid out rules rather than any unusual attention to detail on my part. Sam Mustafa should give rules writing classes. The rules aren't the dry, legalistic stuff found in many rules or the breezy, vague stuff in others. Since the game is still set up I may run the end-of-game routine so we can see what it would look like for a campaign. A minor point: I think we'll use plastic disks instead of actual dice for command dice, since there were a lot of dice around the table and the disks would make it very clear what was what. The command dice are to the rules like oil is to machines. I think we have more to learn about how to use them.

We had a resolution in a fair amount of time and nothing strange happened, a good selling point for the rules. I asked what problems guys had with the rules. A minor one was counting up combat scores, but on further discussion it was decided that the close-combat system was a plus despite taxing our grey heads with minor math. Another point brought up was the knowledge of which enemy brigade was the weakest. I said that could be fixed by using rosters. It was soon agreed that we preferred knowing unit status to dealing with rosters. Getting a new rule set played by our crew without major gripes is a rare thing. Bill has yet to see the rules, but perhaps we've got our powdered wigs set.

I noticed that British-Hanoverian infantry are rather impressive in musket fire and look forward to seeing the mighty Prussian infantry in action.

The rules gave a reasonable result in a short time, and that was our first game. The game looks good. The cotton balls marking what units fired are a nice touch. The grand-tactical scope of the game works and yet it has a toy-soldier look and feel that I like. I'm going to try Rossbach for our next game and see how that flies. Battles of the Austrian Succession beckon. I think M&R will give good battalion-level games too without any changes, though that will upset ground and figure scale purists.

Cerberus031106 Mar 2007 11:23 a.m. PST

Thank you for the report. I am interested in the rules and how they flowed. I have played Grande Armee and that is my Nappy set of choice. Looks like Sam Mustafa has another winner.

Bad Painter06 Mar 2007 1:36 p.m. PST

My wife asked me to post a correction about the cookies, she was assisted by our four year old grandson Sean. It was his idea to add more chocolate chips to the dough.

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2007 2:57 p.m. PST

Smart lad. Make sure he runs the supply trains.

BigE4NFL Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2007 7:14 a.m. PST

Thanks for the great battle report. Helps clarify a couple of rules questions. Looks like a great set for the SYW and WAS.

Erik

Clampett Inactive Member07 Mar 2007 8:01 a.m. PST

"I think M&R will give good battalion-level games too without any changes, though that will upset ground and figure scale purists."

That's my thinking too.

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2007 8:14 a.m. PST

"I have played Grande Armee and that is my Nappy set of choice."

The one GA game we played got an extremely strong reaction from one of our guys against the combat and rout rules, even while the C&C was acknowledged as elegant and the pulse system was appreciated. So having this digested intact was a relief.

Although it goes unplayed by our group, I find GA to be an extremely well written set of rules too.

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