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"Napoleonics AAR from NJ Con" Topic

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741 hits since 16 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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The Wargaming Company16 Jun 2018 9:52 a.m. PST

Somewhere in the Peninsular …
NJCon, Friday, June 8th 2018

At NJCon I ran an ESR game for four players, none of whom had played ESR before. I was lucky that I knew all four players and had gamed many times with three of them (in one case for over 30 years). The game was based on what figures I have available each player got a Force of two infantry and one cavalry Formations. The terrain was kept simple with a village in the center of the table, a stream running across the center (the line of lichen in the pictures), and a few small woods and vineyards. (Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures from my phone.)

All the Formations started the game ployed at the table edge, pointed towards the central village. We used the 150 Yard ground scale.

View from the French right/Anglo-Spanish left.

The village in the center was a magnet for the French Forces who set it as the initial objective for Kellerman, with Lefebrve's objective the stream and vineyard to the left of the village.

French Right Flank Force Kellerman

French Left Flank Force Lefebvre

The Anglo-Spanish were hampered by the player controlling Hill "I can't beat the French to the village", who set his objective as a defensive position between the woods directly to Hill's front and the stream.

Anglo-Spanish Right Flank Force Hill

The player controlling Cole decided to sweep wide to the left of the village, setting an objective out there, before swinging back across the table to catch the French between his hammer and Hill's defensive anvil.

Anglo-Spanish Left Flank Force Cole

With Hill taking a defensive position on the Anglo-Spanish left, the action on that flank took longer to develop.

On the French right, Kellerman sent his cavalry to the right of the woods, while his infantry divisions headed straight for the village. This put the cavalry, on a Support order, directly across from Cole's Spanish division and cavalry brigade. Making the classic ESR rookie mistake, the Spanish division only had three of its units deployed as they approached the stream. Kellerman's cavalry took advantage of an Order Conversion to Attack the ployed Spanish, but Cole's cavalry also converted from Support to Attack so as to protect the Spanish. One of the French cavalry units made contact with a deployed Spanish unit, but the other three were intercepted by the British cavalry. While the Spanish infantry lost a number of combats to the one French cavalry unit, they survived through their Assessment with very little permanent damage. Both cavalry brigades however came out of their post-Combat Assessments in Retreat.

The slight lull that ensued allowed the French Forces to reach their Objectives, where their Formation Orders converted to Defend, and the cavalry brigades took the time to Rally & Reform.

This bought up a learning moment for the right flank French player. For two turns he complained/asked why his infantry Formation to the right of the village couldn't attack the Spanish across the valley. As they were on Defend orders and the enemy was too far away, they needed a new Objective and Order something that could have been Issued on the turn they expected to reach their objective.

Meanwhile Lefebvre, seeing Hill in a defensive position, had changed his Objective to Hill's position. In the ensuing Combat Assessment, Hill's Spanish division broke.
On the other flank, Cole, after resetting his Objective to the rear of the village, caused Kellerman's cavalry to Break. The combination of some good Anglo-Spanish rolls and bad French rolls resulted in one of Kellerman's infantry divisions Retreating after their Artillery/Skirmish Assessment.

As this was an evening game, after about 2.5 hours, two of the players had to leave (one claiming exhaustion, the other to catch a train back to New York). With the French hold on the village looking shaky, Hill holding on for now, and the French caught between the two Anglo-Spanish forces, I declared that the Anglo-Spanish had a slight advantage, but not enough to be a clear victory.

Based on the players' comments, two of the players seemed to like the rules they were the ones that did the best at understanding the need to set and change their Force Objectives and think ahead. One said it wasn't his "cup of tea" because it was "too fiddly", but I think his view was influenced by his inability to just do whatever he wanted to do (i.e., attack across the valley with Formations on Defend orders).

AAR by John, "Lord" Hollier

Reposted with permission by The Wargaming Company, LLC

I Drink Your Milkshake16 Jun 2018 10:06 a.m. PST

What size base is best for playing most of the scenarios on a 4'x 3' table? In 6mm.

The Wargaming Company16 Jun 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

For maximum battlefield size, the 200 yard scale would be the way to go. At that ground scale, 9" is a mile. The most practical base sizes at this ground scale would be approximately 20mm frontage per Unit (battalion/sqn group/battery).

Alternatively, the 150 yard ground scale gives you 12" miles and you can use 30x30mm bases. You lose some battlefield size, but you gain larger bases that you may like the look of better.

You can see the battlefield sizes of the various historical battles we've published scenarios for on our website. Click the Learn More link on any given Campaign Guide and you'll see there is a "Campaigns" tab, within that we provide a table that includes the scale mile dimensions for the scenarios offered in that book.

Hope that helps!


I Drink Your Milkshake16 Jun 2018 10:42 a.m. PST

Thank You

marshalGreg18 Jun 2018 6:11 a.m. PST

Very Nice!
It looks like your troops are mounted for Napoleon's battles and were easily used for this game play!?

47Ronin18 Jun 2018 2:00 p.m. PST

Nice report.

Thanks for sharing.

Lord Hollier18 Jun 2018 4:04 p.m. PST

Marshal Greg,
My figures are organized for Shako. Four infantry on a 0.75" wide stand; three cavalry to a 1.5" wide stand.
So, Shako takes four of my stands to make up a battalion/regiment, but it also gives me some flexibility to use other rule sets.

For ESR at 75yard scale I use the full size Shako infantry battalion and half the Shako cavalry regiment.
At 150yard scale, as this game was, I use half-size Shako infantry battalions, i.e., two 0.75" wide stands, and one Shako cavalry stand respectively for the ESR battalions and squadron groups.

DougEagle Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2018 6:39 p.m. PST

Yes indeed…that looked like a fun time. :D

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