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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Maurice Review

I have per-ordered Maurice because of a suggestion on the Blackpowder New England yahoo group and a quick read of the "lite" version available for free as a PDF.   I own but have not played Sam Mustafa's Might and Reason and would probably have embraced those rules if Blackpowder had not grab the imagination of the gaming community in my area.

The book is soft cover, with lots of great pictures, over all its well written though I think it was written with a someone who is familiar the 18th century in mind. The system is based on the period 1690 to 1790.
French troops not based to work for this game :(

The basic game is fairly straight forward though it is not compatible with Might and Reason as it based on units with troops on 4 bases (only two were needed for Might and Reason).  The good news is if you want to try this and you uses the standard set up for Blackpowder your in good shape at least were infantry is concerned.

Maurice is card driven, you draw cards to activate units, some cards can interrupt the sequence of play, inhibit your opponent or grant you some bonus.   Shooting is still done us the standard d6 and is very similar to Blackpowder.  There is a good illistation of playing a turn provided  The book also included three battles Kolin, Brandywine and Fontenoy these battles are well presented.
These guys are just fine... but the wrong period :(

The two stand out reasons to get Maurice are the Campaigne system and the "notables."

First the Notables, these are cards featuring fictional 18th century figures who can serve as you Chief of staff or as unit commanders.  Frequently they confer a bonus on the unit they are attached too but they have a social rank that can make them "disinclined to acquiesce to your request" (or orders if you prefer).  Having a Chief of staff of equal or higher rank will help counter this. Think of them as NPCs in your army, its a great way to add complexity to a battle with out making life too complex.

Naturally you can make your own notable drawn from history or your "imagination" as you wish.

The other gem in this production is the simple (and it is Gee I should have thought of that simple) mapless Campaign system.  Players are listed  as 1, 2 3 ect.. based on how many guys you happen to have the number is not a rank just an organizational too so you could go in Alphabetical order.

Lets assume our players are Adam, AJ, Chris, and Eric, just to take players from Adler hobby.

Adam (Player 1) declares war on Eric(player 4), we now have two sides! AJ (Player 2) gets to pick his side since both are Equal, he decides to come to Eric's aid. Chris (player 3) now has to join Adam's side so that both sides are even. Now that two alliances are set up we pick opponents and even though Adam declared war on Eric he could decide to battle AJ.  After a round of battles scores are compared (I will not get into that) and if certain conditions are met the war ends, we get to promote units, hire new notables and other stuff.

Then the who process happens again with AJ as player one and Adam dropping to player 4.

You an use real or fictional nations and people are encouraged to keep records of their troops exploits and accumulate "epic points" after a period of time the player with the most "epic points" is hailed as the outstanding general of the period and you can start over again. The system is rigged in such a way that new players get underdog points to help encourage new players.

The Campaign system could easily be adapted to Blackpowder or other systems.