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Monday, July 2, 2012

Invasion of England 1759 1st Play test

Adrian helped me play test my French invasion of England scenario Sunday at The Whiz. This was may first time at the new space. They seem to have less space than the old spot but there were still plenty of gaming tables with 6 in action on Sunday, my Black Powder game, 4 FOW games and a Dystopian Wars game.

I kept the board simple and as the FOW players had claimed the teadybear fir and other good covers well we had the moon scape not as ascetically pleasing as one would like but it works for trying the game out. I gave the British a lot of earth works. I think I will reduce this for the next play-test both to give the french player an easier time and to force the English player into a more active game.
 The French force is lined up in two lines to move across the English country side. My plan was to probe both flanks hold the attention of Adrian's central brigades and then send troops to support one flank or the other.  Early command Rolls were key.
The Swiss and French Cavalry on the right advanced well and had two heavy guns in sport. Turn one and already the English flank is threaten with envelopment.
The attack on the left is in a similarly good position with two strong brigades of Infantry and three guns advanced.
In the Center I had three brigades one of which moved and it only got tangled up with the other two. Thank goodness there are no template weapons!
Adrian had some very effective shooting on the left One of my brigades here is broken (about 3 turns in) and the other is hurt.  I do have cavalry on that flank how ever and this is where I sent the Irish Brigade as I thought I was actually in better shape here.
On the Right there was a prolonged and bloody series of hand to hand fights between the Swiss and the British Guard/Grenadiers. French Cavalry mominteraly looked to have a decisive breakthrough but though they drove off the English Horse and took the guns on this flank the Guards held and refused to break!

On the left I prepared to launch what I hoped would be the decisive attack Fench infantry and a Cavalry did win their battles but the Militia held there ground.
They also shot the Irish Brigade into disorder.  Note there are almost on red markers this brigade was broken entirely by being disordered 4 of the 5 regiment! Adrian and I agreed that this situation seems implausible, a unit should have to take casualties to be broken by fire. I have to consider some house rules to avoid this frustrating situation.
At this point I felt we had learned what we could form the exercise the English barring a terrible run of luck would hold my Flank attacks had failed and Adrian was very strong in the center.

Probably modifications:
Reduce English fortifications the entrenchments removed most of the maneuver elements from the game.  

Units should have First Fire or Platoon Fire but not both.  The English Guards and Regulars with both were devastating.

Possible house rule requiring at least one shaken unit to break a brigade. 

I recently read some house rules here: http://blenheimtoberlin.blogspot.com/ That I think I need to consider I like the new order were firing happens between the initiative phase and the command phase as it gives you the chance to Fire into an opponent, disorder them and then Charge them. I like this because this was the goal of 18th century combat.