Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How not to win a game of Maurice.

Last night I ran of game of Maurice for 4 of the lads.  To make a change I used the 15mm English Civil War figures that Colin painted many years ago.  Gus and Andy took the Parliamentarian side, with Nathan and Panjo getting the Royalists.  Gus and Nathan have played the game before, but Andy and Panjo were new to it.

The Royalists had 5 units of cavalry (2 elite and 3 trained) and 9 units of infantry (1 elite, 2 trained, 4 conscript, 2 irregular).  Their cavalry had the "Cavalier" bonus (reroll melee dice if charging enemy cavalry) while they all benefitted from "Rally to the Colours"(regulars reroll failed rally dice).  The Parliament force had gone for the quantity over quality theory.  They had 9 infantry (2 elite, 3 trained, 5 conscript), 7 cavalry (3 trained, 4 conscript) and 1 gun.  Their benefits were "Steady Lads" (regular infantry reroll combat dice when defending) and "Clerics", of which they had 5 to assign when they felt the need.

The Royalists were defending and deployed all their cavalry on the right flank, infantry in the center and secured the left flank by putting their irregular infantry in the woods.  The fatal flaw in their set up didn't come to light until near the end of the battle, but the infantry were deployed with 2 lines of 2 units, then the final 3 units in column behind them.  Now which units would you expect in the front line?  Trained and/or elite I hear you cry.  Not so says Nathan, conscripts will hold the line adequately.  So the elite and trained were in the 2nd line I hear you say?  Not so my friends, conscripts again shall hold that position.  This decision would cost the Royalists the game, along with a failure to do anything with the cavalry until it was too late.

Gus and Andy deployed 2 units of trained cavalry on their right flank, facing the woods!   The center was held by 3 lines of infantry, the difference being the front line was made up of 2 elite and 1 trained unit.  The left flank had the remaining 5 units of cavalry supported by 2 units of conscript infantry. 

The initial turns saw the Roundheads advance and engage the Royalist infantry in a firefight, before charging home.  After the initial melee the Royalists were down 1 unit (elite vs conscript) with the other on 3 disruptions.  The next turn passed and the Royalists lost another unit as the Roundheads charged again.  Then another went to sustained volleys as both sides tried to rally troops and regain cards.  It was turn 5 before the Royalist cavalry did anything, by which time the army morales were at 18 for the Roundheads and 5 (from 14) for the Royalists.  Three 6's for routed units had cost Nathan and Panjo 9 morale points.  The Royalist cavalry charged, but only 1 unit could reach.  That fought well despite being outnumbered, but still bounced back.  Then the Roundhead infantry charged again, smashing 2 more units of Royalist infantry in 2 turns and Nathan managed to roll a 5 and 6 for morale, meaning the army broke and ran. 

The use of clerics in the fights had given the Roundheads a definite edge, but if they had been up against trained or elite infantry then they wouldn't have broken either of the first two units when they did.  The failure to use their cavalry finally cost Nathan and Panjo the game.  If they had got them involved then the Roundhead infantry would have had to turn some units to cover their flank.

So all in all, a bad day for the King.  Panjo had been saying from turn 2 "Move the cavalry", but Nathan had blinkers on and could only see the infantry battle.  Gus won his first victory, having suffered 2 defeats in our previous games, but is was more down to Nathan's odd set up than anything else.  Everybody seemed to enjoy the game, I just wish I had remembered to take some pictures.

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