I picked up a copy of Maurice and accompanying cards last week from J & M Miniatures
. I made plans with my friend Dan and Mike G.(I know many mikes, so I always specify) to get together this week and try them out.
We got together around noon yesterday, and began setting up the table using terrain generation rules. I pulled out my Electorate and Asaryan force, and my FIW provincials and some Napleonic cavalry to support Dan's Poblacht forces.
We used 80 point armies(as that was the extent to which Dan could field forces). we also stuck with 2-base units for now as we don't have any larger figure trays, and Dan would have barely made 3 infantry units. Dan's army played both the Asaryan and Electorate forces. his national advantages were Skirmishers, Lethal Volley, and a la Baionnette! he kept these throughout the battles. the Asaryan national advantages were Cadence, Steady Lads, and rally to the colours. the electorate took Professional Train, Oblique order, and Cavaliers.
|the battlefield after setup|
the first game saw mike take the helm of the Asaryan army against Dan's
Poblacht na hIbornea army in plains terrain. I GMed. Dan was the attacker, and
took a unit of Electorate cavalry as his mercenary unit.
The Poblacht infantry advanced across the field, and the asaryans took up a defensive line on the road behind a stone wall. following that the cavalry advanced. the cavalry traded blows but the sipahis eventually came out on top.
|Asaryan Sipahis prepare to charge Poblacht Carbiniers, |
who apparently get all the big horses
Dan Charged his infantry into the Asaryan line after softening up some of the janissaries. we then, as a group, discovered how good defending a wall is. the hIborneans managed to beat one unit, the DISR from which destroyed the unit. the one hIbornean elite unit lost and succumbed to disruption, one was outright destroyed, and a 3rd one combat.
at the point the game was almost over, but another cavalry pushed killed a 3rd group of Poblacht Horsemen and the game was decided.
At this point, Mike had to leave. Dan and I went and grabbed an early dinner, and returned a few hours later for another game, this time Dan was the attacker against my electorate.
now, as per my usual habit, I completely forgot to take pictures once we were embroiled in the game. basically, Dan concentrated all his activations on pushing my left flank. I made the mistake of trying to think defensive. I did however place my pandours on the left masterfully, as they were just close enough to cause Dan some consternation, and could not charge en masse until they were dealt with. the left side became a struggle of wills. Ultimately, Dan lost all but one fresh regular infantry unit, and i lost all my infantry. but it bought me enough time to make one last concerted push against Dans cavalry who finally moved form their starting position. this sudden cavalry charge managed to save my flank just in time. I caught one of dan's cavalry on the flank, and it was outnumbered. it was doubled and destroyed, and dan's army morale failed.
If Dan had managed to charge my first, or survive combat and attack back, the game could have very easily ended in disaster for the electorate. So once again the Electorate is saved by it's cavalry(specifically the Metzger Curiassier!). this seems to be the norm for this army.
Dans drawing of cards was devilish in the least. he always seemed to have a counter to a card I played, and he constantly had tons of modifier cards. also, whenever he needed to hit with volleys on 6s, he always rolled at least one. this was rather frustrating!
Generally speaking, Maurice is an excellent system. it's fairly fast, has plenty of turning point in the game, and the end result is not easily predictable. the rules are easy to pick up, yet surprisingly complex. it gives an excellent impression of a struggle of wills.
the only thing all 3 of us noticed was that artillery is effectively useless. Dan and I discussed it after the 2nd game, and it definitely feels strange. I know artillery was not as useful during the seven Years War as it was during the later periods like the Napoleonic wars. but if artillery was as useless as this game portrays it, I doubt anyone would be using it by the napoleonic period! to top it off, as the defender, your cannons are even more useless, since the attacker can simply avoid putting things in front of them. so they never get the use canister unless you move them. generally speaking, it's better to move infantry or cavalry rather then artillery, since they can take melee and not be at a disadvantage. Mike and I were also less then enthused that my gigantic Turkish cannon did the same amount of damage as my electorate 3pdrs. again, this could be historically accurate, but it jut feels wrong.