There were four of us gaming at the University yesterday evening, and we played some Maurice, trying out army ideas for a forthcoming second campaign.
This was the only picture I took of Peter and Ralph's game, which featured Ralph's rapid-firing Prussians taking on Peter's Austrians.
I played Caesar. He took a British army, with shooting and melee national advantages. I went for something Swedish, opting for a Great Captain and cavaliers for the cavalry.
I defended, and got to sit behind a river. Caesar massed his infantry against my cavalry flank, so I pulled the horse back, switching most of it to the other flank where I hoped I might cross the river and take the fight to his inferior cavalry. I never got that far.
On my right flank I had troops ensconced behind a wall and garrisoning a village.
Caesar marched his magnificent columns of infantry up to the river.
He started to cross, but my cunning (and lucky) card-play meant that for several turns he got bogged down, unable to move. This left a number of his units exposed on my side of the river, where I was able to concentrate my fire on them, and break a couple.
A large ploughed field on my side of the river was also a problem for Caesar, and advancing across it would break up his army into unmanageable groups.
A shot of my cavalry on the right flank. They did a masterful interpenetration of my infantry line, then sat in this position for the rest of the game.
Caesar finally got his infantry across the river on my extreme left, and his superior firepower began to tell (although my troops' inability to hit anything in return didn't help).
A charge by the cavalry I'd left on that flank failed to slow the British advance, and I ended up slowly giving ground, hoping the third deck would run out and end the game with me still in possession of the objective and at least one point of army morale.
A British unit got too enthusiastic and charged to its own destruction, but the victorious Swedes were shot down before they had much chance to celebrate the win.
And that was pretty much it. Caesar pushed forward, we exchanged fire and eventually the Swedish morale broke. It was a good game, and had my shooting been better would have been closer. A few times in the mid-game, I had isolated British units under fire and close to breaking, and couldn't quite finish them off before he was able to recover. This would have made his final advance riskier, as his army morale would have been shakier. But it wasn't to be.
I never got to use my Cavaliers advantage.
There was much discussion about the selection of armies and national advantages for the Maurice campaign system. I can't help thinking that it tends to encourage the selection of forces that are rather more minimaxed and sterile than those you might select for a one-off game; they are optimised for the campaign rather than set up as reflections of historical prototypes. Has anyone else played the Maurice campaign system? Was this your experience of it?