Saturday, 20 October 2012

Maurice - The Next Generation

On Thursday the Gong Garage Gamers tried out Maurice again. This time we played with slightly larger armies, as well as adding in troop quality and national Characteristics.

Once again the majority of each force was made up of the garish and unpainted Risk figures you know and love. Caesar has acquired some 10mm figures in the meantime, and had painted a few as well as undercoating others, so we had extra units to boost the armies with.

Once again the Duchy of Sans Couleur faced their arch-enemies from Riskovia. Both sides had eight infantry units, forur cavalry and four artillery. One infantry or cavalry unit had to be downgraded to conscript, whilst two could be upgraded to elite.

San Couleur opted for two elite cavalry and an elite infantry, and chose the Deadly Volleys advantage.

Riskovia went for En Masse and Bayonets, upgraded two infantry and downgraded one.

Ralph commanded the Sans Couleur army, assisted by new player Travers. Caesar commanded the Riskovians, with me taking the cavalry command (any Staines Wargamers reading this will know where that will probably go. Prepare to be surprised.)

Here are the armies ready to go. Once again the opposing arms faced each other - cavalry to cavalry, artillery to artillery and infantry to infantry. The Sans Couleur infantry formed up in line ready to use their Deadly Volleys, whilst the Riskovians formed up in massed columns ready to go in with the bayonet.

The Riskovian columns:

The Sans Couleur line:

Geoff didn't make it this week (he doesn't like horse and musket stuff, and an arranged alternative of Full Thrust fell through), so instead this week's guest star is Tim Death. No bow-tie.

The Riskovian artillery pounded away at long range, and broke the Sans Couleur conscripts. This was the high point of the battle for us ...

Our infantry also took a pounding from the well-laid Sans Couleur guns, and we soon had a hole in our massed infantry:

Maurice can use handfuls of dice. And here they are. I tend to use the purple ones for rolling and the pink ones for showing disruption:

The Riskovian columns hit home. Careful use of hoarded cards meant that we completely denied the Sans Couleur infantry the use of their volleys by denying them a volley phase two turns in succession. All we had to do - all Caesar had to do - was complete our cunning plan by winning the ensuing close combats.

He didn't.

An interlude - the Riskovian cavalry. Still on its start lines, having received no order to do anything. And so it remained, for the whole battle.

A second go at the close combats. And a second round of abject failure, aside from destroying the sans Couleur artillery. And even that took a charge by the elite Pink Grenadiers.

Obligatory fish-eye shot, as see on Instagram:

And with the Riskovian columns stalled in front of the Sans Couleur line, the Sans Couleur cavalry arrived, sweeping in from he flank and carrying all before it:

The Pink Grenadiers were charged in the rear - but won. Our only real close combat success of the evening:

At this point the Riskovians conceded.

And why did we lose so badly. Because someone forget to tell the Riskovian infantry to actually fix the bayonets they'd bought as a National Advantage and that would have allowed a reroll of all those ones and twos. There will be questions in the Riskovian Legislature about that ...

On paper our plan was OK - we stacked up card which allowed us to dictate whether volley phases would take place and would modify them in our favour if they did, then launched a full-frontal assault. Bad die rolls, and forgetting about our National Advantage meant that we threw the whole thing away.

For the record here's Caesar's side of the story:

"Great battle last night, thank you Alan, Ralph and Travers (and Tim for being such a well-behaved observer and politely abstaining from heckling as my Riskovian army disintegrated).
Some surprising developments occurred in this game of Maurice, not the least of which was the failure of Ralph and Travers' forces to shoot before the Riskovian assault columns crashed into their firing lines. To the casual observer it appeared like Alan and I hung on to a "Fire Fight" card to use at just the right moment but I'm informed by my spies that a certain subaltern positioned in the front ranks of the Sans Couleur line prematurely issued the fire command, which had the effect that the entire side spent their shot without effect and were hit with a bayonette charge as they attempted to frantically reload their muskets.
The fact that this occurred a SECOND time is inconceivable, though again I am told by my spies that the treachery of Lady de Winter, once time mistress of Comte de Cesare, my have been to blame, as she had be seen passing through the Sans Couleur officers' tents the night before, which may explain the utter incompetence of the junior officers of the firing line and the exasperation of their commander in chief, Von Sparker, as he looked on to an uncontested bayonette assault a second time.
This incompetence was only exceeded by Comte de Cesare, who completely forgot to capitalise on the "a la Baionnette" national advantage to re-roll his ones and twos in combat and saw his assault columns roundly defeated by a stout defence lead by Duc Travers."

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