Braving almost seasonal temperatures, I treked out to Bruce's last night for a second go at Maurice. Again we played a fairly generic game. The centre was crowded with terrain while the flanks were open. Bruce had 15 units (including two lousy militia units) and I had 13 units (including two strong grenadier units).
We've not idea how Sam will deal with unit quality in the full rules so we tried making it easier for tougher units to rally off hits and harder for poorer units. This wasn't really all that effective and, after mulling over fiddling the number of disruptions a unit could take before it broke, we settled on fiddling the "conversion" roll where hits become disruptions next game. Good troops are hard to tag with hits from shooting. We'll see how that goes.
I decided to attack this game, refusing my left, loading the cavalry on the open right and sending the foot up the middle. I used the cannon to ward off Bruce rushing my cavalry but that was a poor choice on my part. So up the middle the boys went. They ran into a flanking force of cavalry and were saved by "that's not on the map!" as a marchy area appear to protect my flank. The screams of the horse and howls of indignation warmed my cold heart.
His cavalry hit me, bounced and then I had hoped to shoot him to death. But I couldn't roll worth beans all night so he eventually extracted them from their mess just shy of death. Unfortunately, there was a bit of "confusion" on his side and they charged forward into the bog (and their deaths) again (evil laughter). But things went downhill from there. The rest of the middle was a series of unit trades through firing.
My attack was poorly planned and eventually fizzled but I was a couple of units up on Bruce so decided to risk a cavalry charge up my right to see if I could snag victory. I knew his militia would be easy meat and they were (crunchy!). Alas, this was Bruce's plan, as he used the militia as bait and then hit me with his cavalry.
Overall, I traded four units for his three and then he snagged another unit through shooting to win. It could have gone the other way at the end if I had played my cards a bit different but he clearly deserved to win for his patient trap laying. Also for not crying too loudly as I hooped his cavalry with the marsh twice early on.
Overall, we had a great game in about an hour. I'm keen to see the full rules with a bit more detail (different types of cavalry, skirmisher troops, more card play). Bruce is so enthralled his is mooting rebasing and did up a sample unit. I will be staging an intervention at the next club night and need folks to sign up to bring food and drink.
Up next: I am about to base some 28mm Imperial Romans and start the prep on some 15mm WW2 Germans. I have also hauled the trees out of storage and am mulling how to fix them up.