Sunday, August 30, 2015

Friday Night's Pretty Dang Good for Fighting

This weekend saw a "Supermoon" in  the night sky, and that must have meant the stars were aligned just right for all of the Ambler Gamer regulars to come to Joe's house for a War of Spanish Succession Slugfest.  Over 1500 figures contested the field, and some early choices and extreme die rolls determined the outcome. 

Mark, Scott, and Steve T chat before the game.  We used Mark's rules, and he was kind enough to referee. Like all of our preferred sets, play was fast, bloody, and decisive.  Unlike other WSS games I have played, cavalry did not cancel each other out early in the game.
Here is the main part of my command on the allied right flank.  With some good initiative rolls early on and a brigade of infantry (not shown) that I pulled away from the center, I thought I would have a cakewalk against Joe, my opponent.  It didn't hurt my cause that Joe made a series of catastrophically bad rolls on turn two, essentially giving my troops a free bound to capture the objective and set up a defense.
Scott looks sadly at the glacial advance of the troops in the French center. 
On the far side of the table, Steve P surged onto the French right flank. His infantry dig in against an expected counterattack by the French cavalry.
While my own die rolls were not great, I felt confident enough against Joe's formed infantry to ignore the dismounted dragoons who had crept through the woods onto my flank. My reinforcements would take care of them, I thought.
After advancing the Guard to the center of the table, Scott advances the turn marker. Mark reminds him that there are only two turns left.
Though the green objective marker is firmly under my control, a sustained firefight is leaving my troops shaken and bloody. Sensing an opportunity, Joe sends reinforcements to push me back.  By the end of the game, the best I could claim was that the objective was "contested."  Not shown: given that our cavalry had stared at each other for most of the game, I thought I would shake things up in the final turns with a cavalry charge. If I could threaten Joe's flank, I could shake off the shame of a "contested" objective. Bad idea. You know, sometimes cavalry charges don't work. A dead officer and two shattered regiments later, I found my own flank threatened.
Steve P cannot fathom the rotten showing of the British cavalry, who have failed to take any pressure off of the foot soldiers opposing the French Guard. Suddenly, the Allied position looks far less certain.
The British line is trained and resilient, but the French cavalry is out for blood. The Allied left starts to look shaky. Sort of like my hands in these long-range shots.
By the time the French Guard started to have its morale waver, the French and Bavarians had completely secured the center of the battlefield.  The brigade I had pulled off to reinforce my right could certainly have been better used to hold the center of the field. Would it have been enough to turn the tide of battle? Such questions are why we gamers keep coming back for more...

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