Just hold that village.

Just hold that village.

This week I was able to run another WSS play test after a brief hiatus. One of the features of battles in this period is the presence of small villages or groups of buildings that are occupied and act as strongpoints. And normally set on fire by the French. Consequently that’s something I need to try out.

So I had Tim and Chris K join me in SHQ, and after a bit of a gap, Ian and Jon were online. We were mercifully spared any internet problems, but it looks like the power socket or cable on my PC has got damaged somehow, so I had some issues on the set up. How annoying. May need to find a local repair guy.

The French are to the left, and were commanded by Tim & Ian. They have occupied the village on the left, and have a strong position with a cavalry brigade on their right. Alas for the French, their cavalry is suffering from glanders, and so doesn’t count as „Fresh“ in their opening combat. The Anglo Dutch are slightly stronger, but must attack to keep the defenders in position, and hopefully take the village.

Chris and Jon advance boldly across the table. Jon’s artillery scores a hit on the French in the village.

Jon had the British regiments, tasked with sorting out the village. He seems to have a cunning plan in place, angling his infantry across like that. Not sure why. I find out later. It certainly did seem cunning when he revealed what he intended.

Chris pushes up his cavalry brigades. He has two, one behind the other. I set them up like that to see what would happen.

Chris charges up hill to engage Tim’s cavalry. They counter charge, then it all goes a bit soggy for him. He loses a pretty much even dice roll off (his terrain advantage offset by his horses all being ill) and to cap it off, his brigadier is killed out right.

Chris‘ Dutch infantry open fire. He has three dice per unit with a +1 net modifier, looking for 6+ to hit. He rolls 4,5,6 in each round of firing, inflicting two hits on each French unit.

An intense firefight breaks out around the village. Jon’s cunning plan enabled him to get two rounds of firing at the left hand French unit, as units move and fire sequentially. Neat, but I’m not sure if that’s what I meant or intend.

Loads of cavalry action. Ian and Tim have got one of their reserve cavalry units out wide to stop Chris outflanking them. That melee goes the way of the French. Next up, Chris’s Dutch have broken one of their opponents. Above them, the French are being pushed back on to the base line.

Tim tries to launch a succession of charges with his infantry in the centre, but mostly fails, and a fire fight breaks out. Except on the right, where the attack goes in.

Chris‘ reserve line of cavalry is halted by close range cannon fire.

Even without the support of the reserve cavalry, Chris’s Dutch brigade finish driving most of the French off the battlefield.

Tim’s other cavalry are doing better, and are driving their opponents back pell-mell. This is preventing the second line supporting them effectively.

Quick overview photo of the action. The infantry appear to have stalled, and the French need a big win before the Dutch cavalry rally and return from pursuit.

Despite his men having slightly dodgy morale, the right hand French infantry break their Dutch opponents with a bayonet charge.

Up at the village sustained and deadly musketry enable the British foot to force their way in. Ian has pulled his reserves up to try and flank the attacking units, but this may be too late.

Blink and you miss it. The French surviving cavalry break their Dutch opponents, only to be caught in the rear by a fresh British regiment.

The game reaches its climax. The troops driven from the village, together with the troops on their right, counter attack, but this results in one of the attacking units breaking, and the other being stalled. Up the top, there’s loads of firing going on, and a desperate charge out of the village, but the British are not to be driven off.

The result is that most of the defenders are broken. The French left flank has collapsed.

Tim has broken the left hand end of the Dutch line, but elsewhere his line is crumbling. A hard won victory for the Anglo Dutch.

This game had some command figures who were better than others, so could use more than one command action a turn. This proved to be helpful to the Anglo-Dutch. The French, notably Tim, had a dreadful run of luck, and should have done better with their cavalry. The village fight was messy. I’m not sure that Ian knew what he wanted to do, and his last ditch charge out of the defences didn’t really work for him. To be fair, it was the last turn, and he was looking for an end of game spectacular.
I need to think further on how to make the village fight work, and there were some other useful comments and discussion about various aspects of the rule system. Since I confidently stated that „This. Will. Happen.“ seven weeks ago, writing up the rules and figuring out the fine detail has not gone as quickly as expected. Several other things have emerged as a thief of time, but with those mostly out of the way, I’ll hopefully get back to them shortly.

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Autor: Trebian / Wargaming for Grown-ups

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