Taken as a whole the the recent Napoleonic game was a largely frustrating experience and my after action report was very much an attempt to 'dress it up' or, if you like, an attempt to salvage something from the time and effort expended! Only two things of note took place during the game - the attempt to drive the rifles out of the wood and the disastrous French cavalry charge and even then the former was a largely half-hearted affair. The write up was very much a piece of self indulgence for which I offer no apologies (apart from the purple prose that is!) and as mentioned, was largely my effort to extract something tangible from the experience.
I must confess that I did not plan this game with anything like my usual thoroughness and boy did it show! The biggest problem was the rules and that was largely my own fault and they are not really designed for the scale of game I had planned. Worthington Games Napoleon's War is all about refighting the great battles of the era which is true to an extent of any of the similar Command and Colours series but for some reason if just felt plan odd with the scenario I was playing. The rules are fine when used as intended; albeit at a much higher level of command. My preferred option going forward would be to use a Napoleonic derivation of Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame or even Memoir of Battle as either of these sets sit far closer to my own rule preferences. Command and Colours Napoleonics would work better at this level but has the disadvantage of not being particularly solo gamer friendly due to the use of command cards.
I felt that the scenario was sound enough although giving the attackers a larger force would have made them more inclined to attack. I would certainly revisit the idea at some point though, subject to those points being taken into consideration.
Visually the game looked fine and it was rather satisfying seeing the red blocks on the map alongside the blue - it had a real battle map kind of feel which was very satisfying. I really need to get the Hexon terrain collection completed sooner rather than later as this kind of affair will look much better with the larger hexes.
Overall then, the game was a frustrating experience but this was largely of my own doing (which made it worse!) as not only did I give insufficient consideration to the rules I also did not think about the composition of the forces engaged. Having said that, the action that did take place was enjoyable in its own way - it is just that I would have preferred rather more of it! Still, and to borrow from Alfred Lord Tennyson:
'Tis better to have gamed and lost, than to have never gamed at all!'