Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Thoughts on the Recent Game

Enjoyable as it was the recent game was not without a couple of minor but significant issues. To begin with, I believe I deployed the opposing forces too far apart at the start of the action. With C and C Napoleonic movement distances as they are (and I was fighting on a 13 x 9 hex playing area - the same size as the game board used for any of the C and C games) it meant that it would be four game turns for infantry to reach the bridge when deployed on the edge of the board (line infantry for both sides move one hex when ordered). Going forward I think I will allow for deeper deployments excepting of course, when the scenario demands otherwise. Obviously this is no reflection on the rules as such - just a minor design issue and so the fault was entirely mine!

I am going to abandon having a Memoir of Battle based artillery phase - during the game this was used only on one occasion and to be honest, I kept forgetting about it! Keeping artillery in the players game turn is a lot tidier although I will possibly make some provision for grand batteries in due course - probably on a scenario specific basis rather than as a general rule. The French artillery in the game saw off a unit of British cavalry that wandered rather too close for comfort (not quite within charging distance though) but the British guns did not even get into action.

Having the initiative phase worked well and this swung backwards and forwards throughout the 24 game turns and averaged out exactly 50 50 by the end.

The command point idea worked out pretty well overall, albeit a little overdone in terms of execution. Comments received from Ross Mac of Battle Game of the Month fame have given me a similar idea although somewhat easier in its operation than mine and so my next step will be to experiment with this instead. I also know that Bob Cordery over at Wargaming Miscellany is pondering something these lines for solo use.

Throughout the game both sides were pretty poorly served by their command points and the subsequent location of these. To me this replicated the frustration often experienced when playing any of the C and C series of games when you have a hand full of cards for the wrong sectors. Coupled with the distance between the two armies and the fact that initially everything was located pretty much in the centre you then had all the ingredients for a, shall we say, sedate game!

Combat worked as well as expected and needs little, if anything added.

The fifty percent rule (or exhaustion level by any other name) made for a definite finish and so I will keep this in place or, again, make use of a scenario specific sliding scale of some kind.

The terrain was quite sparse but then the original action was similarly set up. I was able to use an actual hill rather than a copy of Tradition magazine which looked rather better than in the original version. The only difficulty I had was that I do not possess any fields. As far as I know Hexon does not produce any field tiles so I will need to furnish a few of my own making and so some blanks tiles will need to be acquired in due course for some terrain making duties. I will also need to improve on the bridge!

Overall I was pleased with the look of the C and C blocks on the terrain but I am giving some serious thought to making some movement stands in some fashion. My thinking at the moment is to have some kind of central 'groove' on a stand that the blocks will sit in. This would need to be quite shallow as the bottom of the block label when standing on its edge has the unit type emblazoned along the lower edge. Should the 'groove' be too deep then the text would be either cut in half or would disappear altogether. Again, I shall experiment with a few designs and see what comes out in the wash. Whatever I opt for though will need to be simple to make as with the acquisition of some 1400 blocks worth of C an C goodies I will probably need a reasonable number of them!

To sum this rather rambling post (Rambling? Moi?) up I would say that the initial scenario set up was flawed and this in turn was aggravated by the consistently poor command rolls. Despite this, the game was an absorbing one to fight - perhaps for those very reasons that made it such a frustrating experience on occasion!


Sean said...

The battle seemed pretty interesting. Probably best to stick with a phase order that you can remember. Curious to see what changes you will make to the command point system, it seems reasonable. Looks like I need to look at Battle Game of the Month. You and Bob have both mentioned it.

David Crook said...

Hi Sean,

It was an absorbing action and you are absolutely right about sticking to a known order.

The changes to the command point idea will be minimal but should serve to address my first impressions.

Ross and his blog are well worth the time of day - always thought provoking and he has the uncanny knack of getting to the nub of a problem before you have realised there is one!

All the best,