Sunday, June 12, 2011

FPW Campaign Finale

Edit: We actually played the clock roll wrongly... a rematch has been scheduled in two weeks' time. I apologise for the error.

It's almost 4 months since we started the FPW campaign (the planning and purchasing of figures and rules preceeded the actual play by many months though) but this afternoon we fought the final battle in the series.

(This means that I've played three 3-person games, two 2-person games and three solo games this year, an average of one game every three weeks, which isn't too shabby...)

By the time the terrain was laid down, I thought the French would be eliminated before the second Prussian Corps arrives...

wahj placed the fort smack in the middle of the table, and Martin quickly placed clear squares from his side of the table towards it. This gave the Prussians a straight line of attack to the fort. wahj remedied the situation by placing a village on one side of the road, and a wooded hill on the other.

The French have suffered heavy casualties from the first two games, and to add insult to injury I have rolled very bad dice for them during the recovery phase, while the rolls for the Prussians were much more favourable.

The Prussian main line of advance will come down the main road, while the other Corps will arrive on the turn after the clock passes 20 - which by the laws of averages will be Turn 7.

However, as Martin forfeited the railway table/game, this meant the French 3rd Division and their Cavalry Division start the game at full strength. wahj capitalised on this by placing the entire French Cavalry Division on the road, ready to sell their lives dearly to save their country. The First Division was deployed at the village to punish the Prussians as they try to move towards the fort, while the Second Division was deployed to the far left, in anticipation of the other Prussian Corps. The bulk of Third Division was held at the fort, with its artillery and some elements deployed on the wooded hill in front of the fort, which overlooked the Prussian route of advance.

As the lead elements of the Prussian Corps arrived the Cavalry Division launched itself into an attack, and lucky die-rolls meant that the cavalry continued to harass the head of the Prussian column, buying the French several turns - we played the rules wrongly here, forgetting that a repulsed unit takes one full turn to recover, but in any case the French cavalry always managed to keep a unit in that square, and wahj managed to seize the initiative each turn.

Both players also rolled high values for the clock, which meant that even as wahj traded time for initiative, the clock ran faster than expected; by turn 4 the second Prussian Corps had entered the table!
After they finally eliminated the French Cavalry Division with concentrated artillery, the Prussians begin to envelop the village from both directions, but for by sundown the Prussians had not pushed a man beyond the middle-line of the table.

I am personally quite surprised by the outcome of the battle - even taking the rule-error we made (and extending the clock by 20 to make up for it) the French pulled off a remarkable forward defence. I suppose part of the problem was that the Prussians had only two routes of entry because Martin forfeited a game; this meant wahj could concentrate his forces and defend against only two sectors instead of three.

I enjoyed the campaign very much, from the rules, the figures, the terrain, and to the actual gameplay. We are quite taken with the grid system and our next project - Warring States China - will also utilise the same; well, wahj did spend quite a bundle on the felt sheets...

I also handed Martin the 15mm Mediterranean card buildings from PaperTerrain this afternoon; he seems rather enthused and is planning to actually put the monastery set on a hill! With the frequency which we play at, however, his handiwork might only see tabletop play around Christmas!

Looking back at the "work plan" I set our little group at the end of last year, we are about a month behind schedule. Next up is the Warring States campaign, the rules for which wahj and I have had many hours of discussion over. Hopefully we can get a test game done this month and move to the full 4-game campaign afterwards.

In the meantime Martin will have a few months to build the 15mm buildings and select a set of rules for our Peninsular Campaign, which will see us till the end of this year.

I am still not sure what project to take up when the baton comes back to me next year - like the guys said: who knows what new rules or period will hit the market by then?

I do have a complete set of figures painted for the Indian Mutiny (the name of the blog was originally chosen on account of this planned project), but I am not sure if we will want to play something just 50 years after our preceeding project... The number of paired armies we have in common give many possibilities: Hittite vs. Sea Peoples (wahj has been eyeing the Baueda Troy for years now...), Romans vs. Sassanids, Dark Ages Britain, First Crusade, Wars of the Roses... and in between we can always play filler games of Strandhogg (I am bidding on more dwarves - need more dwarves with shields if I am to capitalise on the Shieldwall rule, you see...) and FUBAR 40K (now that I have the droids I am looking for...).

Well, we'll just take it as it comes, what?

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