Saturday, 24 March 2018

GdA ~ Game 5 and some new players.

We played another game of General d'Armee today. This time we had two new recruits, Paul & Tim, joining Pete Andrew & I (we're veterans now). I didn't actually play this game, I set up so that Paul & Tim opposed each other and I took them through the rules, step by step and refereed for them.

It was an interesting game with many different questions being asked and many different perspectives offered. Tim & Peter played the Prussians whilst Paul and Andrew commanded the French.

I won't give a full blow by blow account of this battle as, in many respects it was an introductory game. But here's the general gist of how it played out:

The game started with the French gaining the initiative. And they simply advanced their line. Tim got into the use of his ADC's right from the get -go and used a Forwards tasking to get his reserve brigade marching and took control of the farmhouse on the flank. In the following turns Paul moved his skirmishers up and and some general skirmish fighting took place.

Paul invested a wood near the farmhouse with his infantry but these were countered by a Prussian horse battery unlimbering beside the farm.

On Andrew and Peter's side of the table it was similar for the first couple of turns but their fight mainly tuned into a cavalry battle on the far flank.

My new Chasseurs a Cheval make their debut.

Some of Paul's French cavalry including his ADC conversions.

My new battalion for Lutzow's Freikorps standing in
for the missing fourth landwehr battalion.

All around the table plenty of skirmish fire and artillery took place with varying degrees of success or lack thereof. 

On the far right flank Andrew and Peter maneuvered their cavalry for a big fight. The French got the initiative and launched a charge with their dragoons in the lead and light cav in support. They met the Prussian dragoons who had a regiment of landwehr cavalry behind them.

Tim and I lose our heads during the thick of battle.

Paul thinking hard on some difficult tactical decisions.

Now, I've had these French dragoons for quite a long time and for most of that time they've sat in a storage box doing nothing. Now, every time they get into the thick of it they win. And it's never a Pyrrhic victory. It's always a crushing defeat of their opponent. This time it was no different. They sent the Prussian horse packing, causing the brigade to falter. Luckily for Peter he rolled well on the Faltering Brigade Chart and the Prussians rallied.

But Pete's saving his cavalry didn't really help. Paul had been targeting one of Pete's landwehr battalions in the center and had caused significant casualties. Now Paul launched his cavalry at the battered battalion. They failed to form square and became unformed. The gun battery gave some supporting fire but it wasn't enough to check the French horsemen. In the ensuing melee the infantry retreated and the added casualties from the retreat caused them to disperse.

The result of this was that Pete's Landwehr brigade Faltered and rolled badly in the ensuing Command Phase causing the whole brigade to retreat due to a Suave Qui Peut result.

Tim tried to save the day by charging Paul's dragoons bringing up the rear with his uhlans (who had recently forced the French horse battery to pack up and run) but poor rolling on his behalf saw both cav regiments retire to their own lines. Paul kept up the pressure by charging the faltering landwehr with his lone regiment of chasseurs.

Tim also tried an infantry assault on Paul's line at this time but a good solid volley & dismal Prussian dice saw the assault thrown back in disorder.

So, that was it. It was getting late. The Prussian center was in full retreat and the veteran infantry of the Leib Regiment were not in a position to take the fight to the French without withdrawing and reforming. So the day went to the French.


Another good game but I don't think Tim was enamored with the rules. He had some successes throughout the game but his main attack failed. I hope he comes back to play again because he's a very experienced and more than worthy opponent.

As for the center collapse I prompted Paul to charge with his cavalry. He's a seasoned player but new to GdA so I explained the possible results of charging and he went with it. Due to Peter's troops being Recruit status and the casualties they were carrying, the chances of his battalion forming square were drastically reduced. He could have formed square when Tim chased off the battery that was battering them but his focus was on the cavalry battle on the wing.

Strangely, both Pete & Time placed their landwehr towards the center. I'm guessing this was through a lack of communication but it did make the Prussian center weak.

Being a referee can give you a perspective that you don't see when you're in the thick of it.

And some more pics including some I stole from Russel (some of the better ones above are his too).

And there we are. from the left: Someone's head and a neighboring game,
Pete, Tim, Me, Paul, Andrew.

Andrew looking rather contented as his troops take up positions on the hill.