Maurice is a card driven game in which you pick up and lay down cards for actions and for special events (like "a sniper shoots one of your major officers" or "That isn't on the map!" which was played against me; more on that later.) The game started slow with minor movements on either side and some artillery bombardments. Hits by artillery or small arms do not inflict casualties in the usual sense, but cause "disruptions" and when you have more disruption than you have stands in the unit, the unit breaks. (the standard is four with Austria having six because of their MASSIVE infantry units.) Units only disappear when you lose hand-to-hand combat. We French generals move in to closer range and suffered for it, but we wanted to precipitate some fighting since staring at each other and hurling vague insults does not make a good game. (Really, we're not 6 years old nor are we running for political office.)
|The game table looking "north" with the initial deployments - French on the left, Prussians on the right.|
|Looking "south" before deployment.|
|"I'll see your fusiliers and raise you a dragoon squadron." Kevin and Andy check their cards. |
The troops in the foreground are some of the troops in my division.
|Kevin's Prussians (left) and Andy's Prussians (right) prepare to pretend to advance. |
The blue chips in the background were used to note disruptions.
|Four of my five infantry units and my two cavalry units begin their slog forward. |
Another infantry unit stood on the far left, out of the photo.
|Marshal Martin's unit of French cavalry|
|Kevin's far right flank that didn't move all game and didn't have to: |
Andy's Prussian infantry and my wife's Bavarian Dragoons.
|Watching the advance while fiddling with "The Precious", your humble author seems... pensive.|
|My units go into combat at bayonet point first. It didn't help. The unit in melee was destroyed by the Prussians.|
|The big battle. Martin's division engages Andy's right and Kevin's left in the centre of the table. It was a see-saw battle.|
|Nap-of-the-earth miniature combat photography at its best!|
|So my cavalry backed up and reset for another charge... as cerfew fell!|
Well, Martin and I lost. There's a system in Maurice to "keep score" based on the number of units you start the game with and that system showed a marginal/minor Prussian victory. We took to the highway and the Prussians let us go in good Seven Years War style.
I enjoyed the game. I'm not altogether sold on Maurice and other card-driven games; something seems a little artificial there. It's almost a deus-ex-machina situation. It does permit a good "fog of war" and keeps you on your toes, but the surprises can be gut-wrenching. Having said that, I'd play the game again.
We all have our own preferences. Andy prefers "Battles in the Age of Reason" which appears to have quite a following. I prefer KoenigKrieg... and I'm not rebasing for a change of rules sets.
We are still considering an "Imigi-nations" campaign and I have some troops painted. I'll post the photos soon. The figs are really "retro": they're 20mm! Age of Reason seems to be the rule set of choice. Martin, who is a graduate student studying serious geography will create a map. I'd like to set up a grid of unforeseen circumstances to be rolled for in every time period. Famine? Flood? Court scandal? An extra levy of patriotic militia? A new found fortune? Godzilla? (Well, maybe not the last one... mabye. Heh-heh-heh.) More on this later.