Sunday, 11 November 2012

Maurice Deployed

Saturday saw Martin, Andy, Kevin, and I trying a new (to us) set of rules for the Age of Reason period. Martin had been wanting to try Maurice to see how it played. So Andy brought his terrain and his infantry and artillery and I supplied some extra cavalry and we went head to head. Andy and Kevin pushed Prussian lead (8 battalions of infantry, 2 of grenadiers, 3 regiments of cavalry, and 2 guns) while Martin and I bravely led the French (9 infantry, 1 grenadier unit, 3 cavalry, and 2 guns.)

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.

Part of Martin's division - infantry and artillery. He took all the artillery and gave me the lion's share of the cavalry. He likes his massed batteries. A unknown whitecoat unit marches next to the Gardes Lorraine and is followed by the Grenadiers de France.

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.
Where'd that come from? When my cavalry prepared to charge (to see how the moster works - like security men in Star Trek), Kevin played the "That's not on the map!" card and plopped a swamp/bog/hellhole right in front of me. I was surprised and the horse had to back out of the rough terrain the next time they could move.

My general, his excellency the Compte d'Mony seem to be holding the line alone. One regiment had vaporized, a second had fallen back, and the two in the forest were held up by rough terrrain. (Slow movement and one disruption for  being in the woods) [Go ahead, Martin; I know you're going to correct my French since I only understand "Supermarket French" - y'know the French side of all food products.]

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.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Ray. It was a fun game and I'm glad I got a chance to try the rules.