Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Rolica, 1808 (again) - Command & Colours

The second outing of C&C N again saw the Rolica scenario being fought - this time with John Armatys leading the British (& Portuguese) Army while Martin Rapier fought to retain the Peninsula for France.
Hopefully my previous post on C&C N shed some light on the game mechanics, so this report will simply highlight some incidents which occurred during the game.  For simplicity and consistency, I shall refer to left, centre and right sectors from the French point of view.   In many photos I have left the dice in view as they help to explain what is going on.
On the left - French Hussars lay into Portuguese lights.  It didn't go well for the infantry.

The battlefield viewed from the left.  The action above can be seen more or less in the centre of the photo.

The plucky Portuguese formed square but it didn't save them.  This was the situation after the French charge.

Here on the right, French infantry (on the hill) have charged the Brits,
 inflicting two hits (infantry and sword) and causing a retreat (flag).

More lucky French dice rolling - spectacularly so this time!  The French (with valiant leader at the helm) charge the Brit lights - wiping them out!  This felt a bit uncomfortable at the time, but in fact the chances of it happening are minimal.

More carnage - the French charge the Brits in the wood - who rather obligingly all die horribly.

At this point the French need one more victory banner to win.  This unit suffers 75% losses....
The following turn the same unit (now with a single stand and an attached leader) is again attacked.  The single stand goes and as that provided a further victory banner, the game ands immediately.  Just for fun, however, John rolled the 'risk to leader' dice, knowing that Wellesley would be safe on anything except a double sword...
...and sadly a promising military career is cut short!
I hope that I have conveyed the impression that this was a fun game - it was and is.  It was played by two players (one with very little knowledge of the mechanisms) and a bungling umpire in well under two hours.  Overall, the French dice were better than average, the British worse than average.  Apart from the massacre of the British light infantry (5th photo above), nothing uncomfortable took place, and even that event can be rationalised as being possible but very rare.  Importantly (for me at least), the game uses a single box of Hexon tiles and fits on a 5x3 foot table. 
Those of you planning to use 15mm toys may care to note that those used in the game described (mostly based on 1x1 inch stands) were transported in a single boxfile.  The toys are all from my accumulation (sorry, but I can't think of it as a 'collection', from various manufacturers - mostly picked up at shows and ebay, with some (including the French Hussars) painted for me by Steve Briddon.  The 'Portuguese' came out of the 'Saxon' box, and one of the 'British' guns is in fact from Brunswick.
I look forward to playing (and reporting) more C&C N games.


Martin Rapier said...

Yes, the British die rolling was fairly average but some of the French rolls were fairly spectacular. Despite the apparance of a one sided massacre, the game was rather closer than it appeared and a number of French units ended it rather ragged. I was just more successful in actually getting the victory flags.

Wellesley managing to roll double swords aginst the parting cannon shot was very amusing and somehow inevitable.

Obviously one game doesn't make a spring, but this did feel quite Napoleonic despite some oddities of ground scale and it was rather less abstract than e.g. Battle Cry or Memoir 44.

Tim Gow said...

You mean the French victory wasn't due solely to superior leadership?

Conrad Kinch said...

French victories are generally only attributable to two causes - overwhelming numbers and villainy.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the game so far, though I'm looking forward to the multi-player expansion which is where I think the system shines. A chum of mine once said that there are games that you play and games that you talk about, C&C: Napoleonics is a game that you play.

Tim Gow said...

True enough - but here we are talking about it! Seriously though - I know what you mean. Speaking as a Scot living in Yorkshire, the cost of the bloody game makes me determined to play it!