Sunday, January 31, 2010

Game Expedition report -- A Bad Day for the British

Well, the inimitable Mark K. and I got in a full day of gaming, and as Mark's suggested Blog Post title hints, it wasn't a good day for the British.

We started out with a match of Hold the Line, playing the Montmorency Falls scenario. This battle was fought on July 31, 1759. It was Wolfe's first attempt to attack the French army near Quebec and the historical result was a bloody repulse for the British.

The set up is shown below:

The French army is ensconced in a strong position atop hills, behind a stream and in some redoubts. The British have to either fight their way across the stream or ashore from boats.

Our first game saw Mark's British elites gamely battle their way through the French right flank despite heavy losses. My French troops concentrated on reducing the Elites down to 1 Mp instead of trying to finish them off, on the theory that it was more important to reduce their chances of passing morale checks for close assaults. This generally succeeded, but it meant that the British firepower was not reduced and it got really close at the end, with the British getting 5 of the 6 VPs needed to win (1 VP marker, 2 militia, 2 regulars) . I was worried that a lucky shot might pick off a leader and give the Brits the win, so I pulled the leaders out of range. Hindering the British effort considerably were casualties among their leaders as both Wolfe and Townshend fell.

The flip side game was much less competitive, as every effort my British made to advance was met with a hail of effective fair. As a matter of fact, my British ended up taking 23 hits from the French before finally inflicting one. Needless to say, I wasn't able to dig my way out of that hole and the British went down to a resounding defeat, scoring no VPs at all while losing 7 units.

Our main event was our mutual first game of Twilight Struggle. I'm not sure how to frame the narrative for that one, as I'm still digesting the game. It's very interesting, however, and I expect to play it again. Mark did win our first game as the Soviets in the Mid-war period (and so the British were on the losing side again).

Dessert was a match of Columbia's War of 1812. I took the first game as the United States, where the war went well in the West while both sides danced around a bit on the New York front. Losses were relatively low and the game ended up being decide by a vary large battle in New York, with the US winning by 11 points. The second game was much bloodier and wild all around, which tended to help Mark's Americans, although 1812 went well for the British, who were able to capture Albany. They were, however, unable to hold it and Mark's Americans were able to battle back from the 1812 deficit. My chances for a coming back to force a draw suffered blow when my big 1814 reinforcement army brought just one 4-factor British regular and no less than 4 militia!. Meanwhile the Americans had taken Detroit and swept through the West. An American army fought its way from Albany to Quebec. The British were able to destroy it, but chasing them down cost valuable time and the game ended up with Mark's American having exactly 10 more victory points and the win.

The final result was three wins for Mark, two for me and a fine afternoon and evening of strategy.

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