Sunday, 21 February 2016

Game 38 - Brandywine (again!)

After a few false starts (one of which will be making me extol the virtues of Squad Leader over most other WWII rules fairly soon - watch this space - because I'm returning to Squad Leader in Miniature or one of Steve's variants - nothing else works for me...rant...rant)...we eventually got a game in.

Maurice of course, with the Brandywine scenario from the rule book (roughly, as I played about with some of the fords and had to use 3 base instead of 4 base units due to lack of figures painted).

What a game. I think I've finally learned how to defend!!! Pull back out of range when required (stay away from units which haven't taken 2x DISRs and cannister range), waste the attacker's resources as much as possible and wait for night (burn that card deck down as much as you can) and threaten the flanks, even if it means doing nothing (sneaky units can sit in the right place for the entire game and 'worry' an infantry flank - and send your opponent's focus elsewhere - which is the essence of defence).

Very tense, and as usual with Maurice of course, the action was focused on a few key areas, though here we noticed it did tend to move about more than in our other games, i.e. it concentrated on the fords and the delaying action on the flank. The greater focus actually was on the fords, rather than the flanking action, which made it more difficult for the British today I think.

It should also be noted that we had an exact turnaround in comparison with our version of Brandywine played with Volley & Bayonet in October. It could be random of course ;)

British units moving across the river to their historical flanking position.

The British centre, which would be the focus of ford crossing attempts...which would have been less than diversionary if they had broken through.

American view on their right flank.

Hessians fording on the American left.

American move to secure the right as British make tentative moves, though some pesky American horse is floating about.

British bombard actions in the centre.

View of the as the Hessians attack across the ford. Maurice 'movement near the enemy' is a great rule here (well, for the defender anyway).

A charge is pushed back - with devastating effect.

Maurice has a tendency to find random pieces of difficult terrain, unsuspectingly, right in the way of the elite unit's advance...strange that ;)

 Deadly musket duels at the ford crossings. the British attack on the American right goes in, in earnest. (That church is Dilworth of course).

 ...but the British simply ran out of steam. A few well placed cards had eroded their morale, but the Americans chose so many 'rally' actions, and placed so much fire on the key assaults, that the British units were simply worn down, without getting a chance to rally and having to push the assault home. A real comparative analysis required between this game and what we got from Volley and Bayonet with the same battle. Both very enjoyable, but in different ways.

Still a great game, covering a great period and still tense - sound resource management, simple systems and tense interaction with just right amount of 'friction'. (Since everyone is jumping on the bloody 'friction' bandwagon right now...*sigh*...more to follow on this and why I'm going back to Squad Leader for WWII soon...I know, two periods in one blog's a pic to confuse things further):


  1. Excellent write up, Darren! I have always wanted to try Maurice. I have a few games in the "Honour" system but have not yet played them!

    I am working on my old "Combat Team" rules again and trying to tweak them for exciting infantry combat. You may like them. I'm making them because, like you, I'm sick of not finding anything I like that plays as well as Squad Leader or GDW's Team Yankee.

    I want squads to have staying power to be able to hold a building on their own, as well as having organic capabilities so I don't have to squint to see what weapons my 15mm PSC or CD troops are carrying!

    Anyways, great write up Darren and beautiful troops!

  2. Cheers Steven. Yes, I need something. I won't mention the rules I tried, but I didn't like the 'gamey' style of them. I just want to go back to SL - it's the turn system, the broken unit fragility and the fact the the core of the game, the Squad Leaders, smacks so much of how I envisage officers and NCOs running the show. I've been reading a book called 'Bullets & Brains' recently, and it really brings this out.

    1. So yes, I'd be very keen to try Combat Team again - maybe a WW2 and modern version.

    2. And when I eventually get to Philadelhia, we can play Maurice, and V&B, and Muskets and Mayhem..and...and...and

      (I may have to stay for a month mate LOL)

    3. I completely understand. One day I went through SLIM, Disposable Heroes, Bolt Action, Panzerblitz in Mini, GHQ's rules, etc all with 3 squads or so on a side. I completely understand where you're coming from.

      It's hard to recreate the feeling you get when you play Squad Leader. Perhaps that's the answer we've been looking for. (or something awfully close).

      When you get to Philadelphia, we will definitely get a game or two in! That's a promise!

  3. Very interested in your Squad Leader for miniatures. Really enjoyed the game system 30+ years ago and played the boardgames frequently until the advent of ASL. Never made the jump to ASL. I have very fond memories of SL/COI/COD/GIAOF and would enjoy seeing how it adapts to miniatures. I have a small WWII collection in 15mm itching to give it a try.

    As for Maurice, played only one game thus far. Actually, I have not played at all but GMed the one game. Both players enjoyed the experience. I need to get back to that.

    Two subject; one post? No complaints here!

    1. Thanks Jonathan.
      Yes I have fond memories of the rules (and the arguments amongst friends).
      There is a version of SLIM in a Yahoo group, though I'm thinking of going straight to the SL rules and supplements and starting from scratch.

      Must pursue this (I know Steve (above) already has with good results).

  4. Enjoyable AAR with a great set of rules

  5. Thanks both. Again, as with V&B, the game tends to tell its own story with Maurice. Always provides a thought provoking clash.