Saturday, 18 June 2016

Boyne...Actual

So we had the playtest, the inevitable buildup to battle, the excitement that I know you were all feeling...and we fought the battle.

Well, when I say we, we were a little short on numbers, however that meant that the two master wargamers  (otherwise known as messrs. Steiner & Stephen) played through their skillful art in a fast paced exciting battle with the fantastic Field of Battle rules, which never fail to impress. (and I watched in awe as they ploughed effortlessly through the rules ...and waited for the Danes to come on...more of this later ).

 It all started innocently enough, with the Dutch moving toward Oldbridge.


 Early Jacobite moves meant that the cavalry can be brought up.

It all seemed so familiar at first.

Then the move cards started to hit in earnest. River crossings began.

Though then the allies really started to make things happen, with move cards and rolls that allowed them three segments - thus crossing and forming in front of the Jacobite cavalry, who just couldn't get a chance to form up for that charge. (I will not, at this juncture, even enter into debate with regard to Stephen's flukey most opportune rolls and card draws ;)   )

...and as if things weren't bad enough - Hanmer's English and Dutch get the same opportunity. It was all going the Allied way.

...and then the firing began.

A spirited battle was developing at Oldbridge, which would see a stalemate of sorts.

 Volleys rippled across the Allied line, decimating the Jacobite elite cavalry. There was a real narrative here with the rules, and every game turns out differently. The card driven mechanic really prevents hedging you moves or actions against loopholes or ranges or known movment distances. It feels so much like a battle - and you can quite literally play the battle and not the rules (yes, I stole that).

Luck was not with the Jacobites. Both Lord Berwick and Richard Hamilton were shot from the saddle at the same time. (The effect on the 1704 Battle of Almanza, with Berwick not there, can be hotly debated elsewhere).

Half of the Jacobite cavalry,  also reluctant to move...as the Allies consolidated their position on the bank.

 A solid 'beachhead'. Every Jacobite charge was repelled.

 ...until the morale was worn down, and the army broke. (My Danes never got to cross the river, though it was really good to watch).

A great set of rules and so different from the playtest. Different players, different card draws and dice rolls, really add character to the battle. There are no other rules really like this that we could think of, and it works for AWI, ACW - everything from 1700-1900 - and very hackable, as outlined below.

So for posterity, I present the specific rules/hacks:

  • The river is Class II terrain - stop at far bank, move on next card, cross in march.
  • Oldbridge is Class II terrain - 4 sectors
  • Donore Hill is Class I
  • Jacobite cavalry deploys in Attack Column and may immediate melee
  • Pike armed troops may increase combat dice up one by deploying 'pikes forward' vs cavalry, but may not then move
  • Richard Hamilton may leave infantry element out of command and become cavalry commander at any time.

Allied Deployment
1st move card- Dutch consolidate
2nd - Hugenots begin to cross (1-3 segements)
3rd - Hanmer's bde
4th - N.Irish bde
5th - Danes (add morale)
6th - Dutch cavalry (add morale)


 And the decks:

The Allied deck emphasised movement and firepower, with a few inept command decisions (lulls).
4 x moves
1 x move one command group
3 x leadership
4 x lulls
1 x advance
2 x melee
3 x tactical advantage
2 maneuver
3 x army morale
4 infantry firepower
1 x artillery firepower

The Jacobite deck empahsised melee, impetuous charges and a bit of withdrawl.
4 x moves
2 x move one command group
4 x leadership
3 x lulls
3 x tactical advantage (less firepower)
2 x infantry firepower (no platoon firing)
1 x withdraw
3 x army morale
4 x melee
2 x uncontrolled charge
2 x maneuver










3 comments:

  1. Great game with super terrain and figures and excellent company and munchies :-)
    Thoroughly enjoyed my thorough defeat

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looked excellent, sometimes if the games that good, you don't actally mind losing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looked excellent, sometimes if the games that good, you don't actally mind losing.

    ReplyDelete