Sunday, 4 September 2016

Game 46 - AWI with Maurice

So, we appear to be getting better at Maurice. We've even started pronouncing it Morees (as per its proper French vernacular) rather than our preferred Morris, so clearly the system is leaving its mark!

The games are becoming very close run things, and we are remembering more in relation to the nuances of the turn sequence, optimisation of card play benefits, movement - and thus use of commanders, and offensive/defensive tactics.

And, here's the thing. The more you play if it, the more you realise what a fine design it really is.

Highlights this time:
  • Rallying can really amount to saving the the line when it is about to collapse - but it's using precious resource, and by adopting a rally stance, you can do precious little else.
  • Keep your forces together, but then you can't always...and it's using time and resources.
  • Focus your attack and defence, but then you can't that is using up resource...

There's a theme there of course. The key here is initiative. The design and card mechanic (your resources) really make you think about where you need to focus in order to drive down enemy morale and/or protect/reach the objective. We've said that before, but then in other games it's either arbitrary or more random. (Black Powder, I'm looking at you). You have 'choice' in Maurice, and yet each choice is a clear dilemma, and you can't do it all.

Here's the gem of this system. You start to think like a Horse & Musket commander. I want to drive the enemy from the field, not waste my time on the left when I know the weakness is in the centre, yet I simply can't exploit every opportunity that is there, and of course my opponent is trying to do the same.

Wonderful game, and very intuitive. It's mastering the nuances that takes a little time.

Another AWI clash, with a strong British thrust in the centre.

Two militia regiments are the last line of defence for the objective.

The American right, where a strong brigade faces some light infantry and British regulars. We had a bit of a hodge-podge battlefield here, a la Freeman's Farm, where units were in place, moving and just arriving as the battle started. Nice challenge.

 British push in the centre.

A thin 'blue' line, though despite British advantages with advantages related to musketry and bayonet, the fences and walls, giving cover to the Americans, would make a real difference.

The American left held valiantly against the Hessians. the Grendiers pushed forward in the centre...with a tow ro ro ro ro ro ro....

Mid battle, and this was where rallying really saved the day for the Yanks, but luck was on their side.

Action shot from our correspondent - clearly not up to using the camera's focus yet.

The flanks hold under increasing British pressure - though concerted attacks are wearing them down.

It's an open field, with only the milita left to protect the objective in the centre and left. All other units have fled.

It was pressure on the right that would wear down British morale...

 ...meaning that when the movement began in earnest on the left, the momentum of the attack would melt away, helped by the militia's excellent initial volley.

Very close game, and as stated, we appear to be remembering more and more, and thus applying more subtle methods with each game. Like Field of Battle, there are nuances which can only be discovered through play.


  1. 'Morees' is indeed a super design but I still think it struggles with larger encounters.
    The card interactions and the agony of decisions is where it shines.
    We must get another game in

    1. Yes, just thinking that myself. Must get another game soon :)

      It works well at a certain level, but then I guess that's what it's designed for. Some of the clashes we have used Field of Battle for work really well, but would be too big for Maurice, so a compromise I suppose - which can be limiting if you want to re-fight a particular battle.

    2. Yup different tools for different tasks.
      You could use a set of skirmish rules to refight Waterloo but it would take a little while..........actually hmmmmmm :-)

    3. Yeah - funny you should say that. I did get a copy of 'Sharp Practice' :)

  2. Excellent! It has been a long time since Maurice was last out on my table. You are always an inspiration.

    1. Thanks Jonathan. It's a great game, and I always like to see others' posts related to it.

  3. Beautiful looking game, great looking minis!

    1. Thanks Phil. Yeah, sorry about some of the photos LOL

  4. Wonderful looking game Darren. I could read your AWI AARs all day long. Great looking minis and a terrific narrative.

    I thought Might & Reason might may have been my SYW game but you're having me rething Maurice

    1. Thanks Steve.

      I must try M&R (when I get enough 15mm 7yw painted up), but Maurice is excellent. It takes a few games to see the beauty of the design, and you could argue it's more game than simulation, though it's the unexpected turns of events, and resource management that make for a memorable wargame