The local inciters (not looking at you, Mark) have got very enthusiastic about Maurice. driven to it by their panegyrics, I decided to join 3 of the crew for a two game session.
I found myself playing a more or less Austrian army (2 Elite infantry, 1 Elite Cavalry, 3 Regular infantry, 2 Regular Cavalry, 3 Artillery, 2 Irregular Infantry, with the Skirmishers and Artillery ) against some form of Seydlitz cavalry horde run by Mark (at least 6 units of cavalry, 5 infantry maybe, with 30 points of army cards, I have no idea what). After a scouting roll, I was defending on a rather cluttered field, with a stream and marsh running from my left center to my left. The objective was a village in my right center. I lined up my infantry in the middle, stuck my much weaker cavalry behind them, and garrisoned the village with some grenadiers and the grenzer.
General der Cavalrie von Dullwitz looked across the field at the Prussians across from him. They did not have many more infantry than his force, and it was facing the village he had stuck those damn borderers in. There was a mass of Prussian cavalry facing the body of his line, certainly looking to be better than his 3 scruffy regiments (Where had they got those horses? Some glue factory? Damn Hungarians took all the best ones, and left these for honest Germans). Even with his somewhat short sighted perception of reality, he suspected that 30 years of service in the Records division of the Hohkriegsamt had ill prepared him for what was to come. The only things he saw clearly was that he had no ideas save to hold his position as long as he could, and what exactly General Lacy would do to him and his career if he failed to hold the village. Oh well. He ordered his guns to open fire, and closed his telescope with a decisive snap. Unfortunately lack of practice with the instrument meant the snap was accompanied by a meaty squish as he shut his little finger in the device, so the opening salvo of the artillery was accompanied by swearing and screams as the commanding general fell from his horse.
I had really no idea what to do, not having played before. I decided the traitional “line up and shoot ’em” approach would do for starters. The prussians followed the script, moving their cavalry up to face my infantry line, and moving their infantry en masse toward the village. My bombardment inflicted some disruption on the Prussian cavalry, and I managed to play a couple of bad going cards which dislocated the attack on the village. Long range firing from the Grenze proved a great irritant. The only move I made was to move up the infantry to be parallel with the guns.
The guns were pounding the enemy horse very well, it seemed to von Dullwitz, causing them to halt and re-orgnise quite often. They were perhaps a little far forward, so he ordered up the infantry line to cover them. The border scum were shooting out of the village, and to his delight two Prussian battalions on his far right seemed to have become completely stuck in a plowed field.
Mostly I just fired away. The cards I did use were to impede to Prussian movement and to shoot more and better, rather than taking any action myself. Eventuality the Prussian Wonderritter had had enough of being shot at by artillery and charged across the line, a little before the Prussians hit the village. I had left my guns too near the front, and one got munched up (more would have been lost if we had succeeded at rules reading 101). The infantry did bounce the cavalry though, repeatedly. The assault on the village was rather unfavorable to the Prussians also. After a couple of goes at this, Mark conceded that he could see no way forward, and the game was called.
von Dullwitz jumped and squeaked as firing broke out along the line. All his staff appeared to have been looking the other way and whistling though, so no one had noticed. The glorious Prussian cavalry crashed into hsi infantry line, fell back, and charged again and again. All the time under steady fire. The infantry was holding steady, and part from some gunners running to the rear (Damn artisans, you just could not trust them) it seemed that all would hold. Even those scruffy borderers in the village were holding their own. As the prussian cavalry fell back grudgingly from his infantry, it became clear even to von Dullwitz that he would not have to use his own rather scruffy cavalry to
ensure his personal safety cover the army’s retreat. As darkness fell, it was time to order an extra schnitzel ration all around (except for those damn gunners).
A fun game, all in all. A lot we did wrong, and a little mindbending to realise the effect you have on events is through your card play, not necessarily through moving your soldiers around. I am looking forward to playing a lot more though.