Tuesday, April 8, 2014

BatRep - Battle of Kolin using Maurice

Given the deployment for the Battle of Kolin detailed in an earlier post (Battle of Kolin Pre-Game), Scott and Kevin joined me on Saturday for our initial trial of Maurice (I hear Steve Miller's The Joker every time I say it).

Kevin took command of the attacking Prussians while Scott commanded the defending Austrians.  Both before and after the game we all wondered what prompted Frederick to attack such a defensible position against the odds.  Of course, he didn't have the helipoter view of both forces as did we.  The attack did not work for Frederick and it failed to work for Kevin.  History repeated itself but I am getting ahead of myself.

To begin the game, both commanders chose to activate their guns and form massed batteries in the center.  Bombarding commenced in order to soften the enemy while the Prussian advanced.
In between the cannonades, the Austrian cavalry on the Austrian left activated and moved down from the heights.  Not wanting to feel pressure from the cavalry, Frederick pushed his cavalry forward to cover the threat.
As Prussian infantry took control of the villages in the center, Prussian cavalry on the right pitched into the Austrian cavalry wing as FML Daun oversaw the clash of horse flesh and armored troopers.
At this point only the Prussian right was heating up with combat.  The Austrian center and left remained dormant, confident in their positions. 
In the cavalry clash on the Prussian right, both forces took casualties and fall back to regroup.
After a short pause to regroup, Austrian cavalry on the Prussian right pitched back into the Prussians.  Cavalry and infantry are targeted by the impetuous Austrians. 

While Prussian infantry initially drove off the cavalry, the unfortunate Prussians are hit again before they could regroup and are scattered to the rear.  With the infantry destroyed, the Austrian heavy cavalry reinforced the swirling cavalry battle on the right.  
 The Prussian infantry in the center advanced in an attempt to take Kreczhorz Hill 
 but the Austrian line remained solid and unmoving.
As the Prussian right continued to weaken from the pressure and success of the Austrian cavalry,  

Frederick began to pull back his right and consolidated his line as his right flank bends under the stress.


Frederick's army falls back to a rallying point beyond the villages and then disengaged from battle. 


The Austrians have gained their victory!


What did we think of our first game of Maurice?  Unanimously, we all enjoyed it very much.  The mechanisms are straightforward, easy to pick up, and play very quickly.  Even with a break for lunch, the game was fought to a conclusion in under four hours.  We went through the card deck four times (!!!) during the game suggesting that the turns were fast and furious.  Of course, the rapid play was due, in part, to action only taking place either on one sector or with one force at a time.  Everyone agreed that the action on one part of the battlefield while lulling on the remainder seemed reasonable and historical.

While we seemed to pick up on the rules after only a couple of turns, the Prussian player did not exploit his National Advantages.  I don't recall seeing either "Lethal Volley" or "Steady Lads" being used although after a few turns, Kevin employed the "Great Captain" card to keep Frederick in the action and to his full advantage.

Close combat resolution was quick and relatively painless.  Many games drag to a halt during melee or close combat resolution but not in Maurice.  Resolution was easily understandable and quickly resolved.  By mid and end game, we began to see tactics developing on the table.  I am sure mistakes in this first game will not be repeated in a second game.

Finally, it was terrific to get my SYW collection onto the gaming table for action.  This project has been a long time in work and Saturday they finally got a taste of battle.

I look forward to our next Maurice outing.  Great fun!

20 comments:

  1. Great looking game! Looks like fun.

    I like your 'hit' markers. I had an idea: What if you painted them red?

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    1. Thanks, Glenn! Red disorder markers are a good idea. In many other games, I use white to denote disorder status but red would work as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  2. Looking good - there's a lot to be said for quick games. They actually get played for one thing.

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    1. True, true, true. Quick games DO get pulled out onto the gaming table more frequently. Commands & Colors is an excellent example.

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  3. Nice looking game Jon.I have never had a boring game of Maurice. Some of the mechanisms are deceptively simple but not simplistic and the card play never fails to entertain. Welcome to the Maurice appreciation club.

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    1. Thanks, Jonathan!

      Quite right about Maurice. We found the rules to play easily and I think we picked them up quickly too. As I mentioned, tactics were beginning to evolve by mid-game. Easy mechanisms with many decision points; what is not to like?

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  4. Very nice looking game and report Thanks

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  5. That's a great AAR, I am not a fan of the period but those rules sound really good

    ian

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    1. Thanks, Ian! These types of rule mechanisms could be grafted onto many different periods. A gamer would not be stuck with SYW or Age of Reason eras. Maurice seems to be a bit derivative of Commands & Colors.

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  6. Hi Jonathan,
    I must say these pictures are really great, love the mass effect of the troops, splendid lines of minis...great report!

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    1. Phil! Thank you! Not comparable to your amazing BatReps but glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. That's one wonderful looking game Jonathan! I also really enjoy Maurice which is probably the best new game I've played.

    Christopher

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    1. Thank you, Christopher! Although only our first game of Maurice, we all enjoyed it very much. Hopefully, Maurice will frequently make it into the gaming rotation. I will likely give it a test solitaire too.

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  8. Great looking game. Good to see you enjoyed your first outing with new troops. Tis not always the case!

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    1. Thanks, Michael! It was a fun game and a pleasure to FINALLY get the SYW collection into battle.

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  9. Great batrep, Jonathan! It sounds like Maurice went well. While I was initially skeptical about cards in tabletop wargaming, I now find them a splendid tool for introducing static and unpredictability. I'm hoping someone introduces cards into ancients rules in the near future.

    You might also one day do a post on how you get such great in game pictures. Wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Monty! Maurice did go over well. All of us are wanting more. I, too, was wary regarding the introduction of cards. Those thoughts changed with the introduction of Commands and Colors. The cards make that game. For strictly historical replays (dare I say "simulations"), I prefer the no-card rules.

      Thanks for the BatRep photo comment! I don't do anything special besides using a small tripod for the closeup shots.

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  10. Terrific Teutonic Tussle of the Triconed Titans! Beautiful looking battle.

    Cards, of course have been a key feature of almost all the wargames I've played in the past 16 years since my first game if Piquet, and then Field of Battle.

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    1. Fantastic alliteration, Peter and thanks for the comment!

      One of the guys in the group has been wanting to try Field of Battle. We may do that sometime.

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