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!