Monday, May 13, 2019

CCN: Assaye 1803

Initial deployments
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics (CCN).  That was the system on the docket for the Saturday gaming session.  Not your run-of-the-mill CNN, either.  Saturday's battles would feature the 1803 Battle of Assaye during the Second Anglo-Maratha War in India.  To me, an unknown battle during an unknown war.  Arthur Wellesley and elements of the East India Company confront the artillery heavy Maratha force under the command of Anthony Pohlmann.  On the battlefield, the river on the Maratha right is only fordable near the two villages where the British cavalry are initially deployed.  To bring these four cavalry units into the main battle arena, the British cavalry holding the ford must first be driven off.  Not an easy task since the Maratha irregular horse hold many disadvantages.  First player to gain six banners wins.    

The battle was not the only unusual aspect of this fight.  Kevin commissioned artwork and stickers to create his own module for CCN.  Besides the usual mix of British blocks, fielded in today's battles were native infantry (Sepoys and Maratha), irregular cavalry for the Maratha, and native artillery.  No need to use ersatz troops for this match-up.  All of the appropriate units are on the table using Kevin's custom-made blocks.  An unusual but interesting force to deploy.

Now, Scott and Kevin fought Assaye five times on the Saturday prior with the Maratha going down to defeat in all five encounters.  Kevin considered the plight of the Maratha desperate with the British capable of causing quick and widespread destruction to Pohlmann's army.  With the odds seemingly stacked against the Maratha, I opted to give them a try in the first encounter. 

In Game 1, Wellesley advanced his force and began shifting his cavalry through the villages to cross the river to join the main army.  As the British advanced, the three Maratha guns began weakening the attackers.  With one or two blocks removed from many of the British, the Maratha infantry advanced.  First getting within musketry range the Maratha concentrated fire on the British grenadiers to wear them down.  Then, the natives attacked all along the line doubling up against one opponent at a time.  Before the British could get their cavalry firmly into the fray, East India Coy troops were seen streaming from the field.  Victory to the Maratha.  Kevin was shocked at the result. 

To remove the chance of a fluke victory by the Maratha, we reset the battle and began again.  I took command of the Maratha one more time.  Game 2 resulted in a similar outcome hurried to conclusion by an opportune elimination of Maxwell and his attached cavalry.  A devastating defeat to Wellesley and the British.

After a break for lunch, we reset the table and switched sides.  In command of the British, I set to work on destroying the weak and isolated Maratha irregular cavalry on the far side of the river.  Holding a Cavalry Charge card, the British cavalry went into their opponent and cut them apart before they knew what hit them.  Four banners to the British as all four irregular horse went down.  Needing only two more banners for victory, the British found two easy targets and it was over before it started.  Banners 6-0 British.

Reset.

Game 4.  Still commanding the British, I applied the same tactic as in Game 3.  Yep.  Same result.  A quick British victory with a Banner count of 6-1.   

Game 5.  With time for one more match, we maintained the same sides and dug in for a rematch.  The British, again, employed the same cavalry tactic but had a harder time as Pohlmann diverted some of his right line to harass the British cavalry on the opposite bank.  During this phase of the battle, only two of the Maratha irregular horse were destroyed before the British cavalry fell back with heavy casualties.  In the main battle, the British advanced on their right with cavalry and grenadiers.  After weakening the Maratha line from musketry, the cavalry and grenadiers fell upon their foes.  In quick succession, four more native units were destroyed.  British victory.

In under four hours including a break for lunch, the Battle of Assaye was fought five times.  For those keeping score, I managed to win all 5.  Great fun!  Too bad I did not take any photos of Kevin's custom armies.  The blocks with custom artwork were sweet and looked terrific deployed in the two long lines of battle.   

39 comments:

  1. Sounds like an excellent CNN scenario Jonathan! I'm excited about the release of Command and Colors Medieval which should ship soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, it was good fun although I think winning as the Maratha will be more difficult now that the British cavalry on the British left see how aggressive play can produce big dividends.

      Delete
  2. 5 out of 5 eh?? The drinks were on you then Jonathan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, drinks should have been on me. Kevin is a gracious host.

      Delete
  3. A well spent and successful Saturday by the sound of it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It sounded good and 5 victories too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely touch to commission artwork and stickers to create a module for CCN. Sounds like a day of quality time gaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kevin's effort to have these works commissioned shows his commitment to expanding the C&C stable to periods matching his interests. The process was a lot of work but the results are pleasing.

      Delete
  6. Not wishing to sound like I am trying to ingratiate myself, but it seems to me you just understood the game and had the better tactics in all five games Jonathan! Mind you, with Command and Colours, you can become completely stymied if you draw the wrong cards - so you must have had some luck on that front at least!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better tactics with a bit of luck can salvage many a tight situation. After seeing the success I had in commanding the British cavalry detachment on the far side of the river, Pohlmann and the Maratha will have a tough time eking out a future victory. The Maratha response in Game 5 to this British tactic was a good one. A tactic future Maratha will want to emulate.

      Delete
  7. I really have to look into this game. Enjoyed it the few times I've played, and seen loads of nice adaptations to figures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C&C is always a fun game. One enjoyable facet of the system is that the outcome is rarely decided until that last banner is won.

      Delete
  8. 5 games in a relatively short time? What's not to like? Shame you didn't get chance to take pics of the game as I would have loved to see the blocks in action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quick play is definitely a strength of the C&C system. I do wish I would have taken a few snapshots of the game board. Next time, for sure.

      Delete
  9. Well done Jonathan. Not sure if I've had five victories in all my years of gaming, let alone five in one day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a fun day! Interesting theatre of operation for the period! I hope you haven't used up all your luck!
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting scenario. I seem to recall that Assaye is where the British managed to flank the Indian artillery and capture something like 100 guns in short order. A rather convincing victory.

    One of the things I like about C&C games is that they are weighted towards history more than game balance. Are there more British in India scenarios to come?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your recollection is good regarding Wellesley's capture of the Maratha gun line. A tough fight that the British EIC nearly lost.

      I don't know about more scenrios for this period. I will need to ask Kevin and visit the CCN website to verify.

      Delete
  12. Customized graphics: a man after my own heart. Sounds like a good day of gaming (a winning streak doubles the fun!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very fun day with a lot of action. Next time, I will take some photos of the blocks.

      Delete
  13. Winning all five is impressive but, given that you were playing the Maratha in one of them, that is quite an achievement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lawrence, I scored TWO victories with the Maratha!

      Delete
    2. So you did. Apologies Jonathan, and I doff my cap. Well done sir!

      Delete
  14. Going five for five games, whilst playing both sides in a half day = gaming God for a Day! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Add to that a host who provided lunch and homemade carrot cake! Can't beat that!

      Delete
  15. 5-0: very impressive, Jonathan! C&C games are usually very tightly balanced. I hope though that the gods are not just humouring you until next time :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congrats on winning 5 games in a row but we all know that C&C games don’t count for nothing.

    Just kidding! I love C&C. Battlecry is one of my favorites. Especially when converted to large hexes and 15mm troops. Haven’t played in sooo long. 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stew, I am not ashamed to count ANY victory! C&C played with miniatures is a super game.

      Delete
  17. Sound like an interesting engagement. An important step in Wesley’s rise to stardom. Congrats on your 5 out of 5! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An interesting battle, for sure, and one that was new to me. May have to try this again.

      Delete
  18. Sounds like a great afternoon with your five victories and all. Well done Sir!

    Would you consider giving it a go with other rulesets to see if it plays out similarly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mike, it was a fun session even without victory. I would play Assaye again with miniatures and a "proper" wargaming ruleset. The difficulty might be fielding the appropriate troops. We may be able to rustle up enough Sepoys and Natives in 28mm to fill out the OB. Good idea!

      Delete
  19. Playing C&C myself, that is looking very promising.

    Thank yo very much for sharing.

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...