Last friday we met in my Lab to play SDS. 5 friends were supposed to come, so instead of preparing 3 tables (we play SDS in 28mm on 90x90 cm tables) I decided to try a big Battle, three vs. three, on a 180x90 cm. table. Each player would have a 400 points squad. Paolo, Antonio, Marco and Carlo joined me for a pizza before the fight, the sixth player could not come (sorry, Luca). Therefore we decided to play 2 French/Bavarians vs. 3 Anglo/Russians, with the French deployed on the defensive around a farm and the Allied attacking. A small 150 points squad was added for the missing player: it was played by Antonio and Carlo (French side). On the Allied side, Paolo had a British line/rifle squad, Marco had a Russian squad and I played with a British line one. We entered the table from one of the short sides, and the farm was at the other end of the table. The Objective (a bunch of crates containing... ammunitions?) was just behind the farm. To decide the order of activation, each of us chose a card (I was the 3 of hearts), and then I shuffled them, adding 2 jokers. When our card was drawn, we moved until the end (or a turnover occurred). When a joker came out, the party that did NOT move last had the right to 1 single activation (3 dice) immediately. This variant gave a real thrill to the whole game!
Early moves: I took the centre of our battle line and pushed forward with my red jackets. Marco with his Russians was on my left, and Paolo on the right with his rifles. Antonio deployed his Bavarians in front of the building, part inside a wood and part behind the surrounding low wall. Carlo placed his french veteran squad on the right of the farm, also inside the low wall. The small support squad (2 of spades, as can be seen on the roof of the small building) was deployed as an advance guard to slow our progress...
Here is a pic with the Franco-Bavarian first line (the farm is further behind - i.e. on the right). Antonio's Bavarians in the wood, the advance guard behind the small building and the French veterans waiting behind the low wall.
After a couple of moves, my Brits take possession of the fence around mid-table (with some losses...). The Russians follow slowly...
And Paolo's line+rifle squad is hampered by Lt. Jenkins indecisiveness (2 turnovers straight away!)
My boys defending the fence (one fell down and my Officer was quite behind).
A view of the Battlefield from the Franco-Bavarian position, with the cornfield on the left (and Lt. Jenkins card - an ace of hearts - at the far bottom of the hill).
Heavy musketry fire between the French Voltigeurs and my Brits behind the fence.
A view from the Russian side, pressing the enemy on the left flank. Antonio is moving his Schuetzen out of the wood, to exploit the long range of their rifles and then back...
The defensive line waiting for our attack.The farm is in the foreground. After heavy firing the small French advance guard is dissolved (here one of them can be seen retreating to the safety of the low wall).
The turning point on the right flank: Lt. Jenkins rifles align with my (shaken) squad. We are ready to jump forward!
Boldly, I take possession of the wood, dislodging the Bavarian Schuetzen (here retreating to the low wall). Carlo's French veterans wait for the Russians to come to close combat.
My move was a bit .... too early (or maybe my mates were too slow?). In the above pic my squad is hidden in the small wood, Paolo's squad is entirely behind the small building behind me, and the whole Russian squad is behind the fence, about to go forward.
With a last HURRAH! my boys come out of the wood (bad idea Sergio) and are decimated by the Bavarians. Before routing however, I manage to kill the Bavarian Officer, forcing the Schuetzen to test Morale, and shaking their line, but nothing more. On the other side, the Russian come to the wall and engage the French veterans in a confused meleé.
The final stages: after discharging all their weapons (you can tell it by the yellow markers on the table) both sides are engaged in hand to hand combat. The French veterans resist well to Lt. Jenkins British attack (see the Highlander in the front line), but the Russian Grenadier of the Guard (top, represented by a Pavlov miniature) is too powerful to be stopped, and kills a couple of defenders, forcing the French squad to withdraw.
And this was the epilogue. We had a great time. The boys liked the Big Battle so much, that tonight we'll do it again!
Happy Easter Everybody