Last saturday, Diego came from Rome with Massimo for another playtest of Drums & Shakos Large Battles. While we played in my gaming room, Andrea and Massimo did the same in another room with SSS (Song of Spear and Shield). I used again the scenario set up for the previous playtest with Antonio and based on the small battle of Retschow (august 1813, Nothern Germany): a Franco-Danish Division against an Allied Division made of 1 Swedish brigade and a brigade from Mecklemburg. Above, a French Battalion in march column during the early stages of the Battle.
Being the second time I play this scenario I wanted to compare both the outcome and the playing time, as I'm trying to get a game finished in 2,5 hours. Diego already knew the rules, so this was a good possibility to verify my assumptions. Above, march columns of the Allied side, with undeployed skirmishers following their parent battalions.
The Brigade Disruption rule worked well: after some maneuvering, Diego launched his attack (he was playing the French) on my right wing. My Swedish brigade - after a fierce fighting - slowly gave way, and I sent in the Leib-Battalion (in the picture above road marching in column), but to no avail: my losses mounting, I tried to form a second line on a hill, but a fresh "Legere" battalion came out of a wood and hammered my Indelta battalion almost routing it.
That was the end chapter: my Division reached the Break Point and I could do nothing in my subsequent initiative. Playing time was exactly 2.58 hours. Still a bit too much for me, but Diego keeps saying that a game like this is OK in 3 hours or less. If possible, I'd like to play a third time the same scenario (score is now 1:1 between Franco-Danish and Allies) with another minor adjustment that could bring game time down to the 150 minutes I am pursuing....