Sergio's blog: hints, ideas, pictures and news about SDS (and more) from the author

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tour de Force

One game yesterday, with Massimo coming from Rome and playing against Andrea in a tight game. The test showed that - with a little luck and some planning - an apparent defeat can be turned into a victory during the last bound. Below, Andrea planning his first move.
Today, I played a game in the morning (solo) and another in the afternoon with Andrea. In about 1 hour, I'll play another game with Luciano (a very busy day!). For all 3 games I used (and will use) the same terrain and Armies, as I want to try different approaches and compare the results. In order to try a *mounted* Army I decided to use the Napoleonic Ottomans against the French.
 The situation before the Ottoman first bound. I deployed a strong cavalry force on the left, and kept 4 infantry Inferior units in Reserve. The plan with the Ottomans was to try a flank maneuver on the left and envelop the French right.
End of the first bound: I moved 4 cavalry units ahead with a General to guide the attack. The Turkish scouts sent to find a way around the French right found broken and wooded terrain, forcing the cavalry to form a sort of column for the attack.  
 As the French player, I was forced to counter the cavalry threat on the right flank, and I did so forming 2 squares and trying to rally the retreating light cavalry, In the meantime, French artillery bombarded the advancing Ottomans in the centre. This was the end of turn 1.
Even if the expense in terms of resources (dice) was high, the Ottoman pushed again on the left flank, breaking the French Hussars. I also advanced the Artillery (bottom right of the picture) to prepare a bombardment on the French square in future turns.
French second turn: time to call for some reserves. I had 1 Cuirassier and 1 Line Infantry entering the fray, preparing for a much needed counter attack. I also retreated with the Artillery in the middle to build a second line if the squares were overwhelmed by the Ottoman cavalry. To lower the pressure on the French right, I also advanced on the left with a couple of battalions.
Third turn for the Ottoman player: I reorganized the cavalry wing pushing on the enemy flank (you need "fresh" cavalry to perform charges in 100 dice) rallying and aligning units. More important, I advanced with two units in the centre (one of Janissaries and 1 of Militia) with a double purpose: attack the French centre and open a corridor for my artillery to bombard the square.
 French third turn: the Cuirassiers counterattack, preceded by artillery bombardment. The Ottoman cavalry wavers, the squares hold... On the French left, I tried to press on the attack forcing the enemy to spend precious Command Points.
 Ottoman fourth turn: the Army is tired, resources lack. Anyway, one French square is routed by a deadly bombardment, while in the centre, Janissaries and Militia continue to threaten the enemy. On the Ottoman right the French attack stalls: they are tired, too.
French fourth turn. More reserves enter on the right, the remaining unit in square deploys in Combat formation as the Turkish cavalry is not a menace anymore, with the Cuirassiers in control. Night falls on the exhausted Armies: it is a marginal victory for the Ottomans, mostly due to losses inflicted than ground gained.

During the following game against Andrea, I took the Ottomans and tried to repeat the left flank maneuver, but Andrea was wise enough to move first and occupy the woods on his right with a light infantry unit in open order, thus crippling my planned cavalry move en masse. In the end it was a French Victory by a narrow margin.
In a few minutes, I'll play again with Luciano the same battle, and we'll see who will prevail.

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