I'm not much of a Napoleonic gamer...I get very confused by who was on who's side at what point and what type of hat were they wearing in 1811 versus 1813. Napoleonic players seem to take this sort of thing very seriously (especially the hats...). Most of my knowledge of the period is heavily influenced by Sharpe, Hornblower and Jack Aubrey.
I did play an excellent game of General d'Armee this week however in a refight of the battle of Maida.
GdA is a ruleset published by Too Fat Lardies and written by Dave Brown. I've previously played a few games of Pickett's Charge which has a lot of similarities, and thoroughly enjoyed them so I was keen to see if the fun factor translated over to the Napoleonic period. We were refighting the battle of Maida which to be fair I knew nothing about...it isn't in the Sharpe novels so it's out of my reference point. Thanks to Andrew for doing all the leg work in putting together the order of battle and supplying everything.
The rules operate at the brigade level. In a given turn brigades may decide to obey orders or become hesitant, in which case they won't advance and are less effective. The good news is that each turn you get to roll to see how many Aide de Camp's you have available to carry out assorted tasks including making sure the Brigades do what you want. The bad news is that I was rubbish at rolling for these!
ADCs have other uses as well...they can also help make charges more ferocious, improve artillery fire, make laggardly brigades march a bit quicker etc. They are also vital in stopping units running away...
Sadly as Brigades are lost you also have fewer ADCs to help shore things up and this quickly became a problem from my British brigades.
The game started well with my better class troops heading for the enemy and I had high hopes of speedily engaging the rather dubious looking Polish troops and knocking a hole in the French centre.
Unfortunately the French cavalry (I didn't have any but did have some very effective artillery) decided to charge my Line infantry. That's ok I thought...I've seen Sharpe...form square and see them off or stand in line and blow them away with superior British musket fire. Unfortunately I failed to get them into square and their musketry was abysmal...
|The cavalry chrarge home...|
|...and the infantry run away!|
This in itself wasn't a complete disaster but was quickly followed by other battalions falling back and on my right flank the French routed the Corsican Volunteers and my flank collapsed, leaving the Highlanders isolated and in deep trouble and spelling the end of the game,
Really good rules...easy to pick up...the ADCs (if you get any) make for some interesting options and (quite an important factor) it gives a game that can be easily played through to a conclusion in an evening. I suspect we'll be playing more of General d'Armee.