Friday, January 1, 2016

Along the Danube - Blucher AAR

Happy New Year, everyone!

Curt stopped by before Christmas while I had some time off from work, and I suggested we try out an introductory game of Blucher using the Along the Danube scenario. Curt's a big fan of the Total War series of games, and was intrigued by the idea of playing a game at a higher command level (most games I've played with him have been skirmish level or, at most, company level). So, Curt took the defending Austrians and I commanded the attacking French. 

Curt set the Austrian defenses in two long lines, with 1st and 2nd Corps in the center, and the Reserve Corps on the Austrian right.

The French were set up by Corps. The Reserve Cavalry covered the French left, 1st set up in the center, and 2nd set up on the right, with 3rd Corps behind.

I began the attack with 2nd Corps, who advanced towards the middle of the Austrian lines.

Rules Note: Technically, Curt's deployment wouldn't work, as he was firing his artillery over the heads of his infantry units, which isn't allowed. 

Meanwhile, the Reserve Cavalry began to move up on the left.

Rules Note: A mistake by me - I only moved the Horse Artillery up another 3" before firing out of the woods. The unit would need to have at least its front edge out of the woods in order to fire.

Most of the fighting would occur in these two locations, where Curt's Austrian lines were pummeled by my artilery, but managed to repulse attacks again and again, especially the 2nd Corps' Light Horse (seen retreating above).

The French Cavalry Reserve did chase off two units of Austrian Light horse, but they found themselves losing again and again to the Austrian Grenadiers.

3rd Corp moved up to assist 2nd Corp, going after the Austrian special objective.

Curt had plenty of Momentum Points during his turns, and used them to launch his own assault on the French 1st Corps, which never moved out of its starting position. The attack was beaten back, but not without French casualties.

In Blucher, Cavalry units must retreat after assaulting infantry (even if they won), which Curt used to good affect with his Grenadiers.

He would angle his Grenadiers into my Cavalry Reserve units, forcing them into retreating off the table edge in the Austrian deployment zone. If my reading of the rules is correct, then this meant the units were broken instead of retired.

We decided to call the game at the end of Turn 16. While neither of us had the required eight broken units to end the game in a complete victory, the French had seven units broken to the Austrian's six, so we called it a minor victory for the Austrians (even though they had three times as many retired units than the French).

Curt's definitely interested in the game, and I'm looking forward to getting the "War to the Death" card pack (which includes cards for Early and Late French, British, and Spanish forces, and all their allies).

If we are going to play again, however, I'm definitely going to have to go through the rulebook a few more times!

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