Monday, 2 May 2016

Blucher Playtest - Part II

Got to the end of Turn 6 so far (so both sides have had three turns). On their left (near end of above photo, French attacking right to left) the French Dragoons have routed one Austrian Hussar unit, and wasted another. One of the Dragoons is in retreat though - odd that there is usually no way to rally fatigue off of a unit (it's only a special trait or a scenario condition). The Austrians are moving their Cuirassiers across to stop the French cavalry from coming around the Austrian flank, and also to defend the secondary objective on the hill.

In the centre and right its been going less well for the French. They moved quickly to occupy the central ridge but then as per doctrine decided to have a couple of turns at short range artillery to soften up the Austrian line. Artillery fire was not too effective (and with only 6 shots for the entire game, and reducing effectiveness they tend to be used judicially). However musketry was pretty devasting. At 2 hex the Austrians score a hit on 6s from 3 dice, and plus one five for the Avant Garde and French battalions. One Austrian battalion scored two hits on a French battery which for Artillery is enough to Retire (rout) it from the game! As you can see from the chits below one French battalion is already down to its last elan, and others are taking damage. Can't see the central Division breaking the line.

On the French right things are even worse. Deciding to forego a softening up but still taking musketry damage on the approach move both of the attacking battalions lost their combats, and are shown below falling back to the second line. Time to send those Cuirassiers up to test the "prepared" rules that simulate infantry squares.

Feelings so far? The game is certainly quick to learn and already playing just off the play sheets. The activation system works well, and the French are already quite separated which means not many units get activated each turn. The shooting does seem just too effective for musketry, particularly against artillery, and the melee is biased to the defender (defender wins draws) so given the impact of their musketry on troops on the way in trying to break a defensive line is going to be very hard.

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