Thursday, 5 May 2016

Blucher Playtest - Part IV (Final)

Turn 18 ish

All of a sudden it looked like the French were in with a chance. The Chasseurs started a wide left flanking move, and most of the Austrian cavalry decided to retire off the board rather than risk being eliminated and counting towards French victory points. The left flank infantry were making headway against the Austrians, despite a pesky gun battery on the flank (more on that later), and on the right flank the French infantry were again pushing forward, supported by III Corp's Chasseurs which had so far sat the battle out.

So the French commander decided on a death or glory charge on the two key objectives (marked by tree stumps), one on the central Austrian hill and one between the corn fields behind the river. Against the hill the cavalry tried to complete their flanking action and the infantry charged straight forward. The infantry got there, claimed the hill, were pushed off by a weakened Austrian Kuirassier unit which had been sulking on the back line. Then a second French battalion charged the Kuirassiers (its in the rules...), and despite losing the melee pushed the cavalry off and stayed put themselves (in the rules again...). The cavalry finally managed to make contact with some of the Austrian defenders but too late. On the other flank the Chasseurs were busy chasing two Austrian battalions as they all raced for the objective. In the meantime the Austrian guns got mauled, so did another battalion, and the Austrian Grenadiers were making mince-meat out of the flank guard French battalions. The Austrian infantry arrived at the objective just in time, turned, prepared, and met the French cavalry charge which washed harmlessly against their flanks and returned to the French lines to recover.

The French battalion (Brigade? Division?) claims a key objective

At this stage the Austrians only needed one kill to make the French break their morale level (8 units) - but the French only needed 2 kills themselves, and everyone was pretty weak. An Austrian charge against a French battalion helping guard the Hill objective failed to deliver. The Austrian commander considered sending one or two Strength 2 battalions against one or two Strength 1 French battalions - but the chances of it backfiring and the Austrians losing were too great (the rules definitely favouring defenders). In the end it was that pesky Austrian gun battery that won the victory, send a shot straight through one of the Strength 1 French battalions, 8 units lost, game over, turn 27 or there abouts.

The Austrians guard their remaining objective, French cavalry retiring in the distance

So a close run thing in the end, which was to be expected given the balanced forces. But for me the rules just have so many elements that just don't feel right I can't see myself playing them again. Pity, I really wanted to like them, but I'm really glad that I didn't spend an extra £25 on the custom 100 Day cards!

ENDEX - The Austrians win by a knock-out

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