Friday, January 25, 2013

The Sultan Smiles! A Maurice AAR...

Maurice is a big hit in our group, so much so that we're into our 2nd campaign since August.  There are many things to love about the game but the campaign rules are genius. The campaign allows a player to:
  • Write a back story for your army, leader and war if you like.  
  • Choose the kind of army you run by purchasing National Advantages.  
  • Deliver smack between battles and change up sides frequently. 
  • Write clever AARs in character to share with the rest of the players.  
The campaign also gives a narrative, energy and game to game results that are absent from a one off match.  Our group is so hooked that we've managed a game every 2-3 weeks.  Being a family man, it's no easy task to sneak out the door for my games.  When my wife pointed out I was gaming two weekends in a row, I replied "but this is a campaign game" and it worked!

I was playing Hugh in this match and by the way, Hugh had never lost a campaign game.  To prepare for my big showdown,  I read the rules cover to cover and filled up a notebook with tips and ideas.  I also got practice games in and brainstormed with my sparring partners.  So, how did my training and  hard work pay out?

The game had a promising start when I won the scouting role and was able to choose to defend.  6 pieces of terrain went down and Hugh made a point to drop his terrain in my deployment zone to mess me up.  The village, marsh and woods cut my deployment zone in half so I shoehorned my army into the right half of the board.
In addition to being a stone cold killer, Hugh has a spectacular Coalition army made up of French and British troops.  A 00 or 000 brush was burned up painting these handsome lads and all of their piping.
 
My Ottomans wedged themselves into a double line between the two villages while my cavalry held in reserve.  The boys in red are my Guard units, The Sultan's Own.
In the early game, Hugh swung his army out in parade formation and formed up just outside of musket range.  I declined to bombard with  my cannons in order to load up on cards.  That turned out to be a wise decision indeed!
If you're going to knock off the Big Dog, you need some luck and luck was with me in the early game.  I pulled 3 Event cards that I quickly put to use.  First, I played "That's Not on the Map!" to drop a marsh in his line of attack on the village. Then I played "Confusion" to march one of his Guard units out of line and into the marsh in canister range of my cannon.  Then I played "Heat of the Battle" to charge his weakened Guard unit into two units of The Sultan's Own, destroying the flower of his army.    
These 3 event cards put Hugh back on his heels.  He pulled his infantry back to reorder and realign.  At this point, I was tempted to come out of my defensive position and try to grab a decisive victory but I resisted.  
Hugh made a valiant attempt attempt to work my flank but the woods and my reserves on the other side made sure his push came to naught.

In the spirit of a gentlemen soldier, I offered Hugh terms near the game's end.  In perfect character, Hugh replied sharply that he had no interest in terms but he was willing to accept my surrender! 

Night fell and with it came a a minor Ottoman victory with an epic point for the carnage inflicted on the infidels!  Two games into the campaign, the village bells rang to celebrate the amazing fact that Sultan al-Adin is undefeated! !  

29 comments:

  1. Hi Monty,
    Your pictures are great, the Ottoman army is resplendent on your table! Very nice work...
    All the best,
    Phil.

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    1. Thank you Phil! Once day, I must learn some GIF tricks to spruce up my AARs. On second thought, you do it so well there is no need!

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    2. Too kind of you...not that difficult to do, in fact, it just takes a little time!
      Thanks!
      Phil.

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  2. hehehe... great battle report Monty! and great looking units!

    I just love your attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner to ask your opponent to surrender mid way during the game... cute... very cute Sir! :o)

    I was under the impression the Ottomans/Turks always performed three functions during a Historical battle or table top game and that is Maneuver - Charge - and run Away. you have proven that is not the case at all! :o)

    I have a copy of Maurice haven't had time to read the rules yet, but thanks to you I will! :o)

    cheers,
    Phil

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    1. lol! Well, I certainly didn't mean to be overbearing and in fact thought I was being quite gracious until my opponent pointed out that such terms would gain me 1 Epic Point. I swear I didn't know it until he said it!

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  3. Nice AAR !

    Good negotiation with the wife, good tip:)

    Best regards Michael

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    1. Thanks Dal, luckily, my wif never reads my blog or the jig would be up!

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  4. It really is a spectacular game, isn't it? And here you had me thinking you were an ancients purist; who's eclectic now, then?

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    1. We are very hooked. And me a purist? It's just the crowd I hang around with.

      Get this, today I got in my first Saga game and it was fantastic! What's next, Bolt Action? ;-)

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    2. Don't laugh but I just got a copy of the Bolt Action rules on Friday!

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    3. Hugh, I'm going to go out on a limb and say if you're in, with only the tiniest of coaxing, I'm in as well.

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  5. Wow - incredible looking game - huge forces and all beautifully painted and based. Stunning and inspiring! Best, Dean

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    1. Thanks Dean! It was a treat to look at. We had quite a few comments from the people who were at The Source shopping. If I lose, my saving grace is to try to look good while running off the tabletop.

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  6. Thanks for the great game and pics Monty. Its a pretty accurate AAR. Those three events in rapid succession did pretty much put me back on my heels. One point though...the army is a mix of British, Hessian and minor German states units...no French!

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    1. Dang it, all those boys in blue looked vaguely French. Thanks for the correction!

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Jason! We have to get you to a Maurice table one of these days. First, we need some spare armies. Time to paint!

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    2. Yes indeed! Speaking of painting, let me know what you think of my very first batch of Prussians. I don't think my new Nappy blog is on your blog roll yet. ;-)

      http://immervorwarts.blogspot.com/2013/01/prussian-fusiliers-wip.html

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    3. Fixed! Lovely start. I'm suffering a bit as I jump up to 28mm. Looking forward to learning and enjoying the eye candy as you fellows proceed!

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  8. Great looking game full of lovely figures! I need to try the campaign version of Maurice which is it's strong suite.

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Chris! If you can pull a few gamers together, it does really shine in a campaign. It is great for single games but the campaign brings another dimension to it.

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  9. perfect
    nice figure
    nice table
    and good report
    everything i like
    thanks

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  10. While 15mm is not my scale, all the formed up ranks still look mighty impressive, and twice id painted as nice as yours!

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    1. We will get you 28mm guys some of the big stuff soon enough! Thanks Burk!

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  11. So I missed another campaign opportunity? Do I need to get an army for round 3??
    Klay

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    1. Klay! What would it take to get you in the mix? You would unfortunately need an army and I'm thinking how you can get to done quickly.

      We have 6 players but this game would CRUSH if we had 8 so we'd love to have you. Al's younger brother Tristan is going to join and Mark too. We have maybe a 6 week break to let a few players build up their armies and also, one key player just had a new baby boy so he is down for the count. So we have time but we need to get you an army.

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    2. I would prefer to buy a used one...maybe mm would have one...what do u call the period

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    3. Good idea, Klay. I shot an email to a local who has a number of unused 15mm armies. 1690-1790 but the Leglers are using Napoleonic figs.

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