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Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Close Run Thing - Maurice AAR

Under a setting sun, the infidel invaders withdraw from the battlefield.  The carnage and cries of the wounded are terrible to behold.  Black tempered, the Sultan has retired to his tent and few are of a mind to recount the Battle of Alt Hahnfeld.

Lord Abercrombie of Brittanica is a great commander, of that, there is no doubt.  He caught our Anatolian army as it was making its way inland.  The Sultan was eager to give battle and send the infidels fleeing but Abercrombie chose the battlefield well. Our left flank was crowded by a swollen stream. Our center was dominated by forest to the left and right. Plowed fields choked our right. Because of the disrupting terrain, the Sultan was limited to attacking through narrow channels in the center, right or left. The Sultan chose to deploy most the army in march column and wait for his irregulars to seize the woods and drive the enemy back.
It seemed like a good plan on the drawing board. 
The morning hours were dominated by the sound of sporadic gunfire as the Anatolian irregulars harassed and pressed the enemy irregulars.  Despite a 2 to 1 advantage, we had great difficulty driving the enemy back or opening up the center.  They would give no ground and soon, Nazim's sharpshooters came streaming to the rear.  Neither shouts nor swords could stem their shameful rout.  Seeing an opportunity, the enemy cavalry put their stirrups in and rushed our stalled columns.  In confusion, our Mad Head irregular cavalry prematurely charged out of the woods into the path of the enemy. To protect the Sultan's columns of foot, they chose to stand their ground rather than flee.
Dead men walking!

It took the enemy two charges to run them down and slay them to the man.  In that time, the Sultan moved his infantry columns out of the path of the enemy charge.  Well, most of his infantry.  The Sultan was shocked to see the 24th Blues stuck in column formation in the path of the enemy charge. They'd gotten into a bit of terrain and were no longer a part of the main force.  As a result they never received the order to advance. The redcoats made short work of them as well. Finally, our cavalry mustered into a battle line and countercharged. They sent the winded enemy flying.  But not before losses were inflicted and the Sultan's battle plans upset.  
Columns just before changing formation to lines.
It fell to the Sultan's Red Guards to save the day. After moving up in column, they fell into a battle line and went straight at the enemy.  At the point of attack, they swept all before them. With both armies nearing the breaking point, an enemy officer cried "All in boys, all in!" and bravely charged our Red Guards. The Sultan's best were able to stand firm against two consecutive charges.  Failing to break our lines, the enemy lost heart and began to flee. Lord Abercrombie asked for terms and the Sultan quickly granted them.
The redcoats charge the Sultan's Red Guards
After two charges, only the Red Guards remain standing.
As the Sultan, I did a poor job of maintaining force integrity and had units tripping over one another trying to advance through a narrow clearing in the center of the board.  One of my favorite things about Maurice is how you're generally limited to activating a single force in a turn.  If you split up your forces, you'll find you can't worry about the single unit of infantry or cavalry left behind.  Fortunately, this was a problem for my opponent Mark as well since we're both rusty at Maurice. Maison du Roi was a key National Advantage as my 2 Guard units did the heavy lifting in the game.

Mark did a great job with terrain deployment.  Dropping terrain in the middle to jam me out the gate was a trick I've not seen before. Sending cavalry in is always a risk in this game but with my foot strung out in march column, it was a great call.  The heroics of my irregular cavalry slowed him down for 2 turns and also nicked him up a bit so it was as they say, a close run thing.

Too late for Sofie's Paint Blog and her Saturday Paint Table post, I've got a shot at what's on my table.  It's a SAGA/Dux Brit commish with the always wonderful Gripping Beast figures. After a long run of 15mm, it's good to be back to 28s.  
Here's hoping Santa puts a few new warbands in my stocking for Christmas, and yours too if that's what you want.  If I paint 10 SAGA factions, I believe the 11th is free!  Perhaps I should go back and read the fine print at the Gripping Beast website. 

37 comments:

  1. Cracking post Monty a stunning looking game and a busy table - what more could a chap want?

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  2. Hi Monty!
    That's a great report, no doubt : a fantastic write-up, excellent looking figures, and suspense maintained by the Guard, stoic and brave...love the tent too on the third pic, you've got a close-up of it?
    Greetings,
    Phil.

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    1. Phil! Thanks so much and I must say I don't have a tent for Maurice. I do have a tent camp I use when I run parts of this as an Ottoman army in Field of Glory. :-)

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  3. Super post Monty and great report. Have a Great Christmas I will look forward to some Dark age goodness from your brushes

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    1. Merry Christmas, Andrew and you are lighting it up in the painting challenge!

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  4. Hi Monty,

    great Battle Report!
    I really need to paint an army for Maurice.
    I hope Santa will bring to you all you wish.

    Greetings

    GillesW " Santa not close ;-) "

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    1. Gilles, you are a bit busy with the big painting challenge! If you have an opportunity, the card driven aspect of Maurice and the ability to interrupt your opponent makes the game shine.

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  5. Great looking table and highly entertaining battle report!

    Christopher

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  6. Very nice report and great looking armies. I'm looking forward to see your new SAGA/ Dux Brit. project unfold.

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    1. Moiterei! The icing on the cake is that the new faction I'm painting will get used locally once TFL publishes the DB supplement. I've been taken by DB and we might use it to run a Viking-Rus campaign using SAGA figures painted and to come!

      Plans...we have them!

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  7. Triumphant victory for the Sultan over the infidels! Victory came as a surprise to me. Excellent recounting of the battle with terrific figures. An interesting period that is not seen on the gaming table often.

    I really need to get a game of Maurice on the table.

    Nice work!

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    1. It came as a bit of a surprise to me as well. I really stumbled and without the boot tough Guard, I probably would have seen my forces break first.

      I do think you might like it. It is FUN and good enough to have dragged our Ancients centric players into the Age of Gentlemen and Philosophers.

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  8. Huzzah for the Sultan! Force coordination is always the tricky part in Maurice. Nice report Monty.

    FMB

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    1. I got too clever here. By putting almost my entire army in column, I thought I'd strike where opportunity presented itself. Note to self: have a battle plan before the start of the battle.

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  9. Greate AAR!

    Looking forward to see the 28´s painted up

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    1. Thanks Michael. They are coming along very nicely!

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  10. That's a cool looking game, Monty. And I just watched bits of Adventures of Baron Von M! Best, Dean

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    1. Thanks Dean, that's an interesting coincidence! ;-)

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  11. Nice AAR Monty! Your painting table looks to be a busy place.

    Have a Happy Holiday!

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    1. Thanks Anne! It is busy and I'm very happy about it. I am keeping an eye out for a "white whale" type of project but I have loads to do in the short term!

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    1. Thanks Cyrus! I saw your got your Christmas present early, with the new Romans!

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  13. Great AAR!

    Looking forward to more Dark Age goodness from you!

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    1. Thanks Jonas, and you as well! I've really enjoyed your painting and AARs.

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  14. Wow, I almost forgot about this battle. Perhaps I've chosen to selectively forget this tragic loss by my gallant Brittanica forces.

    For those of you enthralled by Monty's AAR, I must add that he is a worthy opponent who humbly downplays his cunning tactics and brings to the forefront his errors. Don't let that fool you, he is a skilled and capable gamer in all time periods. I have fought him in ancients, dark ages and the age of enlightenment and never once has the battle been a pushover. I consider myself extremely lucky to play him and his beautiful armies whilst the rest of you can only read about it.

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    1. This is the highest compliment, my friend. Thank you! We've had some classics, like our first game of Maurice where we each were a point from breaking and you played Death of a Hero to win it all. The people watching broke out and cheered. Epic!

      Here's to plenty more in 2014. Merry Christmas, Mark!

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  15. Hi Monty,
    Fun and well written AAR. Great looking figures too!
    Will you be at Little Wars this year?
    Cheers,
    Glenn

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    1. Thanks Glenn, and good question. My friend Brent is tentatively considering a SAGA event for Little Wars. I'd like to attend as well. I just need to petition The Boss to lock up the dates. If I get a green light, I'll reach out to you so we can meet.

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  16. Now that must have been a mighty struggle! As something of a novice at Maurice,
    I have yet to master the finer points of tactics and strategy in the world of black powder wargaming, but the terrain must certainly have limited your options.

    But what REALLY grabbed my attention was the gathering of inked chappies in the last picture - I look forward to seeing acres of tartan over the next few weeks!

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    1. Ev! My customer requested few tartans in this lot. I will doll them up with stripes and patterns of other sorts! ;-)

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  17. We'll, even if you got boxed in by the terrain, it still looks ace! Really hope you enjoyed yourselves!

    And I will be looking forward to seeing, if Santa put another Warband in your stocking and if he did... Which one! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Merry Christmas, Burkhard!

      My wife and I have been married long enough that we buy things we want and give them to each other to put under the tree. So I can say there will be more SAGA warbands for 2014. I'd like to port my SAGA skirmish figures into Impetus, HC or DB with the Warlords bases. We'll see!

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    2. So, which Warband did you pick for your wife to gift you with? ;-)

      In our family, we decided a couple of years ago that we would not buy each other gifts and just spend Christmas together. Quiet relaxing!

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    3. I could go for that deal! My wife would not.

      I got Norse Gael. Thanks Santa!

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    4. LOL!

      And a great looking choice for a Warband!

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