Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Commands and Colors: Napoleonics (GMT) ~ "River Coa" & "Bussaco (Reynier's Assault)"

Game: Commands and Colors: Napoleonics (GMT)
Scenarios: "River Coa" & "Bussaco (Reynier's Assault)
Participants: Jim "HeavyD" D, Myself
Time: Fri, Jan 13th 7.00PM - 10.30PM

 HeavyD and I elected to get the big boy blocks out for our Friday night session. We started with the next scenario in the book, "River Coa". This is a smaller scenario and the first one that introduced something a little different in the Victory Conditions. This is handled in the Special Rules, any ordered Anglo-Portuguese unit that exits the map via the bridge hex awards the A-P player a Victory block err counter. The river is otherwise unfordable. The Fortress in the scenario is treated just like a town, and now that I am writing this I think we blew that and treated it as a Field Works.  The scenario is on the smaller side in its size, but it has 6 banners as the Victory Condition. We diced for sides and I got the attacking French.

I opened with a "Cavalry Charge" card on my right. It went very badly, I lost one unit outright and the other withdrew. Then the action shifted to the my left and stayed there for the rest of the game. I spent a couple turns getting set up to make use of another Cavalry Charge card I had in my hand. Then the time was right so I set off with my second charge of the evening, this one proved much more entertaining. It spanned across several turns and only involved a few of my units and some of Heavy's. It was brutal and fast.

The first attack to go in HeavyD didn't square, he either forgot about it or was distracted. I went in with a Heavy Cavalry unit against a Line plus leader, I pushed them back with a couple blocks loss and then advanced and attacked them again. This time they were eliminated. I advanced into the vacated hex. In this game, like CCA a cavalry unit may advance and battle after a victorious battle. I took advantage of that here to great effect. HeavyD quickly got wise and squared up with his Light Infantry, the target of my other Cavalry Units attention. This cost HeavyD a card and that was tough as we each only had four card hands for this scenario.

An Amazing Ride:

HeavyD was caught card-less in that he couldn't react to my attacks on his Right due to lack of cards. Thus I was able to then go right after the fortress. I again charged in and eliminated the two Portuguese units there. I was again able to do a double attack, HeavyD was also prevented from squaring in the Fortress which help out quite a bit. I was up 3-4 flags to 2. Again HeavyD didn't have any good cards to activate units near the focal point (he only had three cards at this point). I had no interest in waiting around for him to get the cards he needed to go after my sole Heavy Cav unit so I continued the attack and was able to clear off another British unit (Rifle Light) on the hill overlooking the Bridge. I believe that Heavy elected to not go into square at this time because he didn't want to then have a two card hand.

End of Scenario board positions

When I cleared the unit and leader off the hill next to the bridge I had six blocks and we were done. Forty minutes! Well that was pretty exciting, much more for me, but we both had some good laughs at this amazing show put on by my overachieving Heavy Cavalry Unit.

As the night was young, we turned the page and set up the next scenario in the book, "Bussaco (Reynier's Assault)". This one again had a Victory level of 6 blocks on thick terrain. It pitted a combined Anglo-Portuguese force facing Massana's advancing Frenchmen. This one featured heavy hills and a lot of Portugues, mostly on the right of the line. There are no special rules aside from the fordable stream. The AP player has a hand of 6 while the attacking French have a hand size of 5 and move first. I took the Brits and Portugues on defense as I had just attacked.

Bussaco (Reynier's Assault) Set Up

My opening hand had both of the Counter Attack cards in them so I put on my best poker face as HeavyD slowly marched his Infantry towards my Portugues line on the right. I believe he was aided early on by a Grande Maneuver card to expedite his approach. The initial clash opened on my right where I played my two Counter Attack cards back to back on his initial melee attacks. I pushed him back with little loss in these.

Bayonet Charge, HeavyD Assaults the British Left

Heavy then threw down a Bayonet Charge card and attacked the British lines on the left. He pushed back my far left unit and took out a couple blocks from my lone British artillery unit at little cost to himself. I did have cards that enabled me to shoot back at him and I soon drove off this attack as he lost a unit or two and pulled others back who had suffered some losses.

Final Positions
 At this point HeavyD started working on the edges trying pick off my depleted units. He had suffered some heavy losses at this point and was starting to run low on troops. I was also low on troops and pulled some of the harder hit units into the center to try and shield them. I believer we were both at around 4 victory blocks each when out of no where I got two flags but taking out an infantry unit and then getting the leader. I was not expecting this as HeavyD's dice had warmed up quite a bit in this scenario. Rarely when we play two CCA/CCN scenarios in one night does one person win both of them as happened tonight. But, I think I can say that HeavyD had a good time despite this and the second scenario was a much closer game, going a about an hour and a half in duration. Another great night of gaming with a great game. 

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