Author Topic: our succession wars begins - 4 players  (Read 733 times)

garyp

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our succession wars begins - 4 players
« on: March 23, 2017, 09:28:56 PM »
And so it begins, a copy of the post to our local group forum:

I am sure that more detailed accounts and pics of last night’s excellent start to our mini Maurice campaign will follow but I can summarise events as follows and will try to limit my bias and exaggeration as best I can.
 
First, many thanks to Caesar, Peter and Daniel for a most entertaining evening of games, and I must also give a heap of credit to Mr Mustafa – I already think his Maurice rules are pretty good and now his simple campaign system has elevated his game to even greater heights adding context and consequence to each battle.
 
For this first round Caesar was the prime instigator on the European stage of political intrigue (that is “first player”) and he opted to commit the formation of alliances and the selection of opponents to fate – probably on a par with actual history. The result was an alliance of France and Austria against Prussia and Russia – again, quite feasible. In this first round of hostilities, Austria attacked the Russian field army while Prussia attacked the French.
 
The Austrians won the initiative but decided to let the Russians defend and subsequently found them ensconced between a rock and hard place in the bottom left corner of the battlefield with a river on the right flank leaving just a narrow approach area – a Russian tactic undoubtedly in response to the considerable superiority of Austrian cavalry numbers and quality. Undaunted, or perhaps daunted but with little other option, Peter threw his infantry in waves against the narrow Russian front. Many Austrian infantry units perished but eventually their sacrifice created gaps in the Russian defensive line and Peter’s vaunted cavalry were quick to exploit the openings. This was a dogged fight with fortunes fluctuating several times as reflected in Peter’s changing demeanour from despair to hope, back to despair and ultimately to glee. Final result: Austria on “1” morale point, Russia broken – it was a blood bath!
 
Meanwhile France won the initiative and elected to defend. The objective was buried in a garrisoned town surrounded by wooded hills full of irregular cavalry – so inviting! The balance of the small French army comprising it’s uber-infantry units (Elite elites, another Elite, flame thrower bayonets, air support – you get the picture!) deployed in the open area on the French left with it’s uber-artillery in support. The Prussians (me) had pretty much decided that this was going to be a no-win situation so were thinking how to escape with limited damage. The conscript Prussian infantry was deployed as a screen in front of the wooded hills to limit the action of the irregular French cavalry while the balance of the Prussian foot deployed on the Prussian right flank splitting the infantry into two formations - bugger. Artillery covered the extreme right of the Prussian line while the cavalry lurked in the centre commanded by a manic obsessive Irishman focused primarily on the length of troopers’ moustaches (-1 movement rate for cavalry under his command!). The battle started and then continued for some time with both sides marching and countermarching seeking an opening. Caesar moved his irregular cavalry from his right to his left flank in order to threaten the Prussian artillery anchored against a convenient (especially for the irregular cavalry) wood. I spent several turns relocating and screening my artillery from this threat. Caesar, foiled in his attempt to catch my artillery, now commenced bombardment with regular but only incremental success. However, the relocation of the French irregular cavalry had created a small opening on the right of the French main battle line which the Prussians now exploited. This resulted in the over-running of the French artillery and threatening of the French right. In a final effort to break through before the threat from the right flank became decisive, the French infantry now formed Massed and advanced into the teeth of the dreaded Prussian Lethal Volleys which actually were about as lethal as wet tissue paper. Luckily for the Prussians some of the French infantry had made a pit stop in the aforementioned wood (smirk) and the subsequent charge failed to crack the Prussian line. Subsequent volleys by the Prussians proved significantly more lethal and the end came when the Prussian cavalry finally plodded into the flank of the reeling French infantry. Final result: Prussia on “16” morale, France broken – I was as surprised as anyone.
 
After the battles there is an accounting of EPs (experience points – sort of like VPs) and lost units are restored but at lower quality, while surviving units may potentially be upgraded. Notables that survived the battle may retire and new ones may arrive. So, despite his victory, Peter’s Austrians had taken a significant mauling and as a result the Austrians will field a lot of conscript infantry in their next battle (the original Austrian army of 100 AP will likely add up to something a little less than that). Prussia won and managed to finish with only limited losses so benefited from few downgrades and a couple of upgrades (so will start with an army of a little over 100 AP next time). I think both the French and Russians will return with modified but probably close to 100 AP forces?
 
Overall, a very good game system enhanced by a very clever and easily administered campaign system not bogged down by maps and excessive record keeping. Excellent (and it allows for the entry of new players mid-campaign if anyone is interested).
 
All care taken and no responsibility accepted, regards to All, gary



cae5ar

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 05:50:06 AM »
CAMPAIGN STARTING ARMIES (100 points)

AUSTRIA (Peter)
6 trained regular infantry
1 conscript regular infantry
3 elite regular cavalry
4 trained regular cavalry
2 conscript regular cavalry
1 artillery
National advantages: none
Army morale 17

PRUSSIA (Gary)
5 trained regular infantry
4 conscript regular infantry
1 elite regular cavalry
3 trained regular cavalry
4 artillery
National advantages: Lethal Volleys, Oblique Order.
Army morale 17

RUSSIA (Daniel)
2 elite regular infantry
3 trained regular infantry
2 conscript regular infantry
2 irregular cavalry
3 trained regular cavalry
3 artillery
National advantages: Rally to the Colours, Maison du Roi, Cadence.
Army morale 13

FRANCE (Caesar)
3 elite regular infantry
2 trained regular infantry
3 conscript regular infantry
3 irregular cavalry
4 artillery
National advantages: Maison du Roi, A la Baionette, En Masse, Artillery Academy.
Army morale 12

mbsparta

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 09:29:49 AM »
Interesting selection of units for the different armies. Looking forward to more of the campaign. I am slaving away at my WSS armies.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Mike B

Rufus of Rubovia

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 02:26:39 PM »
Thanks for this. Very enjoyable and I look forward to reading about the next encounters.
I'm trying to persuade a number of Maurice newbies (conscript level?) at my club to give the Succession Wars a try

Pechlivan

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 03:59:11 AM »
Great stuff! I look forward to hearing more!

GamesPoet

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 06:48:51 AM »
Looks like a good start!  Interesting choices for the armies!

Is there a link to more info and pictures on your own forum?

garyp

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 11:10:00 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys - pictures are available on "sparkerswargamesblogspot" and "the stronghold rebuild" - sorry about not posting links - that is beyond my very limited IT skill which still languishes in the 1990's.

The write up of our second round of battles from the first War follows below. gary

garyp

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 11:10:23 PM »
Peace, let the bells toll, Peace in all the land! Well, for a little while anyway.

After our second round of battles in the First War of Succession, the French and Austrian Alliance has seen the error of their aggressive, expansionist policies and sued for peace after a double defeat at the hands of the Russian and Prussian armies. Amid much forelock tugging and kowtowing, all parties swore everlasting peace and co-operation and promptly headed off to rebuild their forces and persuade their respective monarchs of the inevitability of their ultimate victory by force of arms!

Interestingly it was the Russians who, obviously confused by the carnage of their battle with the Austrians the previous month, and a propensity to not know left from right, had retreated to the West rather than to the East and subsequently found themselves facing the French army ensconced around another Chateau again rumoured to contain considerable quantities of fine red wine and so deserving of a stalwart defence. The Russian advance on the French left yielded quick victories but soon ran out of momentum as the defence stiffened around that damnable Chateau and its liquid treasure. Counter attacks by the French Guards heroically led by Sir James Chaffee soon had the Russians regrouping and feeling the pressure. Alas, after stepping out in front of his troops for the umpteenth time to exhort just one more push, the Russian musketeers finally silenced Chaffee’s rants with several well placed musket balls. Now a genius flanking move by the Russian cavalry again silenced most of the French Artillery Academy and brought the affair to the brink of closure -  French Morale on 1, Russian on 6. A stirring speech by the CinC of the French army delivered in only slightly slurred speech roused the French soldiery and increased their morale 100% to 2! Another loss saw French morale slip again to 1, a Russian cavalry unit was obliterated by musketry and Russian morale teetered on 3. A last charge by the remaining Russian cavalry took down a French Infantry unit and finally their morale broke – Russia 3, France defeated.

In the South the Prussians hastened to support their Russian comrades and intercept the pursuing Austrians. The course of the battle may well have been predicted when the Prussians won the initiative against an Austrian +2 superiority in scouting. Once the Austrians had deployed and committed their considerably superior (in both numbers and quality) Cavalry force to their left flank, the Prussians promptly deployed their own cavalry as far away as possible on the opposite flank and covered the Austrian line with their own Lethally Volleyed superior infantry and Grande battery. Of course marching ones cavalry into such a hailstorm would be quite silly but regardless, the Prussians were a little surprised when the Austrian cavalry about faced and headed over to the other flank seeking out those Prussians now pre-occupied with maintaining their lines in perfect order. This relocation of the Austrian mounted did however take several actions and the Prussian infantry did not hesitate to advance into musket range of the now mostly conscript Austrian infantry after the battle last month against the Russians. The Austrian foot could not retrograde fast enough and soon felt the full rathe of those lethal volleys with several lucky rounds of firing reeking considerable carnage amongst their ever diminishing ranks. As the Austrian mounted rounded the right flank of their army and advanced on the Prussian cavalry now in the most absolutely perfect straight lines ever witnessed on any battlefield, the Prussian guns and a couple of infantry units came into action in support of their social betters on horseback. The subsequent clash of horses and men, charge and counter charge, was appropriately deadly. However the narrow frontage of the Prussian mounted plus the assistance of the Prussian infantry all contributed to dulling the advantage of numbers and quality enjoyed by the Austrians (and a couple of very lucky rally rolls for the Prussians helped as well). As the dust settled 3 Austrian cavalry had been shattered including 2 Elite Cuirassier units for the loss of only one Prussian Hussar unit, and the remaining Prussians were in reasonably good order courtesy of those opportune Rallies. On the other flank the remaining Conscript Austrian Infantry tried as best they could to blend into the scenery to avoid further attention from the Prussian musketry. The Austrian General now suggested that the worsening weather plus interminable saddle soreness should see an end to hostilities. The Prussian leadership quickly acquiesced to an honourable evacuation of the battlefield with colours, weapons and baggage train intact (minus a few trophies of course – damn nice gilding and braid on those Austrian scabbards!) – all soldiers returned to their campfires and bratwurst.

In Campaign terms the twin victories by the Russian/Prussian Alliance result signalled the end of the War. All armies now returned all Conscript units back to Trained status for the opening of renewed hostilities once alliances and battle match ups have been determined – this time influenced most astutely by Russia (Daniel now being the First Player).

The standing of the Nations after the first War is Prussian on 9 EP, Austria on 5 EP, Russia on 4 EP, and France on 2 EP.

Our next campaign night is scheduled approximately towards the end of May by which time I hope to have the bulk of an Ottoman army available. We know that Alan would like to join our merry dance with his Swedes so again, if anyone else is keen for some Maurice once a month to keep our numbers even, we can provide either the Prussians or most of an Ottomans army for your campaigning pleasure.

Again, I accept no responsibility for the errors or exaggerations included above – history is written by the person who takes the time to compose It! Hopefully Ralph will be able to provide some visuals of proceedings as we were missing our resident photographer in Alan.

Many thanks to Peter for an entertaining game (I am sorry it was less fun for him on the night) and to the Campaigners generally for what is proving to be a very interesting mechanism to generate variable and consequential games. Regards to All, gary



cae5ar

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 04:17:55 AM »
Photos of the last battle between Austrians and Prussians here:

http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/maurice-campaign-first-war-of-succession.html

garyp

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Re: our succession wars begins - 4 players
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2017, 03:19:36 AM »
THIS MEANS WAR!

After the end of the First War of Succession and having spent a congenial winter skiing, sipping hot Gleuhwein and munching on apfelstrudel (or whatever the French and Russian equivalents may be), and chasing the local snow bucks and bunnies with a vigour belying their respective ages and portly countenance, the various Monarchs of Europe have returned to more stately matters with the first hints of Spring and warmer times to come. Well satisfied with his gains in the First War, the King of Prussia has declared his continued devotion to Peace although pressure from the Good Burghers of Berlin to reduce military spending from the previous year’s 250% of state revenues may have been a factor. Aware however that other Nations may be less well pleased with the settlements at the end of the previous year, the Prussian King has opened diplomatic ties with the Ottoman Empire and sent “cultural” attaches in the form of Field Marshal Gottlieb Grosshertz and several hundred military – ostensibly to learn local Marching Band tunes and dance routines!

With Russia driving diplomatic initiatives (Daniel being First Player,) and aware of past conflicts with its Southern neighbour, Russia has expressed its surprise and disappointment at the actions of its former Prussian Ally and promptly declared war on The Ottomans. The Russian Army, last seen in Southern Italy on its protracted and meandering march home from the First War has been ordered to return toot sweet on pain of the death of every one of the Commander’s family and has since made surprising and uncharacteristic progress. The Austrian Empress, equally perturbed by memories of past hostilities with the Ottomans has promptly joined the Russian cause and confidently called on all Western Christian Nations to form a united front against the threat from the East. Never one to give up a golden opportunity, France has seen the eastern diversion as a significant chance to settle ongoing disputes over Northern Italian and German provinces and declared for the Ottomans – rumours of financial inducements to the French from the Prussian King abound but remain unproven.

So with Russia again setting the agenda, the recently returned and surprisingly tanned Russian army has marched south to knock out the Ottoman threat while Austria has marched West to apply diplomacy with force to its former French ally.

On the windswept plains outside the wine town of Sacreburgondy, the Austrian Army has formed up on a small hillock, the only landmark on an otherwise featureless expanse of ground, and demanded the immediate return of the French to the Christian fold. Incensed at the disruption to their wine and cheese tasting, the French have promptly formed columns and charged the Austrian left flank in a magnificent block of soldiery lead by the much frilled and laced Maison Du Roi  while the Austria cavalry have responded with a forceful move of their own against the French left, now held by 3 French Cossacks and a couple of backpacker grape pickers. Both sides have quickly determined that the outcome of the battle would hinge on the clash of men and musketry on the Austrian left flank. Having recently experienced the impact of Prussian lethal volleys, the Austrians have stepped up their own fire drill while the aggrieved and aggravated French have formed Massed columns from their March columns while their ranks have thinned under the withering fire of the Austrian Musketeers. Unable to effectively close, the French columns have been shattered. Austria on 13 Morale - French broken. A 5 – 1 victory for the white coated troops of the Austrian Empress.

In the east, the Ottomans have selected an area of rough and wooded ground to meet the Russian invaders. With shiny new guns arrayed and busily reading the user guide on how to fire them, the Ottomans have opted for a quick scurrying advance through the undergrowth rather than await the much heralded but sadly absent bombardments of their own guns. The Russians, also aware of the large Ottoman artillery park, have likewise advanced their infantry in quick step while their Cavalry has arrayed to counter the Ottoman irregulars lurking on the wings. The battle has now devolved into two distinct zones - one of volleys by the Ottoman infantry and guns against the ability of the Russians to regroup and re-order in preparation for a charge, and another of hordes of Ottoman irregular troops trying to flank and swarm the Russian units securing the Russian right flank. The swarming tactics of the Ottomans yielded some initial, albeit minor success but co-ordination has quickly broken down as the undisciplined and largely unmotivated irregulars found that swapping trinkets and skins of their traditional Buzbag red wine with the Russian cavalry much more rewarding.  The outcome of the battle, like that being fought in the west, has now centred on the outcome of the firelight between the main battle lines of the two armies. Having largely withstood early Ottoman fire, the Russians have charged home but with only limited success smashing some of the Ottoman guns but unable to break the line of Janissary infantry (who seemed to have officers shouting commands with distinctly Prussian accents!). With attrition taking its toll on both sides, the Russians prepared to reform and then charge home again against the wavering Ottoman lines. But fate or some other divine hand has interceded and the Ottomans have been able to force an unwanted Volley phase on the Russians. After withstanding the Russian fire, the Janissaries have returned fire with devastating effect breaking three Russian units and finally, the morale of the Russian Army. Ottomans on 12 Morale – Russians broken. A 5 – 1 win to the Ottoman Empire on its first outing of the Second War of Succession.

The Ottoman win against expectations has kept the second alliance alive (and some additional funds for the French from the King of Prussia to aid in the rebuilding of the French army after its loss at the hands of the Austrians has also helped to maintain French enthusiasm). The war continues and the protagonists prepare for their next test, the King of Prussia fiddles and recites epic poems of Teutonic heroism while espousing the virtues of Peace, and in the far North the King of Sweden eyes the turmoil on his borders with longing for a pretence, um, that is, just cause to join the fray and settle old and still heated grievances, even if the original reasons for those grievances have clouded over the course of time – War for its own sake!

Again, many thanks to Peter, Caesar and Daniel for a most entertaining evenings play. The Ottomans provided an interesting game even though my perceptions of their potential strengths proved largely incorrect – the artillery park of 5 guns plus Artillery Academy did not really figure at all although the guns did assist in the ultimately battle deciding fire fight between the main battle lines of our armies. Likewise my large swarm of Irregulars through the bad going on the Russian flank yielded some small success but proved quite difficult to maintain in formation so ultimately ground to a standoff – not sure who had the most points sitting in the shade admiring the scenery (of which there was a lot unlike the billiard table of the Western battle).

Regards, Gary