EPIC02 Vimeiro (21 August 1808)

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4 months 2 weeks ago #10829 by Pevans
Evert fancied trying an Epic so we've been playing this one over the last few weeks. Evert took the French to begin with and started moving his troops towards the Allies. I pushed the British forward on the right to cover Ventosa and engaged the French in the centre with my long range Rifles. Evert used a "Bayonet Charge" in the centre to chase the Rifles off the hills in front of Vimeiro while starting to engage the British on the left. (I'm using right and left as in the set-up picture, not according to each army's point of view.)
First blood went to the Allies as the infantry on the left fired back at the advancing French and removed a Light infantry. Evert immediately retaliated with a "Force March" on the left, taking out a British Light infantry, while also attacking on the right. This makes the score 3:1 to the Allies (with the two for the French not occupying Vimeiro).
I played a "Force March" on the right to occupy Ventosa and eliminate the French Line infantry that was furthest forward (4:1). And used "Bombard" to mass my artillery centre left in front of the town.
My turn for a "Bayonet Charge", which I used on the left for infantry under Generals Hill and Austruther to throw the French back off the hills and eradicate a Line infantry (5:1). At the same time, I sent my Heavy cavalry into the centre, putting a French Line into square and then damaging it with artillery. With the two banners for Ventosa, the score's now 7:1.
The French attacked left and centre, re-taking the hills on the left, taking out a British Line infantry and killing both Generals into the bargain. That's now 7:4. (Lucky, lucky Evert!) In the centre, he pushed back my cavalry and attacked the hills with his Light cavalry, a British Line forming square.
"Give Them the Cold Steel" for the British on the left did no (!) damage and I lost two Line infantry to the battle backs. Ouch! At least my artillery finished off the French square in the centre, while the Rifles drove off the French cavalry. That's 8:6.
Our favourite (?) card, "La Grande Manoeuvre", now came out, Evert using it to re-position his troops on the right ready to attack Ventosa. However, General Nightingale "Took Command" of the British around Ventosa, removing two French Line to take the score to 10:6.
The French still cleared Ventosa, though, and eliminated a British Line infantry on the left as they moved closer to Vimeiro. Losing the two banners for Ventosa means it's 8:7.
I re-took Ventosa with a "Force March" that brought up the Portuguese to join the British and take out a French Line infantry. While on the left, my artillery removed the infantry that had been advancing on Vimeiro. 10:7 (with another two pending for Ventosa).
Evert then deployed another "La Grande Manoeuvre"! This time using it on the left to push forward and occupy one hex of Vimeiro. His other card was "Elan", to attack Ventosa, but only resulted in a Portuguese Line forming square against the French Heavy cavalry.
As I added back the two banners for holding Ventosa but lost the two for the French not being in Vimeiro, I flung the Portuguese cavalry and British infantry at the French cavalry in the centre. This didn't work, so Evert gained two banners for the hex of Vimeiro and then took out the Portuguese cavalry. This made the score 10:10!
It went to 11:10 as I hit the French artillery pushed forward in the centre, but Evert countered around Vimeiro, removing my artillery and finishing off the British Light cavalry. And the French cavalry punched through the middle to eliminate Gen Acland who was just minding his own business. That's 11:13 and a famous French victory. Wow!
That was 4 hours of playing time (over two evenings), which is not surprising, given that we're playing on a much larger board with a lot more pieces. However, the game was only 21 turns in all (11 French, 10 Allies). That's actually fewer turns than many of our standard games. I think playing two cards a turn and potentially moving lots of units compensates for the bigger size. What does add to the time taken is deciding what combination of cards to play each turn – choosing between 5-6 cards in hand and 3-5 in the Courier rack to find the best pair (and maybe taking a card from the rack that you don't want your opponent to have).
The return match is in progress...
I’ve also posted this report on my BGG blog – with pictures! You’ll find it at boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/158286

Pevans

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3 months 3 weeks ago #10940 by Pevans
It's my turn to play the French after Evert won 13:11 as the French. I started with our favourite (?) card, "La Grande Manoeuvre", which I used on the right to occupy Ventosa and bring the artillery forward. This let me engage the forward Allied units on my next turn, while also skirmishing on the left as Evert brought rear units forward.
A "Fire and Hold" on the right brought me first blood, eliminating a British Line infantry. At the same time, I used a "Bayonet Charge" on the left to throw the British off the hills in front of Vimeiro, taking out the Light infantry under General Austruther. The General escaped, but the score's now 4:2 in my favour (I have two banners for holding Ventosa, Evert two as there are no French units in Vimeiro.)
The Allies advanced left and centre, so I threw in the French Light cavalry. On the left, this took out the battered British artillery and then the equally damaged Light cavalry - 6:2. In the centre, the Rifles formed square against the French cavalry.
An onslaught from the Allies (Evert played a "General Advance" and a "Take Command") saw Evert eliminate the two French Grenadiers on the hills on the left while General Hill won his little battle with General Chariot (across the ford on the left edge), removing the General and the Line infantry under his command. And suddenly it's 6:6.
My retaliation saw the removal of the British Heavy cavalry and Rifles in the centre, bringing the score back to 8:6. And then my Heavies overran a British Line only to be pushed back by the British musketry - 9:6.
A "Cavalry Charge" saw the French horsemen eliminate the British artillery and a Line infantry centre left, bringing the French close to Vimeiro and the score to 11:6.
Evert pushed Gen Acland and his Line infantry forward in the centre and took out Gen Thomiere and his battered unit. That's 11:8.
A final thrust on the left from my French saw Gen Austruther go down with his troops, while Light cavalry trotted into Vimeiro - insurance as the score goes to 13:6 as Evert loses the two banners for no French in Vimeiro - though they're still shown in the picture below.
That was a bit shorter than our previous game, both in terms of turns (17) and time (3.5 hours) - though still spread over two evenings. The French won both times (ahistorically) with the aggregate score 24:19 to me.
And the Epic game was thoroughly enjoyable. The larger size gives both sides plenty of scope and playing two cards a turn means you're not often stuck for something to do. There is definitely more thinking, though, as you need to look for the best combination of cards to play.
I have also posted this report on my BGG blog (with pictures!): boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/158967

Pevans

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3 weeks 5 days ago - 3 weeks 5 days ago #11274 by NightOwl3
My first play of this epic, and my first time solo on an epic. The French won
13-5. The British just did not have the cards. The French opened with La Grande and just kept pulling event cards that were powerful such as Rally and Force March. They were able to take two town hexes of Vimeiro. The Brits did take Ventosa and killed a French general, but it was too late.

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Last edit: 3 weeks 5 days ago by NightOwl3.

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