Another tense game decided by the last rolls. Mark could have won both with a bit more luck. It sounds unfair I get 3 tournament points and he gets zero from this round. Anyway, usual start: Russian put pressure on the French left flank and then attack with cuirassiers on the right. With masterful use of his cavalry, Mark forces me in a very bad situation. My three best cards locked in squares, and my right flank almost annihilated. But the Russian lack the card to exploit the achieved advantage and, turn after turn, with the progressive elimination of the units in square, the French army recovers its mobility, even if still behind in VPs. Then the French heavy cavalry enters the scene. Supported by a couple of line infantry in good orders, they wreak havoc on the Russian lines. Having obtained some decent offensive cards, Mark tries a forced march on the village. It's slaughter on both sides and the Russian assault succeeds in dislodging part of the French. But with several weakened units on the battlefield and my heavy cavalry still operational, two subsequent "forward" cards give me six VPs and the victory.
Maloyaroslavets - Game 2
Greg Ottoman (Gottoman) Russians – 10 banners
Mike Stanley (scipio1zama) French – 7 banners
This was a tough fight that raged across all three sections. The Russians pushed hard for the center an assualt right and two BCs and took the town majority, but tangled with the Old Guard who stopped the Russians and turned the tide in the center. THe Russians won the right flank with cavalry helped by an infantry unit and both sides were tied 8 to 8. The battle shifted to the left flank where it went to 9 to 9 and for the longest time, neither could get that last banner. Finally a ranged shot on a lone block French Infantry in the town ended the battle.
After the Russians chased the LT out of the village, the French started brightly by reducing the Russian LT and LC on the right to 1-block each. Those units escaped to thebaseline though, and the advancing cuirassiers soon forced three French infantry units into square. Two of them would remain so for the rest of the game, thereby reducing the French ability to conduct operations anywhere on the board. We discussed this tactic midgame, and agreed that it's very gamey. A local problem forcing command problems across the board.
After that, it became a game of patience for the Russian, slowly reducing the French in the village hexes, eliminating them, and then forcing the remainder back. The French did cause problems on their left flank, with the two HC's riding out to inflict several local problems, forcing one unit into square, eliminating the Cossacks and an LC as well. A Grande Manoeuvre allowed the Russian FA's and Grenadiers to push right through the centre. The French countered the same, moving their vulnerable units away and threatening with the OG in an advanced position on the left centre. But the Russians moved away their vulnerable units as well, and began to threaten the units still held in square on the French right. With the village and the church in Russian hands, only one more banner was required and it came when one of the squares finally broke.
I reckon, once he was down to 2 cards, Mark had very few options and needed some lucky dice to help retrieve the situation. He did try to force the cuirassiers away from the squares multiple times, without much success. And his HC attacks could have been more potent on the other flank had the dice been kinder. In the end, it must have felt like a slow death. The square rules surely need revision.
The game was played in excellent spirits however; me reminding him to take a TC, him reminding me I had the church as my 9th banner. The way gaming should be...........
Also no issues with the VASSAL module, except for delayed transmission of Command Card play.
Will do. David and I tried to play round 2 last Sunday but Vassal made such a gigantic mess -- deleting 8 command cards from our hands -- that we just gave up in frustration and rescheduled our match for next Sunday.
It was probably lucky for me that Vassal made such a mess because David had the cards and the rolls and was starting to hand me my head in the first hour. So while he had all the in-game luck apparently I had the meta-game luck.
215 Maloyaroslavets (24 October 1812) [OT2019 - Round Four - 2nd game]
RiverWanderer (Russians) 10 Bangla (French) 3
The Russians open with "Forward" along lines appearing to mirror Tony (Bangla)'s successful tactics in the first game. It is soon apparent that Tony will take a different approach to defending against cavalry attacks, only going into square when the situation is especially unfavourable. Even so, LeGrand is unlucky and fails his leader check; the first banner to the Russians. Despite this early encouragement, the Russians are, for now, at a stand-still on the French Right and a reduced French Light Cavalry unit takes cover in woods, eventually reaching the relative safety of the centre as a single block.
Meanwhile, the focus shifts to the centre; a series of volleys are exchanged as the French strengthen their defensive line and the Russians try to wear down defenders in the town. Notably, Cossacks mask their comrades from the worst but, when this screen is finally dispersed, the Russians decide to take their chances and Force March against the town. This move tacks away from the stronger French flank and sees the Russians in three town hexes at one point. However, a rash combat against Artillery goes predictably badly and at this point it is evens on 3 banners each.
It is now the French turn to play "Forward" and a new attack starts to form against the Russian Right whilst French units consolidate for defence in the other sections. The Russians would like to respond in all sections and, fortunately for them, Counter-Attack is at hand.
A questionable advance and attack from the Russian Right starts badly, as a Russian Line is lucky to retreat with one block left after scoring no hits against infantry. Against expectations, the next combat sequence rescues the situation with remarkable luck; first a Foot Artillery and then, a second leader banner falls to Russian Light Cavalry. In the centre, Russians from the town sweep away two French infantry units and a third is put into square. The second Russian Cuirassier unit is brought forward to join a leader in woods, threatening the now weakened French centre.
With the Russians one banner from victory, the French re-occupy the church to bring the Russians back to 7 banners and a full strength line unit pushes the Russian Light Cavalry back on the French Left, threatening to take one or two banners in this area on the next turn. But it is too late, the Russians have attacks with good odds in the centre. Grenadiers destroy the French infantry square, though Gerard escapes. Finally, the newly arrived Cuirassiers destroy a weak French artillery unit to breakthrough and take the final banner from the Light Cavalry that had sought shelter a town hex in the first part of the game.
A more dynamic game than yesterday's, thanks to Tony's greater nerve in the face of cavalry. The margin of the Russian win was underpinned by a run of good luck through much of the game; notably, a rash combat that went much better that it should have done, denting a potential French riposte, just at the moment when the rest of the Russian field was poised to sprint for the finish. Without the two or three lucky banners, a win would have been uncertain in the face of a solid French defence protecting the objective banners.
Again, we followed Mark McG's advice and had no issues with the VASSAL module during play. Also, no delayed transmission of play - reinforcing my suspicion that this problem is down to my own ISP connection, as I was in a different location for this game.
Viridovilas (Russian) 6
Kandras78 (French) 10
Viridovilas (French) 10
Kandras78 (Russian) 5
It was a tough battle. The heroic resistance of the French infantries on the right wing hills proved to be decisive (a few lucky rolls steadily reduced the three Russian cavalries that couldn’t exploit their superiority). On the other side the French lines proved too strong for the undersized Russian counterpart. All in all, a draw with 1.5 each would have been fairer. But rolls decided this time in my favour…
Never in the history of CCN have so many cavalry dice been rolled against infantry targets - ARRGH!
David handed me my head in this game. He had the cards, he had the dice, it was ugly. French units were getting vaporized all over the field. All the action was in the center but I couldn't get any center cards to reply. I got a bayonet charge but he replied with a counter-attack.
Anyway, it was a spanking from the beginning to the end. These tournaments should have a way to handle the scoring if one player resigns -- Playing this out for 2-1/2 hours was painful.
Hopefully the logfile is okay, i forgot to start it until after he had drawn his first few command cards.