Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Command & Colors Battle of Rolica 17th August 1808 AAR

As mentioned in a previous post Command & Colors Napoleonic arrived last Wednesday and I had the stickers all in place that night. The following evening I was over at Kev's enjoying having my clock well and truly cleaned so other than reading the rules n progress was made Thursday. Friday saw me set up the first scenario for me and my son to play that evening.

Start positions.
The first scenario in the book looks to be rather pro allied. They have more units and three times the artillery and the French not only have most of their troops in the centre but will have to keep them there most of the game. This in effect means the French player is likely to have less useful cards. Lastly the hill on each flank is worth one victory point to the Allies but nothing for the French. 

Portuguese forced into square.
As such I took the French which is as well as my son loves to always play the Brits. I coached him to an extent trying to explain how battles worked in the period and how the rules worked to give an advantage to players who tried to use such tactics.

I also read out the historical background and talked about the Peninsular war as I wanted him to be immersed in the action and feel it is important for him to get an understanding of the periods he plays from the start. 

He started with six cards t my five and also got the first turn. The cards have a great mix of standard move x units in x area and more specific cards such as Forced March, Rally etc. Such is the wording of the cards that my eight year old could come to grips with them and have a good idea how and when to use them.

Our fight was rather drawn out as he tried to blast me off the hill with Artillery and I managed the rolls that would force back his attacking units in the centre. It became apparent relatively early that the Allies needed the advantages earlier mentioned as the defender benefited from stationary firing that often broke up attacks, clearly this game has a lot of depth.

Winning moves on my left flank.
I was winning when we stopped for the night but was soon back at it post breakfast. I had four victory points and my son only two with the flank hills under no threat at all.

Then came a few turns where my son attacked hard on my left just at a time I was without any cards for that sector having used them up trying to force the win. Suddenly his light cavalry was forcing me into square whilst the infantry then came for the kill.

He was to do this twice so on the third attempt I stayed out of square and got a god kicking by the cavalry but no retreats before he finished them off with the infantry and took the win. A very pleasing game and one he really did pull out the bag.

We played a second game which I won though I had been forced off the hill through high losses. Unfortunately for my son he had sent a few units in unsupported and I took advantage. Much quicker end as I was able to defeat the Portuguese in the second game after they had won the first one.

Clearly the system has a lot of play and the depth of it's system is only starting to be mined but it's a game I think I will get a lot of pleasure from, both against my son but friends as well. As mentioned before we will build up forces in 6mm for it over the blocks starting at York in just over two weeks.

One point though is the build quality. I had Battle Cry years ago and the quality of the terrain tiles was much better than this games. That is a fairly minor issue given the quality of the other components such as quick reference sheets and play aids through to the counters.

In short, to me £50 was a great price and I am sure when my son is grown up and hopefully still enjoying our hobby we will both look back to this game with many fond memories.

11 comments:

  1. Great stuff.. A fairly simple concept . But it will build memories as younsay

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    1. I always love the paper, scissors, stone analogy for Napoleonics too.. Once you get it a good system replicates it.

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    2. Yes the way the rules work makes this feel right

      Ian

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  2. Very nice report! :) A little curiosity, the name of the place is "Roliça" - the "ç" reads roughly as 2 "ss", so, it sounds something like "Rulissa" in English :) In 2008 there was a little reconstruction of the battle, commemorating the bicentennial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8bHNpIHXQE Best regards :)

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    1. Thanks and will check out the video footage with my son

      Ian

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  3. Looking good Ian. Very good in fact. I've found the system fairly adaptable and have played it with players as young as twelve. Your youngster must have his head screwed on if he can handle it as well as you describe.

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    1. You are the main cause of my going after the game as I have really enjoyed your posts about your games with your excellent 20mm collection.

      He is indeed both bright and seems to have the wargame mind. Last year I put on a game at Joy of Six and gave him the French that attacked the left flank. Once he had forced the first defenders back into the woods he wheeled a few of his units to protect his flank and continued to drive the British back towards the rear of the table and that was all his own idea. Of course he will not see all threats and will get more defeats than wins but he is learning from them.

      Ian

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  4. Great system and perfect for introducing a non-gamer to the hobby. I have had many non-gamers thoroughly enjoy their intro to Commands & Colors.

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    1. He already is a big gamer in that he plays a lot of Euro games and has a few other games under his belt such as Western and also has a Saga army though it's not had enough games played with it

      Ian

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  5. Great way to get your son into wargaming and to be a good dad. Proud of you.
    C&C Naps is a great system to be sure.

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    1. I am lucky he really enjoys it both as he has an interest but also because he gets to hang out with Dad. My gaming friends always have time for him and he goes to the shows as much to meet them as I do

      Ian

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