Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Command and Colours Napoleonic Battle of Pultusk AAR

I have actually played a few various games of late most of which I have as yet failed to write up but may get around to them. This ones a bit special as I played it against my son The Boy. Habit is a terrible or good thing depending on the habit.

Me and The Boy have got out of habit playing C&C:N but as I had taken the week off work last week it gave us a great opportunity to have another go. As always I gave him the pick of module to play and sides once a scenario has been picked out. I own all the nationality sets (five) but have yet to buy the more recent additions. Unfortunately beyond the base set we have not had a great deal of play so it was good to get the Russians out.

I got the Russians and we played the battle of Pultusk fought on boxing day 1806, Marshal Bennigsen ignored orders halted his retreat and gave battle. This is quite a big game with the board crammed with units. In the actual battle the French won a narrow victory on the day but both sides suffered heavy casualties and the Russians withdrew during the night.

Battle from my perspective, looks like the Russians have the numbers! In infantry it's almost equal, I have 14 the French one less, I also have an advantage of one more cavalry with four cavalry but also have three Cossack cavalry but these are only two strength so are not expected to have a major impact. My biggest advantage though was artillery, I had five units to my sons three which historically was a big advantage as it forced the French infantry to surrender their gains when bombarded.

Each C&C:N nationality have traits that add flavour to the game, this is really well done and of all the Command and Colour series I think this one carries through the best. My Russians tend to get a Mother Russia roll that adds troops to their forces. The thought behind this is the fact that many units enter battle reduced in strength as are not fully mobilised, as such many infantry units start under strength (just three blocks opposed to the usual four). You roll dice equivalent to the number of command cards and these give you troops or emplacements when in effect. I failed to gain any infantry but managed to add two Cossack units, strengthened two artillery units and added a field works to a hill where I had one of my gun units.

C&C is a card driven system and if you use try to plan ahead you can really increase your chances of winning. The Boy has always shown the ability to plan and generally does well when we play. This scenario needed the winner to gain ten victory banners including some location ones that tend to channel the fight to key terrain. When playing The Boy I always have to gain one more than required as a form of balance. It's not unusual for The Boy to win with me still needing to get the normal required banners but it's nice when I get the normal number and he gets there before I can get that extra one.

In this game I did get a good run of the cards early. I lost all the Cossacks before the end of the game but they did more damage than expected. Their loss is not an issue as they do not count for banner gain so they are disposable.

The Boy stuck to the original script by forcing me off the first line of hills and then In turn was forced by my artillery to abandon them. However he never really got going on my left flank and as such never really threatened the woods that he really needed to gain much needed banners. I had sent extra troops into that area and both of us suffered heavy casualties but when the dust settled he had just the one infantry unit able to threaten the woods.

My left flank had also seen plenty of action but again no real threat was able to get past my first line of defence. Whilst many of my infantry units were reduced to single blocks my artillery were there to punish any units that tried to get through on that flank.

In the centre I still had a lot of strength that I could have called on if required. The Boy had lost most of his guns to cavalry attacks and his cavalry had been almost totally destroyed through follow on attacks from my cavalry when he brought these against my cavalry. Indeed he suffered many a bad roll in attack which set the tone in the centre. The fact that I still had all four artillery units on board to his one really made this so difficult for him.

In the end he just did not have the strength to push through or the opportunity to replace worn units in the front line with fresh units as I seemed able to pull the required cards whilst his units got stuck in the open close to my troops.

It was a fun game, both of us had a great time though I suspect the scenario could be a bit pro Russian. It's scenario three from the module and as we tend to play from front to back shows how few games we have played from this set. I am sure though we will be playing yet more in the near future, just from which set?