Monday, July 13, 2015


Josh and I played the Maloyaroslavets scenario from the Russian expansion for Command and Colors: Napoleonics. Many of the scenarios in this expansion are more "historical" than "balanced", but this one seemed pretty balanced, according to the ratings at 
The French have sixteen units and five leaders; they set up occupying the village of Maloyaroslavets, with their backs to the impassible Luzha River--in fact, the two Heavy Cavalry units start behind the river and have to cross a bridge to join the battle. The Russians have nineteen units and four leaders.Victory conditions are ten flags; possession of three of the five village hexes counts as two flags. Josh took the Russians, I took the French.
This was one of those cases where my maneuver cards had a totally different plan than I did. 
The French right only has three units, and a defensible line; I wanted to move my infantry up the hill, ease my cavalry forward to support, and then leave that flank alone. I did get my troops up on a hill and managed to wipe out a Russian unit that trespassed too far. As the game progressed, though, I ended up with a hand that was purely "probe right, attack right, assault right", while I was desperate to shore up my center.
On the left, I advanced when I had cards. The cossacks occupied the woods on my far left; we drove them out with the bayonet, but didn't get any farther. The Russians occupied the woods and hills beyond the church, and I never got the cards to do anything about it.
In the center, I advanced a line unit forward to occupy the farthest town hex. In retrospect, that may not have been the best move, since Josh played "Every Russian From Here To St Petersburg Shoots At You", to the undoing of my infantry. That advance did vacate a town hex for my artillery to advance into, but the Russians had two batteries in position, and cards to fire them, and quickly reduced my battery to one gun and forced it to retreat. I brought up the Old Guard and a heavy cavalry unit and charged, whereupon Josh played BOTH First Strike cards and disrupted my attack; he followed with a Leadership card which wiped out three units and a leader from my center. The heavy cav on his left drove in and crushed my light cav for the last flag. Final score, ten to four, or 11:4 if you count the fact that the Russians had occupied the Church and I couldn't push them out.
I had just drawn my very first "attack center" card of the entire game. I'd had cards which me do things in the center--Grand Maneuver, Fire and Hold, Cavalry Charge--but never more than one at a time and never a specific "center" card.
Despite the way this ended in a debacle for the French, I think the scenario is probably pretty balanced. Josh is a bit better general in this game than I am, and the cards conspired against me and that did me in. 
One annoying thing about the scenarios is that units are set up out of the way. The heavy cavalry, for instance, often starts as they did here, in the rear behind obstacles; you have to use several cards just to get them to the battlefield, much less into action. This scenario started with the Russian guns in good positions but only one of the three French batteries in line, Perhaps other people spend more time slowly developing their position and bringing pieces foward? As for us, we usually have a fight going on and something more pressing to do with our cards,


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