GAJO Games

GAJO Happenings and Ramblings Blog

2012 - Number 16


Crunch Time

Might and Reason:
SYW Action

With the April Mega-game being the battle of Rossbach using Might and Reason and it being over a year since the last game played at the store using those rules, Chris figured it would be a good idea to run a warm-up game first. This turned out to be a small clash between two armies he’d built since the last Might and Reason game, British (with Hessian and Brunswicker coalition allies) and French (with a contingent of Saxon Cuirassiers thrown in for good measure).

The scenario for the game was that the French had kicked off the campaigning season with a march around the Coalition flank. They’d crossed a major river into the enemy rear and now the Coalition army was trying to drive them back into the river. A few die rolls determined the setting as early on an April morning with rain falling steadily.

Centers About to Clash

Hessians Storm the Manor

Might and Reason has an army builder system that grants a player different point totals depending on the quality of the army commander chosen. The same list will allow far fewer points for a “Great” army commander than for a “Poor” one. The French fighting in Europe in the SYW can have no better than an “Average” commander and that was what they chose. The Coalition went with a “Good” commander. That combined with the French units being, on average, cheaper in points meant that the Coalition forces were outnumbered.

The French were out-scouted and so deployed first. Their right was anchored on a walled Manor that they garrisoned with light infantry, supported to their rear by hussars (irregular cavalry – good for skirmishing but not much else) and some veteran regiments of line. Their center comprised two lines. The first was a mixture of line infantry and heavy artillery. To their rear was a second line made up of the splendidly uniformed regiments of the Garde. Saxon and French heavy cavalry made up the left.

French Cavalry Advance on the Right

French Guard Cavalry Press On

The Coalition deployed their British units on the right and their German allies on the left. Infantry and artillery was to the fore, cavalry to the rear. Since the British were outnumbered two to one in artillery but had a significant advantage with quality of their infantry (particularly in musketry) they lead off the attack, trying to close with the French as quickly as possible.

Despite the rain the French batteries quickly took a toll of the oncoming infantry but the redcoats kept pushing forward, grateful that the rain kept the effects of roundshot from being worse. A bad command roll sent the British Cavalry (still deployed in march-columns) charging the French center where they were sent reeling back by massed volleys.

Brunswick Horse Driven Off

French Guard Counterattack

To help extricate the British horse the German cavalry charged in support, lead by the redoubtable Brunswick Light Horse. They overran some of the French guns but were counterattacked by the cavalry of the French Guard. The magnificently attired “Princes of the Blood” drove back the Germans but then apparently became confused, standing their ground between the lines, incurring mounting casualties from artillery fire and musketry.

When the lines of infantry clashed in the center, the British broke the first French line in fairly short order but were then decimated by volleys from the Garde brigades that had moved up in support. The Garde withstood assaults of horse and foot (the Swiss Guards nobly incurring all the casualties) and managed to hold their position until nighfall. On the French right the Hessians moved up and stormed the walled gardens of the manor but could not eject the surprisingly stubborn Volontaires from the house itself. Repeated urgings from headquarters finally spurred the supine commander of the French reserves on this flank to counterattack.

Cavalry Reforming

British Cavalry Repelled by Mass Volleys

Gary had rolled a commander for this force who was brave but not too bright – a frequently fatal combination. When he finally did lead his men forward he did it from the front. Gary chose to add the maximum +3 for this fearless dimwit’s Valor Bonus to a combat and he was duly shot out of the saddle. With the Chevalier Dopet’s body being carried to the rear the French counterattack stalled and the fighting on this sector sputtered out.

On their left the French cavalry, though well handled, was frustrated by the antics of the Hanoverian Jagers that had crept up in the broken ground along the banks of a stream and kept sniping at them from cover. Running that gauntlet, the French horse then ran into a brigade of Highlanders that refused to break no matter what was thrown at them. The Scots vital performance kept the French from turning the flank of the redcoats in the center.

A Rash and Costly Assault

British Foot Advance Stoically

The first roll for “End of Day” was made at the end of game turn five. Against the odds, both sides rolled five or less on 2 x D6 and the battle ended with the fading of daylight. This was just as well for the French who were one unit above their breakpoint of nine. The Coalition wasn’t much better off having lost six units compared with their breakpoint of seven. Everyone seemed to have fun and came out of the battle with a greatly improved familiarity with the rules with Rossbach only two weeks away.

Coalition Army Arrayed for Battle

French First Line

French Guard in Reserve

Final Charge of the German Lights

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