Friday, June 15, 2012

Post-battle Musings: Day 2 of the Battle at Guillaume Le Roy

As always, I like to take a look back over a game and reflect on it a bit to see what worked and what didn't.

What Worked:

  • Mechanics wise, the up/down dice for variable movement - Roll two dice of different colors. One is a positive modifier, one is negative. Add together. If the result is positive, it's a bonus tacked onto the base movement rate. If it's negative, it's taken off of the base movement rate. I got this idea from a document on the Yahoo! solo wargaming group.
  • I love the way G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. scatters a unit every which way when it fails morale. I know some people dislike this because it's time consuming and they just roll once for the entire unit. I had the time so I rolled per figure per the rules - which resulted in the awesome spectacle of a single trooper charging the well-defended enemy fort. Fortunately for him, I called the game soon after.

  • The Solo DBA rules work amazingly well in guiding my decisions for the non-player side. The results feel logical. While I do have to use some interpretation I'm not just duplicating what I would do in a given situation. Indeed, my opponent was more tactically astute than me.
**Edit: I almost forgot - I ruled that I had to decide on my move before rolling the up/down result. For the NPG, I rolled first and then incorporated that into the decision making process to give them a slight advantage. I think this worked well for that purpose. For getting me to perhaps play more thoughtfully, it had no impact.

What Didn't:

  • Forgetting to place the 1/2 unit native "guard"with Colonel Dietrich. I think they would have taken the hit that killed him. It's unlikely though that this was a turning point in the battle since not a single Riesling unit failed their morale test before their next activation The 1/2 unit will return as recovered troops in the next battle - combined into the other native units.

  • My strategy. I used random placement of the units. And then instead of sticking to my plan to mass my entire force against either the fort or the town depending on the non-player setup, I kept my force split the way they were dealt. The first day of the battle I used the same approach. Definitely not a method for decisive victory.
  • I misread the campaign rules (for those just joining us, I go them from Saxe-Bearstein) and allowed Sauvignon-Blanc to roll for recovered troops after the first day. As they have been pushed back to their capital, this is not allowed. They should have started day two with only the two imperial units + the steam walker.

    As it was, I don't think their native units had much of an impact - yes they took out a number of Riesling native troops, but certainly the rifle armed troops in the fort would have had a bit of a duck hunt waiting for the melee weapon only Riesling native force to reach them. I assume too that the Sauvignon-Blanc riflemen would have all targeted the artillery straight away and so its complete failure to effect the battle would not have been improved any. Still, I will not roll for Sauvignon-Blanc again before the next battle.

For next time:

  • Riesling gets a new unit in addition to the troops they recovered (I rolled this already). They're getting a 2nd unit of artillery. Whether or not it will see action in the next clash, I don't know. I'm thinking of a rear guard delaying action with Major Heidegger planning to engage Sauvignon-Blanc in full two campaign moves from now, at Fort Sinn (formerly Fort Candide).
  • I also may use the Solo DBA rules to run both sides just to see what happens. Maybe I'll learn something about tactics!

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