Sunday, March 27, 2011

First PvP playtest of Fire and Fury (and a bit of ASL)

Today me and my regular wargames opponent, Simo, played a playtest battle for the Fire and Fury rules. We played the Battle of Newmarket scenario taken from as it wasn't too big and had infantry, artillery and cavalry to try out.

I had played the same scenario by myself solitarire style before to get to know the rules but now we played full Pvp. Simo was quick to pick up what I had learned from the rules and we quickly got a nice pace to the game. I think we played four hours overall. In the beginning as per scenario setup, the scattered union forces face a concentrated attack by conferedate forces. Simo was playing the confederates and he got off to a good start by kicking the butts of the two or three brigades facing his forces with superior troops and solid dice rolling. The confederate forces advanced quickly towards the Bushong farm line while the union forces scrambled in an uncoordinated retreat. The union reinforcements did get to deploy in time and the Sigel was able to dress the defensive line in the last minute.

Now that the Union line was in proper order, the confederates faced a more challenging task. The union guns and muskets started to disorder and whittle down the confederate line and their attack ran out of impetus. The two lines exchanged fire for a couple of turns without either side gaining the upper hand.

At this point we calculated victory points and found out the confederates, having decimated several brigades, were in a healthy lead. Seeing that the confederacy didn't need to advance anymore to win, I attempted a charge with the union troops to even the score. Charging headlong to the front of confederate brigades with cavalry might be a cinematic sight, but it is also suicidal. Several stands removed, the attackers retreated in disorder. We decided that we didn't need to play the final turn of the scenario as it was getting late.

The game was fun and filled with entertaining events, even though the ruleset is fairly abstract. I also already remember a lot of the dice/firepower modifiers in game by heart, which speeds up play nicely. I'll just have to wait for those laser cut bases I ordered from Litko to come so we don't have to play with pieces of cardboard.

Also, me and Juniori (another regular opponent) played a game of ASL yesterday. Scenario 49 "Piercing the Peel" from Last Hurrah. It was a German versus Dutch match in 1940.  The board was countryside with hills, hedges, grain and orchards. The Dutch had a trenchline with three pillboxes but the pillboxes were facing the wrong way. The germans had managed a surprise attach to the rear.

The german objective was to take two of the three pillboxes. The dutch are not very good quality troops especially compared to the Germans, but they managed to put up a fight. In the end, the Germans didn't manage to take more than one pillbox. According to the rules, taking a pillbox isn't very easy as you cannot advance into melee with the occupants but have to shoot them all dead in order to enter. I think we may have gotten some rule wrong with this, as it didn't seem that realistic. I'll have to look into it.

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