Tuesday 18 August 2015

Coulmiers revisited (Franco-Prussian War wargame)

In June I reported on my first playtests of the Coulmiers BBB scenario. Last night we played the revised scenario, again getting two games in in 3 hours.

Mark commanded the French, while Gung-Ho-Garry and I took the Bavarians. I say Gung-Ho because as Mark's French deployed towards both flanks to avoid massed German artillery, Garry spotted an isolated French brigade and promptly abandoned the objective he was holding and launched a pre-emptive Bavarian attack. He punched through the weak French centre and then turned south to crush their right, while I was able to hold their left at bay, despite the appearance of Lipowski's francs-tireurs. The French only took one objective - a crushing Bavarian win.

So we re-set and Mark tried again with a different plan, shifting most of his weight to the northern flank. Bavarian aggression played into French hands somewhat this time, exposing our troops to French crossfires in the open. Our isolated outpost in the south was overrun, but held out long enough that the French could only reach one of the three southern objectives in time; and the random event this time was the untimely withdrawal of Reyau's cavalry, meaning that instead of being in a position to claim two or even three of the northern objectives, the French had to settle for one.

Two clear wins for the Bavarians, on top of the previous two playtests, did indicate that more tweaking is needed for play balance. I've made some changes which I hope should make it an even fight now, without over-correcting. The latest revision of the scenario is in the BBB Yahoo group files now. (As the scenario was unbalanced, I won't claim these as wins for my victory tally for the year.)

I should also mention last week's game, another outing for Colin's WWII air battle rules. This time I was piloting Me 410s and 109s. The Zerstoerer emptied their magazines taking down several B-17s, then got away unharmed because the Mustangs latched onto my team-mate's Sturmstaffel instead. Colin had arbitrarily decided on a victory target requiring us to inflict about 60% losses on the bombers, which I think was impossible because we would have run out of ammo first, even if there weren't any P-51s or defensive 50-cal to worry about. We destroyed 20% of the B-17s which would have looked bad on most US mission reports of the time. Let's call it a draw.

My running tally for the year, not counting games I referee or the unbalanced playtests:

Games played to conclusion - 22.
Won - 10.
Drawn - 4.
Lost - 8. 

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