We had our first attempt at playing Blucher tonight using 200 point armies.
Daz played the Prussians as a defender. He controlled 3 Corps, each containing equal amounts of Landwehr and foot regiments. Each corps had a battery of artillery. Two of Daz's Corp were positioned to defend 2 objectives, with the third Corp in column on his left flank.
I played the French, again with 3 corps. Unfortunately my photography does'nt show my left Corp which was in a column, aimed for the objective on the hill on Daz' right flank. My central corp was positioned to support my attack on Daz's right flank. My rightmost corp was ready to stall any forward movement by the Prussians.
This picture shows the central and right flank from the French position. The first few turns saw the left flank French Corp march towards the hill. The French central corp echeloned towards the centre in support. The Prussians awaited the attack, with both sides artillery firing at vulnerable infantry brigades, grinding them down.
The action started to heat up as a French brigade raced up the hill and destroyed the Prussian artillery deployed there. This became the start of a long battle for control of the hill. Meanwhile both opposing central corps faced off against each other, with the Prussian Landwehr getting the better of the initial volleys. The French right flank was fairly quiet as Daz moved some of His brigades forward to occupy the fields along the road.
The battle for the hill now became a violent affair. The Prussians followed up their initial firing with a round of close combat. Again, the landwehr performed well and threw back the central French Brigades, lowering their élan to half their initial strength. However in doing this, some Prussian brigades become exposed to the flanking French corp on the left French flank. The French central corps called forward it's reserve to bolster the retreating remnants from the Prussian surge forward.
Another round of close combat was again fought, with this time honors being fairly even, with both sides taking casualties. Meanwhile the initial success of the French brigade on the hill top was thrown off by a Prussian infantry Brigade. Daz reserve moved across the remaining elements of his central corp to bolster the now faltering Landwehr militia.
By turn 12 the French left Corp had re-organized for a final push on the hill top objective. Unfortunately for them however, they were now too weak to force away the Prussians, as Daz performed a timely counter attack pushing them away from the hill top. By now the French were becoming tired along the centre, with the Prussians still having a few Brigades in good enough shape to carry out a vigorous defence as needed. The French right flank became a little more active as Daz deployed his final corps elements from reserve. At this stage, both side's artillery had become exhausted and no longer took an active role in the battle.
It now became clear that the French no longer had the strength to continue an attack, particularly as Daz pushed forward some Landwehr in the centre. At this stage of the game, I decided to start to withdraw the left and central French corps towards my own table edge in good order, before the army began to collapse. At this stage of the game we decided to call it 'honors even'. Daz had lost a foot battery and a Landwehr brigade. The French had lost a line infantry brigade.
All in all, it was an entertaining, fast flowing game. The rules were only referred to infrequently, mostly concerning how brigades retreated post combat, usually a common sense answer was obvious and did not slow the game down at all.
The game was certainly encouraging, as Daz is now thinking of digging out some 6mm Prussians from 'a long time ago...'. Whilst the visual appeal isn't quite the same with unit cards, for me it still held enough spirit to visualize what was happening. Now, Hammerhead show is coming up shortly...