With the CDC indicating that vaccinations against COVID are highly effective, we thought it time to have a gathering of fully vaccinated gamers for the first time since the Pandemic started. Interestingly one of the participants let me know my last Muskets and Marshals game held in early 2020, was his last game before the pandemic struck, so very fitting that we should reintroduce social gaming with a Napoleonic Muskets and Marshals reprise.
For this latest test of Rolica I tweaked a few of the rules for the larger battalions yet again, and all worked out very well. I reduced the fire power of skirmishers a bit, and moderated the effect of disorganization in melee. Neither tweak had any effect on the length of the game or the fun and speed of a combat or firefight resolution. Many, many thanks to Striker over at the Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargame Figures blog for his work on these fantastic and fun rules. I love the old school feel of the simultaneous movement, which really helps speed the game along.
|The Likely suspects: James, Stephen, Eddie, Mike and David - a great crew to open up the garage to and have some fun.|
|A quick review of the historical situation, a very brief review of the rules, and we were off the the races.|
|Jockeying for position under the glow of the Miller Lite Billiards fixture.|
|British canon fire opens the ball.|
|The 71st moves forward - they would play a crucial role in the actions ahead.|
|Wellington briefs his staff for his first at bat in the Peninsula. The French on the hill in the background ready to repel the invaders.|
|Four companies of the 39th take up position at the top of the hill over-looking steep cliffs. Two of the battalion's six companies have been sent to garrison a small village where one of Wellington's flanking columns have been seen approaching.|
|To the right of the cliffs two British battalions Come into assault position. The Gordon Highlanders will assault up a steep slope while the 50th follow the creek bed into the valley to hopefully come up behind the 39th. |
|But wait, what is this, just as the 42nd are thrown into confusion, the Legion Hanovrienne (playing a Swiss battalion), reverse muskets and surrender to the British. They have had enough of the mistreatment by their French overlords!|
|The sacrifice of the highlanders was not in vain however. Having drawn the French forward, they would find themselves completely cut off from the rest of their army.|
|Back on the right, despite the steepness of the hill, the Gordons have charged home, disordering the remaining four companies of the 39th.|
battle hangs in the balance, but what is this - 2 battalions of
Portuguese suddenly appear and begin their inexorable march to the rear
of the French formations. Another "1" at the beginning of the 8th turn
has triggered the third special event!|
|Suddenly the closeness of the battle is explained, as old Nosey apparently left the field of battle to go have a chat with the village laundresses! Clearly that happy event was suppressed in the history books of the time...|
What a fun day it was! A special thanks to my friends who sacrificed being outside on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to spend time around a games table. Fortunately we were able to leave the garage doors open, so it almost felt like being outside. A special thanks to David R for taking some absolutely wonderful photographs, and to Eddie and his son James who drove eighty miles each way to join us! Thanks to Mike for providing good beer and a thorough reading of the rules and to Stephen, whose humor when half of his force defected kept a smile on all our faces. Can't wait for the next time!