Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Monday, 20 May 2019

Maurice Campaign - kick-off and game one The Battle of Wevelgem


Wednesday saw myself and Drew kick off a War of the Spanish Succession campaign using the Maurice rules. We've had a few games with the rules now and the campaign system looks rather good, although is geared for more than two players.

I would play the allied and Drew would play the forces of Louis XIV.

The church at Wevelgem, the Dutch objective for the day
Drew picked a French force with some Bavarian infantry, based around a core of elite horse with the Cavaliers national advantage, my Allied force was much more of a mish-mash of Dutch, English, Scottish, Swiss, Danes and Hessians under a common banner, I took the 'Rally to the Colours' and 'Depot Battalions' national advantages.

Our first game would be the Battle of Wevelgem a village near the border of Picardie as the Allies attempted to drive the French back behind their forts.

The starting deployments, French nearest

The battle would be fought on rugged terrain and although neither side had any suitable scouts the Dutch easily won the scouting roll and elected to attack.

The Dutch placed three pieces of terrain choosing two low hills and a village while the French also chose two low hills and village and completed the layout with a ploughed field in the center of the table. The hills don't show up too well in the photos as they are under the cloth, so we decorated them with a few trees and in one case a windmill.

Conscripts of Regt. Greder await the Dutch attacks
The Dutch commander chose a unit of Wurtemburg cavalry for his mercenaries.

The French deployed their infantry out front supported by their guns and held their cavalry in a refused position to their centre left.  The Dutch had a solid center of infantry with horse on each flank, their guns were deployed to support the right of the infantry attack and the cavalry on that flank.


The Dutch began with a general advance throwing forwards their infantry and guns supported by the horse on their right, their horse on the left remained passive for now. The French took the opportunity to reinforce their hand and resulted to passing or bombardments for the initial few turns.

The French then committed their horse to their left to hopefully stem the Dutch advance, outclassed, the Dutch horse on that flank halted just out of range and their guns were deployed to try to disrupt the elite French horse, the Dutch infantry continued their relentless advance although the large field in the centre soon made that much harder to coordinate.

Dutch horse halt in the face of the French cavalry and prepare to bring up the guns to support them.
 Le Compte de Frou Frou continued with his bombardment of the Dutch advance and soon the first casualties of the day were taken when Dalrymples battalion of Scotsmen in Dutch service, already disrupted by their passage through the corn fields were broken by gunfire!

Death of a Hero played on the French soon saw the honours even though.

The prepared French positions, it does not show too well, but the guns are on a low rise behind the infantry they are supporting.
To try to break up the threat on my right I played a Confusion on the advancing French horse and although it held them up slightly Drew soon played a Coordinated to get them back into formation, my plans were foiled!

The Dutch infantry were now in musket range of the French and I prevented the initial French volley by playing 'Firefight' to prevent it.

Le Compte De Frou Frou, should his troops be worried that he looks to his rear instead of at the advancing Dutch
 With the French cavalry advancing on my right it was time to start softening up with my guns and I'd been holding on to a 'Well Laid Guns', so duly tore into them and missed with both barrels - bah humbug!

Drew countered with a Confusion of his own drawing my Nassau Saarsbrucken horse out into a trap. I really needed to Rally my foot for the onslaught in the center was going my way but I should make use of my 'Rally to the Colours' to force the advantage.

Bugger!

In the eventuality the Nassau Saarsbrucken horse did not do so badly and were able to regroup and rally from the outnumbering thunderous charge of the French horse.

The infantry slog had evened out somewhat and the lines were thinning alarmingly, although the French were only at Army Morale 3 and I was still at Army Morale 5.

The Allied foot punish their opposite numbers

The French horse charged in again destroying my Nassau Saarsbrucken horse, but 'The Death of a Hero' combined with wiping out his elite Regt. Crussol foot saw the French morale break and the Dutch gain a Marginal Victory.

Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our pursuit and only earned two Epic Points for the battle while the French gained one.

There may soon be a whiff of grape!

Having lost six units in the game my 'Depot Battalions' really paid off as three of them, including the valiant Nassau Saarsbrucken were rebuilt at Trained status rather than dropping to Conscripts. Also Hays Dragoons were promoted to Trained status. The Nassau Usingen and Dalrymple foot were reformed at Conscript status.

The Dutch alliance now comprises five Trained horse, one Elite foot, three Trained foot and five Conscript foot supported by two artillery.

Although I had only earned two Epic Points, Michael von Pfanenstein joined my forces.

Infantry on the French right, however the Dutch horse is rather sluggish

Having been destroyed the French elite Regt. Normandie were replaced by Conscripts, although the fates were good to the French with both the I/Champagne and Bourbonaisse foot being promoted to Elite status.

This leaves the French three Elite horse, two Elite foot, two Trained foot and six Conscript foot, supported by three artillery.

Their latest rosters can be found here for the French and here for the Dutch.
Early phase of the action
The French deployments around the church at Wevelgem

This Dutch attack was repulsed, although the Regt. Normadie and all the guns were doomed.






20 comments:

  1. I've found that armies based around horse don't really do that well in Maurice, especially in a campaign setting where the horse are easily destroyed such that they rapidly become conscripts. So I'll be interested in seeing how it pans out for the French.

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    1. Maybe Maison du Roi would be a suitable National Advantage for the French. Depot Battalions certainly made a differece for me.

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  2. Good start to the campaign...for the Dutch! I will be following your campaign with interest.

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  3. I've played Maurice a few times and really enjoyed it..great system. I'm looking forward to reading more battle reports as the campaign continues!

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    1. Cheers Jim, the only downside I have found with Maurice is that it does not scale to multi-player games.

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  4. Splendid stuff, look forward to seeing the campaign unfold.

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  5. Really nice campaign game, sounds like a good result for the Dutch in spite of everything!
    Best Iain

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    1. Cheers Iain, not a bad start for the Dutch although the French army seems to be doing well with raising troops up to Elites in the post-battle phase.

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  6. Great looking game Scrivs.
    I really enjoy Maurice on the rare occasions we play it.
    No sign of the hills but my eyes aren't what they were...
    Best wishes,
    Jeremy

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    1. Thanks Jeremy, maybe we need to start pitting them atop the cloth for future games.

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  7. I will be following this. Love Maurice, and applaud your choice of Depot Battalions - very handy in a campaign.

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    1. Thank You, I think it was indeed a good choice.

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  8. I hope that my name sake serves you well. Maurice is one of my favorites.

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    1. Thanks Mike, he gets his first command this week, I'll let you know.

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  9. Sounds tremendous, lovely windmill and armies!

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  10. Great to see some maurice! We use the do it yourself cards as extra coordinated cards to move things along.

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