Saturday, 12 May 2012

AAR: Command and Colours, Vimeiro 1808.

Had a game of Command and Colours with Phil from 'Diary of an infrequent wargamer' a couple of days ago and thought I'd just chuck up some quick thoughts on the game. Hopefully we'll get a chance to play some more of the scenarios another time. 

The scenario we played was the battle of Vimeiro (1808). The scenario consists of two relatively equal French and British/Portuguese forces facing of, the British start off holding a ridge in the centre with the the town behind. Victory banners (effectively VPs) are won for each unit destroyed and the French could earn 2 banners for holding the town of Vimeiro. 
The battle kicked off with some shuffling of reinforcements from place to place. I didn't really know what I was doing so fairly arbitrarily started moving things around at the back. A lot of bombardment cards came out in my hand early on so I used them up and managed to kill off some of Phil's line to no particular effect with my foot artillery. As it turned out the french artillery would do very little in the game. Phil's main push came on my left flank and some infantry to and fro saw medium casualties on both sides. However, Phil managed to pull his crippled units back, keeping me from claiming many banners, and managed to pick up some himself.

The really decisive phase of the battle came through Phil's use of a few 'Cavalry Charge' cards. This command card allows you to activate up to four cavalry units anywhere on the board, each gaining +1 combat dice. In the centre and on the battered left flank I was forced into forming square, reducing my hand and overall options. I managed to salvage the left with supporting infantry and some decent 'bounce' rolls with the square. However, the centre went to pieces. My artillery was savaged by cavalry before it could shoot. I decided to not form square with one unit of line, resulting in its annihilation (oops). The other units which formed square were pinned in place and then destroyed by infantry volleys taking advantage of the square's inability to retreat (thus inflicting extra casualties when a 'flag' was thrown). Unfortunately I'd left my cavalry too far away at the back to really do any good in return. 

Ultimately I think I've read too many accounts (accurate or not) of battlefields where cavalry where ineffective, charging off into the teeth of the guns or squares and being blown to shreds for their trouble. Command and Colours is too well balanced and thought out to let this happen. Suffice to say I shall be keeping more of a watch on enemy cavalry in the future! Phil won the game a convincing 6 banners to 2 after a couple of hours (including set-up and learning time).  Hopefully I'll be able to give him more of a run for his money next time around!

1 comment:

  1. Cheers for the AAR, Samulus. It was a good game and quite close until late on when I had some decent luck and cards.

    I like how cavalry work in C&C. On their own, they're only really capable of picking off exposed units and are easily shot up by numerous infanrty or chased off by opposing cavalry (even your little reserve should have been sufficient). But combined with infantry and artillery they can be quite merciless - pinning you in place then ravaging you with fire. Sorry, bit of a trial by fire there!

    You'll get me next time I'm sure.



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