There was a break in the action as Faraway's redcoats struggled to advance and reform prior to a final assault on Oberhilse's new line. Since the moves and ranges were slightly longer and the forces smaller, I had only set a turn limit of 12 turns. There was no time to waste.
At last, after a brief bombardment the assault went in. The Tigers and Buffs vs the disordered Blue Guards, 2 Volunteer units against Blue's battered regular brigade, the Victoria Rifles against the gun and the Kapelle Mounted Rifles against the 3rd unit of Oberhilse regulars. The Blue Guards held against twice their numbers and the Mounted Rifles drove back the battered and disordered 2nd Infantry and then rode them down during the pursuit. On the hill though, 3 Oberhilse units rolled 9 dice and scored seven 5's and 6's while taking 1 hit in exchange! Faraway was repulsed all along the line! On their half of the turn the Blue Dragoons counter attacked hitting the Lancer's and routing them, pursuing into the Victoria Rifles and dispersing them before they could rally!
There was one turn left and Red had only 1 infantry unit that was not disordered. The Belmont Rifles were sent forward in a Hail Mary assault on the battered 1st Infantry while the quickly rallied York Volunteers and a battery opened up on the Blue Dragoons, who only had 1 hit left. It was a long shot that any of the Blue units would be destroyed and if Blue only lost 1 unit he would still be able to hold his ground and win the game. It was Red's turn to roll high though, the Volunteers rallied and scored a 5 while the battery rolled a 6, enough to inflict the necessary hit on the cavalry. It was down to the Belmont lads and they came through 2 hits on 3 dice and the veteran 1st Infantry was swept away bringing General Zinn's command to over 50% units lost and forcing him to concede and retreat. The pass was clear!
It doesn't get much closer than that!
|Game's End. Last Turn. Red manages a last minute rally and a Hail Mary charge to win the day.|
Thankfully the result of these two games is that both the 1/72nd ACW and 40mm Atlantic games are confirmed as "on track" and I can continue puttering on them as I feel like it, a few figures here and there, some basing and repairs to be done, some odds and sods and interesting bits to add as it pleases me.
It did occur to me though that while the 40mm troops work OK off grid, they didn't benefit from it since the little units look very Game-ish rather than dioramic anyway. Several times as I searched for the measuring stick and tried to manoeuvre around vague terrain I found myself wishing I had decided to just use the grid. To that end I will persevere with completing grid friendly terrain so that I can quickly lay out an attractive game and get playing. That'll be a better use of my time than doubling the size of the armies.
I did notice one minor issue though and not for the first time. When I decided to drop the Orders dice concept I fell back on the old roll if beyond command radius method (Probably inspired by Koenigkreig originally but dating back to the original Colonial version of With MacDuff to the Frontier). It works OK except that its a nuisance, it rarely makes a difference, doesn't model how things actually work and I keep forgetting about it anyway. I don't want to go back to Orders dice or adopt every turn activation style command rolls such as the F&IW version of MacDuff used.
I'm currently contemplating two options. One is to cut back on Commanders and just use them for boosting morale and combat, leaving it to the chance deck to interfere with player's plans. The other is to go for some sort of Brigade/Detached unit Orders rule as in Attack X or Defend Y with a definition of what is allowed or forced under each order and a die roll to accept a change of orders. Needs some thought then maybe some testing.