I have found over the years that in many ways I am a "bear of very little brain". To be more precise, I am one of those who learns to do better by doing than by just reading or being told something (as long as I have read or been told what I need to know before trying)
Anyway, one learns to cope but the process often involves "do overs" and I've learned not to judge rules in particular without at least three games with analysis in between. Two games is however, enough to report on.
PNW Game 1
. Not having a ground scale to work with, I used the frontages of the armies as a basis for scaling map to table. For the 1st game I decided (against my better judgement
) to use the single deck activation option.
The US had 7 infantry units, the 2 small regiments in the 1st Brigade being amalgamated for game purposes, a unit of light cavalry and an artillery unit not yet on table. The army counted 33 SP's if you leave out the Commander which I did since I was not allowing him to use any of the commander bonuses as previously mentioned. This gave them an exhaustion point of 11.
The British had 2 infantry battalions and a bunch of detachments which is where it got tricky. I ended up putting 2 Elite rifle units for the Voltigeurs and Mohawks and another for the combined flank companies and Canadians in the gully and a 3 SP infantry unit for the detachment from the 89th Foot. They also had a gun and an off table gunboat. In retrospect I should probably have reduced the SP's of the detachments and Voltigeurs 1 more each. I also should have counted the offtable gunboat as firing indirect unless the target was right on the riverbank. At any rate that gave the British 22 SP's and an EP of 8. (I didn't count the gunboat)
I then proceeded to deploy the troops historically and follow the original plans as long as possible.
This was the point where I discovered that I was having trouble remembering all the details of the rules (as simple as they are, the rules are still more complicated, or at least detailed, than any I've played in ages
). In particular, after all these years I have trouble remembering that units roll to hit themselves in melee. (Ok that's a deliberately contrary way of putting it.)
I decided to rename the melee roll as a Saving Throw and that made enough sense that I was able to remember.
What surprised me though was that I hadn't really appreciated how deadly shooting was. A stationary infantry line has a roughly 85% chance of scoring a hit against a target in the open. Even in woods it has a 2/3 chance of hitting dispersed riflemen who have a 1/6 chance to reply effectively. It took me to the last turn to realize that the riflemen could form line in the woods and thus shoot better with no lose in manoeuvrability in the woods. This seemed superficially wrong so I rationalized it as the line representing a unit with a proportion of men skirmishing with the rest in support to the rear.
Since the US forces historically seem to have begun in column with a screen of skirmishers I deployed them in column. In game terms this was as slow as the line but less effective. Even when the columns charged the faux riflemen, the charge bonus was only against line not dispersed. In the ensuing melees the Americans rolled low and suffered heavy SP losses as they pushed the Voltigeurs back. These latter, being Elite, usually rolled up and happily gave ground to avoid losses. So far the result was reasonably historical if a bit too deadly.
In the plain, the US infantry was suffering from deadly artillery fire and struggling to cross the gullies under fire (I treated crossing the gullies as fording a river)
. By the time they struggled into small arms range of the main British line it was all over. They had lost their 11 SP's. Since the British had no strategic need to drive the Americans back, the battle was over. The US had drawn 80% of the activation cards and suffered 80% of the casualties.
I stopped to review the game then decided to shrink the battlefield slightly, add the extra SPs for the general, change the activation method to rolling for initiative and replay the game with a better understanding of the rules.
The resulting game was quite interesting and enjoyable although the US again did not manage to come anywhere as near to success as they did on the day and their artillery barely made it onto the table. I think the British might need to have their SP's weakened a bit as well as reducing the firepower of the gunboat. A new battleplan for the US might also help.
I'd like to try out the Corps game using fictional armies but those troops are still out of service and I have other things I want to do so it'll have to wait.