Saturday, July 12, 2008

More Maneouvre

Eric’s choice again, and he wanted to play some more Manoeuvre, fine by me, as I haven’t played since we last played it.

We ended up with him taking the Turks, and me the Prussians. My initial hand saw all 3 of the ‘Forced March’ dealt out, unfortunately. One of my favorite cards, as it allows an unexpected play as you dash a unit to a better position for attack, but all together rather cramped my hand otherwise. Most of his infantry was committed to the one side, his cavalry to the other. I ran a weak unit into the town on the edge of the map on my right flank, and his good infantry buzzed around it the whole game, while I pounded on the left with the major part of my force. I managed to break through his lines with my big ‘8’ infantry unit, and then used it twice to surround and kill units.

We went back and fore a bit on my left flank, as I stupidly trapped one of my cavalry units against the map edge, leaving it no retreat path and an easy kill. At the end, I was up 4-3 in kills, and drew my last cards to end the game and take the win in spaces 10-2.

This had taken only an hour, so we started a new game, this time I picked the Spanish and Russians, and Eric picked the Spanish. The map had all the terrain on my left flank, with a wide open plain on the right. We started with an extended period of jockeying for position, until Eric pushed forward on my right, but was pounded by my Cossacks.

Once again I was able to separate Eric’s left and right wings, ganging up on individual units to force their destruction. Eventually I was able to get the final unit surrounded for a 5-4 (or was it 3?) win on unit losses. Highlights (or not) of the game was me managing to roll 2d8+2d6 in one big attack and managing to roll a grand total of 7. Yep, 7. Another time Eric played a defense card on my attack, and I managed to oblige him by rolling a 1 so my attacker took a hit. Still, I had a few good rolls at other points, so it all evened out in the wash.

This is still a very fun game, and the more I play the more I appreciate certain cards. I initially thought that ‘Skirmish’ was a bit weak, but it’s really useful to suck in defense cards and to allow a unit to switch focus quickly, as that 2 space movement is very useful. ‘Forced March’ is still one of my favorites, for the same reason. However, well, there really is no ‘however’. It’s a fun beer and pretzels game, that gets you thinking how best to deal with your opponent, your hand, and the available terrain. I look forward to playing more of it, and I could see it knocking on the door of my top ten wargames.

My choice for next time, again. I’m torn between more Devil’s Cauldron and Napoleon’s Triumph, but it will be the latter.

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