Wednesday, January 3, 2007

First Game

Click on the picture to see a larger, more legible version

The highlighted units entered on the turn indicated. The closest British battalion charged up the hill at the French battalion. The British were in line and the French were in column. The French countercharged and the results (for the British) were ugly.

The other British unit tried to advance into range of the building but were chewed up turn after turn by the French artillery on the heights. About halfway there, the British were charged by the French cavalry that you see next to the artillery. The British formed a hasty square and repulsed the cavalry which fled past the town.

On turn 5 the British cavalry entered on the far side and charged the French guns to silence them. The other British foot battalion entered behind the cavalry and started to make their way up the hill.

The French artillery decided to run away from the cavalry in hopes of returning. It didn't work that way. The guns and artillerists were overrun and the British cavalry broke through. The cavalry shot forward and collided with the French cavalry that were in retreat from the square above the town. The French broke quickly but the British horses were blown.

Here is the email we sent to Buck Surdu after the game, with Buck's reply added in red:

Hi Buck,

It’s Ray & Ed here in San Antonio. We hope the holidays were good to you.

We had our first chance to have a go with Wellington rules a couple of days ago. Ed set up a scenario and we played it through. We didn’t do it to play as much as get a grasp of the WR mechanics.

Having had played The Sword and Flame years ago, I had a pretty good idea what I was in for with the variable movement and stragglers. However placing those mechanics in the context of musket ranges and effectiveness was a hurdle I had to cross.

The first melee demonstrated the foolishness of getting caught in line by a battalion in column as my British two line infantry disintegrated when Ed charged with a larger three line French battalion.

However, when my British light dragoons overran his battery and then continued on to smack into his cavalry, there wasn’t much left of either. The British LD’s horses were blown in the process but were still able to do significant damage.

In the end, we had a good time and we think that we understand most of the rules as you have written them. However, there were some points about which we are unclear.

The first is whether firing arcs are measured from the center of each casting or the center of the unit (reference section 9, paragraph 2 compared to paragraph 5 and figure 5). My impression is the fire is conducted by unit, but arcs and ranges are by individual castings. The reference to the arc of a unit in the second paragraph and in the figure is really describing the beaten ground.

Buck's Answer: Firing arcs are measured by figure, so it is possible for some of the figures to be able to fire at a target but not all of them.

This ties into another question. We had an instance wherein only a portion of a firing unit’s casting were eligible to fire on a target. However the remaining castings another target within their range and arc. Can the unit, in this case, split fire? The 5th paragraph in section 9 would seem to indicate not, but that reference might be assuming that there are no other eligible targets available to casting within a firing unit.

Buck's Answer: A unit may only fire at multiple targets if the unit has been issued more than one order during the order phase. This can create a challenge for a player who thinks he is about to be charged by multiple columns. You either have to dilute your fire by breaking the firing unit into multiple firing "platoons" hoping to force all the columns to fail their rolls to close, or really smack one hoping to remove that units weight from the subsequent melee.

The cavalry action described above prompted another question. Can blown horses be recovered at any point during the game? We could find nothing in the rules that tells us explicitly that once blown they stay that way for the duration of the game. In the absence of any instruction on how to rest cavalry, we assumed that they stay that way.

Buck's Answer: Blown horses remain blown for the remainder of the game.

Well, that’s about it for now. I have to say that the rules seem pretty clear and crisp. If you can give us clear guidance on the questions above, we would be most appreciative. If you would like to monitor the progress of our project to get this Wellington Rules mega-game on the table at Millennium 10, visit our blog at from time to time.

Ray & Ed

No comments: