As the sun set last evening and the shadows grew long, General von Drosselmaier made the difficult decision to withdraw his remaining forces from Pelznikkel and begin moving up the postal road toward Krankenstadt, remarking to one of his officers, “I suppose in Krankenstadt, they will say I have been beaten.”
For his part, Zichenauer general Phillipe de Latté moved into Pelznikkel with his usual French flourish, called for his pipe, Colonel von Finknottle, and his fiddlers three. He then sent word to Princess Antonia III, informing her that he had won the day, von Drosselmaier’s army was in flight, and the Stollenian capital was just a day’s march away march away. De Latté also mentioned in his dispatch that the Duchy of Schleiz would almost certainly become Zichenauer soil again. Finally, he turned to Colonel von Finknottle and, in recognition of his Newt’s performance at Zollamtstadt and Pelznikkel, promoted “Gussie” to the rank of acting general of infantry. Imagine what Lady Madeline Bassett will say in
Now, several of you have asked for my thoughts post-game. Well, I thought it went very well for a solo affair, although it was a bit different from my games with green plastic WWII soldiers and tanks in the sand pile when I was eight!
Moving the individual Stollenian and Zichenauer soldiers around didn’t take too terribly long although the battle that unfolded turned largely into an infantry versus artillery affair with only a minor cavalry and infantry skirmish that ended quickly. I attribute that to each general keeping his "cavalry in a bandbox” as Lord Raglan is reputed to have said about the British cavalry in the
The tactical chance cards worked well, introducing a sudden summertime cloudburst at the beginning of Turn 2, which halted all activity on the field for two turns, quickly advancing the game to Turn 4. Oddly, General de Latté continually drew chance cards that had a bad effect – infantry with damp cartridges, cavalry stumbling onto rough ground, and the like.
Von Drosselmaier, on the other hand, drew cards that had relatively good effects -- plusses to musketry and artillery fire -- and yet he still lost the game. I think that the chance cards, and the random events they introduce, will also have their place in a standard two-payer game, helping to introduce a bit more of the frustration factor for the respective player-generals. Parenthetically, I’ve combed through Christopher Duffy’s Warfare in the Age of Reason, and added to my list of random tactical events, bringing the list up to a nice round 50!
The Charge rules are fine for the type of games I am after. I do need to draw up a referral sheet or two to speed play a bit. Yesterday, I used the Charge reference sheet from the Files section at OSW, but it needs a few more details added to it, so I don’t need to refer to the book repeatedly. All in all, the game took just over three hours with a dinner/coffee break about 7:30. In short, I had a blast playing with my soldiers, and it was almost like being eight years old and in the sand pile at my grandmother’s house again! Now, comes the clean-up. :-(