December turned out to be a bit of a disaster. I was down with a stomach bug (the less said about that the better) and Nathan was laid up with gout. The problem there was that Nathan was providing the French for the planned Napoleonic game, so that didn't happen. Luckily Chas was allowed to pass through the border from North Devon into civilisation, so the Marlburian game went ahead. Vince's unbiased and fair report is below. Hopefully some pictures will appear at some point.
On a crisp bright morning Chas, myself and Steve Mathews met for the big December game.
The UK representative for "Wargames Soldiers & Strategy", Guy Bowers, turned up to cover the game, write a review of Rank & File rules and take huge numbers of photographs. Just as well we had a large number of 28mm figures on the table!
Chas confidently deployed his French & Bavarians anchored on a line of 3 villages, with his cavalry in column behind. The man himself sat in his coach well to the rear.
After a brief conflab Steve volunteered to "do the decent thing" and fling himself on the right flank and centre to draw in Chas's reserves, whilst I took the left hand village and broke the weakened line. With his reserves gone, I only had to issue the "brigade will exploit to their front" order to the Austrian cuirassiers and Chas would be taking wine in our camp.
Well, that was the plan.
Steve sent his division across the marshy ground and positioned a brigade of Dutch guard to assault the village. Fire could not touch the defenders and the brave Dutch were checked as they tried to force the issue. Elsewhere guns played along the line to little effect.
Girding their loins, the Dutch launched another battalion at the village and back they came again. Meanwhile in the centre Prussian infantry and Austrian dragoons threw themselves on the French infantry.
Wurtemberg horse tried their luck on the other end of the line and were sent packing for their pains.
Again and again the allies threw themselves at the French and went back in the same old fashion.
Eventually Steve took the righthand village and I took the lefthand one. Now was the moment and the remains of a brigade of horse charged the French cavalry. Back they came and the triumphant French cavalry got a face full of cannister and musket balls from the supporting Prussian line for their pains.
Cuirassiers cut down horse and infantry shot up cuirassiers and still Steve ground slowly forward.
With night falling a truce was agreed. Chas sat safe in his coach, the Allies held the villages, but only the crows had a good day. Despatches were dictated to scribes on both sides, telling very different stories of how the day had gone.
All in all a good game to a very fast set of rules. The horse and musket set from Crusader are not as well structured as the ancients version, but they give a fast flowing game and a decent result.
You can't legislate for luck and Chas should be ashamed of the pact he made with the Devil.