Saturday, March 20, 2010

More on St. Michel

I took the opportunity to raid my son's archives for a few of his shots from the St. Michel games.  Here we step back from the imaginary world for a moment, and find co-gamemaster Ross refreshing his memory on some aspect of the Charge! rules (here the 1986 Athena reprint that I carry to conventions) prior to the start of Scenario 3, the Battle of St. Michel.

Scenario 3, for reasons that are not clear to me, since I thought that we started at a sensible time (6pm on Friday), was massively undersubscribed.  We press-ganged my sons, my older son's college roommate, and a spare Hawk, also of college age,  to actually play the scenario.  This was the one scenario where Ross and I dropped our mask of impartiality and commanded some of our own troops, though we chose to face each other on the quiet flank of the action, leaving the meat of the fight to the younger generation.

Ross will cover this "in role", but my player-level observation on Charge! is that a major infantry assault will not reach the target without losing a screen of some sort, and if you're not prepared for that, it would be better not to make the assault in the first place. The advancing Pragmatic infantry in the center of the table suffered severely under Alliance artillery fire, so much so that we never actually were able to assault the town.  Had we started with a major cavalry advance, the infantry might have been able to advance within musket range of the objective in a fit condition for the assault.  As it was, the Alliance delivered the bold cavalry charge at just the right moment, not us, and a regiment of Freedonian infantry crumpled under a charge by the Yellow Hussars, undoubtedly itching for revenge after their rough handling at the hands of the S-B dragoons some days previously.  It only took six or seven turns to realize that we would have to withdraw or risk having the entire army cut to pieces in the follow-on scenarios.
Here the S-B Prince's Dragoon Guards, deployed at full regimental strength for the first time for this raid,  have nothing to do but stand around looking pretty, trapped as they are behind all the infantry to their front in the center of the table.


  1. Well at least you got to have lots of pretty toys on the table top . . . 40mm guys too, aren't they? . . . nice big fellows.

    -- Jeff

  2. Where did you say my picture was? And who's the old grey haired "fart" anyway? oh dear. At least its better than last year's picture of the Zombie game master.

    Yes one must be resolute in attack. Since the rules are at heart early Napoloenic, a screen of light infantry to mask and shoot at the guns while the infantry advanced but at very least a brisk advance with a 2nd line behind the attack to move through and carry the target once the front rank falters might have done it. Having the North Polemburg infantry suddenly appear on the flank didn't help either as iir, the attacking infantry stalled under artillery fire at that point.
    The confusion over artillery lines of fire from the hills didn't help either. Didn't take long to silence the Rosmark gun once the attacking guns were in position to fire.