Sunday, 25 September 2022

Piquet Redux

 We finished off the game of Soldiers of Napoleon about which I was complaining here. We down graded the over-powerful British skirmishers, which certainly made things better, but the game still limped to a fairly unsatisfactory conclusion. Even before the usual post-game discussion there was clearly an unspoken consensus that SoN had run its course, at least for the time being. The rules have many good features, but things don't half take a long time to get going, and just when they do the game seems to be over because one side runs out of morale. I am quite prepared to believe that we aren't playing it in the right way, but then perhaps that in itself doesn't reflect well on the rulebook as published.

In any event, this last week we stayed in the Peninsular, but returned to Piquet with the best elements of SoN (as defined by James) incorporated. The version of Piquet now in use for this period (and indeed that used for the Seven Years War) have migrated a fair distance from the original core rules and incorporate bits and pieces that we have liked in other games; the primary influences before the latest amendments being Piquet's sister ruleset Field of Battle and Black Powder. It all seemed to gel together better than it had any right to, especially since the rest of us often didn't know what the rules actually were until we tried to do something.  What it did do was produce a rather good game.

It was  a Charles Grant scenario based, I am told, on Fontenoy. Given my earlier observation about games of SoN starting slowly it was perhaps just as well that, as the attacker, I got the bulk of the early initiative and was able to move forwards. I was literally one dice roll away from having one of infantry divisions broken leading to inevitable defeat, but turned the card necessary to bolster their morale and never looked back. I eventually won because the British guns in the redoubts were unable to inflict any casualties on the French cavalry as they advanced past them and then the British cavalry commander died in slightly unfortunate circumstances as he tried to rally them.

We going to swap sides and give it another go next week. Piquet always produces a different game and both sides have the advantage of learning where not to deploy (the British infantry need to be nearer the village in the centre and the French should probably not bother trying to advance through the wood), but we shall be lucky if it is as entertaining.

1 comment:

  1. It certainly sounds like you enjoyed your more recent game a lot more than the trial of SoN.