Monday, March 2, 2009

Levee Cafe' Game Followup - Part 2

Here are a few random or at least somewhat random things about the scenario we played at the Levee Café and my opinions on the topics:

I have/had attempted to keep the issue that George had scheduled Recon on the same day as minor or back burner issue. However as much grief as I caught about it I will be much more “open” about it this time. We scheduled our date for this game about a month before George scheduled Recon however too many people believe it was the other way around. Fitz has been an adamant about stepping on this as soon as he sees/hears it, I know think that is what I must do.

I had personally kept the much of the scenario under wraps as I didn’t want one side or the other to have any advantage outside of the historical context of the Scenario. I think that was a great plus, the game turned out very much like I had anticipated, the allies would try two different approaches to the virtually the same situation (concentrate on one board in one side and spilt forces on the other to fight on two boards.) The French would begin by being cautious and continue feeding corps into two of the boards.
In the context of the overall Campaign/Scenario they chose to do what Napoleon decided against doing, Napoleon fell back towards Leipzig and concentrate his Army. The result however was much the same, the French basically one the battles but lost the war and would be forced to retire taking the same amount of casualties just in a different series of battles.

I wish I would have given the players more options to move (more arrows and intermediary boxes) as it would have greatly increased the challenge for both sides overall.

Marching on to the boards was a challenge; of course my decision on how it would work was implemented 18 different ways from Tuesday. I obviously need to be much clearer. I had to laugh because I knew Jim who was so focused on the words “march column” would be the most vocal about the ‘rules changing’ during the course of the day and I told a couple people early on I would hear about it later in the day. I tried an approach I thought would get the least amount of abuse, of course I was wrong.
In the next game I already have a plan for a different approach; one I think will get a better result. Now to just to be clearer in explaining how it works.

The Scenario was designed for 18 to 24 players, we had approximately 36 players indicate they would be in attendance, so I figured cutting that number in half was a safe bet. We ended up with 14 players, while it was playable, it would have been a lot faster with even two more players four additional players would be even more bonus.

I got too caught up in the number of players telling me they planned on attending, so I kept expanding the scenario and making plans for what happens if everyone shows up. Thus instead on concentrating on the things I should have I was working on other things. Russian Light Cavalry anyone, oh we have 20 stands too many.

For some reason I thought we had a lot more “regular” French available than we did, otherwise I would have flocked up more bases, not that would have helped the other problems in the order of battle, but at least there should have been fewer unpainted stands.
I will be adding a few more Saxon and Italians to my forces over the next few weeks, but we need to get other German states and French Allies represented, Berg, Danes, Hamburg, Westphalia, Neapolitan, and of course Swedes for Allies side as well.
I am in talks with Jack Ladd to see how much it will cost me to get a Bavarian Army painted, I own the figures, but just like my 12,000 other unpainted figures I need to get them done and having an outside painter do it might be the fastest and only guaranteed way to get it done.

I did a lot of hinting to players about things on Saturday, next time there will be less hinting and more “Here is exactly what I think.” While I purposely avoid stopping people from mistakes (make the mistake, learn from it and move on is my attitude) in several instances it would have helped move the scenario along. And that goes for both sides.


Anonymous said...

As the erstwhile C-in-C of the Army of Bohemia, from my calculations the left wing of our army, engaged on the 'Erfurt' board had Prussian II Corps close to being fatigued, and Austrian III Corps was entangled with Renyier and would continue to be until nightfall.

The combination of the second Austrian Corps and the introduction of Wittgenstein's wing of small Russian Corps was starting to have some effect as the game drew to a close. If nothing else, the Russian rolling wave of artillery would cause severe damage in the French lines over time much like in the Leipzig game in November.

Most of the ground was inhospitable for cavalry, so the Cavalry Corps Trevor was wisely holding in reserve would likely have done little good.

I agree that we would eventually have won the board, and the combat in Dresden was basically over except for mopping up operations. St. Cyr's two corps were basically surrounded and the introduction of the Guard cavalry would not be enough to save him. By the time St. Cyr would have gotten his infantry off that hill, the Guard cavalry would have either been swept off the field of severely beaten up. In my opinion it would have taken the introduction of an infantry corps to hold the line of retreat open long enough for St. Cyr to get out.

From my reckoning the Russian Army of Poland, while on the Dresden board, was lightly engaged as was one of the two Austrian Corps.

All in all it was a very interesting game, though I can see the need to some refinements to the game system for next time.

Jeff Johnson said...

I am extremely interested in hearing what you think needs to be refined.

I am working at cleaning up the concept and would like to make sure I am covering all the bases.