Adventures in Arizona – Tuesday

To cut to the chase, at the end of several days of gaming, the Allied forces conceded to Napoleon at Waterloo. For all that commentators criticize the Sicilian Ogre for his mishandling of the battle, his gaming counterparts put that right.

Their approach was as follows:

  • To cancel the all out assault on Hougomont, and replace it with a careful, cautious approach from a safer angle.
  • To send out substantial blocking forces so as to prevent the Prussians from doing very much.
  • To hammer the left side of the Allied line using a combination of Guard and regular infantry, preceded by an almighty Grand Battery of artillery.
  • Once they had driven the Allies back, they kept up the pressure until, eventually, there was nowhere left to fall back to.

So, before I forget, a thank you to Clark Daggs, Chris Fasulo, Vinnie Fasulo, and John Foy for their part in making this an awesome gaming experience. It was a pleasure, gentlemen.

The end

The end

Next up, some comments about the game system:

  • Chris Fasulo designs games by reading the history, and working from there. He is not a great believer – and may be unique in this – in seeing what other designers have done.
  • When I first read the rules, I thought the combat model would not work.
  • In essence, troops have a cohesion rating (called “Level of Order”) as well as a combat strength. Combat results affect the cohesion. Units can be badly beaten up, but can also recover.
  • To kill units, you have to hound them to destruction: grind down their cohesion, and keep at them.
  • The combat model does work. It is not perfect. For example, I question whether units could truly recover 100% of their cohesion. But, every combat model has its shortcomings, and so should not be discounted for that reason alone.
  • The game has big stacks of counters at times. This either bothers you, or it doesn’t. That apart, it is very playable. There is some fiddly reference to charts, but that is nothing. It is way, way faster than the other tactical games at this level of this era that I have seen.
  • The counters badly need some way of showing an obvious divisional affiliation – because you move by divisional formations, in the main.
The Prussians were really up against it

The Prussians were really up against it

The gamer in me wants to go away and think of ways of cutting down the stacks, and maybe – dare I say it – tweaking the Levels of Order system. But first I have to work out how to get hold of a copy without being clobbered for import tax. The game has just been released, and there were no copies for sale. (Boo!) On the other hand, it meant that those of us who played it were having a ┬átruly unique gaming experience.

In the top right, you can see the Allies pushed against the map edge

In the top right, you can see the Allies pushed against the map edge