Sunday, August 18, 2019

Vauban's Wars - Another Playtest from my English Team!

Tony and Phil have once again gone into the breach to playtest Vauban's Wars.

Their playtests are "blind", in that I'm not there to explain what I meant in the rules and they have to rely on exactly I wrote on the rules. This is always valuable feedback and can be a real eye-opener for a rules author!

This time (this is their 3rd playtest) Phil is going to be the besieger and Tony the Garrison Governor general!

They picked forces that would be different than what I have ever done and this shows I need to tighten up what can generically be purchased before the game begins. This is not the entire forces, but gives you an idea that these guys like Grenadiers!

Phil's Besieging British Army (60 purchase points) - 42 Siege Morale Points
5 Grenadier Battalions
5 Infantry Battalions
unknown sappers and artillery

Tony's French Garrison (30 purchase points) - 33 Siege Morale Points
8 Grenadier battalions
3 Sappers
2 Fortress guns per bastion (free)

After seeing this, I'm restricting both grenadier and light infantry purchase based on the number of regular infantry units that are purchased.

Other Scenario Info
They started the game in Winter (first three turns, then it becomes Spring).
They didn't allow mining as I'm still sorting out those rules.
Defenses are well maintained (determined by die roll)

Looking at Tony's defensive preparations. There are two ravelins this time! Their fortress is straining the system too as he has two crown\hornworks side by side in this game. This normally would be just one bastion in each location or a single hornworks out in front of the main fortress.

Turn 1 (Winter)

This turn was rough in the terms of weather and unique events. First the weather check resulted in disease which claimed several hundred besiegers and garrison infantry.

Next the Unique Event was "Disease!", so they got a double whammy of various ailments like dysentery, botulism, etc. (Lovely day at the office!). Weather Events are interesting in that they can end a turn immediately, last for a short period of time, or for the rest of the current turn. I'm really enjoying how weather impacts the game, as it should in a siege.

Phil lost 12 SMP, Tony lost 11 SMP due to fighting and disease on the first turn alone!

Phil's British are digging in the cold hard ground.

Turn 2 (Winter)

More progress in the trenches as Phil's British army moves closer to their goal. Here is the 2nd parallel and parts of the 3rd parallel. Digging was halted for the turn due to Frozen Ground weather result.

I believe those dice with "1" on them are indicating damage to the guns. Cotton balls indicate the unit has fired and needs to reload.

Turn 3 (Winter)

The digging continues and Tony keeps sending his Grenadiers out on Trench Raids against Phil's batteries. Phil had some poor die rolls so that batteries keep getting pushed back or destroyed.

The Weather Check results in a late winter Snow Storm which reduces visibility to 4 inches!

Turn 4 (first turn of Spring)

Weather improves and more fighting and digging happen. Phil's sappers are not close to the glacias with expectations of building the 4th parallel.

Tony's French sappers were placing "enormous" charges in his ravelins and main gate just in case the Brits attempt to assault via those sections!

Turn 5

Phil decided to break the siege at this point due to time (big work day), and the fact that most of his artillery was damaged or destroyed by Tony's trench raids.

The Siege Morale Chips were still plentiful with Phil having 21 and Tony 19.

No walls had been breached yet and he was unable to silence any of Tony's fortress guns. I told Phil about the ricochet fire rule, which would help him clear out the guns easier if he used that rule. He will try that next time.

Here is an example of ricochet fire invented by Vauban. The fire comes at bastions\ravelins at perpendicular angles to the facing of the bastion. Hence these shots would come down the flank of the guns hitting crew and dismounting guns from their carriages. The red arrows are the ricochet fire from well-placed batteries that clear the bastions where the breach\assault (orange arrow) is to take place. 

These types of quotes warm my heart. :-)

"Thanks again for letting us get involved... we’re having a blast with this!" - Phil