My opponent was once again Michael playing the Russians. Previously we have rolled for both scenarios and side plots, but this time I decided on both for each side and came up with a small background story as well.
The French retreat is feeling the immense strain of the scorched earth tactics of the Russians. Supplies are running low and the rearguard led by Marshall Ney is forced to send out patrols for foraging. The Russians, led by Marshall Platov, however have become aware of this and their jaegers and Cossacks will do everything they can to prevent the supplies from ending up in French hands. Ney knows that he must try to limit the number of casualties his troops take, but the need for supplies is critical. Platov has an agenda of his own, one which he thinks fits well with his mission. His hatred of the French is great and he has his heart set out on sending Frenchmen to their death by his own sword.
Marshal Ney (Regular French Officer)
24 Regulars split in 3 units of 8
12 Voltigeurs split in 2 units of 6
6 Light Cavalry
Scenario: Foraging - 3 supply markers are placed 16" away from the French deployment zone and at least 10" apart. The French must bring back all three markers to their own deployment zone in order to get the supplies and fulfil the mission.
Side Plot: Fight another battle - In order to successfully fulfil this side plot, the French Morale Card must not be brought into play, meaning that the French cannot take 50% casualties.
Marshal Platov (Elite Cossack Cavalry Officer)
8 Cossack Cavalry split in 2 units of 4 (Elite)
8 Cossack Infantry (Elite)
Russian Jaeger Officer (Elite)
16 Jaegers split in two units of 8 (Elite, Marksman)
Scenario: Engagement - Inflict casualties to 2/3 of the French forces.
Side Plot: A hateful heart - Officer must kill 6 Frenchmen (those killed in melee count double)
I decided to split my deployment across a rather large area of my deployment zone, hoping not to get caught in to much crossfire as I knew Michael would try and get into good firing positions around each supply marker.
Michael split his forces into a group of jaegers and one of Cossacks.
The first turn was all about movement as we got closer. Both sides did take casualties though when the Event 1 card was played. I had determined before the game began that the Event 1 card would be Temperature Drops, a nasty one where each unit when next activated has to roll a dice. A roll of 1-3 will inflict a casualty, non-elite French forces has an added penalty of -1, meaning that only a 5 or 6 will save a unit from taking casualties. Despite this the Russians were hit harder than the French, taking 4 casualties, while the French took 3.
When the second turn came we were already in a position where shooting would become possible as the turn progressed. If was first to get a Regular unit into a shooting position, targeting a unit of jaegers. They were however in good cover so I would need to roll 6s on both the to hit and the to kill roll - which did not happen. As the turn progressed the Cossack cavalry managed to charge into one of my Voltigeur units with the usual devastating effect. My close by Regular unit in firing line, was unable to kill any as I rolled incredibly bad. This was the turning point as the Cossack Cavalry and Marshal Platov charged the Regular unit, who despite brave resistance was completely destroyed.
In a fit of madness I charged Marshal Ney into the Russian Jaeger Officer, hoping to strike a blow against the jaegers. After several blows Ney fell as well.
At the end of turn 2 I had lost 21 of my 42 men and the Morale Card would be added to the deck. We decided to play on despite me having lost the opportunity to succeed in my mission. The game would come to an end shortly thereafter anyway as the first card to be played in turn 3 was the Morale Card. So when two of my units failed Michael had successfully completed his mission and side plot. Another defeat for the French.
The game flows very nicely. I must admit that I prefer to have a set scenario rather than rolling one - then again I like the background stuff, while Michael really does not care about it.
So far I have been unable to beat Michael, and I think I need to have a different approach. Michael usually tries to make as many of his units Elite, so that they will benefit from the Forward Boys! card and to better resist Reaction tests. I on the other hand go for quantity over quality and throw my units forward. Cavalry is devastating and once again the lance-armed Cossacks were decisive, while I once again failed to get any use out of Light Cavalry before they were shot down by a jaeger firing line.
So for my next game I will go for more quality and play a more patient game.