This game I decided to test a few homebrew rules. The problem with testing more than one rule at once is the likelihood I’ll forget one of them. This time I forgot to use the rule that hits can be applied to either the lead unit, or the supporting unit. The one I did remember was one where attacking cavalry (including cavalry supporting an attack) can follow up and keep attacking after combat. One final rule I was playing with also was one that required eliminated units to retreat before their elimination. These rules can be seen here in my homebew post. What transpired is an interesting study in play testing.
Again, this is a solo game, so I have the British facing reversed so I can see their labels without having to spin the map around. My goal is to recreate, not to “win.”
The game opened fairly well for the French as the Grand Battery was able to severely damage the center of the British line. Although they weren’t able to follow up that success, the two flanking attacks that did occur did well enough in their own right.
The initial French combined arms assault did manage to destroy the British Artillery, but d’Aubeme’s supporting division drove them off and the British unpacked a Baggage Train which allowed it to recover. Picton’s Elite Highlanders filled the forward position. The center seemed secure. Until the Chit draw helped the French get a flanking and combined arms attack on those troops, as well as inserting a flank guard on the flanking unit and preventing a British cavalry from foiling the flanking maneuver.
However, the following combat phase the French then rolled three hits, forcing the Highlanders to retreat, only inflicting one hit themselves, but pushing back I corps’ artillery and pushing back and disordering the HHC! That was followed up by the French rolling another three hits! This caused d’Aubreme’s division to retreat, pushing the previously retreated units past the Unpacked baggage before being eliminated. Now the supporting French Curassiers had their chance and they pursued, ending up adjacent to the unpacked bags and winning the battle on turn 2!
This could lead one to conclude that the pursuit rule is too strong and breaks the game. Perhaps it is, but I am still not convinced. For this amazingly decisive win to occur a few perfect storm events had to happen. The first was unpacking the bags in direct line of the breakthrough. This was actually not a bad move, it allowed the British to quickly and efficiently rebuild their line after the first turn. They were not expecting a French breakthrough. This was sensible. The real key element of the perfect storm was the French rolling 3 hits while the British rolled only one, followed by the French rolling 3 hits again. The chances of rolling 3 hits are only 1:8, the chances of Rolling three hits twice in a row is 1:64! So you could expect these results only once every 64 games, AND that would only be so devastating if the Baggage were unpacked where they were.
Of course, pursuing cavalry may still be too deadly, even if they are historical!