15 November 2016

AAR: Rank And File - First Try

Ziggy and I broke out the "Age of Reason" minis Saturday for our first game of Rank and File. I had picked up the rules a week prior on WargameVault on Steven's recommendation. Being a relatively uncomplicated set of rules, I quickly whipped up two lists and we wrapped our heads around them without a whole lot of trouble.

I herded the Turks while Zig commanded the Generic European Power. We randomly determined our commanders' talent levels and mine was disappointing - no bonus, no re-rolls. Count de Monet on the other hand was a +1 with one re-roll. There were two objectives on the table marked by the green and red spots at the bridge and farm.

We lined up in columns to quickly take up positions...

The Turks prepare to move out.

The hand of fate positions a unit of Guards infantry at the farm. I've got two infantry battalions and a cavalry unit in the area.

My central cavalry unit charges the Guards while the hand of fate moves a second unit of veteran infantry off to my right. The Empress' cavalry charges my horsemen. It's bad news for me!

I turn the tables and send the other infantry battalion in the middle off to the right and the bridge. I figure I should be able to outnumber them somewhere.

Perhaps foolhardily, I sent cavalry across the bridge in an attempt to rattle the musketeers on the far side.

And the cavalry? Tsk tsk tsk... to shreds you say?

The left side of the battlefield. We've got a cavalry duel on the far left. My cavalry in the middle was run off while the ground-pounders set up shop around the farm.

The Hapsburg (?) cavalry on the left are seen off by their Turkish counterparts while the squadron in the center smash into a battalion of my musketeers causing them to fall back. A strong volley on my right causes the Imperial infantry to fall back. The bridge is within my grasp!

A turn later and the situation changes again. Ziggy's veterans in the middle charge my infantry. I return the favor with my cavalry. His artillery does enough damage to my horsemen to cause them to fail their charge!

The veteran infantry utterly fails its melee rolls, while I managed a single hit. I had won the combat! In the interest of honor, I reminded Z of his commander re-roll, he re-rolled and got a 6. We'd drawn the combat and fought another round. During the second round, the Guards handily beat my line infantry and my troops fled. What a tragic reversal of fortune!
And there they go! Boooooo.....

But in the center, the cavalry I'd sent around the left flank had finally gotten to take a run at the enemy infantry and sent them packing!

A turn or two later, I'd gotten my infantry in the middle ready to rock and they charged the reduced-strength veteran infantry defending the farm. The cavalry couldn't join in since they were still suffering from morale issues. Of course the defending infantry caused a casualty with defensive fire forcing one unit to fail its charge and a cannon shot (out of frame) caused the other unit to waver. Blast!

After that failure, my army really just crumbled. Every unit panicked for one reason or another and I couldn't get them together. All of Z's units rallied, reloaded and reorganized. It was over for the Turks that day.

Now that was a darn entertaining game! One of the more amusing aspects of this game was the truly terrible dice rolls we both had. I'll be the first to admit - my dice rolls tend to be somewhere between "above average" and "holy shit." Zig's tend to skew towards "crap." Saturday night it was bad all around. One of the most memorable moments was when his Guards charged my shlub infantry and screwed it all up. Having his commander handy for that one, single, solitaire re-roll was so influential to the outcome of the game. I'll never forgive myself for reminding him to use it. Ah well, it was the honorable thing to do.

We certainly messed up a few things, but they were "even" mistakes that affected us both equally. I've gone back to the RAW and found clarifications for our in game questions. R&F may be the best $10 I've spent on gaming stuff this year. I'm really looking forward to some scenario play. Ziggy rather enjoyed it and Mike seemed very interested as I was sending out in-game pics.

1 comment:

  1. Ski,
    Glad to hear you enjoyed your first game. RandF is one of my favorite games. Perfectly simple and effective and most of all lots of fun. Makes me want to give them a spin again!