Monday, March 24, 2008


...the campaign is going reasonably well at present, both players enthusiasm, the key ingredient of any campaign, remains high.

Things I've learned so far.

- It is better to be certain then right as a Umpire. The players will fix on any sense of hesitation and start tying themselves in knots trying to work out what it means.

- Players will spend the first part of any free kriegspiel trying to feel out the system. Once they grasp the fact that the system is entirely Umpire driven and opaque, they stop trying to work the system and start issuing orders, which serves them much better.

- The quiz mechanic works but is time consuming for the Umpire. The players gain great satisfaction from it, because success is earned, rather than the result of a die roll. It's good, but should be used sparingly.

- Ration information, it is far easier to think of reasons why a player didn't get information than it is to explain away information that you've given him, that he shouldn't have.

- Players are much more cautious in campaign play than they are in regular play. Firstly there is the need to preserve troops to fight another day and secondly, players are loath to lose a named character.

How the campaign has progressed so far:

The French have concentrating their forces at the northern mouth of the pass in preparation for a decisive engagement. General Du Gourmand has concentrated his cavalry under a good commander, Col. Dornan and sent them south to harry and delay the advancing British. While Du Gourmand has made attempts to liaise with the local Indians, he hasn't achieved much in that respect as his envoy soon become embroiled in a battle.

General Lord Ponsonby has made his way straight up the pass, gingerly feeling his way forward with a mixture of light cavalry and infantry scouts. He ran into Du Gourmand first defensive line towards the end of the first day and made a precipitate assault upon it, in which he suffered badly.

General Du Gourmand's orders to Col. Du Anhalt were initially to retire before the British arrived, however, by the time Du Anhalt actually received these orders, it was too late. The severe drubbing handed out to the British has turned the French player's head. Instead of withdrawing in accordance with his original plan, he has decided to stand and fight.

This is not as crazy a proposition as it sounds, Du Gourmand is not aware the British scouted his positions the night after their defeat and located the second ford across the Noswego. His prisoner interrogations did not come to very much, so he doesn't really know the size of the British force facing him, though it doesn't take Napoleon to realise that the enemy's main force is, most likely, behind his advance guard.

Ponsonby has managed to concentrate his force in front of the Noswego, secure overwelming numbers and bring up his guns under cover of darkness and put them in good positions covering the bridge across the Noswego.

His stated plan is to pin the force in the village of Noswego with his guns and then force the fords, encircling the town and cutting off the French line of retreat.

The French plan is essentially a repeat of last time, wait for the British to cross the river and then shoot them. Du Gourmand has placed cavalry to cover the fords, but I don't think it'll be enough. I could understand this course of action, if he tried to reinforce the Noswego garrison (though only the troops are Askazi are within reach). He also hasn't attempted to scout the British force, contenting himself with looking for enemy scouts on his side of the river.

I think the British will be able to force the Noswego, at present, it's just a matter of how much Du Gourmand makes them pay.

1 comment:

  1. A lot more 'tricorns' than mid-19th C. Ruritanians - far from depressing, imho!