Robbie and I took the Austrians while John and Paul were the Prussians. Robbie was FML Browne and Paul was Frederick as he had given me the Frederick vignette earlier in the year and it seemed appropriate that he should get to use it.
Actually at this point the game had to finish as we'd fought through from 11:00 until 3:30 with a short lunch break. The rules had taken some getting used to which had slowed things down a bit but it was impossible to say who would be the victor at this point. I therefore played some more moves on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Austrian left wing cavalry are across the Morellenbach, supported by two battalions of infantry.
The Austrian dragoons were broken, routing through the infantry to their rear, but again their opponents (on the right) had taken enough casualties to force them to retire. The other Prussian cuirassiers fought dismally and were broken.
I called it a day at this point. The Prussians had broken through in the centre but had no cavalry left to speak of. They could basically ignore the Austrians on their right but whether it could be called a Prussian victory is open to discussion. Technically it was a Prussian minor victory, as despite their own losses, the Austrians had lost more and their right and centre were more or less broken.
So how did it play? We slowly got the hang of the rules as the day progressed but ran out of time. We made a few mistakes and there are a very few aspects of the rules we didn't like but overall the unanimous decision was that rules are good and we had an excellent game. Very satisfying in fact. The command sequence in the rules is critical to getting your battle plan into action. The Prussians got bogged down as they advanced, and were held up by having retreating units pass through several supporting ones, causing losses in their wake.
It wasn't a good day to be a general. Browne was a casualty quite early on, dropping from 'Dashing' to 'Dependable'. Bevern on the Prussian side started as 'Dashing' but was hit twice in rapid succession and finished the game as a 'Ditherer'. Quite a few other commanders were 'knocked on the head' as well. To explain, if commanders are within 15cm of a unit that takes a casualty there is a chance (an 11 or 12 on 2D6) that they have been hit by a stray bullet or cannon ball. It is amazing how many times were all managed to throw 11 or 12 during the course of the game. Of course, they're not necessarily dead, but their ability to conduct the battle has diminished due to a wound, death, the need to change their pants or losses amongst staff and aides de camp. It all added to the fun of the game.
We didn't like the fact that battalions without battalion guns (i.e. grenadiers) had a shorter firing range (20cm as opposed to 30cm) AND a minus1 when firing. It made quite a difference and I don't really think the absence or presence of a couple of 3pdrs should have such a significant impact on a fire fight. We also thought that canister range was much too long (50cm for a 12pdr). We did like the grazing fire rule and the ways the rules make you manage your casualties and units carefully.
Using my large units made absolutely no difference to the rules or the game. We just used the standard rules for 28/30mm figures and there were no issues (although we ignored the minus for shooting at cavalry in 2 ranks; it had to be more than 2 ranks, in say, column of squadrons.
Excellent game, and having spoken to John I have decided to leave it set up so we can refight it again now that we know the rules better. I think the Prussians certainly went into it with a Black Powder mentality (the Austrians did), but these rules are much more subtle, require much more thought, and feel right.