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Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 3-PLAYER NAPPY AT PREZCON rss

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D Bryant
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Attended my first-ever PrezCon (http://www.prezcon.com/) last week and got to play a good bit of Nappy while there. (By the way, PrezCon was great fun . . . I highly recommend it to anyone who can make it! You should put it on your calendar for next year!)

In addition to playing in the tournament, I had the opportunity to play a three-player game. I just wanted to share with everyone what an intense, exciting, and enjoyable gaming experience it was!

I played the French against two of my "convention gaming friends", friends who I met this past summer at WBC and who are both great people and great gamers.

The rules for the three-player game only allow the Anglo-Allied player and the Prussian player to discuss things prior to the start of the game and then only during Allied night turns during the game.

After my opponents had made their general plan, I began play by dividing my forces into a stronger force which went east and a smaller force which went to Mons.

We all jockeyed for position over the first several turns. In the east, I was pushing hard toward Liege, hoping to make the Prussian player defend that city while also trying to prevent me from crossing the river at either Namur or Huy. In the west, I used my smaller force as a decoy, first making a feint toward Soignes, then pulling back to Mons when the Anglo-Allies moved to meet me there.

By the first Allied night turn (the night of June 16/17), I had a strong force in the east ready to move on Namur. In the west, I had several options open to my small decoy force. My opponents went into conference while I left the room to soak up some of the PrezCon atmosphere at the very nice DoubleTree hotel in Charlottesville, a facility which served as a great host to the convention.

When play resumed with my day turn of June 17, I moved up to Namur and pushed back the Prussian screening force there. In the west, my smaller force began to make a dash up the road at the far side of the board. My intention was to pull the Anglo-Allied forces away from Brussels toward Ghent.

On the Allied turn that followed, my plan in the west was somewhat successful, as the Anglo-Allied commander moved several forces to the towns on the road to Ghent to block approach there. At this point, I was hoping he would buy my feint, for I had no intention of allowing my smaller force to get anywhere near a battle with the Anglo-Allied forces ... at least, not just yet!

In the east, however, I received a rude surprise. The Prussians attacked my force at Namur!

Using Blucher's force march bonus, the Prussian commander was able to get a pretty sizeable force to Namur, with several other blocks at adjoining towns and able to join the battle at the end of the first round as reinforcements.

I had the initial advantage in terms of numbers for the first round or so, but as the Prussians continued to pour into the battle, the numbers evened out.

The fight on the battle board was one of the classic engagements that make this game so great. As I mentioned in my review from this summer (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1018278/cgs-napoleon-the-wat...), the combination of the cat-and-mouse maneuver game that takes place on the main board coupled with the intense tactical action on the battle board really make this two games in one and is what enables this game to be the outstanding gaming experience that it is.

This battle was no different. The Prussians hit my left flank hard, but my strong infantry blocks there held. The battle went back and forth for several rounds, with both sides taking losses. I kept the bulk of my cavalry in reserve for a charge at just the right moment.

At one point, it looked like that moment might have arrived when I had managed to drive him back from my right flank. He had several weak units in his reserve and about four blocks on his left flank (my right). I held my half of my right flank with an infantry and two arty -- all at one step.

"Now I have you!" I thought as I waited for my next battle turn to come so that I could charge his right flank and hopefully break him.

Unfortunately, my Prussian opponent had another trick up his sleeve!

On his battle turn, he charged all of his one-step cavalry in the reserve and advanced his four blocks (all of them at one step) into my right flank! Leading the charge, riding high upon his "warlike steed" was none other than Blucher himself!

I had not envisioned this possibility and now I was starting to sweat! He was not able to move and fire, so I would at least get a chance to reinforce that flank -- IF I could pass the morale checks!

My first morale roll was a "1" -- FAILURE!

No problem, I still have two units left.

The second morale roll was a "3" -- ANOTHER FAILURE!

Oh no, I could lose the game right here!

The third roll came tumbling down the dice tower . . . . . . a "5"!

Reprieve! Reprieve! We are not defeated yet!

At this point, I counter charged with my cavalry (along with Napoleon). I survived his attacks on his turn and then put a hurt on him on my battle turn. He then pulled back to his left flank, but the damage was done. A few battle turns later I had defeated the Prussians, knocking out ten blocks and removing them from the game.

Now, on to Brussels!

This game was far from over. The Anglo-Allies had lost two blocks to skirmishes, but they were still very strong. I had a very beaten up mixed force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery at Namur, and a strong but small (eight blocks) force now feinting toward Ghent.

My hope was to be able to use the road networks and the turn sequence (leveraging the night turns to maximum effect) to bring both of my groups together near Brussels.

My Anglo-Allied opponent wasn't going to make this easy. But after several turns of movement, I managed to get my two groups to Hal and Waterloo, enabling me to make a "double attack" on Brussels on my next day turn.

Even more to my advantage, things worked out that I got them to those towns just prior to an Allied night turn (French Day turn on June 20), so my opponent was helpless to launch a pre-emptive attack out of Brussels.

And so, on the French day turn on June 21, the Emperor led the attack into Brussels. The battle was hard-fought, but my combined forces were too much and Brussels fell to the French, giving them the victory.

This game is very exciting in the two player mode, but I must say that the three-player mode (at least, from the French side) was even better! I had no idea what they were planning during their conferences and it created even more doubt and "fog of war" than in the two player game!

My opponents (if they get a chance to read this) can share their thoughts from the Allied side of things. All I can say is that it was a great gaming experience and a "victory" that I will savor for a long time, both for the way in which my "grand plan" actually worked for once in a wargame (lol!) and -- more importantly -- for the real pleasure that comes from enjoying a game with two exceptionally nice people on the other side of the board.

COMMISH
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Matthew Looby
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The Anglo were checked, suspended by a very clever French tactic.
I could not figure a way to attack the smaller French force, where he controlled the axis of advance, either to Ghent or Brussels, it was a checkmate like situation.

Our conference, I was certain the French would move to converge in the center. I was quite surprised when this did not happen.

essentially, all went according to the French plan. A brilliant game of maneuver, tight battles equal one memorable victory. It was a wonder to see the French pull off such an intricate victory. Great job Doug!
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Joseph Geistwhite
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D. Bryant,

Wow, what wonderful reading!
This would inspire anyone to want to play a wargame.
Great writing, Great report!

Thanks
Joe
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D Bryant
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Thanks Matt! You and Jim were great opponents!
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D Bryant
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Thanks for your kind comments Joe! I appreciate that!
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Matthew Looby
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See ya at WBC Doug! Don't forget, maybe a Vassal game on a weekend!

Right now, I'm tied up with Stan in a game of Bobby Lee 3rd edition.
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