Having finished all 18 of the Expansion #5 Scenarios, all but two being solitaire, here are my Game Log notes for each. There is only so much you can tell about a scenario by playing it just once, but those who are interested can compare notes with me, or huddle with my observations or results before venturing out onto the table! A few general comments on the five new game aspects are also appended at the end.
1. Sahagun (16 Banners) French 18/Allies 3
1 Banner per block eliminated or exited. British need 1 Portugese leader. Strongly favors the French.
2. Sorouren Fr. Rt. (9 Banners) French 9/Allies 3
3. Sorouren Fr. Lft. (9 Banners) French 8/ Allies 9
Even. Casualties equal. Fr Fr 55 Bl(19 left); Allies 46 Bl (12 left)
Remnants left only. Spanish did well.
4. Gohrde (8 Banners) French 8/Allies 9
Polyglot nations. Russians no Paper Strength. British Rockets move as HA. Strongly favors Allies. Scoreless long; then both add banners fast!
5. Wartenburg (9 Banners) French 6/Allies 9
Strongly favors Prussians.
6. Dohna (7Banners) French 2/Allies 9
Strongly favors Russians.
7. Liebertwolkwitz Morning (9 Banners) French 7/Allies 0
8. Lierbetwolkwitz Afternoon (8 Banners) French 2/Allies 8
Even? Upset Allied victory when French advance artillery off hill!
9. Lindenau (6 Banners) French 4/Allies 6
Even. Lots of fun! French get 5 reinforcements.
10. Mockern Fr. Rt. (10 Banners) French 10/Allies 7
Even. Great fun!
11. Mockern Fr. Lft. (10 Banners) French 10/Allies 6
12. Gohlis (10 Banners) French 4/Allies 10
Exciting! Moderately favors Russians.
13. Brienne (9 Banners) French 9/Allies 3
Very exciting! Moderately favors French.
14. Chateau-Thierry (8 Banners) French 5/Allies 8
Even? Fun! Prussian Bug Out scenario.
15. Vauchamps (8 Banners) French (Live Opponent) 8/Allies 7
Slightly favors French.
16. Orthez French Rt. (8 Banners) French 5/Allies 8
Strongly favors British.
17. Orthez French Lft. (9 Banners) French 4/Allies 2
Even? French block successfully everywhere; British resign after a long game!
18. Hougoumont (8 Banners) French 2/British (Live Opponent) ?
Strongly favors British. French resign--ironically they got the two most useful Tactics Cards (Sappers and Loophole the Houses) just after their main attack.
Its easy to forget the new rules when you are busy using two decks and trying out a new scenario (let alone playing solitaire), so I made a short list of them as noted below to keep beside me while playing (other than 'Game Length').
Game Length: My Expansion 5 games are generally a half hour longer than most others, due both to playing more often for more than the average number of banners (6-7) and to having to use two card decks. This does not include some initial slowness in first working the learning curve, which made the first few games a bit longer still.
Garrison Units: I found I rarely used these, as most town hexes were in the front lines and hotly contested. I think I only placed them in two games. However, in older scenarios they would be useful more often.
Grand Batteries: These also came into play less often than I expected. They are so powerful that as their opponent I would either withdraw from their potential fire, or start an artillery duel just before the guns could come up and work together when possible. I like the rule, though.
Firing At Lone Leaders: I did not do this often. You care rarely hit them as two sabers are required. But you can usually retreat them; sometimes right off the board. And Leaders are much more central to the game, so it is sometimes worthwhile--I just rarely got the opportunity.
British Rocket Battery: Its only in one scenario, and while I used it to hopefully make a couple of enemy units just retreat, in fact it blew a block away twice in a row! How about that? Lots of fun. There is some controvery about how it works in melee, even after getting Mr. Borg's ruling that like HA, you only need one hit in melee to eliminate a block. It doesn't make sense to me, even using his rationale that the battery personnel are meleeing the enemy, but thats what the man says.
French Guard Horse Artillery: Ignore two flags--no problem. I put a couple of markers on it to remind myself.
Russian Lancers and Militia Lancers: No sweat; these are in line with those of other nations. In one scenario they were pushed out in front in the set up with no chance to get them out of the way, so I just charged away with them initially, and they did very well, surprising me as much as when the Spanish infantry and the British rockets did better than expected on their first time out. Go figure. Attacking with full strength Militia is some times worthwhile--they just don't last very long, unless they are Prussians using Iron Will markers.
Ah. I could write paragraphs. They are great fun, but simpler than other Borg two deck games--where you must make decisions about what combination of cards and tokens to take after each turn, and buy the second deck cards in effect or pay to use them. Here you just pick a TC when a Command Card tells you do after you play the CC.
Not only are some more powerful and less situational than others, but in some games TCs hardly get picked at all after the initial allocation. On the other hand, a single card play in a couple of games cracked the whole thing wide open. And its lots of excitement when the second player plays the same card right after the first player puts it down first! Yikes!!!
You reposition individual leaders when you get advantageous cards that call for their presence with a unit, where otherwise you might not risk them out in front. And you can play useless cards for their default action to do just that. In fact, one of the reasons you really have to read the cards closely is to learn which do require a leader being present and which do not!
Another wrinkle is that a few cards which were CCs are now TCs, which means you can throw them on your opponent and then use a CC to attack in what is now a sudden weak spot in the enemy line!
All in all, this is a great expansion, as we expected. My next project will be to go back to some of the fan created two board games and plug them in! And to try out some of the older standard scenarios with them, besides the one I've tried so far (with a live opponent---see a separate thread on this).
Hope you are having as much fun as I am. All comments are welcome.
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- Great write up, thanks. I'd like to comment on my thoughts but... I haven't received mine yet and was wondering when you got your copy. I was doing my best to be patient but I just read a report from a guy who played through all 18 scenarios!
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Tues. Oct 20, as noted on the Arrived Today thread ("First Post From the East Coast").
I feel the same way about The Great War and Blood Rage, two games I did not back on Kickstarter, and so must wait for the retail availability of...
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