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Jon Snow
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Russian Guardsmen Allies 7, French 6

This turned out to be a perfect scenario in which to introduce a rookie to CCN. I always give newbies the French, and as a smart guy who had experience with most of the other C&C games, he proved a quick study and an excellent opponent in what proved to be a very two player long game, despite requiring only 7 banners. In this scenario, the now desperate Russians throw in their reserve, their entire elite Guard Corps plus a couple of Austrian heavy Cavalry and leaders. This Allied force is half horsemen, including the most powerful cavalry unit in CCN: the Russian Guard Heavy Cavalry with six blocks! The French have lots of standard infantry and heavy cavalry, including their own guard heavy cav who won the last solo game for the French.

I lost half of my infantry early, stopping several French attacks in the Center., as my enemy learned how the game works. It was clear that I couldn't afford to trade casualties with him, as he slowly brought his larger forces up. Desperate cavalry counterattacks went well on my left flank, as against my advice the feisty guy often refused my advice to form square, attritioning my cav in open order melees! My Guard Lights on my right moved forward to take out three of his own light infantry blocks in one shot. I was trying to reduce his best units to prevent them overwhelming me in an eventually better coordinated assault, but I was losing blocks as well. There was more fighting in the center, where the two guard cavs faced each other. My own was eliminated—losing all six blocks eventually after lots of hard fighting on the Left and Center. Unfortunately, the banner count remained low. I wasn't going to win this way, if he had time to bring up his reserves. Not that I had much chance of winning at all...

I had been getting an odd hand of Command Cards; mostly Tactic rather than Section cards. They allowed me to try each things, and wanting an Allied win for a change, I resolved to Go for broke while I could. So using La Grande Maneuvre, I concentrated some cavalry to my Left flank, and poured it seep into his territory, where some of his weakened infantry had pulled back. Hooking all the way around the flank and back to his board edge, I pounded at one there, destroying it--but its leader got away, retreating off the board and out of the game, denying me its banner. The other unit, cowering in a woods hex, successfully defended against one of my Austrian heavies time after time. Finally he brought up some artillery, fleeing that way with the remnant infantry units rather than go backwards, to shelter under his guns, and it was time to go. The battle would conclude on the Left, but back once again on my side of the field.

Meanwhile on the Right, he trapped my light unit out in the open, they squared, and he brought up infantry to finish them off. He was now ahead six to five (of seven).—the next turn would decide the game! I wanted this victory badly; it was time for some more wacky card play! One of his weakened one block squares had his Foot artillery next to it on the other side: if I took it out he'd next use the artillery at canister range for the win. I played Breaking the Square to take it out, and my breakthrough attack to threaten another weak unit he'd moved near my own board edge, with two back up cav attacks ensure taking it out. With my breakthrough I finished it off and stole the win, foe the first Allied victory of the series! Whew. I had really worked for this one, in a scenario that had looked hopeless from the start. So I was tired but happy, and he had enjoyed making his very first CCN game a near run thing. Now I've got yet another player for Epic Expansion Six in December—MwaHaHa!

As I hadn't been able to entice him into attacking my remaining two Guard Grenadier infantry units on the Center Left—where I had all kinds of nasty card surprises ready to spring on him—my usual comment to mess with my opponent's mind is generally “It could be...a trap”--I had had to fight cavalry only against a mixed force, which is no easy play in CCN. Perhaps a more conservative enemy would have squared up more often against me. But I had been prepared to maker multiple attacks against squared enemy units too. It had been a very satisfying and hard fought scenario. Would the Allies have another opportunity for victory in the final sixth game?
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