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Subject: My First Round Ever of a Hex & Counter Wargame: Tinchebray Solo rss

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Theaty Hannington
United States
Moscow
Idaho
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First rounds are there for pushing around pieces and seeing what happens, right? I’ve read the rulebook a couple times, and I decided to tackle a solo play in order to teach myself these rules. Never, ever played a hex and counter wargame before, except on the PC. So, though these rules seem nice and straightforward, they’re unfamiliar enough that I needed a go through to understand them.

Lining up Tinchebray, in the spirit of experimentation, the dark blue blokes were split: heavy horse to the left, veterans to the right. The light blue came up the gut. On the other side, the lines started a little cleaner, but sensing an opportunity to split the Norman forces, they enthusiastically bunched in the center right off the bat, and things became confused:


Contact was made when the Norman heavy horse charged in to shut down the center thrust of the English before it started going—but the Norman horse did no damage, only pushed two units one space backwards. English veterans responded by moving up to block the Norman horse from getting around the edge, and the Norman veterans and light blue wing moved up to block the English horse as well:


Then, the Norman horse continued to charge. They wheeled about and charged again, and again, and again against the dark green line of English veterans. But every time the Normans had an English unit isolated and were ready to focus fire, the English were able to move some more units up through a widening center gap. Eventually, losses and maneuvering spread the dark green English line around enough that the light green English made it all the way through the center, splitting the Normans:


And that’s when a line of heavy cavalry came out of nowhere and smashed into the Norman infantry. They initially did no damage, but that started to change as the English found themselves able to isolate and focus fire, while the Normans were desperately trying to regroup:


The Norman cavalry continued charging this way and that for the rest of the battle, but they were really just waving their lances around uselessly and waiting to be slaughtered. Turns out that the Norman cavalry had pulled a “Prince Rupert”—they were too greedy, overextended, and were unable to get back to help the infantry in time. In other words, Norman forces were already too far apart when the English cavalry charged.

This would have played out differently, had I realized that a win condition was also three crown units. I should read more carefully next time. I think the Normans ended with three and the English four, but I can’t remember who got there first. But that doesn’t matter. I won, and I lost, and I was encouraged by how easy the rules were to pick up. I look forward to trying again tomorrow, hopefully in a 1v1 situation. These seem easy to teach. Are those famous last words?
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Jim F
United Kingdom
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Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
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Welcome aboard.
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