Brief overview of our demo session using the new Russian expansion.
We played with 3 people mostly-- a 4th briefly and a GM for a bit also.
Originally we considered setting up an Epic game but we found too few players interested at this point and elected to go with a 3-4 player game, as described here:
Our three main players had a nice spread of experience. One had played CCNap a couple times. One had played CCAncients a few times but never Nap. The other hadn't played any sort of C&C game at all.
We picked Eylau Plateau Russian Rearguard (scenario 5) as one with balance and enough interesting wrinkles.
Mother Russia provided the Russians two more Line blocks, one more light block, and an artillery block, but none of the feared cossacks of the Russian Empire.
The French made a cautious opening move on the flanks, and the Russians responded with a sudden cavalry charge in the center, where the French set up leaves a few units with nowhere to retreat to. The attacks cold have been crippling but were only a modest success. When it was over, both sides had lost about the same.
The Russians then launched a series of artillery shots against the French front line, which was answered ably by the French counter battery fire. Sparring continued, but overall, the Russians played on the thought that a good 'defense' for a rear guard action might consist of an aggressive series of small attacks, to keep the French far away from Eylau itself. (That instant victory preyed on their minds!
Some mis-steps left the Russians down 2 flags, but after the Grenadiers delivered their blow to the French center, the flags pulled even.
The French then went on the offensive on their left, with their cavalry locking the Russians into square. Deprived of two cards already, the Russians turned down a chance for a 3rd square and those infantry payed a terrible price.
Napoleon always said he preferred "lucky generals" and the French player fit the mold. Along with some timely card play and some remarkable "whiffs" on several good Russian shots, the French prevailed 7-3.
We can only surmise what would happen to Barclay de Tolley's troops with Bagration failing to hold long enough.
In this scenario the Russian's tried to hold the French line at "all cost" and the French eventually prevailed in the thunder of guns and the tossing of die.