Skip to the ******** if you just want the dramatic ending.
I dropped by TRW yesterday for the first time in at least a year. When
I got there, everyone was absorbed in Euros, except for Nathan K. and
his pal, who were getting rolling in Iron Tide.* One game ended pretty
quickly and Dave and Mark invited me to play Wellington. Now, I've
played We the People and Paths of Glory, but I've never played
Wellington before... I took the Spanish, to be as unimportant as
Dave took the British, Mark took the northern French armies, and a
fourth player arrived to take the southern French armies (sorry, I've
forgotten your name!). Dave combined Hill and Beresford's armies and
confronted one of the southern French armies (under Drouet?). Well,
Hill and Beresford got their butts kicked. Their army was destroyed
and they were sent to the regroup box. The path to Lisbon lay open...
Fortunately, I held the "British Subsidies" card, which I immediately
played to give both the British and the Spanish four more strenght
points and an extra card. That allowed us to stabilize the situation
in southern Portugal until Wellington was able march back from central
Spain. I then concentrated on jumping isolated French garrison. The
low point of the history of the Spanish army was the decisive defeat
of my six-strength army by a single French strength point that didn't
even have a leader. Arrrggggh!!!
******** Now Wellington had a the largest army with him that he could
command and the French army in southern Portugal was tied up in a
siege on the Portugese border. Dave decided to strike into northern
Portugal with Wellington; the French had occupied Porto.
Wellington managed fifteen dice for the attack; the French mustered
fourteen, but only because they got three extra dice for the first
round (only) because Wellington was crossing a river to attack. Mark
decides to play an "artillery duel" battle card and wins the artillery
duel handily, neutralizing two of Dave's dice for the first
round--it's now thirteen dice attacking fourteen. Dave rolls. Five
"good" results (hits or disruptions). Not bad! Mark rolls and everyone
stops breathing. Six sixes for kills, six five for disrupts! Twelve of
the fourteen dice hit! The lopsided results mean that Wellington's
army routs and the rout destroys the rest of his strength points,
sending Wellington to the regroup box.
Dave and I couldn't believe. I recovered quicker: the first thing I
said when I saw Mark's roll was, "We concede." And concede we did,
with the entire British army destroyed and Portugal at the mercy of
Dave and I got our butts kicked, but I liked the game. I definitely
want to play it again, preferably with four players. Four players
introduces coordination problems, because you can't show your ally the
cards that you have. Just a little more chaos
Incidentally, I seriously misunderstood something about the siege
rules (abetted by a murky explanation)... I thought that the French
leader in Badajoz (?) would add to the Fortress' strength and that the
Fortress would then also get the +2 dice French nationality bonus.
Since the main French southern army was in Ebro (?), moving in behind
them would have cut them off, threating them with destruction if they
lost a battle (presumably to Wellington, since my Spanish scum
couldn't stand up to them in the field). I actually had two
siege-affecting battle cards in my hand: Really Big Guns and Forlorn
Hope, which together gave me an excellent chance of besieging
successfully. I never put them to good use, because I thought I'd be
facing seven dice, not just six!
Oh, well. Just wait for next time!