Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
2 Posts

Bonaparte at Marengo» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Time Players -- Narrow French Victory rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Bill
United States
Sayville
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Brian and Bill recently played Bonaparte at Marengo; neither had played before. A random draw determined that Brian would play the French, who have fewer units on the board but can assume a defensive posture, while Bill would play the Austrians, who begin the game by bringing in large numbers of forces on the opening turns but are forced to wage an offensive campaign. The action takes place over the course of one day from dawn until late evening.

The early morning turns passed quickly as most of the French troops begin the game frozen (to simulate the fact that the French were caught off guard) and the Austrians must enter the game through a road and bridge bottleneck that requires several turns for their forces to arrive. Bill played an offensive strategy which led him to place a number of his most valuable 3 infantry units on the front lines immediately in order to make some space on the map for his emerging army. Bill had assumed that he would be able to use his 3 infantry pieces as the lead units in his early attacks in order to push the French back by fighting a series of battles in which the result would be equal as his numerical superiority would counterbalance his disadvantage as an attacker. His plan faltered, however, as the two 3 infantry units for the French had been randomly placed on the Northern front that he had begun attacking. He thus had to fight a series of losing battles and rely upon his superior numbers to force a French withdrawal. Brian wisely delayed the Austrians for a number of turns and then slowly withdrew his forces to the South and East into the areas around the town of Marengo. He also fortified the town itself with French soldiers who had been activated by the Austrian seizure of the originally French positions.

Bill now realized that he needed to get his artillery into battle in order to soften up the French forces to ensure successful Austrian attacks on future turns. The artillery mechanics of this game ensure that it is time consuming and difficult to set up a battery in a position. Bill had set up an artillery strike in the Southern portion of the battle line that caused Brian to withdraw his troops. Although Brian's withdrawal allowed Bill to take ground South of Marengo, it ensured that Bill would have to reset his artillery on a new front without eliminating any units.

As the town square of Marengo was defended on all three approaches, Bill then focused his attack on the large field to the North East of the town where the majority of Brian's forces were clustered. Bill could not afford to fight battles toe to toe with the French troops as he was rapidly losing morale points from each counter at a faster rate than Brian and was only able to keep level with his the French through some artillery strikes on the NE field's Western front. Bill struggled throughout the afternoon turns to soften the Western front of the field with artillery while simultaneously trying to mount an attack on the field's large (double approach) Southern front. Bill also tried a cavalry foray to the North of the field but was frustrated by Brian's withdrawing cavalry units and the presence of a swamp which protected the Northern flank. Bill continued to maneuver the troops on the Northern frontier with the thought that they might be able to use the road network to seize some of the victory condition towns if the French army could not be demoralized. Brian's skillful Fabian style warfare on those roads and the timely arrival of reinforcements precluded any progress for the Austrians on that front.

Bill's flank attacks finally came at approximately 6 PM when all hope of an Austrian victory depended on creating a route of French forces in the key field outside of Marengo. The initial attack was unsuccessful and the prospect of further attacks was disrupted by Brian, however, who marched his reinforcements down the Southern route and threatened to outflank Bill's force (which was completely deployed on the approaches to the North for attack). Bill was forced to withdraw from his Southern flank attack and took a casualty for retreating from Brian's maneuver attack against his position. This meant that the Austrians now had 2 morale points and the French had 1 going into the final turn of the game. The Austrians' problem was that any attack that they would make seemed to be on unfavorable terms which would yield a final moral score of 0-0. As the Austrians had not achieved their positional objectives in the Eastern portion of the map, an even score would mean a French victory. Bill had two possible attacks to consider. One was to move against the Eastern front of the large battlefield to the NE of Marengo which was blocked by 4 French units. The other was to move against the Northern approach of Marengo itself which was defended by one unit. Bill only had 2 strength infantry units available as the lead units for both attacks so he needed to encounter a 1 strength French defender in order to achieve victory. Assuming that at least one of the 4 French units on the large field's front must have had a strength of 2, he attacked in Marengo, having completely forgotten that the French units in that town had never been in battle all game. The French won that skirmish and, therefore, the entire battle as both armies left the field demoralized. Unfortuately for the Austrians, their general's poor memory and the fog of war cost them the victory as the other attack would have succeeded as all 4 of the French units remaining on the other front were vulnerable to attack since they each had been reduced to a strength of 1.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya - Sotho Blue
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice report. Sounds like you guys had a great game. I suspect you'll have many more.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.