Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lasalle take 1


So, got in my first game of Lasalle last night, Sam Mustafa's previous effort to Maurice.  It's a battalion-scale Napoleonics game, and one can clearly see the continuity in design philosophy between the games.  Things got off to a bit of a rough start, when I realized that I'd forgotten not only the rules but also my camera.  I managed to get some pictures with my phone, but now need to pick up a cable to transfer them over.  I figured I'd do a post outlining my basic impressions of the game, and then follow up in a few days with a more detailed batrep.

Overall, the game is terrific.  While it doesn't have the card-driven mechanics of Maurice, it does have a similar feel, particularly in terms of command friction and combat.  Decision-making matters, and you can influence outcomes, but they are not subject to determination.  They both give the impression of extreme depth as well.  You could play either game for years, and still find new insights into the game.

We played a fairly small game - a core force (basically a brigade or two) plus one supporting brigade, so it roughly translated as a light division.  We used my opponent, michaeld's figures, so I played French infantry with light cavalry support versus his Young Guard with Old Guard cavalry support.  As attacker, michaeld got a couple of extra battalions.  Michaeld arrived around 6:30, we played a leisurely game, and were finished before 9:30; Lasalle is definitely an option as an evening / club game. 

The game "feels" Napoleonic.  Battalion formations are represented on the table, there are reasons to change formation, and it has an impact in game.  Coordination between units is key, both in terms of combat and at the army scale.  Artillery is useful, but seems to be dramatic only when massed.  Shooting is attritional, combat can be decisive, but must be well-timed and coordinated to be so.  Rules become intuitive quickly, despite some rather innovative features, notably an "inverted" turn order that is frankly, brilliant.  Put it this way - after playing my first game, I'm definitely motivated to paint the 300 plus figures I'll need for the game.

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