Thursday, May 26, 2022

Muskets for Vicky

 Hi all,

Last year, Queen Vicky's day saw a solo game of Pikeman's Lament.  This year, we have a (slightly belated) game of Maurice against an actual opponent!  Having a rare sunny, but not too windy, day here in the wilds of Atlantica, I lured the Juras up to Casa Monkey for a trial game, using my old 6mm stuff.  I took the glorious French, he took perfidious Albion, and the fife and drum played while the dogs chased each other around the back yard.

Photos generally taken from Albion's perspective - thanks, Jura!

As this was a learning game (he'd played some of Sam M's games before, but not Maurice), I kept it simple.  We skipped the set-up phase, I put his Brits in a defensive position with the French attacking, all units were Trained, and we limited ourselves to one National Advantage and one Notable apiece.  

British and Hanoverian lines

The glory of France arrayed

B&H horse.  I think these were the impetuous ones.

Highlanders, garrisoning a random town.

With a selection of notables from which to choose, Jura opted for Cameron von Muller, whom he promptly attached to his artillery, and familiarized himself with his NA, which gave him an advantage on defense.  Handy, as he was defending ;)

I took my old stand-by Augustus von Thiesling

And for the French, a la Baiyonette!

Opening moves of the game, after an indecisive bombardment by both sides, was a lumbering advance by the French infantry towards the nearer of the two villages, countered by what should have been an entirely predictable event.


As long-time readers of the blog may recall, it's become something of an institution that whenever I play Maurice, I inevitably have the "That's not on the Map!" card played against me.  The tradition was upheld this game, in that Jura used an Intelligence card to pluck it from my hand, and promptly played it against me, dropping a rather inconvenent bog right in front of the advancing French infantry.

That card.  That damned card.

Now we have to do it the hard way.  And under fire.

This rather suddenly stalled what would, no doubt, have been a epic to be sung for the ages, as my infantry now had to negotiate the bog on their way in.  Activations in Maurice are by "forces", which are composed of the same class of unit (eg., infantry), in the same kind of terrain.  Dropping the bog meant that every time a unit advanced through it, not only did that unit become disrupted (which would require activations to rally), but also that the said unit would now comprise a different force.  This slows things down quite a bit ;)

Cavalry move to threaten the flank

But are repulsed

I got a bit of revenge when Jura advanced his cavalry to threaten my infantry milling about in the centre.  I played a "Heat of Battle" card on them, prompting a rather rash charge through rough ground (a ploughed field)  into the front of my infantry.  Bear in mind, Maurice is an 18th game; these are NOT Napoelonic cavalry, and disrupted horse (because of the bad going) attacking a prepared infantry line (pew-pew), don't tend to fare well.  His didn't, anyways ;)

I then made the cardinal error of NOT removing that card from the deck (which is an option), and on the reshuffle, Jura drew it, and played it to make one of my infantry attack his garrisoned unit.  Not quite as disastrous a result, but it still threw me off ;)

Sauce for the goose

Trying to bring more fire to bear on the garrison.  Didn't help

After the attack on the garrison degenerated into a musket duel (with the advantage to the dug-in troops), I finally managed to negotiate the bog with a few infantry regimaents.  With the day coming to a close, I pushed forward a poorly coordinated attack in the centre (mainly because I wanted Jura to see what an infantry clash would look like).

I believe the officer in command of this attack was a certain "LeRoi Jaunquins"

Battered and disrupted on the way in, raked by musket fire, my poor lads were no match for a counter-charge by the English, who dispersed the two leading regiments.  While we still had some time in the game, and both armies were some ways away from breaking, real-world time constraints, and the lack of tactical options (it would take a while for me to coordinate a cavalry attack) led me to ask for terms, which were offered in a most gentlemenly manner by my opponent.


Jura seemed to enjoy himself, and has been searching out a copy of the rules, which has me hopeful of more games.  If so, I'm delighted, as the SYW / 18th c. is one of my favorite periods (possibly my favorite), and I love Maurice.  We'll start layering in some of the additional elements - more varied units, the set up phase, and ideally, a campaign, but for now, I'll settle for a potential regular opponent.  Many thanks to Jura for the game, and fingers crossed there will be more in the future.

I've got a bit of a backlog of painting stuff to post - nothing major, but small updates to a number of projects.  I also lucked into a large lot of on-sprue Pike and Shot infantry from Warlord, and am cudgelling my brain over what to do with them.  The logical thing would be to use them to add to an existing project (most obviously, the small Royalist force I did for Pikemans' Lament), but I've visions of a 30YW force dancing in my head.  From what I gather, the Warlord figs are really designed for ECW (they lack the flamboyance of the French or Spanish of the period), but maybe some Swedes or Dutch?  My sympathies in the 30YW tend to lie with the Catholic powers, however, so I'm not sure.  any advice or suggestions will be considered.



  1. Thanks for the game, was brilliant, and really enjoyed it (and the very graceful and clean, as always, Sam M. rules.). Rulebook, cards, and 20 French foot, 4 guns and 8 cav acquired and on their way shortly courtesy of an equally graceful and gentlemanly Sam M. playtester (thanks Tod!). Now on to the India Project! Finally, after all these years of thinking about it. And thinking about doing it in the One True Scale, but now in 6mm instead.

  2. Good to read about live action so close to home!

    1. Was fun! Am slowly working back to being around people again ;)

  3. Looks like a fine game, Markus. Your photos and narrative are terrific. You're a good host to seek terms so that your guest can march away victorious.

    1. I figure, rope them in on the first game, and then really stick it to them ;)

    2. Has that ever been successful for you? :D

  4. Muskets don’t go pew-pew. 😀

    Does every Sam M. game contain one of those magic marsh cards?! (Where rough ground magically appears in front of your advancing troops). I hated that card In Longstreet (his ACW rules).

    Nice looking table and a nice way to celebrate. Great job! 😀

    1. I think Longstreet and Maurice were roughly contemporary for him, so not surprising some mechanics bled over. It drives me nuts, but I think it works - although I'd love to have some mechanic that protects against it (better scouting, or something).

  5. Great looking gaming and figures, Markus. Love seeing large scale battles in 6mm.

    1. Cheers Dean, it was great to get them out on the table.

  6. Great looking game even with that card! I've had to move into chrome in order to comment on your post, my usual option having been removed! Delighted you managed a face to face game!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks, Iain! My understanding is that bloggers been acting up for a few people lately. I use Chrome by default, so may have avoided some of the issues. What browser was having complaints?