Dave O'Brien walks us through his conclusions about BLB3, the Reunion Priory scenario and gaming with the Jacobites..
|soon to be no more - the dragoon advanced guard unit|
Not having really gamed together for about a year apart from putting on demo games at shows I was
really looking forward to this game with Barry and Bob especially as we would be using BLB3 which
we had first tried out at the Claymore Wargames show in Edinburgh.
When Barry asked if we had any preference for sides we both chose the sides we already had painted
figures for so I chose the Jacobites, Bob took the Williamites and Barry umpired the game, took notes
of rules queries and plenty of photos. Barry had already set up the table and deployed the forces so
Bob and I had to make the best of a bad job especially as he had deployed my right wing cavalry
with a marsh to their front and stuck my dismounted dragoons out in the open facing four of Bob's
squadrons of cavalry and my best unit of infantry, the Guards were facing a ruined church.
|The Bold Berwick and his depleted command win through!|
With a difference of my nine units facing Bob's thirteen I knew I had to act quickly so that
he couldn't use his advantage in numbers against me and my plan had been to throw my dragoons
into the ruin and bring my right wing cavalry out from behind the marsh and try to use them to stem
Bob's four squadrons on that flank while attacking with all my infantry on my left flank supported
by my one unit of cavalry which were somehow going to have to try and hold Bob's three squadrons
So much for the plan but as we both got 100% movement rate for the first move Bob
surged forward with all his troops and I quickly realised I would not have the time to do what I
wanted so the dragoons had to be left in the open to give my right wing cavalry time to manoeuvre
out of Barry's marshy trap.
|The Grand Prior's Regiment performed well in the battle - this is another of their actions|
This also meant that I would have to use another unit to take or assault the ruins which meant my
Guards had to do the job which was now reducing the numbers of my main attack.
At this point I was starting to think this was going to be a quick game and not in my favour
as my main attack was composed of solely raw infantry, the only saving grace was that I was also
facing raw infantry but they had more and better muskets than mine so I needed to get stuck in
quickly with the pike which was the only advantage I had against Bob's infantry and I didn't know
how long my one squadron could hold off Bob's three.
|Jacobite Foot under pressure, but not under Dave;s command! (well actually they were but in a different battle!)|
I don't need to cover all the move to move action as Barry has already done that so here are my
thoughts on the final outcome and the rules. The quick defeat I expected turned into a ten move
eventual victory. In my opinion mainly due to resilience of raw troops now that many of the negative
modifiers have been removed and extra plusses added in for commanders.
Drilled troops are capable of taking much more punishment and still hang around to fight as after their
first combats all my cavalry ended up being caught whilst reforming by Bob's superior numbers.
This might not have been as bad if I had remembered about rallying back, or is that only in R2E?
but with the closeness of Bob's troops and his ability to keep rolling high for movement allocation I
might not have had the time or space to do that but it's something to remember for the next game.
|One of Dave's heroes - Jacobite Musketeer|
I liked using the dice system from Donnybrook instead of more modifiers and I felt it gave better
quality troops an edge against poorer quality ones. I liked the dice for ammo supply even though
nobody ran out during our game and rolling it with your to hit dice meant that it didn't slow down
If anything I felt the game flowed faster with the new rules yet still retaining the flavour of BLB.
I also liked the attrition system for cavalry attacks where the winning side still takes a hit if none
have been caused by the enemy even though it only seemed to effect me more than Bob. Overall I
thought all the rules changes and combining the two rule systems together worked really well and
eases the memory strain on my old brain and I look forward to trying them again.