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Arquebus: Men of Iron Volume IV» Forums » Sessions

Subject: AAR Fornovo, mistakes and all rss

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Chris Stimpson
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My (solitaire) introduction to Arquebus was through the battle of Fornovo.

The League of Venice started with Pietro Duodo coming down upon the baggage train like a wolf upon the fold. Pretty soon they had killed all the 'poys and the luggage' and romped off the field with the spoils.

Right after that, the Duke of Mantua sent his big Battle over the river. Thanks to a slowly rising river and a timely continuity seizure, he brought most of them onto the west bank before the French could react and 'fight on the beaches', quickly followed by the Count of Caiozzo's Battle.

Shortly thereafter, it seemed to me that it should not be too difficult for the French to turn north and shamble 60 FPs off the board for a victory. The Marshal de Gie's Battle proceeded to do just that. It was only after he had sent two MM, one MCB and one LB off the map that two problems occurred to me:

1) Gie and Tremoille (small Battle, a long way from the northern edge) have activation ratings of '4'; the only other sizable Battle - Narbonne's - has a rating of 2. The artillery is unlimbered and can't move (bad initial decision?) So there's a good chance I can't get the required 60 FPs away.

2) I was counting on getting the French King away for 10 FPs; checking the battle rules, it seems can't unless he's in a wooden box!

So having sent four of Gie's valuable units off to France, and realizing that those 60 FPs are getting less and less likely with each turn, I now am now committed to fighting with what's left. You can guess: while Gie gave Caiozzo a stiff fight, the Duke's Battle was able to break through Tremoille's and Narbonne's lines. The French were on the verge of reaching their Flight Level and were obliged to use a standard activation to 'unretire' the half-dozen units clustered around the big French flag. On the next turn the Duke's men rushed in on the still-disordered units around the banner and blasted through the French Flight Level.

Lessons for next time, perhaps. But a good game in the Excellent Men of Iron tradition.
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Ralph Shelton
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It isn't easy to get 60 FPs off the map at all. The French are strung out along the river with a long way to march and some slow Swiss Pikemen.
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Allen Dickerson
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*Dying* for some screenshots of the map here....
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Simon Bracegirdle
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I played this opposed a couple of days ago. Big Venetian win, BUT:

1) I got the army activation rule wrong - I assumed all commanders had to be within command range of the OC in order for there to be an army activation, whereas the activation merely applies to those who are within command range. This gaffe resulted resulted in my French being very slow off the mark, and,
2) We forgot to roll for the rising river, although the main Venetian battle did cross as early as they could, so perhaps not too big an effect for us.

But these foolish errors did not ruin our enjoyment. To us, this looked a very interesting battle out of the box and in play we were not disappointed. We thought there looked to be a lot of replay value here. If there were not so many other tasty battles to play I would be demanding a re-match immediately.

Like you I thought the French should try and slip away, but 60 flight points worth of troops is a big chunk of the army. I considered letting the artillery start limbered and just march them off, but they are only worth 1 point each. I guess now that only very passive Venetian play would allow this, but it is only a guess.
 
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Chris Stimpson
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It may be that the French should try crossing the river (although historically there would be no reason for them to do so). Also, you have the nagging issue of the low activation value of Narbonne's Battle. You would have to take the '4' value Battles across, and even then, the Venetians are in a good position to fight you on the beaches. Perhaps Gie could get across in the North and threaten Melita's fortified camp*.

*I haven't cracked the code of how you get this Battle activated - do you really have to roll four times to remove the 'camp' counters one at a time, then activate normally?
 
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Simon Bracegirdle
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Chris
I read it as one activation spent to remove all markers. But markers may come off individual units if they are attacked and forced to retreat or retire. But, I agree, the wording is not as clear as it could be.
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Ralph Shelton
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Frog3 wrote:
Chris
I read it as one activation spent to remove all markers. But markers may come off individual units if they are attacked and forced to retreat or retire. But, I agree, the wording is not as clear as it could be.
That is the way it is intended. How could we change the wording to make it clearer?
 
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Simon Bracegirdle
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Ralph
First bullet point. "To voluntarily move out of camp, the Battle must be activated and that Activation may only be used to remove the ECAMPED marker." [emphasis mine]
The word 'the' suggests that one marker is removed, instead of the markers on all the units removed. So this could give the impression that you need to activate four times to remove all four markers, before you can then activate the battle normally.
I think the reader can work out the intention from what is written, but sometimes a very literal interpretation of wargames rules is required. That is what I meant when I said the wording could be clearer.
 
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Chris Stimpson
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Simon got there before me.

The grammar in the second sentence of the first bullet is original, but not quite as clear as an unmuddied lake.

Yes, in the ENCAMPED para on p.7 of the battle book, I would:

*leave the intro as in

*Reword the first bullet: To voluntarily move out of camp, the Battle must be activated and that Activation may only be used to remove the ENCAMPED markers. On subsequent activations of this Battle, all units may move out of camp, fire, and shock normally.

*Reword the second bullet: Remove the individual ENCAMPED marker if a unit is force to Retreat or is Retired.

*Reword the third bullet: If they are Shock attacked while encamped (or if a single attacker is Shock attacking two units and either one of the target units is still encamped)...........
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