This article explains how the Viktoria! game app is used, by describing the beginning of a game, detailing each stage in terms of what the player and gamemaster are doing (the same person for solo play) and showing both the tabletop and the device screen as they do so. The chosen scenario is very small, but serves to illustrate the basic mechanisms of play. Although the game app can be used to conduct normal player-against-player battles, this one will be done in "Patrol Mode" which is used for solo/cooperative play, and lends itself well to being used as a remote-gaming system.
It is 1900. The Empire's problems with the Boers in South Africa have given the Germans a causus belli with them, their major competitors in the Imperial power-struggle within Europe. Wilhelm II sees the committment of British military power to Africa as an opportunity: fewer of Britain's fighting men will be at home. The Germans conduct a surprise landing on England's south coast, and begin a drive toward London.
The British response is rapid: every possible regular unit of the military takes the field, supplemented by the Yeomanry, Militia, and Volunteer Reserve units. The player force here is a mixture of these, representing one of many ad-hoc commands formed during the crisis.
The Player force consists of Lord Balfour (a formerly retired Brigadier-General), his hunting companion Sir Henry Thompson (a crack shot) acting as a civilian volunteer, a gun of the Royal Artillery, a section of the Connaught Rangers (a veteran Irish unit of the regular army), and a troop of the Hampshire Carabineers, a Yeomanry unit. This force is:
Lord Balfour: A mounted Officer figure, armed with sword and pistol. Overall commander of the player force (their "general" in game terms).
Sir Henry Thompson: A veteran of the wars in Afghanistan, Sir Henry has come out of retirement - he is classed as Elite, and will operate during the game as a character figure (a single-figure unit). He carries a rifle, and is classed as a Sharpshooter. He operates on foot. He is a self-directing figure, and does not need to be ordered to do anything, ever.
Sir Henry Thompson and his faithful basset-hound, Roy
Royal Artillery: This is a 12-pounder gun crewed by four Veteran artillerists, operating as foot artillery (they are not mounted). In game terms a 12# gun is field artillery, as opposed to heavy artillery (which usually operates from off-table through spotters).
a 12# gun of the Royal Artillery
Connaught Rangers: The Connaught Rangers are a 14-man unit, with an Officer and NCO. All are classed as Veterans. They are armed with rifles and bayonets.
The Connaught Rangers, a crack outfit
Hampshire Carabineers: This Yeomanry troop is a mounted 10-figure unit lead by an Officer, classed as average (Soldiers). They are armed with sword and carbine.
The 6th Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabineers), to be precise
The mission Lord Balfour has been given is to advance beyond the front lines, and to seize the Hendersen's Farm. Nearby terrain must be cleared of any opposition. This is to be the first step in launching a counter-attack against the invading Boche. Enemy are known to be in the area, but whether the farm itself is occupied is unknown.
The farm consists of a pair of buildings enclosed by a stone wall. It sits next to a shallow brook which is easily fordable, and will only slow movement by half for any troops moving through it. There is a small copse near the farm, which will be considered rough terrain for movement purposes, and provide cover. Visibility into or through the woods is limited to 2 inches.
Lord Balfour's scratch force will enter from the North (the bottom of the map) and create a salient in the British lines - the current front line is the bottom edge of the map itself. Once secured, Hendersen's Farm will serve as a forward post for the coming offensive, and Balfour will be rapidly reenforced.
The table as shown is 4 feet from north to south (bottom to top), and 6 feet east to west (left to right).
At the start of play, no enemy forces are on the table - their arrival will be indicated by the game app. The Player may set up as they desire, in the center of the northern board edge, up to 12 inches in.
The mission objective is to secure the farm: once British troops are deployed in the farm, and the woods and farm are both clear of enemy troops, the game will be declared a British victory.
The player chooses to deploy the British force as shown here:
On the tabletop, it looks like this:
The game is almost ready to start, but we need to get the game app set to go (this will require setting a single field):
The relevant bit is circled in red: the game must be set to "Patrol Mode (Coop/Solo)" as shown. Having gotten dice, rulers, and various markers (red chips to mark wounds, blue chips to show which units have already acted during the turn, a bit of orange-red yarn for a blast marker, and blobs of cotton wool for Wavering units), we are ready to begin.
The first order of business is to click on the "Initiative" button (circled in red), which will tell us if an enemy arrive, or whether a unit is allowed to act. To check initiative, no other fields need to be set.
We see the following message from the app, telling us that the player gets to make a move.
The player indicates the Carabineers will move forward. This can be done in several ways: a normal Advance, a Crawl (which makes a unit go prone), or a Run/Gallop. Since mounted troops can't Crawl, this isn't an option. With a normal Advance, the unit would still get to fire. Since there aren't any enemy in sight, the player chooses to Run/Gallop.
It is allowed for different figures in the unit to make different actions, but at this point that isn't what is wanted. All figures will Gallop. To do this, we go back to the app, and select the Actor and Action fields, and we indicate that the Carabineers are Mounted (these fields are circled in red):
The Actor field is set to "Soldier" because that is the quality rating of the Carabineers. The Action field is "Run/Gallop" and the "Actor is Mounted" box is checked.
Note that in the documentation, under "Actions," it explains which fields need to be selected and which boxes checked for each type of action.
Now, we click the "Take Action" button (lower left-hand corner). The app gives us this message:
We roll a normal die, divide by 2, and round up. The roll is a 5, so that becomes a 3. Three plus 14 is 17, so each figure in the unit has a base move of 17 inches. The player says they will advance straight across the stream, but because each inch of stream being crossed costs double, the front rank of figures only get half-way across. We put a blue chip on them to show that they have acted this turn (once all units on the table have acted, the turn is done, and all the blue chips get picked up).
The table now looks like this:
We click "OK" to clear the message, and click the "Initiative" button again. This time, we see the following:
It is telling us that the enemy would get to make an action, but there aren't any on the table yet (sometimes scenarios will already have enemy units on the table at the beginning of the game, but not this time.) We simply ignore the message. We check the next initiative, and this one tells us that the player gets to make an action.
The player decides to move the Connaught Rangers forward toward the farm. Again, he must choose between Crawl, Advance, and Run/Gallop. With no enemy in sight, they choose to Run. This involves setting the Actor and Action fields, but the Actor Mounted box must not be checked, because the Connaughts are infantry!
You can see in the background that the Actor field was set to "Veteran" because that is the quality rating they have. The message is similar to the one the Carabineers got, but this time we only add 8 inches to our d3 roll. The roll is a 6, so we get 11 inches of movement. (As expected, the Connaughts are responding smartly to orders!) They move forward toward the farm, a blue chip is placed, and the tabletop looks like this:
Note that better-quality troops move faster than lesser-quality ones. At a certain point, the rates of movement will be memorized, and you will not need to look up the score at all (for Veterans on foot, a Run/Gallop is always "8 + 1d3 inches" and so on).
You will notice that the Connaught Rangers have chosen to spread out their formation into a skirmish line, and that some figures are falling back on the left. This is very intentional - figures can shoot through half-inch gaps, but not through other figures (as judged from their bases). There is no cost for formation changes in this game - the figures must not move further than they are allowed, and simply each go the permitted distance to take up position. (Figures are allowed to move through friendly figures in this game, but cannot stand on top of each other's bases.)
Things seem to be going our way - not an enemy in sight, and the next two initiatives give player units the action. The player chooses first to move Sir Henry forward toward the center at a Run (he rolls a 1, but since he is Elite he gets 9 + 1d3 inches for 10), and then chooses to move Lord Balfour forward. As a mounted Elite figure, Lord Balfour gets 18 + 1d3 inches, but he chooses to move up behind the center.
You may have noticed that there was a large gap opening up between Lord Balfour and the leading units. When units are within 18 inches of their general, no check needs to be made for out-of-command when they make an action. Depending on the quality of the troops, the player may need to roll to check this (better-quality troops have more initiative and are less likely to fail). To make such a check, the quality of the unit is entered in the Actor field, the Range field is filled out, and the Action is set to "Test for Out-of-Command" before clicking the "Take Action" button. (Note that checks and tests - like Morale tests and tests for out-of-command - do not count as the unit making an action for the turn.)
If you fail an out-of-command test, you can only make certain actions (although you can still fire). Sir Henry, being self-directed (per the scenario) will never have to test for out-of-command, however.
When Lord Balfour moves up, he wants to make sure that his units are within his command radius (so, a minimum of 18 inches away). He may also want to make sure that he is within 6 inches of any front-line units, since if he is, he will count as "with the unit" for any morale checks which need to be taken.
The table now looks like this:
We have only the artillery left to go. (Because an out-of-command unit can still fire, and because artillery can fire over the heads of friendly troops, leaving it until last makes sense. Artillery in a game at this level has an effectively unlimited range, although closer is better.)
Can it really be this easy? There don't seem to be any Germans anywhere! How are decent British patriots supposed to expel the Boche from their country if they refuse to show themselves? Damned unsporting of them, don't you think?
The game app is listening to the British whingeing, and decides it has heard enough. On the next Initiative, instead of giving a player or a non-player unit an action, the message it gives is this:
Lord Balfour's little force has been spotted! It is a veteran infantry unit, and it appears to the Northeast a distance of 3d6 + 6 inches.
That sounds simple, but we need to explain exactly what it means.
First, the size of a "unit" in this game is set by the players/game master, and usually just reflects what they have in their figure collection. If you play with 12-figure infantry units, then that becomes the basic size for an infantry unit. It can be whatever you want however - it could be 6 figures, or 24. Player units should tend to be a little larger than enemy units, but not by a lot (you will get a feel for how this works after a few games). For this game, the enemy unit will be 12 figures.
Additionally, for every three enemy units on the table, there will be an enemy general. The way this works is that every time an enemy unit appears, you count the number of enemy units (including the new one) on the table. If there isn' a general for every three units, or any fraction of three units above that, a general appears with the new unit. (So, with the first unit, a general always comes along. If there were already 3 units on the table, and a general, then you would still get one, because the new unit would be the fourth. If there were two units and a general, however, you wouldn't get another one - there is already a general for the three enemy units in play. You never get more than one new general at a time, however, unless you run across an enemy headquarters!)
We like to use different figures for different types of enemy troops, and when there is a choice of different units in any category (in this case, infantry) it is made by the game master (who can choose to roll for it if they want). This time, the game master decides it will be a unit of jagers. They are Veteran (as per the game app) but they only carry carbines, since that is what they were armed with historically. This unit has an Officer and a musician with it (a bugler). The Officer will be rated the same as his troops (the usual rating, unless they are a General or a character figure of some kind). Musicians extend the command range of generals, and help out with morale checks (but only if they are playing, which means they cannot shoot or attack).
So we know what the enemy is, now, but where do they appear? We are told to roll 3 dice and add 6 inches: the roll gives us a score of 11, so we end up with 17 inches total. They are to the Northeast, but what exactly does that mean? Northeast of where?
To determine the correct direction, we first have to establish the current "front line" of our forces. This is done by drawing a notional line across the front of our troop formations. This is done in actual play by the game master by eye, but here we have used a piece of string to show where it is:
The scenario specified that the starting table edge was the British front lines, so each end of our front line is tethered against it (this can be changed by scenario so that the front line is assumed to advance along the table edge with the nearest friendly unit). The front edge of each of our front units is then connected, with any gap between them of more than 12 inches counting as a hole in the front. Since we don't have any of those, we end up with the line shown. (Actually, it should probably go straight back from the Connaught's left flank to the table edge, but it would make no difference in this case.)
Once this line is established, we find the front-most point of it, according to the general direction of advance. We were advancing to the South, so the Carabineers become our furthest-forward unit, and the center of their front is chosen. From this, we determine the direction of the enemy sighting:
The red poker-chip shows the center of the Carabineer's front, and the red tape shows the direction of Northeast. We follow this pointer Northeast until we reach the table edge. We measure from this point on the table edge to the closest friendly unit - in our case, the Connaughts - and determine a point 17 inches away from the Connaughts along the Northeast-pointing line. This is shown with a red poker chip in the picture below:
This point becomes the closest point (to us) where the enemy unit will appear, and gives their general location. They would be allowed to set up in any nearby terrain if that makes sense - this is a judgement call by the game master. Enemy units can appear in any permitted formation, but common-sense should be used. Because they are appearing on our flank, it would not make sense for this unit to already be prone, even though they are in the open - they are coming in on our flank. Again, this is a matter of the game master's discretion.
There are a couple of possible cases which we need to consider. The first is when this process determines that the enemy will appear behind friendly lines. It isn't allowed. This means that if the point on the table edge we identified when we followed the pointer Northeast was behind our front lines (the piece of string), the enemy would simply not have appeared - they can't, because there aren't any enemy back there! (This can be changed by scenario if you are making a march across enemy-held territory, etc.). In our case, that did not happen.
Another possible case - especially when we have friendly units close to the table edge - is when the minimum distance away from the nearest friendly unit is off the table. In this case, we would trace back along the table edge, toward enemy territory (so here, to the South), until we had a point on the table edge which was a sufficient distance away from friendly units. The enemy would appear at that point.
This may seem complicated, but in fact it is very simple in practice once you get the hang of it. The way in which enemy units appear (or fail to appear) becomes a major consideration for how players approach an objective, and is an important aspect of play. The system is very quick once you understand how it works, and provides a lot of the fun of the game, because players have to worry about any possible enemy approach!
In our case, the result is this: we've been outflanked by a Veteran enemy unit!
When an enemy units appears, it (and the general with it) has not yet acted during the turn. They may get to make an action before we do, and most of our units have already gone. They do not make an action when they appear on the table - they are placed, and may not act until they are allowed to by the Initiative.
When we click the "Initiative" button, however, what we see is even less-welcome than an enemy initiative:
Using the same mechanism we used for the jagers, we will now place the enemy cavalry. (Cavalry units are usually about half the size of infantry units in this game, so here we have encountered 6 enemy hussars.) This is easier, because the South is directly to our front - we simply roll for distance (13 inches here) and measure straight beyond our foremost point. (This raises another exceptional case: if a unit appears off-table directly toward enemy lines, the rule we usually use is that they simply appear as far away as possible, and are forced to "march on to the table" by appearing with their action already taken for the turn. This can be set by scenario, however, since it may make sense to have them not appear at all, rewarding players for getting that far onto the table.)
The good news, of course, is that the enemy hussars are only Conscipts, and their general is on the other side of the table with the jagers. They will have to roll for out-of-command to do anything too dangerous.
The next Initiative goes to the enemy. The game master gets to decide how it is used: in this case, they decide to have the jagers fire on the Connaughts, while the bugler will use his carbine (instead of playing oom-pah music to keep the troops awake!). The Officer will stand back from the action, since all he is armed with is sword and pistol, so his action is technically a Rest action, which does not involve the game app to perform.
When we look at the table, we find that there are 11 figures able to fire, at a range of 16 to 18 inches. The game app is filled in as shown:
The Actor field is set to "Veteran" because the jagers are Veterans. The Target field is set to "Veteran" because the Connaughts are also Veterans. The Cover field is set to "Target is Running/Galloping in Open" because that was the Connaught's last action, which makes them a slightly harder target. The Action field is set to "Fire Carbine" because that is what the jagers are armed with. The Range field is set tp "12-18 inches" which covers the measured range. None of the other fields need to be used, because there are no mounted firers or targets, and none of the firing figures is a Sharpshooter. Charges only matter for melees, not firing.
When we click the "Take Action" button, we see the following message:
This might seem a little confusing at first glance: it is a table which is generated specifically for the firing which you have indicated with the game app settings. It covers a number of different cases where the firer might be doing a moving fire (after any movement during this action), might be shooting at wounded target figures, might themselves be wounded, or any combination of the above.
In our case, all of the firers and targets are unwounded, and all of the firing figures have remained unmoving this action. We will look at the STATIC FIRE section at the top, and look for unwounded firers shooting at unwounded targets. What we see is "Hit 4+, Save 4+, Wound 2/3." What this means is that each firing figure will hit on a roll of 4 or better, and that any figures which are hit will then make a saving throw. On a 4 or better, they will be saved - on a 2 or a 3 they will be wounded, and on a 1 they will be killed.
We also have to look at the note at the bottom of the table, however: any figure which is hit with a 6 is subject to what we call a "head-shot" - a critical hit. Another roll of a 6 on one die and that figure is not allowed to save, but has been killed.
Knowing the chances, the jagers now fire - they roll 11 dice. It is pretty ugly: four 6s, two 5s, two 4s, a 3, and two 1s. The 1s and the 3 are clear misses. The four 6s get to re-roll for critical hits: one of them succeeds, and an Irishman dies for his country (er, not his country exactly, but, well. he dies for something, presumably...). The remaining three 6s, plus the 4s and 5s are all hits which might be saved. The Player throws seven dice: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6. Four are saves (4, 5, 5, 6). The 2 and the 3 are wounds, and the 1 is a kill. A second irishman dies, and two more are significantly hit. The dead figures are removed from play, and the wounded ones are marked with red chips.
The jagers, having fired (and, for the Officer, rested) are marked with a blue chip. The Connaughts now have to check morale, because they suffered kills from fire (wounds do not cause morale checks). This is done with the game app as shown:
The Actor field is set to "Veteran" (the Connaught's quality rating) and the Action field is set to "Check Morale." The "General with Unit" box is checked because Lord Balfour is within 6 inches of figures in the Connaughts. The "Take Action" button is clicked, and we see the following message:
We click "Cancel" because the unit is not Wavering (a condition caused by failed morale). We then see:
Again we click "Cancel" because the number of figures killed (or who have been ordered out of formation because they were wounded - see the rules) is still less than half the total number of figures in the unit. Finally, we see:
As instructed, the player throws two dice: the score is a 7, so the Connaughts pass their morale check. If they had failed, they would have become Wavering, which means their next action must be a move away from danger or an attempt to Rally. Veterans as they are, however, they take it all in stride.
The next Initiative goes to the British, and they have only one unit left this turn to act - the Royal Artillery. Their choice of target is limited to what they can see, even though they are allowed to fire over the heads of intervening friendly troops. Since the enemy hussars are behind the wood, that leaves only the jagers. Artillery can pivot in place on a turn in which they fire, and it still counts as static fire, so that is what they do. The player decides that they will land a shell where it stands a chance of killing the enemy general as well as his soldiers (which would force them to check for out-of-command until a new general arrived, which would hopefully be a while!) The intended point of impact for their fire is indicated with a blob of fiery yarn:
Any deviation of fire is now checked, using the game app. The distance between the front of the firing artillery and the impact point is measured, and it is 33 inches. This line also tells us the "12 o'clock" direction, which is the direction along this line away from the gun. The app is filled in:
The Actor field is set to "Veteran" because that is the RAs rating. The Action is set to "Fire Artillery" and the Range is set to "24-36 inches". The fields describing the target are not used at this point - that is done once the fall of shell has been determined. For now, they can be anything and it makes no difference. The "Take Action" button is clicked, and the following message is received:
We press "OK" and see the following result:
Unsurprisingly, given the range, our Veteran artillerists have landed the shells exactly where they wanted! (If there had been any deviation, it would have been a roll for a specific number of inches in a clock direction relative to 12 o'clock as described above.) Now, every enemy figure within 3 inches of the center-point of the explosion will need to make a Test versus Blast. (Like other tests and checks, this does not use the target's action for the turn).
A quick check on the tabletop tells us that six of the jagers and the general are all potential victims. This will require two different tests, because the general is a mounted Elite figure, and the jagers are Veterans on foot. First, we check the general:
Note that for a Test Versus Blast, the general is not the Target but the Actor. This field is set to "Character/Officer/Elite." The Cover field is given a value of "None" (the general hasn't acted this turn, so we cannot assume anything else). The Action is set to "Test Versus Blast," and the "Actor is Mounted" box is checked (not the Target - the Actor).When we click "Take Action" we see the following:
A die is rolled to determine his fate, and the player scores a 6! It is a hit, and - being a 6 - could be a critical one. A second roll determines that: only a 2, so the general gets a normal saving throw. He rolls a 6, and so survives without even a serious wound.
When the jagers are checked, the settings are the same except for the Actor field (set to "Veteran") and the "Actor is Mounted" box, which is unchecked. The result is:
Six dice are rolled, one for each jager within the blast radius: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6. Two rolls for critical hits: a 3 and a 6 - a jager dies! The missed critical hit and the four regular hits are now saved: 1, 1, 2, 6, 6. The 6s are saves, but the 1s and the 2 are kills. All told, four jagers are dead! The RA are marked with a blue chip, having made their action in a most satisfying fashion, and the jagers need to check morale.
This is done just as it was for the Connaughts when they took fire: a 3 is needed, and they roll an 8, so they do not Waver.
The next Initiative goes to the player, but since all the player units have acted this turn, it is ignored. We click again (you always click for Initiative, even when only one side can still act) - it is the German's turn.
The game master gets to decide what happens with the Initiative - the general has not yet acted, and the hussars have yet to go. The hussars are to be ordered into action: a charge against the Carabineers! However, they are 45 inches away from their general, so they will have to see if they will go. The game app is filled out as shown:
The Actor field is set to "Conscript" and the range is set to "36-48 inches". The Action field is set to "Test for Out-of-Command" and "Take Action" is clicked, producing the following:
The hussars must roll a die for a 5 or 6, and a 5 it is! They Charge!
The Charge action in these games is fairly typical of a lot of wargames rules - it is a sequence of actions. There is no morale test to see if a unit charges (although you are free to add one if you want), but otherwise it is a sequence of defender morale, defender reaction, attacker morale (if casualties are taken), followed by charger attacks (including counter-charges, if any), and then non-charger attacks. Anyone taking casualties in the attacks then tests morale, and may fall back. We will take this step-by-step.
First, the app is used to determine the Charge distance. This is considered to be done at a Run/Gallop, but uses the "Charge" action:
The Actor field is set to "Conscript" and the "Actor is Mounted" box is checked. The result is:
This is a bit dicey for the hussars - if they roll low, they won't even come into contact with the Carabineers. They throw a die, and it comes up a 6, giving them 15 inches of charge movement. Even so, this is only enough to get two of their men into contact with the enemy:
The Carabineers must make a morale check to stand the charge. They do (the same as shown above for checking from casualties for fire) but since they are only Soldiers (that is, average quality) and are more than 6 inches away from their general, they will need a 5 or better on two dice. The player rolls an 8, so they pass. (If they had failed, they would have gone into disorder, with a Wavering status, and would not have responded to their attackers!)
However, they have been caught flat-footed because they have already acted this turn, and are not permitted to make a reaction move. (If they could, they could fire, move out of the way, or - being mounted cavalry - make a counter-charge.) Since the charging hussars did not get fired on and suffer losses, they do not need to check morale, and they perform their attacks:
The Actor field is set to "Conscript" for the hussars, and the Target is set to "Soldier" for the Carabineers. The Cover field is set to "Target is Running/Galloping in Open" since this was the Carabineer's last action. The hussars are sword-armed, so the Action field is set to "Attack with Sword." Three boxes are checked: "Attacker is Charging," "Actor Mounted," and "Target Mounted." (Note that the Range field does not matter, as it is clearly set to something which no longer applies!)
The result is:
Eveyone is unwounded, and there are two hussars in position to attack the Carabineers - they roll two dice, hitting on 4 or better, but rolling a 1 and a 2. No hits! Had there been any hits, there is no roll for criticals, but only for saves. Any casualties would be taken before the Carabineers had a chance to attack back, because they weren't charging (in which case it would be simultaneous).
The Carabineers now reply, using the same fields as the hussars, but now the Actor and Target fields are switched (the Carabineers are making the attack) and the "Attacker is Charging" box is unchecked, because they aren't. The result is:
The Carabineers also only roll two dice - they can move other figures into combat next turn - and they are rolling for 3s or better. The player rolls a 5 and a 6 - both hits! The hussars now roll their saves, and they need a 4 in order to live, albeit wounded. They roll a 1 and a 6, so one perishes, and the other takes a wound. The wounded figure is marked with a red chip.
Having suffered a kill in combat, the hussars must now make a morale check. They do this exactly as before, needing a 6 or better on two dice. They roll a 3, and fail. This means that not only do they Waver, but the entire unit will make a Run/Gallop to the rear, which is performed immediately. This is done like regular movement, and involves a retreat of 12 + 1d3 inches: they roll 15 inches, and run for their lives.
Note that the wounded hussar only moves half as fast as his fellows and falls behind, where he is likely to get picked off next turn. (The hussars would also be marked with a blob of cotton wool to indicate their Wavering status, and a blue chip to show that they have acted this turn.)
Unless some new enemy shows up, the only unit left to act on the table is now the German general. The app gives him an Initiative before any new units appear, however, and he decides to try and help the hussars by making a Run/Gallop in their direction. For an Elite figure this is 18 + 1d3 inches, so he goes 20 by rolling a 4. This won't get him within 6 inches of the hussars, but it will stop him from getting shelled along with the jagers next turn, and maybe he can reach the hussars before they have to make a Rally action to either recover their morale or flee the field altogether.
At the end of Turn 1, the table looks like this:
What appears here is a blow-by-blow account of an actual game, and it held some surprises: the enemy showed up very rapidly, and having two units appear back-to-back this early in a game is unusual. Often, players have a chance to maneuver for a turn or two before the action really starts.
This demo game did not cover every mechanic of the system, but it did cover the basics. As you can see, this game can work well on a fairly small table, even in 25mm. And while reading this blow-by-blow account may take a while, in real time the game turn it describes probably takes between 10 and 20 minutes: this is a small game.
In all honesty, this one is not looking good for Lord Balfour. His command is still in good shape, but if the enemy keeps coming at this rate he will be hard-pressed to hold the village. The good news is that if the German general can be killed, then the hussars will be unlikely to rally (and they might not rally even with the general). The jagers are a real threat - if they can reach the farm before the Connaughts, it will be tough work getting them out!
While playing against a game app is not the same as playing against another wargamer, it does pose some very real tactical challenges, and presents players with an experience that emphasizes the unknown. They are forced to think about their tactical readiness not just for what they can see, but for enemies that might appear at the worst possible time and place. The longer a player takes to reach their objectives, the greater the chance that more enemies will show up, so there is a realistic element of time-pressure, too. It may not be the same as other battle-games, but it is interesting and challenging nonetheless.
We hope you enjoy this game, whether you choose to refight the early days of WWI as an historical game, or whether you decide - as we have done - to refight a battle which never happened in the first place.
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