Monday, September 7, 2015

Operational Studies Group: Introductory Game

A few months back I ordered the Introductory Napoleonic game from Operational Studies Group (OSG) and finally last week managed to get it on the table. OSG games use an evolved version of the Napoleon's Last Battles system (NLB). Maps, Orders of Battle (OOBs) and unit placements are very, very accurate in these games.


Battle of Brienne, January 30, 1814. At the beginning of the game. Ney with the Young Guard supported by the Grouchy's cavalry begin to move on Brienne at around 3PM.



Blucher's troops are thin on the ground but an entire corps of Russians is in road march nearby. If he can turn them around in time, the going will be much more difficult for Napoleon.


By 5PM the French have taken the chateau. Control of the center of the town is still very much contested, though. Russian VI Corps is finally in position to support the beleaguered IX Corps.

The French II Corps has not been as much use as it was historically, being out of command much of the game.


These poor guys spent most of the game sitting out here. Being out of command range of their leaders made them not terribly mobile. Units out of command range like this can only activate to move by rolling their initiative number or less (middle number on the counter).


The situation at the end of the game. Control of the center of Brienne changed several times between 5PM and midnight, but the Coalition troops managed to hold on via the counterattacks of the Russian VI Corps. Both sides lost baggage trains thanks to light cavalry action. Ney was captured during the final Russian counterattack that retook the center of the town. In the end it turned out to be a substantial Coalition victory.

The Introductory game is two scenarios from the La Patrie en Danger game. Both battles are fought on the same map, and the game includes one of the counter sheets from the full game. I really want to try this again as an "Approach to Battle" scenario with the hidden units for Fog of War. There are some very interesting light cavalry rules that make scouting and screening actually useful - something not all that common in a lot of board games.

I like what I've seen enough that I've pre-ordered OSG's next game, Napoleon's Last Gamble, which covers the battles of the 100 Days. Because I don't have enough games that cover the Waterloo campaign, yet.