Sunday, January 1, 2017

Lilliburlero, or Aughrim Again

So, this arrived Saturday.  Because, as my friends know, I am a completionist in my obsessions.

After playing the Battle of Aughrim a couple of times I really wanted to find a board game covering it. A quick check of Board Game Geek revealed this gem - ironically the issue of ATO from right before I started my subscription with them!

I only ordered this Wednesday I think. Pretty amazing shipping by the ATO team. I've always been pretty pleased with Against the Odds. Not all of the games have appealed to me, but they always seem well done, the component quality is good, and the magazine is always filled with well-written articles the provide background to the game. Definitely recommended if you're interested in magazine games.

They're also not afraid to take on battles/campaigns from periods that aren't as popular with mainstream wargamers, like this. I also have their very good game covering The Great Northern War.

The game (or at least the articles) are primarily focused on the Battle of the Boyne. I've decided to give Aughrim a try first due to my greater familiarity with the battle. Besides, it'll be a good test of the game if I can get realistic results out of the "B side" scenario.

Hesse-Darmstadt's brigade, ready for the infantry assault on Attibrassil
This is an area movement game. I'm generally not too keen on area movement games. I'm warming up to them though, and I think they can work well for operational scale and certain periods. Based on what I've played so far of this, I'd say it works here.

Darrington and Tuite's brigades, defending Kilcommadan.
The terrain depicted on this game map is recognizable but significantly different from that depicted in Pike & Shot. After taking a look at Google Earth, this map seems much more accurate. For one, Kilcommodan is not nearly as close to the stream and Attibrassil bridge as depicted in the computer game. In fact, Attibrassil isn't either, so I'm not convinced that the bridge would even have that name. My copy of The Boyne and Aughrim: The War of the Two Kings is on the way; hopefully that'll shed some light on the geography. The OOB seems different as well, but I need to go back and do some comparisons to see if it really varies much.

I've played a couple of turns so far and the game manages to have a good period feel. It pulls this off despite not delving into the details of linear warfare. It does this with a combat system that captures reasonable results and an easy to play command system that nicely captures the difficulty of moving and rallying troops of this period.

I'll try and do some video of this one. This is really a nicely uncomplicated and pretty fast playing game that captures this period of warfare well.

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