Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Sacred Flame

This was a busy weekend. Friday we went in garb on a pub crawl with the pirates in St. Augustine and I ran into a member of the Ancient City Steampunks, Peachy Carnahan. Saturday we went to the Cowford Social Society Steampunk meeting. I am finding this to be a particularly enjoyable hobby. Mel and I were able to grab Ft Caroline and some other areas. My character now occupies a vital area for shipping. We are doing a dinosaur hunt in the Lost World (Guana State Park) in a few weeks and of course we have DragonCon to look forward to for the Steam walk and the Mad Scientist Ball.

Sunday we took the kiddos to Ft Caroline and walked around got ate up by bugs and enjoyed the historic sites. Since it is so close to my house I got to my dads early and was able to grab some lunch before everyone started showing up for the Napoleonic game (Le Flu Sacre) The Sacred Flame by Two Fat Lardies.

Andy and I played the British defending a large expanse of unfinished wall. I had Wellington and some Scots Guards and Gordon's Highlanders with Uxbridge. He had a Portuguese Division and the Calvary. His job was to sit with his Portuguese backed up by the KGL Battalions and wait for the French to attack. My job was to sit on the other side of the fence and plug the gap. His Calvary were to move into position and help close the gap between the church and my wall sections.

Ben and John played the French with Masseno. Their job was simple. Take their two 12 lb guns and sit them far enough away from our 10 lbers and bomb the bejesus out of us while moving forward in an attack column and devastate us.

The game lasted a total of five turns. I was able to hold off only due to my committing Wellington himself to the battles. In this game there is a CRT which determines who has the higher combat value. That person rolls. There are no opposed rolls. The British failed due to bad die rolling and an overzealous nature of my dad to give the French a bit too many units I think. He also gave them some help which I felt was a bit over kill. For instance adding support of a column which were diagonal and not entirely behind or within 2" of the attacking column. I felt a bit cheesed on that because I was holding the wall with Wellington and I felt they did not need the extra support. Regardless it was he who was the judge and his ruling stood and I am of the opinion the same as he as never let a rule get in the way of a good game. The problem becomes though for the person on the other end of that good time to feel that it is being handled fairly. In this case it was, but I just would rather not have had that happen. I think I could have held out longer based on John's die rolling alone. In all though this was a learning game and I felt that given what we had I played admirably seeing how my pop refereed the game and I and Andy were the only people who had played LFS in the past. I feel he did an admirable job of running the game. I had fun and there were no arguments. I really enjoy playing games with John, Ben and dad.

The Good
1. We were able to hold off three separate attacks by the French with the help of Wellington until the KGL arrived to back us up.
2. We had a defensive position.
3. We had a plan to fall back.

The Bad
1. We didn't follow the plan.
2. The French guns massacred us.
3. We were unable to effectively use our skirmishers.
4. I had a battalion form a square but they were unable to defend the cav charge. I have NEVER heard of a cav beating square - ever. I felt VERY bad mechanics on that one because it was not like the guys rolled 11 or boxcars. He just rolled OK. IIRC it was a 9. The statement was even made that no one had seen that happen before.

The Ugly
1. A snake eyes roll by yours truly. Result says "Higher CV Routes" This was my B unit attacking too. :(
2. A failed Calvary charge early on.
3. The Calvary that literally ate its way down our line after the KGL failed to form a square.
4. The other British player had as good dice rolls as I did.

That all being said the game was a lot of fun. The scenario probably needs to be tweaked with less French or more brits and a little better defense for the Brits. Only ONE 12 lber for the French and maybe a really small gun for the brits perhaps even a mortar. I disagree about meeting engagements being more fun. I find them lackluster but the comment was made that a meeting engagement would probably have been easier to understand and that was probably true. I prefer something with more tactical options though.

Overall my opinion of LFS is good. I enjoy TFL's rules as they add realism to the game without compromising playability (word meaning fun to play) and give a sense of not having absolute control over everyone like robots. I also enjoy Two Hour Wargames products for the same reasons. Overall score of game A-

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