Following the steady build-up of troops on the table, after a few turns things started to kick off. I’d rolled randomly for which Fleurian groups were on which blind, and sure enough the cavalry suddenly appeared, making for the middle of the table to cut off the enemy. The Medetians looked warily to their right but were ordered to march on.
The riflemen in the farmyard took a shot as the hussars swept past and managed to empty a saddle, but the rest rode on:
The rifles had problems of their own, however, and an enemy infantry group almost reached them with a charge from the woods. Halting just on the other side of the fence the Fleurians taunted the riflemen, challenging them to a rumble:
Remembering their mission, the rifles said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and made a hasty departure:
At that point the Hussars hit the lead infantry group, winning the close fight and wounding Captain Gattinara. Although pushed back, the Medetians refused to run and were saved by their comrades in the other infantry group, (and the rifles) who charged the cavalry in turn and saw them off with heavy casualties. That was the last we saw of the horsemen in this game.
At the bridge, the artillery held back the Fleurian Chasseurs and managed to wound Captain Corbieres. A long firefight ensued between the Fleurians trying to close the bridge escape route, and the defending Medetians, who were increasingly aided by their arriving comrades under Captain Gattinara.
The rifles continued their excellent work, acting as rearguard and stopping the pursuit in its tracks:
Several of the final turns were cruel to the Fleurians, with the Cappuccino Card (replacing the Tiffin Card – we are in southern Europe after all) ending them before their Big Men could act. With the Medetians able to pour in enough effective firepower to build up Shock on their pursuers, they eventually managed drive them back from the bridge, and prevent a final counter-attack.
Wounded but victorious, Captain Gattinara was the last to cross the bridge. He turned to salute the similarly injured Captain Corbieres and marched his men off into the woods. The Medetians had suffered only light casualties and had succeeded in their mission, bringing back valuable intelligence from behind enemy lines. The Fleurians had lost many more men, and these units would be in no state to fight again for some time.
The game was great fun, with the cards providing suspense and drama (Captain Gattinara fleeing in fear and dragging his men away with him just as they were nearly at the bridge for the first time, being a particular classic!). The characters have begun to take on a bit of personality already and I look forward to returning to this small part of the Medetian Wars soon. Next post will contain a few summary comments and observations about how I got on with the rules, etc.