Last December Mark and I were able to get together to fight the battle of Cowpens (1781) from the American Revolution. We used Piquet: Field of Battle (first edition) with a few modifications. Given that we have an entire day to play, we were able to play the game twice. Sadly, both games did not turn out that well. Simply put, I found that the rules did not produce the game I was interested in playing. The twin horrors of triple moves (which I have come to hate) and the lack of sufficient Army Morale Points produced two games that left me feeling let down by the rules.
The biggest problem in both games was insufficient Army Morale Points, which determine when a side breaks and thus ends the game. We found that if either side took minor casualties and then pulled back or halted and reformed, they we reach their army break point very quickly. The problem is that the rules give you an average of 1 Army Morale Point per unit (which normally have 4 Unit Integrity Points). So if you took 25% casualties (Unit Integrity Points) and then stopped and reformed and recovered all lost UIs, your army would still have reached its breaking point, which is what happened in both games. It seemed rather silly to see an entire intact army (all UI lost rallied) have to withdraw.
I compared Piquet Field of Battle with the original Piquet rules, which also used an Army Point System and found that the original rules had twice as many Army Points per unit. In the original Piquet rules, you could not recover lost stands, which meant when your army was liable to break, you had lost 25-35% of your stands. We never found battles ending with a force having all of its original stands on the table, but that wasn’t the case with Piquet: Field of Battle. This issue and the silly triple moves were a rule breaker for me. I have now decided to retire my Piquet: Field of Battle rules to the pile of rules I used to use.
Both games started with fairly aggressive British attacks which broke one or two of the American lines (there were three), but in each case, the British side quickly reached their Army Morale Point total and eventually had to retire (failed check on the Army Morale Card). In both cases, the British forces had very few casualties on the table as they had rallied most of their lost UIs, but as they reached their Army Morale total, they had to check Army Morale, which is not the easiest thing to pass.
Not great games, and we will be trying out the Battle of Cowpens with a different set of Rules (Die Kriegskunst modified for the American Revolution) in March. Hopefully those rules will produce a more historical and realistic result.
That said, here are some pictures from the two games. All figures are mine, the table and lunch were provided by Mark. Figures are all 15mm and included figures from Old Glory, Blue Moon, Minifigs, Polly Oliver and Frontier.
Initial Set Up:
The British Advance:
First Shots Fired:
American Militia (Old Glory 15mm):
British Legion Dragoons (Polly Oliver 15mm)
British Legion (Dragoons are Polly Oliver 15mm and the Legion Infantry, actually Queen’s Rangers stand-ins for the British Legion Infantry, are Frontier 15mm)
British 7th Regiment of Foot (Old Glory 15mm)
American Riflemen in action with retreating Militia (Riflemen are Blue Moon 15mm and the Militia are Minifigs 15mm)
The British Reach the Continental Lights (Maryland/Delaware Light Battalion)
British 71st Highlanders attacking American Riflemen (both Blue Moon 15mm)
Tarleton (Frei Korps 15mm) and the end of the 7th ROF (Old Glory 15mm)
Me pondering why Piquet: Field of Battle is turning out to be such a bust (for both games):