December 2012 Game: Piquet Field of Battle Cowpens 1781

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:

Initial set up

The British Advance:

The British Advance

First Shots Fired:

Initial Shots fired

American Militia (Old Glory 15mm):

American Militia

British Legion Dragoons (Polly Oliver 15mm)

British Legion Dragoons

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 Legion in Action

British 7th Regiment of Foot (Old Glory 15mm)

7th ROF

American Riflemen in action with retreating Militia (Riflemen are Blue Moon 15mm and the Militia are Minifigs 15mm)

American Riflemen with militia in retreat

The British Reach the Continental Lights (Maryland/Delaware Light Battalion)

British Reach the Continental Line

British 71st Highlanders attacking American Riflemen (both Blue Moon 15mm)

Close Combat

Tarleton (Frei Korps 15mm) and the end of the 7th ROF (Old Glory 15mm)

Tarleton and the end of the 7th ROF

Me pondering why Piquet: Field of Battle is turning out to be such a bust (for both games):

Me pondering

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6 Responses to December 2012 Game: Piquet Field of Battle Cowpens 1781

  1. Dave Gamer says:

    Late reply: I Like FOB2 for ACW but I’ve always increased the AMP’s by about 50% otherwise the games end too soon. I don’t think FOB2 is good for AWI for a number of reasons (some can be fixed): For instance, 1) American Militia should have a high chance of routing when fired on by British (possible solution – give militia only 3 UI that way a crack British unit could bring the UI to 0 in 1 shot). And… 2) No reason to put your Militia in the front line. This stems from several issues: No cascading route tests (so if the Militia sees the regulars running it will probably rout too); use lose 1 AMP per UI lost no matter if the UI came from a militia unit or an elite unit (possible fix – a militia unit put’s 1 AMP in the AMP pool, a regular 2 AMP,s etc.. When you lose a UI you lose as many AMPs as you put in, so Militia taking UI hits wouldn’t affect AMP as much as better units taking UI hits.

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  2. […] Mark and I tried Piquet Field of Battle last December and it didn’t work at all for me (see https://jdglasco.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/december-2012-game-piquet-field-of-battle-cowpens-1781/). My next bet was to try to make an American Revolution version of Die Kriegkunst (part of the […]

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  3. Bill Owen says:

    Why don’t you use Volley & Bayonet? I thought you used to go with that one.

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  4. jdglasco says:

    I’ve just decided to put all Piquet games on hold and try some other rules for more tactical American Revolution battles. The original Piquet rules might work, but then Piquet Field of Battle would also work if it is your cup of tea. Go a few posts below this one for my Piquet Field of Battle scenario for Cowpens.

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  5. Bill Braham says:

    Would it be worth a try with the original version of Picquet? Or could it be that the Picquet family is not intended for battles of this size/scale

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  6. Gary Barr says:

    Surely easy to fix just add 20 morale each or double base morale or similar ?

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