Over the last week I played a solo game of Piquet using the Cartouche supplement. It was a fictional battle, 2nd Windy Lane. I wanted to get a lot of figures on the board, so it was a pretty big battle with 22 units a side. It took about six hours of solo play before it was clear that the British had won. I spent a bit of time looking up rules and after the game was over, I figured out that I had forgotten a few rules as well. All in all, it was a lot of fun. I managed to fit the game in over a couple of evenings and Friday afternoon (I had hit the wall with my academic work).
Here are the rosters of the units I had: 2nd Battle of Windy Lane
Other than learning the rules, I learned a few important things about playing the American Revolution with Piquet. Two stand cavalry units are weak, but do a good job of portraying how cavalry was deployed in squadrons or weak regiments. They should be used to charge weakened units rather than fresh ones! American riflemen are strong in shooting, but don’t leave them in the line too long as they do poorly in melee. One stand artillery units (representing 2 guns) are weak, but that is how both sides deployed their artillery in the late war Southern campaigns. Best to save artillery until the enemy comes into short range, but I did manage to inflict some long range hits. Charging a fresh unit can be risky, maybe it is better to stop and shoot at short range in hopes of weakening the target; also the target has to decide if they wish to return fire at short range or hold their fire at close range if charged (which might result in some casualties from the enemy’s short range fire).
I really enjoyed this game of Piquet. Every initiative roll off was suspenseful as was the use of the cards. I never thought, just another boring turn. The rules work really well for all aspects: fire, movement, melee and morale. I did play one change in that morale checks are free, but if a unit fails a morale check it costs one of the army morale chips. That seemed more realistic to me than paying a morale chip to cause a morale check. With the variable army morale chip totals and the rolling up of the base die value for each unit plus the variability of the initiative and cards, no two games of Piquet will ever be the same. All of these factors made the game a lot more fun than the attritional, meat grinder game Volley & Bayonet game I played a while back.
Here are some photos of the overall set-up (I was having so much fun that I didn’t take many photos during the game):
The British from their rear:
British Set Up from their Left Flank:
British Set Up from their Right Flank:
American Set Up from their Rear:
Lee’s Legion on the American Right Flank (freikorps 15mm):
American Right Wing with Morgan’s Light Brigade and Washington’s Legion in the rear:
The American Center with riflemen (Blue Moon):
The American Reserves: The Maryland Brigade and a North Carolina militia brigade:
And now for the various close ups:
American 3rd Dragoons (Old Glory):
American Continental Artillery (old figures a friend of mine gave me, maybe Minifigs?):
American Continentals of The Maryland Brigade (Old Glory):
American Militia Cavalry (Peter Pig):
American Militia Commander (Blue Moon):
British General Cornwallis (Freikorps):
British 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot (Blue Moon):
British Massed Artillery (Minifig and Stone Mountain artillerists):
Ernest and Fred (two locals who came out to view the battle) (Blue Moon from their French & Indian War civilian set):