Last week I played my second game of Lasalle which I enjoyed despite my British getting creamed by JP's Austrians. The game did however raise some concerns about the systems that will need some thought.
I was excited when Lasalle came out. I have this vision of a whole of Europe Napoleonic campaign where battles can occur from divisional to army level (more in other posts). This requires different rulesets for battles at different levels and I hope that Lasalle can fill the division level.
We were using army lists from the rules. JP was on the attack with a Advance Guard Austrian Division supported by a Line Infantry Brigade. I defended with a British Line Division supported by a Portuguese Brigade. The map was dry hills.
The Austrians deployed with the infantry brigade on their right with the advance division deployed across the centre and left with the two cavalry units more towards the left. The British deployed behind a line of hills with the portuguese on the right of the line.
While the Austrians advanced across the field the British took up a position on the crest of the hill. Observing the Austrian line fracturing as they advanced across the rough terrain the British tried to take advantage by rushing forward in the centre and trying to take an isolated battery of guns. The guns withdrew but the attack in the centre stalled.
The Austrian attack faired much better on their left where a regiment of Uhlans were able to ride down two battalions of Portuguese before they could form square turning the british flank.
The Austrian attack on their right looked to be failing as they took heavy fire while reforming having crossed the broken ground. They managed to rally however, and in what appeared to be a desperate charge they broke through the 42nd Highlanders and continued over the hill to capture a battery of guns.
The Austrian attempts to break the British centre fail due to the heroics of the 71st Highland Light but it was to no avail as the Austrians had taken both flanks and the battle was lost.
This was my second game of Lasalle and the rules are simple enough that I was able to command an army on my own without needing to reach for the rules on a regular basis. I enjoyed the game, I like the look of the table and the simple mechanics. However, I have concerns about a few elements of the game which require exploration.
The large units of the Austrians easily outmatched the British units. Normally the British are able to get two shots on the Austrians before a combat, one while the Austrians advance and one as a reaction to their charge. The higher skirmish ability of the British means they normally throw five dice when shooting so are likely to cause a disruption each time.
This means that for combat the Austrians will have 10 dice (2 x 6 bases = 12, minus 2 disruption) compared to the British 8 dice (2 x 4 bases). Future tactics will need to focus on getting more fire power focussed on the Austrians before they can make contact, including making more effective use of artillery.
Reflecting on the battle I think a general advance is needed by the defending side in order to create space to manoeuvre and fall back. This will need to be considered when placing terrain. I should have made better use of the rough terrain to break up the Austrian attack.
All in all an enjoyable game, I want to play more Lasalle and it has me thinking about sorting out a French army. I would like a more interesting command system and variable movement which would make co-ordinated attacks more difficult. After a few more off the shelf games it will be time to look at some scenarios, I have my eye on Massena's 1810-11 invasion of Portugal.