Well, it has been a long time away, but I am finally back! I have had a great summer doing some traveling and having many visitors at the house. It has been a good time, and now as fall is on the horizon and the trees start to change from green to various tones of yellow and red, I am returning to the hobby table.
Last night I traveled to Manchester and tried out the new (for us) Chosen Men rules from Osprey Publishing with my friend Gordon. We did a pretty simple scenario using my War of 1812 figures. Gordon played the British and I handled the Americans.
The British had two infantry squads, a Major Commanding Officer and a single Spy (horse mounted). As the Americans, I had a Major Commander, two infantry squads and a half/squad of Riflemen.
Gordon set up a great looking table. Because we were both playing our first game of CM we took it very slow and basically read through the rules as we played the game.
Here is a couple of photos of the game as we came together at the end of Turn 1.
I did not take any other photos as we were spending so much time reviewing rules and concentrating on the game itself.
The rules themselves are pretty interesting. We each had four units and that seemed to be about right for what a new player can handle within an evening game for fun. We played about three and a half hours of actual game time. We played through five turns during the game and by the end of the game I think I had a pretty good sense of how to play.
The game mechanics are interesting with an alternating of units moving through its actions then an opponent's unit getting to play and back and forth until all units have moved. That is one turn.
Infantry fire combat is a bit cumbersome with three die rolls, hits-saves-kills. It could probably be reduced to two rolls if modifiers were inserted at one or two levels, but if you are doing a beer & pretzels type of fun game have fun rolling your hearts out!
The other thing we learned is that cavalry is particularly effective against exposed infantry. On two occasions Gordon killed several infantrymen with a single mounted figure (including all of the half squad of riflemen). Infantry needs to be in the correct formation and needs to be under strong leadership to be effective against cavalry to their front. We think that the Hold and Fire order is one of the potentially effective ways for infantry to confront cavalry. Once contact is made by charging cavalry, they will be devastating on an infantry squad. Of course, Gordon was rolling lights out, so that may have been part of the outcome. Sometimes you can't fight General Dice!
We also noticed that as casualties increase the morale checks come more and more often. Gordon faced this with his Light Infantry in front of the wall. He passed several checks but as the unit took additional casualties, he had to take more checks and he finally broke.
I like the rules. I hope to have a slightly larger game sometime soon. I hope the second game goes as well as this first attempt.