Ok, as promised in the last one, this is a restart. I hate not finishing things off so this one will be continued till the bitter end (ie the point of concession of defeat in the game). However, I've learnt one lesson which is that (imho) MP suits a game play/game reporting style of AAR so thats what I'll stick with this time. As before, it'll primarily be in my voice and report the game more or less as I saw it, though I have no doubt that Narwhal will comment/expand on issues etc as it all progresses.
Now from the last game, we've learnt a bit and come up with some modifications that suit us or address problems we encountered. Some of this is house rules, some have been modded. These include:
- No bateaux to pass under a fort or through a sea province under blockade
- No using Hussars/Cossacks to take MC (using the attack-retreat on contact orders) unless led by an officer (last time I'd riddled Prussia like a swiss cheese with this stunt)
- No exploitation of the manpower bug
- We've heavily modded the leader death chances. The base die roll is 10 times higher and the individual chance to die for brigadiers is 15, 2/3 star is 5. After a discussion we left Fred & Daun as unkillable (they can be wounded) as loss of either will really unbalance the game. Unlike all the other AGE games, officers are just not a constraint in RoP (indeed from about 1758 onwards you can't even be bothered to promote people), this should cure that.
- Narwhal found that the 'Northerner' trait for the Swedes was acting oddly. It meant that in Pommerania they were hampered but if I put them in say Hannover they got very enthusiastic. We've modded out the trait to remove this, and I've agreed to some restraint as to their deployment.
- Of the game options, we have historical attrition, activation that gives a malus to combat & movement
There may be more but those are the main ones. Not too intrusive on the game, or hard to remember when putting together orders (we discussed more complex things such as limits on multinational forces etc), but they address things we felt were unbalanced one way or another. Thanks to Narwhal both for the research and coding. If the leader loss rate becomes too extreme, we'll mod back to a mid-point between these changes and the default settings.
As may be clear, I'm sticking to the Austrians. As may be equally clear, we both have some new ideas about how to do severe harm to our opponent (in the pregame emails Narwhal told me he'd given up on the 'Prag gambit', well, as we say in Glasgow "aye right")
Oh, and if you're interested, the title is from Robert Burns' poem "To Ruin", he wrote a group of quite gloomy ones at the end of his life and if I'm feeling suitable literary, I'll use lines from them as chapter headings (failing that I can always disinter the Empress of gloom, Emily Dickinson)