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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. I hope you find it helpful and entertaining.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Maurice

Maurice - Cover

Played my first game of Maurice. This is Sam Mustafa's latest game covering the 18th Century wars.

Dusted down my Adler Seven Years War collection and deployed the Prussians and the Austrians.

These rules are full of different concepts from other sets covering the period. I suspect you will love them or hate them.

The key feature is that the game is driven by action cards that are necessary for almost everything other than volley fire. It does give some interesting command dilemmas as you can only do one each move. Do I deal with a key combat or use my cards to bring up another force? This is fine as a game, but I am not sure it gives me the period feel. It is possibly just too random. Here I am displaying my prejudice against card driven games. I have similar criticisms of Two Fat Lardie games, particularly Sharpe Practice.

There are also no command structures. A 'force' can vary from move to move as the player wants, albeit constrained by having to be of the same type, formation and of course you need the requisite number of cards. I didn't play the optional 'notables' rules so that may help. It doesn't feel quite right to me without brigades etc, or even centre and two wings.

The combat and firing mechanisms are straightforward  and seem to work well. Army morale is based on points that reflect the deterioration of your army as units are destroyed. Although there are some random elements that seem unnecessary to me.

The production values are excellent and I like the campaign options including imaginary nations. The game is well supported on the web site with a good forum. Essential as some basics are not well explained in the rules. I fear a case of author and experienced play testers assuming knowledge.

Overall, you can say I have a number of reservations. However, I will persevere with some more games before coming to a final view. For those who want to try the basics there is a free lite version on the website.

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