Lasalle – Our First game

“No Room at the Inn” was set up as a playtest scenario for our first foray into Lasalle. The scenario featured about a dozen units per side and was set in the Peninsula, circa 1809. Mike McGrail and Faron Bell played the French, while Tom McBrayer & Jim Gifford played the Brits. It was good to get the guys together and play, though we experienced mixed feelings as far as the game was concerned.

The scenario was custom made to fit on my dinning room table (7.5’ x 3.5’) and to feature the 28mm troops that I had painted up and ready to go. “No Room at the Inn” is basically a meeting engagement between a British-Portuguese Division vs. a French-Polish (Vistula Legion) Division. The scenario equated roughly to a core group + support element per side. Both sides were set up along the full length of each table edge in attack column. There were 5 objectives (each worth a VP) for the scenario: 2 Hills, 2 Built Up Areas (Church & Inn) and a bridge (whereby the 1st player to exit a battalion across won a VP). At games end the side with the most VP’s won. The French had a slight advantage in position, while the British had a slight advantage in overall quality.

Turns 1-2:

The game began with a general advance on both sides towards the center line of the board and toward the objectives. The British moved a Horse Artillery Battery on top on the Hill on their right and advanced their single Hussar regiment deep on their right flank, just across the board centerline. The French countered by charging their single dragoon cavalry regiment into the limbered gun battery. The British Hussars countercharged and broke the dragoon unit. The French and British advanced along the center and left flank (Br-Left, Fr- Right) and began to jockey for position to take the town squares and hill on the Br Left.

Turns 3-5:

French Left

The British Hussars, free of any threat of enemy cavalry, charged a battery of French 12# guns and overran the battery with little effort. This placed the Hussar Regiment deep in the French Flank and posing a grave tactical problem to him (me!) in how to deal with an enemy cavalry on the flank/rear, a Horse battery deployed on the hill and firing on the Vistula Legion’s Flank and a fresh Portuguese Brigade moving up.

Center

Both sides continued to march on the two central town squares. The French were in a strong position as one of the conscript battalions began the game deployed in the “Inn” built up area (town square).

French Right

Both sides advanced. The British took the hill to their left (Fr Right) and deployed their foot battery on top. The French medium foot battery issued fire and caused a DISR or two.

Turns 6-10

French Left

The game began to unravel for the French as the Hussar regiment spent a couple of turns recovering (it had a DISR of 3) and then wheeled around to face the French Rear. A Vistula Legion Battalion to the far left attempted to break the Portuguese line but was handily repulsed. Meanwhile, a second Vistula Legion battalion faced off against the Hussar regiment but as outmaneuvered and unable to bring fire upon it. The 3rd Legion battalion managed to take the town square (Church) and deploy. Unfortunately, an attack by a Portuguese Cacadore and British Line Battalion broke the deployed VL Battalion and the British managed to take the Church square. This placed them in control of 3 of 4 map objectives. By games end the French left flank was in total disarray as the Hussar regiment managed to countercharge a Vistula Legion battalion attempting to assault the Portuguese line and break it. This left a single VL battalion to hold the French left and it was enveloped and about to be overrun by combined arms.

Center

The church square was carried by the Brits as mentioned. The Inn town square was attacked by a single Brit line battalion which was repulsed. Nearby, a second Brit line battalion attempted to close with a French conscript unit but was also repulsed and the broken by a counterattack. This would be the only British unit routed for the battle.

French Right

Both sides formed solid lines and were issuing fire at games end. The Brits were in control of the hill but were threatened due to the French conscript line unit breaking the British Line battalion. Both sides on this flank were largely undamaged with the exception of the broken Brit battalion.

We called the game on turn 10 and awarded an overwhelming victory to the British-Portuguese side.

Summary & assessment of Lasalle:

Feelings were mixed. Given the wild results and situation on the French left, it was hard to tell exactly what happened and why. My poor Vistula Legion Brigade (mixed brigade with 3 VL Battalions, a French dragoon regiment and a 12# Reserve battery) was total destroyed without doing any significant damage to the Brit-Portuguese. The dice results for the 3 major engagements on the French left were totally in the favor of the Brits. It was hard to tell if I badly mishandled my troops or I was beaten by the dice. (1) The initial cavalry action: My dragoons had a two dice advantage and were broken by the Hussar conutercharge (2) My Vistula Legion attack on the Portuguese line unit also had a two dice advantage and was repulsed (probably not surprising). (3) The VL Battalion unit, deployed, holding the town (church) was broken by the Brit-Portuguese assault – again I enjoyed a 2 or 3 dice advantage. I flat out rolled badly all day. Some of our mixed feelings were probably a result of the scenario design. We had no real reserves as everything was deployed and lined up to attack at game start. This was done primarily to get us into action quickly for learning purposes.

Overall, I think everyone had a good time. We discussed the pros and cons after the game and came up with these points:

 Pros:

  • Game flowed well
  • Interactive: Kept the players involved. Little turn angst.
  • Potential Fast Play (First game went slow because I was the only one that knew the rules – but we quickly realized the potential for a fast moving game)

 Cons:

  • The game seemed to be very luck driven w/ wild results. Scratching our heads on this. Possibly a fluke or just the way the game was set up. Still thinking on this.
  • Artillery seemed ineffective, with none of the batteries causing significant damage
  • The game system seems to minimize the differences between the troops. Everything seemed a bit “vanilla” to us. (Could be my choice/availability in troops & my scenario set up)

We agreed that another go at the game was in order before we could make any real judgments.

Pictures from the Game:

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6 Responses to “Lasalle – Our First game”

  1. That’s a great report, though it really does seem the dice were against you. I’d definitely recommend having another go and see whether you get a different result.

    I added your blog to my links on my blog too. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Nick !

  3. Hi
    A great AAR with nice pics!
    I am finishing the last touchs to start my first Lasalle test. Habitually, I use Napoleon’s Battles, but the Sam’s set seems a good alternative to wargaming small combats
    Regards
    Rafa

  4. Thanks, Rafa…Im also a long time Napoleons Battles gamer as well!

  5. Mike McGrail Says:

    I enjoyed the game. Thought the artillery results were on the weak side. Realize some of the mistakes and slip ups I made that could have resulted in a sounder thrashing of the Brits. Resolve to solve this in the next game by: 1-Don’t let Faron command the French cav, 2-Don’t let Faron command the big battery, 3-Give faron a conscript battalion to sit in garrison far to the rear away from any dice. Actually, now that Faron has gotten all the bad dice rolling out of his system, he should be a terror on the battlefield in the next game. HUZZAH! Thanks, Faron, for putting on a good show and being the comic relief.

    • 4 – Dont give your French Co-Player your blog address and let him post, just after the humilating defeat that we suffered playing the French!!!

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