David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday 18 April 2014

AWI with Maurice

Phil and I have been meaning to play another AWI game using Maurice for a while, but with one thing and another it kept being put back. Until today that is, when we managed to schedule a game here in GHQ. Maurice is a deceptively simple game that is fiendishly demanding of the occasional players like ourselves. Key areas have proved to be the use of 'Forces', the placement of the CinC base, and the use of the cards in directing the Actions. We started the game with a non-Maurice sequence, in which each player's Brigades entered in their respective deployment areas according to several successive Initiative Dice rolls. Phil, as the British-Loyalist force commander, Lord Rawnsley,  found himself rather hemmed in the one corner of the table where his camp was established {due to some rather poor decisions retrospectively!} The game would last until the one pack of Action Cards had all been used up {Nightfall}, unless one Army's Morale collapsed beforehand. Otherwise, whoever held the hill dominating the centre of the table would then be the winner.
The Rebellious American Army, under their usually incompetent commander, Major General 'Independence or Death' Bykleigh, boldly thrust one Brigade forward in the centre and occupied the dominant hill, repeatedly beating off attacks by the Light Dragoons and the damned Tarleton's Legion Light Horse.
Buoyed up by that Brigade's tenacious hold on the hill, old 'Independence or Death'  Bykleigh ordered a second Brigade to sweep around the hill's right flank and block a move by those Hessians in the pay of their rapacious masters!
Meanwhile, over on the American left, despite one Regiment being destroyed the flanking Brigade successfully blocked any attempt to turn the American left wing. When the lads from Pennsylvania had destroyed the South Staffords and held off the Foot Guards, the American force was free of interference to turn its full strength on the enemy!
Regiments from New Hampshire and New York swept the British Light Cavalry away with repeated volleys, followed up by a gallant charge into their disrupted enemy! Other gallant boys from Massachusetts and Maryland, supported by local Militia, destroyed the Hessians before they could fully deploy!
The end for the British-Loyalist army of Lord Rawnsley came when three destroyed units each scored the maximum of 3 Army Morale Point losses and the who army melted away, having exceeded its Army Morale Score as a result. Old 'Independence or Death' was loudly cheered to the rafters by his gallant lads!
Maurice, as I said, is deceptively simple at first sight, but really demanding as the game unfolds. Decisions which seemed so right at the time can readily prove your undoing in a subsequent moment. In the post-game discussion Phil conceded that he had found himself forced to use too many choices up in Rallying units which had been Disrupted by American fire, while himself having to frequently pass up on a Volley Phase for fear of the mounting Disruption that would result from superior American numbers in the centre and right sections of his front. I felt I had made mostly the right choices in both my initial deployment and then in the handling of my Brigades. Holding the hill was key to my success, supported by the rapid Flanking March on my right which prevented the Hessians from effectively deploying and bringing their firepower to bear.
A great game from a set of rules I like more each time we play them. For those who like to know these things, most of the figures in my collection are from Front Rank, with a few from Perry Miniatures here and there. The tents are from the old Architectural Heritage range; the trees and stone walls from The Last Valley; while the fences Phil and I scratchbuilt back in the day!


  1. A fair and splendid write up of events, and yes I think a lot more games of Maurice are on the "cards" :-) in the future.