Having read the rules over I set up a scenario and invited Joe over to have a go at a game. The scenario was a fighting withdrawal by a smaller elite force being hounded by a much larger but less motivated and trained army. In retrospect I clearly hadn't "made the jump to light-speed" while reading the rules and I put together a game that would have been fun using Rebels and Patriots but rather missed the mark for this level of command. The result was a mess but it gave us a better understanding of the rules.
the defenders had one medium gun, two battalions of elite infantry,
one regiment each of elite and average cavalry and two units of average skirmishers
the attackers had a medium gun, two average battalions, two poor light units and two elite cavalry units on the table at the start of the game with two more average battalions arriving by road as the game began
skirmishing infantry in woods turned out to a lot tougher than we thought,
cannon also proved more powerful than a quick reading of the rules led me to believe
on both flanks the skirmishers outshot their opposite numbers sending them recoiling from the fight
the scenario also impeded the attacker because their approach was constricted, average troops take time to deploy (a part of the rules that I do like, historically it took hours to ready an army for combat)
seeing that the center was congested Joe began to push the cavalry around the flank
this one lone battalion bravely advanced into the center but was soon sent packing in a hail of lead
The second game I corrected my mistake of playing down the length of my 4x6 foot table and deployed the armies on the wide aspect of the table. I should have expanded the table to its 6x9 foot size and allowed space on either flank of the forces.......live and learn.
the same small elite force facing the larger, very average, enemy
this time both sides got two medium guns
with space to maneuver the cavalry got into action quickly
the give and take of cavalry fights are one of the best features in these rules
the results were most satisfying
the infantry were hesitant to advance upon the guns
both sides hung back awaiting the outcome of the cavalry melee
the support rules work well,
giving the player motivation to secure flanks and rear from interference
at last both sides advanced in the center,
this brought about a general firefight
where we soon learned that advancing into a shooting match had some significant downsides
I have to say that I really enjoyed these rules and plan on continuing to use them. The advantages given to well trained and disciplined troops is significant but not overwhelming. The command rules work well and the morale system gives results consistent with the battle histories that I have read. These are a very different set of rules from "Rampant" series from Osprey and focus on a much higher level of fighting. I would like to see more rules set at this level coming out of the Osprey stable, perhaps a version of these rules aimed at the Nine Years War?