We played our first game of "Et Sans Resultat" a set of rules aimed squarely at Army and Corps level command. Aside from getting into a lengthy rules discussion here, I will say that ESR delivers on its promises fully. You have never felt or experienced the problems of commanding a Napoleonic Army as you will in this game. You have my word.
Now onto the ESR game. I stayed on my side of the table (closer to the donuts) and Dave stayed as the French. We kept the terrain the same but the missions changed. I needed to breakthrough and capture, what I thought was a road leading to a Danube River crossing site, when in actuality I was supposed to capture the crossing site itself! Oh sh**. that courier we just sent to Archduke Charles? Get him back here......
The first thing I'll say is the table really looks like a Napoleonic battlefield. Large, ponderous columns of infantry marching up to the battle area.
|Austrian cavalry on the Austrian left.|
|The smallest infantry grouping I made as sort of an ad-hoc Garde du Corps who I thought I could use as a holding force.|
|Ken helping out David with the movement!|
|The Austrian columns about to collide head-on into the French!|
|Austrians deploying for battle. The rear of the Austrian infantry column is in the bottom right|
|Austrian Cavalry up the middle. French Cavalry to the left of the picture. Ouch!|
|"They were just following orders" My hussar squadron moves straight up the hill they were assigned to capture. Only to find a battery of guns up there.|
|Dave's rampaging Dragoon squadron who won battle after battle after battle before Ken came in and put a stop to it! I told him to give them a special paint job and retire them to the shelf, covered in glory.|
|There is no more Austrian Cavalry!|
|The last action of the game would see the Austrian Garde du Corps go "up the middle" against deployed French with artillery support and suffer greatly due to skirmisher, artillery, and infantry attacks. What a waste of damned fine infantry!|
|10 fatigue points! Oh lord!|
So as you may have been able to tell, this is a game concerned with the movement and placement of divisions, placing you in the shoes of the Army's commander. True, you're maneuvering battalions around, but the placement, deployment, arrival, and management of your divisions is crucial. Think of the Battalions as components of the larger force. You also have to shepherd your resources and manage fatigue points as they become very devastating after awhile.
Deployment of infantry is very important as is the decision when to deploy and how to deploy. Placing your guns is a special action made by the division commander, which I love, and combat is handled in a very effective and streamlined way (think about it this way, the combat sequence is not really the star of the show like in so many other game systems, it's just another component of the bigger system).
In ESR, I believe you are really punished for bad decisions, as I certainly was in this game! I believe ESR is a simulation where you can really match wits and ply your trade as a general.
You can read more about ESR from the Wargaming Company's Website.