We each played with secret orders from our higher headquarters, drew our orders on our maps, and set out for glory! Each of us commands a small Corps.
I will intersperse my thoughts on Shako II throughout the post.
|Austrian Divisions moving into position|
|Part of the mighty French host advancing into their positions|
|French troops moving up to the battle! "Marches are war" - Napoleon|
|Dave's right infantry divisions|
|Austrians moving up to their initial objective|
You also come to regret your mistakes in the initial planning. It's a lovely system, and forces you to visualize the battlefield as a whole in terms of the choices and decisions you will need to
|Austrians and lots of them!|
|Austrian cavalry in reserve bottom left - my signature trademark!|
|David's cavalry in a sweeping end run - Dave would try to use his Cavalry as a shock force and a battering ram. By purest conicidence, I had my elite Grenadiers on my left flank (admittedly this was not by design).|
|How not to stop a cavalry charge...|
|My Grenadiers form a hasty square and Dave's Cavalry get the worst of it - but they'll be back!|
|meanwhile on the Austrian right, French columns are pouring over the hill in front of the town.|
|Dave's line shakes out in front of the Austrian right|
|MORE French infantry enroute to the battlefield|
|French Grand Battery doing its deadly work. Artillery is powerful in Shako, but appropriately so. It's not overpowering, nor is it underrepresented.|
|Dramatic pictures like this are part of what makes me love wargaming so much!|
|Austrians on the left, French on the right.|
|The extreme Austrian left|
|meanwhile elite Austrian Grenadiers are hard pressed in the town|
|Austrian second and third lines.|
|Dave's Cavalry gives it another go. Instead of forming square, I see what kind of volley my boys can deliver. I should have formed square...|
|What wargamer worth his salt wouldn't want to command either of these splendid armies?!?!? Look at this field!|
|Bavarians arriving on my right flank|
|Grenadiers give ground grudgingly in the town|
|firefight breaks out!|
|As it turns out, my Artillery is in reserve....|
|minus one Austrian Battalion|
|Cavalry reorients itself to meet the Bavarian threat|
|The issue still undecided!|
So besides what I've mentioned so far about the Command and Control and the span of control, I love how the terrain has a subtle effect on the battle. It's literally a perfect balance of enabling and restricting.
I have to say, I finished the first half of this game exhausted, but not from any vexations of the rules but rather due to the amounts of decisions that I had to make about adjustments of the plan and my overall scheme of maneuver.
Shako gave a great game which was easily grasped, had a very Napoleonic "feel" to it, and also had no shortage of drama or excitement. I cannot wait to play again.