The usual suspects, Ken, Dave, and I, got together last week at Ken's house to play through our first game of the second edition of Sam Mustafa's "Lasalle" tactical Napoleonic rules. A completely revamped game, Lasalle features an innovative turn and initiative sequence, governed by player decision and momentum points, and a very straightforward combat sequence which we all agreed was much fun and quite decisive.
|Same body, but different engine under the hood!|
We played the introductory "Battle of Eselbach, 1809" scenario from the Honour website. Yours truly played the French, and Dave played the Austrians, with Ken as umpire and ref (although none is needed for a game). We played with Ken's outstanding 15mm collection - always a treat! This is a meeting engagement to seize a village in the center of the table.
|Ken (r) and Dave (l) at the table. The French coming from upper right.|
Off the bat, each turn is chock-full of decision making. Youre not just sitting around waiting for your opponents to finish. Instead, you have a decision to make if an action occurs within close proximity to your troops, enabling you to perform an action if you would like to. There is much leeway in the actions you may perform, however you may not have the momentum points left to do so. It's an elegant system and it just works.
|textbook assault into the flank of a worn-down Austrian battalion! The kaiserlicks would evaporate after this gallant charge!|
|Ken sent as tactical advisor sent from the Archduke Himself. General Dave looks at him bewildered. "Who told the Archduke we needed any help here?"|
Dave is hanging on by his fingernails, but holding back the fresh battalion in the village is a thing of genius, and therein lies the genius of Lasalle. You can completely decide on the order you want to do things in. Meaning you can carry out your plan, but the enemy gets a vote in your decision making. You need to pick the right time to charge, to hang back, and you need to bring your artillery with you! THe game feels like a well written history book, and it plays quickly.
Not lighting fast, but if you have been reading my battle reports over the years you know that we rarely get to finish games. I'll say this - we played through all 8 turns of the introductory scenario and they played faster as we went on. We started at 1 and ended at 430 with a clear decision.
Speaking of decision - you're dying to know what happens eh? My columns approached Eselbach through the cornfields east and north of the village. THe Austrians were able to re-orient their flank to fire on me.
|The massed brigade moves into assault Eselbach! Will they make it in time?|
|Assaulting the village|
In heavy fighting my assault columns are beaten back on turn 8! The game is over! Hard-earned victory to the Austrians! This was an excellent game and very much enjoyed by all of us. We will most certainly play again for tactical battles, and it's even got me thinking about collecting a 15mm army to fight Ken's armies!
Ha! I sold off a huge 15mm Bavarian Army already, most of which I painted...Delete
Superb stuff - sounds like another Sam Mustafa classicReplyDelete
Darren youd love this game. It's right up your alley.Delete
Yes Steve - just reading the appendices of the pdf now: supremely refreshing. I love how Sam does not engage with needless complexity - these rules do look very good.Delete
Your game looks great, Steve, and good to see you back to F2F gaming. Is a complete rules’ revamp really a second edition?ReplyDelete
That's a really good point, Jonathan. Arguably, I guess if you retain something from the original, it's still the original??Delete
Lovely looking game and one that seems like a ‘players’ game that has really grabbed the interest of your group - could this become your Napoleonic system of choice? Very interesting to see an author keep a title, but put out an update with different guts, I wonder where that leaves fans of the first edition? And of course when someone mentions La Salle now, one would have to reply ‘which one’!ReplyDelete
You may have talked me into getting this. :-)
Cheers Norm. I think for my part, I prefer the scale of "Blucher" for my Napoleonic battles but this is a very fun and innovative system as it pertains to the initiative and player actions. You would dig these rules, I think. My group really liked them and I know Ken played the first edition and didnt care much for it. I think it's worth having in your collection and no, I'm not a paid sponsor! :)Delete
Interesting that it is a full rehash, must pick them up to have a lookReplyDelete
Good to hear from you, Matt! Yes it's a wonderful game which we enjoyed very much. I've never played the first edition but I did read it.Delete
Nice AAR and figures. L2 is an excellent fast play set with key decision points each turn. A lot is highly abstracted (skirmishing in particular) and combat/shooting is fairly bare bones but it all works seamlessly within the system and its just good plain fun. One can clearly see the influence of Blucher on new version. Another winner from Mr Mustafa.ReplyDelete
Cheers, Steiner, and completely agree. These are great rules and lots of fun to play. The abstraction really works and the game flows nicely. I like the skirmish mechanism as it impacts the battle narrative and enables the initiative. Probably better than fiddling with lots of smaller stands and doing mathematics!Delete
That's an excellent game with some lovely photos, as you noted. It's always great to get a players view of a set of rules after actually playing them out. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Cheers James. Glad you enjoyed the batrep. I felt after playing these that a post was absolutely mandatory!Delete