Both the British and the French forces consisted of a patrol of five infantrymen, all "B" class.
Each patrol is advancing towards each other, unaware that they are about to encounter opposition. Each side wishes to secure the stream. The basic solitaire command mechanism was for each side to roll a D6 each turn, to indicate aggression levels, with a -1 for each seriously wounded or killed friendly soldier and +1 for each seriously wounded or killed enemy soldier. If a side rolls a modified "0", all surviving troops will run away.
|A five-man French patrol advancing from the bottom approach a similar British patrol advancing from the top.|
|Blanc, van der Vaart, Napoli, Dubois and Dupont advancing...|
|Hopkins, White, Lawlor, Robson and Brown on the far side of the stream|
|A better view of the British firing line. Hopkins on the left also misfired.|
|And the view from the British side.|
|The French, in spite of their losses, move aggressively forward and begin to cross the stream.|
|Meanwhile the British run behind the hill to reload. Lawlor trips and falls. He tries to get up but is grazed by a musket ball fired by Napoli.|
|The French charge, but Blanc and Napoli stumble when crossing the river and Van der Vaart ends up charging alone!|
|Lawlor and Van der Vaart slug it out, hand-to-hand|
|The remaining French pair decide to break off the action.|
Troops are rated A-G depending on how skilful and motivated they are. When personnel are injured, they drop ratings to reflect their reduced performance. This neatly deals with wounds, so that Imperial Guardsmen with a minor wound are likely to remain pretty effective, whilst Portuguese militiamen will be pretty useless.
The command and control of personnel is done by written orders - essentially a single word like "move", "fire", "reload" or "get up" next to a name on the roster. So, for Brown, the written orders went Walk-Hold-Run-Fire-Reload etc. The game is based on simultaneous movement. That worked alright, although this leaves a certain amount of interpretation up to the player(s): at what point in a move is a moving target shot at, for example. However, the overall process is pretty quick and intuitive and didn't feel too intrusive into the game. The mechanisms were very intuitive and the calibration of effects felt about right, although perhaps giving a running man a 20% chance of tripping over seems excessive! But, on the other hand, if we reckon that it includes the effects of cognitive blink and confusion and so on, perhaps it works out alright. There are various factors to modify chances to hit and so on, but they are all pretty basic and don't slow down the gsame appreciably. The game uses D10 for all its rolls, which allows for quite a range of results but still allows plaers to understand quickly the probabilities of actions being successful (or not).
The rules do what they say they will do: provide a fun Napoleonic wargame with a minimum of fuss. On this initial playthrough, recommended.
The figures used were from Perry Miniatures (my painting does not do these beauties justice!).