Maurice is the latest game from Sam Mustafa (Lasalle, Might and Reason, Grand Armee), and is intended to portray the battles of the 18th century. In some ways, it is reminiscent of Lasalle, but in other ways, it varies considerably from those rules. There is no fixed scale; a unit (represented by 4 bases of cavalry or infantry, or a single stand of artillery) can be telescoped up or down to denote a battalion or a brigade, or anything in between. The number of figures on a base does not matter either, and here is no removal of bases unless the entire unit routs or gets completely defeated in combat. There are several unit types, being regular infantry and cavalry, irregular infantry and cavalry, and artillery. Regular troops are also rated for training, being conscript, trained or elite.
There is a simple points system or creating your force, with a rather elegant system for dealing with the sort of player who wants as many elite forces as possible, or wants to be able to swamp the field with a massive artillery battery. The first elite unit costs an extra 2 points, the second costs an extra 3 points, the third an extra 4 points, and so on. With artillery, the mechanic is the same, starting from a single point for 1 unit, 2 points for a second unit, 3 points for a third unit, and so on. In this way, a player can decide to go for as many elites as possible, but will end up with some really expensive units very quickly. His opponent, on the other hand, can decide to go for quantity, mixing conscript (or irregular) units with trained units, and will probably have a numerical advantage of 2 or 3 to 1. Similarly, a force can be made primarily of irregular troops, but this is a dangerous proposal since irregular troops caught in the open are toast. They do excel in rough terrain, however, and with the right combination of cards and terrain choices, they can be very effective, since they cost half the price in points of trained regular units, and are roughly on a par with them in rough terrain. Since they also have numbers of their side, this can be an effective (if risky) army. The system for creating an army is thus one that can cater to all kinds of players – small, highly elite forces, masses of troops to swamp the enemy, and guerrilla-style irregular armies are all not only easily created, but can be effective. There is no super army in Maurice that everyone will want to play irrespective of the players’ style. (more…)
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