Sunday, April 8, 2012

28mm SYW - Playtest of Maurice Lite

This weeks game at the SESWC was again something new for us. A 28mm Seven Years war game using the Maurice Lite rules by Sam Mustapha. Angus Konstam had returned from Orkney via Minneapolis and we decided to give the rules a test outing.  We threw together a simple scenario with Angus French force of 2 infantry brigades each of 4 battalions, a cavalry brigade of 2 Hussar regiments and 2 guns attacking my Hessian force of 2 brigades totalling 7 infantry battalions, a British Light Dragoon regiment and 2 guns.

My artillery open fire on the Hussars

I advanced my Right wing infantry brigade of 4 battalions whilst my weaker Brigade of 3 battalions on the left wing supported my battery of 2 guns. Angus advanced all of his force but his guns never got into action being screened by his advancing infantry.
On the French right the French Hussars advanced on my weaker Brigade but they were bombarded by my artillery. Eventually they got into a position were both regiments charged 2 of my battalions. The cavalry won both actions but not enough to break the infantry and had to fall back. My infantry then volleyed them causing more disruptions and Angus at his next turn withdrew them to safety out of my musket range.

Hussars recklessly charge home - they won but not enought....

On my right Angus infantry came into action against my stronger brigade and a long musketry duel developed. The highlight was when I played an Event card forcing Angus Irish Wild Geese battalion who were getting the worse of the fire fight to charge one of my battalions. Once again the attacker won but not enough to break my battalion and they withdrew with 4 disruptions. My next volley took them over their disruption level of 4 and the Irish broke. The fire fight continued and at the end of the game we had both lost 2 battalions.

The ongoing infantry battle - we both lost 2 units...

The rules worked but Angus and I both have severe doubts about the command mechanism.

Like Lasalle the game mechanisms are relatively simple and very well explained in even the free LITE version of the rules - available at
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Firing is very similar to Lasalle. The basic close combat system is simpler than even Lasalle. One notable feature of the game was that every attacker won their close combats but by never enough to break their opponent. If they had won decisively they would have automatically broken their opponent. A simple win inflicts 2 disruptions on the loser - this if it takes them over their disruption level it will break them. The winner suffers 1 disruption and if their opponent has not broken must withdraw. The hand to hand factors in Lasalle worked by adding/subtracting dice from each side - so troops with an advantage rolled more dice than their opponents. The difference in the number of hits from the dice determined victory and its level. In Maurice only a single dice is thrown and this adjusts a numeric combat value with modifiers the total of which is compared for the 2 sides to determine victory and its level. I must admit I prefer the multiple dice system to a system reliant on a single dice roll.

My main reservation is about the command mechanism - the key to this game and what makes it different - which in a player turn limits a player to doing 1 basic action with one force. A force in Maurice is a contiguous group of similar units in the same formation. A force is not a fixed brigade. These actions are march, bombard, charge, rally, pass or play an event card plus you can always volley fire. The problem with this system is that you can be left with part of your army not in action or unable to move/charge for long periods due to the priority you as the commander have to give to another part of the action.

The card deck you hold and can play allows you to improve your options or impact your opponent - e.g. +1 to every rally attempt, +2 to every unit in a force defending. There are good ideas in the card deck that I would use for special events with any set of rules.


  1. Nice pics! Very nice lay down of the basics. I also prefer multiple dice rolls to single ones so that does concern me.

    I am really curious about these rules and wonder if the basic version is doing it more harm then good from your description. Perhaps these short comings are less in the standard game?

    For example the free Basic Impetus is a decent game, but nowhere near as good as the full standard version of Impetus mainly due to some of the key elements being completely different in each game and much more depth is added to the full version.

    If you get a chance to play the full Maurice I'll be very interested to see what your conclusions are.


  2. Simple but effective scenario it was indeed.

    Nice little game, good report on the ruleset. It may encourage those that need encouragement and warn off those who need warned off!