Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Maurice rules for AWI

Last weeks game was an AWI game at Bill Gilchrist's house since it was his turn to have a gammy leg although he's had it for a few weeks now. All the figures and terrain were from Bill's collection and a very tasty lunch was supplied by his lovely wife Helena. Bill wanted us to try out the Maurice set of rules by Sam Mustapha to see what we thought of them , Bill and Colin Jack commanded the British while Mr Ray and myself commanded the Americans,

Bill had already tried them a few times and wasn't convinced so he was using us as guinea pigs. Even from Bill's introduction I was becoming very sceptical especially when he announced that there is only one general in a force so no historical nonsense like Brigadiers or wing commanders. The biggest problem with this was that all orders are issued by cards, in fact the whole game is run by cards so not sure if the rules have been produced for having games or for selling cards as there seems to be quite a lot of them and for a multi-player games like the one we were having we should have had a pack of cards for each two players.
British right flank
American left flank
 Virtually all the action in this battle took place between these two flanks of the battle mainly due to the deficiencies of the command system. To get troops to move they all have to be of the same type and within 4" of each other and depending on how far they were from the commander you might have to use a number of cards to get the order through. If that wasn't bad enough it also meant that no other troops could move, rally off disruption points or even fire your artillery at long range as they all took order points.
The Americans guns only managed to fire twice in the whole game despite having a large number of targets in range as in most moves we were having to rally off disruption points which meant we couldn't do anything else so the two of us ended up commanding the one flank of the battle whilst the other flank virtually did nothing. The British players also had the same problem and their left flank only managed to get moving towards the end of the battle and neither sides cavalry managed to move at all.
British advance to close range
Unfortunately for the American army the dice rolling of Mr Ray and myself was especially bad even by our standards whereas Colin keep rolling more than his fair share of 5's and 6's which meant we struggled to inflict casualties on the British and take our own disruption markers off. Because of our difficulties this meant the Brits could spend time to get their left flank moving forward but they probably wished they hadn't as they ended up losing a couple of Hessian units. This now took their army morale down to 4 which was also the same as the Americans but in the next move the Americans lost another two units which took our morale to 0 which ended the game.
Just about the final moment as the last American infantry unit got blown away
and only left the artillery and cavalry on this flank
Mr Ray and myself just before the final dice rolls
In the end we had an enjoyable game but I think that was more to do with the company than the rules which might work better for standard European battles rather than American ones. The short range volleying part of the game worked OK it's the limitations of the command system that lets the game down in my personal view and stop the use of historical tactics of using cavalry wings and supporting troops. I did wonder if we were using the rules wrongly but we had Dave Patterson with us at the beginning of the game who rates the rules highly so I guess we used them correctly.



  1. Only tried then once so far with a SYW game but was reasonably impressed by the C&C system embeded in the cards, but found the actual games rules somewhat simplistic.

    1. Bill just had another test game with just one player per side and thought the rules worked much better but it still has the limitations on actions. I fail to see why artillery cannot fire on the enemy at long range just because their infantry are trying to rally up, doesn't make sense to me.

  2. Great looking game! Super looking terrain and figures!

    I have a few questions?

    1. Did each player control his own army with his own general?

    2. Did you use an additional card pack for the extra two players?

    3. Did each player have his own hand of cards?

    If it's no to any of these or worse yet no to all of them then you did not play the multi-player game correctly and therefore will not get a satisfactory result. I believe the author gave guidelines for playing multi player games and I assure you if these are followed you will get a far better game. This comes from personal experience of ignoring the suggestions and doing my own thing and not liking the game, but when I followed the guidelines I had a very enjoyable experience indeed. Maurice went from really disliked to one of my favourite games virtually overnight.


    1. 1 We only had one general per army which was the main problem as that general was too far away of any flanking or supporting troops to issue orders.

      2 We only had one pack of cards and again we all felt a pack per 2 players might have worked better.

      3 We only had the one hand of cards which again limited issuing orders.

      Apart from those issues I still have problems with the fact that you can only either, bombard with artillery, or march troops or rally off disruption points.
      I have no problem with not being able to command my whole force in any move, I already play rules that have that limitation I would just prefer to be able to do a mixture of those actions rather than just being limited to one type of action per move.

    2. I read my answer and it sounded as if I was giving instructions when actually I was just trying to be helpful so sorry about that if I came across as overbearing.:-)

      It really does help to have two commanders with their own armies and the extra deck as you always have something to do and range for orders becomes far more manageable.

      I understand your logical point about the artillery, but Maurice isn't a simulation game as I'm sure you have guessed already and I believe it places a great emphasis on trying to get the feel of the period and making situational decisions over your traditional wargame.

      I hope your next game is more successful and enjoyable!


    3. No worries Christopher I didn't get that impression from your posting.

  3. Looked a good game, I'd like to try these rules, I'll have to check my wallet at the next show???

    1. Personally I wouldn't bother especially as I think they are about £30?
      I don't know if that also includes the cards? I'm sure Christopher could inform you correctly.

    2. I think it's 37 pounds for the book and cards without a discount. Worth every bit in terms of rules quality IMHO, but for sure pricey for a soft cover book and some cards.


    3. That is pricey! I still feel the cards dominate the game too much for my liking but I'm sure there are plenty of other gamers out there that feel differently.