Today Stryker and I played the game which I set up on Tuesday - as mentioned, this is a scenario lifted straight from the Commands & Colors user site. It gave us, not surprisingly, a close game. I was Marshal Soult, and Stryker played the role of Wellington, and we used Zoom.
The game features no cavalry at all, and not much artillery, and the French, who have a decent advantage in numbers, have to set about a defending Allied army on a couple of ridges - seem at all familiar? There is a central (8-hex) hill in the centre of the table - occupying more of this hill than the enemy gets 1 extra Victory Point for the Allies, but it's worth 2 to the French. We agreed that 8 VPs for the win would give the French, with their greater numbers, a fair chance to wear the Allies down.
My troops started well - my intention was to have Maucune's Divn make a demonstration attack against the ridge on the Allied left (which did not offer bonus VPs), and push home a decisive offensive against the main hill in the centre, which was occupied initially by Spanish troops.
We used my Ramekin version of C&CN, which does away with the Command Cards (which makes the game possible to play via Zoom), and used the "strategic movement" add-on, whereby any unit which does not come within musket range of the enemy (2 hexes) during a turn may add 1 hex to its move - just the thing to allow those reserves to nip up to the front...
I really enjoyed the game very much. My thanks, as ever, to Stryker for his uplifting enthusiasm and good humour, and my compliments on his very skilled defence. Next time, d'Hubert...
[Footnote: this game was not without some tension, as you will appreciate - at the end of each turn, Stryker would kindly remind me to take photos. After one such photo-shoot, I noticed that I had left my camera on the battlefield, and just for a moment I was concerned that it might have got into the last batch of pictures - only for a moment, mind, and there was a war on at the time.]
***** Late Edit *****
Soult duly submitted his report to the Minister of War, and claimed all manner of misfortunes, not the least being the insubordinate and clueless behaviour of Reille and Maucune. By the time it reached the Emperor, who was in Saxony, and who was beginning to appreciate that the Sixth Coalition had worked out how to defeat him, it definitely did not improve his mood. In fact he was so upset that he had to get his surgeons to give him a rub-down with tripe and vinegar (traditional Corsican remedy for apoplexy).
In truth, Soult could have won our Sorauren game - there were a few occasions when he could reasonably have expected to win. The last few photos do show that his reserves were advancing at the end, but it was too late by this stage. At the point where the numbers of units on the central hill became equal, he only needed to march one more unit onto the hill to win the day - one more turn would have done it - two at the most.
The fundamental issue for C&CN - including its Ramekin cousin - is that the number of available orders is small each turn - it is variable, but it is always small, so that the commanders are encouraged to focus on real priorities. The turns are short, but they come round quickly. Soult used precious orders to attack the Allied left - his supposed diversionary attack; the problem was that it was fairly successful, and he felt obliged to continue to push, though in fact he could have held the diversion back, out of musket range, and still kept the enemy left pinned. With those extra few orders each turn, he could have brought his reserve up more quickly. Yes - quite so.
Even at the stage when the VP score was 5-all, 6-5, whatever, Soult's superiority in the centre was proportionally greater than it had been at the start, and he could actually have stopped the first attack, replaced the worn units with fresh ones, and started again - he should still have won. He was tantalised by the fact that his first attack seemed to be on the edge of success - for a long time - and frittered his orders away in trying to maintain some imagined momentum. Idiot.