Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Action at Obermissen, 1813. 1st campaign game.

So gentle reader, we finally have some news of our first battle in the Fords of Missen mini campaign. The action at Obermissen is a side show really and usually wouldn't have been of any interest as a game in itself. However the bigger picture reveals that the attacking Russians have an opportunity to march to the aid of the garrison in Missen where their numbers would be greatly appreciated. The French are ensconced at Obermissen blocking this line of march. They could also do with reinforcements at Missen and could decide to hold Obermissen with one brigade and slip the second one away to help elsewhere. Either way we have a battle to fight.

Chris took up the role of French "General de Division" with me as subordinate brigadier and book keeper. Tony headed up his Russians as usual.  

The Russian General offers up a prayer before launching his assault.  

The forces were pretty small, easily enough to play out in an evening on a 8' x 6' allowing room for movement and depth enough to make any attempt at escape fun to play.

The French fielded two brigades each of 3 x 36 battalions with a foot battery each, plus skirmishers and a 24 strong Regiment of Hussars. The Russians had 1 brigade 4 x 32 Musketeers and 2 x 32 Jaegers,  an attached foot battery of 6 x 12lb guns and a light cavalry brigade of 2 x 16 Uhlans. Two fairly balanced forces, the French being in position and defending were very well placed to hold off the Russians.      

The area of operations or our "campaign map"! Looking north west; Obermissen is in the foreground
with 15mm bits lining up for the kick off. 

The action scaled up to 28mm, looking south - Obermissen below the heights, Russians in the distance
 - the best place for them frankly.

Looking west. French in  the village and on the heights. Russians deploying from march across the road with the brigade of Uhlans outflanking the French position closest to us. 

Behind the French hilltop position - these troops should be thinking about exiting for Missen any moment. 

Russians with a big battery astride the road. Jaegers in the far woods and the gully in the foreground, Uhlans circling to outflank the position and prevent anyone marching off to aid the bigger action at Missen. 

A Swiss battalion defends Obermissen. Note the sapper by Front Rank adding some weight to the Perry plastics,
I expect it was him organised the barrels to be so neatly arranged to block the road although why barrels of booze would repel Russians is quite beyond me. 

More Swiss boys. I should have modeled tiny multi blade knives on them really.

More defenders in Missen, this time an Italian foot battery. Elite miniatures.
The opening turns saw the Russians move up and begin exchanging shots with the Swiss defenders and support. The big battery took most of the evening to manhandle forwards and deploy so never really made its presence felt. The French adjusted the line a little and sent some skirmishers forward more of a spoiler than anything serious. Notably the 5th Hussars turned around to confront the Lithuanian Uhlans who were menacing their flanks.

Russian 12lb battery prepares to rain iron death into Obermissen. The other half of the battery is down hill and out of camera shot. The crews are a mix of Foundry Napoleonic and Crimean figures plus some Front Rank, painted by Tony.   

Russian infantry march on Obermissen. Beautifully painted by Tony who also did the shot-up flag, cool.

Another Russian battalion. The rank and file have seen something to the left, the officer is looking in the other direction!  
Remember Tony hand made and HAND PAINTED these flags.

Bored now. More Russians! Joking aside it's a privilege to play against such lovely toys, we see the front of them, Tony usually only sees the backs!  

Russian Jaeger emerge from the woods to take pot shots at the Swiss.

Two small regiments of Lithuanian Uhlans circling around Obermissen to prevent anyone marching off towards the bigger battle at Missen on the Misser. 

More Uhlans with dashing officer to the rear...
The first real contact came as the cavalry closed with each other, the Hussars counter charging the Uhlans and winning; with their horses blown they retired to regroup.
First contact at Obermissen. The 5th Hussars counter charge the Lithuanian Uhlans.
Perry plastics versus Foundry metals!

Russian Jaeger detached from their parent unit who are deploying into firing line having moved through the woods.

Swiss line deployed along the road beside the village.
One rare feature of this game was that virtually every Russian commander was killed except the C in C. This caused much of the inertia which the Russians displayed and meant that conducting charges was very difficult as there was no one to order them!

More Russian Jaeger, this time advancing in colume. French legere harass with sniper fire.  

The main Russian thrust, four battalion columes set off to storm the village.
Note Uhlans in the distance. 

The garrison at Obermissen. The French C in C has popped in to encourage the Brigadier and to enquire if it was really necessary to use all of the barrels of booze to blockade the village!
The next Regiment of Uhlans now charged the refreshed Hussars who once again won and scattered the Russian horsemen. The flank was now safe as was the road to Missen.
Cavalry melee.

Russian foot battery. The commander of this battery employed suspect tactics on the day! 
The French C in C can be congratulated on a sterling defence and tactical victory but curiously he never once considered the bigger picture. The second brigade even marched down from its lofty perch on the hill top and set about supporting the well defended village which frankly was never threatened. As we have seen the fun part of this game, and the sensible course in the campaign context, was to take the rear brigade and battery off to help out at Missen. Chris conceded that he totally forgot about this afterwards and I was very grown up during the game by not suggesting this - after all he was a General and I a mere brigadier!

The second brigade moves to support the troops in Obermissen and seal it off from outflanking attempts.  

Looking into Obermissen from the French side, Swiss and Italians defend the village.
Tony fondles a small yellow thingy.

The village is well supported. General staff watch the action unfold from safe a distance. 

The Russian general of artillery gauges the effect of his batteries fire as the infantry go into action.
Despite local superiority the fractured command structure, due to officer casualties, paralyzed the Russian attack to the extent that no assaults were ever launched against Obermissen. The attack simply fizzled out and the French position only became stronger. The operation was eventually called off.

"In the the thick of action."
(more atmospheric than focussed!)

This can only happen in wargames!!! Russian guns manhandled to within inches of the hostile French position with almost no loss in the process, - silly really.

French legere move to support the Swiss line.

A firefight develops between the Swiss and Russian Jaeger plus Musketeers.

Legere move up to support the Swiss as the Jaeger close the range.
As an evenings game this was exactly what we wanted, small enough to play in a few hours and crucially it had a context and outcome beyond some Russians failing to storm a nameless settlement!

Result - There will be no extra French or Russian troops arriving at Missen from the southern road - bit of a no score draw but hey - shit happens!

Next week the action switches to the northern sector around Zumstadt. That will be a bigger game and sees Rich return from foreign climes to take up a command in the Russian army with Tony.  

Hope you enjoyed this, pop back to catch up on the battles around Zumstadt.


  1. Lovely work there Jeremy. Must come down and see you all soon.

  2. Hi Scrivs, thanks for the feedback. We should try to sort some kind of big game or at least a night out - are you down for Fearnaught? We're not playing but could catch up for some curry etc. Be good, Jeremy.

  3. Yes, I'm down for Fearnaught, but am staying at the Premier Inn in Frome, so could do curry but no beers :-)

    1. We're up for that, speak nearer the time< best wishes, JJ

  4. No probs lets do it! Catch up soon, jj

  5. Now that's what I call a proper setup. I especially like the scenery and the impressive size of that table,

  6. Thanks for your kind words Schrumpfkopf - always good to hear our work is appreciated. I take it you would like to see more of my Prussians soon? It can be arranged, infact your blog inspired me to finish them, watch this space.