|The 15mm campaign moves, French entering from the left;|
Russians in front and to both sides!
|The French deploy from the road. Four cavalry regiments plus a horse battery move to deal with Russian cavalry on the hill in the foreground - hammer v nut?|
|Dashing hussars dash about looking dashing.|
That's their job.
Should these be successful they would then sweep down to cut off Zumstadt from the reinforcements we knew could join the game later on, something like another 6 x 32 Russians with another 12lb battery. So an aggressive and sound plan - attack everywhere to deny the Russians the chance to consolidate or reinforce.
|Italian line making a lot of noise - they've got no idea what Russian infantry are like!|
|More Italians - this time looking rather shifty.|
|Those hussars again - note the red light from Chris's laser pointer - freaky.|
|Looking from behind Zumstadt towards the French advance. The Russian reception committee have arranged three lines with artillery support plus three more battalions in and around Zumstadt. More Russians lining the ridge to the left.|
This farce left the Brigade leaderless and unable to order charges, morale tests loomed...
|Splendid fellows - Russian Dragoons - polished and sparkling.|
|The same regiment, 32 strong.|
|Elite company of the 5th Hussars - these are so pretty, I love them.|
|Rich attacks my legere with his light sabre - the filthy swine!|
|The shame of it! Dupont, "hero of France", is captured and presented to the Russian C in C.|
He is a survivor, a cad, a favourite of the ladies, and a self promoting chancer! He is also very lucky. Good fortune was to shine on Dupont this day as on many others. As luck would have it the Russian C-in-C was his cousin, thrice removed, but a cousin none the less! At once champagne and nibbles were called for, the tents were struck and the two fell into idle banter about their shared childhood in the courts of Europe and their exploits since. For them the battle was forgotten and the picnic began - blissful!
|Poorly photographed Russian Hussars making a go of it by charging a hell of a lot of French cavalry - URRAH!|
Nut v hammer?
|Very important people and very well dressed too - Italian Guards. Stop laughing!|
Victrix with Perry mounted office, GMB flag, Barry Hill paint job.
|French skirmishers are sent packing by an angry Russian bayonet charge - Grrrrr.|
These are some of the Front Rank toys we picked up from Ian Hinds on our road trip last year.
|The main event in the first few turns. Russian and Saxon heavies clash.|
The result was total and decisive. The Russian Dragoons were routed with massive casualties.
We all sank into silence, Rich and Chris looked up some rules as Tony put the toys away. I took some piccies. War is a mean business.
This sudden collapse allowed the attack develop as planned once the blown horses were recovered and the division redeployed.
|Groovy French caisson by Perry miniatures. Some of those tails need a quick wash of ink, how did I miss that?|
|Chris and Rich pretend to read rules in embarrassed silence - Tony puts his Dragoons back the box - butchered - again.|
|Italian columns approaching a Russian line whilst the hussars line up a charge on another.|
|Brace for impact ladies!|
|French general staff staff milling about behind the lines. Chris likes to keep brigadiers close to the C in C for ease of order changes - control freak.|
|My Italians attempting to close with Russians from Ian Hinds, now in Tony's "other" collection*|
The solution was obvious - buy lots of Russians that Tony didn't paint!
Presently this amounts to 13 x 32 Russian line with a foot battery. Add the Russian Guard Corps which I have supplied. The Life Guard Corps is 6 x 32 Guard and Elites, 32 Cuirassier, 32 Hussars, 24 Uhlans, 2 x 6 gun batteries, one each of foot and horse. The Guards can always double as Grenadiers and ordinary cavalry if needed. Rich even has some cossack/tartar types we can throw in as well. So now we can play battles with two or three Russian commanders each leading a decent amount of kit.
|Russian jaeger defending Zumstadt. Foundry toys from Ian Hinds.|
|Russian line get ready to repel the Italian menace. Foundry toys from Ian Hinds.|
|"Calm down back there! No ones impressed."|
Excited French officers sabre rattling!
After their exertions the Hussars rode back to the safety of their own lines for a rest, tea and sandwiches.
|I love this regiment; Milanese troops from my Italian collection, a great paint job making the most of really excellent Victrix French plastics, loads of character and variation, GMB flag (which needs edging), paint job by Barry Hill.|
Whilst he was carried screaming to the rear, (for delicate field surgery with rusty instruments) his brigade was subject to a limited Russian counter attack. The Italians reacted predictably badly to flank attack by grumpy Russians and while no serious harm was done Lecchi's Brigade was reduced to a shadow of a shadow of the shadow that it was initially. Why did I ever lead an attack with these guys?
|The last seconds before the Russian line is dispersed by jubilant hussars.|
It was late by now and we had to make a decision;
1: Talk through what happens next like grown ups and accept that.
2: Row about the "what ifs" for the next twenty years; "he was never off-side!" etc.
3: Restart next week allowing the Russian supports to enter the fray i.e. have another brilliant wargame!
After much discussion we French allowed the Russians to convince us that "there was no point playing any further because they would so obviously win - pointless game etc". We remain secretly totally unconvinced and I for one will wish to play out the final "what if?" stages of the Battle of Zumstadt some other time.
So we packed up and chatted about the next game, the show down at Missen itself.
|Post game discussion. Chris & I think there's another night in this - the allies don't.|
|The same angle as above but from the 15mm version which inspired the battle.|