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.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Epic 15mm bash - Lutzen 1813 - Part 2.

So we return to the scene for part 2 of what I anticipate being a four session game over as many weeks. This time the captions tell the story - just seemed easier. It also means you have to read them though.

Part 3 may see the conclusion so call back. I want to do a post on the 15mm collection and how it works, show some close-ups and what's what.

As well as playing this game we're all frantically sorting ourselves out for the big two day 28mm game at the end of the month, we've settled on the northern half of Borodino. We'll do the southern half in September. We also feel that we could play Borodino as a whole on this board (16 x 6) in 15mm, that way we could play it over a number of weeks not cram it into a weekend.

Lost a few pounds, training hard, not a "dry" month though! The flesh is weak.        

A guest at Marauder HQ - painting maestro Nigel Cox puts in an appearance and delivers a battalion of Foundry Bavarians and a Bavarian foot battery - both are beautiful, just need to base them. Rich enjoys a private joke.

Bertrand's men on the right move towards the cavalry screening Chris's centre. The Old Guard begin to descend from the hill in the foreground. Chris consolidates his position awaiting the counter attack.  

My little part of the battle. Tony's French in the foreground need to cross that bridge to relieve Ney in the centre. Tony's guns batter away at my squares between repeated cavalry charges - despite mounting casualties everyone takes the pain and holds...  

Tony moves Ney's rear most division forward to support the line between Gross Gorschen and Klein Gorschen. In the foreground fresh troops arrive to support Constantine's Russian Guards who are about to be severely counter attacked by the French Guard off screen to the left. Batteries are limbered up and move forward. Three regiments of Cuirassiers advance to exploit the breakthrough Chris expects to make here. We now hold both of these villages.      

The Allied extreme left flank under considerable threat. Russian dragoons plus Russian Guard cavalry screen the centre from these fresh attackers. French cavalry general standing in as Russian.

Similar scene to above, more Russian Guard cavalry this time facing off the French Old Guard light and heavy cavalry. Six 12lbs deployed with more moving up. The storm is about to break.  

Rich and Tony make their moves - Chris unpacks a new box of 15mm resin Sherman "Easy 8s" from Battlefront who make Flames of War. He's pretty excited about seeing these...  

...imagine his disgust - Battlefront have packed the wrong toys!
That's surely the "Easy 8" Glass Dildo.

That's very poor service, he should complain. I expect he'll find somewhere to put it though...   

Tony's horse battery blowing chunks out of my squares as his chasseurs make another charge, two regiments of lancers lurk around waiting for their chance. My brigade of Austrian light cavalry snake through the infantry who they are supporting, if I can just change their orders to assault I can relieve the pressure on the two squares which are screening my battery.  

The centre. Ney personally leads a ferocious counter attack. His four formations now form a rough line ready to counter attack with the aim of retaking Gross Gorschen, Klein Gorschen and the line of the road between them. At the foot of the escarpment Jurgass still cannot re motivate his cavalry brigade after the loss of the hussars. They never rejoin the battle.     

A wider shot taking in the far flank as the lines are redrawn and prepare to close again.
Rich and Chris laugh at some bollocky comment one of them made about me - happy days.  

Dunno what to say about this.

Bertrand's troops screened by a light cavalry brigade, 24 Hussars, 24 lancers and 24 Chasseurs. Facing them are 2 x 32 Dragoons screening Russian infantry who are deploying to meet the threat to the army's flank.
Tony looking pensive - "is magic before or after melee in General de Brigade?"

Close up of the above, those two batteries look like trouble in the making.
 So, would a betting man back the 3 x 24 lights or 2 x 32 dragoons? 

Three regiments of Cuirassiers find a way through Russian infantry in various states of disorder to charge the guns and unlock the position - my council that such a move was suicidal fell on contemptuously deaf ears. 

From behind the French position. Yet another large body of Russian infantry arrive on the heights. Ney's position looks strong but can he hold on until Napoleon can break through.  Bottom right is one of two regiments of French Old Guard Lancers squaring off against Russian Guard Grenadiers.

Not the best photo - Guard Lancers led by their General charge Emperor's Cuirassier who counter charge. The lancers bowled them over sending them back behind the lines to restore their pride! The lancers headlong pursuit took them into a colume of Guard grenadiers - jeepers! Guard 12lb foot battery bombards the opposition while the Grumblers form up to attack, Guard heavies make their way down the hill. This is a battle in itself.      

Ney's personal bravery in leading the charge here briefly relieved the pressure  - however his ADC was slain in the melee, you know what happened - yep Chris threw a double in melee - we nearly had the bugger. Klein Gorschen is safely in my hands and very well supported. My battery is moving up to support the next stage of the attack when Chris finally orders the next stage. There are still a few fresh French battalions but most are badly mauled and the whole front is wobbling precariously.   

The charge of the Military Orders Cuirassiers. My council proved every bit as wrong as Battle Front's mail order dept! Chris sailed through the wall of canister and supporting fire, rode down the battery and whacked into the infantry behind who were also cut down; horses blown they fell back to tea and medals! The ensuing Brigade Morale test broke the formation which fell back. With three regiments of Cuirassier waiting to surge through the hole things looked chipper for Chris and a little desperate for Tony.    

An ugly attempt to demonstrate where everyone is.  
A Pajol's Light Cavalry - B Bertrand's infantry - C Marmont's infantry - D Guard heavy cavalry
E Napoleon with the Old Guard Infantry - Heavy cavalry reserve - G Guard light cavalry H Ney's four divisions - I Houflay's infantry and a light cavalry brigade.
1 Dragoons - 2 Chekov's infantry - 3 Guard cavalry and artillery - 4 Guard infantry - 5 Molotov's infantry and cuirassiers - 6 Tchukov's infantry - 7 Nuriev's infantry - 8 Jurgass - 9 Austrian light cavalry - 
10 Raevski's infantry - 11 Barclay's infantry - 12 part of 5!   

All of the troops for the game are now on the table - nearly 4000 15mm models. I say all but that's not quite true, we still have three sotnias of roving cossacks who have yet to appear, wonder where they've got to?

Rich admires his handy work just before we head home after a fine nights gaming. The Guard, Marmont & Bertrand forming a great arc across his front with four regiments of heavy cavalry regiments racing on from the left.
He's got all the toys in place - next week he'll have to do some actual fighting or Tony goes down screaming!   

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Epic 15mm bash - Lutzen 1813 - Part 1.

This week saw us playing a big 15mm game inspired by the Battle of Lutzen 1813. I say inspired because we're not sticking slavishly to the events and orbats of the day - the rough layout and scenario are similar enough though. This game is a pleasant filler over four weeks in July whilst we arrange the big 28mm General de Brigade game at the end of the month.

The eagle eyed will notice that all four Marauders are involved here - a rarity for a big Napoleonic game. Eagle eyes will also note that we have repainted the "man cave" - the previous multi-coloured walls and cave  paintings of sheep(?) & horses(?) got too much on the eye. We came in on a non game night cleaned up, wash down walls etc and got rolling and brushing, Chris then went back a few times in the week to redo a few bits - bless him. Tony picked up some extra lighting and the whole place is like a hospital surgery - only cleaner. We only repainted the main gaming room not the scenery store room or kitchen and other parts. We also left the light blue wall and some others which were too crumbly to take paint! We're really pleased and rather smug! If Mrs Marauders had any inkling we'd be bollocked and painting our own homes - not our murky bunker!        

This looks like turn two or three. French light cavalry screening the advance and forcing Russians into square to protect the guns. Russian infantry take Eisdorf and head for the bridge to prevent a French link up with the main body. Austrian light cavalry brigade in support. 
Lutzen is a classic escalation game with troops arriving from all over the place at later stages. It also features both the Old Guard and Allied Life Guards in a heavy weight show down.

Basically Marshall Ney's large formation is camped in a rough square between four villages, Gross Gorschen & Klein Gorschen in front, Rahna & Kaja behind. This area is broken up by woods and ditches. However Ney neglected to post pickets, so when Blucher appeared on the high ground looking down on this scene he went straight over to the attack calling his outlying formations to concentrate. Such a prize was irresistible to the old warhorse, BUT with further French forces nearby he must be quick. So initially the French are disadvantaged and out numbered. As Ney scrambles to occupy the villages and form up he sends an urgent call to his master to come to his aid. Napoleon hastens to the scene with  the Guard and summons two other nearby French Corps to march to the sound of the guns.             

The other end of the table. French troops from Marmont's Corps marching to relieve Ney in the centre. Russian Guard cavalry screen the advance of the Russian Guard Corp under Grand Duke Constantine. This looks massive.    

So that's provided us with a situation to resolve. Both sides have objectives and some urgency in getting things going swiftly - that injects tension into the game. Both sides have substantial reserves to deploy in various places at variable and random times which injects chaos and confusion.

Everyone is excited and slightly nervous - just what I hoped for - that's wargaming!

"La Guard arrivee!"
Turn five - Napoleon arrives with the an Old Guard infantry Division and two Old Guard cavalry Divisions, (one light one heavy) plus Old Guard foot and horse artillery. Marmont is centre right with Bertrand's Corps arriving top right. In the centre the Russian Guard cavalry screen the advance of Russian foot Guards on the village centre left. These are in turn supported by another pile of Russian infantry and Dragoons deploying from reserve. Up on the high ground a Russian 12lb battery bombards Ney's defenders and a Corps of Cuirassiers deploys, 3x32 heavies - just enough to knock a hole in Ney and wreck his day...    
The pictures and captions should outline who is who and where and some of the action too.

The Allied plan was as follows;

We would descend the ridge and catch Ney in disarray with the Russian Foot Guards and a second Russian Corp both with large batteries attached, the only cavalry assigned to this attack was a Prussian brigade under Jurgass, 3 x 24 (1 hussar, 1 uhlan, 1 dragoon). The Allied left was exposed to attack by Marmont marching in from Starsiedel so was screened by the Russian Guard cavalry and artillery. This central push would receive the majority of our reserves as they arrived; two more infantry corps, one of Cuirassiers, one of Dragoons and a horde of cossacks.

The Allied right was my small corner of Germany to contest. Here both sides had troops on the far side of the river who could intercede if they could just capture the bridge and get over it. In reality this part of the battle around Eisdorf didn't occur but it seemed like a good mini scenario within the bigger picture. I gave both sides substantial infantry and a light cavalry brigade too. The allies had a big foot battery, the French a mobile horse battery. Just over the bridge I also has a Russian infantry Corps whose task was to take Klein Gorschen, the village in front of me held by Ney's men who were rushing to support it from the rear most positions on the French line. The aforementioned Jurgass was to sweep away supports from this village to give me a clear run at it - combined arms at work.
The same scene - different angle.

The French plan was to get Ney into good positions and hold the four villages until help arrived. Marmont started on the table at Starsiedel, some way off, other French forces would appear in time... 

The arrival of Bertand. This is a powerful formation; 8 x 36 infantry battalions, 2 foot batteries and a brigade of 3 x 24 light cavalry. However they are some way from the action but will doubtless make their presence felt as the allies attempt to win before French numbers eclipse their own.   

The French - Rich and Tony seem very pleased that both Napoleon and Bertrand have arrived. My theater of operations is at the far end of table - things are going well and I have nearly achieved my objectives and am awaiting a counter attack, Chris will no doubt give me fresh orders to press my attacks beyond these objectives causing me great anxiety!    

Week one ended around turn five or six. We had a great time. Chris took Gross Gorschen with the Russian Guard, I took Klein Gorschen and Eisdorf, the village commanding the bridge from over the river. Turn five saw lots of fresh troops arrive and the game really building. The arrival of Napoleon gives the French 2 C-in-C's, a big advantage in General de Brigade terms. We allowed four weeks to play this, possibly 20 odd turns. This allows plenty of time to mount counter attacks and for fresh to march into contact from afar.

Next time I'll bang up more pictures and some notes on the 15mm models and how we organised them; the "eagle eyed" will have noted that they are non traditional in basing and number, more of that later.

Hope you stay with us through this game. it already has an epic feel to it.

Be good


Sunday, 1 July 2012

July - the next 4 weeks

It's the first of July.

Tomorrow I have a medical examination meaning I can't drink alcohol today or tomorrow. Not so bad really assuming the results are OK , however I have a drink everyday after work or after the gym so we'll see how that feels. Thing is that drink often kills any enthusiasm to sort out any painting or basing etc etc OK I built a redoubt but that didn't actually take that long. I am arranging a big two day game at the end of the month and having all my stuff based up and looking great would really add to my enjoyment and the photos. I also just got back up to 14 stone, 90kg - this is poor really.

So what the heck is he telling us this for?

Good question and it deserves an answer. A good answer too.

Here's my plan, in no order;-

Knock off the sauce until the weekend of the game - 4 weeks away
Lose 1 stone in 4 weeks
Focus my spare time more sharply on life over these 4 weeks
Get some me time over these 4 weeks (I work 6 days per week in my 2 year old business)
Base and finish as much as possible in the next 4 weeks
Arrange the big game as well as I can for my friends & I to enjoy, over 4 weeks
Finish the big 15mm Lutzen 1813 inspired game we are playing in 4 weeks
Work as hard as I can at the gym for 4 weeks
Eat as sensibly as I can for 4 weeks
Have a massive party at my house for the big game players in 4 weeks 
Eat & drink what I want after the big game in 4 weeks

Get back to this - slim again

Enjoy cooking some good food

Exercise vigorously

and more vigorously 

Enjoy the sun - avoid conflict 

Enjoy some pretty games

Enjoy the sun and the family
less of this

less of this

none of that

a BIG one of these
and no scaring people shitless.

In 4 weeks time we see where I got to and move on!

So that's my plan. Lots to do, be good and have fun out there,