But never mind all that we had a day free to play General de Brigade! I also had no idea what to play and very little time to sort anything out. We needed a big game with lots happening & which three players could tackle in a day with just a little preparation. As usual I read the excellent notes in the GdeB rule book about running big games and happened to come across the Katzbach scenario while doing so. We have played this twice before but in 15mm and using Black Powder, finishing it in an evening each time. However we had a whole day and wanted to use General de Brigade as it simply represents my take on Napoleonic warfare much better. BP is fine for a light hearted evenings knock about - this was serious business though!
|Prussian 12th Reserve Regiment, much sword and hat waving as they move through Eichholtz to the front! |
Foundry models painted by Barry Hill, GMB flag, basing by me for me. (Note wide eyed loon far left - scary)
Marauder Moment Number 1.
I locked myself out of the house! Nevermind by the time we get back the family will be home and I can get in without looking unduly nob like. No such luck - the keys to the club are with my house keys inside my house - yes indeed - what a nob! Never fear Chris has keys we'll ring him and get his - hurray!
Not so fast Jenkins, a word of caution - the last one of us to wake Chris early (post two day boozy bender) was assaulted thus - "it's too early! Leave me alone you mad wanker!"
Marauder Moment 2.
That sunny Sunday morning saw me trespass on my neighbour's property while he slept, steal his ladder and, with my two accomplices, break into my own house via a top floor window! Keys found! With the ladder safely returned we could sneak away to our game with Neighbourhood Watch none the wiser!
|"We're the Brandenburg Hussars for today!"|
(Actually Death's Head Hussars from my collection. Calpe minis painted by Prof Pender.)
The Katzbach scenario is basically an escalating attack/defence game. The French are initially quite weak and must hold the high ground in front of the bridge to prevent its capture - virtually at any cost. The allies are stronger but also get more toys too. Many formations on both sides are 2nd class line or conscript with some French cavalry being on poor mounts. This is significant as poorer troops are far more fragile and less able fighters. But it was the poor morale which had such an impact on the game and actually allowed us to get a result in a day with time to spare!
|Perry plastics with a variety of alternative head gear from the infantry sets - used as chasseur a cheval. From Richard's collection - Barry Hill paint job, Rich basing.|
Before the wargames police call around I must stress that this scenario is NOT the whole battle. It deals with the Allied right flank where Yorck's corp engaged McDonald's forces as they rush to the front in dribs and drabs, hence the staggered arrival schedule.
Here is a summary of the forces we used;-
Prussian forces under Yorck with 1 ADC
Brigade Mecklenburg; 4 x 32 line, 2 x 32 Veterans
Brigade Lobenthal; 4 x 32 enthusiastic conscripts, 6lb foot battery (line)
Cavalry Brigade; 18 veteran hussars
attached Russian 12lb foot battery - 6 guns
Brigade Donnersmark; 24 Dragoons, 24 Uhlans, 6lb horse battery (all line)
Brigade Bieberstein; 2 x 18 conscript cavalry
Brigade Zepelin arriving turn two; 3 x 32 vets, 12 elite jaegers
Brigade Knorr (packet soup?) arriving turn three; 4 x 32 enthusiastic conscripts 6lb foot battery (line)
Bbrigade Neverosky arriving turn six; 5 x 32 Russian 2nd class
Totals; 22 battalions, 5 cavalry regiments, 4 batteries, 21 general staff, just over 900 toys.
French Forces. XI Corps under Marmont with 1 ADC.
Brigade Simmer; 3 x 36 line
Brigade Meunier; 36 vets, 2 x 36 line
Divisional artillery; 6lb foot battery, 4 guns, line
Corps artillery; 12lb foot battery, 4 guns, line
Brigade Beurman; 18 veteran hussars, 18 hussars
Brigade Domanget; 18 lancers, 2 x 18 Chasseurs a cheval, all on inferior mounts
Divisional horse battery; 3 x 6lb guns
Brigade Brayer arriving turn 2; 4 x 36 2nd class, 6lb foot battery
Brigade Charriere arriving turn 3; 4 x 36 2nd class
Brigade Wathiez; 2 x 18 Chasseurs a cheval, one elite, one veteran
Totals; 14 Battalions, 7 Regiments of Cavalry, 4 Batteries, 25 general staff, just over 700 toys.
Not a massive game but enough for three of us to get out teeth stuck into for days dreamy play.
I think the table was 16' by 6', it was set up from the map in the book.
|Prussians head for the front line. Silesian Landwehr from Warlord Games, "wot no socks?" Painted by Barry Hill, Calpe Caisson painted by Prof Pender. All based by me for me.|
Richard has an awfully big collection of French and British Napoleonics so was able to supply the whole French force and still only use part of it. That is except for the cannons. With the exception of one battery which was stuck down he left all the guns at home leaving just the gun crews to mime! Some of them seem to fighting each other if you look closely.
|Miming gun crews enjoy a punch-up. Lovely basing shame about the cannons!|
Perry crews by Barry Hill and Front Rank limber painted by DPS?
|The scene from where I was sitting. Brigade after Brigade moving off the attack the objective. French await the onslaught with gritted teeth and clenched buttocks.|
|A better shot of the scene above. Note jaegers sneaking along the wooded river bank - rather cool.|
|The same situation from just behind the French lines.|
|More French cavalry arrive, sadly without the missing cannons...|
|The bridge which caused all this trouble in the first place, was it really soooo very important?|
If anyone knows who made this model bridge please tell me because it's very lovely and I want another one.
|Brigade Lobenthal is reinforced by Russians under Neverosky in Eichholtz. Now that there are 9 battalions with a foot battery in support the attack on Kleiner Tinz can begin. 3:1 odds are right up my street...|
|"No amount of rules reading will save you from this lot Rich!"|
|Furious fighting erupts along the whole line. |
Note the jaeger have now snuck up to pour infuriating sniper fire into the flanks of the Frenchies from the edge of the wood with virtual impunity.
|Uhlans and Chasseurs a cheval clash - if the Russians win this melee properly they can flank either the horse battery or another regiment of chasseurs a cheval, if only...|
|Rich reads to the bottom of his orbat and discovers there are no more reinforcements - bugger. That's your lot buddy.|
|The Allied right finally begins it's attack, setting out from Eichholtz to assault Kleiner Tinz. |
It is important to note the single French battalion counter attacking on the right.
Various Regimental histories are about to be rewritten...
|The same scene different angle. Oh look, a French Battery with cannons!!! Novel. Not that they needed it, poor allied morale was enough to keep Kleiner Tinz entirely safe that day.|
|The Uhlans just before exiting for the day. A possible contender for man of the match?|
|French light cavalry fail to break a Prussian column - mercifully.|
Foundry foot, Perry cavalry both with GMB flags and both painted by Barry Hill.
|Prussian 8th (or 9th?) Reserve Regiment and Silesian Landwehr attacking Kleiner Tinz.|
Foundry models with GMB flags, painted by Barry Hill.
|Landwehr lancers going after French cavalry - basically trying to divert them from their mission, sneaky eh?|
Foundry models with GMB flags, panted by Barry Hill.
|That lovely battery again, pictured here beside the garrison of Kleiner Tinz. Those barrels get everywhere on this blog.|
Victrix infantry, no flag by GMB, Barry Hill paint job.
|Elite Miniatures Russian Uhlans bought from Ian Hinds; tarted up and re-based by us. Lots of dynamism in this unit.|
|The lead Prussian battalions triumph on the hill top as the French begin to retreat and the pesky French cavalry threat is driven off in the middle distance. The bridge is just in shot bottom left, see it?|
|Six French light cavalry regiments try to mass for an attack. They are pretty much exhausted and the battle lost.|
What a magnificent sight though.
I dreamt of this kind of thing as a kid, now we're doing it. Living the Dream. Thank you Mr Gilder.
|The end for the French. Their forces are spent and still more Prussians are coming.|
|Russian Grenadiers subbing as Prussian Guards, the left hand battalion in square.|
Foundry models from Tony with hand made flags. Banner envy?
|Incidental scenery on the unused side of the river. Pretty.|
|Kleiner Tinz was held to the end.|
Thanks to Rich & Tony for such a memorable game and to whoever wrote the scenario in the rule book, Dave Brown possibly? Speaking of Dave Brown we met him at Salute whilst admiring the Aspern Essling demo game. There's never enough time at these things to chat but we managed a few words and a "thank you" for writing General de Brigade - still learning it and still loving it.
Hope you enjoyed this account and feel inclined to comment. Cheers JJ