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, 28 September 2013

Montmiral 1814 - Napoleon leads the Old Guard to certain victory... what could possibly go wrong?

So Montmiral is our second game of the weekend.

We four merry Marauders dragged our carcasses up from the grave into the sunshine on the Sunday morning. Rich in particular needed powerful necromantic spells to stir his body into half life - a state which barely left him all day. Oh the joys of power drinking!

Tony cooked breakfast and brewed fresh coffee - thank you Sir. Then it was straight into it - the horrors of war beckoned us to back to the table-top.

Starting positions

The French positions at the start.
From the left;- Ricard in Tremblay, Friant with the Guard, Guyot & Nansouty with 3 cavalry regiments each.
Reinforcements due to arrive in the centre, more Guard foot and Guard cavalry too!

This is the map I based the game on. One square equals one foot although I added  a foot at each end because we have the space and we didn't want to be cramped for room. Troops deployed as per the map; often very close so the action erupted on turn one - blood everywhere!     
The scenario was once again chosen from Fields of Glory by Chris Leach & Arty Conliffe - a very good source of ideas and flawlessly conceived games to play off the shelf. If you can find it buy it. we played the battle straight from the book. Victory conditions were based around taking and holding objectives forcing an aggressive game on both sides. Various conditions limited early moves for some formations and both sides had late arrivers too.

Unlike the Vimiero game I only gave the generals the maps, objectives and deployments on the morning so everything was done quickly and on the hoof. This was designed to reflect the real situation as the Emperor came upon a surprised Sacken strung out along the road and attacked with the troops he had i.e. The Guard and lots of cavalry. once the troops were down the CinC's sketched a plan, issued orders and went for it.


Friant with the powerful Old Guard division facing off the Russians of Sass in and around Les Genereux.
Guyot's cavalry protect the infantry's right flank from Vassilshikov's Russian cavalry opposite.

Jeepers - there are over 230 cavalry in this shot, with more to come...
Time for an equestrian mosh pit of epic proportions.
Chris is writing orders; he holds Fontonelle with Pirsch II's Prussians and controls Vassilshikov's Russian cavalry.   

The Old Guard infantry with 12lb foot battery complete with limber and caisson vignette.
The Emperor and Friant are surrounded by ADC's and fusspots.
The OG foot are to take Les Genereux from Sass's Russians opposite.

Believe it or not that's The Emperor Napoleon the morning after...
Tallitzen's Russians near the woods prepare to set off on a right hook to assault Le Tremblay held by Ricard.
Marchais (with the barrels) is held by Scherbatov with Bernodossov behind him. There's a lot of Russian strength here. 

The scene from behind the Russian centre.
That's Scherbatov straddling the road; Sass in and around Les Genereux with Lieven in support; the akkied C-in-C Sacken must be here somewhere too. The massed Russian cavalry are under Vassilshikov. Pirch ll is garrisoning Fontenelle top left with his Prussians.

Slightly fuzzy shot of Vassilshikov's Russian Cavalry comprising 24 Uhlans, 24 Hussars and 32 Cuirassiers.
Opposite are 6 regiments of French cavalry some of it Guard heavies.
This is Pirch's position in Fontonelle. His 4 Prussian battalions are represented by Russians, the foot battery is British.
When the two regiments of Prussian light cavalry arrive to support him they will of course be Austrian.
Basically I totally forgot to pack the Prussians - bell end!  
The forces involved;-

The Allies ( Russians except Pirch II)

C-in-C Sacken

Scherbatov. 5 x 32 line, 12lb foot battery with 6 guns.
Tallitzen. 5 x 32 line, 12lb foot battery with 6 guns.
Bernodossov. 4 x 32 line.
Lieven. 4 x 32 line.
Sass. 5 x 32 line, 12lb foot battery with 6 guns.
Vassilshikov. 24 Uhlans, 24 Hussars, 32 Cuirassiers.
Pirch II. 4 x 32 line, 8lb foot battery with 4 guns, 24 Uhlans, 24 Hussars.

A solid and stolid infantry force with strong artillery with a little cavalry.

No hanging around, both sides hurtle forward to their objectives. Guard heavies and dragoons are already in melee with Russian Uhlans and Hussars. 
The French

C-in-C Napoleon.

Friant. 3 x 32 Guard, 4 x 32 Elite, 12lb foot battery with 4 guns.
Ricard. 2 x 36 Line, 2 x 36 2nd Class, 8lb foot battery with 4 guns.
Nansouty. 32 Guard Heavies, 24 Cuirassiers, 24 Hussars, Horse battery with 3 guns.
Guyot. 24 Dragoons, 2 x 24 Chasseur a Cheval.
Michel. 1 x 32 Guard, 1 x 32 Elite.
Defranc. 1 x 32 Chasseur a Cheval of the Guard, 1 x 24 Polish Guard Lancers.

Basically most of the very best infantry toys with some very very flash cavalry kit as well! All led by the Emperor on home ground. Vive la gloire!!!

Guard horse artillery deploy behind screening hussars ready to bombard Fontenelle manned by Pirch's Prussians.

"The Grumblers" walk into a wall of cannister from Sass and manage to screen their own artillery support.

Tallitzen whips around the woods to assault Ricard's flank through the woods.
This proved to be a big surprise for the French. 

Scherbatov moves out of Marchais to assault Ricards boys in Le Tremblay.
Bernodossov moves forward from the rear to take hold of Marchais. 

Fuzzy shot of the allied right - looks pretty good for Sacken's boys right now. 

Russian Cuirassiers wait at the rest while their light cavalry take on the French heavies.
Good to see both sides keeping some reserves.

Turn 3 and Michel has arrived with more Guard infantry and on turn 4 Defranc rocks up with newly painted Chasseur a cheval of the Guard and Polish Guard Lancers.
The cavalry are Front Rank with Bicorne Miniatures Mamluks and Elite generals all by Tony Laughton for Rich.
We all know what happens to new toys in their first battle don't we...    

BANG on time Pirch's Prussian/Austrian cavalry arrive.
Splendid Foundry fellows - more details further down. 

The Russian Hussars and Uhlans are thrown back but not broken so the Russian Cuirassiers charge the  French heavies before they can fully recover from the melee - ie both of my regiments were caught stationary. Oh deary me! 

Everything kicks off back at Le Tremblay as Russian attacks go in with two batteries firing in support - text book.
The French Old Guard totally give up on any chance of artillery support by blocking them - not text book.
BUT notice how a single Guard battalion has evicted the Russians from Les Genereux and nipped in sharpish. 

Tallitzen goes in but fails to close on the artillery in the flank allowing a respite - phew. 

Same action different angle.
Everyone hates that green roof except me.

There are now over 330 cavalry in the this sector.  Not much more to say really - it's just a number!

Some debut performances at Montmiral

Old Guard Lancers led by Defranc.
Front Rank lancers ,Elite Miniatures generals - all painted by Tony Laughton for Rich who based them.

Scharzenburg's Uhlans standing in as Prussians.
Foundry models painted by Tony Laughton for Chris who based them.

Hessen Homburg Hussars standing in as Prussians. (not new but too pretty to miss out).
Foundry models painted by Tony Laughton for Chris who based them.

Bicorne Mamluks on Front Rank Horses. Basically I have always wanted these boys so when Rich announced that he had 24 Chasseur a cheval of the Guard from Front Rank I got 8 of these to form the last squadron bringing the regiment up to a respectable strength of 32.         

Tony Laughton painted these, I gave them to Rich for basing to match his collection where they now reside.
I am a truly great friend to have - proper A list.

Rich also made the horse tail banner. These are so colourful even by Napoleonic standards that I had to have them. When I get  more shots I 'll post them. 
Back to the battle now please... 

An embarrassing moment as the French Cuirassiers get flank charged by allied lights as they fall back from melee with the Russian Cuirassiers. The allied Uhlans also beat the French Guard lancers and have pushed them back too.
Sacre bleu! 

Closer in than the above shot.
It's all going tits up.

The tiresomely victorious Austrian light cavalry - real giant slayers!

You can't have enough French chasseurs a cheval.
Kit bashed Perry plastics painted by Barry Hill for Rich who based them.

A good panoramic shot along the battlefield.
Generals engage in an unseemly struggle for extra factors - desperate stuff indeed.
Bad Brains are a US rasta punk band from Washington DC - seen them a few times!
(Bad Brains is also the state of Rich's head that day). 

The Russians still haven't got though the woods and still haven't flank charged the luckiest battery of 1814! 

You want a winning smile too? Just drink seven bottle of real ale, a can of coke and eat a crap sandwich from the co-op.
The arrow points to the shitter. 

Russian Guard Hussars standing in as line cavalry today.
Kit bashed Perry plastic hussars with Warlord plastic Russian grenadier heads.
Built and based by me, painted by Barry Hill. 

More of the same, only 24 of the 32 shown here.

Russian Cuirassiers at rest, Front Rank models painted by Tony Laughton for me.
That's me in the red top - no idea how I photographed myself?!!!?

The badly outnumbered allied cavlary have basically annihilated my larger better quality kit - shameful!

The French right contracting under the pressure - Fontonelle was never really in any danger from me at all.

Fierce fighting in the centre, Russian attacks and counter attacks seem to be relentless and well supported by plentiful reserves. Nice work Sacken!

Old Guard gunners blink in disbelief as finally a target presents itself.
To the left Old Guard infantry have driven off the Russians attacking Tremblay. 

Naturally the defeated Polish Guard lancers retreated through the Guard Chasseurs unforming them.
"What a complete nonsense I made of this! Have me shot forthwith Sire!"

Action in the centre. I am being pushed backwards on to Rich - never a pleasant experience!

The Chasseurs a cheval of the Guard were destroyed by the charging Uhlans before the Guard Lancers finally worked out what their pointy sticks were for and destroyed the upstart allied light cavalry.
Too little too late - again.    

The French left at the close of play.
Russians evicted the French from Le Tremblay but couldn't make it count.
Old Guardsmen popped into hold it as Ricard's brigade retired from the field. 

The French right - me - desolate and defeated in detail.

The Russian centre at the close - strength in depth here.

Parting shot of the Russian centre.

Strangely enough the scenario victory conditions gave the French a win; apparently it was all about objectives so the total destruction of the French army except the Guard Foot division was irrelevant -
"Vive L'Empreur".
As Tony said while we packed up the toys "a true Pyrrhic victory."

As usual we had monumental fun and fought a very tense game in good humour with loads of pretty toys on a decent board - another day well spent and a truly memorable weekend.

My thanks go to Rich, Chris and Tony as well as Chris Leach for the scenarios. Hope you enjoyed this lot, feel free to comment, follow us and call back soon.



  1. Sounds like a cracking day, after hearing what kit the French had on the field I was worried for the allies! Napoleon seemed to be sleeping off the night before!

    Lovely troops!

    1. Cheers Paul, Napoleon was certainly in a "not today Josephine" frame of mind all day.

  2. Nice bat rep, and lotssssss of nice pictures, especially the French, who admirably won the day;)

    1. Yep the French won the day but not admirably!!!

  3. An absolutley stunning looking game. The cavalry units in particular are stunning. Thanks for sharing

    1. Cheers Scotty, I too love cavalry regiments especially when they're big and shiny, glad you popped in to comment, thanks, Jeremy

  4. Looks like an excellent game. Reminds me othe Peter Gilder photos in the 70's.

    The conversions are very nice too!

  5. Gary - you beauty! That Gilder comment just made my day, week, month or even my year! Gilder got me into this as a nipper through his photos in MW etc etc and those massive set pieces he did are what I aspire to so your words are most gratifying.
    Thanks a million, JJ

  6. Amazing looking game and numbers of figures! Fantastic, thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks Chasseur - happy to oblige. Pop back for more sometime.
      Best wishes,

  7. Fantastic stuff - right table-size, great troops and an early game. I miss Europe.

    1. Cheers Schrumpfkpf! Pleased to have scratched and itch for you.
      Have fun out there,

  8. Brilliant write-up Jeremy, top photos and your usual excellent, wit. Love it.
    Just like a centre-forward in a penalty shoot-out, the pressure is all on the French in this one, hey?
    Cheers again, James

  9. That's exactly right James - lots of pressure on the French.
    We failed in almost every respect but won on a technicality. Bonaparte will take that to the bank but it leaves me a little hollow to say that we won!
    Great game and great fun all the same though, glad you appreciated my efforts. B
    est wishes, Jeremy

  10. Fantastic battlefield, the mass effect is amazing! A great batrep with some beautiful minis...Bravo aux Fran├žais!

    1. Cheers Phil, happy to hear you enjoyed our rumble! Thanks commenting, means a lot to me. Best wishes, Jeremy

  11. Oooh yes. That looks excellent chaps.

  12. Cheers as always Scrivs - hope you're a well chap? x

  13. Hiya JJ great report I reckon you would be better off as a solid General of Artillery rather than the dashing blade of a Hussar General

  14. A cracking looking game, and very entertaining write-up Jeremy. Should it suit yourself and the other Marauders, I'd be happy to bring along my Russians along to an appropriate event in future.

  15. Thanks Greystreak - high praise indeed from your esteemed self! I'm sure you'd be most welcome with your wonderful Russians, let me know how many and what you've got. We use General de Brigade rules - are you familiar with them?
    Be good and thanks for posting, JJ

  16. Currently have 10x32-figure 'formed' battalions (8xMusketeer, 2xJaeger), 16xpairs of Skirmishers (Jaegers), 1x12-pdr battery, 1x6-pdr foot battery, 2x16-figure Dragoon regiments, & miscellaneous leaders . . . GdB 'Deluxe' is a favourite at our club, too, witness my postings at Dave Brown's Forum over many years. ;-)

  17. That's a lot of lead on the table,
    Looks good

  18. Love it... The French losebadly but still win

  19. Fantastic! Looks wonderful, I am envious.

  20. Great game and Miniatures. How measure your playing table. Compliments also for the guy wearing the Bad Brain T-shirt one of my old fav bands .

    1. hi skordly, thanks for the compliments. The table is 16 x 6 feet, plenty of room. Bad Brains are a great band, saw them a few times, very intense, check out the new album...
      Have fun, warpaintjj

    2. Lucky You for the big room :)... And we are sick boys (wargamers) and there's no cure .... Great GBH cheers

    3. GBH are my favourite band of all time, seen them possibly 50 times! Punk as fuck!!!

  21. Very impressive looking game! The troops look fantastic!

    1. Cheers Rodger, many thanks for commenting.
      Best wishes, JJ