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.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Action on the River Vissen 1813 - Part 2

Hi again, we got straight back into the fighting this week, for a recap check out Part 1.

Well, nearly straight back into it, first a fine pint of Doombar at The Crown in Bathford. Both sides had a quick conflab about what to do next in the game. There were some obvious decisions to be made, where to press the attack? Where to hold back and where to let it build while more reinforcements arrived? Both sides had two further brigades arriving on the southern end this week.    

"Straight back into the Action"

Tony in action. Happy chappy.

Enough of the preamble and portraits. Here's what happened;-

"The case of the overly hostile reception committee."  

The Russian Grenadier Division (right) lines out to trade shots with the French reception committee. The grenadiers couldn't attack as their order change went wrong and they slipped from engage to hold! This was unfortunate as the French had a horse battery able canister the poor Russians. Meanwhile French skirmishers snuck into the woods on their flank and took potshots too. The lead Russian regiments took a hammering. One regiment opposite the cavalry formed square to anchor the flank.    

Chris soon tired of trading gunfire and sent in the Garde de Corps against the square, this proved very close but the heavy cavalry were driven off and all sighed with relief. The next turn saw the Pavlovski Grenadier Regiment break from prolonged fire, this caused a series of morale tests and things went down hill rapidly.  

With many Regiments retreating or faltering Chris sent in the Von Zastrow Cuirassiers who rode down the line with ease. At this panic spread like wildfire throughout the formation and off they went - just like that - all over.  

The Russian Grenadiers have fled leaving the north eastern sector in French hands. A triumph for combined arms against better numbers. The Saxon's horses were blown so they retired to their lines and rested. 

"The destruction of Army Group Centre."

I have always admired the drama in the above phrase so make no claim of authorship, it just vaguely fits. The events of last week saw Rich pin and outflank Tony's forces in the centre. As French light cavalry joined Rich's infantry things looked tougher still. This evening would see if Tony could pull something positive from the predicament or go down screaming. I guess we know what happened.

Rich's frontal attack had been roughly handled by 3 12lb guns and a line of jaeger, he even lost a battalion to a rout after being terribly mauled by canister fire, the other battalions kept on though. When the battery was outflanked and cut down it allowed two columns to charge the jaeger's line, one was stopped by fire but the other  made contact and dispersed the line, the resulting panic caused a general loss of nerve...

 ... just as a regiment of lancers charged into a retreating battalion who were also dispersed! Luckily the lancers retired to polish their brass helmets and wipe Russian blood from their lances. 

Most of this Russian formation is now either faltering, retreating or routing. A serious situation just got worse.

With only one functioning battalion left, (hidden in the village with the general), Tony decided to disperse what he had left as they were by now surrounded and had nowhere to run. This was deemed more honourable than surrender.
So once again we removed an entire Russian formation.  

With their mission accomplished Rich's French dust themselves off, regroup and get ready to move off again. 

The victorious lancers rally behind the lines.
Foundry models by Tony Laughton from my collection, pennants required.  

These Victrix French seem content to stand about chatting while the brigade receives fresh orders.

Time to move off again.
With so much space and far flung action there was genuinely room to maneuver in this battle. Several formations found themselves redeploying quite some way and we even saw some in columns of march - a rare sight in our games. Whilst desirable it meant Rich spent a few moves simply "moving".   

"Interlude - let me introduce some new toys."

I have taken delivery of three new Prussian batteries. I bought the models from Elite Miniatures as part of a large Christmas order I placed, they have an unmissable excellent seasonal discount scheme. I got Alan Tuckey of Blue Turkey painting service to paint them along with some Grenzers for my Austrian army. I love Elite's guns and crew, they are proper big canons and the crew seem to look very busy! My original Prussian batteries are by Foundry and just look small - they will be sold. This also gave me the opportunity to get a howitzer battery, just for fun as no one else has one yet. Here they are;-

Horse battery covering the river crossing.
Uhlans bring up the rear.

As mentioned these are Elite Miniatures, painted by Blue Turkey, based by me. 

6lb foot battery deployed near an orchard with Calpe caisson.
Distant French get enfiladed.
Q: Is "chocolate enfilade" rude? We decided it was but unsure why.  

Howitzer battey with Calpe limber, Foundry mounted officers oversee the fall of fire.
Guns and crew painted by Blue Turkey, teams by Perry Pender.

My original Elite Miniatures 12lb Prussian battery is painted by Pete Morbey, owner of Elite, it is very pretty but doesn't really fit in with these, I'll sell that one too and get Alan to paint me another to match these three batteries. That'll give me four Prussian batteries, enough to support the 25 -30 battalions and five cavalry regiments for now. The horse battery has four guns so can double as a foot battery if needed although it will usually deploy with only three guns.

Now lets return to the battle...

"But first; Let's take a selfy"

warpaintjj looking oddly relaxed

"Late arrivals and the war in the south."   

Here we see another large French infantry brigade arriving in the southern sector. They are perfectly placed to intercept the Russians marching to save the day. Humpfg! 

The Russians redeploy to face this new threat.
Need to change orders to counter attack. 

The order change was bungled and I ended up going down a level to hold orders. Bah!
The half battery of 12lbs dishes out some canister to the French, I won't go down without a fight!

The French infantry fan out and one battalion even adopts the mysterious Grande Bandes formation.
BUT in better news; note on the horizon masses of Russians marching to save me, there is still hope.

My next order roll went wrong too and the brigade went onto retire orders, the guns limber up and we start to slowly retire from the field. I actually felt sick psychically about this.  

They're closing in and I can't do a thing about it.
Note the allied corps artillery reserve deploying behind the town, and miles away elements of the Allied Life Guard Corps arriving in the form of the two Prussian Foot Guards and Life Guards too. Hurrah!     

The large Russian brigade hoping to rear-end the French in front of them before they rear-end me! 

My precious guns limber up and ride away... stupid twats.
"A bridge too far?"

Lets return to the cavalry actions around the central bridge over the River Vissen. Great news! My Deaths Head hussars counter charge the French 3rd hussars and routed them, this broke the French light cavalry brigade which pissed of to pastures new! Score 1 for the Allies - we actually won something!

There they are on the very spot they vanquished the 3rd Hussars. Failing to pursue they held their ground and awaited reinforcements in the shape of the West Prussian Dragoons who are crossing under the watchful eye of General Jurgass.
The supporting horse guns begin putting round shot onto the Bavarians in the distance as the Russians come up behind them in the distance.   

The dragoons line out to support the hussars. I know Prussian dragoons wore coats of a truly hideous light blue but I simply can't allow it on my models, these are a compromise. I love 'em frankly.
Calpe cavalry painted by Tony Laughton, Foundry officers.

The Bavarian brigade must prepare for a cavalry attack and fend off the Russians behind - war on two fronts man!
"Ve have zem by ze ballz!" 

Rare picture of me, must be getting chilly at Marauder HQ as my woolly Christmas jumper has been deployed.
The card in the fore ground indicates a French entry point, due turn 11, i.e. very soon.   

Those cavalry again. They have now received fresh orders to assault the Bavarians. Note the Russians about to attack the Bavarian square. Other Bavarian battalions are in fact attacking the main body of this Russian brigade on the rear table, "best form of defence" and all that.  

Pretty piccie of the West Prussian Dragoons outside one of our walled villages.

The Bavarians line out to shoot down the cavalry charge - ballsy!
Russians advance on the square.
Front Rank foot and generals from Ian Hinds, now in Tony's other collection.    

Good close-up of the Bavarian line complete with groovy sapper in masonic garb.
Can these brave fellows contain the rampant charge of the Deaths Head Hussars?

In they go! Muskets spew flame, smoke billows, men yell and rattle sabres, horses and men tumble, nerves stretch to breaking point for the poor bloody infantry as the black clad devils on crazed fire breathing horses hurtle ever on ward to savage mutilation and death. Death and a red dawn... 
Needless to say the line's standing fire emptied too many saddles and a roll of double 1 to close caused my elite hussars to rout, their flight took them into the River Vissen where many died and the regiment was lost in a watery grave. The remainder of the brigade held - phew. The Russians on the rear table didn't fare well against the Bavarians either.

This set back left the Allies with no viable forces on the northern bank of the Vissen. With nothing to contest the bridgeheads the Prussian cavalry brigade and the Russian infantry brigade withdrew to the relative safety of the southern bank where fresher troops, Guard troops and the Corps artillery reserve were making their presence felt. The French in the south slunk away as night began to fall and concealed their retreat before the gathering allies could snuff them out.

There was a will to make a game of this for next week which was gratifying. We discussed what would happen next. In short both sides spent the night reordering their forces, rallying and recalling some of those who had cleared off and bringing up fresh formations. We also set up the table again by moving the river line north and making space for the allies to deploy across the French line of march. We would have a Part 3 and so will you.

Hope you enjoyed this, be great to hear your thoughts and feedback.
Call back soon, JJ



  1. Very nice and always entertaining mate! "Chocolate Enfilade" - slightly rude, very funny! Should be used with more frequency in military manoeuvres methinks. Cheers JJ and look forward to part 3.

    1. Many thanks Carlo, really pleased you like what we do and how I report it. This was a very laid back gentlemanly game, loads of fun and played in a wonderful spirit, the essence of wargaming. Catch up soon, JJ

  2. Hi JJ great stuff!!! :) really enjoying reading this saga I really like the random arrival of forces there's a great 'feel' to the battle and of course I'm loving all the pics!!! I can't wait to get my collection and games to this sort oflevel tho its gonna take a while! :) keep it coming :)

    1. Hi Robert, happy to please, keep building up the forces, the secret is to not ever get distracted from your quest by the shiny baubles and temptations of a new period or range, just keep plugging away at it! Be good, JJ

  3. Loving it! Bring on part 3. :-)

    1. Will do, might even play early next week as Rich is elsewhere on Thursday. JJ

  4. Excellent report, your armies are so impressive, Bavarians are my favourites! And congrats to the brave Lancers...

  5. I love the Bavarians too, might get another battalion or two and some cavalry to make up a mini division, not a priority but pretty is always good! Have fun, JJ

  6. Good to see nicely painted armies slug it out. I was also pleased to see large cavalry formations instead of what some do of like 8 figures to represent a regiment. Look forward to seeing more combats.

    1. "Vive" indeed, the Russo/Prussians had a bit too much "Mort" in this game I'm afraid! I just checked out your blog, very nice, I have followed and will return to unearth more goodies from your archives. Thanks for commenting, hope you pop back sometime, Best wishes, JJ

  7. You'd have to be pleased with the way that your 'cunning plan' for this game played out so well--apart from the outcome to date, I guess :). Marvellous that you all decided to go for a second day of the battle. It is something that is so rarely done on the wargames table. A real benefit of being able to leave a game set-up.
    As with your other readers, I'm looking forward to more beautiful photos, witty commentary and 'bloodless' fighting in part 3!

  8. I am pleased James, and relieved, these things can tits-up just as easily and that usually means you don't try anything new for a long time. So yes, happy but not smug, that's an ugly emotion and I'm so very good looking...
    Have fun, Jeremy

  9. Wow impressive scale of events!

  10. A great read and lots of lovely troops

  11. Hi JJ, Just a note to say I really enjoy reading the blog and have nominated it for a Liebster Award. Keep blogging