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, 18 December 2015

Napoleonic wargames survey 2016 - results

Napoleonic Wargames survey 2016.

My attempt to run a survey this year flopped as no one answered any questions. In fairness one person did, but this person only answered one of the 25 questions posed.

So we know almost for certain that this was "He" and very possibly a wargamer too. 
On a more serious note we now have a conclusion to the Bachwald Schloss game, piccies being edited now so hope to post before Christmas but don't hold your breath.

Anyone planning a year end review post this year? Still undecided personally. Lots of big plans for next year though...

Catch up soon, Jeremy

Monday, 30 November 2015

Sunrise at Bachwald Schloss - Day 2

We return to this blood soaked valley as the sun rises (aka many now illegal 100 watt bulbs). Both Field Marshall and Emperor have taken the opportunity of a dark night to redeploy their armies. I allowed formations to move up to six feet and some very damaged formations to merge if a good case could be made for it.

Here we look south west over the plateau. The French lines run from the bottom left and snakes up to the right. The allies have been driven back across the board except on the allied left where they have driven in the French right and got onto the French back board. By contrast the French have thrown back the allied right and centre.    

Here we see the French rear table. Blucher has put dear old Seivers on the extreme allied left - see top centre. Napoleon has kept a central position with the Old Guard and Saxon heavies. The remainder of the heavy cavalry reserve is facing Seivers with two batteries on that hill in support. Infantry are peppered around too.   

A rather gloomy shot over Seivers and thence over the opposed centres. The great arc of the allied line curving from right to left worries me - in order to attack the line must contract or attack piecemeal, it is a deep line and well supported but mounting an attack will be difficult. The French position is in fairness very strong and well thought out. Napoleon has created a classic self supporting central position. 

The Emperor with the Old Guard and Saxon heavies in a classic central position ready to go either way.
He has no more artillery reserve to play with though.

Blucher has breakfasted on gin and cabbage before issuing his orders - "Charge!". 

Here we look north west from the extreme French left. This position is anchored on this hillock occupied by the Saxon horse battery and supporting Piedmontese infantry and deadly Saxon light cavalry. The allies have lost control of the hamlet and have been driven off the plateau except for a tiny foothold with a Russian horse battery from the reserves clinging to the edge.    

The allied centre and centre left. There are seven allied brigades plus a Guard Foot Battery in this picture! 

Massed Russians get ready to go in again on the centre left.

The only two remaining Prussian infantry brigades prepare to go in again. 

Russian Guard cavalry in support behind the allied centre. Here we see Guard Uhlans, Guard Hussars and Guard Cuirassiers behind the small wood. 

This is part of the allied right on their back board after the previous days "setbacks".
Here we have the junior Russian Guard infantry regiments.
Left to to right are Finish Guard Jaeger, Guard Marines and Life Guard Regiment. Behind them are the remaining disgraced Russian  Grenadiers. Behind them is the Prussian light cavalry brigade, this is a combined formation  made up of the Lieb Hussars and Mecklenberg Strelitz Hussars under Jurgass...

This is another shot of the French left facing the Russians in the picture above. Note they are well supported.

Russian Guard 12lb foot battery on the allied left.
Elite Miniatures painted by Russian Tony for me, cheers my fine friend.

Massed Italians facing the Prussians - these are fresh troops, the Prussians are battered & bloodied but unbowed.

Some new toys & some close ups.

Every would be master of Europe would do well to have a Davout at his side, here is mine.
Front Rank models painted by Tony Laughton based by Chris.

My Westphalians needed a general, here he is with a very expressive face.
Front Rank models painted by Tony Laughton based by Chris.

Grand Duke Constantine commander of the Russian Life Guard Corps.
Front Rank models painted by Tony Laughton, brilliantly based by me.  

Italian mounted officer encouraging the line to advance.
These are Perry, Victrix and Warlord plastics beautifully painted by Barry Hill, cheers mate.
I  love the Milan Guard especially, see bottom left.
There is a large parcel of plastics heading Barry's way as you read this, so expect more pretty new toys next year.

Russian Hussars by Foundry. The front squadron has lances, the rear sabres.
These are by Russian Tony and are excellent, every one a character. 

An odd shot looking down on one of Russian Tony's Russian battalions. These are from the Dallimore School of painting, three shades over black and super neat. Note some models with gloves and replacement sword, rolled copper flags hand painted with Bicorne finials. There's a lot of  great coats here but this is a surprisingly bright unit. Lovely.  

Russian horse battery from the army reserve. Six 6lb guns ready to deal death. Russian senior Guard regiments are deployed in the dead ground of the plateau behind. These are Elite Miniatures models painted by Elite proprietor Peter Morbey and now reside in Russian Tony's collection who also based them.  

Here is a vignette for my embryonic but growing Peninsular collection.
We find a distinguished old Spanish chap happening upon a Senorita in her bath while her maid applies more soapy water or ass's milk. To see what he saw leave a comment, the more you leave the greater your chances.
Puerile? Of course! I can live with a lot of  hypocrisy ladies & gentlemen.
We are set for a massive ding dong on day two and I hope you can join us for some fun & games.
Best wishes,

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Sunset at Bachwald Schloss 1813

The day is wearing on and the shadows grow long under the stoney gaze of the lonely tower at Bachwald Schloss poking up among the tall pine trees. It has also begun to rain. Soldiers on both sides pray that night fall will bring peace before cold steel or hot shot takes them. Many have died already.

Both generals know that night is coming but aren't sure when. Both also know that its raining. Nightfall will allow a respite and time for limited redeployment and restructuring of formations if needed. With that in mind we enter the final act of the first day of the battle at Bachwald Schloss for I suspect there will be a second day of fighting.

First some close-ups

My new Nassau brigade needed a brigadier so as usual I reached for Front Rank's range & found this excellent trio.
Tony Laughton applied paint before Chris and I based these fellows in one of our mammoth basing sessions.
The three Nassau battalions are painted by Barry Hill, hi mate!     

Obviously this is a rear shot of the same models!
The three battalions are as follows, two are Elite Miniatures from last Christmas's haul and another is Perry and turned up cheap in a bag somewhere at a show so I had to have them too. They are a good addition and obviously swing both ways, French and allied depending on the year. The Perry battalion can be seen above.

Back to the fighting...

The allied left attacks again, Russian infantry go in where the cavalry had failed.
Note Saxon heavies wellying into Russian infantry attacking the Corsican line. 

This shows part of the French flank march, here Swiss and Italian infantry "march to the sound of the guns" proceeded by a light cavalry  brigade and skirmishers.   

Another shot of the same.
Where is Duka? Oh yes I forgot... he ran away last week. 

The French reserve heavy artillery batteries deployed and ready to cause pain unto my Prussians. 

A good detail shot of Saxon Tony's Saxon battery vignette complete with caisson and chap weeing on a tree stump.
Tony loves this type of thing and was inspired by Dave Andrews of  GW fame and more latterly by his amazing Burgundian army which features masses of vignettes. These are Perry models. 

Here we see Westphalian and Portuguese fighting the Prussian Guards with Russian grenadiers in support both of which have pulled their socks up and come back to play. The fearful Saxon conscript light cavalry lurk ominously waiting for a giant to slay. The Westphalians and Portuguese are from Elite Minitures with GMB Flags. Alan Tuckey of Blue Turkey painted them, close ups required at some point. I will add another battalion to this brigade and maybe some light cavalry too. 

Pictures of Chris

Chris had a moan at me recently for not using more pictures of him on the blog. This series shows him modelling his Winter collection namely the combat cardi, arctic survival hat and beard! Thermals aren't shown but are essential garb at Marauder HQ in the winter.

Chris lectures the Emperor on the finer points of battle showing him the error of his ways. 

The Emperor can detect bullshit a mile away so guards against the smell accordingly. 

The Emperor has left Chris to tend to his bonsai tree.
Are they fertilized with BS Chris?

Back to the battle

Middle Guard and the Neopolitan Guards(?) arrive to assist the Bavarian battery plugging the gap left when the Bavarian brigade hastily made off for pastures new.
The Middle Guard battalions are the first two of four and need a separate post as they are beauties.

Allied cavalry failed to break through so Russian infantry attack the Corsicans in line and Nassauers.
The Bavarians make an appearance, (bet their general still looks grumpy!).
Saxon Curassiers charge making a mess a Russian battalion before retiring on blown horses.      

Bottom left; more flank marching Italians head towards to the central sector where the Poles, Bavarians, Nassua and conscript brigades are feeling the pressure.    

Horn's Prussian brigade has now occupied the worthless nameless settlement after taking horrendous casualties.
They'll have to hope the wicker fence offers some protection from 12lb guns firing canister.  

A brave Nassau column counter attacks. Russian horse battery still firing into the French square - who take it!
Bavarian sharp shooters knock down two gunners in return, there's no justice! 

The French centre looks a bit steadier now. Middle Guard and Bavarians support this pesky battery.
"Remember Yorck? We will remember him."

Old Guard Grenadiers and Chasseurs a Pied arrive along with the Neuchatel battalion to prop up the Poles.
Note heavy cavalry top right heading left, they're up to something. 

The arrival of the Russian Life Guard Corps

The Allies bring up the Russian Life Guard. This Corps is pretty big, comprising various formations, so is fed in at various points to either plug, exploit, support or breakthrough. Here Guard light cavalry, Hussars & Uhlans, head off to plug that gap! 

On the allied right the senior three Russian Guard battalions along with the Guard Curassiers & reserve horse battery move to support the beleaguered Russians & Prussians who are folding as the huge French flank march fights its way onto the table.
Note Duka explaining to Blucher what happened to his flank march. Oops.!

Russian Guard foot battery arrives in  the wrong place at the wrong time and deploys for some reason, "order is orders!"
In front of them the three junior Russian Guard regiments advance. 

Talking of Old Guards here is Rich on a surprise visit, he's doing well.
There will always be a warm beer and a cold embrace for you here my old friend! 
Flank action
Then it happened! The conscript square hit 50% casualties & dispersed taking the Corsicans and rest of the brigade with it! The Nassau brigade followed suit as did the Bavarian brigade opening up the whole French right.
Can the allies exploit this collapse or will nightfall rob them of their prize?  

Here we see part of the French flank force sweeping onto the table in force. Lancers come around the rear having dispersed the Prussian Guard brigade with attached 12lb battery. The not so great Russian grenadiers must save the day!!!

The not so great Russian grenadiers all falter or retreat as they are charged. A desperate situation just got much worse. 

With French Tony's right flank horribly exposed he messes about in the centre instead. On the French rear table he has wisely moved the reserve heavy cavalry across to deal with the situation.    

This shot shows the remaining Saxons having been evicted setting up a battery as French & Westphalians march on to attack.
Horn has managed to finally deploy his howitzer battery by the duck pond - silly boy. The wicker fence proves no good against canister and the LDW take 6 casualties with 3 on the unit behind too - ouch! 

My howitzer battery is felled by charging French, it retreats into the duck pond and is destroyed in a watery grave. The retreating LDW also disperse upon hearing that their artillery can't swim. This forces a brigade wide test for Horn.
Having finally achieved his objective and having fought for 20 turns without cease they break for a second time and quit the field as darkness falls. It's still raining. 
Frankly night came at just the right time for the two Tonys and I, Chris was a bit grumpy because his flank march wouldn't get to fully develop its full impact which is fair enough. The allies and the French each had a serious flank problem to deal with and nightfall saved the day as it were.

I hadn't appreciated how badly damaged French Tony's centre and right were, it seems his men were falling like flies but simply wouldn't quit the field until they were dispersed, he is obviously an inspiring Emperor. The allies have taken a lot of stick and kept being driven back only to return to fight again.

House rule time!

We have meddled with the brigade morale test factors so that there is no +1 for having the brigade general in command. This we considered should be a given not a bonus and by applying a negative for his absence instead brigades break more easily. In big games this is good because things get a bit more dynamic, breakthroughs can happen as we have seen. A second bonus is that a brigade can break, retire, reform and come back again as we saw with the Bavarian, Prussian Guards, Russian Grenadiers, Saxons, Yorck and most vividly Horns brigade. Lastly it encourages deployment in depth and mutual brigade support which is historical enough. This factor meddle might not suit smaller games but we're pleased with the effect here.

What next?    

This battle is far from over as neither Emperor nor Marshall will cede the field. I decided on some new front lines which redefined the deployment zones. The French mostly made big gains on the plateau and held the centre with the allies sent backwards. The French right has been turned much like the allied right has been overrun.

I allowed the players to move any formation up to 6 feet over night to allow for redeployment. Retreaters auto rallied and routers were given one chance to pull themselves together. All unformed and falter status counters were also cleared. Some brigades which were very weak could be combined and lone batteries attached to new brigades if needed. This was great fun and occupied us for about an hour or so. We then got on with moving the toys around and getting to grips with a whole new situation in the shadow of Bachwald Schloss.

Next week we kick off again. This has been an epic battle so far and looks to continue to be so. Hope you enjoyed this latest development.
Catch up soon.