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.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Peninsular "dust up" 2

The last Peninsular game was such fun that we simply swapped sides and re-rolled the random deployment areas - once again "Lady Luck" gave us a great set up so we cracked on with it.

Here we see the initial deployments, three allied brigades on the right, three French brigades opposite, note the French hussars right at the top of the picture...  

The French centre proceeded by swarms of skirmishers in typical fashion. The bigger brigade is mostly 2nd class allies stiffened only by the veteran Polish battalion. The smaller brigade is more solid and has the foot battery.
The French Division
1st Brigade
3 x 36 2nd class line, (Nassau, Westphalian & French).
1 x 36 Polish veterans
16 skirmishers

2nd Brigade
2 x 36 French line
1 x 36 Westphalian lights, elite
16 skirmishers
8lb foot battery, 4 guns

3rd Brigade
1 x 16 hussars, line

Small Portuguese brigade of two battalions, one 1st, one 2nd class and a foot battery,

By turn two both sides are advancing on the road and each other. 
The Portuguese Division
Light Brigade
1 x 30 Loyal Lusitanian Legion
1 x 40 Scottish Light infantry
12 Portuguese skirmishers

1st Brigade
2 x 30 Portuguese line
2 x 30 Portuguese 2nd class line

2nd Brigade
1 x 30 Portuguese line
1 x 30 Portuguese 2nd class line
9lb foot battery, 3 guns

The allied left needs to hold these French fellows while the allied centre takes out the French centre.

This is counter intuitive, allied columns attacking French lines somewhere in Spain!

The allied right has to consider the French hussars who have gone very wide, this diverts resources from the main attack.
See top right - sneaky devils.

The centres align for a fire-fight.

Hopefully this elite, 40 strong line can stop that nasty massed column.

Portuguese face off against Nassau and French lines behind skirmishers.

Portuguese foot artillery opens up on the Westphalian line beside the walled orchard.
This all rather pretty.

After an exchange of fire which saw the French come off worse the Portuguese charged, the French didn't like this and fled, this panic spread like wild fire and the brigade broke too dispersing the retreaters. Suddenly things looked grim for Chris.
Sad face. 

The centre and left seen from behind the allied line. The larger French brigade has fallen back with heavy losses and needs to sort itself out pretty pronto. 

The Loyal Lusitanian Legion are left to face down this lot as the Scotts took a pounding and retreated, happily rallying again.

Happily rallied Scotts light infantry. The French battery continued to punish this battalion all day.

The Portuguese move onto the road thereby taking their objective.
I didn't pursue the shattered French as my orders were to hold the road, I should have pressed the attack more vigorously.

The Lusitanians bang out a good volley which halts the two French battalions, but the eilte Westphalian Lights close albeit unformed. The Loyal Lusitanian's loyalty is found wanting and they retreat from the chargers.      

The larger Portuguese brigade consolidates its hold on the road as the French reform & redeploy.

This is an ominous development, those pesky French hussars have finally turned up in the allied rear.
They have taken a few casualties from the Portuguese battery at long range but are in reasonable shape.

Oh dear.

Oh dear, oh dear.

Oh deary me!

The allied left has been pushed back and is seriously out numbered.
The brigade's skirmish screen was butchered by French skirmishers in the vineyards and the Scotts marched off after taking 50% casualties - horrendous.   

Portuguese guns and closing fire from two squares failed to stop the French hussars...

...who charged straight through the Portuguese line cutting down two battalions before rallying safely behind the farm.
This was so shocking to the Portuguese that they ordered a general withdrawal ceding control of the road to the surprised French. We could have played on but this seemed like a natural break point and both sides were badly beaten up in what had been a nasty encounter, small but brutal none the less.

This was a losing draw for the Allies, both sides had taken big loses for a meaningless dusty track.

It was still early so we packed up and did a strange thing, we reorganised our scenery store room. Chris and Tony are fiends for buying enormous plastic boxes which is just as well as I am a fiend for buying and making scenery with nowhere to store it. We also made some decisions about selling some bits and bobs, ebay beckons.

Next week French Tony is back and we have decided on a Bolt Action evening. Russian Tony is already hankering for another BIG Napoleonic game which actually sounds like a good idea, I'll get my thinking cap on.

I hope you have enjoyed these two mini games featuring my fledgling Peninsular collection, there is more painted kit on the way so maybe next time they come out the forces will be more substantial.

Best wishes,


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Peninsular bash - the knock out round!

Chris was back with us this week, readers will be pleased to hear his back is better - poor petal.
He joined Portuguese Tony while I joined up with French Tony to conclude this game.

Seeing his predicament on the hilltop Chris pulled a rarely used rule out of his hat - the refused flank.
This had us all running for rulebooks and sure enough some units can refuse a flank as shown above, a formation test was required but duly passed as the dice show.
I am no expert on Napoleonic battalion or company level drill and tactics so have no frame of reference for this tricksy kind of maneuver - suffice to say it got him out of a scrape, for now...

Next Chris re-deployed his skirmishers to cover his rear while the Westphallins lined out to engage the Lights in a firefight.
The Nassauers and Poles climb the hillside to attack.
Reinforcements arrive in the form of Doombar - a most welcome reserve.  

On the French right things had got a bit messy and many units were intermingled with enemies having been drawn out of line or pushed back in unlikely directions. The French battery here was lost here last week. 

The Portuguese who were so out of place last week now arrive to cause some consternation to the French. 

The Portuguese battery did not fire at all last week - very poorly deployed! But now it has to fire canister at the double as Westphalian Lights and French Hussars threaten to overrun it.   

This shot depicts the whole of the French right hand side of this game.
What a glorious shambles! 

Piedmontese skirmishers take pot shots at passing Portuguese from the walled vineyard.
Pretty scene - no one got hurt.

The Portuguese Skirmishers charged the French skirmish line.
The Poles charged the Scots; the Nassauers were halted by effective closing fire

That was it, the Scots were pushed back off the hill and the Allies conceded a losing draw.
The Portuguese battery dispersed the Westphalian Lights with canister but were in turn cut down by the charging hussars.
Time for Allies to disengage and the French to sort out their scattered units. This dusty track is theirs, for now.    
That was very quick by our standards but no less fun for it. So much fun in fact that we changed sides, re-rolled for the general's abilities, re-rolled for random deployment and started again immediately.

I'll write that one up when it's all over so we don't get this fragmented nonsense, there's no need for it at this level. We tried out some ideas I have had on more varied generals ability which I might share and seek feedback for from regular and experienced General de brigade players.

Next time we should work out the divisional break points so we don't end up with a last man standing style game - this isn't Warhammer after all. Also we should sort out the ADC rules a bit more clearly. Frankly that's part of why we're doing this and it seems to be a good method of play testing various elements and some existing rules like the refused flank we saw earlier. All good clean fun.

Have a great weekend, best wishes,


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Peninsular dust-up!

We kick off 2016 with a Napoleonic bash set somewhere in the Peninsular. We played a few Team Yankee games over the first week or so but this is back to real wargaming in my view.

Overview of the battlefield. This is the French left comprising a mostly 2nd class brigade propped up by a veteran Polish battalion. The 2nd class muck is Italian, Westphalian, Nassau, and a French depot battalion.    
Chris was "ill" so the two Tonys squared up over the sun baked landscape. This is the first of a few smaller games designed to last one or two nights at most. The emphasis is on fun, nail biting decision making and nailing the rules and tactics. The movement of formations in "Time and Space" is vital to mastering warfare in this period so that challenge is built into the scenario too.

The French right hand brigade. This was smaller but better quality featuring an elite light battalion, two 1st class line and a foot battery. Nearly all the French battalions detached the light companies to form brigade skirmish screens. 

Lastly the French had an under strength regiment of 18 hussars arriving on the right flank.   
Deployment areas were rolled for randomly and literally by chance created a perfect set up with scattered forces converging to contest a road and a few farms and vineyards - a fine prize indeed.

Here we see the majority of the Allied army, ie two Portuguese brigades. The top left brigade has four battalions, two 1st class line two 2nd class, the other has two battalions, one 1st, one 2nd and a foot battery. The remaining brigade was a light brigade made up of Scots light and the Loyal Lusitanian Legion with a brigade skirmish screen.  
The object of the game was easy - defeat the enemy and drive him from the field.

The French right makes good progress on turn one.

Grainy close-up of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion, the models are Elite Miniatures Brits so note the very British burners.  

New unit alert. 

These are Elite Miniatures Portuguese foot artillery with a Front Rank mounted officer as is my want it seems. I am undecided about the black iron barrels but for now they look fine and are a point of difference, no bad thing in a world of brass cannons!


"Join the army they said, travel the world they said! No one mentioned carrying buckets around all day! Wankers!"

Portuguese top brass. One from Front Rank the other from Elite Minis, both on Front Rank horses painted by Tony Laughton.

More Allied senior staff, this time British and Portuguese, both from Elite painted by Tony L again.

The French C-in-C hides in a dust cloud behind the walled vineyard - he is a feted coward!
(I think that's how it's spelt!) 

More senior staff, here a French general of hussars leads the 5th into combat.
Trent Miniatures lead Perry plastics, all painted by Tony L.
Note dodgy rock formation behind.

The French right moves up. More French generals leading from behind!
All Perry's shown here and all painted by Barry Hill's mob, hi Barry. 

Portuguese advance in column to beat the French at their own game, no need to form line and blaze away
- screw historical tactics.
The attack on the French left.

The French left runs into the Allied mini light brigade who make the hill crest first, mercifully in line!
Here we go, typical Peninsular action despite everyone's best efforts not to do so - grim inevitability... 

In they go, French and their allies in column surge forward.

Skirmishers are withdrawn to allow the main lines to engage. The 71st are a 40 strong elite battalion lining the crest against 2nd class attacking columns, place your bets gentlemen.  

In they go, 800 muskets blaze away, the slope is littered with dead and dying, the French must test to close...  

The French battalion retreats in the face of defensive volleys, the Italians actually rout from the Loyal Lusitanian legion, fleeing through the supporting Poles unforming them, but the Westphalians close even though unformed, the 71st stand.
Bet again gents.   
The 71st only just repulse the Westphalian charge but repulse it they do. This leaves the French Division in a total mess but it holds in there, for now at least.

Back on the French right.

Blizzards of French skirmishers screen the advancing columns. The pesky hussars loiter on the flank - clever.

This unit was a freebie from Barry Hill, I think they are Portuguese, I have no idea of the manufacturer either, possibly Falcon or Connoisseur? GMB flag like all the others.      

Elite Miniatures Portuguese advance, the far one has formed square to deal with the marauding French hussars.

The "time and space" thing is well displayed here, sadly the Portuguese artillery has yet to fire a shot and the two accompanying battalions are in the wrong place, miles away from the enemy! So where the allies were numerically superior they are somehow out numbered all the same. 
Finally the Portuguese battalions threaten to do something, just the small matter of facing down a storm of canister fire!
Which they do and cut down the battery.   

New unit alert 2.

Nassau battalion, these are Perry toys with GMB flag, I have two other Nassau Battalions by Elite Minis.
Must find something to top that pole.    

Despite the disastrous carnage in the aftermath of the French attacks the Poles keep a cool head and mount a determined counter attack against the loyal Lusitanian Legion  who prove rather less than loyal and are forced to retreat! 

The victorious 71st look down on their handiwork as the French battalions fall back in disorder.

A Portuguese square prepares to face off the French cavalry to shore up the Allied left. The wily French have pinned this battalion in square with the threat of cavalry while an elite battalion bares down on it.
The ensuing charge saw this unit routed too, the battle here was very fluid, both sides toing & froing back & forth.    
The French left is in some disarray - the far side is still undecided.
There we leave it until next week, a small battle but an interesting challenge none the less. Pop back to see the outcome next week. Be good, best wishes,
Jeremy J,