I hope the festive season was to your liking? Mine was excellent. Maybe I'll do one of those "annual review" style posts but this post is a typical Marauder Moments battle report for you to enjoy on New Years day.
This was our last game of 2016. The scene is seasonal, Christmas but not in the UK sense where it just gets grey & pisses down with rain. This is more winter 1812 or 1814, could be either to be honest. There are no towns to give this one a name, no special features just two armies facing each other in a blizzard, could even be 1807.
A note on the snowy scenery. Many years ago we Marauders hosted an annual Flames of War event called Child's Play which was very well received. We prided ourselves on staging very pretty 6 x 4 tables two of which were snow based battlefields. These are basically decorators dust sheets with roads sprayed on, green and brown bits sprayed on and then the whole lot over painted white with rollers. We painted up some Snapdragon Studios hills, made some wood bases and sprayed some Noch fir trees white, it worked back then & just about works now. The edges aren't quite right but the overall effect seems to work. Basically these were made for smaller tables so don't quite fit or look right on the 14'6 x 6' board. Needless to say the two back boards are shrouded in foggy blizzards so aren't used beyond the movement of reserves this time, you can't see them anyway in the driving snow...
|Panning back a little from the above shot.|
|A small Russian infantry brigade with jager and attached half regiment of hussars.|
|The French left getting a surge on!|
|French centre & left. Here we see Westphalians with attached Portuguese Legion & French battery.|
|French skirmishers approach solid Russian infantry advancing from a defile.|
|Polish brigade with attached Nassauers alongside the Westphalians.|
|The French left, here a brigade of six battalions advance behind their skirmishers, battery from the Polish brigade on the right.|
|The Russian right hand brigades emerge from defiles through fir forests.|
|The French rear as follows; brigade of dragoons with attached lancers, French & Bavarian infantry brigades, Old, Middle & Guard artillery behind the central hill, cuirassier brigade at the top.|
|French infantry in reserve with limbered artillery. Napoleon up on the hill, artillery park behind him.|
|The Emperor & entourage conducting the battle.|
|Bavarian reserves with limbered artillery & attached Wurtembergers.|
|French, Westpahalian & Saxon cuirassiers with horse battery. I kept these at 24 strong to see how they might fare against the bigger 32 strong Russian regiments.|
|Seivers dragoons with half a horse battery move up on the Russian right.|
|Brigade of Opelchenie with Cossacks, top quality kit!|
|Russian infantry with half a 12lb battery, pretty typical Russian stuff - horrible opponnents!|
|Russian C-in-C with Guard cavalry - hussars & Cuirassiers.|
|More Cuirassiers, this time Duka with the Novgorod & Starodub - gulp!|
|More Russian infantry with massive 12lb battery & Don Cossacks.|
|The Russian Guard cavalry again, minus the uhlans for some reason.|
|Starodub Cuirassiers - Wargames Foundry by Tony.|
|Novgorod Cuirassiers - Wragames Foundry by Tony.|
Meanwhile back at the main event...
|The Bavarians move up to support the Westphalian's flank which is threatened by sturdy Russians.|
|Initial attacks by the Polish & Westphalians made little headway & were in fact thrown back despite good supports.|
Assaulting is tough work.
|Seivers dragoons arrive to threaten the French left which is fairly battered & reforming! The only two formed battalions are the Swiss who deploy into squares pretty pronto.|
|The centres closing.|
|Behind the French left, it's looking very shaky, if the Russians can take advantage now it'll be horrible!|
|Seivers deploys his horse artillery to canister the Swiss squares to open the flank up for the dragoons.|
|"Ra Ra Rasputin Russia's greatest love machine!"|
|Time for Napoleon to move up his dragoons to counter Seivers but will they be in time?|
|Russian Life Guard Artillery arrive, a large battery each of horse & foot, Elite Miniatures painted by Russian Tony for me.|
|Russian Guard arrive in deep reserve from their march.|
|These are Warlord plastics from my collection painted by Barry Hill, Front Rank general by Tony Laughton.|
|Same again different angle, GMB flags.|
|Duka's heavies from behind.|
|Russian Guard cavalry from behind.|
Front Rank heavies, Perry French plastic hussars with Warlord plastic Russian grenadier heads, hey presto!
|Most of the Russian army deployed for battle.|
|Part of the Russian right with an amazing limber moving up.|
|Seivers poised on the French flank in front of the Swiss squares.|
|Bavarians arrive just in time to save the 2nd Class Nassuers from a grizzly end but got a mauling themselves in the process!|
|The Westphalians dithered after their veteran Guard grenadier were sent packing.|
New regiment - first outing - typical!
|The lead Polish battalions fell back through these supporting 2nd class Nassauers causing chaos in front of that six gun 12lb battery and those vengeful Russian infantry.|
|The French dragoons arrive to hopefully drive off Seivers,|
|Seivers horse battery breaks the first Swiss square with canister fire...|
|The field of battle.|
|French heavy cavalry in disarray as the lights retreat amongst them.|
|We might have seen this before above...|
|Russian mounted jaeger from Wargames Foundry, painted by Tony.|
|Looking from the French cavalry farce on their right across the battlefield.|
|Seivers dragoons are set for a face off with their French counterparts.|
|Overhead shot as the Russians attack the Poles who deploy their battery in hopeful support!|
|The Bavarian's attack stalls under fire from Russian veteran jaeger.|
|The Westphalian attack is in a mess as more Russian jaeger fire from line into their attacking columns.|
Shame as their target brigade finally broke!
|Cavalry brigades clash - 152 models involved!|
|Pavlovski grenadiers & more veteran jaegers set about beating up some Nassauers & Poles.|
Tactical genius at work.
|Westphalians taking the pain to press home their attack.|
|Bavarian attacks still stalling, but their battery & the Nassauers fire take a toll on that Russian battalion.|
|Sorting out the cavalry chaos on the French right!|
|Chris breaks some Lithuanian Uhlans confirming his title as "Mr C" once again.|
|Almost straight now!|
|The field of battle looking suitably epic again.|
|A cheeky close up of one of Tony's fabulous Russian battalions.|
|Cavalry mosh pit in the snow.|
|Oh dear! Seivers is vanquished from the table top...|
|Only the Westphalian lights wither the storm to approach the last intact Russian line in front of them.|
|Over view of the centre on the last evening play.|
|A little closer in, mixed fortunes but overall the momentum is with the French.|
|The French dragoons & lancers off screen take a break to reform having seen off the unfortunate Seivers.|
|This Polish battery caused carnage amongst the Russian grenadiers opposite.|
The end of this turn saw the whole Russian line pushed off the central table to retire under cover of the Guards and the blizzard. A French victory but a costly. Most of this game was played between Tony & I; Chris was off courting & poor Tony Laughton was mostly too ill to take part. This means I was in sole command of the French side which is more than I normally get to wield even though it's my collection - I loved it!
This was a fun game which knocked along at a fair pace. We used the General d'Armee beta set again. So how did the rules measure up? Very well indeed.
Let me expand a little without giving too much away.
There is an element of "resource management" for the C-in-C when it comes to where he sends his ADC's to influence the game each turn, this is great fun & forces you to make some tough decisions as things hot up across the table. Naturally there are never enough & you can lose them during the game compounding the problem. Note: this is not like the dreaded PIPS or Action Points in some games, most brigades will still be able to function in the normal fashion just not exactly how you might hope. We are already creating special cards to add an aesthetic element to this phase. It also gives a role to all those commander or ADC vignettes you have but don't use.
Artillery. Whenever I get a new set of Napoleonic rules I check out the artillery rules first. To my tiny mind these work very well, once again there are decisions to make as poor result after modifiers can result in fatigue casualties, low ammo etc which usually means you don't take the unlikely shots just because you can. The casualties caused aren't immense but the cumulative effects seem just right. Lastly a low roll doesn't always mean no casualties despite the obvious size/density of the target - it just means less casualties.
Melee. We wargamers love hand to hand combat between our toys and seem content to chuck plenty of dice about to do it. The problem is in the Napoleonic wars infantry combat in the open was very rare, sure people stormed redoubts & villages etc at bayonet point BUT the reality of infantry closing with each other in the open was one of morale not fighting, ie the defenders break the chargers will to close or the defenders fail to break the chargers and run for it! These rules replicate that very well. Cavalry fought differently & these rules replicate that also.
The farcical artillery crew v cavalry result in our last game game has been redressed but the result is now only far less likely rather than eliminated.
Lastly, these are Corps based games, not small games by any means. A small game could be over very quickly indeed possibly leaving one player very dissatisfied as BIG things happen - which I like.
|Now, I have a darkly monumental hangover so I'm going now, hair of the dog etc. |
Happy New Year everyone.
Happy New Year everyone, have fun in 2017, I intend to, cheers for now.