Sunday, 13 August 2017

Sunday Napoleonic Game

Today we played our regular Sunday game. This time it was a Napoleonic extravaganza with a force of  Bavarian and Wurtemberg force against and Austrian force.

The scenario was designed around a large, steep hill - Abbey Hill after a large abbey at its foot - that separated two roads. The objective of each side was to secure the opposing road, while not losing control of their's.

The Initial Austrian Deployment, the Right Flank 

And the Left Flank

I played on the Austrian side. We had two divisions: one (mine) contained 12 battalions, three batteries  and two regiments of cavalry; the other had six batteries, 12 battalions and a single cavalry regiment. In truth I didn't pay too much attention to the strength of our opponents, but they were relatively equal.

The Germans got the jump and  started up the hill. The Bavarian artillery, all six batteries, engaged three Austrian batteries in a counter battery battle that would last all day, while their infantry negotiated the difficult passage between two large woods.

The Bavarians start their manoeuvre around the woods, their artillery mass on the right.

Then the Austrians stole the initiative  and gained the crest of the hill first. Then they stormed forward and drove three of the Wurtemberg battalions from the hill, but could not drive off the critical fourth unit. Their attack had cost them some heavy losses. 

Above and below, the battle for the hill 

The Wurtemberg infantry regrouped and held the Austrians in check, while they brought up reinforcements. They then pressed forward and drove off one of the Austrian brigades. Things began to look very shaky for the Austrians on the hill.

The Wurtembergers reclaim the crest

On the left of the Austrian line the Bavarians slowly managed to get their lines formed and came forward. They made three separate attacks and where repulsed in all of them. The Austrians then counterattacked and drove the Bavarians back.

The Bavarians attack, but (below) are driven back

Suddenly the Bavarians rolled two bad activation rolls and six of their disrupted and shaken units quit the field. The Austrians then pushed further forward and secured the road, the objective of the game.

The Wurtemberg troops had secured part of the hill, but with out the Bavarian support had little chance driving off the two remaining Austrian brigades that secured the other road.

The Austrians claimed the day.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Winter Village - Part 4 ... and more

SeIt has been a sort of bitty week this one. I started off working on the final strucure of my winter village. This time it is a Russian church, much smaller than the one I made at the beginning of last year, but an interesting model all the same.

I chose a log and finished timber exterior for this model. The logs were made from bamboo skewers, cut to length and then glued to a cardboard form. The finished timber is largely matchsticks with some pieces of balsa where larger boards were required.

The roof is sculpted foam board, covered with fine sand. I opted not to have a dome on this model, but did put a cross on top of a stack of spheres.

I have yet to instruct the base. This will  be completed in the next couple of weeks.

Another item worked on during the week is a batch of nine Indian troops for East Africa required to complete a battalion for use in a game in October. These are Brigade Games figures. They don't match the Woodbine Figures that make up the rest of the battalion, but they are such lovely figures that I am happy to live with this. 

Also included in the parcel from Brigade Games is a set of War of 1812 American generals - a mounted and dismounted officer. This is the advanced guard of a new project that will kick off properly in late-October. These are great little figures designed by the talented Paul Hicks, my only complaint is that the horse in way too skinny - it looks to me as though the person operating the casting machine has applied too much pressure on the moulds.

Then on Friday night we played a Dark Ages-Early Medieval game based around the Battle of the Standard, or the Battle of Northallerton, between English and Scottish armies on 22 August 1138. The rules used were To The Strongest.

Starting at around 5:30 we played until about 9:30 with a break for dinner. 

It was a hard fought action that at the dinner break saw the English army with the upper hand. But fortunes changed after dinner and the Scots rallied and came forward again.

But the English, led by Ralph of Durham, held and drove off several of the best Scottish units.

Then in one devastating move the English fortunes changed and the Scots reversed history.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

American Civil War Game

When I woke this morning it was a frosty -2 degrees C. For us in Auckland that is pretty cold, but a cold frosty morning for us usually means a fine sunny day, and that is exactly what we got. So on this stunning day we locked ourselves indoors and played an American Civil War game.

We had six players and the scenario was a simple one with the Union forces charged with controlling a crossroads at game's end.  A single Confederate infantry brigade, heavily supported by an artillery brigade and a cavalry brigade held a position dominating the crossroads. They could expect reinforcement by two infantry brigades. The Union had two infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade on the table, with another infantry brigade expected as a reserve.

Not going to to too much detail, but the two Union brigades attempted to drive off the Confederates from their position before reinforcements could arrive. But they found access the Confederate position difficult. A strong attack was repulsed and much of the Union centre collapsed. 

On the Union right six infantry regiments, five batteries and two small cavalry regiments faced thirteen infantry regiments, three cavalry and four batteries. The Union troops put a desperate fight, the artillery in particular,  and drove off all of the Confederate cavalry and five infantry units, before numbers took their toll and the Union troops were driven from the field.

On the Union extreme left the fight continued, but the end was nigh. The Confederates scored a decisive victory.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Russian Napoleonic Horse Artillery

This is the penultimate unit in my Russian Army of 1812. My phrasing of that sentence " Russian Army of 1812..." is deliberate because I have in the back of my mind to do a small number of units for a Russian force from an earlier period - with the flat top kiwer and the big bushy grenadier plumes - that can still be used in 1812 because many of the regiments did not receive their new uniforms until after the 1812 campaign. But for now this is pretty much it.

As I mentioned in a previous post these figures are from Front Rank. The figures are great castings: sharp with the usual highly defined detail that you expect from Front Rank, although the figures poses are a little stiff.

My disappointment with this set is with the guns. The wheels are just too small and the gun looks a little too squat - another three milimeters on the diameter would have made all the difference. But they are what they are and since the horse battery should not be brigaded with the line batteries, the difference may not show. Of course the day after I ordered the Front Rank figures the greens for the Perry horse artillery showed up on their Facebook page.

The final unit in this army, the hussar regiment, has been ordered and should be here within a couple of weeks.