Thursday 24 May 2018

15/18mm American Civil War: Update 4, Infantry units.

A quick update on progress with the ACW collection. Things slowed down a bit as I have been busy with some non wargaming projects but here are the latest completed units.

This unit is made up of AB figures and featured in my Painting 18mm American Civil War Union post.

These are also AB figures except for the regimental standard bearer who is Blue Moon.

Next up are another seven bases of Blue Moon infantry and some more terrain, this time field works, rivers and bridges from TimeCast and fences from Ironclad Miniatures

More terrain


Monday 14 May 2018

Battle of "Benbrongo" 1813. Game at NBHW.

Last Friday night and all day Saturday at New Buckenham I took part in a fictitious encounter somewhere in central Europe in 1813. The game was played using the Shako 2 ruleset and was titled "The Battle of Benbrongo" (no idea why).
The Battle would see an Austrian and Russian force take on a smaller Saxon and Duchy of Warsaw force with possible reinforcement by Napoleon himself with a contingent of the Young Guard. The game was mainly an excuse to get some newly assembled units out for a game, in fact some of the Poles' bases were flocked just prior to hitting the table.

The battlefield and two objectives. 

The Austrians and Russians entered on the left with the Saxons and Poles on the right and occupying the two objectives. Any French assistance would arrive at the top end of the table.

I was given command of the Austrians who entered on the left flank  just above the larger town and this report will focus on my end of the table.

My starting Austrian command with some Don cossacks along to scout.

My starting force on the Friday was three brigades of infantry, one with an attached foot battery. I knew that on the Saturday these would be reinforced by a corps of cuirassiers.
The plan for the Austrians was to advance to the left of the town and swing into attack the left flank of the buildings and if possible get behind the defenders in this area. There were streams to this side of the town and at game start it was not known if they were fordable, so two units of Russian cossacks were sent ahead to scout them out. A third was sent to scout the woods at the top of the table to keep an eye out for French reinforcements.

First brigade moves to attack the flank of the town.

Rest of the Austrians with scouting cossacks heading to the rear of the flank.

The cossacks reported back that parts of the streams were fordable by infantry only, so the assault on the town and the supporting troops behind it went ahead. The side of the town facing the Austrian, Russian starting edge would be assaulted by two small Russian brigades.

The large Austrian battalions were awkward to manoeuvre at times.

The assaulting forces form up.

The Austrian attack went in first, well tried to, every attack was repulsed by defensive closing fire, gradually increasing the casualty count on the white coated battalions, this would prove telling late on the next day. However the defenders used up all their good die on me which let the Russian's capture the right hand half of the town at the end of Friday night and the other half early on the Saturday.
With the expected arrival of French reinforcements on the Saturday, I positioned one of my brigades and my sole artillery battery to cover the woods to my left flank, those at the top of the table, whilst the rest continued to attack the town and it's supporting units to it's rear.

End of play on Friday on my flank, with half the town now in Russian possession

Saturday morning saw the other half of the town fall to the Russian assaults which allowed me to turn my other large brigade around to try and position itself to take on the newly arrived French under Napoleon himself, who had arrived through the woods at the top of the table. More French arrived at the top of the opposition baseline and together soon saw off the scouting cossacks. 

Napoleon and some Young Guard arrive through the woods.

Fortunately my own reinforcements arrived in the form of six cuirassier regiments.

Austrian reinforcements!

This welcome cavalry advanced towards the French and when the opportunity arose charged the Guard Chasseurs à Cheval and Lancers


After a bit of to and fro both Chasseur units were destroyed and the Lancers withdrew behind the infantry squares. this stalemate continued for the rest of the game and allowed me to dispatch one brigade of heavies back to the centre of the table with the intention to counter some marauding Saxon cavalry.

Things got a bit busy now which resulted in a lack of photos.

The other French formation soon hit my first brigade of Austrian infantry, one battalion of which was caught while deploying into line from column. At the same time the previously demoralised Saxons to the rear of the town recovered and charged into my smaller brigade wiping out one battalion and forcing the other to withdraw.
My third brigade now had to change formation again to meet them.
At this point the second French division inexplicably about faced and marched off, some say "Vive au roi Louis" could be heard, that or it was just their owner had to leave then.
Either way good news for me, or so I thought.
The final turns of the day did not go well for the Austrian infantry, the earlier casualties taken while attempting to assault the town now proving critical. Three columns were soon dispatched by Saxon columns, including their Guard Grenadiers and with only two battalions left out of a starting eight the remaining Austrian infantry decided Vienna might be nice to visit.

Fortunately this was the end of the game and with both towns still in Russian possession it was deemed a victory for the Russian and Austrians, just.

All in all a fun day and a bits gaming with some lively debate over some rule points, but as another member said "what do you expect when you stick a load of middle aged men in a small room with a load of toy soldiers". The result is some follow-up games are being planed to utilise more of the central European Napoleonic armies that club members have in production.

Again a load more photographs and full AAR, with more on the battle at the other end of the table, contained in the club Facebook Album


Note: none of the figures are mine this time.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Peninsular War, Early 1811 ish. Rearguard. Game at NBHW

Last Friday at New Buckenham I put on another small four player game using the Black Powder rules. Again a fictitious scenario set during the Napoleonic Peninsular War, this time set late 1810 early 1811 as the French were retreating from the Lines of Torres Vedras.

The basic premise was that a French rearguard had turned to fight the pursuing Anglo Portuguese at a river crossing which provided the last natural barrier before an expanse of open countryside.

The French aim was to gives the allies a bloody nose, forcing them to ease off the pursuit, allowing the main French force to cross the open countryside unmolested. With this open terrain in mind it would be considered a disaster for the French if their light cavalry brigade suffered unnecessary attrition.

The Anglo Portuguese aim was to continuing pressing the French, giving them no respite. The hope was that this, combined with their general impoverished state, would cause a collapse in their army's will to fight and allow a decisive action to be brought against them.

Table layout. 6' x 6' (tiles 2' square)

A few scenario specific rules etc:
  1. The River is only fordable by Infantry. Cavalry and Artillery must use the bridge.
  2. The slope of the hill to the north east is "Rough Ground"
  3. The wooded areas are only accessible to troops with the "Skirmish" special rule.
  4. The buildings can't be occupied and any walls are classed as "Obstacles" to movement and give "Light Cover".
The French deployment area was anywhere east of the river. The Anglo Portuguese enter in march column. The Portuguese where the road enters from the west, the British from the south.
The French deployed on table and the Anglo Portuguese had the first turn.

French force, each brigade has it's own sheet with "Special Rules" annotated.

The French Légère battalions were rated as Veteran giving additional Special Rules, in this case "Elite 5+" and "Reliable".

Anglo Portuguese force, each brigade has it's own sheet with "Special Rules" annotated.

View from the west with the French deployed.

View from the south with the French deployed. 1st Brigade to the south,
2nd in the centre and Cavalry to the north.

The Anglo Portuguese arrive.

The Portuguese headed for the French right flank guarded by their cavalry brigade. The British sent their line infantry full speed towards the shepherd's enclosure, this was to prove an error, whilst the 5/60th head for the wooded area with the intention of using this cover to shoot across the river, making the most of their range advantage.

The French left wing attacks!

The leading British battalion rushes into the sheep enclosure startling the flock, and in the confusion fails to turn into line allowing the defending French to advance and fire in enfilade causing further disorder and mounting casualties. The légère battalions forded the river and advanced at a rapid pace into the woods, beating the tardy 5/60th to this advantageous position. It would appear that to this French general, attack was the best form of defence.

The Portuguese deploy.

The Portuguese meanwhile advanced to the river, suffering only very minor casualties from the French horse artillery, left to defend this flank after the light cavalry pulled back to the hill top.

Wasn't there a battery there?

After some swift accurate shooting the horse battery disappeared in a storm of lead leaving the way open for a Portuguese advance across the river.

The Portuguese cross and the French end battalion wheels to face.

Not looking good for the British, the fusiliers have broken and fled.

So things were looking good on the Portuguese flank but alas the British were taking a hammering. One line battalion and the rifles were broken and had fled and with another battalion "Shaken" the brigade was broken despite breaking one French ligne battalion. At this point The Anglo Portuguese force would have probably withdrawn to lick their wounds, but it was a Friday club game so we carried on for a bit.

The French charged the Royal Horse Artillery half battery but unfortunately didn't quite reach, with the expected result! But at the same time another British line battalion broke!

BOOM! gone.

The French hussards also charged the Portuguese line who, in square, saw them off easily. The cacadores meanwhile evaded back across the river.

Hussards vs Portuguese squares.

At this point we did call it a night, after the 14th Light Dragoons refused to charge.  A win for the French mainly due to the unexpected aggressiveness of their left wing and also some poor morale save rolls from the British.

Final positions at game end.

So how did the scenario work out? Not quite as planned and after a post game chat a few changes have been made for any future replays.

It was decided that given the scenario narrative of the French withdrawal from the Lines of Torres Vedras, and the condition they were in historically, that maybe they shouldn't have been quite so strong for this game. With this in mind the two battalions of légère have been reduced to "Small" units, as have the two cavalry units (the French were always short of horses at the best of times).

I have also changed the légère to "Elite 6+" from "5+" and some of the commander SR values have also been adjusted.

The updated Order of Battle unit sheets, maps and briefings are in the Scenario download section.

As usual loads more pictures in the clubs Facebook Album