Friday 29 November 2019

'Indian Run' 1777. Game at NBHW.

On Friday night at New Buckenham we had an AWI game. It was a fictitious scenario that saw Washington attempted to deny General Howe's advance guard from crossing the Indian Run river as the Crown forces pushed on toward the capture of Philadelphia. We used our club rules for AWI ,which I will eventually get round to digitising.

I took command of General Grant's brigade which consisted of the 9th, 21st, 38th and 24th foot on the British left flank facing the rebel battalions of General Sullivan across a shallow stretch of river.
To my right were three battalions of Hessians under General von Knyphausen who were making for a plank bridge over the river. Unbeknown to the revolutionaries General Cornwallis was making a flank march to the far right with the Black Watch, a light infantry battalion and a combined grenadier battalion.

My command and supporting 12 lbs artillery face the river.

Lead Hessian battalion crosses the plank bridge with light artillery support

View from the american rear.

My command advanced across the ford towards the waiting rebellious colonials while the lead Hessian unit was met by a head on charge, by a unit from General Lee's command, determined to stop the Germans from gaining a foothold on the other side of the bridge.

"At the double, Advance!"

After a vicious scrap at the bridge the lead Hessian battalion managed to fight their way through the Pennsylvanians and establish a bridgehead before being assailed on three sides. Included in this assault was the lead element of Washington's reinforcements, a battalion of marines. This attempt to throw the Germans back got off to a slow start thanks to support from my 12 lb artillery who had now switched their focus to supporting the isolated Hessians.

Lead Hessian battalion in a spot of bother.

This delay allowed the Hessians to dress their ranks and get further battailons across the bridge in support, before continuing their attack.

Hessian support arrives.

Hessians attack again.

It was around this time that Cornwallis' brigade arrived on Washington's flank, forcing him to turn his remaining reserves to face this threat and so relieving some of the pressure on the Germans.

Back to my command. After finally fording the river under musket and light artillery fire my lead battalions were given the order to level the bayonets and charge!

Time to get stuck in.....or not.

Unfortunately both units declined to obey and it was only the direct intervention of General Grant that finally saw the fusiliers charge home against the regulars of the 1st Maryland battalion. The 9th however could not get to grips with the stubborn 2nd Maryland battalion and a close quarter musketry duel commenced.

The 1st Maryland broke before the determined charge of the fusiliers who followed up after the routing colonials. This left room for the 24th foot to charge into Sullivan's militia battalion, with the expected result.

24th foot charge home.

At this point the game was called. On my flank two of the three continental battalions had routed, despite inflicting heavy casualties on my troops, 177 in total. In the centre the Hessians were now firmly across the bridge and pressing on with Cornwallis soon to make contact on the right.
It was deemed that Washington would rapidly withdraw his remaining forces after a hard fought action.

The Hessian bridgehead just before games end.

British left flank.

Centre and right flank at games end.

Another great game, many thanks to the two members whose figures were used.

As usual lots more photos and AAR in the clubs Facebook Album.



Order of Battle

Crown Forces:

Left wing:   Grant's Brigade -  9th, 21st, 24th and 38th Foot. Two 12lb cannons.
Centre:        Von-Knyphausen's Brigade - von-Rall Grenadier Battalion, von-Lossberg fusilier                                  Battalion and von-Knyphausen musketeer Battalion. One 6lb cannon.
Right wing: Cornwallis' Brigade - composite light and Grenadier battalions and 42nd Foot. Two 6lb                        cannons.

Rebel Forces:

Right wing: Sullivan's Brigade - 1st and 2nd Maryland battalions and a militia battalion. One 6lb                            cannon.
Left wing:   Lee's Brigade - one each Virginian and Pennsylvania continental battalions and two                              Pennsylvania militia battalions. One 6lb cannon
Reserve:     Washington's Brigade -  Marine Battalion and one other Pennsylvania continental                                  battalion. Two 6lb cannons.

Monday 4 November 2019

More new British Napoleonic additions.

Over the weekend I attended another gaming boot sale (bring and buy) at Alpha Games near Bury St Edmunds. While the main focus of these sales seem to be sci/fi, fantasy and board games sometimes some historical stuff can be found.

This was one of those occasions and I was able to pick up a British Napoleonic army in 15mm, painted to a high standard with some unpainted or primed leftovers for what I considered a reasonable price. The figure include, I believe, some Minifigs, Battle Honours and a third manufacturer judging by the sculpts.

Having got them home and sorted out I have four regiments of cavalry, six battalions of line infantry, one and a half battalions of rifles, four artillery pieces, a rocket team and some commander figures.
The leftovers can probably make another two battalions of line infantry.


Light Dragoons


Scots Greys






Left overs
There are a few historical inaccuracies that will bug me if I don't correct them such as officer sash colours ,drummer jacket colours and the such. So a little bit of paint work plus new flags and basing and these should be good to go, now that 15mm games are making more appearances at the club.


Nyezane 1879. Game at NBHW

On Friday night we had a game of Black Powder based on the scenario of the Battle of Nyezane 1879, The first pitched battle of the Zulu Wars. This battle is known as Wombane by the Zulus, another alternative is Inyezane.

The scenario was taken from the Black Powder 2 rule book, modified slightly to account for available figures. We played this, as usual at the club, using 2/3rd distances.

Opening positions. Excuse the lack of draft animals, forgotten on the night.

Initial positions have the British, having started to break camp and beginning to move off across the river and along the track, spot Zulus ahead of them. Units of Natal Native forces along with Royal Naval and Infantry are pushed forward to engage and protect the column.

The British objective is to get three wagons and escorting units off the far end of the table or break two of the three Zulu brigades.
The Zulu objective, prevent this.

The rear guard

As part of the British team our plan was to form a corridor of troops either side of the road and push along as fast as we could go. So of course having won the initiative for the first move we mostly failed our command rolls allowing the Zulus to hit our left flank pretty much in their starting positions.

British right flank starting positions.

We soon managed to get support to this beleaguered flank however and British firepower soon started to take it's toll, not before one unit of redcoats was overwhelmed though. The Natal Native contingent were left to face the oncoming Zulus alone, again more tardy command rolls from me with their British support, this they managed to do for a couple of turns before they inevitably broke. But they did hold long enough for my troops to finally get into position.

Natal Natives engaged while their "support" finally gets into position. Naval units fully embroiled on their left.

By this stage the initial Zulu assault on our left had been destroyed and while some troops moved up on the left flank others were redeployed to the right to bolster the defence against a large Zulu force sweeping down off the hills.

The assault on the head of the column soon saw the naval gattling gun and rocket team overrun before support was finally brought up to halt and then repulse this Zulu force.

Right flank just before the Natal native contingent broke.

With this second Zulu brigade now broken and the third just reaching the British lines, and destroying the artillery, the game was called as a British victory despite suffering higher casualties than their historical counterparts.

A fun game for a Friday night and something different from this conflict.

As usual more photographs can be found in the club's Facebook album


Thursday 31 October 2019

Malplaquet 1709. Game at NBHW

Back on September 14th at New Buckenham we held a very special game. The game was the Battle of Malplaquet in 1709, fought during the War of Spanish Succession and a long term project of the late Adrian "Shep" Shepherd who unfortunately never got to play this battle. Thanks to his partner Sarah we were able to utilise his magnificent collection and terrain pieces to re-fight this battle in his honour.

Once again the figures were 25/28mm and the rules chosen, Post of Honour.

This battle, one of the bloodiest of it's time, was fought between the French forces of Louis XIV of France, commanded by Marshal Villars and a Dutch-British army, led by the Duke of Marlborough.

Map by Victor Falk at French Wikipedia.

Translated to the table using Adrian's superb earthworks boards.

French positions in the Bois de Sars

I took command of the Hessian and Hanoverian troops under Lottum along with a brigade of allied cavalry in the centre of the allied line.

My right hand brigade, Bois de Sars to the right.

Left brigade and supporting artillery.

Cavalry support.

At the start of the battle the Imperial troops to my right flung themselves at the French in the Bois de Sars while the Dutch and English to my left assaulted the French defences around the Bois de la Laniere and Malplaquet itself.

My force advanced towards the french centre, which had had most of its infantry redeployed to the flanks, leaving me faced by the mass of French horse. My rightmost brigade pivoted right into the eastern side of the Bois de Sars to support the Imperial attack while the leftmost brigade obliqued to the right and continued to advance. My cavalry were brought up to face off against the french cavalry in the centre and support the left flank of my infantry.

Advancing to the Bois de Sars

To the left combined Dutch and British pressure finally overwhelmed a French defensive earthwork but on the far left the French defenders held firm.

Dutch assault

British advance.

Over on the far right a British infantry and allied cavalry flank march now appeared on the far side of the Bois de Sar and advanced to hit the French in the flank.

British troops arrive on the French flank

French turn to meet this new threat.

Assaulted now on three sides it was only a matter of time before the French troops in the Bois de Sar area were overwhelmed and this they were eventually, after some stiff resistance.

The fight in the Bois de Sar, allied horse advancing to the rear.

More of the stubborn french defence.

With the French left flank almost destroyed and a significant incursion into their right centre only their right flank and cavalry reserve remained in good order. I swung my forces around again and advanced of the French centre but by now we were out of time.

My troops advance on the French centre at games end.

Allied and French cavalry engage in a final skirmish.

The umpire called the game at this point as a victory for the allies. The French right would have been able to disengage largely intact along with most of their cavalry, whilst despite some fierce fighting the allies lost a lot less casualties than historically.

Once again a massive thank you goes out to Sarah for letting us borrow Adrian's collection and allowing us to run this game in his memory.

As usual many more photographs and thorougher AAR in the clubs Facebook album


Wednesday 25 September 2019

Minden 1759. Game at NBHW

On the last weekend of August at New Buckenham we re-fought the Battle of Minden from 1759 during the Seven Years War (SYW). The rules we used were Post of Honour which we have found to be very successful for playing large SYW battles. The game started on the Friday night and concluded on the Saturday.

Map of the Battle.

Translated to the table, start of second days play.

Starting positions, Allied left flank. around Kutenhausen.

Starting positions, Allied left looking towards the centre and Malbergen.

Starting positions, Allied centre facing massed French cavalry.

Starting Positions, Allied right and Hahlen. My command area.

I was given command of the allied right flank tasked with trying to hold the village of Hahlen. I initially had two units of jaeger within the town with a line battalion, two artillery batteries and a small hussar regiment in support. Off table I had a brigade of Hanoverian infantry under general Anhalt and the Britsh and Hanoverian cavalry under general Sackville.

The French wasted no time in assaulting Hahlen and soon gained a foothold while I struggled to get the Cavalry under Sackville moving. He is rated "dithering" under this ruleset due to his historical non performance and so I required several fortuitous die roles to even get the lead elements onto the table by the fifth turn. Meanwhile my Hanoverian line started to arrive along the road through the woods to the north of Hahlen.

The jaegers hold out, for a while.

The French and their Saxon allies so pushed the jaegers out of Hahlen but could advance no further as my line battalion with hussar support blocked the road out. This blocking force was soon joined by leading elements of Sackville's cavalry. However this stalemate allowed the french to move more troops towards the centre and also mass their artillery to cover the pen ground between Hahlen and the woods, which would prove a real problem to me the following day, especially the lead battalions of Hanoverians as their cleared the woods.

Right flank at end of first evening's play

In the centre the British and Hanoverian Guard had advanced historically and poured volley fire into the massed french cavalry, however the French started moving reserves from their left to try and halt this advance.
To their left the German infantry tasked with taking Malbergen could only stand and watch as a swirling cavalry melee took place to their front, their artillery occasionally getting in a clear shot at the French horse.

On the allied left flank the troops from both armies around Kutenhausen remained in defensive positions exchanging some long range artillery fire to keep people awake. On the far left, after initial advances were met with fearsome allied fire, the French commander decided to withdraw less his whole command be destroyed.

And so the first evening of gaming ended.

The following day the French right wing, bolstered by the arrival of an additional more aggressive commander, about faced and drove back into the allied positions with a vengeance which soon saw the allied left wing re-positioning themselves to hold back this relentless push.

Allied extreme left flank coming under pressure.

In front of Kutenhausen nothing much changed apart from a few allied troops moving left to bolster the flank defences and the allied cavalry moving forward into the open ground north of Malbergen.

Allied cavalry move to threaten the French north of Malbergen.

As anyone who has played Seven Years War battles, attacking formed infantry in good order with cavalry is a shore way to lose said cavalry, so this move was really only to stop the French moving troops away from this area.

In the centre the mass cavalry melee continued for most of the day, preventing the German infantry from seriously engaging the french in Malbergen. The right brigade of German infantry was sent to assist the British and Hanoverian Guard who were faced by cavalry to their front and increasing numbers of infantry to their flank.

Cavalry melees continue in the centre.

On my flank I finally managed to get all my cavalry onto the table and deployed the elite regiments in the open ground between Hahlen and the woods while the regular regiments I positioned to blockade the french in the town. The Hanoverian infantry were deploying out of the woods and my artillery was alternately trying to weaken the french infantry and artillery to my front in an attempt to soften them up for my cavalry.

Hahlen blockading force.

Hanoverian infantry deploying out of the woods

As my infantry cleared the wood they came under telling fire from the massed French artillery and the casualties soon mounted. Despite this they pressed on towards the guns to cover the advance of the British household cavalry.

Elite British cavalry advance through the artillery to charge range.

Masked by the Hanoverian infantry I advanced my elite cavalry through my artillery, which had managed to weaken the opposing lines slightly, to charge range.
The remains of the infantry pulled back to the woods as the cavalry charged,


only to be met by devastating closing fire which inflicted serious casualties and prevented them from closing, damn!

At this point I received new orders from our CinC to contain the French to my front without risking anymore of my units, so the cavalry pulled back behind the artillery and maintqained a vigilant watch for the rest of the battle.

The rear unit of Hanoverian infantry, unblooded by the artillery, veered off to their left through the woods and appeared to the rear and flank of the lead French battalions that were engaged with the British and Hanoverian Guards. this attack helped stabilise the position until further units from the allied centre could be brought to bear.

Apart from my artillery finally creating a hole in the French lines, after a battalion routed, this was the end of the game on my flank. The French held Hahlen and I had no infantry to attempt to retake it. The massed french artillery commanded the clear ground, despite my artillery's best efforts. And my cavalry were powerless against the fresh Saxon  units replacing the tired French in the front ranks.

Elsewhere on the battlefield the allied far left flank had collapsed back onto Kutenhausen under the rejuvenated assault from the French right. while in the centre the French still held Malbergen as the cavalry engagements had blocked infantry movement in this area all day. The allied advance in the centre had also stalled, after initial success due in no small part to the dogged resistance of the French cavalry who held on despite horrendous casualties. The ability of the French to move support troops away from the stalemate on my flanks helped hold the allied centre too.

When called by the umpire, a French victory was announced as the allies had been unable to pierce the French line at any point.

Another great two session game and a very close fought battle.

As usual many more photos and a fullsome AAR can be found in the club's Facebook albums