Friday 14 January 2022

2021 Round Up

So 2021 and this blog, what happened?

I think with the pause in gaming due to various lock-downs and a corresponding loss of mojo towards figure painting and that side of the hobby I just got out of the habit of blogging.

I also tended to write my blog entries during quiet periods at work and these seemed to get fewer last year.

A few wider family matters also conspired to reduce the enthusiasm to spend my free time on this hobby and therefore blogging about it.

This doesn't mean I didn't play any games, on the contrary I took part in several at New Buckenham during the latter part of last year, with rotten luck mind you. I finally came out on the winning side on the last game of the year, I even became the first British CinC to lose a Rorke's Drift game at the club.

Rather than try and post individual articles for each of theses games, even if I could remember enough about them, I have decided to summarise them with lots of my pics and links to the club's AARs.

Gorodeczna 12th Aug 1812 (Shako II)

No pictures from me for this one so Club Album and AAR

Rolica 17th Aug 1808 (Shako II)

Lost this one on the last morale check of the game. I failed, so British stopped exhausted, French played passed his allowing an orderly withdrawal.

Club Album and AAR

Willavera 1809, fictitious scenario (Shako II)

Rorke's Drift 22nd Jan 1879 (Black Powder)

Guess what? yep last dice throw of the game, British morale!

Talavera 28th Jul 1809, Laval attacks the redoubt (Carnage & Glory)

Again no pictures from me so Club Album and AAR

Borodino 1812 (Shako II)

Stand by for lots of pics of this three day game:

First Torgau 8th Sept 1759 (Black Powder)

Peninsular War 1808 or 1810 Rearguard action (Shako II)

Finally a win! rear-guard protecting a stubborn engineering officer who refuses to leave his supplies.

In all the above pictures if they feature British or Portuguese Napoleonic figures they are most likely mine, with a few exceptions, hussars for example.

Hopefully I will get back into the swing of it again this year, starting with next Saturday's game of Isandlwana from the Anglo Zulu war.

Thanks and best wishes for 2022


Thursday 13 January 2022

Peninsular 1810, Game at NBHW

Way back on Friday 9th of July 2021 we played another Napoleonic game at New Buckenham. This time it was set in the Peninsular around 1810 with the French probing the edges of the Lines of Torres Vedras. The rules were again Shako II and I got to provide the Portuguese and British contingent from my collection.

The table featured a large hill at one end overlooking a plain with wooded edges down to a river crossed by a bridge and ford. The hill had a fortified artillery position, with two Spanish batteries deployed, and a Portuguese semaphore station and was the location of the allied CinC (me). On the plain were three encampments with the leftmost closest to the bridge being the Portuguese brigade. The right hand camp on the edge of a wood was home to a brigade of Spanish militia and the largest centre camp had Spanish regulars and two dragoon regiments encamped. Spanish hussars watched the ford while Portuguese cacadores,one line battalion and an artillery battery guarded the bridge. Off table was the British reserve  division and a light dragoon regiment, my actual command.

View from the French end of the table.

Upon hearing first contact the encamped troops would stand to, but not deploy until ADCs arrived with orders from the ford or bridge. Also at this point the semaphore could start trying to call up the British reserve, descending die roll requirement each turn.

Spanish command area with Portuguese manned semaphore.

The French duly arrived after a stealthy approach march and the forward pickets were soon faced with ten infantry battalions, three Chasseur regiments and supporting artillery.

The French 84th Ligne, with Swiss in support, attempted to storm the bridge only to find the Portuguese brigade alerted and formed on the far side. The Portuguese infantry, supported by a foot battery, shredded the leading battalion of the 84th Ligne with rolling volleys and meted out the same punishment to the following two battalions. The French had had little room to deploy beyond the bridge which was now covered with French casualties. This impasse continued with the final attack by the Swiss battalion only adding to the savage French losses inflicted by the resolute Portuguese brigade.

The remaining six French battalions veered to the left to follow the chasseurs across the ford. With the bridge not being taken, this march would take more time, time the French didn't have. The French cavalry initially fared well as the leading chasseur regiment, meeting Spanish hussars sent to cover the ford, rapidly defeated and routed them off the field. However, Spanish dragoons then advanced from the main encampment and after a furious, swirling, melee, threw back the French light cavalry.

Spanish camps stand to.

Spanish militia fall in.

Spanish advance towards the successful French light cavalry on the right flank.

It was at this point that a French flanking attack by a brigade of grenadiers and legere appeared out of the woods to the left of the redoubt containing the Spanish command and Portuguese semaphore, behind the main allied forces.

The semaphore station was soon captured but the signal to alert the British troops encamped to the rear had already been sent. Spanish gunners within the redoubt also managed to turn some of their cannon to face this sudden new threat.

This meant that as the French assault on the redoubt commenced it was met in the flank by hard charging British light dragoons.


After an initial success in halting the assault, as per usual, their exuberance got the better of them and a rash decision saw them rout back almost as fast as they arrived. However this did allow time for the lead battalions of British infantry to arrive to bolster the defence of the redoubt.

British infantry arrive.

With the bridge firmly still under Portuguese control and the French cavalry mostly defeated some Spanish troops about faced and joined in the defence of the redoubt and with more Spanish infantry and cavalry heading to the ford the French commander, realising he had lost all of the surprise advantage he had, started to withdraw his troops.

Final French unit destroyed at the bridge.

Spanish support the redoubt defence.

Spanish push on towards the French attempting to cross the ford.

An interesting scenario which may have had a different outcome were it not for the staunch Portuguese defence of the bridge and the fortuitous roll for the success of the semaphore message to the British reserve.

Sorry for the long delay in posting this write up, will try and address that in a future post along with photos of all the other games I've participated in since.

More photos as usual at the club's Facebook page Here

Thanks Tony.