Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Russian "Old Man" at the Battle of Borodino

I could no longer resist and picked up the Russian High Command.  While this Perry pack has some 8 Generals and aides on foot around the seated Kutusov,  I decided to not make that special stand ( and which would have been wholly oversized.... ) but set up some of the others to be the army headquarters in the usual size of our HQ stands for the later battles of 1813-14 after the old Commander died.  You can tell it is him by the white cap.

The "old man" directing the battle several miles from the front.  However at the Battle of Borodino,  Napoleon positioned himself similarly and both conducted the battle in a rather distracted manner.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Napoleonic Russian Casualty Field Station

With my normal way --- paint all the 'cool' stuff first, before diving in to do the masses ---  I decided to indulge myself and complete my Russian eye candy and use the very nice Perry Apothecary Wagon and Infantry Casualty Packs and make a piece to sit in any bare corner of the tabletop.
getting right to work...hundreds more will inevitably arrive
the casualties start to arrive
view of the Russian Casualty Field Station 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Dots of Paint indeed!

KevinA send me this very cool "portrait" of one my painted mounted French officers wearing an greatcoat as he said he was practicing with Photoshop.

Very 'impressionist' in style I was quite taken with it.  Dots of Paint indeed!

Monday, 29 June 2015

Like a house on fire

Napoleonic warfare had more than its share of town fighting and many of the major battles these were a focal point in the action.  The vivid descriptions of fire, smoke and carnage are abound in battle histories with the phrase"charred remains" somewhere in the final chapter.

Up to this point, we have not dealt with fire and its effects in the rules.  For fun, however, I quickly and without very much effort into them, made a few "the roof on fire" markers using thin black card - from product packaging -  and dyed wool probably designed for burning tank wrecks, and creasing the card in half, these can be placed on the roofs and look OK I think.

When showing these to the boys, immediately the discussion moved to how the rules could be changed/ added to employ these new markers.  Again I kinda put the cart before the horse.  However none of the proposed ideas grabbed me and so I will not complicate the rules with the addition of fire to the combat.  Might still place these on the buildings for fun!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Battle of Ligny 200

Well of course I will have to host Ligny 200 being June 16th, 2015 and all!

Yes, the game could have been it's counterpart of Quatre Bras as I placed that battlefield on the other half of my 12 foot long table and if enough players we could have done both at the same time!  But alas, only four could attend; with BobS and his side kick Ian rolling (even vs odds...) to take the Prussians (Ziethen and Pirch respectively) and new players to the rules Peter and Morgan taking (Vandamme and the Guard; Gerard and Milhaud respectively).

The battle historically was vicious town fighting and lots of artillery fire and this game was no exception with the Prussian's defensive position a cauldron for French artillery fire.  It is a also a very tight battlefield of only 2 and a half miles (4 km) or so where the main fighting occurred.  This translated very well to the tabletop and while the Prussian players complained that there was no maneuver room, and I agreed showing them several maps of the deployment corresponding to the tabletop. Our brigade big bases always translate well proportionally to the deployment maps.
The Prussian "caldron" with Ziethen's corps deployed and Pirch's Corps aligned behind the row of trees. The troops in the upper right (north-east)  of the photo shows elements of Thielemann's corps which I did chose to represent as little was fought due to the terrain and deployments in this area of the battle 

 Ziethen in the fore and Pirch in reserve well behind him and Ian rolling rather poorly for his movement initiative, the French artillery started to do execution on Ziethen's corps.  Peter's slowly developing attack by Vandamme, and Morgan's assault by Gerard on the village of Ligny, whittled Ziethen down until an unfortunate '1' roll on the Corps had him break.  Luckily Blucher suddenly aroused from his slumber extorted Ziethen's men to greater dedication "No retreat, no surrender!!" and provided that commander enough morale to at least hold on.....  or in other words I stepped in as umpire I used nearby Blucher as the excuse to arbitrary give him a few more pips on the Corps Morale so to give him hold orders to continue the game!!
Ex-Berg troops still uniformed in white with officers and some of the troops in regulation Prussian uniforms.
Gerard's corps march upon Ligny

Ironically, BobS would continue on until the French now worn down from their attacks and effective counter-battery fire from both BobS and Ian's Pirch artillery which managed to more up, had them on the brink of loss. Morgan's Gerard's 4th Corps had taken Ligny but destroyed itself doing so and could not get any more infantry to open up the town for Milhaud's cuirassiers to pass.  The Young Guard took St Amand but were weakened in the effort.  Vandamme had some losses but many of remaining elements were dangerous low combat effectiveness.

 On the Prussian side, Ziethen will collapse soon (again...) and Pirch could not defend most of the towns and so allow the fresh French Imperial Guard to move at will.

Napoleon did not get his great victory as he wanted in 1815 and nor did he in this game of 2015 but the Prussians were pounded as well. Hard fought indeed.

Thanks for boys arriving and giving a good game.

Prussian artillery 'moving up' (the large wheel marker representing it's limbered state)  Nicely dramatic gun crew by Perry Miniatures.