Saturday, 7 December 2013

a 1816 Napoleonic battle

I set up a very what-if scenario at a rare attendance for me at the local club as I wanted to use my newly painted Prussian regulars. [the Landwehr have yet to be done]  The idea was that Napoleon landed from Elba a year later than history records and so the Royalists had some weak support enough to stick around and insist that the huge Prussian support be, at least technically, under French control.  Thus as you can see from the following photos Pirch, Ziethen and the other Prussian commanders thus wore French marshal's uniforms ( and the fact I did not yet have any of the Prussian generals painted! )   We wargamer's can rationalize anything about our hobby, can't we....

Napoleon still needed to get to Paris, with much of his army, the Royalist (and Prussians ) were to halt him.
So basically it was a small playtest with most players new to the rules.  I had no idea about the possible number of players and so brought enough commands for 8 although only 5 corps were used, each having 6-9 elements.  On the 6 foot by 4 foot table we had some 37 elements and as can be seen in the photos still plenty of room for maneuver. 

Barry's Prussians attack across the bridge
Prussians

The Naval Artillerymen in the fore, French National Guardsmen in support.
The small table still allowed for much maneuver room
The Prussian masses moving

"Now dear, remember to ...." 
As Wellington was to have said: to give an account of a battle is to describe the actions of all the participants of a ball.  Hard to do. So suffice it to note that Barry was insistent of attacking over the bridge.  Yes he kept Napoleon from Paris, albeit temporarily, he did wreck his corps doing so. Nevertheless while severely weakened with most units near destroyed he kept the command together and played the rules well.  As did Francis bringing up Pirch's corps from the reserves.  A couple of the other players played a more "tactical" game and over-extended and spread themselves from command and thus needed more pips than were available to do what they wanted to do.  To my joy, at the end of the game, one of the players declared "This is a game of reserves" and he continued, "if this was a campaign game, I would have retreated turns ago"  Well spoken.

The rules are certainly focused on this.  They were taken by the players well... or they were just being polite.....  I did not have copies so all questions were done verbally and so I hoped I made mostly correct responses.  The only real question was about the recoil which needs to be addressed.  As with all rules, the more experience a player has, or in cases like this game where new players picked up on the concept quickly and played with the rules, the play will go faster.  However 10 turns in about 2 hours is quite good and the battle was done to a conclusion. [ Napoleon was to reach Paris albeit with only a brigade of his Old Guard to accompany him!]
"Paris is that way, Sire"

10 comments:

  1. Those big bases look good.

    A left field question - are the building in the pictures paper terrain?

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    1. Yes, in my quest to keep everything light weight, the building are paper placed on foamcore with some flocking and such on the walls and base. All the exposed paper edges are painted which helps in the look. They were from my mother-in-law so unfortunately I do not have a source. A bit cartoonish but serves for now.

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  2. Very cool scenario, Doug. Will the USA get involved next?

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    1. ha ha...although I do have my War of 1812 collection so .......

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  3. Fabulous painting as always Doug

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  4. I scrolled down too far, and couldn't figure out why the Prussians would be fighting in the Chamber of Marzabul ...

    Great "what if" - Drums in the Deep?

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  5. Just figured out that you Doug Hamm! We've played a couple of times - once when I came to Vancouver, and once here in Calgary. Nice blog. I'll add it to my list!

    Grant

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    1. Ya, I guess I am that guy... :-)

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  6. Hi Doug, love the blog, well done. Your War of 1812 collection is very inspiring. I think I will have to make a start and get some units put together. I loved the rant about Canadian taxes spent on the celebrations, speaking as a 50 something Brit, it rings a bell on this side of the pond with some of the ridiculous ideas our leaders come up with. Keep up the good work

    JJ

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    1. I will win no awards for writing -- rereading my posts suggest a love of run-on sentences -- but I like the hobby of miniatures wargaming. I love doing it all which is also a fault. My War of 1812 started small but, well...., kinda expanded. One of my favorite collections nevertheless.
      Thanks for the kind comments.
      cheers,
      ...DougH

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