Saturday, 27 August 2016

Battle of Hanau edition two

Four years in.....

For our annual Summer game, Seth kindly brought his Austrians and Bavarians to have another go at the historical battle of Hanau of 1813 during the conclusion of Napoleon’s Autumn Campaign.

 We wanted to do this one again as it was an anniversary of a sort;  the first official crack at our rules was done on the 200th year of this battle. Now that we are happy with the rules, we were curious to see if the game would be different from the first going.

We are amazed that it has only been some four years from discussing about the original idea to now Organizing the boxes to find those units required for the game, I laid all I have out on the table. Almost 2200 figures…. eep. Along with Seth and all the others who have painted and based units for these rules, we have almost all the units required to do any of the big Napoleonic affairs!

The Hanau scenario is an interesting one.  You have the French army in retreat, disorganized, strangling home with only a few viable combat units; the Guard being the most potent.  Opposing them is a large but weak Bavarian force, very poorly deployed with supporting Austrians on the wrong side of a river.  Now to be honest, the extremely poor deployment was caused by uncertainty on which road Napoleon would travel but it certainly did not help the A-B effort.  But we like doing historical battles so it is up to the players to make things happen.  As it were, Seth and his Bavarians would almost do the impossible and stop the Guard! Almost.

The following are a few pictures of the game with any notes done in the captions.

The arial view of the battlefield with the French emerging from the forest (left) and the Bavarian infantry in two lines with the Austrians on the far bank of the river.  Seth's Hanau on the table edge (right) Photo by Seth.

The boys in cornflower blue
The French left of Sebastiani's and Hansouty's horse. I went with the historical deployment with both the line and Guard formations mixed up to a large degree rather than the simpler groupings. This, of course, had an adverse effect on command and movement and so took the French much longer to make their force made.
The French Imperial Guard Infantry and Artillery of the 'centre' 
The French left of "Macdonald's " (a combined formation of many smaller French commands. All were very small and, as an indication,  most battalions were well under 100 men in strength!)
The Allied army awaits Napoleon's onslaught.

Seth's Bavarian infantry are 28mm HaT figures.  A bit smaller than others, but look good altogether on the tabletop. You can sense Seth is determined to get a good effort out of them!
The horse about to clash.
The French Grenadiers-A-Cheval on their black horses about to ride down Austrian jaegers as the Austrian horse move to support.  Photo by Seth - as you can tell as it is from HIS side of the table......

The Guard was largely immobile in the early phases of this battle. The need for artillery fire and later poor command rolls. I am a bad General when it comes to dice rolls!
Seth did a good job whittling away at McDonald's French (top) who must maneuver slowly out of the woods
To represent the large line of stragglers and such which constituted much of the French army, we placed down some miscellaneous wagons which could be "captured' which would give the Allies some victory points and which the French needed to protect. As it were the French finally punched through and away to France but the Allies effort was better than the original battle.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Tersey Campaign - Battle of Manor Field

during the English Civil War a very small campaign raged in a corner of the shattered country:

“He willst doth return and here we shall make our stand.  Emplace the artillery and ready the troops!”  On this Lord Brooke would decide the fate of the shire

the 'large' gun

The small cannon which Rockforth brought along fired to “open the dance” (remarkably I rolled a successful activation for both this piece and the heavy gun of Lord Brooke’s during the same turn)
Rockforth's army in array
Lord Brooke's infantry stand in Manor Field 
Rockforth had placed dragoons between Urry’s and Hasting’s horse to enable these units to receive the enemy horse charges with the dragoons carbines and their own pistols to break up the attacks, but - having set up the battle lines a few days before - forgot the plan, and immediately sent them on a headlong charge against Wingate’s Horse and Brooke’s shotte unit
Wingate's Horse. Note the extra figure in the unit (the cornet) For 1 point, he increases the unit size thus it's ability to sustain more casualties.The small marker is fallen pistol holder which represents the one-shot pistols available. These offer a one dice addition to the attack rolls.

Curry's horse crash into Wingate's troopers in the first attack of the battle
The result was Brooke’s purple clad musketeers were forces literally with their backs to the fence but making the appropriate tests, held for a long time until they succumbed to Hastings’ cuirassiers.

shows the western part of battlefield early in the engagement.  I did not follow the 3" space rule obviously. While I had a bigger area set up. the battle area itself was only 4' by 3' with 28mm.
Meanwhile initially defeated, Wingate’s troopers on the far left wing of Brooke’s army came back to defeat Urry’s experienced horsemen but these were countered by Hastings men

In the centre, all the pike units had formed pike hedges (schiltrons) and awaited developments as unwilling to attack at the poorer odds.

Under constant barrage - yes, only two shots but these rules are bloody - Hampden's shotte had enough and fled.  This second shot was an activation “freebee” I had rolled for all those units I wanted activated and so could afford to loose Brooke’s turn should the roll fail.  And it is probable that it might, as it is 9+ (on 2d6).  Now of course I roll double 1’s.  Does that mean they over charged it, or some such problem and it blows up?  I rolled again and rolled a 9 which is their activation number so I guess not…..

After forcing away Wingate’s horse, Hasting’s cuirassiers turned to the new threat of Blare’s horse which had charged diagonally across the field of battle
Blare's horse starting the battle behind Ballards' shotte unit (seen on the right after moving up) now start a diagonal charge across the field.
Robart’s shotte unit faced only some musket fire and promptly failed its courage and two subsequent rally test to retire off the field.  Rockforth’s army is disintegrating despite having the points advantage 42 to 36.

Robart’s pike, now alone on this part of the battlefield, rather to be shot by musket or cannon, decides on attack to force Ballard’s shotte away.  While winning the combat, Ballard’s musketeers courage held and sensing the inevitable outcome, followed it shotte unit and fled - kinda a rationalization on it’s roll of 3 on the courage test, eh?  
WRobart's pike last gasp at victory but Ballard's musketeers do not collapse.  Painted 26+ years ago. while my painting style has changed, these Foundry's, while a little "stumpy" still look good. Perry sculpts.
And speaking of rationalization, the last of Rockforth’s units - poor Hampden’s pike, rolled but a ‘2’ for its activation and with that I decided it would surrender standing in the middle of the bloody Manor Field.

The battle remarkably concluded the Tersey campaign of 1642 as Rockforth was found dead near the battle with a bullet wound.