Sunday, 20 January 2019

Last Train to Kashgar

Today's club game was a Back of Beyond encounter between the Bolsheviks and Chinese Warlord forces using "Setting the East Ablaze" rules.

Steve C had the Chinese, Allan the Russians and I had the rulebook !

The Chinese Warlord leads his ragged cavalrymen

As Allan's Bolshevik cavalry backed up by armoured cars and truck towed artillery arrive

The Chinese have some Siberian infantry

Hello - the Russians have a Whippet tank !

Both sides have their sights on the last train for Kashgar - somebody important is on that train and they both want to capture him before its too late

Siberians and Bolshevik cavalry clash near the tail end of the train

The Red flag proudly flutters

The Bolsheviks have clearly got control of the train before the Chinese can get there

The Chinese cavalry make a brave charge

backed up by ferocious spearmen

but are they too late ?

with armoured car support

The Russian Whippet tank has skirted around the mountains to engage the Chines from their flank

The Bolsheviks have managed to get an armoured car and a field gun across the track in front of the Chinese attack which causes problems for the advancing enemy

One of the Chinese armoured cars erupts in flames

and the Bolsheviks have "liberated" the Person of Interest from the train

The Chinese were defeated in hand to hand combat at the same time and several units routed - the Russians were declared the victors.

Photos courtesy of Steve C as I had left my iPhone at home !!!

We are unsure on how exactly to use the artillery and armour rules so far, so will have to re-read them  and see what we are missing, otherwise it was an enjoyable game.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Battle of Soggy Bottom

Simon Miller made this scenario freely available to followers of "For King & Parliament" ECW war-games rules just before Christmas, so the least we could do was play the game !

The Parliamentary forces under General Philip Skippon are defending the village of Soggy Bottom (right of picture) and have some siege guns on the hill to the right of the village.

On the Parliamentarian left wing, a brigade called The Borsetshire Horse is under the command of Sir Arthur Haselrig, beside them, covering the village is Oliver Sterling's infantry brigade.

The Parliamentarian right wing has Colonel Cromwell's cavalry & dragoon brigade, with to their left Colonel Hampden's infantry brigade plus the guns on the hill.

Parliamentarian commanders : Martin, Steve C & Ernie (Graham on the left is Royalist commander of our left wing cavalry also known as Lord Goring !)

To Graham's right, we had Astley's infantry brigade which included the King's Lifeguard

His Majesty was on high ground by the Royalist field guns together with his Gentlemen Pensioners.

Here's Graham's alter ego, Lord Goring

Out on our Royalist right flank, we had Lord Pargetter's horse brigade (Me!)

Here's Steve C's command stand - Haselrig

Hampden (Martin) commanded the Parliamentarian centre

The Royalist siege guns

Pensive looking Parliamentarian commanders watch the Royalists commence the battle - both wings of cavalry press forward !

Richard and Graham confer before committing the troops to battle

You may not be surprised to hear that the local landlord is known as Al Murray and he has just popped outside to see what all the fuss is about - after all, Soggy Bottom is usually very quiet.

Right here we go ! Royalist cavalry charges !

Left and right wings simultaneously

Naturally, the Parliamentary cavalry counter charged

These clashes continued for much of the day

Astley's and Archer's Brigades advance towards Soggy Bottom to try and wrestle control of the village away from the enemy but they are thwarted by the marsh just outside the village and the enemy foot firing from behind the walls. 

Things start to go wrong for the Royalist cavalry out on our left _ Ernie's managing to destroy Royalist cavalry units

Graham's beautifully painted horsemen are disappearing one by one

but his Foot keep pressing against Martin's regiments in and around the siege guns on the hill.

My infantry attacks against the village falter under devastating fire

All our hopes are on the two regiments of the King's Lifeguard - can they smash their way through to the enemy guns ?

Another Royalist cavalry regiment has fled the field leaving a big gap !

Graham is now badly outnumbered on our left and faced with withdrawal

and my cavalry are not faring any better !

We must take that pesky village !

But two infantry units are beaten 

With both cavalry wings decimated and the infantry attack headed by the King's Lifeguard beaten too, we had been forced to hand over so many Victory Tokens to deem it a clear Parliamentary win

But the King escaped so we can have more "For King & Parliament" fun another day.

More pictures and Martin's account of the battle are on the Essex Warrior's Facebook page.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The battle for three cottages : our post Christmas game

Steve hosted a number of us at his place yesterday and he had created a nice battlefield for us.

It was to be Austrians v Franco-Bavarians, Black Powder rules.

Ian, Martin & I had the Franco-Bavarians, Graham, Mike & Mick had the Austrians, Steve umpired and later on handled the late arriving Austrian brigade.

Here's the battlefield with the all important three cottages in the centre, the Austrians will come from the right, the Franco-Bavarians on the left

To start with we had two Bavarian brigades of four battalions each and they march across the centre - well mine did, Ian's brigade failed repeated command rolls and stayed back !

Likewise, the Austrians had two infantry brigades on, also focussed in the centre of their start line

Mick got a good low command roll which meant his brigade leapt forward (3 moves) and had the village in their grasp

My Bavarian brigade swept forwards and took the line of the centre road, facing Graham's advancing infantry

We were the first to get reinforcements - a French heavy cavalry brigade arrived on the left

Something low down is exciting the Austrian commanders, closely watched by Steve (still in full-on Christmas mode with a dodgy pullover !)

now the French see their heavy cavalry arrive - worryingly close to my open left flank !

One of my battalions has taken too much fire and withdrawn, disordered

Austrian grenadiers have now advanced right up to the woods on our left, leaving a nice gap for their heavy cavalry to push through, before their line infantry columns advance too far

With no time to lose, the Bavarian brigade commander orders a charge with his three remaining battalions against the two big Austrian battalions ahead

the Bavarian skirmishers have wisely stepped aside to let the lines get into action

the French cavalry declare a charge against the rear Bavarian unit, forcing them to adopt square formation - the Austrian cavalry "bounce" back as the square held.

Here's a closer look at the Austrian grenadiers, now threatening the Bavarian left  

the Bavarians have won the melee and broken an Austrian battalion - they have gone !

To relieve the pressure, the Austrian cavalry declare another charge forcing both of the Bavarian battalions on the left into square. Again the cavalry bounce off the squares but this has succeeded in breaking up the Bavarian attack

Two Austrian guns have now caught up with the grenadiers and they can now fire at the Bavarian squares - good combined arms tactics !

At this point, we decided to go and help keep the Chequers in business !

Refreshed and refuelled, the first action of the afternoon is a charge by the French heavy cavalry

Going back a camera shot, this is their avenue of attack but the target is the enemy guns not the massed grenadiers

they take some flank fire but survive unscathed and hit the gunners who also fail to make any impact on them ! 

Over on our right, Martin's French infantry brigade has marched swiftly on and is attacking Mick's men holed up in the cottages

At last, Ian has persuaded his men to move and they head for the cottage on the left

Two powerful brigades are now hammering the Austrian occupied village

Meantime, my Bavarians have been taking a lot of fire from enemy artillery behind the village and the commander is having to use all his powers to keep the men under control, so attacking is off !

Back to the French cavalry attack - they reach the enemy gunners

and therefore, there can be no other outcome - bye bye French gunners and on to the enemy cavalry beyond, taking out one of them too !

but after that, they were blown and withdrew exhausted

fresh  Austrian infantry  attack my Bavarians - the unit behind is now unable to support them as they are facing the wrong way and disordered !

Martin's men are gradually wearing down the Austrian defenders but its hard work winkling them out of their cover

Disaster ! My Bavarians have taken too many casualties, two units have gone and the rest of the brigade will have to retire - if it can disengage itself from the fighting

Surely we can take these pesky cottages with all these men attacking ?

Martin has now got a light cavalry brigade on (lancers and hussars) and they are making their way around the back of the village as the Austrians send their cavalry round too

The lancers crash into an oncoming Austrian cuirassier regiment

with the hussars in support

These are the Austrian guns which did the damage on my poor Bavarians - swines !

And still the Austrians hold the village

despite the undivided attention of two of our brigades  

Martin's lancers have beaten back the enemy cavalry but there are more !

With a big hole in our lines now my Bavarians have gone, the Austrian grenadiers advance - and a fresh Austrian infantry brigade marches on and heads straight for the village.

The cavalry carry on thrashing around behind the village - where Martin has at last taken one house !

but with Mick hanging on in the other two buildings and the enemy grenadiers now charging Ian's flank

whatever the Lancers achieve will not be enough to save the day

My heavy cavalry, having recovered, attempt to charge the Austrian grenadiers but fail to reach their gaping open right flank !

with more and more Austrian infantry arriving, we will have to break off the attack - its game over.

To mark the occasion, Mrs C kindly took a picture of all the combatants - come on, who wins the prize for best jumper ?!!

Good times !!!