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One of my battalions has taken too much fire and withdrawn, disordered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

Sunday 16 December 2018

Inverlochy : our club Christmas game

Allan and I had agreed to bring along our Scots and Irish ECW troops tom put on our own version of the Battle of Inverlochy (2nd February 1645) between the Royalist forces of Montrose and the Government forces of Sir Duncan Campbell - but not quite as we both had Highlanders and Covenanters !

Here's a bird's eye view at the outset, Royalists on the left, Government troops on the right.

Graham and I had the Royalists (this is Graham's right wing)

and here is Montrose, the Commander

and he is off and running with a quick advance on our right

Here's a closer look at the enemy, commanded by Steve and Allan.

Government right wing Commander, Colonel Roch

They were generally getting better command rolls and managed to push forward aggressively, especially on their right (under Steve) against my slow moving troops 

Nevertheless, I managed to get two foot units up onto some high ground

Graham sent his clansmen forward in a wild charge against enemy foot in the centre

This was hard fought territory

The clansmen were faced with several lines of Government troops there

Steve has brought up four infantry units supported by a gun with a view to engaging my men on the high ground

We have a gun up there but repeated failed command throws means the darned thing won't unlimber and deploy !

The clansmen have caused some damage but have to fall back to try and reform, replacing them in the centre are some of my musketeers

Fire is exchanged in front of the hills

The clansmen charge again

Out on our right, enemy cavalry attempt to charge but fail to get enough movement in this turn, leaving them subject to musket fire

Both sides have now lost a unit of foot in the centre

My musketeers give fire and disorder an enemy unit

Here's Sir Duncan Campbell, the Government commander

and another shot of Colonel John Roch sturring his men to action

The clan are still holding the upper hand in the centre

and the enemy horse is being kept at bay

My musketeers have moved to close range

The enemy are trying to get to grips with our boys on the hills

Graham is moving the right wing cavalry to tackle the enemy horse

which has been forced to retire because of casualties

Allan is trying to get an infantry attack going on his wing but the combined fire of our foot and light guns breaks this up 

Stung by the musket fire, Steve's pike block charges my Irish musketeers

and the musketeers break leaving a hole in our lines !

The hill position holds firm

As the Government horse come forwards once more

Our light guns are turned to face them and fire

as Graham's cavalry charge home

as fast as we push them back on the right, they press on over on the left !

One of my pike blocks has fled due to excess casualties from firing - but we have at last got the gun deployed and firing which has disordered the government foot below 

Allan's cavalry broke and fled at this point and this seemed to cause a chain reaction all along the line. Unit after unit had to check morale seeing friends flee and they joined the rout in turn.

The government troops melted away leaving our Royalists in control of the battlefield. One moment they seemed OK - and then they broke, much to our relief.

This was a real slogging match and quite tense throughout - thank goodness we were all fortified by pork pies, mince pies and all sorts of Christmas fare laid out on the table at the front of the hall !!!