Wednesday 22 January 2020

Four Fighting Steves !

Well, to be honest one was a Stephan but unusual nevertheless to have four players all with the same name. Steve C and Steve S took the French side, Stephan and I had the Prussians.

This was Sunday's club game, a Franco-Prussian war one using 10mm troops and "Bloody Big Battles" rules.

The French need to stop the Prussians capturing the four towns on the main road to win, if the Prussians capture and hold at least one that will be a draw.

Here's the battlefield viewed from the Prussian side

Two brigades of Prussian infantry begin the attack

and Prussian cavalry charge the French dragoons which are the nearest enemy unit in the centre.

a large French infantry force lines the woods out on the Prussian right

and more French infantry and guns advance to protect a town 

As the Prussians ignored the French in the woods and headed for the centre, the French infantry debunk from the woods and threaten the Prussian flank

Fresh Prussian columns dash up the road to capture the town out on the left

The two towns in the centre are firmly under French control already

The French continue to advance from the woods towards the centre of the battlefield

Prussian artillery fire has had some effect on the French lines - this is marked by the yellow pipe cleaner !

The French have managed to press the Prussians into the left of the battlefield 

and they have more troops too

but lo and behold - ,ore Prussians arrive on the road leading past the woods behind the French !

Prussian columns try to beat back the French 

Some French have retired hurt from the gunfire but plenty more are there to protect the towns

Prussian troops in a village in the centre are prepared to attack one of the towns in the centre

but none have any success

Prussian infantry fire on the flank of a French brigade sent back towards the woods

and Prussian infantry try again and again to push back the French over on our side of the battlefield

but this French brigade hangs on tenaciously

Time and again they refuse to budge

a Prussian gun has been forced to withdraw behind the woods as their infantry try to press on to attack the town beyond the woods

Instead of being able to attack towns, two brigades of Prussian infantry are stuck in this eternal fight with the heroic French brigade 

a formidable line of Prussian guns "peppers" the town in the centre

but there is no sign of the French retreating from there

and this story is the same all along the line

French troops now advance towards the town in Prussian hands

the road is guarded by Prussian cavalry

Eventually, the stubborn French brigade in the Prussian centre gives some ground

French attacks on the one town held by the Prussians are rebuffed and night falls, leaving a drawn situation.

and here's the rule book by Chris Pringle 

First time of using these for Steve C and I - we are sufficiently enthused to send off for some FPW troops for ourselves and we will pick up the rules at a show soon.

Friday 17 January 2020

We had a plan !

This was last Friday's game at Steve's.

Mike and I had a plan for our Russians, however on Move 1 when my brigade threw so low I could grab three moves ... I took it and rushed forward

We had a three gun redoubt out on our right flank protected by a pond and broken ground. My infantry brigade are heading straight for the enemy !

The gunners can't quite believe it !

Opposite, a big French infantry brigade in line 

I also had Uhlans and Cossacks out on the right flanks so sent them forward to try and disrupt the enemy plans

 Damn ... the enemy have deployed artillery in front of their brigade

My infantry have ploughed through the fields and woods to attack the right end of the French line ... but now find a second French brigade entering the field which can attack my infantry. Not what I wanted !

Initially we did well, despite the odds

and the Uhlans caught a French battalion disordered in line

but my infantry quickly for themselves outnumbered and enemy on three sides

we were forced back through the woods and pursued

My brigade was soon to be destroyed

French cavalry now arrived on our right and our Uhlans were engaged

They broke too and fled the field

I seem not to have taken any pictures of the action out on our left where Mike's heavy Russian cavalry were engaged with the French cuirassiers and his infantry were engaged on their right flank.

With my two brigades gone and then Mike's cavalry breaking, we were well and truly beaten.

Oh, and the plan ? To not get engaged on the right and concentrate all our forces left of centre and left flank.  Oops !

Sunday 5 January 2020

Peninsula War : Black Powder

On Friday, Steve and I fought a Spanish Peninsula battle between the British (me) and the French (Steve).

We had agreed 1400 points a side and Steve diced for terrain.

I opted for three brigades of standard veteran infantry (19 battalions in total) and a light cavalry brigade, Steve went for two big infantry brigades, various sizes and qualities (23 battalions), a light cavalry brigade and a heavy cavalry brigade.

The British will be on the left, the French enter on the right

First on, a British infantry brigade, forming line from their initial march columns, Rifles nearest the camera

Next, another British infantry brigade on the left, lining out along the road

KGL light infantry are ordered to enter the woods in the centre

Wellington and staff watch proceedings

A French brigade enters the field on their left and artillery occupies the hill in the background

These Polish infantry have been ordered forward in attack columns

Drums beating the Pas de charge !

The French commander orders the guns to open fire

Right of centre, a second French brigade advances in line

View from behind the French right of centre at this stage

The third British brigade marches on in column, slap bang in the middle but squeezed for space !

British troops have formed behind hedges to counter the Polish threatened attack on this flank

and in the centre, the Rifles are behind the field dominating the centre of the battlefield

The KGL light battalion has advanced to the edge of the woods and can now see the enemy infantry 

The last to arrive - a KGL light cavalry brigade 

the British brigade in the centre changes into line and advances towards the enemy 

French cavalry make their way around the right flank to threaten the left end of the British line

An over view of the battlefield at this juncture

The Polish have changed into line as the Rifles occupy the walled field

An exchange of infantry fire plus French cannon 

The British artillery fire at the French infantry lines

Charge ! French lancers try to catch the RHA and infantry off guard but a well placed volley and closing fire from the guns

sees off the French cavalry this time

The French infantry are ordered to advance across the fields towards the British lines

The Rifles chase off the French light infantry but stop short of an oncoming French column !

The British field commanders are having a busy time trying to manage casualties

The Rifles have pulled back as the Scots engage enemy columns beside them

The French make a determined attack against the British right flank

which coincides with a clash just left of centre of the advance British position

the British win this melee and the French flee

but the French have smashed through the British right flank and a desperate rear guard action takes place to hold our lines

fortunately, British shooting disorders the foremost French column

but the British right is under duress and Wellington has galloped down to reform the Rifles as his brigade commander steadies the red coats

the British left is holding the line so far with the help of the KGL cavalry

which has forced some French into square

but the threat remains 

Wellington has ordered a charge into the rear of French infantry locked in combat with a British unit on its back foot 

This is decisive, the French break taking their supports with them which takes the whole brigade into broken brigade status - they have to withdraw from the field.

At the same time, the other French infantry brigade charged the British lines and took too many casualties. A quick totting up of numbers showed that this brigade had broken too, so all the French infantry has gone.

The KGL cavalry thinking the day is theirs for the taking, charge the enemy dragoons - and get a beating for their trouble, so the French can pull back unmolested as the British cavalry has gone !

A hard fought battle which the French looked like winning at one point but because the British managed to contain their losses, this made the difference in the end.

That plus British firepower in line edged it - phew !

Even allowing for a break for lunch at The Bell at Tolleshunt Major, we fought for eight hours so were absolutely shattered by the end of the day. All good fun though.