Saturday 31 July 2021

General d'Armee - game with the author

 Rafael recently kindly hosted a game at his superb wargames room in the garden (known as The Far Pavilion) and to our delight, he had invited along, David Brown, the well known writer of wargames rules such as General de Brigade, General d"Armee and more recently O Group. 

This game was a Seven Years variant of General d'Armee.

Here's Rafael explaining the set up to Steve C (they are going to have the Prussians, Dave and I the Austrians)

Most of the troops are already on table but some are tailed back up the two parallel roads

The Prussians got the initiative and with some good rolls, rushed artillery and Grenadiers across the fields

Our Austrian forces turn to face the enemy across the fields as cavalry trots behind towards the right flank

We do have a light cavalry brigade already guarding that flank

Steve C's cavalry make a move towards our light cavalry

Here's a better shot of the Prussian "swing" towards our lines

A look at the Austrian lines from the Prussian side

Our light cavalry watch the enemy movements but hesitate

The Prussian guns have deployed ready to fire

and an infantry attack is building up

and more Prussian troops enter the churchyard

The Austrians hope to get their heavy cavalry out to this flank to counter the Prussian move

Our light cavalry have to counter charge as the Prussian cavalry comes at us

The churchyard has been consolidated by the Prussian infantry as lines screened by light infantry launch an attack up the slopes

Austrian artillery fire at long range across the valley

The Prussians are sending more cavalry out to their left wing, behind the marching infantry

Massed cavalry action, out beyond the church yard

One of the Austrian hussar units has fallen back disordered

The Prussian infantry attack nears the Austrian lines on the high ground 

Stompach's Austrian heavy cavalry arrives out on the Austrian right wing - just too late for the first fight

The Austrians have struggled to deploy all their troops due to hesitant troops blocking the road

The Prussian grenadiers have pushed back the Austrian infantry off the crest

and more infantry advance through the woods as the grenadiers from the church yard also advance

Prussian cavalry regroup as reinforcements arrive

Stompach' s men are sent into battle to try and restore the Austrian right flank

Initially with some success

but a volley from the Prussian grenadiers brings this to an abrupt halt

More Prussian infantry are now crossing the centre of the battlefield

The Austrian cavalry is in a disorganised mess back on their start line

As the Prussian infantry press home their advantage

There seems to be more and more Prussians arriving

and Prussian cavalry now threaten the Austrian centre

Some Austrian cavalry have turned to attack the Prussian infantry which has severed the Austrian lines

But they are getting hemmed in by Prussian attacks from all directions

A newly arrived Austrian cavalry brigade charges across the fields

against the advancing Prussian cavalry

but the Austrian army is cut in half still

and the cavalry are being ground down

The Austrians are pinned back against the edge of the board

The situation is now hopeless

Prussia has won the day !

At least Dave and I enjoyed the delicious lunch served by Rafael's wife, even if we were soundly thrashed in the Far Pavilion !!!

A wonderful day's gaming - and the sun was shining too for a change.

Big Peninsular War Battle

 The Herts Volunteers recently put on a big Napoleonic Peninsular game on a 24' x 6' table at Quendon Village Hall. Graham was the British C-in-C, assisted by brigade commanders, Mike Ormerod, Ian Clunie, Steve Clarke and Me. David McKenna took on the role of French C-in-C, assisted by Mick Hoddy, Steve Lampon, Steve Marriott, Craig Willcox and Mike FitzSimmons. Black Powder rules with Peninsular stats from the Albion Triumphant supplement No.1.

The French will attack from the right hand side with the British on the defensive left side of the board.

The French have 7 infantry brigades (29 battalions in all), 17 cavalry regiments split into 5 brigades, 4 foot batteries and 3 horse artillery batteries.

The British & Allies, 27 infantry battalions split into 8 brigades, a heavy cavalry brigade of 3 regiments, a light cavalry brigade likewise plus an independent cavalry brigade with 1 heavy and 1 light regiment. This supported by 3 foot batteries and 4 horse batteries.

The troops are being brought to the table.

The troops begin to appear - French columns and cavalry lines against static British lines

My command was the Guards Brigade in the centre and a Portuguese Brigade to their right - we are about to be attacked by French columns !

Steady lads ! Punch home those volleys !

Ian Clunie has the brigades on my left and our light cavalry in reserve behind him

French cavalry mass opposite Ian's troops

Two batteries of French artillery appear on the high ground opposite my command - not good !

Here's a view from the far end - Mike has French cavalry on the extreme left flank either side of the water. The British have but a weak brigade up this end which is a concern.

Everyone is watching Mike move his cavalry !

Wellington has a good vantage point

and this is the French Commander with his ADCs

Graham brings on the British heavy cavalry brigade

David's lancers have been causing mayhem having got past my brigade in square, he proceeds to roll up my horse artillery battery and then catch Ian's Rifles who are in skirmish order in the flank.

They then make it back to their own lines with much applause from the rest of their brigade - David had launched a "Follow Me" order for this one regiment, leaving the rest watching his antics !

Despite this moment of excitement, Ian's troops on the British left wing hold firm and remain undaunted

Graham has now brought on his Spanish brigade and they march to support Steve C's men on their right

Right of centre (from the British aspect) French infantry and cavalry mass for an attack

and out on the French left, Mike's troops are attempting to outflank our extreme brigade 

Our lines do look thin and exposed up this end !

Here's a rare shot from the French side 

All attention is on the British weak right wing in this shot

Steve C's men are now under attack from French and Italian columns

Graham has launched the British heavy cavalry against the opposing French cavalry brigade

Here we can see the Italian flags flying as their attack hits the British line

On our left, the British light cavalry reserve has been released to charge the French infantry heading for Ian's troops

Graham's cavalry having defeated the French cavalry now follows up with a charge against the French infantry

This saw off the Italian attack - Portuguese and Spanish artillery working together

A shot from the left end of the British line

Another view from the French ranks. Looks like the pressure is building up again against my Guards Brigade !

In this shot, all attention is on the French attacks against Steve C's brigade

Is Mike Ormerod asking Steve Clarke for some support ?!!

The British right has pretty much collapsed at this point

and the French are really going for broke against Steve Clarke now

but our centre is standing firm

Graham's heavy cavalry definitely put a spanner in the works of the French attacks for a while - they have shaken this French battalion hit in line

French cavalry are going to be used to force the Guards brigade into square and then hit them with the infantry

Here we go !

Here's a view of the Voltigeurs screening French columns

We are now in square and vulnerable

My Portuguese brigade engages the enemy skirmish line

We are grimly hanging on for dear life against repeated assaults

Our flags are still waving and the centre is strong

 and Ian's flank has handled everything thrown against it so far

Graham and I look concerned as Steve C shuffles the ranks

French cavalry had tried a charge against my horse artillery on the high ground - but a good shot forced them to take a break test so they bounced back to their own lines

Here's a good shot of Graham's foot battery in front of the heavy cavalry

Graham and I consult the rule book as David ponders his next move

By five o'clock, it was decided neither side had gained the ascendancy - repeated French attacks had been repulsed, except on our right.  The British lines were weakened but still refusing to give ground.

With the day over, here's the motley crew outside the hall

including photographer, Mick Hoddy