Sunday, 14 September 2014

Battle of 2 bridges

Over the last couple of weeks we have been fighting a scenario battle based on the 2 bridges scenario. basically the defenders must defend both crossing points for victory while the attackers only need to capture one for victory. Tom took on the role of C-in-C for the French forces with Robbo supporting, while George commanded the Austrians with me commanding the reserve.

The French attacking forces composed of the following

French Infantry brigade - 5 battalions
French Cavalry brigade - 3 lt cav. regiments
French Cavalry brigade - 2 lt cav. regiments
Dutch Infantry brigade - 4 battalions
Westphalian infantry brigade - 4 battalions
Westphalian infantry brigade - 4 battalions
Mixed cavalry brigade - 1 lt cav. regiment and 2 heavy cav. regiments

The Austrian defenders were as follows

Infantry brigade - 4 line, 1 Jager and 1 Landwehr battalions,
Infantry brigade - 3 line, 1 Jager and 2 Landwehr battalions.
Mixed brigade - 1 line and 1 Jager battalion with 1 Lt cav. regiment
Cavalry brigade - 3 heavy cav. regiments
Infantry brigade - 2 Grenadier battalions
Russian infantry brigade - 1 Jager and 3 line battalions.

The picture below gives a rough layout of the table before the battle commenced. the french forces were advancing from the northern edge (top)

The battlefield
George decided to split our forces. He with the 2 main infantry brigades crossed the bridge on our right flank with the intention of occupying the town to the north, using it as a bulwark against any assault. Myself, leading with my mixed brigade crossed the other bridge, again with the intention of occupying the town and using the Hussars to seek out the enemy. The cavalry and Grenadiers were to follow. The Russian brigade was still some distance in reserve and ended up only arriving on the battlefield when it was all over.

The main French assault was to be directed towards our right flank, The attack was led by one of the Westphalian brigades, supported by the Dutch on their right flank. Robbo with 2 brigades of light cavalry swung between the two hills and tried to use the orchard to screen him and get onto Georges left flank.

Westphalians preparing their assault
Dutch infantry overlooking the Austrian positions
Luckily for us George won the race to the town and managed to occupy it with some Jagers. It then cam under intense pressure throughout the game. Robbo though had become rather gung-ho with his cavalry, Seeing what he thought was an opportunity to hit an Austrian battery proved his undoing. With his charge falling short, the artillery poured grape into him. There were few survivor's to tell the tale afterwards.

Austrians moving into position
Over on our left flank I had managed to occupy the time, but my heavy cavalry seemed to take ages just to cross the bridge. We had diced before the game for the Austrian commander to determine a couple with less than average abilities. Typically the heavy brigade had such a commander who continued to fail command rolls.

With the loss of one brigade of cavalry Robbo determine to support his freshly arrived French infantry against my flank, looking to protect them from my heavies. It was with one such failed command roll that my Dragoons failed to move yet again that allowed some French lancers to crash into their flank, luckily they survived 3 rounds of combat with some very lucky command checks.

French infantry get into position
French cavalry arrive to support the flank
Austrian heavies finally get into position
With the main attack being held on our right flank, George began moving one of his brigades to try and link up with me as now the 2nd Westphalian brigade had arrived and started a very slow advance (3 failed command rolls in a row) into the centre of the table to try and cut me off.

With my dragoons holding the lancers, my Cuirassiers finally rumbled forward and crashed into the rest of the French cavalry. They quickly showed how it was done by destroying both units. The Lancers then broke, leaving the French without any cavalry support on the table. Once again my rather inept cavalry commander failed a number of command rolls and I was unable to exploit the advantage against the exposed french infantry before the arrival of more french cavalry onto the table.

Austrians on the march
Onwards men!
Back on our right flank the Westphalians and Dutch had still failed to dislodge the Austrians in the town, but now both sides were becoming weary, with units on both sides starting to be knocked out of the line. Things were getting so desperate for us that George committed the 3 landwehr units into the front line to try and shore things up. In the centre the 2nd Westphalian brigade found itself assaulted in the flank by Austrian infantry while on my flank the French infantry were slowly being forced back. It was at this point that disaster struck the French army. With already losing 2 of his 7 brigades with the loss of his cavalry. Both Westphalian infantry brigades finally cracked. The Dutch were also close. With over 50% of his brigades either destroyed or broken, Tom had no choice to call off the attack.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Napoleonic Cavalry

After my last post my additional bases arrived from Warbase, so I set about basing up the two cavalry units that I had completed. The first unit is the 14th Polish cavalry regiment, which were equipped as cuirassiers in 1809.

14th regiment
14th regiment
These figures are all from Warrior miniatures, French curirassier figures. The unit is currently only at 8 figures but I will expand it. The figures were originally intended to be Dutch cuirassiers until I discovered during the 1809 campaign they hadn't been issued the cuirass.

The next completed unit is that of the 2nd Dutch cuirassiers. Again these are only at 8 figures and are to represent a detachment added to the Dutch infantry division as part of X Corps. The figures are from Warrior miniatures and I have used the French dragoon figure. The only issue I have with these is the length of the carbine, but not enough to be an issue in 15mm. The flag is purely conjectural taken from the Warflag site.

2nd Dutch cuirassiers
2nd Dutch cuirassiers
As I manged to get these based on time both regiments have made it into the club game, timely as well as John has now lost both of his French cavalry brigades. I will do a write up of the game when we hopefully finish it this Thursday.

Monday, 1 September 2014

The thing with bases

Following on from re-basing Darren's Napoleonic French, I have then gone on to redo his British, a Russian Brigade and another small unit of French Chasseurs. All of these refurbished units can now be used in our club games, a change from sitting on the shelf for another good few years.

French Chasseurs a cheval
Russian infantry brigade
While doing all of this re-basing, I made the cardinal sin and lost track of my stock of MDF bases. Firstly I did notice that I was running short of infantry bases so sent off an order to Warbase. However I forgot about suitable bases for the cavalry. I did not realise my error until I had finished painting a detachment of the 14th Polish cavalry regiment. These guys have had to remain on their lollipop sticks along with a detachment of the 2nd Dutch Cuirassier regiment until a second order to Warbase arrives.

Polish Cuirassiers awaiting bases.
On a brighter note, one of the lads at the club mentioned that he had some unpainted Polish figures for the Napoleonic period, some cavalry, artillery and approximately a brigade of infantry. Suffice to say a deal has been struck. The only downside for me is the horses for the cavalry cannot be any larger than a pit pony. So I think I'll get in touch with the helpful chap at Warrior miniatures to see if I can order just under 40 horses to get these regiments onto the table.

So what's next on the painting table, well more Napoleonics. I've got two regiments of Austrian Hussars to complete as well as a detachment of Westphalian Cuirassiers and some Polish artillery.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

More Napoleonic odds 'n' sods

In preparation for next weeks game I have been finishing off the last of my available figures before another purchase is due. To add to Darren's French brigade I rustled up some left over French figures I had and put together a 20 figure regiment. Now as the Westphalian X corps contained a number of individual companies from French garrison which game a strength of roughly 2 battalions. These guys would be one such composite battalion. Also it makes up for the lack of elite companies. The figures are a mix of Warmodelling, Old Glory, AB and some I cannot identify, making it quite a mix.

Combined French companies
Combined French Companies
As I missed them in my last post here is the first battalion of the Dutch 6th infantry regiment. These figures are all from Warmodelling.

1st battalion 6th Dutch infantry
1st battalion 6th Dutch infantry
 As I mentioned in an earlier post I was thinking of adding some light cavalry to my Austrians and so I have. Though I did make a mistake in my order and missed 1 command pack. So I have only been able to complete 1 unit so far until I can get my order sent off. These guys are the 2nd Hussar regiment, Erzherzog Joseph Anton, Palatin von Ungarn. I chose these guys as I liked the striking blue uniforms and red shako. The figures are all from Warrior miniatures as well as the flag.

No2. Archduke Josephs Hussars
No2. Archduke Joseph Hussars
To lead my Austrians I decided I needed something more than a simple command figure so instead went for something slightly more dramatic. I had a spare hussar figure, and AB model I think. That I have added to a base to represent him riding up to deliver a report to a commanding officer and his aide. The other 2 officers are from Warrior miniatures.

Generals base
rear view of the General
Following on from refurbishing the bases of Darren's French figures I volunteered to to the same to the British and Russian figures he has lying around the club. A quick look through reveals they are both at about brigade strength and I am sure we can find a use for them in our games. I always feel it is a good thing to dust off old figures and use them again.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Yet more Napoleonic madness

First off at the club there has been a small collection of 15mm Napoleonics covering French, British and some Russians. They have sat in a tray gathering dust for years, so long in fact I cannot recall in all my years at the club if they have ever been used. So I got in touch with Darren who owned them to see if I could re-base the French to match my own collection, hence allowing them to be used in club games. Darren's reply was a 'treat them as your own'. So a couple of days work and here are the French. The infantry was made up of 2x48 figure regiments which I have split into 4 battalions of 24 figures, creating a small brigade. There was also a couple of artillery pieces, a brigadier and a small Hussar regiment.

French Brigade
French Brigade
Also as I stated in an earlier post I finally completed the second part of the Austria Anspach Cuirassiers, allowing me to field them as either 2x12 figure regiments or a single 24 figure regiment. I also finished off two pieces of horse artillery that will eventually be used as part of a light division. As like the others these are all from Warrior Miniatures, including the flag.

Anspach Cuirassiers
Horse artillery
Now with it being school holidays I have managed to be quite productive, completing 2 battalions of Dutch infantry to fight along side my Westphalians. The 1st battalion is already at the club being used as part of a game. So here is the second battalion of the 6th infantry regiment. The figures are from Warmodelling and at first I wasn't very keen as they can be difficult to clean up ready for painting. However they have painted up rather fine, so I will definitely purchase another 2 battalions to finish off the brigade.

One issue I had with the Dutch is the colour of the pompoms, I have come across a number of differences so plumed for the one I preferred which is first battalion in red and second battalion in blue.

Command stand from the 1st battalion
2nd battalion, 6th regiment
2nd battalion, 6th regiment
Now I just have to finish basing an Austrian Hussar regiment and I'll post pictures of them later. I am also in the middle of umpiring a Napoleonic game and hope to post a battle report once it is finished.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Austrian Cavalry and Landwehr

Despite the continuing heat I have managed to get some painting done, though been limiting my time to nights when it's slightly cooler. First up is the last of my Austrian foot, this time a third Landwehr regiment, Steirmark. These are 24 figures like my other Landwehr regiments but the figures are all from Warrior miniatures. I quite enjoyed painting these in their green coats, a bit of a change from white uniforms.

Steirmark Landwehr
Steirmark Landwehr
To bulk out my cavalry forces I have completed the first part of a Cuirassier regiment. These are No. 11 Anspach. My idea is to paint up two units of 12 figures, suitable for Black Powder or to combine them into a 24 figure regiment for General de Brigade. So here is the first 12 figures, again these are all from Warrior miniatures.

No.11 Anspach Cuirassiers
No.11 Anspach Cuirassiers
I now just have the other 12 to paint and 4 more Generals and that will complete the main part of my Austrians. I am still undecided on whether to add a light cavalry brigade and expand the Grenadiers up to 4 regiments.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Battle of Ramillies

Over the weekend I had the very good fortune to be involved in a re-fight of the Battle of Ramillies up at Mick's. Also along for the game were my erstwhile allies Neal and Dave to face the dastardly French with Mick, Darren and Charlie. Upon our arrival we were informed of the French dispositions, which followed their historical deployment. As we were marching to the field we were given a little more leeway.

Neal who was unanimously voted into the role of Marlborough decided upon our orders. He with our right composed of the bulk of our cavalry who feint at the French right. Dave took on the role of Charles Churchill and would demonstrate against the French left with the bulk of the English and Danish foot, supported by the English horse. I was Overkirk and had the responsibility of attacking the French center between Ramillies and Orfus.

Both armies deployed
Now I did take a book to make notes but this went out of the window at the first turn. We all became so engrossed in the game. Darren with the bulk of the French cavalry hurled themselves against the allied horse. In what was to be a seesaw battle for most of the day with both sides gaining then losing the advantage. We even committed out reserve cavalry and some of the second line infantry to steady the flank.

Allied advance
battle lines close
As I approached in the centre I began to come under heavy artillery fire, though casualties were only slight it took a few turns to eventually bring my guns into play and how they played. Over a few turns most of the French artillery was knocked out or their crews forced to flee form the allied attack. Over on out left the Cavalry fight got under away. Dave meanwhile was finding it a struggle to get across the stream with both the disordering effects and French pressure holding him off.

Horse collide
View from the French left
French centre coming under attack
Allied horse move to bolster the left flank
Charlie viewing the field in comfort
As both sides came to grips it became obvious that it was becoming a bit of a meat grinder. With the cavalry action continuing to swing both ways the French moved forward some Swiss regiments of foot to provide support. these came under heavy artillery fire and casualties were beginning to mount. Meanwhile having received a change in orders, Dave redouble his efforts and began to force his way across the stream and pushed back the French. Slowly he gained a foothold and the French fell back to reform their lines and prevent the English horse from turning their flank. meanwhile in the centre I had managed to capture Orfus and began to assault across the stream. My first assaults were at first held before fresh troops began to carry me forward. Mick then committed his Spanish foot and both sides began to trade heavy blows with battalions on both sides being forced out of the action.

English foot force themselves across the stream

Allied foot prepare for another assault
Allied left flank
As the fighting escalated all along the lines, both sides began to realise they were running out of fresh troops. instead of committing fresh brigades we were looking for squadrons or battalions. The french horse redoubled their efforts once more to try and force a breakthrough, and just when it looked likely once more the allies threw them back. In the centre the allied foot had manged to gain a foothold across the stream but the action was still in the balance. Mick began to commit the French Garde foot who then came under artillery fire from a freshly placed battery in Orfus. With casualties mounting and running out of turns both sides agreed that the armies were fought out. The French had held their position but at a great cost to both sides.

The battlefield from the allied right flank
The Horse facing off
Overall a very enjoyable game played in the right spirit with a great bunch of lads. Was pleased that the rule amendments that we had made held up fairly well for such a large battle. Already looking forward to Oudenarde next year.