Monday, 14 April 2014

Ottomans vs Imperialists

Over the weekend I visited Mick up in the borders of Northumberland, to have a run through of the rules in readiness of the Ramillies re-fight in July. As I said I was taking up my Imperialist troops Mick decided to use his Ottomans as they were a historical match up. Mick even came up with a cracking scenario. I had to defend two river crossings, one on each flank. My units had to be marked on a map as due to the undulating terrain they would be out of sight of the advancing Ottomans. However the Ottomans had the choice of two roads to advance along and only needed to capture one bridge to win the game.

The quandary was, as the table is so large I couldn't cover all of the line between the two bridges. I decided to defend each crossing with a brigade of infantry, the other 4 brigades would be held in the centre and moved to whichever bridge was most in need. For the cavalry I made a judgement call and weighted my left flank as this had the most open terrain and would allow the Ottomans to advance with less chance of blundering into hidden troops. So with both Cuirassier brigades and the Hussars hidden behind the ridge I place the Dragoons on my right flank.

Ottomans advance.
Mick began by leading out a mix of light horse and the feared Sipahis, keeping to the right most road. They quickly began their advance towards the bridge on my left flank. With the light horse screening the advance, the Sipahis were followed on by the elite Janissary's, then Azabs and finally some rabble infantry of dubious quality.
Imperialist artillery come into view
The Ottoman light horse eventually revealed two Imperialist batteries which promptly gave fire sending the light cavalry scurrying back to their lines. But still more Ottoman troops began to arrive and still they slowly moved against my left flank and center, spotting my Hussars and the garrison in the town.

Ottoman infantry led by the Janissary's
Here they come
Ottoman battle line forms
It was at this point the rearmost division of Ottoman infantry swung to their left and began to advance towards the other bridge. At this point I moved my dragoons forward to threaten the Ottoman centres flank. Mick then countered this by detaching some of his Sipahis to face my dragoons.. I was beginning to realise that as the ottoman advance slowed that their real objective was the bridge on my right flank and the majority of my force was now out of position.

Imperialist dragoons
Two centers face off
With the pressure building my dragoons committed themselves against the Sipahis and wished they hadn't, only the Bayreuth dragoons overcame their opponents with the other threes regiments fleeing the field with their enemy in pursuit. Now with Janissary's getting into position they advanced towards the bridge to be met with stiff resistance from the Imperialist foot.

Dragoons prepare to charge
The ottomans attack
I then detached a brigade of infantry from the center to engage the Janissary's and was given a bloody nose with them all forced to fall back. Things were not looking good. Over on my left flank the Hussars did their best to harass the Ottoman horse slowly bring them forward. But with time starting to run out for my right flank I needed to throw the Ottomans off balance. Now I revealed my Cuirassiers who advance with infantry support towards the Sipahis. In the ensuing melee they got the better of their opponents routing many of them from the field. Now I began a general advance across my left and center to force back the Ottomans.

Imperialist Cuirassiers
Cuirassiers begin to drive back the Ottomans
At this point Mick began to slowly withdraw his right flank and center towards my right flank. It was now a race. back in the town my infantry awaited the assault. At first things did not go too well with 2 of the 5 battalions fleeing before the enemy. However the others began to put up some stiff resistance. By now my hussars had ridden across the battlefield and engaged the rear of the Janissary's routing one unit and relieving some of the pressure.
 
Battle for the bridge
Hussars to the rescue
But still the Janissary's attacked another battalion broke and fled. Mick ow sent another detachment of infantry over the river at a discovered ford to attack from the other side. Here the were met by the 2nd battalion of the Markgraf von Brandenberg regiment and a ferocious struggle began. Each time the Ottomans thought the were in the town the Imperialist rallied and repulsed them. Eventually a unit of Janissary's managed to force there way into the town routing the other remaining battalion. The 2nd were on their own, the Janissary's charged over the bridge to be met with cold steel and they like others before them were repulsed by the 2nd.

As the 2nd battalion held on the battle had swung on a revolving door with my Imperialist troops pressing the Ottomans looking for a weakness. At this point Mick committed his remaining fresh troops against my advancing lines. They burst through only to be met with solid musketry from a second line and put to flight.

View from the town of the advancing Imperialists.
With his infantry line shattered, Mick made one more attempt to take the town and once again the 2nd repulsed them, though they themselves were on the point of breaking. My hussars were then in amongst the broken infantry to cause carnage. At this point we called it a day. The assault on the bridge had been a brutal affair and casualties had been high on both sides. But still both bridges remained in Imperialist hands, well just.

We were both very pleased with how our revised rules for built up areas worked. Showing how difficult it was to defeat entrench infantry and the importance of such positions on a battlefield.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Knights with no name

In between putting together more troops for the WSS and Napoleonics, I have been slowly going through lead mountain . This time I decided to finish off some fantasy figures that I have had lying around for too many years to count. Now these guys have been used in the days when I played WHFB 3rd edition and though it shames me now, yes I used unpainted figures. So now it was time for a little re painting on some and a first lick of paint for the majority. The figures are a mix of old GW, including pre-slotta bases, some Burgundian foot knights from Essex and a couple of figures from Front Rank.

Rather small host
Mounted Knights
These Knights were the multi part guys that GW brought out on the horrible plastic horses. Sometime in the past I upgraded them to armoured horses. I do have 3 more of these guys but their lances are broken and one is missing his legs. Will keep an eye on EBay.

Billmen
Foot knights
Archers
It's not a very rounded force but back in the day before army list I had units of Dwarves and Ogres added as well as some Norman Knights in a proxy role. In the future I may purchase a box of the Perry WOTR range as they will fit in nicely, also help boost the archer unit and fill out the Billmen. Well back in the box these guys will go for now.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Yet more Napoleonic madness

Well my journey to madness is in full swing. After painting those French cavalry I turned my attention back to the Westphalians. I have 3 battalions required to finish the 2 infantry brigades that formed the division as part of X Corps in 1809. And so 1 down 2 to go. These are the first battalion of the 6th Regiment, the figures are all from Old Glory.

1st battalion 6th Regiment
Skirmishers deployed
So progress so far on these is 5 line battalions, Grenadiers and Jager Carabinier battalion. I have the last line battalion prepped awaiting an undercoat. I still need to purchase the figures for the Jager guard. After this there are 2 regiments of horse to be done to complete the division.

Completed 1st brigade
2nd brigade to finish
Westphalian division
Once these chaps are completed it will be on to the Austrians as I have 3 more infantry regiments to complete before starting on some Prussian. The my decent into madness will probably be complete.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Napoleonic Madness

Well I can't believe it's been nearly a month since my last post. So just to confirm that I am still alive and though progress has slowed I'm still painting and gaming. On the painting table I have had a unit of French Chasseur a Cheval undercoated for at least a couple of months. I just couldn't face painting them. So much so I have been painting some very old medieval figures that I have had lying in a box for about 25 years.

Now one of the things that have always put me off Napoleonics is the over fancy uniforms, especially the French horse. They look great when painted well. So with madness creeping up on me I took the plunge, picked out a unit, the 1st Chasseurs and began painting. It has been slow hard work, normally it would only take me a couple of days to paint a WSS unit of the same size. These took over a week and that didn't include the basing. So here they are, not the greatest figures I've painted, but good enough for me. The figures are from Eureka.

1st Chasseurs
In column
Rear view
After painting these I realised that I hadn't posted an update on my Westphalians, namely the finished artillery battery. These are from Warrior Miniatures. As with the Austrian battery I have not stuck the gun to the base for ease when adding a limber.

Westphalian artillery
Westphalian artillery
While trying not to paint the Chasseurs I decided to use a piece of spare hardboard and made a field. I picked up the idea from one of the Wargames magazines (can't remember which). Using pieces of balsa to mark out the edge of the field I then covered the whole base with sand before sealing in with Floor varnish. Then on the raised edges of the field I simply added clump foliage for a hedgerow. Turned out pretty good.

Homemade field
Unit added for scale

Saturday, 8 March 2014

WSS battle report part 3

Well on Thursday i returned to the club for what proved to be the conclusion of the game, and quite dramatic it was. On the Saxon left their infantry continued to exchange musketry with their Imperialist opponents, with honours even. However the Imperialist were able to feed in more fresh troops and the Saxons were slowly forced back. Bayley quickly reformed a second line, while the Guards fell back.

Imperialist pressure builds
Saxon lines reform in a new position
It was at this time that luck both good and ill befell the Saxons. Through heavy Saxon musketry one of the advancing Imperialist brigades collapsed and fell back to the rear, somewhat relieving the pressure.

View from the Saxon position
Ill luck was to befall the Swedish horse which had been supporting the right of the Saxon line. After being involved in clashes with Hessian infantry they fell back to reform for a fresh charge. This time the Hessians made way for Seymours' battalion of English Marines. These poured murderous fire into the Swedes, shaking up two of the regiments before forcing the brigade to retire in disorder.

Over on the right flank of the Franco-Saxon line, the French battalions steadied themselves for the onslaught of the English battalions. And an onslaught it was , the french were quickly thrown back with 2 battalions disintegrating under English musketry. Eventually the right most brigade broke and began to retreat, then one of the artillery batteries was put out of action and still the English came on. With a reserve brigade proving rather sluggish in getting into the line, the other french infantry brigade broke. Now there was only a small brigade of Swedish infantry to hold the right flank.

In the Centre the Piedmontese awaited the assault from the Hessian and Hanovarian troops. First the Hessian cavalry attacked up the slop forcing one battalion back before they retired. Then the infantry hit and the Piedmontese were unable to hold them.Suddenly both brigades broke under the pressure and began to fall back. Now the Centre had also been lost.

back over of their left flank we eventually got the cavalry fight we had been waiting for. John committed his Imperialist horse forward. What he had forgotten though was that Dragoons are not as good as Cuirassiers in combat and so it proved. of his 4 regiments committed, both of the Dragoon regiments were broken by Saxon Cuirassiers who then swept into the static Austrian Cuirassier regiments. Of the other two fights it was honours even, with one win apiece.

Cavalry fight with infantry in support
It was at this point that we agreed the battle was over. The Anglo-Imperialist faction held both junctions and had broken six of the enemy brigades. The Saxons we agreed would have been able to retire in good order with their advantage in horse covering the retreat. The poor French, Swedes and Piedmontese would be running for quite a while.

main learning point of the game had to be remembering to rally hits of units. This the Anglo Imperialists did well. George who commanded the French and Piedmontese often forgot to do this and his brigades suffered in rather a dramatic fashion with 4 infantry brigades breaking in two turns. Next week Bayley is setting a game up so this time I get to play.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

More Skaven

Well second post of the weekend. This time I have been painting up some more Skaven for WFB 3rd edition. I'll also be able to use these as allies to my Undead forces of the Lichemaster. First up I've painted another 8 figures for my Warlords own personal unit, until I can replace them with some Stormvermin. Then they will be relegated to mere clan rats. These also contain a standard bearer.

Clan rats
Clan rats
I have also completed a second full unit. These will either serve as basic clan rats or possibly skaven slaves as I need twenty according to Warhammer armies. Once again these figures are all from the Island of Blood set, this time armed with spears. I did manage to obtain 40 of these from EBay for a paltry sum, very good value. The second twenty are already started and will serve as a second clan rat unit. This time I went for a blue and grey colour combo and think they turned out rather okay.

Skaven slaves / clan rats
Skaven slaves / clan rats
I've painted these guys in a very basic fashion, concentrating more on how they look as a unit than as individual figures. This is allowing me to get through them quickly and providing a welcome respite to my WSS project.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Battle report part 2

Unfortunately this week at the club I was late as my wife was unwell. This meant I missed the first couple of moves which saw both sides begin to get into position.

On the Anglo-Imperial left flank the English infantry began their assault on George's French and Swedish battalion. From the early exchanges if musketry the French gained the upper hand, destroying one of the English battalions, before Tom rallied his troops and began to force the French back through weight of numbers.

English assault the French
In the Franco-Saxon center, Bayley began to move the Italian and Swedish horse across to their left flank to support the Saxon Horse. Meanwhile the Saxon Horse and infantry began to advance against the Imperialist lines. A Saxon dragoon brigade repeatedly attempted to charge the Imperialist artillery but were beaten back and eventuality broken.  At this point the Saxon Guards, supported by Grenadiers crashed into the Imperialist, destroying one battalion and inflicting heavy casualties on the other battalions. John began to reinforce his lines with fresh Brigades while the Hessian and Hanoverian infantry advanced against the Piedmont infantry on the hill.

Saxon Guards attack
In the center the Swedish cavalry attacked the Hessian infantry who gamely hung on for a couple of rounds repulsing repeated charges (Need to check up the rules here for next week as we achieved some rather ambiguous results)

Swedish horse charge
Back on the English  left flank they continued to pressure the lines, though some rather poor dice rolls from Tom negated some of his advantages against the Swedish battalions

Swedish foot hold their ground
On the Imperialist right flank they were seeing a rather large build up of enemy horse with two brigades of Saxon infantry in support. With their own infantry in support they began to dress their lines. Was John going to change his normal cautious nature and attack? we'll have to wait until next week to find out. It could be the decisive clash of the game.

The face off
There was also the timely arrival of another brigade of French infantry, though George failed a couple of command moves and so far only 2 of the battalions have reached the table edge.