Sunday 21 January 2024

Covenanter Dragoons

Finally some output for the Marston Moor project. I have been trying to get these done for months in between painting Simons's figures. These are a unit of Dragoons commanded by Colonel Fraser. The only regiment at the battle for the Scots.

I did the coats in a mix of greys for a little variety. A simple paint scheme, but atleast they are done. Now for the last 3 regiments for Simon.

Saturday 13 January 2024

Napoleonic bash part II

Or crash, bang wallop. Let's just say part 2 was a very short and bloody affair, so not many pictures. With 2 extra players from last week, Robbo and Sean took on the roles of the French command so that yours truly could concentrate on umpiring. After 12 turns last week, we only got through 4 this week as both sides got stuck in with multiple combats each turn.

The game picked up with the hopefully timely arrival of some French reinforcements. A brigade of Neopolitan infantry were dispatched to support the Polish brigade who were facing the overwhelming strength of the British. There were also a couple of regiments of light cavalry sent to support the Westphalians, as the Austrians began to use their additional numbers to stretch their lines before delivering a hammer blow.

The British powering into the Poles

The Prussian Centre

Austrians preparing their assault

Huzza, French cavalry to the rescue

The Prussians began to get their 2nd infantry brigade moving to put some pressure on the French centre, they also received their own reinforcement in the form of a light cavalry brigade. 

The crash - Sean, with the Westphalians decided to take the fight to the Austrians. Using his Grenadiers to sweep 2 battalions away, causing one of the Austrian brigades to falter. But with plenty of troops available, Mitch brought up another fresh brigade to shore uphis line, he then advanced to close range with musketry duel all across the line.

The bang - In the centre, things were pretty even, both sides giving and taking casualties. The Prussians were still struggling to make their advantage in numbers to tell. Then it all went wrong for the French. With a prime target in front of them the French artillery produced desultory fire. A couple of casualties would have broken the Prussian regiment and caused the brigade to falter, giving them time to get the Neopolitans into position and another French infantry brigade onto the table. In return The Prussians launched an assault and swept away a French battalion, causing the French centre to falter. All Robbo had to do was roll was anything but a 1.

He rolled a 1

The French routed, causing the whole brigade to retire, The centre was now open for the Prussians to swing left and put pressure on the Westphalians.

The wallop - Over on the French left, the Polish brigade had been fighting a slow withdrawal in front of the British. Robbo then decided to stand and fight. A thin blue line is not as good as a thin red line. The British quickly closed and launched infantry assaults all across the line. The Poles initially held, so far so good. But now the British had a Hanovarian brigade arriving at the fight. With the spare numbers, the British assaulted again, the thin blue line creaked and then broke.

The wallop

With both the Polish on the left and the Franco-Dutch in the centre running, Robbo needed to roll up 3 ADCs just to hold the division. However, due to the failed discipline test he could only roll for a maximum of 2. He didn't get any. Both brigades continued to run. The poor Neoploitans were still trying to get into position, but it was too late. Their 5 battalions would not be able to hold both the British and Prussians.

So game over. What had been a stirling defence by the French was simply undone in one turn with half of their original force routing. Even though the Westphalians were holding the Austrians their rear was now badly exposed and a retreat was in order. Victory to the allies, they had broken 2 enemy brigades and secured the town. Even though the church was still contested, the Westphalins would be forced to yield the ground. At least all the players had enjoyed 2 days of a hotly contested battle.

Friday 5 January 2024

Napoleonic Bash Part 1

So the first game to start the year was a big Napoleonic bash. I sort of based it upon the battle of Leipzig. I spent the weekend organising the game for 7 players, 4 for the Allies and 3 for the French. The aim of the game was for 2 French Infantry divisions to hold a town and Church against a superior enemy force of British, Prussians and Austrians.Both sides also have a number of brigades held off table in reserve, predominantly cavalry, though the French have a full division of infantry they can hopefully call upon.

The rough map above was supplied to each set of players. The French were defending points D and E. A large British division was advancing from point A, a Prussian division from point B and the Austrians with 2 full divisions from point C. All set for a big clash the disaster struck. Work commitments and the flu bug going around I lost 4 players, all 3 that were due to command the French. So after a quick discussion with the remaining players, we decided to still continue with the game. We still needed to finish setting out the armies and the first few turns would be mainly maneuvering. Hopefully the other players will be available next week. My role switched from umpire to now commanding the French. So with me commanding I didn't get much chance to produce a report, but plenty of pictures to tell a story.

Westphalian's awaiting the Austrians

French infantry holding the center

Austrians begin deploying for battle

The British steadily advancing

2nd Westphalian brigade setting up a second line

Austrians can be seen in the distance

French guns fire on the Prussians

2nd Austrian column advancing

Austrian infantry capture the Westphalian guns

Prussian's advancing (eventually)

British quickly get across the river

Austrians and Westphalians exchange musketry

The British are coming!

Westphalian right flank looking towards the Austrians

The small Polish brigade awaits the British on the outskirts of a village

Austrian battle line

Westphalians holding the line

Prussians finally getting into action

The British engage the Poles

So far the French forces are holding the line, we managed to get in 12 turns. On the French right flank the Westphalians have had the better of the exchange with the Austrians. Their 1st brigade in particular taking heavy punishment. The loss of the artillery though is a disaster. Still the Austrian commander can be heard repeatedly asking where his 'bloody cavalry is'. 

The Center between the French and Dutch against the Prussians is just beginning to heat up. It took a while for the Prussians to get into action. Despite having the shortest distance to cross, they have been hesitant to do so.

Over on the left though, the ominous advance of the British towards the Polish brigade has been measured. The Poles have already stepped back a few turns to keep the British at bay, but now they need to fight. 4 battalions against 11 is not going to be pretty. It was at this point we called it a night to continue next week. The French need to shore up the left flank quickly before disaster strikes and may need to commit either the French or Neopolitan brigade held in reserve.

There are also alarming reports of Austrian and Prussian light cavalry to the north and north east, ready to support their infantry. The British can also call upon a brigade of Hanovarian infantry as well as both light and heavy cavalry brigades in reserve. Hopefully next week will be a cracker and I can return to umpiring.

Monday 1 January 2024

ECW for Simon

So the first post of the New Year and the first figures completed. These are the 8th regiment of foote for Simon. I've already got them bagged up the the last 3, just need labelling up when I find the labels. One of the disadvantages of taking down Christmas decorations and everything gets tidied up, you then can't find anything.

So just 2 more regiments of Royalists and 2 Scottish regiments to go. I will be pleased to see the back of these. I know it's a personal thing but I find painting figures and then not basing them up to use in a game a bit dispiriting. It's like you have no final output for your endeavors. Anyway, hopefully Simon will send me some pictures when he gets the flags added and regiments based.

I've also splashed out on some new figures in readiness for a new project that will run alongside the Marston Moor Project. This will be World War II in North Africa. So far I've ordered a boxed set of infantry and AT guns from Forged in Battle, picked up a second boxed set from Colonel Bills rather cheap with some HMG teams. I'll be re-using a couple of Panzer IVs already in my possession as well as a couple of Panzer IIIs from Zvezda to add a little punch. They'll be done for games of O Group which I'm looking forward to trying out.