Thursday, 11 February 2010

Napoleonics 6th February

Well Saturday saw us playing a Napoleonic battle for the 1st time in 2-3 months and five of us were involved in the encounter with the French up against the Austrians

A lot of my photo's were rubbish so I salvaged what I could and put them into some kind of order. This was the only pic of the whole battle taken later in the day. Unsurprisingly the best of the pictures were from were I was sitting so apologies on missing out the other guys exploits. Especially the bold cavalry General Jamie de Lanark who rolled back almost everything in his path except those darn double 6 rolling guns.

The 1st action of the day saw Marshal Stuart de Law up against it with his heavy cavalry taking a pounding from the Austrian cuirassiers.

He was lucky they weren't able to follow up to finish the job and his troops were able to regroup.

Stuart, Jamie and myself had a wee chat outside about what our plan would be and we decided to try and avoid the heavy Austrian presence on our far right. It was a tight little battlefield but Truth be told as usual my deployment was poor. I put my troops on engage orders to engage both Austrian brigades but was hampered by a small wood for early firing and maneuvering. As Robert quite rightly pointed out I was pivoting on my guns.

No matter, I set out my troops in the limited space ready to take the brunt of the assault and left the back ranks enough distance back that if the front crumbled they would not disrupt them. Also I sent my second brigade on a flanking move hoping to hit Robert in the flank if his troops were left unformed from melee.

I could at this point say that I had laid a cunning plan in the true spirit of Napoleonic warfare and that I had left a small (veteran) force intentionally to suck in the whole Austrian reserves while all the time planning to outfox my opponent and hit him in the flank but I would be lying.

Anyway that is how it worked out. Robert sent all his troops heading for my poorly positioned flank and amazingly I rolled like a Casino King! the 3 battalions Robert rushed in all faltered (and my guns didn't even get to fire canister!) The 4th assaulting battalion managed to put the 1 unit I wanted to see run into retreat and my outflanking unit managed to hit the unformed Austrians in the flank (at this point Robert did a really nifty move putting his rear battalion into square so the fleeing troops would funnel round them) The brigade broke and 2 of the 4 battalions were lifted and the rest of the brigade ran back 30cm. It was exciting times in the French camp.

As you would imagine my opponent was a little rattled and quite rightly pointed out that my flank should never have stood, and my dice were very high but how many times have you been in a great position and your dice rolling has been crap? It's a game of chance, you pays your money and you takes your chance ;-)

Anyway for the rest of the game I fluffed about trying to get into a good position to destroy Roberts remaining assaulting brigade. We had a debate about where I could move my troops that had just duffed over the other brigade so they were not moving towards the rear of the other Austrian brigade while trying to get at the fleeing 1. It was all very interesting as to maneuver the 3 battalions in the space left to me it was impossible not to approach the rear of the other brigade. I can understand Roberts point of view as it was very much within my thinking that I could change my orders and hit the blighters in the rear, however I needed to move closer to them so I could give my other battalions room to come through.

Anyway in the rest of the battlefield Stuarts troops were fighting it out with JP (photo of John's cuirassiers failing to smash into Stuart's double hard French light infantry) and Jamie was destroying Roberts light cavalry before being given a bloody lesson in Austrian artillery fire.

Here is a funny rule: You cannot fire canister at the enemy if your own troops are in arc or within 20mm. I can understand that but when the enemy troops are blocking the arc I would have thought they would have been fair game? twice I missed out on this, Ah well it's all a learning curve.

Anyway time was running out and I rushed my assault and took a bloody nose. Robert managed to get stuck into my flank at last but I did have a good few battalions around. I have no idea who won but I would guess a draw was closer to the mark. All in all another good learning experience but the main thing it was a whole lot of fun.

Thanks to JP, Robert, Stuart, Jamie and young Thomas for an excellent game (young Thomas stepped in when JP had to retire early and seek medical treatment after pricking his finger on 1 of Robert's Austrian flag poles, JP's finger survived but the flag pole did not!).

French : JP
Austrians : Robert T
Terrain : C.W.C.


Ken said...

Exciting stuff, it always nice to photos of a game - do you go to a club or has somebody got a big kitchen or garage?

I've not yet played a proper game. usually, its just me and my lad. Mind you he defeated me well and proper at Ligny with careful use of his prussian reserves!



paulalba said...

Hi Ken,
We have a little club that we play most of our GdB games at and my brother has a large area also to play on (that somehow with work we haven't used for a long while). JP also has a garage with a very big table but it's out because of the winter, it's just too damn cold! You can find a few of our other games at the club blog:

Thanks for your comments Ken

Peeler said...

Hi Paul, a right good read and loved the photos too, looks smashing, thanks :-)

paulalba said...

Hi Peeler,
Thank, It was a really fun game. I'll have to think moe about my deployment.