Friday, 26 November 2010
Sunday, 26 September 2010
September has been a fairly hopeless month in terms of gaming, painting, and blogging I'm afraid. So, just in case you thought I'd jacked it all in I'll put up some pics of the Austrian lancers I don't seem to be able to finish.
Elite figures and horses with a few mounts from elsewhere (Connoisseur, Alban, Firing Line).
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Things start to go wrong on the Austrian right- the line is in the process of being shot to bits
I slipped up to Cambridge to John's shed for the day in order to get the Austrians actually on a table for the first time. There wasn't a massive amount of thought put into the game, it was just a bit of an excuse for a duff-up. John is easing his way back into Napoleonics after a lengthy lay-off so we wanted just a quick, low intensity game that wasn't going to tax the brain an awful lot.
Close up of the attack columns on the left. Everything fine at present (sausage roll in support)
It was a pretty straightforwards set-up, a village complex on the (Austrian) right, some skirmish buildings and walls on the left, a few woods in the centre. No big artillery platforms anywhere, French defending. We didn't have a huge amount of time so the French deployed quite far forwards,which didn't help the Austrian cause much. In retrospect we probably could have been a bit cleverer with the terrain,
Panorama of the early stages
The only decent area for cavalry was in the centre which unbalanced things somewhat. I concentrated the Austrian's new shiny hussar brigade there and the French had a regt each of Chassuers, dragoons and cuirraisier plus a horse btty. Each flank had an infantry division to take the respective village areas. The one on the right had a dragoon regt attached.
We used a variable morale system for the infantry, all btns were treated as 1st class line until they took their first morale test,where-upon they rolled to discover their true class: Austrians: 1 to 3- 2nd class line. 4 to 10 1st class line.
French: 1 to 4 -2nd class line 5 to 7 1st class line, 8 to 10, veteran.
French young guard: 1 to 5, veteran. 6 to 10 Elite.
All cavalry was line and all artillery was 1st class.
The Austrians fielded 1 infantry division of 2 Grenzer, 5 line btns with a 6lb btty and 18 skirmishers, these took the left flank. In the centre was a hussar brigade with 14 squadrons of hussars each of 6 figures.
On the right was an infantry division of 6 line btns with a dragroon rgt of 6 x 6 man squadrons plus a 6lb btty and 12 skirmishers. All btns were 48 man strong.
5 battalions: should be enough to take a village, surely?
Connoissuer French attempt to outflank the Austrian left
The French had a 2 infantry divisions each of 6 x 36 supported by a 6lb btty, 24 chassuers and 18 skirmishers. One of each occupied each flank.
In addition they had a young guard division of 4 x32's plus a heavy cavalry outfit with 1 x 32 of dragoons and 32 cuirraisier with a 3 gun horse btty.
All in all, I think the French were too tough for the poor old milkshakes.
The Austrian right develops
The Austrians trundled forwards, because of the speed of our set-up it meant the Austrians couldn't really get any artillery preparation, however they manfully pitched into the attack against each village. They actually did ok, they got forwards,got the guns into position and started to work towards their objectives.
In the centre the massed hussars nullified the french cavalry, a typical ding-dong Grand Manner cavalry scrap continued through the whole game. A lot of folk can't cope with the cavalry system in ITGM but the more I read of historical accounts the more they turn out like ITGM battles. Units go forwards, battle it out, retire, new ones go in, the original ones rally, go back. Its all about having local reserves. Both sides (typicaly) won the combats they should have lost, and lost the ones they "were certain" to win. The rest of the cavalry was squeezed on the extreme Austrian right, and this went a bit more to the script, with the Austrian dragoons making short work of a chassuer regt, which forced a couple of French btns into square and took them out of the fight for the village.
A recent new acquisition: Classic Connoissuer infantry painted by Doug Mason, skulking in square.
On the left a grenzer btn waddled in line through a wood on the the extreme flank, it never got anywhere for the whole game but it did tie down 2 French btns (a bit) so it wasn't a total waste of time.
Meanwhile the asault against the skirmisher buildings and the walled compound went in. John concentrated a lot of fire on one unit (always a mistake in my book) but the size of the Austrian units allowed it to be shrugged off. I had some success at first and things were looking rosy.
6lb battery supporting the Austrian right
The French artillery btty retreated when charged and the lead 2 Austrian units crunched into a lone French btn manning the wall. In fact I had a bit too much success. The French btn routed after the first round of combat, with relatively light casualties. I would have much preferred for it to have stuck around for at least a second round of combat as I had 2 more btns to re-inforce with and the French had one. This would have allowed me to ruin 2 French units, as it was it meant the French just pulled back a bit, I couldn't exploit, and the 2 units I had in the front line were badly shot up. They took more and more fire from the flanks and that was about it for my attack on the left village.
High point for the left. The Austrians couldn't get over that wall.
Things were coming to close, dinnertime was approaching, and the Austrians had run out of steam. We called it a day.
So in the end it was a suitably inauspicious start for the Austrian army, but then, as we all know, all troops get beat the first time out!
(Good Lord!! I've just noticed...60,000 hits!!- does that mean I can have drink?)
Thursday, 5 August 2010
|I mentioned that while I was up at the Wargames Holiday Centre I was hoping to make a few purchases. Well,I did indeed, and here are a few pics of some of them. Mike has been selling off quite a few units this year in order to "slim down" the collection (for example, having nearly 180 x 36 man French btns seemed a bit OTT), and I hoped to buy a few units I'd always really liked. High on the list were these 2 regts of Austrian Hussars, 1 of 36 men and another of 48 (Wish they were both 48's).|
|They are (naturally) the Elite miniatures castings, painted and converted by Doug Mason. All the sabres are pins soldered into the hand and are very tough. Even after many years of service up in Scarborough I only had to replace 3 swords out of 84. Doug has done plenty of bends and twists to these figures. There are only 4 basic figures here, officer, trumpeter and 2 trooper figures, and he really has imparted an incredible sense of movement to the models which really look the part of hussars at full tilt|
|These weren't the only figures I bought from Mike, there are more (I just kept peeling off the tenners until he said stop) but the rest will have to wait for another time.|
Saturday, 31 July 2010
The Allied right early in the game. Looks reasonably secure at this point.
So to continue the narrative of last weekend, we carried on with the made-up (before you all go Google-crazy) battle of Goerlitz. This is what I call a "Mike reinforcing" battle. (at least, I assume it is one of Ingham's). Mike does like to design scenarios where one or often both sides receive their reinforcements gradually throughout the battle, usually on a simple die-roll (turn number + 3 average die), and coming on to the table at pre-designated entry points. This means (horror of horrors!) that wargamers actually have to come up with a plan in advance, and then pretty much stick to it. It's one of the strengths of the vastness of the holiday centres' table. Its no use deciding to bring on a formation in one area of the battle and then attempt to march it (even with tactical moves) from one end of the table to the other. It will rarely get there.
Decide where it's going, decide what it's job is, decide what happens after that (amazing how many wargamers are utterly incapable of this).
Anyway, down below are the respective OB's - many apologies but I don't have a map.
The French therefore had a mountain of cavalry (15 regts!) and hardly any infantry (a paltry 16 btns) on the table to begin with. The allies could muster a 2 to 1 advantage in infantry and almost parity in numbers of cavalry figures(though not in regts/sqdns). The French did have the advantage of a reasonable defensive line. A large sector of their front was covered by hedges and woods which would prevent the Allies from pushing forwards quickly, and they controlled 3 key villages. The central one was on a hill and dominated proceedings, particularly the road net in the sector where the Russian Guard infantry would eventually appear. So this had to be cleared in good time to allow some of the key re-inforcements to move up.
It was garrisoned by the Polish infantry division, just 8 btns, a hussar regt and a battery. The infantry were a bit good though, for although they moved and fired as line (+3), they tested morale as if they were all elite (+5). Tough little critters.
I was up against this with 14 ropey old Russian btns, a light cavalry regt and a big old Russian 6 pdr battery.
In the event it was a really tough fight. 4 Russian btns went right with half the skirmishers to clear a wood with just a single Polish btn in it, the outcome of this was rarely in doubt but it slowed me down a little which I'm sure was the general idea.
Around the village the Russian battery engaged the French in counter-battery fire and the French quickly realised they were on a loser and retired out of sight of the Russian battery which then switched it's fire to the village and the units around it in support. It did sterling work! and inflicted hefty losses on the Poles. Not that they seemed to care. Even with the infantry testing as Elite, Nick blithly rolled high roll after high roll for their morale tests. After about 8 or 9 turns I got the Russian attack against the village set up. It should have been a walkover, and in some ways it was. I had 8 btns going in against just 4 Polish, and I won all 3 melee phases, the Poles were well and truly stuffed. Naturaly they just passed morale meaning I bounced ...
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
The view back over the French centre and right flank. Dom looks thoughtful, Gerry, errr...doesn't.
Last thursday saw me making the familar trip up to Scarborough to the WHC, this was to be a long weekend with 2 games on offer. The plan was to get there for about 2.00pm for a Corunna(ish) scenario which was to play until Friday afternoon, then once a few more people had arrived, change over for a fictitious 1813 bash which could accomodate more players. As it was, the Peninsular game still had 10 players, so the players each had relatively small commands and the game played quite quickly and smoothly.
I played on the French left and was tasked with taking one of 2 villages which dominated the road network which the British needed in order to get to the waiting arms of the RN.
This probably proved easier than it should have done, my opponent had racked up 8 or 9 battalions behind the village, including some fairly choice kit, a couple of guards batallions and 2 big Scots units. As it was he would have been better off spreading out a bit more. What transpired was that both myself and Eric on my right flanked the village rather than assault it directly. Due to the lack of troops on the flanks we were able to easily penetrate the defences which on my flank consisted mainly of a solitary highland btn. A punchy unit, and if it had had a couple of mates quite capable of putting up a stiff fight. On its own however, it was easily brushed aside. The end result was that the British behind the village were caught in a crossfire from myself and Eric, with units being continually pinned by retreating units in front of them.
Rule number 1 in ITGM:
Part of my division attempts to outflank "my" village, which is out of shot to the right of the picture
In the end, it was a fairly comfortable and total French Victory (contrary to Noel's verdict here: http://garagegamer.blogspot.com/ ) Although his perspective might be coloured because he was on the extreme flank of the British with the Light Division, which he handled with considerable expertise. Unfortunately I think his troops would have been the only part of the British army to get away. The rest were cut off.
"My" village in the background, successfully outflanked. The British driven out, and are now being pushed back to the left of the picture.
None-the less, it was great start to the weekend (I don't recall talking to my dice AT ALL...I think I am being horribly misrepresented!), and got everyone in the mood for the main event which was a larger 1813 game; Goerlitz. We started the game on friday afternoon and got a few turns in without getting into serious contact before packing up for the day. After a couple of extra arrivals (and a night in the casino), and we were ready to go on saturday morning....to be continued
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
IR 30 Prinz de Ligne
July draws to a close amid a frenzy of wargame activity. Despite being the busiest month of the year I've kept the painting up, finishing the above unit. I MIGHT, just might, get a second batallion done as well, which would be fantastic - I've just got the last 13 figures to finish so it's quite likely. Ordinarily, I'd say no problem seeing as there are still 11 days to go in this month, but this coming extended weekend will see me nipping off up to Scarboro' for a couple of Napoleonic games- looking forwards to it immensely. I think we are doing Corunna (never done that before) plus some made up 1813 bash. I can't wait.
Front Rank artillery adjutant and some random Rupert
Apart from the prospect of 4 days gaming with some like-minded folk, I'm hoping to make a couple of purchases, as Mike is selling a few units and I've asked him to reserve a couple of favourites of mine. I'm afraid I'm going to be a total tease and not say what they are, so you'll just have to tune in next week and I'll post a few pics.
The Sash and Sabre samples were a crippling disapointment, little stumpy-sub-Foundry things...no use to me at all.
Some Front Rank Grenzers shield the Elite column
A far more interesting set of samples came from Alban miniatures, I got some of their Austrian hussars and horses. First, the horses, which are very nice. The hussars only look good on the light horses, although the heavies are lovely sculpts as well and will come in handy elsewhere. The hussars are really lovely figures with true, un-exagerated detail. A bit like Stadden's best effort. No buttons like wheel-nuts or gurning faces. They all come with a seperate sword arm which I rather like. The only problem is they are a little small (or perhaps not as big) compared to the my Elite masses. They may work ok on their own, I'm not sure yet. I think I'll have to paint up a few and do a comparison.
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Grenzer regts 16 and 17
So, June quickly draws to a close, not a bad month in the world of Austrians, despite a crippling work schedule (Sir Elton John and Lady Ga-Ga being demanding souls), nonetheless, I got over 90 figures whacked off. This included finishing the second 48 of Grenzer. This means I now have 96 of these critters, all with green facings. Subsquently I can use them either as 2 x 48 man units or as 3 x 32's which is some nice flexibility. Eventually I will add another 2 x 48, so will be able to field 4 x 48 or 6 x 32!
32 man Grenze units are pretty weak in ITGM, which seems accurate.They fight and morale as militia - i.e only plus 1 for morale but they do fire as if they are veteran. So 48's can be a bit pokey in the right circumstances (sat in a village is always a favourite) They are still a bit hopeless in woods though (move as militia) which doesn't seem quite right. I might need to think about this.
Front Rank officer throwing his weight around with his slimmer Connoissuer squaddies
I'm going back on track with painting line infantry next, this will be the seventh German btn, probably with pale grey facings. The first batch have just been undercoated and are awaiting the old Army Painter treatment.
After six months of not buying (m)any Napoleonic figures my purchasing gland has been getting twitchy. I've been checking out the Sash and Sabre range- I've got some samples on order from Old Glory UK, command for both line and grenadiers. Even if they are not quite what I'm after I'm sure they can be shoe'd into a unit somewhere. I'm over halfway with the line infantry, and will wind up with 16 btns of Germs and Hungarians....but it doesn't seem QUITE enough...so maybe a division of the S&S chaps would round off my army nicely. We'll see.
FR command, Connoiseur and Elite make up the rest
The other Company I've been looking at are Alban. While I like their infantry a lot, I don't think they will fit very well with the massed Elite units, which is a shame. However, the hussars they make look fabulous, and I don't think a cavalry unit will present the same asthetic problems. I don't have any Hussar figures yet at all (that may change very rapidly) but Austrians really should have plenty. I'd like to wind up with 3 units, and I might make them 48 man regts.
3 x 32 or 2 x 48...the choice is mine
Saddened to hear of the death of Paddy Griffith, I re-read his "Forwards into battle" recently. A fairly seminal work IMHO, one of those books that upset a few folk because it challenged the way they LIKED to think warfare was conducted, and arrived at conclusions which weren't cosy with their view. Part of what good historian should do.