Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Light Division - 1/95th Rifles

Royal Green Jackets on the move in Iberia -must have loved those grapes as the vineyard looks quite bare.
Continuing the build up of units to represent the Light Division in the Peninsular here are a few photographs of the 1/95th Rifles that served in that formation throughout the Napoleonic Wars.

These figures are from the wonderful Elite Miniatures range available in Australia through Nathan Vinson at Elite Miniatures Australia.  These have also got the wonderful honour of also being painted for me by the "Lonely Gamer" himself - great job Nathan!

Wonderful figures with great animation and character - perfect in my opinion for this theatre of war.

Quite a command stand with officer mounted, hornist and foot officer urging the boys to get their three shots a minute in to stop those damned French columns! 

These chaps distinguished themselves at the Battle of Balina Allegra and have quickly become a favourite of their young commander.

What a surprise!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

GdB Peninsular - The Abbey of Mendosa proves a tough nut to crack!

The Italian Brigade attempts to come to grips with the 71st Highland Light Infantry doing a sterling job as proxy for
the 52nd who are still awaiting supply. 

So the battle continued.

In the centre the French and Italians attempted to continue their assault on Balina Allegra and once again prepared to storm the Abbey walls.  In the centre the Italians continued their support and were trying to act as a hinge upon the town so as to provide some much needed firepower to help stem the confidence of the Portuguese's defenders.

The French, having failed their attempt to keep formation and take the town
the first time, get ready to attack on a second occasion

 On the French right flank some artillery fire from the attached horse battery sees a double six rolled and the Portuguese Foot battery in trouble - faltering and needing to retire.

The Portuguese artillery retire and fail to rally - gone for the game.

On the French left flank French Legere battle hardened goat stealers and sheep fondlers doubling as Cacadores.

The French Dragoons see the opportunity to sweep the skirmishing rifles and potentially exposed British left flank now that teh artillery is gone and perepare to charge...

French Dragoons who now fully understand that desire can be somewhat tempered by snake eyes!
The Italians, despite withering fire, continue on relentlessly in order to continue their support of the brigade on their left...in other words...order changes are proving difficult!

The beginning of the end...French fail to close with all battalions and despite the need for a formation test due to massed columns struggle to dislodge the stubborn Portuguese defenders.

Italians in a good deal of trouble now as the combined fire keeps them well out of reach of the British lines.

"Sound the retreat Pierre - she is about to go pear shaped!".

the Italians retreat becomes a general rout.

The French Brigade attacking Mendosa Abbey are now much worse for wear and feeling that a full time whistle should be blown to finish up this continental encounter!
Ben rolls a double one on his order change in an attempt to attack the now deflated
Italian brigade - he must retire.  A "victory" in this turn at least, for the French allies.
Moss' troop of RHA retire after having inflicted a fair degree of carnage - lovely Essex limber team.

On the French extreme right flank Captain Francois DuBois battery watches on, low on both ammunition and motivation.  The routing friendly units down the table make sorry viewing. 

"...so Pa looks like I smashed you again.  How long have you been playing Napoleonics?".
 Great fun day at the NWS.  The lads played a massive variety of games which you can all find at the NWS blog here http://napoleonicwargamingsociety.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/nws-gaming-day-few-more-shots-for-good.html

It was, for me at least, a classic day of winning even though I lost.  Ben had a wonderful time and very much enjoyed the colour and spectacle of Napoleonic troops and battles.  Certainly something which attracted me to the hobby all those years ago looking through those early Airfix catalogues back in 1974!

We are already planning a few more games upstairs at home and some more over the school holidays when both he and Alex can come down to the club for some later than normal evenings on non-school nights.

Now, if I only could roll slightly higher...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Battle for Balina Allegra - GdB Peninsular

Action in the Peninsular as Crauford and Ney engage around the Abbey of Mendosa.
 Following a few months of preparation the day arrived at the NWS for young Ben to get his first introduction to Napoleonic Wargaming General De Brigade style!  The first gaming day at the new club venue was to prove the perfect opportunity to blood some fresh units, familiarise ourselves with the rules again and to see if this particular brand of gaming appealed to the young heir apparent.

President Mike provided some initial help in dispositions and stategy -
all of which changed shortly after he returned to his own game!

Simple scenario - Wellington has dispatched Crauford to hold up the lead elements of Neys corps from pushing through Balina Allegra (I know, I know - silly name but once again blame President Mike who does yield enormous power at the club!!!).

A combined reinforced Division of French and Italians plus a brigade of Dragoons have been ordered to capture the town made famous for the Abbey of Mendossa.

We decided yo use the Fog of War cards as depicted in the rules so as to add to the deployment strategies for both sides.

French Card
British Fog of War - each card can be used to represent up to two brigade units.

The Abbey of Mendossa - made famous for its fine olive oil and fermented cheese.

...and with the deployment Fog of War cards removed and units in their place.
 The battle was also the first opportunity to get nearly all of my French out since tarting up and re basing as well as quite a few of the British and Portuguese units.  Nearly all the figures were Elite Miniatures from the mighty Nathan Vinson collected over many, many years.

The Italian Brigade prepare to support Maucunes attack on the village.

Another view from the Portuguese Brigades position within the town.

The French Brigade approach from the north as skirmishers prepare to clear
the woods of some tough Cacadores.

French columns looking quite menacing as they approach.
 The French assault on Balina Allegra is initially successful as all three columns hit and the Portuguese falter and are repulsed from the town.  However the French fail their formation test and are unable to enter the town allowing the Portuguese reserve brigade to retake the village easily whilst their compatriots attempt to rally.

"...get back in that village lads...at the double!".

Moss' Royal Horse Artillery prepare to introduce themselves to some Italians!

Nice Front Rank Portuguese General and ADC with an Elite Dragoon Officer attached for
liaison purposes no doubt.

Towards the centre and left flank the Highland Light Infantry
 (acting in place of the 52nd who are yet to be completed) observe the
Dragoons attempting to place pressure on the extreme left of the line.

French Dragoons feeling quite confident despite their poor mounts and the opposition
 being only skirmishers and Portuguese Artillery - "what can go wrong Mon Ami?". 

The newly arrived and based 95th Rifles break out into skirmish formation - very effective!!

The Italians continue their advance despite their skirmisher screen copping an absolute hiding!
 Some more photographs and the battles conclusion during the week...it is a sorry tale if you have a French leaning let me assure you!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Royal Horse Artillery - Captain Hew Ross' "A" Troop attached to the Light Division

Captain Ross sites the guns - RHA from Front Rank with Elite guns and Essex Limber
team - quite the United Nations of figure manufacturers

One of the interesting aspects of the Light Division were the many formations that developed renown within the army for their feats and service.

One such unit was the Royal Horse Artillery under the command of Captain Hew Ross - he commanded for 19 years and was present throughout the campaigns in Portugal, Spain, France and Waterloo.

He would later on become Knighted for his military service and become the first ever Gunner Field Marshall in the British Armed Forces.

Well done that man!

These lads will see some action on the weekend at our NWS Gaming Day.

Portuguese Foot artillery - Elite Miniatures