Monday, 29 January 2018

French Foot artillery limber teams and caissons

Deliberately staggered so that they would look suitably ordered yet not uniform, the lads await orders to move.

One of the best things about having a table top battle that one can leave set up until a suitable rendezvous time is that it can often act as a catalyst for the perennially lazy wargamer!

Now I am sure that most of us are in a similar boat.  Loads of plans, a youngish family and limited time to game, let alone finish off the projects that sit  by week after week, month after month, year after...stop me if it all sounds so painfully familiar.

Well the game currently underway has enthused me to do what I have promised myself time after time.  Finish off some artillery limbers and caissons.

The caisson is an old Hinchcliffe model at least twenty five years old

These are nearly all old Foundry figures that I have sitting painted and waiting to be based for, I'm ashamed to say, 15 years!

Well, lift the head, pull the shoulders back and look every fellow gamer at the NWS in the eye again young man for six are now completed.

I did promise Cookie these would be finished before the next days gaming.

Well done that man.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

"A fine time to throw a shoe Gascon!"

A rather atmospheric shot of the Regimental "Smithy" getting a workout on the field.  This is a fetching vignette
piece from the Napoleonic French range from Perry Miniatures.  Very clever lads old Michael and Alan. 

Whilst waiting for the next day where Phil and I can rendezvous and recommence hostilities I though that it would be the perfect opportunity to add a few things.  Now before you assume the worse and think that by "add" I may sneak and additional British brigade or two on, shame on you...well what about a battery? 

Do you think Cookie would notice?  Bloody oath he would.  Anyway...

I do always like games where there is just the right amount of paraphernalia on the table.  I love seeing batteries with limber teams and ammunition cassions in trail.  I think you would have to go a long way to see better than Kevin and Chris work old "Not Just Old School Wargaming" as well as the wonderful work Barry Hilton has done on his Empire to Republic games at the League of Augsburg with the artillery park looking simply sensational.

The French ADC has ventured forth to see how long his "rider" will take to be mounted again for important dispatches.

This is the first time I have had this particular vignette on the field.  It is from the Perry Miniatures range and I think its a superb piece of design and sculpting.  It has nestled in very well onto the field and will remain for the duration of the battle.

I am also very happy to report that  my promise to have my French line artillery limbers up and running has been achieved.  A few photos of them next time.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

General D'Armee - Battle in Belgium Part Two

The French centre brigade moves up to faceoff the veteran British troops to its front

The battle had been raging furiously for a few hours of real time with no major breakthroughs or disasters on either side.  The worst that had unfolded had been the Brunswick Hussars having two squadrons routed by the French Cuirassiers.  This was to force a hair raising order role the next turn to see if they would shake off the ill-effects of some light cavalry tom foolery or whether the brigade would be further demoralised.  Suitable numbers of ADC's were dispatched to the brigade and all was put right with a roll of four!

Action on the allied left starts to heat up.  A RA Battery makes a dash to try and bring some fire to bear on the
advancing French columns to the right.

On the extreme French left flank the light cavalry await orders and simply look to occupy two allied brigades.

Skirmishers prepare to meet the advancing columns with some fire - need to remember the "Skirmish" order!

A view from behind the Cuirassier Brigade.  You can see the Brunswick Jagers scurrying through the woods to their left.

The action for the heights (one victory point) wages on.

The British are intent on bringing additional fire on the French brigade to the right.  You  can now see the British
artillery looking to find a nice location between the friendly lines to lay down some fire.

French legere advance up to meet the Brunswick Advante Garde in the woods threatening the 12 pounder artillery.

A view from the rear of the Dutch Belgian Cavalry Brigade and Nassau.

British lines looking resplendent with their GMB flags flapping in fine simulated fashion in the air conditioning!

Another view of the manoeuvring around the battlefields centre.

On the allied left the first routing Brunswick Hussars have now rallied behind the guns and the second lines
prepare to meet the challenge of French Heavies to their front.

In the right foreground the Legere reach the woods.  In the centre a good indication of the depth of lines in the
allied advance can be seen quite vividly.

"Lets protect those guns mon amie".

Love this image.  The Hussars have rallied behind the guns and the next charges prepare to go in.

Not an ideal result.  The excellent charge process saw the Hussars become unformed and against
 the Heavy French Cuirassiers opposing them, were up against it from the start.  The Uhlans
remain in reserve though as well as two more squadrons of Brunswick Hussars. 
They are outmatched but fighting hard.

"Not quite as many as there was a while ago" - the next line of Hussars are unformed from their routing companions.
This unfortunate rout causes the Brigade to falter - another vital die roll awaits next turn!

A shot from the French line as the columns change formation to line and see what they can do against those
superior British volleys.  Not much I am surely hoping - sorry Phil!

A muted advance against the Nassau on the left peters out to a skirmisher exchange.

A fine view showing the extent of the French Heavies advance on the right.

Another perspective of the action around the heights.

Looking pensive as I try not to look worried about my left.  Just between you and me...I am!

The DB Heavies advance slightly, limber up the horse battery and prepare to demonstrate in front of the enemy...

...hoping to make those French columns at least consider the threat.

Whilst these lads seem very content on the other side of the hill.

The legere have now formed a line whilst the 12 pounders, slightly obscure but still potent, continue to seek out targets.

Close up of the lads.

The Corps Commander himself.  Here he is surrounded by his staff of ADC's.  Once again I opted for the oval bases on
these figures so they would not be mistaken for Generals on circular style bases.  You can see that I have elected to
have an array of allied nationalities to assist the good General with his command decisions this day. Visible are
British, Dutch, Belgian and even a Prussian attached staffer.

Close up view of the 1st Battalion of the 28th Orange Nassau.  Great figures from Perry Miniatures.

Those very same lads advance.

The firefight in the centre continues

The RA find the optimum spot and unlimber.  Those Elite Miniatures guns look like 12 pounders in this shot however
let me assure you they are only 9pdrs. Either way they could be very useful indeed.

On the left the Brunswickers decide that discretion is the better part of valour.  Having seen their compatriots
rout twice from the Cuirassiers, squares are the order of the day until the situation can be steadied.

That was where Phil and I called it quits for the day.

The advantage of a dedicated space for wargaming is obviously the ability to leave things in situ whilst one tries to reconvene for the next instalment of fighting.  This will be very shortly.

A big roll coming up for the Brunswickers to see if they recover their faltering status or become demoralised.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

General D'Armee battle on the fields of Belgium - Part One

Brunswick Horse Artillery make ready to help support the allied left flank
For those of you who may be unaware, Napoleonic wargaming is one of my great hobby passions.

We had the recent opportunity  to get together with an old wargaming mate in Phil and see if we can start to get the wonderful and subtle tactical nuances of General D'Armee to become second nature to us.  The rules from Dave Brown are a wonderful extension of his General De Brigade rules which have been our rules of choice for more years than I care to remember.  An added bonus of using any of Dr. Browns rules is the first class level of support given to all gamers who use them globally by Dave and his gaming companions.  Rules queries are answered and there is a genuine welcoming of external views on rules, implications and input in a most gentlemanly of fashions.  A delight in the modern gaming world.

The decision was made to have a one on one game at my home and set it in 1815 where I could get a few of the allied contingents out to battle the French.

We decided on a battle consisting of seven brigades a side, one of which must start the battle off table in reserve.  The French had four infantry brigades based upon D'Erlons Corps at Waterloo as well as a light cavalry brigade and a heavy brigade of Cuirassiers.  The off table reserve would be a brigade of Youing Guard.

The allies would have two brigades of sturdy British troops, one of Nassau, two Brunswick infantry brigades.  These would be supplemented by a brigade of light cavalry consisting of Brunswicker Hussars and Uhlans as well as a Dutch-Belgian Heavy cavalry brigade of Carabiniers.

Brunswick Light Cavalry Brigade with artillery support prepare to manoeuvre

A wider perspective of the two British brigades plus skirmisher screens

Brigade of Nassau troops and two battalions of the 28th Orange-Nassau (thanks Wim)

Cookie loves Cuirassiers - these are deployed on his extreme right

Lovely command stand complete with trooper getting a wasp in his face whilst at the gallop

French columns move up whilst the 12 pounders are given a starring role very early in the piece

One of the great aspects of wargaming is getting the figures out, admiring your handy work and then remembering all the many things you need to repair, replace or finish off.  Such is the case in the photo above as I have been dithering on getting horse limber teams finished with traces and harnesses ala the talented Kevin East and Chris Gregg at the wonderful Not Just Old School Blogspot.  I promise to have at least four limber teams complete by the time we return to the table.

But I digress...

Picton views the field as the boys start to press forward

French light cavalry brigade on their left flank

Facing off against the French lights were the Dutch-Belgian heavies...well heavy in name at least

The Brunswick first brigade advances with the Advante Garde at the fore

The French Heavies manoeuvre to meet them

More French columns look to position themselves early in the piece

Whilst the allies attempt to take the heights in what is a reasonably flat field

An early skirmishing encounter as French and Allied troops look to gain a preliminary advantage. I made the
early decision to base my skirmishers, of which each battalion in a brigade can contribute one, in general terms, on
a single oval base available from Warbases.  Very pleased with the result on the table and the visual
 distinction made at a glance.

Almost looking like a Grand Battery, the French have some firepower assembled in their centre

The French continue to advance to the centre supported by artillery and sheltered by their own screen

DB Heavy Brigade awaits orders whilst in position to the left of the small farmhouse...

...whilst the Nassau and 28th Orange-Nassau take the fields in support

The Dutch Belgian Horse artillery unlimber and seek to disturb their French opponents

Another view of the Carabiniers - lovely Perry Miniatures

After an initial blast of effective range roundshot from the Dutch battery a slight withdrawal behind the rise was deemed
a sound tactical move.

With two ADC's around our good friend Milhaud, a "Glory" order appears to be on the cards!

Luckily my brave Brunswick Hussars have already thought of this cunning ploy and are prepared.

Light infantry advance at the trail

Mmmm...seemed like a good idea at the time

The lead regiments of British take the high ground and prepare to use their superior volley firepower to maximum
effect whilst a Royal Artillery battery looks to find a window of opportunity

The deployed French 12lb battery has already caused some consternation in the Brunswicker ranks.  As a result, the
Advante Garde are ordered into the woods to their front to see if they can distract the artillerists in a particularly
nasty manner.

In GdA the only figures which are removed are skirmisher bases

The first Brunswicker squadrons rout from the Cuirassiers and cause the brigade to falter

An overview of the battle unfolding

The French General looks pensive as he prepares his next cunning move

Looking down the table from the allied left.

With black squares forming to fill the gap the next Brunswick lights move up to the pointy end.

In the centre the action looks interesting.  The 95th have yet to form out into a skirmish line and are using
their concentrated fire to maximum effect upon the columns to their front.

A few more photographs later in the week to bring everyone up to speed on the battle as it stands.