Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Some Napoleonics projects on the table


Just a few quick photos of some command stands and vignette extras that I’m putting together.  I’m a very big believer in the little extras on the table that add a bit of “fluff” to the games we play. What’s the use of a barn without any cows being milked? The local piazza without a water trough and locals living life as normally as they can in the maelstrom which was warfare in the early nineteenth century.

I certainly have enjoyed putting these together. The wonderful Foundry Marshalls are preparing for done 1814 commands.

Friday, 3 June 2022

An Ancient Tragedy

We were so incensed by the rocks we through down our clothes in disgust

Well that was pretty ugly!

Steve and I cracked out To the Strongest for a rumble at the club with my Gauls and his beautiful Spanish.  I knew it was going to be tough after the terrain phase of the game where stacks of Iberian rough and rock refused to go away and remained in some pretty key areas. Not ideal for brave deep war bands intent on destruction but ideal for those slippery little Latino types with javelins, heavy weapons and lots of nasty insults from the hilltops.

Not an ideal place to bring your wheeled light chariot

Turning to the right to help deter the mass of light cavalry and infantry tearing down
the Gallic right flank. Even at this very early stage we were looking for the magic potion!

Reconstruct these words into a sentence “Rock…Hard…Between…a…Caught…bugger… place”

This is the last photo I took as my tears stopped me from being able to focus very well…not
from losing of course…from the flock on the bases getting into my eyes. I have allergies 
too you know!  It was also very cold, and the spear points were sharp.

As expected the beautifully painted Spanish had their way with their hairy and noisy neighbours from Gaul.  Great to get the figures out and great to have Steve back at the  club gaming after a very busy  period with work. 

Maybe next time those Gauls will pick the right field to do battle upon.


Tuesday, 17 May 2022

A small GdA Napoleonic 1809 encounter

The Austrians advance on their right flank against a slower moving French brigade

 Just a quick post to capture the GdA game that Stanley and myself played at the club last week. A small encounter between two opposing divisions making their way towards their mustering points early in the campaign of 1809. Stan took the position of General Sacre Le Bleu ( we laughed all night - you really had to be their) and I was FML Rotten Von Kore.  Ah…it keeps us young!

We went into square early on the refused left flank and it deterred the French light cavalry
For some time, alongside their hesitant rolls. Eventually their Gallic nature would take over!

The advance up the left. Love the old club terrain for these nights as it’s 
durable, practical and saves me dragging down boxes of my own kit.

Stan hadn’t played General D’Armee for a while do it was another chance to reacquaint him with the tiles and continue the resurgence of Napoleonics at the club.

The Austrian Uhlans hit a line and make short work of them

The centre reveals the skirmish battle around the woods the Jagers taking on the French guns

It was a great game as always with Stan. Looking forward to the next one as soon as possible.

Once again it also demonstrates the wisdom of looking towards 15mm figures and games for a Wednesday night at the NWS. It is far easier to bring down a box file full of troops and play an interesting game on a 6 x 4 table than hauling large and heavy boxes of 28mm down the stairs, into the car and towards the hall let me assure you.

There was also a French v Bavarian affair on the next table which looked just as fascinating.  Great to see so many members showing a renewed interest in the best wargaming period of them all.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Marengo “Snappy Nappy” Campaign in a day

The table which would see the major battle of the 
Campaign contested.

We are very fortunate at the Napoleonic Wargaming Society.

We are a club that has the good fortune of having some very dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic members who are more than prepared to go the extra mile and put on events.  Once again, Darren has gone the extra mile for us by organising a most enjoyable campaign centred around the wonderful Marengo Campaign of 1800.

The map provided to the players. Possibly accurate, probably not.

For those not familiar with Snappy Nappy rules, the system is designed for quick battles on the table and large scale manoeuvring on a grand tactical basis. In my opinion this is where the strength of the rules lies. We have been dazzled by Peters wonderful Blunders on the Danube blog where he and his companions play some sensational campaigns so to play our own is a very real enjoyment.

There were five tables set up however none is knew for certain which roads led to which tables and the time taken to travel between them. 

The lull before the storm

Quite a bit going on across the theatre of operations 

General Victor aka Steve contemplates his “Great Escape”

So my role was that of the Austrian Commander in Chief General Michael von Melas.  On the forces of the “White Menace” ( old EEL joke there which I still find amusing) were Dave, Russell, John and Stephen. Opposing us were Mark, Andrew, Curtis, Steve B and Graham.

General Melas main road column 

General Vukossovich aka Russell reviews orders on his phone via text

Our original plan was to send Dave to defend the supply routes to our rest, Stephen to look after Turin and Russell was to protect the route to Brescia. 

I suspected that the main thrust of the French attack would be from Napoleon and General Suchet through the road from Nice.  To counter this we sent John to block the path we my main army preparing to follow him and reinforce the position.

The French construct their pontoon bridge and threaten General Hadick aka Stephens position
Curtis as General Duhesme and Graham aka General Lannes played a tough game

General Kaim aka Dave’s smiling now…whilst Russell receives new orders


How’s that for a wonderful model 

French forces hit General von Morzin under the guise of John in force 

What a day.

Dave and Russell trapped Steve between their two armies. With orders, all sent via text and hilarious to read back after the game, to ensure he could not escape and destroy him.  Sure enough…with the help of some tactical cards that Darren introduced for some of his own flair in the campaign, he escaped it what would be a fatal blow for the Hapsburgs.  The ability to double move and Napoleon enduring he had them was a critical and strategic triumph.

Stephen defended his position like a demon. General Melas sent additional light cavalry to help shore up his position against two French commands however the clever apportioning of the army pontoon bridging train to this command was to prove a master stroke.

Hussars sent to shore up Stephen

Steven B escapes the net…the bastard!

Napoleon and Suchet work their way to an advantage over the hard pressed Kaiserlicks

In the big showdown, John started well however the French began to wear him down. The advantage of French commanders bring more abundant than the Austrians was telling. I marched  up to restore the odds however this was greatly delayed by the road to the table being congested and halting any early relief.

The battle raged here but, alas, the French force of Steven B that had done so well to extricate itself from Russell and David, managed to cut off our lines and subsequently relieve Genoa.

So that’s how it all went together…if we only knew.

The French had won the day. For another point of view on the game pop over to Marks excellent blog Blog

What a wonderful day and enormous thanks to Darren for his magnificent job in organising the game, the lovely paper city models, terrain and maps and to Mark for his wonderful figures.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

GdA at the Napoleonic Wargaming Society

Not a particularly good photo but proof that I do actually play 15mm as well

Just a very quick post to show a couple of shots of a wargame we played last night at the club.  Chris had played a couple of introductory scenarios that had been linked for dome new players to the NWS and this was the third.  

As you can see we prefer using our 15mm figures on a Wednesday night as there is less yo bring in and carry, we can generally utilise the clubs 1980’s style terrain😉 and a great game can be played on a 6 x 4 table.

In fact right next to us, Guido, Cody, Martin and Angus were playing another 1809 General D’Armee game with Cookie umpiring.

Chris put together a very well balanced scenario

Lots of enjoyment with hall jam packed with games, which is always tremendous. 

Monday, 25 April 2022

Quatre Bras proves a hard nut for Ney to crack

Merlens Light cavalry brigade - 5th Light Dragoons and 6th Hussars

Following on from our delays due to Covid isolation and work schedules, the crew got together to fight the rest of our battle for the crossroads.  Well except poor John whose daughter had been out and about as young people do and had tested positive the day before. We had a number of reserves keen and ready and Phil W became our new General Byljandt.

They are coming from that way lads!

French brigades advance though as some friendly battalions are retreating from
excellent fire from the Dutch Militia

The French infantry have now pushed the Belgian line and Jagers back

The French had battled with pushing down the left flank through a combination of command hesitancy rolls as well as the extraordinary defence of the central and allied left by Byljandt, so deftly played by the now isolating John. Phil would have big shoes to fill.

Unformed columns from retreating friends get held up in the advance

French reserve cuirassiers

Still a formidable defensive line to face for  Ney

The Brunswickers finally move into position for a second defensive line

A nice view of the gathering assault that is being prepared for Saxe-Weiner

The Brunswick Avante Garde in manoeuvre mode

Within the allied ranks, the satisfaction that the French had failed to cross the stream before all their reinforcing brigades had arrived on table was quite heartening.  The British reinforcing brigades on the right were preparing themselves whilst the Dutch, Brunswicker and Belgian units are now well ensconced into position.

The French frustration with getting the worse of the firefights across the front was also starting to appear- always great yo see the Gallic tempers start to rise…in good humour of course as always.

This 12lb battery performed admirably throughout 

The French start to breakthrough on their left near the woods as they start to crack
the very well coordinated Nassau walnut

However the Allies do have a welcoming party ready for just such an occurrence 

Merlens Dutch Belgian brigade struggled to find space to effective force their way
Into the battle. Here they move again in the rear looking for a potential gap to fill

Another view of the Dutch-Belgian line

Another view of the British lines

The congestion of approach was starting to frustrate out brave French Generals.  The scenario design was working perfectly.

French lancers supported by horse artillery

Love that old Hinchcliffe caission - still looks perfect for our games alongside
all those modern figures from Perry Miniatures and Front Rank

The final Nassau battalion has retreated and the French have now taken the ridge

Defence in depth

British Regiments on the March

Across the battle front spanning the tables short width

That’s an old Hinchcliffe bridge I picked up twenty years ago whilst in Adelaide for business 
and a tabletop favourite. It still looks the part on the table.

With each passing turn that the French are unable to break through, the Dutch on the left, now well reinforced by the Black Brunswickers, are becoming tougher to dislodge while the Nassau of Saxe-Weimar are now very solidly backed up by Highland and British line regiments.

Another view of the centre of the battlefield

Skirmishers exchange shots across the stream. French and Brunswickers look for the edge

There goes those light cavalry of Merlen once again - frustrations mounting on the allied side as 
well as they still seek to impact on the contest 

The French horse artillery has now taken the advantage of the heights to reign some fire upon
the Allied formations ahead of them. Will that be enough or is time now against Marshall Ney?

Not only the allied cavalry is suffering from the tightness of the attack frontage. Here the
French light cavalry have also been looking for a way forward to try and change the flow

Turn 14 and the Allies have neatly fought the French to a standstill - almost

A great view from the allied left across the table

The Dutch- Belgians have finally faltered and headed towards their armies rear. Black
Brunswicker Hussars await any enemy brigade skirmishers who may raise their heads

Slightly out of sequence but too good a view to leave out.

As an aside, I was most fortunate to pick up all my metal Brunswickers from the wonderfully talented Perry twins in person many moons ago when travelling yo the UK from Australia on business. A wonderful afternoon enjoying a pint or two at their local pub and then back to Alan’s for tea and a tour. 

Great fun…however I digress.

Customers even liked the bare metal figures. Word of advice; always go through the channel
manned by middle aged men. They all love toy soldiers!

Some excitement in the centre as the 1st Chasseurs a Cheval, resplendent in their
1815 caskets, charge the Brunswickers who have failed to form square

Four casualties but not a rout. Good dice rolling once again from the Anglo-Dutch side

French cavalry look to exploit the success 

Bristling British Brigades - how’s that for Napoleonic alliteration?

Brunswickers prepare for action whilst the Dutch Belgians in the rear, of course, rally with
great dice rolling. On this day the gods of got tune were definitely Dutch.

The view across the centre

Those rallying troops looking good

French columns are now in fewer numbers, almost none of them fresh.  The attack starts
to lose its impetus and tun out of steam

The key aspect of the success on the French side was to be speed in the attack and hitting the allies in force before they could have their reserves arrive and tip the scales back in their direction.  They look the strongpoint very early in the piece however they found it’s positioning almost a hindrance.  The early French lancer charge on the Nassau position on the right faltered from fine fire whilst the French infantry columns found themselves  on the allied left being shot to pieces. A few terrible “Discipline Tests”  caused the flow of the attack to hit some speed humps.

The Duke of Brunswick - in this game he survived Quatre Bras

Love the old Foundry Horse artillery gigures

Another view of the skirmishing across the stream and “Hinchcliffe Bridge”

French Cuirassiers

Alas the punch through the crossroads was not to  The allies performed admirably in setting up enough delay with Byljandt and Saxe-Weimar to ensure all the reserves would arrive in good order.  Well done Peter, John and Phil of the bench.

For the French it was a battle of what might have been. They contemplated forming a Grand Battery to soften the allied line for the column assaults however that plan was not fully implemented. Angus and Martin were both playing their first large games of General D’Armee and did extremely well. However the congestion was hard got them to do all the manoeuvre they desired. Chris, a more experienced player went very well on the French left however the defence against his forces was very well handled.

We had an immense amount of fun and we were all fed far too well by the ever supportive Fiona. Thank you for that my dear.

It was such a great opportunity to get a fair few of my 1815 figures out for a game and to have so many good friends around to play with. Another one next month I think.