Monday, 21 May 2018

Austerlitz, 2018

Long time, no post...

One of my gaming buddies is an avid fan of Napoleonics and organised a game with a few other people. Years ago he had played the Battle of Austerlitz using Napoleon's Battles with a friend who has since passed away. That friend's collection was still intact, in the possession of a family member who generously lent it to us to re-play the game.

My knowledge of the period and experience with gaming it are next to zilch. Two weeks ago we had a small run through at David's house- that is the extent of my previous experience.

Although briefing started at 8:00 I didn't arrive until 9:00 but by 9:45 or so we were deploying miniatures. A heavy fog filled the valley, obscuring the forward elements of the French army. The view from the Allied right wing, as the Dokturov deploys the Allied left wing. Solkonitz castle is seen at the centre-top of the photo:
The allied centre after deployment:
From the left wing:

Mid morning, as the fog rolls up the valley, the allied left wing advances hard on the french around Solkonitz (the golden eagle beside the command stand on the hill on the right shows us where Prince Alexander, the Russian commander sits, maximising his command range):
The allied right wing arrives on the table and pushes forward. threatening what looks like a lonely unit of French light cavalry:
The Allied centre and left wing (at the left edge of the picture) push their attack on Solkonitz (the blurry figure in the foreground is Prince Alexander):

The same attack from the french side; the left wing of the allies has melted away, leaving the centre to carry on:
The defense of Solkonitz not only holds but leaves almost the entire allied centre is disarray (the cotton smoke marks units in 'Disorder'):

A bit of bobbing and weaving going on on the Allied right flank. The french light cavalry have been pushed back and the fog has lifted to expose the previously obscured French troops:
A shot of the allied centre and left wing near the end of the game follows. In the background, the allied left wing is gone and the French advance out of Solkonitz and across the river; the Russian reserve continues to advance however they will soon be enveloped; and remember how I kept mentioning Prince Alexander earlier? Well, in the upper left hand corner, on the edge of the photo you can just make out the pennants of the French lancers that charged up the hill and captured him. The golden eagle moved to the right of centre with Kuzutov(sp?) as he comes on from reserve:

Back to the allied right wing. French reserves come in to respond to the valiant efforts on the Allied right wing; the french 12pdr in the defensive position on the hill (middle-right of photo) causes just enough damage to prevent the allies from getting close enough to do some real damage. The game ends with my command so damaged (too many units lost) that it is no longer able to go on the offensive.
We called time at 1:00pm game time, that was 7:45pm in Real Time- a very long game.The end result was some-what historical: the French were victorious however they didn't punch through the centre as happened in "Real Life" as I understand it but crushed the allied left wing (which in our re-fight, never gained Solkonitz and then lost it again). The Allied right under Bagration did it's job, stalling the French attack for as long as it could and I don't believe the french captured Prince Alexander as happened in our game.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Not much to post... just rearranged command stands that include a few newly painted models. The first is Prince Rupert (Perry's mounted Officer) with previously painted staff:
The second command stand utilizes the previously painted Cromwell model from Warlord with a Perry's mounted officer and an Ensign made from a Warlord plastic Pikeman:

Monday, 5 December 2016

For shits and giggles I fiddled around with my ECW units with an eye towards the ECW version of  To The Strongest!. The units were originally on trays for Pike and Shotte but the models are based individually or in pairs so I can use different trays. Contemporary artists seem to show regiments looking more like 'blocks' as opposed to lines and I wanted to see how they looked on the table. I rather like the look.

The 40x40 trays are from Warbases and were used for Victory Without Quarter and Warr Without an Enemie. 3 trays across is just about 1mm to big to fit in the grid boxes I have on that mat; but if I order some 120mm x 80mm trays... problem solved!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The last few weeks have been rather disrupted; a house reno that was supposed to last a week  turned into a three week affair. Not much hobby-ing got done. One thing I did while the kitchen was a mess was tart up an old GW 'Battlemat' by adding some spray paint and static grass here and there. I also added a grid so I could play some games of To the Strongest! on it.

With the reno halted I got a few toy soldiers out for a brief solo game to get my head around the rules (actually quite easy to do). A new direction for me: I hadn't much experience with card driven games before; a couple of games each of the Sword and The Flame and Victory Without Quarter both of which were not entirely reliant on cards as TTS! is. Neither had I played any grid-based games. I was more concerned that I would have a problem with the former rather than the latter as the grid seems restrictive when I imagine how it would play out. As it turned out, that wasn't a problem. The game is very easy to pick up and I found the card use very efficient and intuitive; I didn't find the grid limiting. The grid-based movement doesn't really prevent you from doing a lot of the things you would do without it and not having to be specific in measuring was quite liberating! 

     As it was a just a brief run through I only used a Command per side:
- Andalusian Taifa Kingdoms:  a unit each of Veteran Cavalry w/javelins, Cavalry w/javelins, light cavalry w/bows, Shieldwall infantry, Bowmen, Crossbowmen
 - Christian Spanish w/Frankish mercenarys: a unit of cavalry w/javelins, shieldwall, bowmen, veteran cavalry, veteran shieldwall. For what it's worth, the Andalusians' had a slight advantage in points.

     I also only used half the terrain recommended as I was only using a Command per side and to keep things simple. The terrain placement system worked quite well with a couple of pieces being removed before the game and a couple shifting around a bit. I also didn't use the 'Stratagems' cards (all the face cards from the game decks) although these look like they could add quite a bit to the game; neither did make use of 'Heros'; once again, I was just trying to get feel for the game.

Here are Andalusians on the left, Christian Spanish on the right:

In an effort to protect the bowmen, the Andalusian Nobles charge the Frankish foot. Oddly enough the cavalry are seen off by the Franks who, in their following turn charge the archers, and are repelled in a similar fashion!

The Andalusian light cavalry sneak around the shrubbery whilst the Spanish infantry are held in place by the Andalusian infantry.
The Jinetes on the other flank attempt the same maneuver, only this time their target is the Frankish cavalry.
Which they do at the same time as the Andalusian foot break through the Spanish cavalry and bowmen, leaving just the Frankish foot (seen hiding in rough terrain in the background).

One aspect of the game that may not appeal to some are the cards on the table; the cards used for activation get placed behind the units they apply too (I removed them for the photos). It can get crowded especially when you have 2 or 3 grid boxes adjacent to each other and there are two units in a couple of those boxes. The Big Red Bat Shop sells chits for use in place of cards (as well as ammo markers and such) and they take up much less space. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Mule train is finished!
The base is four 40x40mm square plastic Renedra bases glued together with sculpting putty to add extra strength. I also used the putty to affix the models to the bases. Here with sand/gravel and some grey stuff rocks:

Here primed with Vallejo Parched Grass primer and painted with a mix of Tamiya paints:
... and based using a range of products (Army Painter highland tufts, various Gamers Grass tufts, Woodland Scenics static grass and clump foliage):

Sunday, 11 September 2016

More WIP stuff...

The drover for the mule train is finished he just needs his animals done.
Not a particularly nice sculpt- I didn't really enjoy painting him; some of the sculpting seemed a bit "messy". A bit of an after though compared to the mules which, I think are quite nice:
Earlier this year I made a command stand using Warlord Games' Cromwell model, my intention being to use
him as Prince Rupert. As soon as I started painting him I knew it wasn't the model for the job but I carried
on with the command stand anyway:
I have since bought a blister of Mounted Commanders from the Perry's as there is a model that I think will do the job of Rupert (I wanted a more static pose for the command stand instead of Warlord's charging model). Two more models to paint and they should be done. The first with unpainted "Rupert" and metal Warlord foot command models:
The second with the newly painted mounted Commander, the old "Rupert" and an unpainted ensign from the Warlord plastic foot:

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Not a big update. First a WIP of a generic ECW Royalist commander  from the Perry Miniatures range:

I also have Warlord's Mule Train prepped, primed and ready for paint:

Earlier I finished some scrub bases. I made these in mind for Jeff's Afristan colonial campaign using the Sword and The Flame rules. The last pic shows some rough ground markers I made a few months ago for the same campaign.