The Excellent Blenheim Demo Game at Salute.
The one real high point of the whole thing for me was the Blenheim game shown above. All of the figures were painted by just two people, one of which is the guy on the right in the white T shirt. This game proved to be one of the few where the people running it were enthusiastic about talking to visitors and answering questions.
But enough of Salute, what of Smolensk? Well to the relief of all involved it is now over. In hindsight it would probably have been better to have finished it after the first day. The second phase of the battle despite some prodigious efforts by the French cavalry eventually became bogged down in an attritional battle where most of the fighting was being done by the artillery and the game was finally abandoned as a draw.
The Austrian centre and left flank.
Of course this has given us an opportunity to start a new game which Eric quickly devised. The scenario is one of a good quality but smaller French force attempting to force its way through a combined Austrian and Wurtemburg force in order to re-open its lines of communication.
Wurtemburg infantry prepare for an assault by the Young Guard.
We've decided to try restricting the artillery a little in this game so four gun batteries are reduced to three guns and three gun batteries are reduced to two guns. This makes quite a difference to the effectiveness of horse artillery and makes all batteries more vulnerable to cavalry charges.
French "Guard" heavies about to charge an Austrian column.
We've had to substitute line dragoons for the guard heavies and Westphalian guard for the old guard as despite having between four and a half to five thousand figures there are no French guard infantry or cavalry in the garage. To be honest they're rarely used and I'd rather have line units which get an airing nearly every time we play. The guard will arrive eventually but I need more Russians and Prussians first.
The Austrian left flank advancing to counter the cavalry threat.
All in all this looks like being an interesting scrap, though the French will, in the words of Eric have to be clever to pull it off. I'll keep you posted.