Monday, 30 August 2010

New Arrivals and a New Battle

It's been a quiet period at the garage for the past couple of weeks due in main to the end of one battle followed by a protracted series of map moves in which six opposing armies managed to dance around each other without coming to grips.  Fortunately for all of us Neil decided to try and take Erfurt but discovering that it was strongly garrisoned turned back in the direction he had come from only to find Dom's army sitting across his lines of communication at Gotha.

Pre 1809 Elizabethgrad Hussars take on a squadron of the 2nd lancers, two newly arrived units both painted by Neil Sheardown.

For Neil there was no choice but to fight if he wanted to reopen his lines of communication but Dom with a weakend force had a difficult decision to make.  In the end the presence of the reserve grenadier division attached to his army made his mind up for him and he decided to make a stand.  This led to us setting up the terrain for the battle of Gotha a task which takes some time and so it wasn't until this week that we got the game under way.

More new arrivals, two of the four battalions of Elite Russians painted by Alan Tuckey of Blue Turkey painting service (email address at the bottom of the page) flags as always by GMB. 

In an effort to make a more interesting battlefield which used both tables and allowed us to play the game with some depth the table was set up with the French defensive line angled back on the right flank.  This area was left open enough to hopefully negate the problems of fighting across the gap in the tables but time will tell if this has been successful.  The opening moves have been relatively cagey so far, Dom has loaded up his left flank and centre, leaving the right open but with enough reserves to cover the gap if necessary.  Neil began the game with only two divisions deployed and has bided his time until his reserves arrive, he has a large numerical advantage, mainly in infantry but also in artillery once his army is complete.  This should allow him to pick his point of attack after  forcing Dom to deploy his reserves so it would appear that at the moment the Allies have the upper hand though it's still a close call.

The battlefield from the Northeast, the French lines run from the two villages on the near table back towards Gotha on the rear table and then to the village just visible at the back of the table.

On Wednesday we got as far as turn eight most of which was taken up by rolling for the arrival of new troops and artillery duels, during which both sides have have a gun destroyed by artillery fire.  A relatively rare occurence in ITGM.  Neils troops are now on average fighting their third battle in as many weeks of game time and the influx of replacements has had an effect on their level of experience but it is still a potent force.  Dom on the other hand has a smaller force but much of it is well trained with the added bonus of the elite division.  So it appears that this should be a test of quality or quantity?  Maybe we'll find out on Wednesday night.

Calpe Prussian Horse Artillery not actually taking part in this game but another new arrival at the garage.

As promised the Blue Turkey painting service can be contacted at http://www.blueturkey.co.uk/

Thursday, 12 August 2010

French Victory at Seehausen

The campaign game at Seehausen came to an end last night by mutual consent of both sides.  Nicks' attack floundered against Erics' defence and it was agreed that no further purpose would be served by continuing.  So what went wrong for the Allies who have so far been the dominant side in the campaign?  Well with the 20-20 vision of hindsight Nicks' decision to attack through the centre was always going to be difficult to carry out.  The Allied right was open terrain and Nick sensibly placed heavy cavalry there, though he also placed a heavy division on his left wing where the ground was much less favourable to cavalry.

The battlefield from the mid left of the Allied line.  Prussians attempt to get forward against the French held villages but are thwarted by cavalry and lines of infantry.

This splitting of his cavalry strength left Nick at a numerical disadvantage on the right where his squadrons were soundly beaten by the French heavies.  From this point onwards the task for the Allies was going to be extremely difficult.  The infantry supporting the Allied cavalry was unable to advance and therefore spent the rest of the game trading artillery at long range and the French with their left flank now secure were able to channel more reserves into the centre.

Line infantry supported by Landwehr, having finally cleared the woods on each flank find themselves unable to reach their objective due to heavy fire and heavy cavalry.

With both flanks stalemated the game now revolved around the fight for the two villages in the centre.  The right hand one of the two from the Allied side was to be assaulted by the Russians and the left hand one by Prussians.  The Russians had by far the more difficult task, their right flank was now threatened by cavalry and the front of the village was an area of broken ground making a frontal assault almost impossible.

Russian troops try in vain to get past the various obstacles in their path in order to launch an assault on the village.  French reserves, by this time outnumbering the attackers wait to counter attack.

On the Russian left the Prussians pushed slowly forward but having taken too long to clear the woods on their flanks found the French well positioned and ready for them.  With too much of their strength used up forcing single battalions out of the woods the remaining Prussians were never going to be able to absorb the casualties they would incur assaulting the village and they began to edge left in order to avoid the volley fire of French lines.  At this point it was decided by all that there was little else to be gained as the Allies had decided to withdraw and so we started to clear away.  It was a bit of a shame that the game had ended so quickly and I think much of it was due to me having allowed the French reserves to arrive a little too quickly.  A slower and more spaced out arrival would have made the French line harder to hold, as it was by the time the Allies got into position the French reserves had either arrived or were practically in position, it's one that I'll have to think about for future games.

Four Prussian battalions capture the woods from a single French battalion, a case of overkill which denied troops to the Prussian main attack.

One of the highpoints of last night was that we had a visit from Justin Davey, a one time regular who decided to take a break from painting and gaming.  Justin brought along his first painting project for some time which came as a very nice surprise.  This vignette of Napoleon and some of his mates all beautifully painted and laid out.  I think the figures are foundry which are small by most modern standards being more of a true 25mm casting.

Justins' first project in over a year, he was going to throw the figures away and then had a change of heart and decided to paint them.

Finally I was asked what camera Neil Braddon uses for the pictures which are used here on the blog and he informs me that it's a Canon EOS 450D, most shots are 18-55 IS some are 55-250 IS whatever that means.