Monday, 24 November 2008

The Battle

Well, as promised, if a little delayed here is an account of our latest battle in words and pictures. Though I suspect the pictures will be the most interesting and illuminating part. It's a classic tale of France versus the rest of the world with French troops holding the approaches to Paris in the face of a large if inexperienced Allied force. For the uninitiated the boards which can be seen on the table are used for deployment purposes and allow for a certain amount of the fog of war. Units are written on the underside and are only turned face up once they come within 54" of any enemy who has a clear line of sight to them.
This game is Dom's first effort at providing a scenario and as you might expect a couple of minor problems were encountered. Firstly, due to the restricted space available in the garage, as can be seen from the picture both tables butt up against the wall at one end. Therefore when planning a game it's adviseable to ensure that any flank attacks or manouvres take place on the open end, thereby avoiding the players being crowded into the corner. Secondly there is an unavoidable 3 foot gap between the tables which makes it difficult to calculate distances and relative positions of troops. So it's better if the main combat takes place on one table with any break throughs or movement of reserves happening on the rear one. None of this of course is insurmountable.
Anyway, on with the game. As I'm on the Allied side, once again playing a Russian, this is purely from the allied side of the table. The Allies have the following troops available.
Two Divisions, each of 9 x 32 man battalions, a six gun 6pdr battery and 12 skirmishers. Two x 32 man heavy cavalry
One battalion of 32 jaeger, 2 x 36 man battalions, 6 x 48 man battalions, a four gun 6pdr battery, 24 x Light dragoons and 18 skirmishers.
Two Divisions, each of 9 x 32 man battalions, a four gun 6pdr battery, 12 skirmishers and two x 6 light cavalry.
Turn One
The allied plan was a relatively simlple one, the Russians would attack aggressively on the left with the Prussians demonstrating against the centre. This would hopefully draw off the French reserves allowing the Austrians who were not expected to arrive for a while, to hit the exposed French left flank and roll it up. However, unknown to the Prussians and Russians, Erics' Austrians had valiantly marched throught the night and arrived on turn one. It was too late to change anything so the Russians crossed the start line and headed towards their initial objective, a village to the front held by a French infantry division. The French team had opted to deploy along and behind a series of linear hills, (sadly on the rear table) and made no effort to oppose the allied advance other than a little desultory artillery fire. The immediate arrival of the Austrians however meant the French left was in danger of being engulfed and reinforcements began to deploy in support.
Turn Two
As turn two began, the visibility which had been down to 30" improved slightly and the Austrians continued to push against the French left, all but wiping out one unfortunate French battalion which had been left to buy time for its comrades to form a viable defence. The Prussians also began to trundle forward against the now reduced force holding the French centre, and on the allied left the Russian advanced troops began the task of clearing the skirmisher building to their front. A charge by the lead battalion and three rounds of combat left the building in Russian hands. However an 8pdr battery overlooking the scene caused heavy casualties on one of the lead Russian battalions.
This was as far as we got on the first evening having had to set up the battle and carry out briefings etc. The Allied players went home feeling confident and the French departed bemoaning their lack of cavalry. In the next thrilling installment turns 3,4 and maybe even 5.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Kirkee Day

I think I promised at some earlier stage in the blog to show a few shots of the 15mm stuff laid out prior to being sold. This is quite fortunate as we won't all be in the garage again until tomorrow evening and even then we may not end up with a game being played. There are still quite a few jobs that need to be finished off.
The picture above shows the majority of the Austrians which along with the Russians will make up the first batch to go. This next one shows the Russians in the foreground with the Austrians behind them and the French on the right of the table. Having seen these shots I'm almost wondering why we're selling them but I'm sure that this will pass once we start using the 28mm stuff again. Speaking of which I'm planning to do a turn by turn report on our next game, supported of course by lots of photos, the orbat and any briefings. Personally I always find these type of reports to be the most interesting and enjoyable thing to read about in wargaming. I vaguely remember reading the stories of Chas Grant and his son, and their fictional 18th century campaign and always wished that I could do something similar. So I'll be unleashing my particular brand of combat journalism on an unsuspecting world, (well the handful of people that read this blog at any rate), in the near future. The last photo shows 28mm Prussians painted by Neil Sheardown which I've added solely because I think It's a great picture. Unfortunately for these brave lads, having stormed over the wall they are about to recieve a devasting volley from a battalion of French veterans, shades of Gettysburg maybe?
Finally, an explanation of the title for this blog entry, To the uninitiated tonight is bonfire night or Guy Fawkes night. However to a select group of old comrades of mine and to those who have gone before or arrived since, it is also Kirkee Day. It's the day when members of 79 (Kirkee) Cdo Bty RA celebrate their battle honour awarded on this date in 1817. The Battery is currently on it's second Afghanistan tour, so to all members past and present, a happy Kirkee day, and may you have many more.