Friday, 30 October 2009

In the absence of...

I was hoping to be able to show some more photos from the last two weeks gaming but it appears that our lensmen have all been struck down by a terrible case of apathy, so I've decided to show a few more shots from the previous weeks.
This first one is another angle showing the strangely popular Austrians. Strangely popular to me that is, I have to admit that whilst not actively disliking the Austrians, I'm not their greatest fan. To me they're a pretty non-descript bunch and given the choice I'd pretty much choose any other army than the Austrians. However I know for a fact that they are a great favourite with lots of other people. There are two committed Austrophiles who are regulars here at the garage and I've met many others. Then again I've also met many train spotters.

Moving swiftly on, we have a panoramic view of the battlefield in the early stages of the game taken from the Allied right. The first Austrian reinforcements have arrived and the Allies are advancing along the whole of this front. On the right of Steve (strange looking bloke in the middle) the Prussians having been held up for some time by the French heavy cavalry are starting to force their way through the woods and shake out into a battle line.

This shot gives a better idea of what was happening in the Prussian sector. In the right foreground the Westfalian division with a couple of other battalions attached, having arrived on the battlefield push forward to stem the Prussians who can be seen lining the woods. To the left of the Westfalians the Wurtenburgers move up in support. Behind them the heavy cavalry fall back to take up a reserve position. In the end the French were guilty of sending far too many of their reserves to face the Prussians, giving the Allied centre and especially the allied right a much easier job of forcing back the French main line.

And Finally... the unsung heroes of the Allied triumph, a Russian six gun twelve pounder battery which dealt death and destruction to all who had the temerity to show themselves. Unlike the Russian six pounder batteries which were forcibly split into three gun sections by Eric's Francophile orbat, this battery was extremely effective and because of the flatness of the terrain in the area there were few places to hide from its attentions.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Eric's Battle Continued

I received a few more photo's of Eric's battle in my email the other day so I thought it only right to share some of them with you. This first one is the initial outing of the Wurtemburg division which Chris painted. It will shortly be embellished by the addition of its own skirmishers and a light cavalry regiment, (though this will probably spend most of its time on detachment in a light cavalry division). These chaps have turned up as a reserve formation and are rushing to stem the onslaught of the Prussians.

It seems that the French have had the best of all the cavalry combats so far and this one was understandably no exception. These poor sons of the Rodina were sacrificed in order to satisfy Neils' bloodlust. They allowed another of their squadrons to get into position to charge the rear of a fleeing mass of French infantry. I'm at a bit of a loss to know what kind of threat the infantry posed but Neil seems chuffed about the whole idea and anyway cavalry combats are always good fun.

This one is especially for you Rafa, as you can see there is a little bit of open ground left, though in truth this is only due to the lack of figures to fill it with. This one is taken at some indeterminate point in the game so I'm not totally sure of the situation. However, roughly the Russians and Austrians are on the furthest table and are making a concerted push forwards. On the right where Steve (in dark blue) is, the Prussians are beginning to force their way out of the woods. This has become easier since the French were forced to redeploy their heavy cavalry.
On the left in the foreground are troops from Dom's command in the process of pulling back to form a defesive line against the Russians who are advancing on the Allied right.

A division of Westfalians advancing in support of the French right. These were painted by Neil Sheardown whose contribution to the garage in terms of figures is by far the largest of anyones. Again this is a reserve division which along with the Wurtemburgers who can be seen in the background are being channeled to the French right. The French position has become "L" shaped by now and seems to getting boxed in with not enough room to manouevre.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Eric's Battle

I thought it would be a good idea to post a few more photos of our current game, which for want of a proper name I'm referring to as Eric's Battle. The game continued up to turn 16 last night and various reinforcements have arrived on both sides. The French received an allied corps made up of Wurtemburg and Westphalians and the Allies recieved an Austrian Grenadier division and a Cuirassier division. This first shot shows the grenadiers as they push through the lines of their Russian allies in order to assault a French held village.
Old Glory Swiss painted by Dom which form part of the French attack on the Allied right flank. Here supported by a rather tatty old foot battery which will shortly be retired and some French light cavalry. The horsemen were to later cover themselves in glory by soundly defeating a force of Russian Uhlans.

Prussians from Steve's command struggling to deploy through the woods on the French right flank. Their job has been made all the more difficult by a French heavy cavlry division which is positioned to pounce on any unwary troops. One battalion square has already been cut down and the others are understandably nervous.

Calpe Prussian Landwehr painted by Neil Sheardown. These lads only arrived a short while ago and will eventually be joined by another two battalions. Neil's going to be painting some of the new Calpe Saxons which I may have mentioned before and I'm really looking forward to seeing them. Hopefully Calpe will be producing Saxon cavalry in time.

Finally a head on shot of the grenadier division. These are a mix of battalions from Elite and Front Rank. As you can see the Elite ones are still waiting to recieve their standards but were rushed into action anyway.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Prussian Line

I've finally gotten around to finishing the Calpe Prussians that I featured here a couple of months ago and this is the end result. Not the best of photos but they give a general idea. I found them particularly easy to paint even though it took me a long time to finally finish them. I haven't come across any other 28mm figures which in my opinion are anything like as good as the Calpe range. If you haven't already done so take a look at the new Saxon figures on the website.
The flag as always is from GMB though if it's the correct one for the unit I'll be amazed. I just picked out one that looked good.
Actually they're not completely finished yet as I'm awaiting the arrival of some grass tufts to finish off the bases. I saw them on Chris's blog and liked the idea. So maybe once that's done I'll get Neil or Nick to take a good picture and post that as well.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A Tale of Two Tables

A quiz question to start things off. What do you think the was the cause of these Austrian gunners looking like they've just had a fight in a talcum powder factory? Answer at the bottom of the page.

Well it took a long while to materialise but I've finally received at least one the commanders reports from our final campaign battle. It's short and concentrates on the action on the French right flank, but as I have only a hazy recollection now of what actually happened it might even be accurate.

Battle Report

The right flank…

…The plan according to Marshall Andy was for Steve and myself to assault and take the village on the right flank. Steve and I both had 6 Battalions of mixed ability and size – some 32s and some 36s.

In hindsight the assault on the village would have been easier with both divisions under one command. As it was though I had to rely on Steve doing what I thought he should & would do to support the attack.

Incredulously Steve elected to use his 12lb battery to act as counter battery fire rather than to control ground in front and to the side of the target village. Then he decided to exchange fire with the defenders of the village rather than engaging it in an assault. I am not sure if he was waiting for me to assault it first but I was caught up trying to peel of a few of Noels battalions and avoid his howitzers.

If, as Chris observed in previous comment on the last post featuring this battle, we had combined our guns to soften the target up for several turns and then a few more we may have been successful. As it was this did not happen and in order to avoid my boys getting obliterated going in I elected to try and draw of some defenders by going through the woods. There was some skirmish fire and then my battalions were getting set for the charge. That’s when Noels elite boys started to sting!

I charged and failed, if this had gone in a think I would have won the 1st round of melee and then would have broken through as Noel would not have been able to reinforce and I would have had 2 fresh battalions.

Instead I fled the other way through the woods. Steve was then flanked by Eric in support of Noel and the whole French right flank collapsed. It was a disaster. The French divisions were under strength and unbelievably outclassed by the opposition. Only a combined assault would have worked, and then it would have been in the hands of the Gods. Poor communication between two divisional commanders did not help, and my attempt to flank the Prussian’s through the woods was not in hindsight very wise.

Had the campaign continued Andy’s French would have been in utter rout from a collapsed right flank which would have swept up the whole battlefield.

Well there you have it, in fairness to Nick who wrote the report, he was left with the task as Andy was unable to make it to the garage for several weeks. The upside of this of course was that Andy was spared the horror of seeing his troops soundly thrashed.

On Thursday, though there were only five of us present we started a new game using both tables in their entirety for the first time. Until now the most we'd used had been one complete table and three feet of the second one. This now gave us a whopping 180 square feet to play on. Eric devised a scenario consisting of a Russo- Austrian force somewhat on the back foot and about to be pounced on by a stronger French force. Who in its turn suddenly finds that a Corps of Prussians has turned up on its flank and rear. I'll hopefully get Eric to write up an account of the battle though I haven't mentioned this to him yet. Nevertheless he is quite erudite and a shade more reliable than some of the other buffoons.
It was also on Thursday that Nick arrived proudly sporting his new camera. It is indeed very nice though I think he might want to spend some time learning how to use it. For some reason the pictures have come out very bright, possibly Nick's insistence on using the flash had some bearing on this. That said the photographic composition, artistic interpretation and subject matter are beyond reproach, so all in all a good start for the fledgling lensman.

And finally... the real reason you've bothered to read the rest of this rubbish, (that's assuming you didn't just scroll straight to the bottom). What happened to the poor old Austrians? Well those of you who clucked your tongues and muttered various sage comments on the pitfalls involved with spray varnish would be to a large extent wrong. I say to a large extent because this is in fact a prime example of what happens when you reach for the spray varnish and happen to pick up a tin of grey undercoat instead. These poor chaps along with the other three gun detachments in the battery bear mute testimony to old saying "look before you spray". Oh and before I get any derisory comments I was not the guilty person, however I feel it only fair to let the culprit remain anonymous in order to protect Eric's good name.