Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Remember me?

I have to admit that I've been a bit tardy in my blogging efforts of late and to be honest I'm not really sure why.  It would be easy to blame the Christmas and New year period, work commitments or myriad other things but the fact is I'm blessed with copious amounts of spare time regardless of the time of year and the requirement to earn a living.  So I won't make excuses, it appears that I'm just an idle bugger.

Ok then, now that's out of the way a quick update should be in order.  The second game in Eric's trilogy is over and I'll allow Eric to tell the sordid tale in his own words.

"Hmmm, can I get away with this with three of them watching?"

This is a shorter report than the last one because 1) I didn't take as much notice of what was going on and 2) It wasn't as good a battle. At the end of the last report I promised to "embrace the gap", what I actually did was ignore it in designing the game, which had the unfortunate effect of having nearly all the players trying to stand in the same area. Something to think on for further design.

Embracing the gap

The battle setup had a large French column moving along a road through wooded and hilly terrain. Their path was blocked by a decent Prussian force with a Russian corps moving up through open terrain to the right of the Prussians. Small Polish and Austrian forces would turn up later on the allied left. The French had a slight advantage in infantry and the allies in cavalry.

The action opened with the French vanguard attacking the Prussians in the woods. Although the Prussians had the numbers, many of them were Landwehr and the terrain favoured the French (the rules have French staying formed more easily in rough ground). The dense forests broke up many formations and no-one could set up decent fire zones. Combats were small and not always easy of the winners to follow up from. Prussian numbers eventually told and the late arriving Prussian heavies had a field day against retreating French infantry.  The 2nd French division could not support the 1st given the terrain and tried to attack through woods towards the allied centre, held by another Prussian division. The broken terrain and the disaster happening to their right left the attack ill-coordinated and the half-hearted attempts were easily dealt with. The attack should have been helped by their 3rd division but this took too long to come up as it moved around deployed artillery and some Cossacks made a real nuisance of themselves. Before they even saw any action the 3rd division was pulled back to redeploy into the gap left by the lost 1st.

On the French left their 4th division was of poor quality confederation troops who moved forward to try and pin down the Russians. Against two Russian foot batteries and a horse battery this was asking a lot of them. Their advance only got as far as it did because the Russian player (Noel) wanted to lure them on. They were later supported by a Young Guard division, but this was not put to any serious test.

The left also had the French Cuirassier division. The real hammer in the French arsenal, unmatched by the allied cavalry - or so we thought. As they moved up to aid the confederation attack they were met and defeated by Russian hussars. It meant that any French attack was doomed to failure. The only reason the French left survived the battle mostly intact was the timidity of the Russian commander who outnumbered them in every arm.

A timid Russian commander earlier.

On the extreme French right the Austrian and Polish reinforcements turned up, had their own little scrap and were ignored by everyone else. The Poles won a hard little action by virtue of superior morale, but had little left to influence the rest of the battle.
The last action was left to the French 3rd division, redeployed to face the victorious Prussians. Although they managed to see off the remaining Landwehr, the Prussian regulars proved too much and too many for them and they broke. With the Prussian cavalry ready to sweep up the remnants the battle was declared an Allied victory and ended.
The French had attacked one division at a time which proved their downfall. Their attack against the Russians was ill-conceived (I don't think they listened to the briefings that said the Russians were supposed be attacking them) and completely failed when their Cuirassiers lost. The actions in the semi-wooded terrain was tricky for both sides and provided a different experience to the normal massed column action we experience.
Next we try the trickiest two table set-up of all. Six feet of the gap will be filled with terrain (Noel has carefully positioned the tables to this can be done), whilst the rest will stand for mostly impassible ground. This means potentially two separate battles, but I'll try and set it up so that there is plenty of interaction between the two.

Once again, thanks to Eric for setting up the game and writing the battle report.  There's a bit of a lull at the garage lately, this has been due to various reasons such as illness, work and Dom having to get his megagame sorted out in Falmouth for the 16th of Jan.  However we're hoping to get together tomorrow evening to do some admin type jobs, and possibly set up the terrain for the final battle in the mini campaign.  I'll definitely be updating the blog this weekend as I've just been out taking photo's of the latest troops to arrive from the painting robot also known as Neil Sheardown.


War Depot said...

Great post mate. I like the idea of the charts on the walls.

Stryker said...

I've was wondering how having the gap worked in practice knowing that sods law will probably lead the action to it! Reminds me of when I was a kid and my dad cut a manhole in the middle of our train layout right where I though we should have a scale model of Paddington Station.

Another great looking game and excellent battle report.