Friday, 12 March 2010

Grinding On

Once again apologies for the delay in posting, though this time it has been due to me building my new computer and transferring the necessary files etc. across from the old one.  Did I say building?  Well yes I did and to be honest it couldn't have been much simpler.  The components were all pretty much plug in or at most needed a few screws and everything worked first time, including the new windows 7 operating system.  Now all I had to do was get on to the internet.  This should be easy but proved far more difficult than the construction phase.  Suffice to say though everything is now up and running and so to the report of the final part of Eric's trilogy of encounters.

Surviving Austrian infantry attempt to take on three times their number of fresh troops.

You may have noticed in the last post a somewhat downbeat mood emenating from the Allied command team and this week things were no different.  The arrival of Allied reinforcements in the shape of a heavy cavalry division and an elite infantry division had the effect of clogging up what little space to maneouvre that remained.  The fight continued to be contested by the same battered formations that had been there from the start as there was nowhere else for them to go. 

Russian Dragoons launch themselves against infantry squares in a vain attempt to gain some space.

It does seem that everything that the Allies tried was doomed to failure and this was in large part due to the near impassable terrain that they were expected to cross in order to come to grips with the enemy.  Erics' justification was that the French had lower quality troops to defend with which is fair enough but the trick in using that technique is getting the balance right.  In truth the French could have straw filled dummies for most of their battalions because they were never called on to fight. 

Adding insult to injury a division of Young Guard arrive to join the fun.

When the Allied infantry did finally make its way through the artillery fire to the French infantry they were badly worn and often could not be reinforced as the troops behind them were unformed by the terrain.  The game went on for another three turns and then we called it a day and set about putting the toys away. 

A panoramic view of the situation close the end of the game.

I think it's true to say that this game didn't work out as expected.  To be fair to Eric he has produced three battles in this mini campaign, the first two of which worked extremely well.  I think we all failed to spot the danger of too much restrictive terrain and the two extra twelve pounder batteries in redoubts was a bit of overkill.  Hopefully in future we'll also make sure that troops don't start the game deployed within effective range of artillery as this leaves them with no option other than to assault the guns regardless of other threats. 

Austrian grenadiers about to charge into the arms of the waiting French.

Our next game should start next week and is loosely based on the battle of Smolensk.  Not one that any of us know much about, which should make for an interesting game.


Rafael Pardo said...

Wow, that Young Guard division looks terrific! How many figures?

Noel said...

Hi Rafa, there are six battalions each of 32 figures, so 132 in all.


Chris Cornwell said...

OI!!..why's that Wurtemburg foot battery covered in rings (including an officer casualty) and still stuck in the front line?
I didn't paint those just for them to get shot to bits etc etc...chunter ...moan...

Paulalba said...

Great reading,
Excellent looking battle but poor allied forces!

Doc Smith said...


Funny old things some wargames scenarios - making all that interesting terrain to fight in always seems like a good idea. Problem is that the artillery tends to cover all the open bits where you'd normally maneuver - so everything there gets shots to bits and either side of these areas ends up in a useless traffic jam!

Once spent the better part of three days at a convention once stuck in just that kind of traffic jam. Its understandable how you'd get a bit downcast.

Still, some things also tend to lighten the mood - like your Austrian Grenadiers (charge anything those boys) getting stuck into those hordes of Frogs who obviously had goaded them with nasty taunts about their silly hats.


Noel said...

Doc, I think you've hit the nail on the head. The open ground becomes killing lanes for artillery and the rough terrain breaks up any cohesion.
It probably sounds a bit churlish to be so negative about a scenario someone has put effort into, it's not intended to be.

Chris, the Wurtemburgers seem to be falling foul of the old "just one more round before I limber up" mentality.


Doc Smith said...

Cheers Noel - I didn't intend to denigrate your mate's scenario efforts either but it ran a bell with me. I was up against a $%#^&y 'rules lawyer' type (playing 'Elan') and he had covered a huge piece of open ground with a massed battery of some ten or twelve guns and about four howitzers. After you've had the second unit (even in open order!) blown away you tend to say 'stuff it - not worth playing here anymore'. To be frank, it ruined what should have been an exiting scenario of a Leipzig-type battle. I was just as offended for the young players we were introducing to Napoleonics. Not exactly an encouraging welcome!


murat said...

Hi Noel,
thanks for your comment,i just finished a manor house acw
conversion today,I also made an arched stone bridge , i posted it today. Hope you like it .
Sorry to see Eric's campaign finish , it was good to see a french victory
Can't wait to see the smallensk campaign start.
Say Hi to all the gang. Billy.

Galpy said...

Man there are a lot of minatures on that table looks great, have had the same trouble with all that great lookiong terrain getting in the road of a good game.