Saturday, 10 December 2011

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

Thursday night was a continuation of Erics' scenario which pitted a Russian force against French and allied defenders.  Early moves saw the introduction of a fresh heavy cavalry brigade for the Russians followed by more infantry on the French side.  This has left the Russians with twenty battalions in three divisions against twenty five French battalions in four divisions though the Russians have the advantage in heavy cavalry. 

Elite miniatures Russian dragoons and uhlans arrive to bolster the centre and drive a wedge between the two French infantry commands.

It was about this time that I realised that we'd actually achieved one the original aims that I'd had when I first decided to convert the garage into a gaming room.  This was the ability to fight large games using troops from just one of the allied nations that opposed the French rather than having to amalgamate divisions and corps from various nations.  We can now put on games using just Russians and to a lesser extent the Prussians, though the Austrians are as yet not available in large enough numbers especially the cavalry arm.
    My original plan had been for about sixty French and Allied battalions plus a division each of old and young guard along with enough cavalry and artillery to support them.  These would be opposed by approximately forty battalions each of the three allied nations again with supporting arms.  The French army was accumulated more quickly than I had imagined possible largely due to their availability on ebay and through the efforts of various people who wanted to paint them and we went past the original requirement some time ago though we still have no old guard.  The Allies on the other hand have taken longer with the Russians being the only faction which at the moment is strong enough to challenge the French on equal terms.  This said it's an encouraging development and the next step will be to try and bolster Prussian numbers.

More cavalry action and all that remains of two squadrons of French lancers after mixing it with the Mariopol Hussars.

Back to Thursday night and we were graced with the presence of both Dom and Neil for the first time in ages, Dom has been unavailable due to his having to study and Neil has been away growing a beard.  Both were pitted against each other on the night with Dom attempting unsuccessfully to stem the tide of Neils' Russian cavalry.  It was an education for both of them as neither had played using the rule amendments which we're currently trying and though these have a minimal effect on cavalry there were some useful discussions regarding other changes. 
    It was then that I had my second epiphany of the evening, as we discussed the rules regarding skirmishers Dom made a suggestion proposing the introduction of elite skirmishers and I realised then that we all have subtly different conceptions and prejudices regarding how our rules should reflect the period.  Not much of an epiphany you might think but when you're trying to introduce rule amendments it lead me to consider whether the committee approach which we're currently using is necessarily the best option.  Perhaps we would be better served by having a sort of "informed dictatorship" whereby one person decides which amendments to use or not and everyone else abides by them.  That is in effect largely the way published rule sets operate though in time they normally succumb to tweaking.  Of course this always presupposes the availability of someone willing and able to play the part of the informed dictator and it's not something I'd like to do so for the time being at least I think we'll be sticking with the open forum, giving everyone the chance to put their ideas into the pot regardless of how odd they may seem to the rest of us.

Wurtemburg infantry from Firing Line Miniatures advance to support Nicks' infantry.

Back to Thursday nights game once more and it appears that the French right has now stabilised with the arrival of another infantry division and in fact it now significantly outnumbers Marks Russians.  On the left the Poles who have taken heavy casualties have been bolstered by a Swiss division and are in the process of negating the attack of the two Russian divisions assigned to the area.  So it's in the centre that the Allies have been able to make the largest inroads with their cavalry able to sweep aside the small French light cavalry contingent and they now have the options of sweeping around to threaten the flank of either French command.

More Wurtemburgers, infantry and artillery this time attempting to block up the hole in the French centre.
I'm not sure how many turns we'll continue for, considering that this game is designed as a rule test scenario it's probably already done its job.  That isn't to say there isn't more testing that needs to be done as small problems tend to arise every now and again with the tweaks we've already put in place.  So we'll most likely play two or three more moves and then tidy everything away in readiness for the next campaign battle.  This will see the  mighty Austrian war machine finally deigning to take an active part in the campaign by pitting itself  against the almost insignificant forces of Bavaria.

Mark Votier's four gun redoubt made of resin and manned by an Austrian foot battery which has just been returned to its former glory after Eric mistakenly "varnished" them with grey spray paint.

And Finally.....  I thought it would be nice to show a couple of shots of a redoubt made by our newest regular member, Mark.  This four gun redoubt is for London wargamer Nick Farrel and I believe Mark is making others of various sizes for Nick including a huge six gun position.  Once that order is complete Mark is going to make a few for the garage as well.  Mark is trying to set himself up as a commercial model maker and so I'm doing my bit by unashamedly promoting his work.

A front view of the redoubt this time manned by Russian Artillery.  My own ones will be greener to fit in with the terrain here and the ditch in the front will probably have a few chevaux de frise inside.

That's all for now, I'm off to see if I've got the correct spelling for "chevaux de frise".


BigRedBat said...

Fabulous collection!

I wish I still had a garage, it's now the wife's office. :-(

Ravenfeeder said...

We do have a dictator Noel. Your garage, your rules. I think everyone is happy with that.

Mark's redoubt is indeed a thing of beauty.

Rafael Pardo said...

Your AAR and thougths are always very interesting and your pictures are inspiring for all!
I like the chevaux de frise (you have spelled it weel)

Adelaide Gamer said...

Ah, epiphanies. And two in one sessions! Almost makes the 'dark night of the shed' that you went through a month or two ago worth it, eh.

Rodger said...

Very nice report and lovely photos.

Doc Smith said...

Oooer - luv them Wurttemburgers! Nice looking figures, not heard of "firing Line' before. Those guns emplacements are very nicely done too.


Wargameshc said...

Fantastic Redoubts! I have always liked the Firing Line Miniatures, they have separate heads, which allows a unique look for each figure, great stuff!

Keep it coming Noel.