A few months ago I had the pleasure of popping round Des’ for a game of Napoleonics using his fantastic collection of 15/18mm kit and his fantastic newly finished buildings. I really should have posted about it a lot sooner but got hit with a lot of life shit recently – moving flats and spending some time being really quite ill due to Shingles, 2 bastard colds and a dose of COVID which has really made me lose the old mojo! Sadly with the passage of time the details are a bit vague so here’s a bit of a photo dump as it was a cracking day’s wargaming as usual.
I was playing as the Austrians and had command of 2 Brigades of line infantry and a Brigade of Kurassier with a Brigade of Grenadiers in reserve and was tasked with forcing the French forces in front of me to retreat from their position, especially the beautiful village to my left. My plan was to ignore/mask the village and to concentrate on forcing the French back from the ridge in the centre so that it might maker the occupation of the village untenable. Failing this I would assault it with the Grenadiers when they arrived. The cavalry would swing round the right flank to hopefully distract or pin French forces enough to prevent them from interfering whilst the assault on the ridge went in. Nice and simple.
The game was a blast and I tried to do something very strange in a Napoleonic game – I tried very hard to keep the battalions spaced out so that they would be able to deploy into line and not crammed ‘unrealistically’ together as is seen so often. It was a struggle but not impossible to do and it meant that I had to attack in two lines which I thought was ace! Apart from the struggle for the hill which swung back and forth there was a fantastic clash of Cuirassiers on the flank which was made all the better because Des had the Saxons out – possibly the best looking cavalry ever fielded. We also had a good conversation about why do rules have such set, rigid turn sequences and maybe it’s time that they were done away with – but there will be more about that in another post soon.
I was perusing some photos the other day and I came across some from a game from a couple of years ago which I couldn’t post about at the time as I had run out of space to upload more pictures and I’d forgotten I had! As it was a bloody great days gaming and a fantastic spectacle to boot I thought I’d rectify that now. I can remember enough to give at least a broad outline of the events but there is tons of lovely eye candy to get your mince’s round so there is that at least!
I had been invited along with Des & Andy over to the Loughton club to take part in a large General d’Armee game which I happily agreed to. I’d been over to one before and had played in GdB games with some of the chaps from there before and they’d always been great games plus its always nice when you get to play with the author of the rules too. So it was an early start and I schlepped it across town to the leafy end of the Central line in the fair county of Essex and met up with Des who was on the same train. Upon entering the room that the game was in we were greeted with a satisfyingly huge table with an unmistakeable looking battlefield laid out. I must say I was a tad confused as Des had told me that we were doing a FRW game and that was definitely the field of Waterloo, but apparently it wasn’t the first time that French, British, Dutch and Hannoverian troops had fought over the same ground.
Des, Andy & I were all assigned to the Allied side and we were basically setting up in the same positions as the battle from 1815, along the ridge south of Mont St Jean with a garrison forward in Hougmont (apparently the lads in 1815 used loopholes made in this battle!). I was in charge of an Anglo-Hannoverian Division holding the far right of the line and also tasked with holding the famous châteaux complex and had Andy to my immediate left with a Division of British troops, as with all of these proper big battles I have no idea about what was going on elsewhere as soon as the action started apart from the fact that Des was in charge of the troops to Andy’s immediate left and that Martin was on the extreme left with a force of Dutch troops. Opposing us was the French Army of the Sambre et Meuse under Jourdan, with Dave Brown donning the large hat for the rascally sans culottes with a team of Loughton chaps taking various Divisions ready to smite us with revolutionary fervour.
The side table had Austrians taking the part of Prussians attacking the French at Plancenoit but apart from popping over there to take these photo’s I’m afraid I have no idea what happened there at all!
As to the battle, things are far too hazy for me to remember all the details but I do remember my defence of Hougmont didn’t go as well as the later battle’s defence did. I did manage to hold for quite a bit and caused the French attackers some problems in taking the complex but I was bundled out after a spirited defence. I do remember (as it is painfully seared into my brain) Andy and me both noticing a large gap opening up between the troops attacking the châteaux and those to their immediate right that we tried to attack into but were stymied by faltering units. Before we could sort the attack out however, Dave launched and an attack by ‘Panzer Dragoon Division Brown’ which steamed into the junction between our two formations and proceeded to carve through our units like a hot knife through butter whilst suffering next to no discernible damage, eventually ending up on our side of the ridge after causing multiple units to rout all along it’s route of mayhem. Elsewhere determined French attacks by the frenzied revolutionary levee en mass and excellent cavalry battered their way into our positions and although we had some local successes, particularly over on the extreme left early in the battle, we were forced back off the ridge in places and the battle was lost.
The game was great fun to be involved in, so many belated thanks to the chaps at Loughton Strike Force for allowing us to join in, and special thanks have to go to Gary who not only did a marvellous job of umpiring the game all day provided the figures which I’m sure you will agree were a joy to behold, it’s just a shame I couldn’t write it up at the time.