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Saturday, 24 October 2015

some loose ends

               Needing a break from painting the Bavarians, I decided to tidy up some loose ends.

                                    First off I used the last of my TBM painted buildings to produce a BUA i could use for anything from a well heeled village to a city block. The quality of the buildings would look fine in a town or city and with a few hedgerows etc easily translate into a country side location.

This will fit particularly well with the 10mm imagination stuff. I'm now convinced that 6mm terrain works better with 10mm figures than the "correct" scale stuff.


  I have also been aware for a while that I was  Blucher base short of Austrian grenadiers. Now these are a bit of a pain because the converged units need to have various facing colours on a single base. Normally this wouldn't bother me but with the patches on bearskins the colours leap out at you.

I continue to mount the figures on metal 40x20 bases. I do like the large diorama style bases many gamers are using but I really don't want to lose the flexibility of small bases and sabots. I still have a desire for divisional level games with 6mm figures.

Trying to move towards a diorama look I decided to add a mounted officer to one of the elements. I think it helps.

Most of my existing figures are now incorporated in Blucher bases. Maybe a photo of the whole collection would be fun. Now I have to just knuckle down to producing more of the same .  Oh dear the fluttering grows louder heheheh.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Lefebvre's command..(well pàrt of it)

                   I am having a small break from actual gaming for personal reasons. Just a couple of weeks for a few regular tests and stuff. Things we have to accept as we learn to live longer than previous generations heheh. I am however still painting and assembling and converting. I am trying to concentrate on the 1809 Bavarian corps in Germany. Lefebvre's command. I currently have finished in Blucher term two divisions around 16,000 men with one division still to go. I am forced to stop for a week or so while I wait for more troops from Walt at Commission Figurines. I'm going to use the break to tidy up odds and ends on my Blucher units. Just a few pics of The Bavarians. I have included both distance shots and very close ups. The close ups demonstrate the semi flat, "blocky" nature of the models while the distant shots show when you apply the arms length rule the appearance changes to a very acceptable wargaming look!

 I am very happy with the way they have turned out especially with the new basing method. The colour is a little bright but "real" cornflower blue looked a wee bit dark to me.
The infantry are basically straight from the box. The cavalry are big conversions and the skirmishers are French with helmeted heads

I am looking forward to getting them completed and indeed to play some 1809 games without any French on the table.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

A most enjoyable day..

                Bit of a grey old day today. Still warm but overcast. The weather however meant little to Erik and I as The Austrian 1st, 2nd and Liechtenstein's reserve cavalry corps tried to hammer Davout's 3rd corps along the Danube. No AAR I'm afraid  but we did take a  few very nice action photos. Hope you enjoy them. 

Th e game had a good feel to it with lots of ebb and flow. Most enjoyable.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

oh those winter nights

                  We are finally beginning to see a drop in temperature. We are down to the high 20's now and at night there's a definite chill from the Mountains. I can also hear that damn butterfly again. The Napoleonics are quite large now. I can field several corps for both sides and I have maintained focus for over a year.. Unbelievable. I hear my long neglected 15mm ancients calling to me in  those moments of inattention. Now it's a real shame to leave them in the cupboards for so long because although painted some 20 years ago they are still quite pretty and were put together at the height of my "everyman different craze" must do something with them.

some of the many I have in cabinets gathering dust.

                    However what stops me now, as then, is rules. I played DBM to death and was left with the feeling of a " good game but not a lot to do with ancients". Now I look around in the hope of finding something to light my fire. I'm not asking much just.

1/ Simple enough to learn in a couple of hours.
2/ Detailed enough to feel "right" but finish a game in 2 or 3 hours.
3/ not many bases. I really don't like pushing around small bases for hours. I much prefer massed  troops a little like my pictures above
4/ Not too many tables and no rosters.

                 Is this so much to ask?

I need to look at "impetus" and "to the strongest". They sound interesting.  I saw "l'Art de la Guerre" last week but as the rulebook resembled the first volume of the encyclopaedia Britannica I decided to give it a miss. There must be many more out there I just need to look around.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Sire we are running out of marshals.......... postscript

 My opponent in the pittino river debacle sent me the photo shown below of the moment immediately after Broussiers hapless charge across the marsh. I just had to share it here because although it's quite close up it shows the MDF figures off wonderfully

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Sire we are running out of marshals...................

                     May 1809 The Pettino River runs South through Northern Italy close to the Border with Austria. The river and the picturesque valley it lies in, threads its way through rolling, densely wooded hills and ridges. Although not of any economic value it was probably one of the last realistic defensive lines on Eugene's Advance into Austria. The late snows and the prolonged period of heavy rain had turned the river's crossing points into wide marshy morasses and deepened other stretches into impassable deep water runs. A locally spawned stream known to the locals  as  "merdoso piccolo fiume" runs down from the hills to join the Pettino at the town of "Formaggioblupuzzolente" which has a small but thriving cheese industry. To the west lies the town of"quisotto" and to the east "lassù". 

                                   The archduke John who was believed to have died in a previous skirmish had in fact survived and was recovering slowly from his wounds. He had spent the previous night with the rearguard divisions of Chastelers corp at lassù. Around midnight he learned from vedettes that the French were strung out along the road to their rear and apparently out running their supplies. In a moment he decided to turnabout and force a delaying battle at the river line. Hasty messages recalled his retreating columns  and he finally drifted off to sleep planning his action for delaying skirmish that would come to be known as the battle of The Pettino river.

 The nature of the terrain heavily restricted vision and the early morning mist didn't help as this view along the river looking north through the town shows.

Both sides chose to use reserve moves  but with their prior knowledge of the situation the Austrians struck first and occupied the river line

 Eugene adopted a defensive attitude sending Barbou's Division to cover the town and bridge while Broussier occupied the ridge overlooking the river in the north. In the centre Lecchi's Italians formed the link between the two flank divisions. To his surprise the Austrian grenadier battalions marched through the town and onto the small plain to the west.
 11:00am  Wolfskeels grenadiers continued there advance. One brigade occupied the plateau in the south while the second also left the town Knesevich's division of grenze and landwehr hold defensive positions to the east of the river behind the marshes. The streets of  Lassu filled with troops as Besanez of IX corps marched his division into town.
 Besanez swept his division into the rear of knesavitch re-inforcing his position. Eugene looked a little puzzled as Broussier moved his troops down off the ridge to occupy the ground along the marsh 
He assumed he wanted to deny the use of the river crossing to the Austrians. Eugene felt he could relax a little as news arrived that Macdonalds VI corps had arrived on the battlefield and he prepared to link them up with Barbous division  and togetherassault the town.

By now it had become obvious that John was seriously ill. His inactivity was wearing on his generals patience and the lack of order removing all the advantages the Austrians had built till now. Macdonalds corps took up position in Barbou's rear and both commanders prepared to assault the town. To Eugene's horror Broussier led his troops into the marsh and attacked the Austrians on the east bank of the Pettino. As the Austrians outnumbered him 3 to one here, this did not look good. It looked even worse as his troops poured back across the river. D'hautpol's Italians arrived to boost the numbers.

 Eugene entered a period of severe shock and insecurity and seemed incapable of issuing fresh orders- The Italians reinforced the survivors of the debacle on the ridgline and VI corps moved into position but little else was achieved.
 John was still out of action in one of the towns fine houses while his commanders seethed in inactivity demanding he give them orders.The arrival of both the French cavalry corps and the remainder of the Austrian IXth corps was stilled in a cloud of immovable indecision.
For those who are wondering what the hell I'm talking about My opponent had experienced a run of bad momentum rolls that can only be described as crap. The best he had achieved on 2 dice was 5 this turn his first roll with 3 dice he rolled the total you see here. His general was intuitive . I declined to re-roll any dice.  His luck was to continue in this manner till the end of the game. His best total was  11. After Broussier's charge Eugene also rolled really badly for 3 turns hence the apparent inactivity

By 3:30 in the afternoon The French cavalry had moved into the middle of the field to stabilise the position. The last of the Austrian divisions was camping in and around  Lassù in the vague hope that some orders might arrive. The only real effort came from some Austrian cavalry brigades from VIII corps that crossed the river to threaten the Infantry in the centre. Several infantry brigades joined their advance.

 Despite or because the inaction of their companions, the Austrian light cavalry in the centre having crossed the river charged the Italian guard cavalry and an infantry brigade.  The hussars drove the Italians back, while the light horse bounced off the infantry squares. Meanwhile South of the town the Austrian grenadier battalions were being decimated by the continuous infantry fire and 6th corps positioned themselves to assault the town. 
 In an almost nightmarish instance of dejavue, Eugene looked on bemused as Grouchy placed himself at the head of a dragoon brigade and hammered uphill into the ranks of the Austrian hussars. He cheered as the dragoons drove the hussars off the ridge, only to fall into silence as Grouchy placed his hand into his shirt, withdrew it covered in blood and slowly tumbled from his horse. He blanched as he thought how he would tell the Emperor that a fourth  corps commander had died in his service in less than 16 days

 The closing hour of daylight saw some desultory actions with little result. Several French units were destroyed by musketry but niether army managed to make much impact on the other . As night fell the lines seperated. The French set their campsites and John thankful that his planned skirmish having turned into a bloodbath had not got out of hand, quietly withdrew across the Pettino and resumed his return to Austria.

This may not have been the most Dynamic battle I have ever played but it certainly ranks as one of the funniest. Best laugh I have had for years.  I am severely worried because I don't have many corps commanders left!!