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Monday, 22 February 2016

Da Nubes did well

           Over the weekend we played our planned big game over 3 tables in the region of Bavaria south of the Danube. We selected three regions in the areas of Landshut, Ratisbon and Ingolstadt. Apart from the troops involved it was in no way historical .We fielded 12 corps in all all of which featured in play. Two of our five players had never played Blucher before and as the title says "Da Nubes" did well. I can safely say the thunder on the Danube went better than planned. We played on three tables all connected by road systems and completed three full days of game time. Landshut fell after a day and half of spirited defence by the Bavarian divison who delayed the joining of the Austrian forces and held 2 Austrian corps at bay. I managed a few photos on the first and second game days but after that it was so frenetic I couldn't keep up. We fought four major battles and had an awful lot of fun and laughter. The unforgettable moment of the game occurred when the Bavarian division commander  who sat hiding behind the Isaar and his semi fortress of Landshut making rude noises at the Austrians on the far bank spotted a new unit enter the board. When he realised the unit had boats and planks on wagons he asked if they were pontoons and then spluttered and complained that there were no rules for pontoons in the rulebook. There are now!!!!!

                 Below you can see the handful of pictures I took with some explications . Apologies for not taking more.

 These show Landshut on the first and second day. On the left we see the slow approach of the Austrian fourth corps while the Bavarians decamp to prepared positions.

In these shots we see the afternoon of the first day with the Austrian's 4th corps in position to assault the south bank while the newly arrived third corps cover the building of their pontoons to the east. This took us to late afternoon. During the night the Austrians crossed the bridges they had built and prepared for an assault to the south and the north at first light. By mid day the Bavarians with some damage took the road north to Ratisbon with the third corps close behind. 

This completed the action at Landshut and the Austrians would pay dearly for both their slow preparations and the stubborn Bavarian defence. On the late afternoon of the second day the fourth corps reorganised and began the western march that would bring them to the Ingolstadt area on the late afternoon of the third day. Third corps pursuing the Bavarians would arrive at Ratisbon to find the fifth corps and the cavalry in disarray after a drubbing on the second day by a single French corps.

At Ratisbon the Austrian first cavalry corps  arrived in the early evening to find the find Lannes's second corps arriving at the town and crossing the river in some disarray. Disdaining to camp for the night and await the arrival of  fifth corps, the grenadiers and cuirassiers launched themselves at the German contingents and found them a tough nut to crack. Badly hurt, the corps retired and took up positions alongside the  now positioned fifth corps to await the new day.

        On day two the Austrians hurled themselves at second corps and broke. The hail of artillery and infantry fire they received from the mainly Bavarian troops shattered their attack and forced them off the board to the east to re organise and prepare to return to the fray. Lannes refused to follow and after receiving news of the Austrians passing of the Isaar at Landshut prepared to meet the refreshed Austrians plus any enemy corps coming from Landshut. Having sent the Bavarians back down the road to Ingolstadt he prepared for a heroic defence on the third day. Day three saw the Austrians advance time and time again only to be repulsed . The last attack took place at last light as the fresh third corps arrived in the area to find his fellow countrymen bloodied and fatigued after a hard days fighting. Indeed although being outnumbered the French were better prepared for the possible conflict on the following and fourth day.

 On the evening of day two the Austrian sixth corps arrived expecting to find the victorious troops from Landshut and hopefully some of the corps from Ratisbon in position for the attack. The field was bare apart from the French who were beginning to gather at Ingolstadt . The town was held by the third of the Bavarian divisions and at dawn the first of Massena's fourth corps were beginning to cross the river.  By the afternoon the Austrians were informed of the advance from Landshut of their fourth corps  and they could see more enemy arriving from the north on the far bank of the Danube ( the Saxons) . With this news the Austrians decided to attack Massena before he could form his defence. The fighting with the confederation troops was hard and the Austrians were forced back slowly towards the arriving Austrian fourth corps. As evening came on the third day the Saxons were across the river and the Austrian morale fell further as they heard of the Ratisbon defeat but they decided to reform during the night and align with the Austrian fourth corps. The last straw came at dusk on the third day when the sound of cheering announced the arrival of Napoleon and the guard at the outskirts of Ingolstadt. The Austrians decided it was time to prepare for the long march back to Vienna.

                   To sum up, it is a shame we had no good photographic record of the day but on the other hand I found myself very tired but extremely satisfied at the close of Saturdays play. Would I do it again? Possibly but not for a few months. heheheh On Sunday I relaxed with a game of "Muskets and tomahawks", a game I had never played before. I liked it very much. Watch this space  hahahah

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Almost on the Danube.

                                   This weekend 20th Feb is our local Napoleonic open day in Montmelo (yeah formula 1 fame etc.) I volunteered to plan perhaps our most ambitious game of Blucher to date with 6 army corps per side and played over 3 tables.  I have to admit that I had forgotten how much effort is required to mount a game of this type. Yes I have left myself a typed message saying "do not do that again". All this accounts for my lack of updates on the blog lately.

                                      One of the things I have meant to get around to for some time now is to replace the various cards we have been using for corps commanders with physical models mounted with their stats on a more aesthetic base than the cards.  My main problem was that all my personality figures are mounted on 20x20mm metal bases which leaves no room for embellishment However, my recent experience with magnetic sabots etc led me to settle on a 40x30  metal base with added info and perhaps an escort. Here then are the results. The characters are from Adler's wonderful range and the escorts etc. from commision miniatures 6mm MDF line. I really like the results and despite the differences, they work well together on a shared base. First the additional inserts made from MDF figures.

 Left to right a caisson made from pieces in the arillery packet. Imperial guard grenadiers a cheval , Bavarian light cavalry. These last two are from the new figures I received at Xmas. lovely figures a joy to paint and even more of a joy that I don't have to convert the damn things anymore.

Austrian light dragoons/light horse . Again these are new figures and are just the ticket a great improvement on the original cuts. 

uhlans, grenadiers , limber and Austrian Hussars. The lancers are of course my conversions but the rest are straight from the box.

  The sabot and tickets are 40x30 MDF with magnetic tape on and a thin label along one side.

Above the basic components and to left and right some examples. These will certainly improve the appearance of our game.

                   We are as stated campaigning along the Danube and Isar in Spring so in order to supplement the few bridges across the two rivers the Austrians are bringing along a bridging train. Unfortunately I don't have one in my collection so I dived into the MDF bits box and put one together . I think it will do the job just fine. One die box will mark the unit strength and the other the turns spent in construction.

Very pleased with this as it's something I have wanted for a while now. Just need to invent some rules before Friday . heheheheh

Hopefully after the weekend I can knuckle down to producing the wurtemberg VIIIth corps. <Sigh> so little time. How can that be when your retired?

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Last time I make those!!!!!!!!!

                    Last night I completed enough Uhlans to make a Blucher base. I have to say those are the last I intend to make. These have to be the most difficult, fiddly and simply bloody annoying conversion to date.. heheheh

                       Now to find something easy to paint and settle my nerves.