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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Disaster in The Duchy

               Although my activities in the two imaginary duchies of Gromstadt and Biehlberg  have been somewhat limited recently, I still continue the narrative and planning in my head. The two warring families continue to build their forces and the lakeside shipyards are full of small craft under construction as the fresh water arms race continues.
                For some time now, Gromstadt had cast covetous eyes on the impoverished market town of Pfennigless that dominates the gap in the westernmost ridge line and is held under a tenuous family claim by the current Duke of Biehlberg. Tiring of the fruitless negotiations between the two duchies Gustav of Gromstadt gathered a strong force and flung it (somewhat sedately ) at the unsuspecting township.  Unfortunately the force took so long in mobilising and sauntering it's way towards the town that Albrecht of Biehlberg managed to raise a small body from the guard to reinforce the hapless conscripts garrisoning the area.

           The battle was fought on a cold dry day in November on and around the rolling hills surrounding Pfennigless under the rules of war of "Maurice" (by Sam Mustafa).  Gromstadt had brought a strong force of  2 x elite guard cavalry, 1x trained cavalry, 2x elite infantry, 2 x trained infantry 2x conscript infantry, 1 irregular dragoon rgt (dismountable) and 2 batteries of guns.  Ranged against them Biehlberg could muster 2x elite cavalry, 1x hussars(irregular), 2x elite infantry, 1x trained mercenaries (Irish), 3x conscript infantry and 2x batteries of guns. Notable for their effectivity were the Gromstadt elite guard cavalry who almost single handed rolled up the left flank of the Biehlberg force and aided the infantry in their cataclysmic destruction of the conscript force on the Biehlberg right flank. It was also notable for the fact that I as the sedentary Duke Gustav managed to beat Erik who chose to take the role of Duke Albrecht .

         As stated the battle was fought using "Maurice" and my imaginations 10mm forces from various suppliers. I did manage to take a lot of photos and in chronological order. So folks I present the battle of Pfennigless  In which the most protestant state of Biehlberg was hammered by the holy Roman catholic duchy of Grohmstadt and in which of course both had god on their side.. heheheh.

Dawn found the rested force of Gromstadt facing their enemy across the misty valley as the Biehlbergians deploy to defend the town. Their first error was to split the trained infantry to the north and south of Pfennigless.

To the left the advancing Biehlbergians . To the right the regimented lines of the Gromstadt regulars.   

Opening the battle the invaders determinedly advance their whole infantry force across the valley. (thanks to careful measuring on setup and the availability of an event card that allowed me to move two forces at once.

In response the defenders swing across the west side of Pfennigless defending the town and seizing the crest-line.  The attacker threw caution to the wind and his national trait (giving a huge plus on guards units) and launched the guard cavalry at the enemy infantry above them

The elite infantry battalion facing this charge simply dissolved in the face of the wild charge (and some extreme dice rolls. ). In an attempt to dissuade further madness the Irish battalion deployed in front of the winter wheat. 

The next turns saw the guard cavalry successfully launch into the remaining elite infantry's flank and then to add insult to injury rally back to cover the Irish on the hill. The centre saw  an unordered advance by one of the Gromstadt elite infantry which caused the Gromstadt general to panic and launch all of his regulars against the centre in support . It payed off and the centre crumbled.

In the final act the guard cavalry supported by an elite infantry battalion attacked and destroyed the Irish mercenaries on the hill and it was all over but the shouting. 

In Eriks support he rolled some of the worst die rolls I have ever seen while mine were spectacular. Again the rule set proved to be a joy to play and the element of surprise through use of the action and event cards spectacularly funny. I will certainly continue with them. Those personality cards however have to go. They are so unsightly . I need to develop individual bases with just enough info as we did for Blucher. Great game , great fun and soon to be repeated.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Between a rock and a hard place.....

Yesterday for the first time in a while, I managed to get together with two of my group for a game of Blucher using our 1809 troops.  It was a fictional meeting but represented the Austrians attempt to isolate Davout by coming between his third corps and the main body of the French army and reserves.

                     Some 55,000 Austrians descended on a the VIII corps (Wurtembergers) which was some 12,000 strong.The commander was aware that during the day the Bavarian VIIth corps 35,000 troops  would arrive little by little to reinforce his defense.  The Austrian IVth and Vth corps arrived from the South the Vth arriving a couple of hours after the IVth. The VIth corps arrived in the early afternoon. The following battle was extremely bloody with the "French" hanging on till darkness fell although both forces were close to breaking. The affair was fought by two very agressive generals and we completed the 30 turn day in just under 4 hours. A truly enjoyable contest.  There is no AAR as such but I hope the pictures convey the very Napoleonic feel of the contest and its size with only two players. .All of the troops are 6mm MDF from Commission figurines.

   The overall battlefield shown from the east is bordered by a river to the North and dominated by the heights to the north-east. The valley is spotted with woodlands and numerous small farms. The road to the river crossing is blocked by a small village forming a choke point between woodlands and growing crops. A fact the "french" commander would make good use of later.

On the eve of the battle the Wurtemburgers move out of the town and take position around the river crossing while sending troops forward to occupy the village.   The photo to the left is the view from the Austrian entry point. Top right is the view from the heights

To the left is the view from the north side of the river To the right is the view of the Wurtemburgers dispositions.

 A few shots taken during the battle. As you can see it became quite crowded towards the end of the day. 



Sunday, 6 November 2016

And it's back to the toys.....

              Yeap I finally got into gear with my woodpile and started painting 6mm figures again. I have been meaning for some time to paint up some of those often neglected units like landwehr but by brigade not by battalion. In order to avoid the boredom factor I did a bit of reading to find some variations within the brigades and fortunately Rawkins latest booklet The austrian army   provided just the info I needed. He explains how the in certain regiments the first battalion would be fully equipped while the second and third had steadily declining standards and that's what I decided to model. The figures are as always the 6mm MDF figures from commission figurines    

                   Here are the finished battalions and the full brigade. I really enjoyed preparing and painting these fellows.

   The first battalion in full uniform wearing the "normal" landwehr dress for 1809.


The second battalion wearing a military style topcoat cut a little loose to enabler it to be worn over civilian dress. I also carved off the backpacks and gave them haversacks more appropriate at this time to civilian dress.


Third battalion. These guys wear civilian clothing but with the collars and cuffs of their civilian style top coats dyed in the facing colour to give some semblance of military uniformity. Again I replaced the backpacks with haversacks.

 Finally the entire brigade assembled and based for Blucher. I only need three more of these for my requirements...  Must crack on.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The heart of geekdom...

                        I have spent the last few weeks reorganizing my bunker. Some of it I transferred to the garage which is now basically a games room with large table whilst the bunker has now become a modelling/painting room and above all a computer games room. Computer gaming being my second obsession. As part of the change I have fitted a new wall support for my second screen which now swings out from the wall and allows me to double box games like Eve without constantly tabbing out or breaking my kneck to see the second monitor. I'm highly delighted with the end result and look forward to many happy hours of gaming and skyping friends and relatives. As you can see from the photos the bunker is a bespoke tailored support capsule fitted to my body size  heheheheh...


 The bunker in all it's glory. BTW this phot is taken from just outside the bunker . It measure 1m 40 x 2 metres. There is NO usable bare wall space apart from where I removed a monitor and I have a picture frame to fit there. If you look carefully you can see my reflection in the glass cupboard above the table

 Double boxing "Eve" The second monitor swings back to the wall when not in use as shown in the photo above

Finally the self confessed geek in his bunker. Snug fit or what?