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Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Really Old, Old School

 I have been promising myself that I would create some British opposition for my Roco and Type1 Airfix German force.  Leafing through some early Featherstone books the answer lies in the Airfix Combat Group set;  a set that I have always liked apart from the lack of heavy weapons. 

I set about assembling a 'company' size force of four platoons and an HQ.  I also converted some Type 1 8th Army machine gunners to create a medium machine gun platoon.  Here they are:

I plan to create two more companies, an HQ and some other support weapons to form a battalion sized unit.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Battle Report - Ligny

Our most recent battle was another Command & Colors Napoleonic scenario, the battle of Ligny 16th June 1815.  This was played the day after we fought Quatre Bras.  This time William and I played the French while Phil played the Prussians.

As can be seen from the map the battlefield is divided by Ligny Brook, with the Prussians defending the north bank using a string of villages and woods.

The picture below shows the French right flank with the settlement of Ligny with its twin bridges.  The bulk of the French army, including most of the artillery and the imperial Guard are positioned on the right:

The centre and left (from left to right) has the villages of Wagnelee, La Haye and, on the south bank of the brook, St Amand.  Again the Prussians are occupying the villages, apart from Wagnelee:
A view of the battlefield from the French right, with Napoleon himself in attendance!
Battle commenced with a sustained artillery attack by the four French batteries on the ridge, causing some damage to several Prussian units.  

A small action took place on the right flank when a Prussian infantry regiment, supported by artillery pushed forward and destroyed a French regiment; however, they were quickly beaten back, badly mauled. 
Artillery exchanges continued on the right flank, but a second Prussian advance, this time on the French left forced a French response. Of concern was the arrival of a Prussian artillery battery deploying onto the knoll behind Wagnelee, which began firing into the flank of French columns. Also fresh Prussian infantry units moved forwards.
The French rapidly pushed a couple of battalions over the brook and light infantry rushed into the village to drive off the Prussian gunners, but they were met with grapeshot and had to withdraw into the shelter of the buildings. The Prussian battery remained an annoyance for the rest of the battle. Meanwhile the french capture La Haye with heavy casualties, but Fresh Prussian units soon drive them out again:

The battle now was concentrated almost entirely on the left flank, although the french artillery continued to bombard the centre and the right. A pattern emerged, with the French storming the buildings, but were then forced out by Prussian counter attacks.  Most of the Prussian units on this flank were Landwehr and they suffered heavily.
The battle became one of attrition with the Prussians taking huge numbers of casualties as they attempted to regain lost ground.  Bit by bit the French edged forward and St Amand fell.  A counter attack by Prussian Cuirassiers supported by infantry failed to dislodge the French and soon the Prussians reached their exhaustion point and it was all over.  The French claimed a huge victory with a score of 11 - 5.  Revenge for our defeat the day before!

I have played this scenario solo before, but it was much more enjoyable with a 'live' opponent.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Battle Report - Quatre Bras

Over the weekend we refought the 'Command and Colors' scenario of Quatre Bras using our modified rule set. I chose to be the Prince of Orange (error), William, my nephew played Picton and the British, while my brother Phil played the French:

I forgot to take pictures of the initial setup so we join the action after the first couple of turns:

The battle kicked off with a French artillery attack against the Allies forward positions on the ridge while the French light supported by cavalry moved against Nassau and Brunswick troops in Bossau Wood on their right. Initially the Allies did well as Nassau and Brunswickers supported  by light cavalry (Hussars) drove the French infantry back, although an artillery battery on the edge of the wood was quickly lost.

Meanwhile on the higher ground in the centre the Dutch and Brunswick infantry were quickly thrown back with heavy losses from French artillery fire:

The French assault in the centre began as the British and Allies scrambled to restore the line.  Both the Nassau and Brunswick infantry had been severely mauled. The remnants of the battered Brunswick and Nassau battalions regroup around Quatre Bras village.

Over in the wood the battled ebbed and flowed as infantry battle it out amongst the trees, however, the first regiment of Kellerman's Cuirassiers crosses the stream and attacks the Allied light cavalry

The Cuirassiers crash into the Hussars and close in on Quatre Bras itself.  

The Hussars run and for a moment the French control the high ground in front of the village.

The Cuirassiers however are exposed and take further casualties and are seen off by the Brunswick Lancers.

The area on the Allied right continues to be the French main effort with more french cavalry poring over the stream.  A battalion of Dutch Militia bravely stand in the way of the French, but failing to form square they are ridden down by French Lancers

In the woods the Skirmishers continue to battle away with no side making any real progress.

The charge of the Brunswick Lancers checks the French advance in the centre forcing some infantry into a square:

And the arrival of fresh British infantry gives the allies hope of restoring the situation:

Over on the allied right the battle continues with both sides taking casualties, the plucky Brunswick Jaegers are forced back leaving just the Nassau Grenadiers holding the wood.

The British advance successfully regains the high ground, destroying  the French battalion that had formed a square, but they began to suffer a similar fate as the Dutch and Brunswickers with the high ground being swept by the French artillery.

Then a devastating event occurred as Kellerman's second Cuirassier regiment sweeps in and catch a British battalion in the open, who fail to form square.  The battalion is destroyed and the Allied counter attack begins to fail as the second British battalion suffers heavily from artillery and musketry.

The Cuirassiers move along the ridge and destroy the remaining Brunswick Lancers and the Prince of Orange is unhorsed. 

The Allies reach their exhaustion point and they crumble.  It is a devastating French victory with a score of  9- 4. Overall a most enjoyable game, although the Allies were on the back foot from the outset and never really regained control of the situation, firefighting relentless French assaults.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Project Completed.

 Last night I finished the remaining figures needed to complete my Quatre Bras Project.  The planned battle will take place this weekend so painting all of the figures in time has been a 'near run thing!'.

This batch consists of a battalion of Scots:

Another British Line battalion:

A second Brunswick battalion:

Some Brunswick Lancers (converted from Minifigs S range Austrians):

And a Brunswick battery (converted from really old figures):

It will be good to take a break from painting and get some figures onto the table.

Monday, 25 April 2022

More Ros British

Over the weekend I finished off some more refurbished Ros 25mm British.  The first unit is an infantry battalion in belgic shako:

Also one each of foot and horse artillery:

Just two units to go to finish off the allies.  I am running out of time to be ready for the coming weekend and the French may have to make do with what is already finished in my Ros and Warrior collections.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Brunswick Hussars

Today it was the turn of the Brunswick Hussars to take to the field.  I have been painting in the background for several weeks while I have been working through other projects and finally finished them off last night.

The figures are all Minifigs S range castings and will fit in well with my Ros British.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Dutch Militia and British Light

Finished off this morning are two units.  The first is battalion of Dutch Militia troops.  They are Minifigs S Range Spanish line, paint converted.  Their command is provided by a British Light Infantry officer and standard bear, also S range:

The second unit represents  British Light infantry.  the figures are mostly Ros 25mm with a Minifigs S Range commander and standard bearer: