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Friday 27 April 2018

Ligny 16 June 1815 - Command and Colors

Having enjoyed the Waterloo action and built up experience of using the C&C rules, it seemed a good idea to have a go at another scenario. Ligny, which I found on the G&G website, looked inviting and potentially a real slogging match - needing 11 points to win.

It was also a good opportunity to use my very old Prussians, that have not been out of their box for decades!

Here is an overview of the battlefield, which is cut in two by Ligny stream, that loops across the table. The village of Ligny is on the right, with the two bridges:
The Prussian defending the top of the field are deployed into a string of villages and woods straddling the stream. The bulk of the Prussian army sits in the centre behind this defensive line. The Prussians are mostly Ros 25mm, supported by a few Hinchliffe and a smattering of Minifigs and Warrior figures.

Looking at the Prussian position in detail, the left flank is held by (old Hinchliffe) Prussian riflemen. across the river opposite Ligny:
Ligny itself is in the hands of Ros Prussian Line infantry:

And the village and woods of St Amand have both Ros Prussian line and light troops defending them:
The Prussian centre has the bulk of the cavalry and infantry drawn up in reserve:
Meanwhile on the left the French have noticed with interest that the village of La Haye is held by Militia (Hinchliffe) - a potential weakspot?
The French forces, made up of a mix of Warrior, Minifigs and a few Ros figures have the bulk of their forces on the centre right. This is where the Imperial Guard is also located:
On the left, the French have a good mix of infantry, cavalry and artillery, including the Young Guard:

The French have significantly more artillery, with five batteries, as opposed to two Prussian. The stream is fordable, but reduces battle effects and the built up areas are worth two majority victory points - meaning that the Prussian start off with a two point advantage.

This battle will likely be played out over the next couple of days, as time permits. A battle report will follow.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Battle Report - Waterloo - Command & Colors

It was decided that I would play the French commander and victory could be achieved by winning eight victory points, by either capturing key terrain features and or eliminating allied units. 

Action starts with the French artillery bombarding the allied forward units, forcing a Dutch unit to retreat. The French cards favour an assault in the centre, although probes on the right and left allow the French to push forward on the flanks. The French guard artillery moves forward to get in range.

French advances on the right, in attempt to capture Papelotte are beaten off by Belgian Jaegers in the buildings:

 and French infantry are forced into squares by Belgian cavalry. 

The Belgian cavalry are eventually chased off, then destroyed by French guard cavalry; but Beating off the cavalry has used up all of the French action cards for that flank.

An attack builds around Hougoumont and the allies move some Dutch jaegers forward to engage French horse artillery and voltigeurs that are supporting the infantry assault - the voltigeurs are destroyed. 

The French light infantry, however, had caused casualties amongst the British defenders of the chateau and a French infantry assault finishes the job and sees Hougoumont falling into French hands, giving a total of two victory points.

Meanwhile the allies hold their ground using cards to activate the three artillery units, which cause damage to several French units.

This is followed by an allied counter attack around Hougoumont, which sees the destruction of the voltigeurs by the Dutch Jaegers and a combined assault by Brunswickers, supported by British guards puts Hougoumont back in allied hands and sees the destruction of a second French unit.

Attacks on both flanks have been thwarted and with a strong hand of cards, action in the centre is the best hope for the French. It is clear that assaulting the fortified farms is very costly, the French strategy switches to causing attrition amongst the allies – a massive assault builds in the centre.
French infantry, supported by cavalry, storm the allied centre, destroying a dutch unit and the 92nd Highlanders, while forcing another Dutch unit to retire.

The battle ebbs and flows in the centre, and apart from a brisk cavalry action on the right, which forces a French battery to retreat, the main event stays in the centre along the allied ridge. By now the score is 6 - 4 to the French

A British counter attack, using the heavy cavalry, forces the French into squares, but fail to break the French infantry.   

Eventually the allied cavalry are beaten off and one by one the French destroy the remaining allied infantry and artillery in the centre. 

The ridge is in French hands and the demise of the last Dutch unit in the centre gives the French their 8th victory point – enough to snatch victory. The situation at the end and the final score is 8 - 4 to the French:

Overall this was an exciting game that could have gone either way. The failure of the allied attempt to fight off the attack in the centre saw a huge hole develop in the allied line, which the French exploited.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Waterloo - Command & Colors

For a long time I have wanted to try the C&C scenario for Waterloo using miniatures, and my 'Scrapbox' army allows me to do this, as I have constructed all the units to match the C&C scenario. The internet is peppered with other examples of this well worn battle being refought using the C&C rules, but I feel it is worth a go, using my five inch hex board and terrain.

So, here is an overview of the table set up ready for play:
The French are at the top, consisting of a mix of Minifigs, Prince August and Del Prado figures:

Reille on the left:

 Ney in the centre:
 D' Erlon centre right:
 Guard heavy batteries:

The Allies, consisting mostly of Prince August infantry, Del Prado cavalry and a mix of artillery, is deployed with Hill on the right:
Picton in the left centre:
And Perponcher on the left, with the Dutch/Belgians:
The Allies also hold the three strong points, that are also French victory objectives:

Hougoumont, on the Allied right:
La Haye Sainte in the centre, with Rifles in the adjacent sandpit:
and, Papelotte anchoring the Allied left flank, held by jaegers:
There are no Prussians in this scenario, so it will be a straight slugging match, with the French attacking and attempting to take the three strong points, or by destroying units to give a total of eight victory banners. The allies simply have to hold the French at bay and gain eight banners by causing French casualties.

Monday 16 April 2018

Tank Action - Rules Play Test

My brother visited over the weekend, and being a fellow wargaming it seemed a good opportunity to play test my version of Charles Grant's tank battle rules, extracted from his book 'Battle'. I converted these rules to be played on a hex grid, as opposed to measuring moves and firing ranges:

The scenario I used was a meeting engagement to secure a village that sits on an important road junction somewhere in Russia in 1943.  The Germans enter from the right and the Soviets from the left:
The German force consists of a tank company, represented by three Panther tanks and a tank destroyer company equipped with three StugIIIG (total 6 tanks). Here is a view from the German end:

It was decided that I would command the German force, while Phil took charge of the Soviets. His force was nearly double the size of the Germans, consisting of three companies of T-34 tanks; a mix of 76 and 85mm gunned vehicles (total 10 tanks).

We arranged our forces on the table and I decided to concentrate my armour on the left flank, with the aim of holding the high ground and picking off the Soviets at long range using the Panthers. The Soviets advanced cautiously on a broad front across the whole board.

Initially things went well for the Germans, as a Panther round slams into a T-34/85 advancing down the left road and it burns blocking the road:

Another Soviet tank, a T-34/76, emerges from behind a house and is quickly taken out. The Germans are destroying the Soviet force piecemeal.  Those Soviet tanks that do return fire at long range have no effect, even when they hit the target.

At this point things looked good for the Germans, who planned to continue to fire concentrated attacks at individual advancing Soviet tanks; however, in the next round of shooting another T-34 is destroyed, but a side shot takes out one of the Panthers (in the foreground):
The Soviets now realised that their current approach is doomed, so they changed tactics. Using their superior numbers they all charged forward, bursting out of the village.  The dice turned against the Germans, and despite many hits their shots failed to penetrate the oncoming Soviet tanks.  Having closed the range, nine tanks against five, saw another Panther go up in flames, quickly followed by two of the Stugs:

In a matter of minutes the tide had turned. The one remaining Panther and the single Stug backed away, hoping to take down a few enemy tanks as they crossed the high ground, but the dice was not on their side.  The Germans withdrew; the Soviets controlled the village and road junction. A clear victory for the red army.

Overall, this was a very quick (less than an hour) fun game. The rules worked really well and there could have been a different result with a little more luck on the German side.

Next I will begin developing some infantry and artillery rules.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Pause for thought

After a pretty intense painting session, working on the Prince August figures with some Warrior Miniatures in the background, it is time for a pause for thought. The arrival of the grandchildren for a few days has forced me to put the paint brush down and to focus on other matters.  This is an ideal opportunity to think about where next as far as painting and gaming goes.

I am keen to play test my WW2 tank battle rules and I am conscious that I have not had my Crimean troops in the field for a while.  I also would like to have a go at the Command and Colors Waterloo scenario.  Finally I would also like to try an AWI scenario.

So that is the likely main effort as far as gaming goes.

Regarding painting, I am not so sure. I have some Spanish lancers and British hussars to be completed in my peninsular war series and I have also been working on the figures from the board game 'War of the Ring@ - all 200 of them. Ove rthe next few days I will decide where to focus my painting efforts - I have plenty of raw material; just awaiting some inspiration!

Friday 6 April 2018

Scrap Box Army - Completed

Today I fnished the last of the British units, completing the scrap box project. I have enough figures, generals and guns to play the Command and Colors 1815 scenarios, with all the right models. This has given me a Dutch Belgian contingent, with 6 infantry units. A gun battery provided by Minifigs and a Del Prado general and cavalry:
Then there are two British Brigades. The first consists of the 2nd Foot Guards, the 42nd Foot (Black Watch) and the 4th Foot:
The second Brigade has four units; the 1st Brunswick Line, the 30th and 5th Line and the 92nd Highlanders:
With a light cavalry Hussar regiment, a foot battery, as well has a heavy cavalry brigade, with its horse artillery the British contingent looks like this:
Putting the whole lot together, adding a battalion of rifles and senior commanders we have the allied army:
The cavalry are all Del Prado, as are the rifles and most of the commanders.

Thursday 5 April 2018

Peninsular Warriors - Napoleon Arrives

Arriving in Spain to see for himself what is happening in the Peninsular in 1808, Napoleon takes charge of the situation with the capture of Madrid and forcing the retreat of the British to Corunna in January 1809.  He did not stay in Spain for long as he departed to deal with the emerging threat from Austria.

Here we have the emporer with his senior commanders, with an escort provided by the French horse grenadiers of the imperial guard. All figures are by Warrior Miniatures. Napoleon is the only personality figure available in the napoleonic range: