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Monday 31 July 2023

A Clash in Spain - Battle Report

Will came to visit over the weekend and we managed to play a couple of games.  the first, and the most enjoyable, was an encounter between a French force against an Anglo Spanish army.  The terrain was very simple, with the action being fought across a shallow valley with the armies poised on the higher ground on each side of the table.  A few small woods broke up the otherwise open battlefield:

Each army consisted of around 10 battalions, four gun batteries, two heavy and two light cavalry regiments.  On the Allied side all of the cavalry were Spanish:

I played the Anglo Spanish army and Will the French.  I decided that I was going to glue myself to the line of small hills and allow the French to come on, which they did with an advance on my left flank, with some light infantry, supported by cavalry taking the small wood.  I deployed my horse artillery forward to harass  the french light infantry, but they were soon chased off:

The French light in the wood would be a pain for the rest of the battle.  The French attack developed and soon a major engagement began on my left.  Whilst all this was going on Will pushed some more of his infantry into the central copse, supported by his horse artillery.  My infantry and artillery blunted this move:
To maintain momentum, Will pushed forward his heavy cavalry brigade to threaten my centre.
One of the French dragoon regiments charged up the hill to take one of my gun batteries, but were beaten off by heavy fire.
The close proximity of the French cavalry forced my infantry to form squares  but the allied cavalry counter attacked.  I lost a Spanish Cuirassier regiment and Will's troops were pushed back, losing his horse artillery in the process.                                                          
Over on my left, more French infantry infiltrated the woods and fired upon my exposed British battalions:

The slow attrition of the battalions on my left flank continued but despite the heavy casualties the British battalions clung on as Will brought his cavalry across to support that flank.
All the time the guns from both sides pecked away at any exposed troops.  The french attack in the centre melted away following a stout defence and some effective counter attacks by Spanish cavalry
Over on the left The British brigade had been reduced to just one effective battalion and so I moved a Spanish regiment across to bolster the position.
Although my left flank was very much reduced Will was weakened too, especially in the centre, where his attack had all but failed. Attention now shifted to my right flank, which up until now had seen no action, with the Spanish battalions largely untouched. Will threw his cavalry forward with three battalions, but my two artillery batteries and  Spanish infantry regiment Muerte blunted this move.
With the French centre now exposed Spanish dragoons thundered forward and swept away a French battery.  This led to the French reaching their exhaustion point and they began to withdraw from the field
This was 'a close run thing' for the allies, as someone else said.  The result was an Allied victory at 8 - 6.  All the figures used, apart from a couple of generals were by Warrior Miniatures.  The rules were our own adapted Command & Colors set.  It was a fun game that had us both engaged until the very end.

Thursday 27 July 2023

An incident on the road to Sebastopol

This imaginary scenario sees the British army in October 1854 running up against a hasty defence by a Russian rearguard.  The Russians have established themselves on a line of low hills straddling the road to Sebastopol, in order to delay the Allies and allow the Russian field army to withdraw.

Here are the Russian positions, with six battalions of infantry and a couple of artillery batteries either side of the road.:

The Russians have pushed forward some rifle armed skirmishers up to the river behind some stone walls.

The British are advancing on a broad front with three brigades, supported by artillery and light cavalry in the vanguard

The action begins with the British moving the Rifle Brigade up to the river line and an advance by some of the Scots and Guards. As they advance the Russian batteries on the hills open up, cutting down some of the Black Watch.

At the same time the Russians push forward three massive columns of infantry, in an attempt to hold the river line, all the while the British take casualties from the guns;

The British artillery fires into the Russian columns.

The Rifles take even more casualties, but from the shelter of the river bank pour fire into the central column:

Whilst the brisk action with the Rifles goes on, the Guards and Highlanders continue to advance upon the river, as a third Russian column edges around the small plantation:

The Rifles are taking a heavy toll on the Russians, but are themselves in trouble and in danger of being overwhelmed.

However, the Black Watch and the Guards arrive in time to save the Rifles, pouring fire into the dense columns.  The British in line with Minie Rifles outgun the musket armed Russians in their tight packed formations:
The combination of artillery fire and the Russian skirmishers cause heavy casualties amongst the grenadier Guards
But the arrival of the Black Watch halts the Russian column skirting around the plantation, saving the Rifles.
Now, the Russians are subjected to a punishing rain of fire.  The three columns are torn to pieces, as are the Russian skirmishers, who have been pushed back:

The British move across the river, driving the Russian columns before them:
As the Black Watch emerge from the river, they are charged by Russian dragoons.  With the Highlanders in line, they pour down devastating fire which cuts down the horsemen.
A second Russian dragoon regiment thunders towards the Rifles who, supported by the Grenadier guards and an artillery battery, also cut the cavalry to pieces.
Two fresh Russian columns counter attack against the two Guards battalions, that are now standing behind the stone wall.  The Minie Rifles once again devastate the close packed Russian infantry, halting the columns in their tracks.  
With six Russian battalions destroyed, along with two cavalry regiments, the Russian commander feels that he has delayed the British as long as he can and he withdraws his forces from the field.

The battle ends.  All the figures are from the collection of the late Alan Cook, consisting of Miniature Figurines S Range figures and some conversions.

Saturday 22 July 2023

25mm Ros figures - Prussian Dragoons

 A bit of light relief from Russian green, I decided to refurbish these old Ros Figures, in the shape of Napoleonic Prussian Dragoons.

They were fun to paint and I enjoyed the light blue and pink combination.

Tuesday 18 July 2023

The Russian Restoration

 Over the years I have collected quite a pile of Minifigs S range Napoleonic Russians and apart from the odd dabble, I have not done a lot with them.  The recent couple of wet weekends gave me the opportunity to rectify things.  Having roughly sorted the figures out (they were all lumped together in a drawer) I was able to see what I had.  Most of the figures were painted to some degree, some very good, others not so.  Also, many were still attached to a variety of bases.

After a day of tidying them up I began to work through them.  Some required a complete repaint, others a quick touch up.  All required new bases.  

There were a lot of Guards figures, about eight battalions worth.  I have completed four and will become the basis for a Grenadier Division.

Here they are, the completed Russian army:

This is about the halfway point, with many more cavalry, infantry and artillery to go.

Sunday 9 July 2023

Anyone Remember These? - Clydecast

 I was having a rummage in the roof space of my garage and found a box, within a box that I had not seen for decades.  It was a box of 25mm French Napoleonic infantry by the company Clydecast.  Most will be aware of the ship models from this now defunct manufacturer, but I wonder if anyone has examples or remembers this brief foray into the wargame figure world (at least I assume it was brief).  

I did have some cavalry too, but they were sold or swapped long ago.

I seem to remember liking the figures when they arrived, but not doing much with them as they were a bit on the large size for my existing collection.  Here are a few samples from the box:
And here is a comparison picture with an early Hinchliffe British Fusilier (on the right).
The figures are about 27mm foot to eye when measured:

I believe there were some British figures too, but I did not buy any.

I would be interested in any views on these figures and if there are any still around in collections.

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Battle Report Towton 29th March 1461

 Having got a better grasp of the Command & Colors Medieval rules, Will and I decided to have another go at a game.  This time we chose the battle of Towton with the two armies drawn up on the table:

I played the Lancastrians, nearest to the camera, who kicked off the battle in the usual way with each side's archers raining arrows on the other.  The Lancastrians were more successful, causing casualties and forcing some of the Yorkists back.
The Yorkists began to push forward on the Lancastrian left, but this advance was blunted by Lancastrian archers followed up by a swift cavalry charge.
Over on the right some Yorkist cavalry advanced towards their enemy, but a counter charge saw them pushed back.
On the left, a second advance by the Yorkists pushed the Lancastrians back, but was held off and the assault was forced to retire.

The battle then swung over to the Lancastrian right as they began a major attack by heavy infantry, supported by archers and cavalry.
This attack gained momentum forcing the Yorkists back causing them serious casualties.
A similar attack by the Lancastrians in the centre was equally successful.
A major battle developed on the Yorkist left which soon began to crumble.  Sustaining heavy casualties the Yorkists began to flee the filed.  A win for the Lancastrians.
Having mastered the rules the result was a fun, fast moving and enjoyable game. The figures are all from the collection of the late Alan Cook - and how splendid they look!