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Wednesday 20 December 2023

Battle for the Crossroads 1815

 The French army is on the move and the allies are deploying to counter the French advance.  At a small crossroads in Belgium elements of a Dutch brigade make preparations to stem the French advance. The battlefield consists of a small village that sits where two major routes converge.  On one flank there is a large dense wood, while on the other sits a walled farm and smaller wood. The land rises on both sides up to low ridges. 

It is vital that the French do not gain control of the village and the crossroads.  Leading the advance is Marshal Ney with a combined arms corps.  Rushing forwards on the Allied side are more Dutch and Nassau troops as well as the complete Brunswick Black Corps.  The questions is, will they arrive in tome to check the French?

French light infantry are in the vanguard and have orders to capture and hold the large wood on the left:

French light battalions working their way through the woods.
The first Brunswick and more Nassau troops begin to arrive behind the village
As the French light near the far end of the large wood they are met by Nassau infantry who fight hard.
The Nassau troops begin to halt the advance of the French light as fresh Dutch and Nassau battalions arrive in the field.
Meanwhile, the bulk of the French line infantry arrives and occupies the low ridge along with some artillery.
At the same time more Brunswickers can be seen approaching the farm complex.
The French, having been unable to force a way through the woods make a move in the centre, advancing three battalions with cavalry and artillery support.
After a brisk battle the churchyard dominating the crossroads falls to the French, however, the village on the other side of the crossroads is strongly held by Brunswickers. Dutch artillery and small arms peck away at the French defenders.
Several Brunswick artillery batteries with infantry cause problems for the French in the centre, so some French cavalry regiments are pushed forward to counter the threat. The Brunswick Hussars, led by the Black Duke himself and supported by horse artillery mounts a counter attack.

Regrouping the French Hussars move forward again.  The Brunswick Hussars are destroyed but a charge by the Brunswick Lancer squadron causes more damage.   The French light cavalry are driven off once more.

A second French cavalry brigade arrives on the field and a clash with the Brunswick Lancers takes place. The Lancers do well but are overwhelmed by the French and driven off.

The French deploy more artillery but casualties around the church and village are mounting.  The battalion that successfully took the church is forced out and destroyed.  Another French battalion moves forward to take the church back, while the French cavalry, reorganises itself.

The battle in the large wood has become a stalemate, with neither side being able to make progress.
The number of casualties around the crossroads mounts.  All of the Brunswick cavalry are now destroyed but the French cavalry are badly mauled too.  Adding to the French woes, two commanders are unhorsed and leave the field, including Ney himself!

The French emphasis now shifts over to their right flank.  French skirmishers are ejected from the small wood by Brunswick light and Jaegers moving around the walled farm:

However, a massive French infantry assault is building up.
This leads to another battle in woods, this time on the right flank.  Once again the French make little progress and several battalions are seen streaming to the rear.

With casualties mounting and time running out the French try one last ditch attempt to force the allied right and push several fresh battalions into the large wood:

A Brunswick horse artillery battery is destroyed and a Brunswick and another Nassau battalion are destroyed but it is not enough.  Nassau troops cling on to the woods and as evening sets in the French call it a day.  The score is 11 all, however, the Brunswickers remain firmly in charge of the crossroads; the stalemate giving them a victory.

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Rapid Fire

 Will and I plan to have another go at Rapid Fire.  In our last couple of games the defending Germans defeated the assaulting US army, mainly due to the presence of two Panther tanks.  The US Shermans were no match, after which the US infantry was rolled up quite quickly.

We agreed that our next game would involve less powerful tanks on the German side.  With that in mind I have acquired a couple of Panzer IVs and a pair of Stug IIIs.  Should we confront the Panthers again I now have some 76mm armed Shermans too.

A shortcomings during our last game was the lack of artillery observers and we had to use random command figures in this role, so I have now created one each for the US and Germans.  In addition I have produced a German sniper team:

As with the other of my Rapid Fire forces, I am using the versatile Valiant plastic figures.

Once I have completed the new tanks and other figures I will show some pictures.