Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm Back, Baby!

...as George Costanza might say.

I made it to the club this last Friday night in the first time for a long time and had a game with Pete E. We were flying the flag for the Napoleonics crowd as we've been thin on the ground of late. Tim was on kitchen duty and Garry came along to offer moral support later in the evening, so Pete and I were it.

We settled on a 1200 point game which allowed for us to have a decent game without being bogged down with too many units to move. As it was, it got a little tricky at one point as Pete had so many melees occurring at the same time with my consequent counter-moves, we had trouble remembering whose turn it actually was!

The table with French on the left and Russians on the right


It turned out to be a cracker of a game with the balance in the sway for quite a while. He'd attack, I'd counter-attack, he'd counter-counter-attack and so-on. My dice were on fire while Pete's weren't that co-operative, otherwise I could well have ended up on the losing side (as is my usual wont!).

First move - I seize the hill on the left
My centre eyes off the Russians in the distance
I think I was lucky that Pete had concentrated his artillery on the village I'd occupied with my Italians as a precursor to his attacking my right wing. He didn't shift their aim much through the game, so I was thankful for that; one was a 12lber battery!

Italians move into the village on the right...
...while their support moves to cover the right flank
End of first move.
Chasseurs nearest to camera trying to remain unobtrusive!

Pete signalled early on that he was not going to muck around and launched a brigade charge on the Italian-held village, assisted by the artillery. Thanks to poor dice rolls, terrain and my successful fire on his attack, he was repulsed with losses. I detached the elites from the 2 other battalions on that flank to add disorders onto his columns with skirmish fire, so as to make him think twice about assaulting the village again. That flank stabilised into a desultory skirmish combat after he skirmished his jagers to counter my skirmishers, which was fine with me, as I'd hoped to stymie any further advance there.

Italians after surviving the initial charge
Skirmishers entering the woods to harass the Russians
Russians back where they started from after their abortive charge
On the other flank I was beginning to regret not putting my hussars out and keeping the chasseurs in the centre as a reserve. Pete had a big hussar regiment which are rated as grenadier, while my chasseurs are rated as lowly veterans. However, they held their own in at least 3 combats with their superiors, suffering at worst a minor defeat. Each time, though, I was suffering casualties and it would have been only a matter of time before his numbers overwhelmed me, even if my dice rolling remained high.

Chasseurs facing hussars
Chasseurs retire.
Steady, boys!

Luckily for my chasseurs, the infantry managed to save the day before they  got whacked! Pete, true to form, aggressively attacked the hill on my left flank where I'd set up my 4lber horse battery. They limbered and fled in the face of his brigade attack leaving Pete's Russian closed columns in a stand off with my hussars, who backed off to try and find a better angle to crack his infantry. This left my infantry the chance to get stuck into his nice juicy flanks, but before that I had to clear away one battalion that he'd moved up to stop just that manoeuvre. My dice were very co-operative and his weren't; I had a wider frontage by 2 figures and 1.5-1 mass advantage, so I ended up smashing him!

Hussars on the hill supporting 4lber battery
In the centre,  can't decide which way for the guns to face!
Russian brigade storms the hill in closed column.
Horse battery already fled.
The centre stabilised
I then limbered and moved my foot guns to be positioned on his flanks, but then I had to face his next attack, this time with 2 battalions of the Pavlovski grenadiers! Luckily I'd also put my best troops in the centre and what then ensued was probably the game deciding combat, though at the time it seemed likely that it would not be decided in my favour. His grenadiers targeted my veteran-rated light battalion which was formed in line. I probably would have been better off standing and firing, but counter-charged instead. Luckily for me, the results weren't too bad with my legere forced to retire only. He then launched 2 columns of his line troops at my other light infantry battalion, my elite-rated troops (the best on the French side!). Again, I probably should have stood and fired, but I counter-charged again. This time the dice fell in my favour, and how! I ended up with a smashing victory, remained in control, and took the breakthrough move which took them up through to the Pavlovski's flank (only just, though!). With my momentum, and the number of fleeing units around him, his grenadiers were forced into a retreat! HUZZAH!
Pete's line troops running for the hills after getting smashed, while Pavlovskis look on decidedly unimpressed!
Your turn, Pavlovskis!
One gone, one to go.
Legere's charge ends perilously close to Russian guns!
Legere veterans unload on remaining Pavlovskis
Pete masks his guns getting into my flank!

In my next turn I managed to eject the other battalion of Pavlovskis, leaving the centre in my hands. My victorious elite legere was dangerously close to Pete's artillery which I was expecting him to pivot and rake my exposed flank. In a surprise, though, he brought up an infantry column across the face of his guns form up on my flank, masking them and giving the Italians in the village a respite, as well as preventing them from firing at anyone else!

Meanwhile back on the hill on the left, I'd fired in the flank of Pete's right hand column (from his POV) and managed to force it back into a retreat. However, he soon returned and charged my column catching it in the flank and sending it reeling down the hill. He then turned the other 2 battalions ninety degrees to face the artillery, presenting a nice flank to my hussars, though he was still in closed column. I could see he wanted to try to rescue the centre and take out my still limbered foot battery.

Pete's battalion forced to retire
My battalion flees to join the rest of the shirkers at the bottom of the hill!
Pete's dangerous ninety degree maneuver seen from the hussars' perspective.

I had formed the middle battalion on the hill into line facing his columns at the foot of the hill. He attempted to form line with two of them, providing me with an opportunity fire on both of them. Because I was in line and at close range, I had caused an automatic casualty on both lines with a 20% chance of causing another on both battalions. This meant rolling a 1 or 2 on a d10, not that likely, but I rolled a 2 not once, but twice! They broke and ran, to be replaced by his last remaining battalions. My line column in the centre which had been providing support for the artillery then saw it's chance and charged the exposed flank of these teo lines that had just moved up. I swept aside first one, then the other, basically securing the flank on that side after his division disintegrated.

The French line devastates the Russian maneuvers.
My coup de gras goes in...
...and rolls up the line!

After that, Pete could see the writing on the wall and conceded the game.

It was a really fun game, helped by my dice actually co-operating. Some mistakes on my part were lessened by Pete's inferior dice rolls, like the cavalry stoush on the left wing, so I was lucky with some of my combats. Where it counted, the dice also came good, especially in the infantry combats in the centre and left.  I put it all down to my extra-special, super-deluxe dice bag!

The situation at the end.


  1. The Dice Police will be round to check some time this week. We've had an anonymous tip-off.

    Otherwise, very enjoyable account - thank you!

  2. You are back, and how; an engrossing battle, exciting battle report, great photos and... finally some good dice! Brilliant.


  3. A great game and report go go dice bag!!!

  4. Welcome back there and great game, love the photos.

  5. Great AAR on a great looking game. It's good to get a solid win under the belt from time to time.


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