Thursday, July 11, 2013

Victory of the French Plastic Fantastics!

He's Plastique and he sings in French...but is he Fantastique?

Usually if I'm on the winning side, it's because I'm riding on the coat-tails of my partner's superior tactical skills rather than any brilliant general-ship on my behalf (but even those victories have been few and far-between of late).

However, I can now stand with my head held high and, without stretching the truth, shout from the roof-tops:

I am a WINNER!

(queue artillery salute...)
(...Thank you)

Général "le secrétaire" Ian partnered Général Jean Grenouille (me) with our (mainly) plastic 1/72nd French forces faced a wily enemy in Andrew B and his 1813 Prussians. Andrew managed to field 2500 points worth (more or less one of his historical Prussian Divisions), so Ian and I fielded French forces of 1375 points or thereabouts. I went for another infantry-heavy force, with one 6lb foot battery and two regiments of Chasseurs à Cheval, while Ian had a more mixed force with more cavalry and higher rated infantry.

I started the game with a series of BUAs to my front which would determine where the battle would be fought. Whoever seized them first would control the battlefield and determine where the battle would be fought. The other player would be forced to either attack the BUA or wait in front of them. If he advanced on either side he would invite flank fire from the occupied buildings. Rolling for initiative, I won for the French  and was able to occupy the BUAs closest to the Prussians, therefore denying Andrew the opportunity to advance. I thought that would be the extent of my victory.

On the contrary, Pressure applied by cavalry supported by infantry on the right wing eventually paid off, despite my best efforts at throwing away the centre. Thankfully Ian was doing a good enough job there to keep Andrew from exploiting my mistakes. On the right wing I managed to keep him bottled up to the extent he couldn't deploy his artillery there, and I actually managed to pull off a successful opportunity charge against his infantry in closed column! That alone was worth the price on the entry ticket!

Once he'd seen flanked my cavalry with some of his and I'd fired in his flank with some infantry in a bit of mutually assured destruction, I let rip with a regimental charge on his battered infantry line forcing them into a retreat, exposing the rest of his line. The battalions in the BUA left the buildings and deployed right in the flank of some of his infantry, making his position untenable. With Ian also in the ascendancy on the left, Andrew's only hope would have been to break off and redeploy, effectively conceding the field to us.

My troops on the table

New troops on debut

2nd battalion of JN Regiment lose their cherry!

Brigade of Schilling veterans with an Italian ring-in

Ian's comparatively very clean and neat battalions...

..and shiny, bright cavalry

Andrew's Prussians

Starting positions. My command is closest to the camera.

We win the initiative and get first move, which takes me just short of the BUA, while my chasseurs fan out on the near flank.
I was worried Andrew would get into the BUA on his turn...

...but he just fell short, too!

Ian's first turn saw him advance with 2 dense infantry formations and two large cavalry regiments on the flank, with smaller cavalry units interspersed amongst his infantry.

Ian's serried ranks...

...were met by Silesian Schützen, with landwehr in the wings

The general orders my troops into the BUA while the Croats look on

After traversing one BUA, the two battalions ensconce themselves in the forward BUAs and give the Prussians a volley

Meanwhile the chasseurs and supporting infantry move up to protect the BUAs' flank

Andrew's battalions form closed column to face the threat.

The situation as it stands so far on my flank. I'm sending reserves to the right in order to bolster the threat to Andrew's flank, while the centre's job is to hold the position.

Meanwhile, Ian advances one regiment in l'ordre mixte with another in support to the rear, while his light infantry occupy the woods and dispute with the Schützen.

Andrew launched a charge with a large landwehr lancer regiment, with Ian met with his tiny hussar force. Not a good result for the French!

The battlefield situation as the cavalry clash in the centre.

I charged the chasseurs at the victorious lancers as I assumed their breakthrough move would reach my cavalry and didn't want them caught flat-footed. In hindsight, I should have left them because Andrew probably wouldn't reached them. Anyway, charging line with column against an enemy following up a victory and with a friendly unit breaking nearby the outcome was a forgone conclusion! Bye-bye chasseurs!

Still, his lancers were now isolated deep in French territory with infantry on both flanks.

On my right flank, I'd brought up the reserves to mass for a charge at the opportune moment, while my cavalry stymied Andrew's attempts to deploy his artillery battery on that flank.

Ian tries a tricky maneuver: He skirmishes the line of the mixed order, advances the closed columns either side, taking artillery fire as he does, then charges the columns in the rear through the resulting gap. The idea was good but the execution wasn't. Andrew met him in a counter charge and with superior dice rolling, forced Ian back.

Meanwhile, I formed a battalion onto Andrew's lancers' flank protected by a battalion in line.

On my right flank it was time for some aggression! Andrew tried to pull back and I rolled to see if my cavalry took the opportunity charge, which they did. They forced the closed column to retire, then crashed into the exposed flank of the line. The green marker indicated the furthest limit of their breakthrough move. the line broke and fled!

In the center Andrew charged Ian's guns...

...which were forced to retreat with losses.

He tried to save his cavalry by advancing his infantry through the woods to meet my line.

After the minor disaster on the flank, he brought up some more infantry to plug the gap, and brought a small lancer unit onto my chasseurs' flank.

In a counter-counter-move, I sent one battalion to threaten his lancers' flank

In a firefight in the woods, I managed to cause one landwehr battalion to retire, but was actually hoping to inflict more damage.The battalion on the cavalry's flank fired, missed and the cavalry's ensuing morale test was passed with ease, dammit!

Ian's line on the cavalry's other flank likewise made little impact. They breed them tough in Prussia!

Ian's leger infantry had some outstanding fortune, causing one battalion of Landwehr infantry to flee, while getting stuck into the flank of another battalion.

The situation as it stands: I'm bringing pressure to bear on Andrew's near flank while he's pushing on our centre. Ian's also making inroads on the far side.

My troops await the signal to charge!

Once the cavalry make way, it's the turn for the infantry!

The fight around the woods in the centre looks serious, so I sent forward another couple of battalions to try to outflank the mass of Prussians in the woods. The artillery and reserves wait their chance.

Ian charges his cavalry into a Prussian infantry line who take the ballsy option and stay in line to fire at the oncoming threat!

On my flank, the Mexican standoff breaks: Andrew charges the lancers, I fire the infantry into his flank, causing the charge to halt, but my chasseurs are too spooked and retreat!

The way is clear for the infantry!

Andrew's guns force one of my supporting battalions back with huge losses in the centre, as the line in the woods remains under pressure.

Andrew attacks Ian to try to force a path through to rescue the cavalry.

The artillery-battered battalion blocks the supporting battalion behind it while the firefight continues in the woods. The battalion facing the cavalry failed to notice the return of the previously repulsed landwehr, who appera on their flank and let rip a volley that sends then reeling!
In a final firefight, the numbers tell and the line is forced to retire.

On the near flank, the charge goes in against the Prussian line!

It pusshes the Prussians back. allowing space for the reserves to come up to exploit the gap.

The battalions in the BUAs come out

Andrew's forces in the centre are now faced with a quandary; push forward and exploit the minor successes, or fall back? 

With my success on the flank and Ian forcing gaps in his line, Andrew concede the game, saying he'd have no option but to break off if the game was to progress further..


  1. Plastics are always fantastic (ha, ha)!

    Top report Ben and excellent photos... and congratulations on the win!


  2. Good looking game...and congrats!

  3. Love the pictures. Takes me back to using plastics in my youth. I still have the figures and a load of ESCI and Airfix figures my Dad never finished.

  4. Awesome look game and congrats on the win!

  5. Excellent bat rep Biffo. Nice to see you getting a win. Cheers.

  6. Hurrah! Great batrep...

  7. Great report and very good pictures of a spectacular victory.

  8. Nice pictures! I specially love the Prussian BIG men standing in line against the pigmy French cavalry! :-p

  9. Great report, and vivent les hommes de polymère!

  10. Great looking battle. Winning cures all ills, doesn't it? And lol on the video. I haven't heard that in about 25 years.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Shelfari Bookshelf