Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Anglo-Brunswick vs. Franco-Polish = My Hovercraft is Full of Eels

Przywołać na armat!

Somehow this game didn't end up like the Monty Python Hungarian Phrasebook sketch with all those different nationalities represented on the table

Pete E. and I played John R. and Paul last Saturday. I had a British force and Pete a mixed Anglo-Brunswick force. I faced John with his Poles while Pete took on Paul's French. It really was a tale of two battles, with Pete and Paul going hammer and tongs against each other, while John and I spent most of the game facing off and trying find a chink in the others' armour. In contrast Paul and Pete indulged in charge and counter charge, with their dead piles growing impressively. I think John suffered 4 casualty figures all game, while mine was slightly larger, mainly due to his artillery, but more on that later.

The Anglo-Allied force; my British in the foreground and Pete's Anglo-Brunswickers at the top of the picture.

The Franco-Polish side won the initiative, so they got to move first, including John's large heavy cavalry brigade.

His infantry moved up in line masking his limbered artillery.

I moved up my guns and infantry with heavy dragoons supporting the artillery. I was expecting the gap between the woods and the town to be a crucial sector

On the other flank, my new unit of light dragoons went into action with artillery support

Another regiment of LD in column was positioned in support, so I wasn't too worried about the threat from the cuirrassiers. British LD are not too far off cuirassiers in quality, so with artillery support, I felt relatively safe on that flank. Most of the infantry was sheltering in the woods, safe from the enemy cavalry's tender mercies, too.

In the centre, my infantry are passed by Pete's Brunswick hussars who move up in support of his British infantry brigade.

John clears his infantry from in front of his artillery which had unlimbered. Once they fired, I found out where most of his points went; 3 batteries of 12lb artillery! On his first roll he destroyed 4 guns automatically with a 50% chance of destroying a 5th. Of course, he successfully rolls for the 5th gun! My battery started with 6 guns; after that one turn it was reduced to only 1!

They survived the resulting morale test (somehow!), limbered the remaining gun and attempted to get out of the way. The heavy dragoons backed up pretty quickly, too!

My infantry then tried to take shelter as best as possible in the town, taking advantage of the buildings' shadows.

My skirmish screen then tried to inflict damage on any advance by the Polish infantry, while my main line tried to shelter in the woods behind the hill, out of range of the 3 12lb batteries.

In an inversion of the usual pattern, Paul's French had seized the ridge and Pete's British had the job of dislodging them.

John's infantry had taken up a good defensive position to support his death-dealing guns.

But if we're both on the defensive, who can win? I sent my LD column forward to the crest of the hill to take advantage of any opportunity.

On the other flank, the best idea was to take cover!

My heavy dragoons copped a casualty even at that long range, so I tried to mask them with the buildings

I transferred some more infantry to the woods, as that's where I thought the crisis point would develop.  The lone artillery piece was still around, but couldn't get out of range of the Polish guns.  Next move John blew it to bits!

On the other flank, Pete and Paul had a cavalry stoush, which on paper should have been a French victory, but Pete rolled well and Paul rolled terribly, plus the fact that 2 French battalions had already broken, meant that Paul's dragoons broke and ran!

John's infantry tried to make an aggressive move in closed column against my cavalry. Instead of allowing him to march up and fire, I took the opportunity charge option, met him at the top of the crest and stopped his advance in an inconclusive draw. Just the ticket!

Pete's brunswickers made a great showing on the rightsticking it up Paul's hapless French...

...while his British held the line in the centre.

On my flank, a wide open gap developed between the town and the woods. Anything in that gap was vapourised by the big 12lb batteries!

Even the woods didn't provide a lot of cover, as my highlanders discovered!

Pete caused a brief stir when his hussars charged straight ahead. The battery fired and retired into the infantry square, while the French line infantry soiled their breeches, just missing out on being trampled under-foot!

My heavy cavlry paid the price for being caught in the open traversing the battelfield, losing another 2 figures. They just laughed, shrugged and carried on! Morale test? What's that?

I consolidated the infantry in the centre behind the hill, while the cavalry placed a vedette on the crest alongside the skirmish line and waited for the Poles' next move.

The cuirrassiers' view of my new unit of LD.

The LD in the foreground were holding the French cuirrassiers at bay while the suprting guns took a figure each time they fired!. John kept reversing, and I kept following, hoping to get the chance to unleash a charge. I din't want to get too far ahead of the the rest of my line though.

John tried a cavalry charge from the centre, using a column of hussars against my line. My cavalry behind the hill took the opportunity charge and met them on the crest.

Even though I was in line against his column, we were too well matched in every other regard, including dice rolling, so we basically ended up where we started from with a casualty and disorder each. My line still stood, though.

John charged his other hussar unit against the flank of Pete's British line. I took a figure as he passed the buildings I'd occupied, but it wasn't enough to save Pete's regiment which broke into the woods.

I brought out one of my infantry regiments from the buildings to try and deter any thoughts of mischief!

Back on my flank, I was trying to get the heavies around the back to be able to play a role against the cuirassiers, while trying to keep the rest of my forces out of harm's way. The Polish guns were nibbling at my right flank as they improved their angle each turn.

I decided to put the cavalry back in the front line in order to meet any attack, an infantry square behind it, and infantry back in the forest to be able to launch a counter-attack against any Polish infantry attack.

John's hussrs come waltzing around my rear areas, so I turned the heavy dragoons around again to face the threat.

On Pete's flank, things were coming to a head; a mass charge against Paul's attack succeeded into breaking the French...

...while his line managed to push back the French on the hill. Pete asked Paul for a divisional morale check, which Paul duly lost; his whole division broke!

My last hurrah was a failed morale chack after my cavalry lost one too many casualties from gunfire and retired.

It's amazing how different both sides of the tabel were, with Pete and Paul engaging in a real bloodbath, while John and I danced around each other, neither of us able to get the upper hand.

Oh well, at least I didn't lose!


  1. Sounds like a great game, love your Franco-Polish army and the buildings especially!

  2. Great batrep, thanks heaps for sharing!

  3. Top write-up and photos Ben. Is your new pseudonym Brave Sir Robin?! I can just imaging John's smug look as his 12 pars wrought their carnage! Please say g'day and all the best to everyone from me.

  4. Awesome photos and report! Thanks.


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