Thursday, March 26, 2015

Somewhere in Belgium

I've been very sluggish in all things hobby-related, lately, including updating this blog! This game happened over a fortnight ago, but I still haven't documented it. After I do, I'll have caught up with my batreps, as I forgot to put the SD card back in the camera for last night's training game with newest member, Philip; D'oh!

This game turned out to be a 3 vs.2 game after Quinny joined the French side with Tim and I against Andrew B. and Steve commanding the Prussian forces in an 1815 game. Quinny took command of the French cavalry while Tim took overall command as well as commanding the two right hand divisions. I commanded the left 2 divisions and was given orders by Tim to fulfill. 

Basically, my first division was tasked to capture the church on the hill while the 2nd ws to follow up Quinny's cavalry wherever they ended up. With a small initial confusion between divisions, which resulted in a crossing of lines when the cavalry cut across my front, I set about my mission. 

Even though we won the initiative, the initial maneuvering meant that the Prussians gained the church first. While I was indulging in traffic control, Quinny's cavalry caused merry hell with poor old Steve. Even though Steve has been a member of the club for a few years, he hasn't been able to make enough meetings to become thoroughly familiar with the rules, so was was feeling a little under the pump with the number of troops under his command for a start, before Quinny came bearing down on him from all angles!

Andrew was also threatened by Quinny's cavalry in the centre. His squares and closed columns of Landwehr infantry were easy meat for my infantry when they moved into position. It was on the left flank that I eventually came a cropper. Although I managed to capture the church, I couldn't get enough pressure to bear to break his infantry, especially when his cavalry and artillery moved up in support. In a mirror image of what I did to him in the centre, he did to me on the left! My artillery didn't even get to fire before it was overrun, still limbered. In the centre, my infantry had outstripped my artillery and then broke the Prussian line without their help! Once Tim's infantry advanced, after being held in reserve, the Prussians' position was looking decidedly shaky.

Bonaparte's legions did for Blucher's hordes in a small measure of vengeance for their Waterloo defeat!

The brave French fellows!

My gallant general

My two divisions facing the Prussian hordes!

Orders from the Boss

A la baionette!

Quinny's orders. He didn't need to be told twice!

The Enemy!

Traffic congestion on the way to Paris.

Quinny's first move shows he's following orders to a T.

The rest of his cavalry on the right wing follows suit...

...and charges the guns! 

He successfully wiped out the guns and repulsed the counter-attacking Prussian cavalry

On my flank, his cavalry support my infantry by scaring the landwehr into square.

The rest of Quinny's cavalry look for opportunities, while the enemy forms closed columns.

The hussars back up the horse battery

Quinny's successful lancers now get support from his chasseurs on the right flank. They again charge the guns in a gutsy, but successful move.

The infantry of my 1st division assault the Prussian held church...

...and easily take it.

My 2nd division follow up Quinny's cavalry...

...who've gone off on a beserk rampage. 3 out of  4 battalions have formed square, but one hasn't and it's about to cop it!

After destroying the column, the chasseurs come to a stop against the square...

...and are repulsed.

The hussars tried to emulate the chasseurs' success by charging another Prussian battalion in column. The artillery in the flank puts paid to that idea. Especially as they were 12 lbers!

The leading 2 battalions of the 2nd division charge the Prussians just outside the flanking artillery's opportunity fire range

They concentrate on the right hand column, shrugging off the ineffectual supporting fire of the other columns

The remaining battalions of the division await their turn, while the first two get stuck in.

The Prussinas square up in response to Quinny's threat and fire into my flank at the same time. My troops hardly notice!

Two more battalions charge the hapless Prussians, smashing the square in the process and carrying on into the the other column, breaking the whole brigade.

My last two columns charged at the lone landwehr column by the village, but the were too near the 12 lb battery. My charge was repulsed with heavy losses!

In the meantime, Quinny set his chasseurs in an oblique charge on Steve's line, outside the fire arc of all the artillery and infantry, which just chewed up everything in his path. It was an awesome sight, and was the most successful action that those figures have ever undertaken!

After passing through the church, the lead elements of the first division are confronted by hordes of Prussians. They need to keep going forward aggressively, or they'll get rolled up from the flank. 

I was hoping to punch through the landwehr with superior quality troops, but just didn't have the numbers to do it.

By then Andrew had pinned me on the left with cavalry and then sent in his infantry to finish the job. Exactly what Quinny and I had done to him and Steve in the centre!

His cavalry got me into square...

...and then his infantry followed up...

...breaking battalions...

...with the resulting divisional morale test failing and the whole division routing!

Still, Quinny and I had forced a big gap in the centre...

...and with Tim's big attack on the right, it was curtains for the Prussians!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Eurotrash! - 1st Club Game 2015

After the epic Waterloo posts, it's back to posting AARs from our club meetings. This one actually happened about a month ago on my first trip to a Friday meeting at NWA Mitcham.

It was the first outing for my Wurttembergers, but as I don't have enough except for a small division, I decided to field all my other 'bits & bobs' units including my sadly neglected Italian line troops and my Croats, as well as a French brigade. Accompanying the infantry were Wurttemberg, Italian and French light cavalry and Wurttemberg and French artillery. Hence the 'Eurotrash' heading for this post!

I was partnered by Andrew S. with his Wurttemberg army and faced Tim and his Russians while Andrew faced Garry and his Austrians in a pseudo-1812 scenario.

The terrain layout was fairly cluttered, with walls, BUAs and hedges littering the centre of the table. Whoever got the first move would determine which side seized the buildings and therefore, hold the key to the battlefield. Andrew and I managed to win  the initiative and duly occupied the buildings to our immediate front.

As Tim seemed to be heading straight ahead with the bulk of his line troops and keeping a reserve of Opolchenie militia with some line troops as a reserve on his right, I thought I'd hold his main force around the buildings and walls and send a flanking force of my best troops (the French) around to the left to fall on the hapless militia and their supports. Like all good plans, they only work if your enemy does what you want him to, and Tim is not that sort of player!

While I separated my forces, linked only by a regiment of chasseur cavalry, Tim refocused his attention to the growing gap in my command. His artillery focussed on the linking cavalry as well as the cavalry screening the flanking infantry force. To save the chasseurs from the attention of the artillery and the sudden threat of vastly superior numbers of Russian hussars, I formed the chasseurs into column and backed into the gap between the woods and the hill. However, I didn't back off far enough and when Tim's hussars charged the guns in front, his breakthrough took him through into the head of the chasseurs' column, breaking them utterly. The horse gunners fled, while the poor old foot battery got squelched under-foot as well. If only I'd put the chasseurs back a little further, the woods would have prevented Tim's breakthrough move carrying through into them, allowing them to counter-charge. D'oh! 

Anyway, Tim then unleashed his infantry into the centre where they came up against the Wurttemberg infantry. After an inconclusive charge, he then overwhelmed me with numbers, causing a further widening of the gap in the centre. I wanted to be able to charge my Wurrtemberg chevaux leger at the Russians behind the wall, but realised that charging through the artillery and over the wall would just disorder the cavalry too much for the charge to succeed. If I had KGL light dragoons, or Guard Grenadiers a Cheval then it would have been a no-brainer, but Wurrtemberg light cavalry just aren't that sort of quality!

What really cooked my goose with the Wurrtemberg infantry was Tim's killing of my general in a burst of flank fire on the unit he was attached to. In a move Pistol Pete Ed. would surely have approved of, Tim rolled the dreaded double 0. Curtains for my general! All units in the vicinity were forced to take a morale check, some breaking, some retreating, but all causing a massive gap to suddenly open.

By that time my left wing flanking movement had reached the point where it could attack. First, I needed to cover their advance. The Italian chasseurs had done a great job, but were beginning to suffer from close artillery attention, so I did a passage of lines with an infantry battalion, so that the fresh infantry would cop the attention from the artillery and not run the risk of breaking. I didn't want the weakened cavalry breaking when my big charge was preparing to launch. That would just put unnecessary negatives on the likelihood of the charge going in. So the infantry advanced in column to shield the charge from artillery fire as well as any supporting infantry fire. Their charge went in successfully, but not as devastatingly effective as I had hoped. Without absolutely crushing the Russian line infantry in front of me, I couldn't then have the fun of getting stuck into the opolchenie, which was my ultimate goal!

The Croats and Italians in the centre of the table had managed to weather the morale test brought on by the general's demise by being outside the range affected, and got stuck in, repulsing a Russian attack. The Italians in the building exited to add their weight to the attack, but all that did was deny myself a flanking shot at any further attack and allow the Russians to occupy the building and gain a flanking shot at any further attack I launched! 

Anyway, with this act the game petered out with the Russians ascendant on my flank and an inconclusive draw on Andrew's flank. Tim said that though he had the upper hand, he wouldn't have been able to exploit it with the quality of troops he had and probably have had to withdraw after my forces got their act together after the my centre rallied. Anyway, a real game of swings and roundabouts with some stupid mistakes on my part, but also a potentially game-winning flank attack that just couldn't quite make it after my centre crunbled.


Wurttembergers on debut

The Italian chasseurs lead the flanking move.

The French infantry follow

Wurttembergers, Croats and Italians move straight ahead and occupy the ridgeline

Andrew races ahead to secure the woods and the nearest buildings

The target for today: Opolchenie!

Wurttembergers on parade!

One Italian battalion (love the alliteration!) occupies the building just before the Russians arrive

The Wurttembergers stay in reserve while the Croats and Italians head forward in the centre. Tim's main force approaches; I wanted the Russians to negotiate all the obstacles and gain all the disorders. 

My flanking force emerges from the woods and heads for the Russian left flank and those juicy opolchenie!

Tim alters the orientation of his forces to meet the threat (especially with guns and cavalry!)

My chasseurs form echelon to screen the advancing infantry

My French chasseurs have backed off between woods and hedge, but not far enough! The horse battery in front stands out like dogs' wotsits asking to be charged by the Russian cavalry 

Here they are, blissfully unaware of their danger!

My Wurttemberg cavalry have lined themselves up for a perfect charge at the Russian infantry in line behind the wall. If only they were as good as they thought they were!

The colonel of the regiment weighs his chances, then decides against it!

It's a job for the Poor Bloody Infantry!

Curses! Russian hussars have put the horse gunners to flight and totally blitzed the foot gunners, running for the edge of the board

With 80% casualties the chasseurs are bugging out, never to be seen again!

Tim moves forward into the gap.

The Wurttembergers fire into the flank of the cavalry, who fail their morale test and run for the hills! A minor victory compared to the damage they wrought, but I'll take it.

On the other flank, my French infantry reach the woods, while the cavalry screen their approach and take the artillery fire. Problem is they're getting beaten up and also block the infantry behind them
The cavalry back off, replaced by a lone infantry column,which immediately takes casualties from the artillery.

That then makes room for the rest of the infantry to charge into the woods at the Russian line.

I only manage to push the line out of the woods, rather than crush it, and now have another Russian column attacking my flank. The opolchenie are oblivious to how close they are to danger!

Back with the Wurttembergers; they meet a Russian charge head to head! An inconclusive draw was fought.

However, weight of numbers prevail and my defences are breached!

The jaegers go over the wall where the cavalry feared to tread.

Disaster! The general is killed!

My Wurttembergers can't stand the pressure and break after losing their morale checks.

The Croats and Italians beat back one charge...

...and then another, but weight of numbers are against me!
A couple more turns and I reckon I could have turned things around with my French troops pushing around behind the Russian line! It was the proverbial one that got away (It was THIS big, I tells ya...) :-)
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