Time for some more annual leave and Napoleonics, with a Divisional level action between some British and French. Local wargaming buddy Matt has been hard at work and has finally got a sizeable initial British/Allied force together and ready for action. Many pictures of his lovely lads in this report!
A look at some of the British/Allies. Matt has a clean bright style that looks great on the wargaming table. and he seems to be able to pump out the units quickly too! He's painted about five 28mm ancients ADLG armies over the past couple of years, and now these too!
Highlanders, and Rifles (the latter coming with their own portable orchard!)
British foot artillery
Hussars and Light Dragoons.
More pics of the Brits in the game report, so onwards!
Forces were as follows, and we used the 321 fast play rules for this game, both sides being about 600 points. All generals were competent rating.
1 Veteran Light, 3 Regular Line, 4 Skirmishers
3 Regular Line, 4 Skirmishers
3 Regular Line, 4 Skirmishers
4 Raw Line (recent Conscripts)
2 Regular Cuirassiers, Horse Battery (2 guns)
2 Regular Hussars, Horse Battery (2 guns)
3 Regular Line, Foot Battery (2 guns), 5 Veteran Rifle Skirmishers
2 Veteran Line (Highlander), 5 Veteran Rifle Skirmishers
4 Regular Line (Prussian)
2 Regular Line (Brunswick)
3 Veteran British Heavy Cavalry
2 British Light Cavalry, Horse Batter (2 guns)
Setup below. French have five Brigades on table, one in reserve (Infantry), and have first turn. British have four Brigades on table and two off (Brunswickers and Light Cavalry).
Here's the French centre/refused right. Hussars and Infantry.
The French left, Conscripts and Cuirassiers!
Veteran Lights (converged Carabiniers) rush down the road hoping to reach the second village before the British
Most British Brigades are initially hesitant, further handing initiative to the French. The British Light Cavalry are ordered on from reserve on their left flank though. The French reach the second village and occupy it.
Horse artillery deploys and targets the oncoming Prussians.
Here come the British Light Cavalry.
French Hussars redeploy to the right flank to counter the British cavalry.
And more Prussians assault the Carabiniers in the village (who had also managed to take out the too close British gun section with garrison fire!). First round is a drawn combat with both sides taking two disorder hits, so both sides keep fighting.
British Light Cavalry sweeps around the French right.
The British Heavy Cavalry charges the French left flank, and the Brunswick Brigade arrives to backup this attack.
The Lifeguards rout the first Cuirassiers, but initial pursuit takes them just short of their next target where they take a brutal round of canister and musketry in the French turn, before running down the Horse Artillery the following. The other Dragoon and Cuirassier fight is a bloody draw with both sides rendered combat ineffective and removed by end of two rounds of melee. The French have entirely lost their Cuirassier Brigade.
British Line join the assault and take the village, with both the Prussians and French Carabiniers being lost.
...as another Prussian battalion is lost and the Brigade as a whole entirely disperses as the remaining two battalions fail their morale checks.
More Hussars, plus Horse Artillery and Infantry break the British Light Cavalry Brigade. Two British Brigades down.
Brunswickers charge and rout a French Conscript unit, and the remaining Conscripts form line to try and stop them. The Brunswickers have taken some disorder and if they lose a unit the game will be over for the British due to half of their Brigades being lost. But one more loss will also break the Conscript Brigade.
Reserve infantry arrives for the French, enough to form square and stop the victorious British Heavy Cavalry running amok on this flank but not in time to bolster the Conscripts.
Only just surviving massed musketry and closing fire, the Brunswickers attack column charges the next conscript unit, doing three disorder hits and taking none in return. The conscripts need to roll a 1 to hold and do so!
With attached General waving his hat furiously, another conscript unit charges the flank and things look grim for the Brunswickers! Amazingly they just manage to survive and rout the Conscripts to their front.
And some grey horsed heroes arrive and the Brunswickers are saved just in time! The remaining Conscripts flee.
Meanwhile in the centre, Highlanders charge and break another French line.
But are stopped by the second line, and then charged in the flank and routed by another French infantry unit.
Just a gratuitous limber photo to break the narrative...
French Hussars press the British left flank attack back, but Highlanders and Artillery form a solid counter as the Rifles fall back.
And my right flank Infantry Brigade which has been taking attrition all game finally breaks under fire from British Rifles and Musketry. With that I've lost three Brigades and the game!
British Rifles, how I hate thee!
An exciting game that was on a knife edge by turn 5 for the British and turn 6 for the French, with a single disorder hit on British or French right flanks being enough to win the game, and both sides striving to deliver the knockout blow. Doesn't get closer than that!
I should also mention this is actually the second game we played, as I accidentally deleted the photos of the first while tidying up and deleting thousands of photos (doh!). The first game was a handy British victory, this second game was much closer. Matt's already planning substantial expansions to his force, so bigger battles and some multiplayer ones are on the horizon. Looking forward to it. :)
Another test of the 321 rules too, and I take it as a good sign that players like Matt who are new to the rules, but not new to Napoleonics, can just leap into the game using familiar tactics and come out on top.