Friday, 25 January 2019

French vs British After Action Report

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!

British Line.

Highlanders, and Rifles (the latter coming with their own portable orchard!)


Prussians

British foot artillery

Dragoons.



Hussars and Light Dragoons.


Nice job on the Army Commander stand, with tiger skin on the ADC.


More pics of the Brits in the game report, so onwards!


Game

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.

French
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)

British
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!


French waste no time advancing to take the ridges and villages.



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.


Prussian attack columns approach the central ridge.

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.

Prussian Infantry attack stalls  in the centre...


...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!


Conclusion

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.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Painting review for 2018 - year of pants...

Here's the review of my 2018 painting. A rather meagre total of 416 28mm figures for the year, with 130 cavalry and 286 infantry completed. Not much compared to the 1000+ figures of previous years.

First reason for this is that I spent a lot of free time playing games rather than painting, with Ancients and Sci-Fi as well as Napoleonic games seeing the table.  So fair enough perhaps.

The second reason was pants - Hungarian pants. I painted 200 pairs of Hungarian pants with their thrice damned knots in 2018, and I now have over 400 of them total. I've committed to never painting any more! Then there were the Hussars, Uhlans and Command figures, many of which were quite individual and had much time consuming lace and other detail to paint.

Additionally there were 28 Galatians notable for their lack of pants, and clothing generally...

So all up not a great tally, but at the same time I'm glad to have these troublesome units behind me. Plus I consolidated my terrain collection with some much needed hills, templates and fortifications  for historical scenarios, and made a bunch of casualty markers, so not dissatisfied!

Austrians
32 Austrian Generals and Staff (and more rebased)
24 Cuirassiers, 24 Dragoons and Cheavauleger
36 Hussars
12 Uhlans
60 Grenz
72 Hungarians
42 Hungarian Grenadiers


French
24 French Generals and Staff (and more rebased)
54 French Voltigeurs (+ another 36 rebased)

Terrain and stuff
Casualty Markers
Hills and Templates
Gabion Fortifications (can be seen in this battle report)

Ancients
28 Naked Galatians

Sci Fi
30 Sci Fi Scouts (no picture)

Monday, 14 January 2019

Blog update and Napoleonic rules uploaded

My Chasseur Napoleonic blog has grown considerably since I first started it in late 2013. The index of labelled posts to the right is now quite cumbersome, which will only get worse as further topics are added. It's time to take command and reorder matters!

I've added some index tabs across the top to increase the ease of navigating the site content. I'll admit this is not just pure altruism for visitors, but also so I can find things more easily - most typically painting posts so I can remind myself what colours to use! As time passes I'll add more links to these indexes, and a longer term goal is better quality photos.

Additionally, I've added a page and uploaded the "321 - Fast Play Napoleonic Rules" as promised in my previous post, along with some design notes and variants.