Thursday 26 June 2014

Preparations for Champaubert

Here we have a few photos of the table setup for the very small skirmish at Champaubert - this was the first of Napoleons four victories against the allies. Although it looks small it is 5' x 6 ' foot.

I have missed the next battle in the campaign (La Rotheire) because I dont have any Austrians, Bavarians or Wurrtemburg troops painted! I will go back to it once these troops are ready.

As I say this is only a skirmish really compared with the other battles - the Russian commander Olsufiev had only around 4,000 infantry,  24 cannon and no cavalry to speak of. He should really have withdrawn, blowing up bridge to gain time. As it turns out he disobeyed orders during the battle of Brienne and nearly got Blucher captured! So rather than face another dressing down he followed his orders to the letter to hold Champaubert despite the fact he was really outnumbered.

The rules will be Snappy Nappy by Russ Lockwood - cuts down on the 'buckets of dice'

Grand view of the battlefield

The river Morin and the St Gond Marshes - impassible except over the little bridge. As you can see its just a big piece of cardboard with scatter and grass.
The two villages of Bannay and Baye that formed the Russian defence.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Brienne 1814

We've just finished the battle of Brienne, the first of the series of battles that were fought in France during the 1814 campaign. I was field Marshal Blucher leading the Russian forces and my son was Napoleon leading the French forces. We used the simplest of the available rules which was Grande Armee, I had come close to choosing between Snappy Nappy and DBN but as we've already used GA before we went with the safest option. The rules will need modifying as the higher rated units tend to steamroller everything around them; it was impossible for the French to evict my men from Brienne and infantry able to attack cavalry just doesn't seem right. Otherwise we had a really fun time of it.

The French could win by severing the line of communications (represented by the long convoy of vehicles.) and shooting the hell out of my units . They achieved both these objects but failed to take Brienne - it's entirely possible that I misread the rules but the saving roll with 4 added to it for hard cover seemed excessive. It is my understanding that villages changed sides frequently in these conflicts. 

Here are some pictures, the game took 2.5 hours to complete and Blucher sort of lost, I think.

The rules...

The Russian right flank.

The Russian left flank and rear ....just the loooong supply column that must escape!

The Russian center - Brienne garrison by an infantry brigade and the chateau on the hill.

Everything was going ok until this guy appeared.

French right, their dragoons menace Brienne

French left - Marshal Victor deploys his brigades (sorry for fuzzy pictures)

Count Pahlens cavalry make heroic charges and take out two batteries.

The dragoons sweep the brigade away - I should really have had the men inside the chateau! :(

Close up of the dragoons....

Close up of French infantry..never ending hordes...

Nobody can take Brienne...French infantry take hits.

Routed units - nearly all Bluchers Russians.

End of turn three and Ney with the four Young Guard brigades arrive. Guard cavalry as well...end in sight for Blucher.

Russian reinforcements also arrive on turn three - Sherbaotovs corps, four brigades of infantry and two batteries.But the convoy is still not safe. I remove one wagon every turn

Mihaud the commander of the cavalry corps is killed and so napoleon takes over the Dragoons. The ride down the infantry and start to move towards the convoy.

Guard cavalry steam roller whats left of Bluchers right wing. Sherbatov is too late.

Close up of Ney and the Young Guard

Blucher throws in the towel....most of the wagons escaped bar three that were captured by the emperor and the dragoons.

Instead of languishing in the study these take pride of place in the lounge...well the bit where we now wargame.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Preparations for Brienne

The trestle tables (together make 5 x 6 feet) arrived a couple of days and me and the son set them up for the Brienne scenario. I downloaded two versions; an Age of Eagles and Volley and Bayonet PDF's.

Here are a couple of photos from the back of the lounge, its a bit of a squeeze for a portly chap like myself but I can still still maneuver around it to place troops! The river Aube can just be seen on the extreme left. However, there ought to be a road running from Brienne to Chamnsil, and also Breinne-la-ville is missing!

Annotated with place names.

Friday 6 June 2014

Russian Tchougouiev Uhlans

Another poor unit that's been sitting on my desk gathering dust for over three months! These are AB figures and are the first 15/18mm I've painted in a while. They were primed well before the Ayton game and the tons of painting I did for that!! This unit was at the battle of Brienne and is one of the last ones to be completed for a brigade unit based game. I've ordered a couple of 2 x 6 ft trestle tables, there is just enough room for them to be setup at the back of the lounge. The kitchen is just too cramped and besides we need time to setup and play - so these tables can be left out for a while.  The next unit are the Russian Irkutsk Hussars....but I dont think they'll be needed for Brienne.