Sunday, December 17, 2017

Austerlitz Muster - Part Two

Almost two years ago I posted Part One of this project.  All the French have now been ready for some time, it has just taken a while to catch up with Stephen to see what gaps exist with the Austrians and Russians.  Today we did that.

The Order of Battle is based on Scott Bowden's book.  I might also produce one based on Goetz's book.

 We worked on the Austrains first.
All Stephen's except the 28AsLN in the bottom right hand corner.

 His infantry are pretty close to the right basing for Napoleon's Battles,
the cavalry and artillery (in some cases) less so.

 Buxhowden with the Advance Guard of Column I along with Columns I, II and III.
There are two 8AsLC units that need a few more figures.

A snip of the list.  The third to last column is the number of men or guns and the final column is the number of bases that is then rounded to get the Napoleon's Battles' unit (the ninth column).

 The Advance Guard and the Russian Imperial Guard.

Still have to check the classification of Voropaitzki's cavalry and arrival times of two Austrian batteries.

Liechtenstein with the IV and V Columns.

The other two columns making up the Allied force.  
These big formations are going to be a challenge for them to manage.

We are missing a Supreme Commander base featuring Alexander.  I've just about finished painting up some replacement Austrian batteries and have some Russian Horse Artillery that I am planning to do.

It will only be the cavalry that don't conform to the Napoleon's Battles' basing and movement trays and labels will have to deal with that.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fight for the Factory

Always fun to play and today's game was no exception.  Craig and Stephen went German this time while Brendan and I were the Russians.

 I'm thinking of redoing the red building ID tags in khaki.

 First we cleared out one side of the factory.

 Then the other.  

After much fighting we finally cleared the Germans out of the factory.

Simple game, but you really have to think about the moves you make.

Friday, December 15, 2017

WW2 German Wagon Riders

Following from my 3 December post after finding the new army lists for Megablitz and getting all enthused about creating an Alpini Division (which has progressed a little bit - I have at least now acquired suitable HAT 75mm mountain gun and some hopefully convertible crew plus seen some very nice 20mm AA guns in 1/72nd scale) I opened a box of Germans to find two unfinished wagons.

As every German division seems to need a wagon I decided I would finish them.  Then I decided I needed crew.  The wagons are Airfix (Wagon Train set and ACW Artillery limber) and are just a basic paint job. 

 Horses might be a bit small, but that is war shortages for you.

 Wagon Grenadiers.

 Not a perfect fit, but good enough to add atmosphere.

 They are just balanced on.  
If they ever get used in anger it might be blue tack.

The HAT 8262 Tank Riders almost got put back in the box when I saw this vile green shade.

However I am very happy how they turned out.  Four sprues of 11 different figures for $A12, that's less than 30 cents a figure.  Lots of potential.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sacred Ground

Finally my Vikings get a win.  With this scenario it paid to go first and get an early victory over the enemy.

 The Vikings moved up to the sacred hills, but did not dare set foot on them.

 But when the Scots trampled on the sacred ground, the Vikings attacked and flung them off.

 The Vikings were then in a very strong position, points wise,
having all their men up on the hills.



The Scots had two units left and sent them in.  
The Vikings repulsed them after some hard fighting.
While the centre hill had to be abandoned,
the Viking Warlord still got to celebrate a victory.

This is the first victory for my Saga Vikings.  Also the first time I can recall playing this scenario.  Also first time not using the levies.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jena

Yesterday, along with Mark B and Stephen N, I participated in the ANF's refight of Jena.  I was Soult and this post is very much my segment of the battle.  Mark B was Lannes and was very busy.  James was the other French player.  The Prussians were Mark W, Julian and Stephen.

 Starting positions.
I had eight battalions of infantry, three regiments of cavalry and five batteries.
You can see part of it already on the table at the bottom of the photo.

 And here is all of it about to receive a charge from some Prussian cavalry.

 The Horse Artillery attached to my cavalry division caused a lot of damage to the Prussian cavalry.

 In they went.
I have to say melees really benefit from being marked with cotton wool to give them some gravitas.

The Prussians occupied Neckowitz (I'm guessing that was the name of the village, my map is very black).  However they pulled out shortly after.

 My cavalry won and was pulled back to recover.
I do like using special figures to denote unit status.

 But wait, there's more!
Another Prussian cavalry unit attacks.

 I was lucky that time and was able to beat them off.
Meanwhile my infantry was advancing on the other side of Neckowitz.

 The Prussian cavalry has rallied, but is about to be obliterated by French artillery.
French skirmishers have started to engage the main Prussian force that I am facing.

 A bit of the bigger picture.  
I am very much a self contained corner of the battlefield.
Lannes has smashed the Prussians he was facing over on my left.

 I pushed a battalion into Neckowitz.
The Prussians then advanced aggressively, 
except for one battalion that was left covering their rear in square.

 The Prussian grenadiers made short work of the French defenders of Neckowitz.

 On the Prussian right my troops routed their battalion.  
In the centre my guys kept getting pushed back.  
Artillery was being used to blast the Prussians out of Neckowitz.

 Just to give some context, to the left of my engagement, 
the French are surging forward.

 Again we attack, but get pushed back before we can close.

 The Prussian square suffered from artillery fire and the rules insisted it be charged.
I threw a six to the Prussian one.  Victory!

 And my troops were able to follow up into the backs of these fleeing Prussians,
destroying yet another enemy unit.

The Prussians have two battalions and a battery left,
but then it became time for us to brave the kangaroos and go home.
The Prussians had passed their morale test and so were in for some more punishment.

These big games are lots of fun and the visuals very impressive.  Shako is not my preferred Napoleonic rules and I'm now worried that I will be researching a Napoleon's Battle scenario for this battle.  I think I will need to obtain some better publications first (my Petre book coming a poor third to Napoleon's Apogee: Pascal Bressonnet's Tactical Studies 1806 - Saalfeld, Jena and Auerstadt and Jena Auerstadt: The Triumph of the Eagle by F. G. Hourtoulle).  Might be a late request to Santa coming up.  However I can't see myself sourcing Prussians in bicorns, although I do have one unit so attired that is not yet painted.

Big thanks to the ANF for organising this game and for their hospitality.

Normandy 44 - Turns 17 to Completion

Friday Richard and I completed the GMT Normandy 44 game.

 The weather was overcast.
With the benefit of hindsight I can say that the Commonwealth front has stabilised.

 The US front is where the action is.
Particularly the Cherbourg Peninsula.

 Attacks were still being made by the Commonwealth,
but more a war of attrition to tie up German reserves.

 Is that thin grey line ever going to break?
Finally getting progress against Valognes. 

 The weather is remaining clear.
The Commonwealth have landed all their reinforcements.

 Finally.  Cherbourg is cut off.
However time is running out.

 The weather is still clear.  
At this stage this just means the Allies have extra shifts from airpower in combats.
The British kept attacking Caen and the Canadians sploshed into the flooded river on the far left.
Progress on the sector has been better than historical.

 The race to Cherbourg has been won by the US.
Except for this part, the progress on the US sector has also been better than historical.

This was the penultimate turn.
Wind stopped play at this point.

The red line is the historical advance at the end of the game.
The items circled in yellow are the additional town/city hexes captured by the Allies
 and that give victory points.

 Same goes for the US front.

With one turn still to go, there were six places still German controlled
in the Cherbourg area.

Even if the Germans held all six, the Allies were nine up, and so an Allied victory.  It was close...  A bit more stormy weather...  A few more successful German attacks and desperate defences would have made all the difference.

We did learn as we played so we might have made some early mistakes.  Particularly the difficulty of forcing quality troops from cities and strong points.

A good game with lots of thinking.  Some interesting mechanics that take a bit getting used to.

The Allies' paratroops are key fighting troops and perhaps are used more in the game than they were historically.