Friday, 31 July 2009

Second British base...almost

Quiet week this week and I am on holiday next week, so no picture today.

I have finished painting the figures for the 1st Guards Brigade (Maitland's) for Waterloo and just need to finish the basing. These have apintied up weel and I am getting the "hang" of the figures now I have done a few. The guards even have their cuff lace painted on! Not bad for 6mm.

Next up will be the 2nd Gds Brigade, 8th Brigade and 9th Brigade. The latter 2 bases will form part of Picton's division and will include highlanders and part of the 95th rifles. Should be a good painting challenge

Quite scarily, for the battle itself, this will be 5/8 of the British infantry done. There are all those Dutch and Belgians of course....

see you in a week, I'll get you a stick of rock :-)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

First British infantry base

A brief hiatus to my blogging last week, while I completed some coursework. I'm back on track now and have spent the last few days putting together my first base of British infantry for the Waterloo 1815 project: This base contains the 30th and 33rd foot, along with a rogue company of riflemen who don't really belong there. The figures are all from the Baccus range and are an absolute joy to paint, with their crisp detail. The bases they are cast on are much thinner than the old range making it easier to chop strips up and to base them. I have already ordered a few more and am about to undercoat the figures for the 1st Footguards.

In the background I still have the long-term project of rebasing my 28mm ancients for Impetus.

cheers!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (5)

Here is the final instalment!

By about 5.30 pm the French left hook had pressed the Austrians further back along the ridge. Over on the right there was a series of small combats between Austrian and Bavarian forces, but no decisive results:
Eventually however, the final vestiges of Austrian defiance on the ridge line crumbled. The village of Unter Laiching fell to a Bavarian Assault supported by a brigade of infantry from II Corps along with Davout's reserve artillery. The defending Austrian infantry were pounded into submission. The Austrian left flank was still left fighting, but now attempted to pull away from the real threat of encirclement as Davout continued to push Friant's and St Hilaire's troops south down the ridge:
By the time night fell at around 8.15pm the pocket of Austrian resistance was much reduced and the remaining elements of Rosenberg's corps attempted to escape north to join the main army.

While the game differed from the real battle in terms of the intensity of combat (things weren't pushed so hard in reality) it did share some key features. The Austrians proved how stubborn they coul be in defence but also how fragile they were and how poorly they could cope with even the slightest touches of bad luck going against them. The Austrian cavalry performed well, counterattacking to delay the French and Bavarian advances before being able to withdraw intact from the battlefield.
The rules played well. There are a few minor tweaks I may consider making here and there, but nothing essential and the mechanisms held up well and played really fast. I'd estimate that the total playing time was under 2 hours.
The forces engaged represented somewhere around the following:
French & Allies: 30,000 infantry, 800 light cavalry and 60 guns
Austrians: 20,000 infantry, 2000 light cavalry and 80 guns
French and allied losses were in the region of 2,000 infantry
Austrian losses were in the region of 5,000 infantry and 50 guns
I'd judge this as a fairly major victory for the French. Based on the VP schedule I calculated at the start of the scenario the French gained 20 points and the Austrians 5.
This was a fun game and a scenario I'd happily refight. Perhaps the Austrians need to put more respources into defending their right flank and holding back Davout?
cheers


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (4)

It was a quite night at the club and as I crashed my car in Forumla De, I popped home early to get some more fo Eckmuhl completed.

By 16:45 the French left (Friant) had taken advantage of a withdrawal by the Austrians to the main ridge line. St Hilaire's bashed-up division had rallied off most of the disruption inflicted and Davout was preparing for the next "big push" with these two divisions
On the right, less was going on, due to some poor command rolls. One Bavarian infantry brigade even underwent a spontaneous withdrawal!
By 15:15 Davout's plans on the left were bearing fruit. A general attack by Frant, supported by some of St Hilaire's troops had routed the Grenzers and an Austrian infantry unit, while St Hilaire's remaining brigades assaulted OberLaiching and seriously disrupted the defenders

.. on the right, the Bavarian's attempted to use thir light cavalry to screen their infantry while it positioned itself to flank Unter Laiching, however a counterattack by Austrian hussars saw off the Bavarian cavalry and the infantry could not then risk exposing its flank by turning on the village. The Austrians also took the opportunity to withdraw their advance guard and chevauxlegers:

By 15:45 St Hilaire had taken Ober Laiching, destroying the defenders in the process. Friant continued to reorganise his division before any final assault on the ridge.

The Bavarians on the right still struggled to position sufficient troops for an assault on Unter Laiching and Demont's division suffered a disaster when its rightmost brigade failed a command roll and sponaneously attacked the Austrian advance guard. The attack war repelled and then a counterattack finished off the French conscripts.


This may be the last hurrah for the Austrians. The French are making headway into the villages and the Austrian right is crumbling fast. How will the last few hours go...?




Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (3)

Hello folks! I have managed to get a couple more turns in and this has taken the battle up to 16:00. The following pictures show how things have developed.

On the French left, Friant's division of Davout's corps has continued to pressurise the grenzers on the wooded hill. To support this, St Hilaire has detached part of his division to support the attack with a flanking move. This was fortunate as Friant's Legere were again unsucessful as the Grenz skirmishing prevented them making contact, however they could do nothing to stop St Hilaire's men and the resulting combat forced the Grenz to withdraw.
Meanwhile, in the centre, St Hilaire was forced to withdraw from the assault on the ridge to allow his troops to rest and regroup. Davout's plan now is to continue to push the Austrians on the wooded hill to the left and hopefully wrap up that flank of the Austrian line; time permitting, of course!
On the French right, the Bavarians and Demont continued to advance slowly, although not blessed with the greatest of command rolls. The Austrian advance guard brigade, supported by the Vincent Chevauxlegers counterattacked Demont's conscripts forceing them back in confusion. As a counterpoint, the Bavarians advanced towards the Austrian Hussars, who rolled to successfully evade and fell back behind the hill.

Pressure is now building on both Austrian flanks and their centre has been denuded of artillery and thinned out be the need to reinforce the grenzers. The defenders are still holding four built-up areas to the French two, so the battle is still very much in the balance.
No updates tomorrow as it is game night at the club, see you later in the week, Ashes cricket action permitting.
cheers

Monday, 13 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (2)

Here is part 2 of the battle report:

11:15-12:00

On the French left, Davout's infantry are again repulsed by the Grenzers on the wooded hill, however a flanking regiment is working its way around the hill to the right and two regiments continue their advance around the left. The Austrians continue to bring up part of the corps reserve infantry to bolster the defences

In the centre, St Hilaire's division begins to advance with the aim of taking the ridge to its front and cutting the Austrians in half. The Austrian cavalry battery falls back in the face of this advance.
On the right, the Bavarians advance out of Schierling, however one brigade runs into the marshy banks of the stream and becomes disorganised, slowing the advance. Demont's troops, having crossed the stream, take time to reorganise themselves. The Austrians reposition to face the new threats. Eagle eyes readers will note the appearance of hill on this flank to more accurately represent the actual battlefield.
12:00-13:15
The Austrians seize the initiative! On the French right, the grenzers counterattack the regiment attempting to outflank them and aided by their uphill position and some good fortune they rout them. Meanwhile the regular infantry also stage a counterattack, inflicting damage on their french counterparts although not forcing them back

Meanwhile, in the centre, St Hilaire continues to advance towards the ridge. His right-hand regiment runs down the Austrian cavalry artillery and the French artillery reserve is brought up to begin bombarding Oberlaiching. The Austrians load their artillery and await the onslaught

On the right, the Bavarian light cavalry come up to support their infantry on the hill, while the rest of the units reorganise and the Autrians bring up their own reserve cavalry.

13:15-14:30

On the left, both forces settle for the opportunity to rest and reform.

While in the centre, St Hilaire storms the Austrian gun line, taking many casualties but running down the gunners before being repulsed by the Austrian infantry holding the crest.


...and on the right, the Austrians opt to refuse their flank as much as they can, while the Bavarians and Demont continue to rally-off their disruption


With the battle at around the half-way stage for the day things are finely poised. Both sides will be keen to seize the initiative as this may be critical to deciding how far St Hilaire can penetrate the ridge line. A timely counterattack by the Austrians could send him skittling back. The loss of the guns however seriously removes one of the key Austrian advantages.

cheers

Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Battle of Eckmuhl (1)

I thought I'd set up a little 6mm game (no pun intended) this weekend and opted to re-fight the first day of Eckmuhl (21st April 1809). This was a rearguard action by Austrian IV Korps, being pressed by Davout with part of III Corps and Lefebvre with part of VII Corps. The set up at 10am is shown below, looking eastwards from behind the French entry line On the left, facing the wooded hill is Friant's division, in the centre is St Hilaire's division and the III corps reserve artillery. These comprise Davout's immediately available troops. Supprting them on the right is Deroi's bavarian division in and around Schierling and Demont's division of French conscripts advancing south of the stream. These two division are commanded in the game by Oudinot (a slight change from the historical situation)

The defending Austrians have taken position on the hills in the centre of the battlefield, using the villages of Ober- and Unter-laiching as bastions to break-up any French attacks. Grenzers have been pushed onto the wooded hill in the north to resiste Friant and the southern flank is held by light infantry and elite light cavalry. The battle will last from 10am until 8pm and vistory will be decided by a combination of villages held (3 pts per base) and casualties inflicted (1 point per eliminated base & 3 pts for each ene,y command demoralised)

11:15 am

After the first two turns, the situation is shown below:

On the French left, Friant has pushed towards and around the wooded hill. An initial assault into the woods was repulsed by the Grenzers who were then steadied by Rosenberg himself, while the french regrouped. Rosenberg has started to bring a regiment of infantry from the centre to support this flank.

In the centre, St Hilaire is holding to observe the events on each flank before committing his division to the fray
On the French right, Bavarian cavalry has probed forward and been sent skittling back, while Demont has started to bring his conscripts over the stream. The Austrians hav countered this by bringing forward hussars and cavalry batteries.

Further reports to follow...






Saturday, 11 July 2009

Hospitaller knights

I finished the basing on my hospitallers in between tidying up my study/painting room. These have turned out pretty well, I think and it is good to be slowly getting through the pile of previously abandoned projects!

Monday, 6 July 2009

ECW

The pot-pourri of projects continues. I planned a small ECW project a couple of years ago and invested in some Perry miniatures and a couple of bags of mounted command figures from Old Glory. Below is my second unit of royalist foot. These were actually painted 3-4 years ago and have been stuck in the box awaiting the basing being finished. I have always struggled for rules for the ECW, but my Impetus projects have led me to the renaissance expansion - Basic Baroque and this seems to fit my bill OK. Units will have a "big" 180mm frontage with units composed of 3x60mm stands, but I'm only planning to do small armies anyway (famous last words) of around 4 foot and 4 horse units per side plus some addtitional dragoons, artillery etc. I'm aiming for early war, so my royalists have a 1:1 ratio between the pikes (centre stand, 10 figures) and the shot (flanking stands, 5 figures each). Other units with have a 1:2 ratio (7 figures per stand)

I also have a small artillery piece finished:
Hope you like these!

cheers

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Back to 1809

While the paint was drying on my crusaders I slipped down to the club last night and took the 6mm napoleonics out for a spin. The scenario was somewhat ad-hoc with the situation based loosely on Quatre Bras but with two Austrian corps acting in the French role and a mix of French forces acting as Wellington and his allies, the whole thing being set in 1809.
Here is the situation at the start. Marmont's Army of Dalmatia is holding a long line with one brigade in the left hand woods, one in the right hand woods and two brigades in the centre (one holding the village in the middle of the table represented by the granary.
Against the defenders was pitched the Austrian I and II Korps, taking the right and left of the advance respectively.
I'll not go into details as this was just a gentle run-out to settle back into my home-grown rules and part fo this process saw me hampering the austrians by forgetting restrictions on unit rallying that undoubtedly favoured the defender. This meant that the Austrians failed to make sufficient inroads by the time the Army of Italy arrived under Eugene and eventually the Imperial Guard arrived in the early twilight. The situation close to the end is shown below:



The game was fun, despite the forgotten rules and a fresh look at the mechanisms is always useful. I'm thinking of allowing attackers who fail in combat to be able to force a second round if the take an additional disruption point. It isn't a necessary addition, but it might be an interesting gamble and it does what rules should do - encourgae the player to make decisions about his resources.
cheers

Crusader foot unit

Hi all. I finally finished off the basing on my first unit of infantry from my crusader army. This is supposed to represent a unit of the Kingdom of Jurusalem sometime towards the end of the 12th Century. The figures are actually from the Gripping Beast "El Cid" range, with the additon of some heater-type shields. Here is the view from the front: and from the back:

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how they have turned out.
My pal, Phil has made a start on some crusaders and you can see his Templar foot unit on his blog: