Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Battle of the Bridge a BP Napoleonic game

A game not involving S range figures for a change!  Went over to Bob’s for a game.  The scenario involved a race for a Bridge with the Russians aiming to destroy the bridge before the advancing French could take it.  The playing cards represent potential fords. This is based on an idea I found whilst trawling the net some years ago and I take no credit for it.

Bob commanded the Russians, whilst I took charge of the French.  The French outnumber their Russian opponents, but most are off table and need to move on down the road.


Bob won the initiative and moved his lancers down the road towards the bridge.


Then disaster befell the Russians, the Engineers who were following them failed to pass the command move, blocking the road to all the remainder of the Russian troops.


My forces by comparison all passed their tests and moved down the road.  My leading cavalry setting off in search of fords to cross the river.

Again most of the Russian forces failed to move, the Engineers resolutely staying put.  One Russian regiment moved off the road to try to get around the blockage and the local peasants came out from the town to support their army.  The lancers again moved and Bob decided the only course of action was to move onto and over the bridge to protect it.




My cavalry found a ford


However, before I could cross Bob’s lancers crossed the bridge and prepared to charge!



My leading infantry regiment immediately formed square, blocking all further movement onto the table for the time being


The lancers bravely charged and my chasseurs counter charged.  I have to say I thought it was all up for my cavalry.


Thanks only to my supports, I managed to win the melee.  I do wonder about this rule on occasions.  The lancers took and then failed their command test and left the table.


My infantry reformed from their square and the infantry ‘snake’ continued along the road - but very slowly. Although a group of skirmishers managed to cross the ford



Meanwhile the Russians were still having all sorts of movement problems. The Russian artillery got stuck at the back of the line and despite attempts to fire often found its targets masked by its own troops.



My line on the road was simply becoming too long so one brigade took off across country to try tl reach the ford supported by an artillery unit which set up on a nearby hill to provide supporting fire and make the Russians life more miserable.



To a resounding cheer the Russian Engineers finally reached the bridge and started to lay their charges hopelessly late.


With the Russian infantry deploying to engage my infantry crossing the ford, the Engineers only found themselves supported by one regiment of infantry.  They were forced to abandon their efforts as my infantry swarmed onto the bridge.



At the same time my other cavalry regiment started to cross at the second ford potentially outflanking the engineers and the Russian infantry.  The Russians were in a hopeless position but their guns finally had a target and managed to halt my infantry on the bridge. 



However it was clear that the Russians couldn’t fulfil their objective of destroying the bridge and retreated.

An interesting game spoilt in part by the Russian Engineers failing to respond to orders and blocking the road.  The fords were also too easily crossed we liked the system but have added a card which if turned means there was no ford.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

1866 S range Black Powder game

Having converted and painted enough Austrians and allies, Bob and I decided to try them out.  The Prussians are out-numbered and defend a village.  The Austrian objective was simple, to drive the Prussian from the field.


Bob commanded the Austrian and allied force.

The Austrians were accompanied by Bavarian and Wurttemberg brigades and regiments from Baden and Saxe Meiningen.   They deployed with the Baden and Saxe Menninger regiments to the front centre supported by the Austrian brigades who had their Jaegers spread out to the fore, with the Austrian Heavy Cavalry on the left flank.  The Bavarians supported the Austrian right with the Wurttemburgers on the extreme right with a unit of Bavarian light horse in support.






My Prussian forcers opposing them were regiments of Prussian cavalry on the right, Prussian infantry in the centre and on the left a brigade consisting of Saxe Cobourg and Oldenburg infantry, a unit of Prussian landwehr and a regiment of Prussian line infantry together with a regiment of Hussars.




Bob had the initiative and ordered his brigades to advance.  Despite their lower command level all obey orders, except the Austrian cavalry, and advance.



The Austrian forces on the road rush to their deployment positions



For the first time we found that all the brigades respond to orders and the Prussians and their allies move to react to the Austrian deployment.  The Prussians bringing forward their limbered gun (managed to make a rider for the gun seat, must make the other one sometime).






The deployed Prussian artillery open fire to no effect.



Again all the Austrians moved, including their cavalry




And the Jaegers open fire on a Prussian regiment


The Saxe Cobourg regiment moved into the open ground to the extreme right supported by the Prussian Hussars.



Having got some momentum, Bob launched an Austrian Cuirassier regiment into a charge against my Prussian Cuirassiers.



The Prussians counter attack and in the ensuing melee suffer badly being shaken and forced back, with the Austrians following up.



Meanwhile the Austrian advance continues with the Bavarian and Wurttemberg forces moving forwards





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The Prussian Cuirassiers break and flee the table but the Austrian Cuirassiers are quickly engaged by 2 regiments of Prussian dragoons and flee.




The Prussian and Austrian artillery and infantry now engage one another. The Jaegers are broken in an exchange with the Prussian Jaegers and line infantry and retreat to recover.



In the centre the Saxe-Meiningen and Baden troops are hit by artillery and infantry fire and halt, with first the Saxe-Meiningen and then the Baden regiment being broken.




The Bavarian infantry on the flank cross the hedge into an open field to engage the Oldenburgers and a Prussian landwehr unit



In the centre the Austrians and Prussian are heavily engaged in a fire fight, with the Prussian artillery playing a vital part forcing the Hungarians and supporting Austrians to halt.  The Austrian and Wurttemberg artillery often being masked by their own advancing troops had little to do.  The Bavarian artillery however played its part scoring hits on the Prussian regiments who manage to stand.



The Bavarians, Oldenburgers and Landwehr engage in close quarter fire around the hedges, with first the Bavarians and then the Oldenburgers being forced back.




The second Bavarian regiment on the flank is broken through a combination of numerous Prussian Line infantry fire and artillery pouring down on it.



The Saxe Cobourg infantry meanwhile advance to engage the Wurttemberg infantry.


On the other flank the Prussian Dragoons supported by a regiment of Uhlans engage the remaining Austrian Cuirassiers.  What I thought should be a bit of a walk in the park given my superior numbers turned out to be anything but with Bob rolling superb dice whilst mine were truly leaden!

The Austrians held and even won the dice roll but my supporting troops kept me in the contest.


Eventually I managed to best the Cuirassiers but all my cavalry were weakened and not in a position to play any significant role in the game.


On the other flank the Bavarians, with help from a Wurttemberg regiment managed to break the Prussian landwehr.


The Saxe Cobourg troops delivered a bayonet charge on the Wurttemberg infantry surviving the closing fire and pushing them back.



In the centre the Austrians outnumbered the Prussians but despite the Austrians bringing their guns into play the line held for a while,  but then the inevitable, the first Prussian line infantry broke and fled.



Whilst parts of the Prussian line held, the writing was on the wall, the Austrians still had some fresh cavalry and although both the Bavarians and Wurttemberg brigades had suffered, more Austrians were moving forwards and the rallied Jaegers added to their numbers. 



The Prussians were obliged to pull back leaving the Austrians victorious.

An enjoyable game, as always there where  a few mistakes with the rules, but it all balanced out.  The Prussians and their allies need a bit of a recruitment drive and even giving them a bonus when firing didn’t offset the disparity in numbers, so it’s back to the converting and painting table!