Saturday, 16 September 2017

Battle of the Coa

Le Moniteur Universel

French Victory! British Generals Drunk! Rare Combat Photos!

Our reporter is in the field as Marshal Ney engages the dastardly British at the Battle of the Coa.

As the battle approaches, our agent in enemy lines tells us that the British Commanders (Dallas & Lee) were preparing for battle with shot after shot of rum whilst jibbing the French over the likely outcome of forthcoming battle!

Smuggled photo of British Commanders drinking

The French Commanders (i.e. Brent & I), being far more gentlemanly, enjoyed a small taste of red wine and discussed the tactics that would be used for the battle.

Being a little more sober meant the French gained the initiative and took first turn.

The swiftness and boldness of the French column advance through the centre of the field took the British Commanders by surprise and left them indecisive on how to react. Brent's cunning planned failed command roll only added to this, as we'd left the door slightly ajar for the retreat - further indecisiveness ensues. The spirit of Ney was certainly alive this eve.

With a battalion of French infantry about to march around one flank, 2 battalions of French infantry poised to smash into the centre and French cavalry seen approaching the right flank.... the British did the only thing they could. Stand and fight. 

The battle was bloody and, as British fire was poured onto the French, our indomitable Frenchmen refused to cower and stoically marched forward and into the fray!

The British simply weren't up to it and ran at the first sight of cold steel. French volleys soon saw the first British Battalion break.

And then the French Cavalry arrived. The British has left their poor Portuguese allies exposed and one Brigade was swiftly dispatched. Now with their blood up, the French Cavalry swept into the flank of the remaining British Infantry Brigade. The sabres swung.... but no casualties!?!? (I still don't know how Lee managed to pass all his saves).

The French took this as a sign and, again, being gentlemen, allowed what remained of the battered and beaten British to retire. Not that there was much left.... 

Photos of the action:

Dallas had assembled the forces to be as historically accurate to the actual battle as we could with the forces available. So, the British force consisted of only Light Infantry, Portugese Cacadores (disguised as Prussian Landwehr) & Riflemen (okay.. 2 cannon and a brigade of light cav as well).

I honestly thought we wouldn't be able to do it with all the fire the British could put out and the number of French Brigades being shaken / disordered mounting up - those first fires and constant re-rolls meant a lot of shots put out.

We had the numbers (3 battalions of 4 infantry brigades, 1 cannon and 2 light cav). Being able to leapfrog fresh units through and being a little ballsy on a few moves won the day I think.

Only thing I think I would do differently is be a little more aggressive with the the cavalry. I should have charged them into the isolated British on the right to force them into squares sooner. I think that would have allowed to me to get past them and into the British centre flank sooner.

Overall, great game, historical context and probably not too far from a historical result.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Vive la France!

This blog post is best read whilst listening to this :-)

Back to Friday gaming this week, but switching sides...

As we were starting to get to grips with Black Powder last week, we decided to play again this week.

This time it would be Dallas and I commanding the French Brigades whilst John and Brent commanded the Russians.

Each side would have 3 Infantry Brigades, 1 Heavy Cavalry Brigade and 1 Light Cavalry Brigade.

Dallas (the master tactician) decided that we should use that old trick of refusing a flank!

And with that, we were set-up and away.

Some of the amazing mini's and final deployment:

The French take the initiative and, for the first move.., the Cavalry shall retire to towards the right. Well, the Light Cav do (under my command - say no more..). The Heavy Cav are only able to make one move.

 The infantry on the left form a defensive position against the Russian right flank.

The Russian Generals, surprised by our tactics, review the history books for inspiration...

The Russians prepare for the onslaught as the French Infantry columns advance.

Only to be charged by French Light Cav forcing the formation of a square. Infantry in column follow-up and break the Russian unit - 1st blood to the French.

But the main battle will be for the hill. French Infantry advance...

The Heavy Cav just look good, but do little else.

Into the fray!

The Russian right relise they need to advance on the weaker French left.

The battle for the hill dominates.... both sides stubbornly refuse to break through combinations of absolutely epic die rolling mixed with utter rubbish.

The Russian advance on the right stalls...

Flank attacks fail to rout units on the hill...

Canon fire breaks one of the French infantry brigades....

More troops are feed into the hill...

The French left starts to get a little bored and inches closer to the enemy...

More hill fighting and the pesky Russian cannon are destroyed (only just!)...

The French left decides to have a crack at the Russian right....

As Russian units on the hill finally start to break!

The big moment... could the Russian Heavy Cav charge into the exposed French left flank!?!? It would win the game.

Nope.... too much vodka and they stay put (soon to be exiled to Sibera I expect). With that, the French columns break two of the Russian Infantry Brigades resulting in the Russians conceding. Vive la France!!

Fantastic game. Ebbed and flowed and very nearly could have gone to the Russians. If only those Heavy Cav had charged! :-)

Until next time. Thanks for reading.