Monday, 3 November 2014

Again with the Shako 2 already!

 Whetting our whistles and acclimatizing ourselves once again to our rules set of choice, we have FORCE (le French, boo/hooray, depending on preference) against DEFENCE ( Allies...well, Brits mainly..again, boo/huzzah to taste). This is prep for November battle, DV, practice for Waterloo i.e. the bits we've yet to try out.
Question: Can the Allies hold on to a position for 10 moves under terrible pressure? Answer: Let's see.
 Ding, ding. Round one. The French (in blue for a change) arrive in force to the tune 'We Have Onions'...
 ...supported by oodles of Guard Cavalry (hommage de la Ferdy)

 Even the Carabiniers got in on the act.

...and lots of infantry....

...and a lot more cavalry (some shiny) and the Allied commander stoically never uttered a word.

He never said "Here, hang on a minute! What's going on! At least give us a chance, routine!!' He calmly picked up his dice...
 ...and threw a 'one'...artillery missed.
 Unperturbed, he ne'er said a perhaps, 'Fiddle-de-dee. Well tomorrow is another day'...or some such.
 Well, the Brits were on a ridge, for a change, and arrayed in depth and having to hand a large supply of clean underwear and a swear jar groaning under the weight of move two.

The game nearly didn't get any further until Colin explained that, in Polish, 'ski' is masculine and 'ska' is feminine. This burning question answered (I promised to blog it) we threw ourselves (yawning) into the next move...Colin will learn Polish, right after he masters English.

 The French plan had daring and elan at its very core. They decided to batter through the middle supported by a humongous mass of artillery, attack columns and flanking cavalry...pure finesse an' aw that.

 The British cavalry commander, quite unhistorically as it turned out, husbanded...or in today's parlance, partnered, his forces with a balance of caution and aggression and a fine sense of timing.

 The topography and the dispositions of the defenders meant the French could not deploy artillery with the effect that their numbers would suggest.
 Cavalry forced infantry to square...(a rhombus is acceptable)
 ..French cavalry kept being diverted to the rescue.

Meanwhile, the artillery bounced round shot up the hill and hit the coats on the back door. Which must have been the case because we thought someone was knocking.

A slight hiccup was avoided when the mechanism for cavalry interpenetration of a deployed battery was rediscovered...but not before the swear jar had to be replaced by a bucket.

 It was shaping up nicely into a good old ding, dong...Mass cavalry attack on the right being systematically foiled by fewer but better used Brit cavalry.
 The French commander sobbed quietly as his orders were ignored but someone got him a biscuit and he felt much better.

 The main attack was supported by a feint towards the town...that's a feint, not an attack....just a feint, NOT an attack...a FEINT.

 Anyway, after the town had been successfully taken (I know, just don't ask) the main attack brought the Brits under pressure but their line was held due to the depth of the defence.

 Time for the committal of even more cavalry of the Guard plus more reinforcements....and swap the bucket for a barrel.

 The French tried hard to gloss over the British opposition but someone had beaten them to it and they wiped the matte with the French (please, complaints to the editor of 'Puns for Beginners')
 The French, in this game system, are superhuman. Able to change formation and move all in one go. This reflects their characteristic speed and maneuverability...and makes them tough opponents.
'Zut alore! zee muzzle. It is so dirty'
 The attack was relentlessly pressed home
 It looks not dissimilar to curtains for the Brits...

 ...but appearances are deceiving....

 ...the columns have suffered much...

 ...and are going to suffer a lot more...

 Battalion 'dead' markers spread worryingly across the field of battle...and they're French (boo/hooray as appropriate)
 The French cavalry have pushed the brits back to the extent that the Horse artillery can move up the edge...not exactly the flank...

 KGL cavalry...the best...close heroically with the enemy...
 ...and with the swear wheel barrow overflowing the stoic British commander sees the Imperial Guard arriving....
 ...boom, bang-a-bang, bang from the British jury...
...the stoic Brit Commander prepares to physically punch the head of the French, column in.
The guns roar again. No French columns hinder firing as they are all blown away.
The last chance of a cavalry breakthrough...
...fails! The support is now defensive because it can't get further forward.

The final French cavalry attack is again diverted...

...this time by the necessity of having to attack the square instead of the weakened cavalry. The square holds! The cavalry is vanquished! The requisite 10 moves have elapsed and the British are victorious.

The Brit commander says he had no doubts about the final outcome and stays cool to the end. We've decided to use the swear money to end world poverty, open a free wargame club in the Bahamas and land a man/woman on Mars.

Thanks to the guys. Next time: Waterloo - The dress rehearsal


  1. Lovely looking game. The French infantry seem to be Airfix (good choice!) and the British HAT (?). What are the rest?

    1. Thanks. The British are Hat Industrie, the French Infantry are Airfix, the Imperial Guard are Zvezda and all the cavalry are a mix of Italeri, old Esci, Airfix and Zvezda but we'll do anything decent in plastic.

  2. Marvellous, that's what a wargame should look like!

    1. Thanks very much. We like it to look good, it's all part of the fun.

  3. Brilliant looking game once again! Well done those British!

    1. Cheers, mate. It looked a bit touch and go at one point but the French had their work cut out for them. You're command figures are up next.

  4. Great AAR and lovely to see those ranks of Airfix French infantry.

    1. Thanks, Sun. I must say that, even though the newer figures are so good, the Airfix stuff stirs the memories and holds its own still.

  5. Well done the Brits, just wait until the Dutch Gloss over the cracks in the ridge line. Come on this weekend.

    1. We're all looking forward to it, Mark. Thursday sees the finishing touches to the scenery (Mr Brown working all hours) and the setup will be led by Colin. Loads of lovely stuff!

  6. Stunning looking game! Lovely to see the old Airfix fig's getting some action!

  7. Thanks Rodger. Considering your superb stuff that's a real compliment. I like mixing the old Airfix with the new still works.

  8. Another great movie on Waterloo. This one is a close match for the one from 1970. Congratulations!!!

    1. Thanks Joao, again, praise from Caesar indeed. The next 'practice' game has even more Airfix memorabilia in it...I think it all got produced around the release of the film.

  9. Brilliant and funny AAR as always, and a visual feast. Whoever painted the French cuirassiers seen in the first and last pictures certainly knows their craft. Lovely stuff.
    Looking forward to more.
    Cheers and blessings,

    1. Many thanks Michael for the comment and the blessings. The Carabiniers I got from Alan (in our happy band) who had them professionally done (they pay former R.E.'s far too well) but not in enough numbers to make a complete unit. I had to match styles to make them up to strength.