Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Jingle Battles - Attempted Daylight Robbery

The Christmas game this year is notable for a couple of things...The first outing of the Spanish Army (so far) of Don Colin, our first try at a Napoleonic ambush and an official acknowledgement of some of our stuff starting life as game pieces donated by Paul of Caliban Somewhen fame...featured in the favourite blog roll (ancients fans be advised it is a 'must see')...and the blood, sweat and Christmas cake involved in the Yuletide festivities of middle aged toy soldier enthusiasts.
The chosen speed bump of the Allies is the Regiment Zamora (looking very impressive)
 ...joined by some RHA supporting the Campo Mayor in the farm
 Up the road, a few feet, is the cavalry camp of Kellermann's Division.
 They patrol the road to keep it clear of Guerillas and are a ready QRF.
The supply column this time includes the bullion wagon (to pay for Kellermann's roaming charges) and has a Divisional escort.
 An early good throw by the Allies brings on the Brunswick's and the game is afoot!
 Still asleep are the two divisions of Spanish line...
 It's not long before they too are activated and hard on the heels of the plodding column.
 ...but the first clashes are to be cavalry, KGL supporting the Spanish Cuirassier's (Coraceros Espanoles)
 Accompanying French line Lancers try to outflank battery...
 The first canon shots alert the garrison and a fighting patrol is dispatched...
 Brunswick's clash with French Lights...part of the French columnar support...
 ...the gunners are all over the field trying to contain the developing attack
 The Spaniards main body has the furthest to travel and the drummers pick up the pace...
 Meanwhile, Spanish Heavies (sometimes known as 'Mock Cuirassiers') force part of the rearguard into square...
 The patrol spots the ADC's hurrying towards them...
 The column must keep moving forward. To stop means certain.......people will want to squeegee the horses and tap you for a fiver!
 The Spanish Line are doing well and parrying the desperate French infantry attacks...
 The Brunswicker's are showing great grit and determination...
 Tight protection around the wagons is essential to keep the enemy at bay...
 ...but there is a price to be paid for such devotion...
 ...and the French infantry are paying it...
 As the column closes up the the road block it looks as if they may be stopped...
 Cavalry force's squares to be formed...
 ...but they are blocking the way to the wagons..
 The Spanish main force (background, going the other way) are still desperate to close up...
 ...as are the British units supporting the open left flank...
 The first of Kellermann's Division arrive and throw themselves into the action..
 ...not far behind the rest of the division shakes out into attack formations and chooses targets.
 The fighting is so fierce that everyone ignores the wagon train...
  The Rey Dragoons are itching to get involved...
 ...the train sneaks through with little un-engaged stuff to foil or to follow them.
 The French get a pay rise and 'phones topped up.
 The ADC is pleased (figure from a game set)
 Kellermann is chuffed. He's already ordered to new gold epaulettes.
 The guns are abandoned...they, too, are former game pieces...we chuck nothing out. The wheels can be used on the old Airfix French Artillery - as noted previously.
 The Campo Mayor have a bash but the opportunity is long gone
 The French cavalry made their presence felt in the nick of time
The blood letting continues but the game's a bogey...
The cavalry put the kibosh on infantry movement for the most part...

And, as the bullion wagon rides into the sunset, we say ho, ho, ho, Merrrry Christmas everybody.

Thanks to the players for making it such a fun day and to Colin, Ross and Ferdy for umpiring and keeping it 'legal'.

Up next: The New Year Game - Ligny 24th January 2015 DV. The first of the 200th Anniversary games.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Reille's Attack - Part Two

 Sorry, BIG post, I just got so excited I couldn't help myself.
All around the château the French force the defenders inside. Attacks reach fever pitch.
 Meanwhile, movement is spotted from the ridge....what are the French up to now...?


 At Hougoumont the great gate comes under attack
 Across the Brussels road the Guard Cavalry come with their Horse Artillery.
 Someone has started a move...
 Ney has seen the Allies apparently move out of sight and mistaken it for a retreat...
 Keen to get in on the 'final act' the cavalry gets more and more involved...
 Orders given to the few...are taken up by the many...
 Kellermann and the Guard join the charge!
 13,000 cavalry pour across the valley floor...
 They revenge! For Moscow! For Spain!
 The last hurrah of an empire, unknowingly in its death throws, thunders towards death or glory...
 Ney's great charge along with the Guard, Kellermann, Airfix, Esci, Italeri, Hat and Zvezda!
'Oi! Wait for us!'
 The French find a locksmith. A Lieutenant with an axe ( well, it is his first day as a locksmith)

 They are in!


 The French flood into Hougoumont...
 They swarm into the complex. It looks like curtains for the defenders.
 Elsewhere the cavalry smash into the squares of Allied troops....
 Suicidal bravery meets stoicism...
 Volley's of shot and shell thin out the attackers....
 ...but they are unstoppable!
 Allied light cavalry give minor counter charges...
 Horses and riders are mown down like grass....
 ...batteries fire and then succumb
'If we close our eyes we become invisible'
 Others form square and hope for the best...(the wet look isn't gloss any more)
 Reinforcements attempt to regain the part of the château that is in French hands
 French force is kept up by Foy...
 The Allies are back in!
 Some squares are destroyed and others battered...
 ...someone needs to get that door closed...
 ...it's looking bad for the Allies from here...
 Again and again the squares are assailed...
 French zeal is undiminished...
 ....everyone is in on the act...
 The few French Horse batteries are effective....
 ...as are the cavalry themselves...
 ...but their casualties are horrific.
 ...as are those of the squares.
At last, McDonnell gets the door shut...history is saved. Now, hunt down the rest!

We had no idea that there would be so much carnage amongst the squares. Amongst the cavalry, yes and also hard fighting at the château but the squares destruction rate was a surprise.

More next time.