Sunday, 21 January 2018

General D'Armee battle on the fields of Belgium - Part One

Brunswick Horse Artillery make ready to help support the allied left flank
For those of you who may be unaware, Napoleonic wargaming is one of my great hobby passions.

We had the recent opportunity  to get together with an old wargaming mate in Phil and see if we can start to get the wonderful and subtle tactical nuances of General D'Armee to become second nature to us.  The rules from Dave Brown are a wonderful extension of his General De Brigade rules which have been our rules of choice for more years than I care to remember.  An added bonus of using any of Dr. Browns rules is the first class level of support given to all gamers who use them globally by Dave and his gaming companions.  Rules queries are answered and there is a genuine welcoming of external views on rules, implications and input in a most gentlemanly of fashions.  A delight in the modern gaming world.

The decision was made to have a one on one game at my home and set it in 1815 where I could get a few of the allied contingents out to battle the French.

We decided on a battle consisting of seven brigades a side, one of which must start the battle off table in reserve.  The French had four infantry brigades based upon D'Erlons Corps at Waterloo as well as a light cavalry brigade and a heavy brigade of Cuirassiers.  The off table reserve would be a brigade of Youing Guard.

The allies would have two brigades of sturdy British troops, one of Nassau, two Brunswick infantry brigades.  These would be supplemented by a brigade of light cavalry consisting of Brunswicker Hussars and Uhlans as well as a Dutch-Belgian Heavy cavalry brigade of Carabiniers.

Brunswick Light Cavalry Brigade with artillery support prepare to manoeuvre

A wider perspective of the two British brigades plus skirmisher screens

Brigade of Nassau troops and two battalions of the 28th Chasse Orange

Cookie loves Cuirassiers - these are deployed on his extreme right

Lovely command stand complete with trooper getting a wasp in his face whilst at the gallop

French columns move up whilst the 12 pounders are given a starring role very early in the piece

One of the great aspects of wargaming is getting the figures out, admiring your handy work and then remembering all the many things you need to repair, replace or finish off.  Such is the case in the photo above as I have been dithering on getting horse limber teams finished with traces and harnesses ala the talented Kevin East and Chris Gregg at the wonderful Not Just Old School Blogspot.  I promise to have at least four limber teams complete by the time we return to the table.

But I digress...

Picton views the field as the boys start to press forward

French light cavalry brigade on their left flank

Facing off against the French lights were the Dutch-Belgian heavies...well heavy in name at least

The Brunswick first brigade advances with the Advante Garde at the fore

The French Heavies manoeuvre to meet them

More French columns look to position themselves early in the piece

Whilst the allies attempt to take the heights in what is a reasonably flat field

An early skirmishing encounter as French and Allied troops look to gain a preliminary advantage. I made the
early decision to base my skirmishers, of which each battalion in a brigade can contribute one, in general terms, on
a single oval base available from Warbases.  Very pleased with the result on the table and the visual
 distinction made at a glance.

Almost looking like a Grand Battery, the French have some firepower assembled in their centre

The French continue to advance to the centre supported by artillery and sheltered by their own screen

DB Heavy Brigade awaits orders whilst in position to the left of the small farmhouse...

...whilst the Nassau and Chasse Orange take the fields in support

The Dutch Belgian Horse artillery unlimber and seek to disturb their French opponents

Another view of the Carabiniers - lovely Perry Miniatures

After an initial blast of effective range roundshot from the Dutch battery a slight withdrawal behind the rise was deemed
a sound tactical move.

With two ADC's around our good friend Milhaud, a "Glory" order appears to be on the cards!

Luckily my brave Brunswick Hussars have already thought of this cunning ploy and are prepared.

Light infantry advance at the trail

Mmmm...seemed like a good idea at the time

The lead regiments of British take the high ground and prepare to use their superior volley firepower to maximum
effect whilst a Royal Artillery battery looks to find a window of opportunity

The deployed French 12lb battery has already caused some consternation in the Brunswicker ranks.  As a result, the
Advante Garde are ordered into the woods to their front to see if they can distract the artillerists in a particularly
nasty manner.

In GdA the only figures which are removed are skirmisher bases

The first Brunswicker squadrons rout from the Cuirassiers and cause the brigade to falter

An overview of the battle unfolding

The French General looks pensive as he prepares his next cunning move

Looking down the table from the allied left.

With black squares forming to fill the gap the next Brunswick lights move up to the pointy end.

In the centre the action looks interesting.  The 95th have yet to form out into a skirmish line and are using
their concentrated fire to maximum effect upon the columns to their front.

A few more photographs later in the week to bring everyone up to speed on the battle as it stands.

Friday, 19 January 2018

A blast from the past!

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In the very early days of University more years ago tan I care to admit, I came across the idea of a club newsletter for the wonderful Napoleonic Wargaming Society, of which I was a very proud member.

Thinking that I would be able to put something together on a semi-regular basis, I enlisted a few friends to see what we could do.

My old High School chum Paul Young, a wonderful artist put his talents to the test by designing the wonderful cover.  I still have the original artwork and it really looks the part.  Paul wanted to ensure that all genres were covered from fantasy to historical, ancients to modern and I think you would all concur that he did a damned fine job.  If memory serves me correctly, this also may well have been whilst we were both having to complete our respective end of semester assignments, however time has faded some details.

No modern day desk top software to rely on in those days. 
All hand drawn, obviously without the assistance of a ruler!

The lead article from Rod, a very good British Empire III player

Quotable quotes always did provide the chance to have a dig at certain
members "Martial ability" on the table top.

Gosh ...the arguments, debates and discussions we used to have about the clubs trophies!

They now sit in a box in our shed at the club...such wonderful history with so many
names from the timbers and fibre of our great clubs past but with no place to display
them which is an enormous pity but a fact of life when hiring halls.

Perhaps I should have sued Steve at the time...surely not.

Alas, after a very successful launch this publication ran out of steam, content and finances ( well I was having to work a few jobs at the time to supplement my university days).  Like so many other aspects of the hobby, the newsletter is now a defunct and ancient relic.  Facebook, blogs and websites communicate ideas, photos and projects so much quicker and efficiently.  However it is with some fondness that I look back and see what we used to do for love of the hobby.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Napoleonic Brunswickers

Hussars are on the move in an old battle fought with good friends

I have always had a fascination with the Black Brunswickers of the Napoleonic Wars.  The early reading of Otto Von Pivkas ( aka Digby Smith) Black Brunswickers Osprey Men at Arms fed the craving to read about them.  I still recall a visit to CANCON, our largest wargaming show in Australia, many, many years ago where I saw the very lovely George Stosic playing the old WRG Horse and Musket rules with his Minifig Brunswickers on the field and they looked sensational.

I had the great opportunity years ago to meet up with Alan and Michael Perry one day in Nottingham to share a few beers and to buy my full complement of their wonderfully sculpted and designed Brunswick figures from their range.  It was a memorable and most enjoyable wargaming experience for me.

These are great sculpts however I have since re-based them and am about to add traces.

Great Light infantry advancing at the trail resplendent with some fine command figures

Battle lines drawn to defend this particular section of the field

French columns meet Brunswickers with overwhelming odds.  If memory serves they held up the advance
for a while however the odds were simply too great.

Always like to try and find a few new shots to show these lads off as I love these figures.  I think my youngest son has decided, like his old man, that these look the part in their cool black uniforms, that this is his force going forward.

Classical old school Osprey Men at Arms that got me started on these chaps many years ago.

Well done that man.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

More GdA items on the workbench

A lovely assortment of Wargames Foundry Austrian casualty figures take centre stage on the board.
Following on from a fairly productive few weeks I thought I would take advantage of the Perth heat t bang out a few more French ADC's as well as some more casualty dials from Warbases for some of the other armies in the collection.

A bit of a selection here awaiting some brown paint and synthetic grass.

Some very nice Front Rank casualty figures as well as some older style Old Glory Early French

I am also now getting close to having enough French ADC's though I would love to have a dozen if truth be told to handle and accommodate some larger battles.

As is my want, I do tend to have differing figures for different periods whenever possible.  Those who have been following this blog for a while will know of my affection for Elite Miniatures figures for the Peninsular and the period 1805-07, the so called "Glory Years".

Perry Miniatures lovely ADC's ready for the post 1812 games.

...and from a different angle.

I do also have a large collection of 1815 figures for both sides and like to use the similar style figures whenever possible.  As the vast majority of my collection for this period is in fact Perry Miniatures, I have a few lovely Perry figures to complement this particular force with a few Wargames Foundry figures sent in for good measure where it best suits.