Tally Ho!

Sunday 26 February 2017

Key Points Napoleonic Campaign - battle 1


In the first battle of the campaign both sides were fighting for control of the fortifications protecting a strategically important port. The Allies fielded an Anglo-Dutch infantry division supported by their Light Brigade. The French just an infantry Division.

There were three sets of fortifications to capture, with both sides having one within easy reach.  The allies massed their forces on the flank and did not contest the central fortification heavily. The French position to refuse on their left and capture the centre.

Massed infantry on the Allied left

Hanoverians and cavalry on the Allied right

The thinly held allied centre

French cavalry on their right poised to attack 

The French refuse their left

French infantry massed to assault the centre

A long-view of the table

The Battle

The battle open with the outnumbered French going on the offensive on both their right and in the centre. The French commander hoping to buy time on the right while he seized two forts.  

French horse advance rather than sitting-back to be shot 

Swiss and Irish capture the central fort
On their right the Allies made their own move with the Hanoverians moving forward supported by the Belgium cavalry. Sensing they may loose the central fort rather easily they also decided to contest the ground with a battalion of British line being held in reserve

Allies advance on the French-held fort

Belgium hussars standing ready

Allies move to contest the central fort
On their right the French horse met with initial success scattering a battalion of British line and causing some confusion in the Allied ranks. On their own right the Allies also had some success with their own cavalry, routing a unit of  French foot.  

French horse charge home

The Belgium's reciprocate 
The Allies had the better of the exchange though as the thinner French lines were breached where as the French own attack ground to a halt against the deeper British formations.  
A bit of a hole in the French lines

French grind to a halt
The position was far from fatal for the French but it was clear they were at a disadvantage - they held the central fort but a strong British infantry force was able to flank them and would likely break through. On their left the Belgium cavalry had an opportunity to get into the French rear. So the French commander opted to withdraw rather than suffer further loses in the opening battle.

The Campaign Situation

First blood to the allied side with the British gaining control of the fortifications

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Rank & File Napoleonics - second practice game

This week we fought  a second practice game as we had a few inexperienced players - one returning from a recent holiday to Sri Lanka and another after an 8-year absence in Japan. So a district Eastern flavour to the conversations.

This weeks setup was a simple affair as predicted there might be more than the usual amount of gossiping. An out numbered French force was holding a defensive position along a ridge with its right flank anchored on an rural church. A Prussian force was attempting to evict them from their position. Is was also the first outing for my Prussians after a couple of years of on-off painting.

On the French left both sides had deployed a brigade of cavalry, evenly matched in weight and quality. The Prussians took the initiative with a swift advance across the field but the French met the challenge about half way. The French cuirassier beat their Prussian opponents and chased to the edge of the table. The Prussian Hussars in turn beat their opponents but suffered less damage and so were able to remain a viable force
Cavalry lines advance
The cavalry clash
In a bold move the Prussian Hussars charged the pursuing French cuirassier in the rear - that attack was from long distance though which gave the French time to turn and respond. Shockingly though the larger Hussar unit was able to defeat the French heavies and so leave the Prussians in control of the flank.
On the French right the Prussian launched an assault against the church which was held by a small force of Leger. Perhaps confused by the smoke of battle the Prussians underestimated the strength of the defenders and strayed closer then they intended, receiving a shattering close-range volley that drove back one unit of Musketeers. Undaunted the supporting Landwehr attacked but were easily repulsed. So one flank each.

Prussians approach the church
A bloody business as the French volley
The attack goes in and bounces off
So the finally to the centre of the field where the Prussians advanced their main force towards the hill proceeded by French position proceed by Fusiliers. This is a classic Napoleonic tactic but can be risky - the skirmishers are a hard target but are badly out numbered and subject the close range artillery fire.

The Prussians advance

View from the waiting French
 On this occasion the gods favoured the Prussians and their skirmishing proved rather effective - damaging several French units and destroying a gun. A big lose of the French
Fusiliers in action
And so finally the main lines clashed - again the firefight seemed to favour the Germans with several French lines pushed back from the ridge  
A hole in the line

Oncoming Prussians
As darkness fell the French clung-on to the ridge but several holes had been made. A winning draw for the Prussians on their first major outing.

Sunday 19 February 2017

Ancients reinforcements

With our move into Armati inevitably some of my units are the wrong size, so a few reinforcements are required to make the units up to strength.

Firstly a further unit of light infantry skirmishers - they are pretty generic but I envisage them mostly as Roman or Greek. Figures are Victrix Greeks. Armati seems to need quite a few light units so I may have to paint a few more.
Light infantry skirmishers

Next a few Punic cavalry command to enable me to field a second unit. Figures are from 1st Corps with some recycled Warlord Greek shield transfers. 

Punic heavy cavalry
Finally some Roman cavalry, in this case Early Imperial auxiliary cavalry. Again these are 1st Corps with Warlord transfers from the auxiliary infantry set.  They are slightly larger that the Warlord ones I have but it should nt be noticeable with Armati unit basing 
Early Imperial Roman cavalry

Saturday 11 February 2017

Key Points - a Napoleonic Campaign


Some military campaigns involved grand sweeps across large tracks of open country, but much more typical was seeking to dominate several key strategic features connected by a barely usable road network. This campaign depicts the later and pits French vs Allies in 1815.

Maps and Movement

Both sides write orders for each turn and then play these through. Where both sides would meet on a connecting node then dice to see who falls back and defends (1D6, +1 for 50% more cavalry, +2 for 100% more). Units may move 1 connecting line per turn.  Each turn you receive 1 victory point (VP) per key point held. 

Battles and Key Points

In an encounter both sides deploy behind screens or from a map. If one side is defending then they deploy first but will have advantageous terrain

There are no draws unless it was an encounter. The defender wins unless driven off or the objective captured.

·         River Crossing: There is a village with two river crossings and a chance to find a ford (D6/turn per section finding on a 6). If you defend the far-bank then the river counts as held by you. If you defend your own bank then it counts as contested and a draw allows the attacker to remain. If it's an encounter then dice to see who arrived first as they have the choice (+2 if you have more cavalry)   

·         Strategic Crossroads: Hold the crossroads and rout the enemy to count as held.

·         Fortified Position (guarding a major port): Hold the fort to count as holding the square.

·         A strategically positioned farm complex. Hold the farm to count as the winner.

·         A town (acting as a supply depot): Hold the town to count as the winner.

·         A series of hills protecting the approach to a town: Hold the heights to count as the winner. Rout the enemy to count as the winner or hold the line with at least a brigade of fresh troops.  


Both sides have the following forces available:
·         3 x command-level generals
·         2 x Infantry Divisions
·         1 x Cavalry Brigade and 1 x Special Brigade (lights or guards)

You may deploy Infantry Division and a maximum of 2 supporting Brigades in a key point. You must have a command-level general to move troops, those without may only form a garrison.

Replacements are allocated each move. You receive a maximum of 25% of your starting force per turn, but capped at the original size of the force. This costs 2 VPs. The replacements are in proportion to the original structure of the force as noted in the army lists. 

Jagers / Rifles:  These can be broken-up before the campaign and a company allocated to an infantry brigade. They may not be later recombined though and whole battalions must be broken-up.

Light infantry: These may deploy half their number as skirmishers with the rest in reserve. The skirmishers deploy 12" in front of the reserves. Casualties are taken from the reserve.

Light Companies: These may deploy up to 12" in front of their unit. They don't trigger morale tests if lost but do count  towards overall casualties.

Heavy Cavalry: Cuirassiers and British dragoons count as "heavy" against other heavy cavalry.

British Cavalry: These must charge viable targets in range on 4-6 (D6). They will count as -1 melee as they are tired if they charge immediately following a melee, but have been made better as compensation.      

1st Infantry Division            
  Class Note No/unit cost/stand Units cost
General +1 1 20 1 20
Line Infantry Veteran 6 32 3 576
Leger Regular Skirm 6 30 3 540
Line Infantry Regular 6 27 6 972
Dragoon Regular Shock 4 27 1 108
Hussar Regular Skirm 4 21 1 84
Heavy Battery Regular 1 78 1 78
Medium Battery Regular 1 78 2 156
          Total 2534
2nd Infantry Division            
  Class Note No/unit cost/stand Units cost
General +1 1 20 1 20
Line Infantry Veteran 6 32 3 576
Leger Regular Skirm 6 30 3 540
Line Infantry Regular 6 27 6 972
Dragoon Regular Shock 4 27 1 108
Hussar Regular Skirm 4 21 1 84
Heavy Battery Regular 1 78 1 78
Medium Battery Regular 1 78 2 156
          Total 2534
Guards Brigade      
Old GuardEliteShock6351210
Young GuardVeteran 6321192
Medium BatteryVeteran11001100
Cavalry Brigade      
ChassuerVeteran 4261104
Horse BatteryRegular178178

Anglo-Dutch Infantry Division          
  Note No/unit cost/stand Units cost
General +1 1 20 1 20
British Line Infantry 6 32 3 576
British Line Infantry 6 27 3 486
Hannovarians 6 27 3 486
Dutch Line Infantry 6 27 3 486
Dutch Jagers Skirm 4 30 1 120
Dutch Carbiners Shock 4 27 1 108
Dutch Hussars   4 21 1 84
Medium Battery 1 78 2 156
        Total 2522
Prussian Infantry Division          
  Note No/unit cost/stand Units cost
General +1 1 20 1 20
"Old" Line Infantry 6 27 4 648
"Old" Fusiliers Skirm 6 30 2 360
Reserve Infantry 6 27 2 324
Reserve Infantry 6 21 2 252
Dutch Line Infantry 6 27 3 486
Dutch Jagers Skirm 4 30 1 120
Cuirassier Shock 4 27 1 108
Hussar   4 21 1 84
Medium Battery 1 78 2 156
        Total 2558

Light Brigade
  Class Note No/unit cost/stand Units cost
General +1 1 20 1 20
Jager Companies Regular Skirm 6 30 1 180
Light Infantry Veteran 6 35 1 210
Rifle Companies Veteran Rifles 6 39 1 234
Medium Battery Regular 1 78 1 78
          Total 722
British Cavalry Division          
  Class Note No/unit cost/stand Units cost
General 1 1 20 1 20
Dragoons Regular Shock 4 27 1 108
Hussars Veteran   4 26 2 208
Horse Battery Regular 1 78 1 78
          Total 414
Total 6216