Tally Ho!

Sunday 30 January 2022

20mm ECW - Edgehill

 Roy got a new book for Christmas - The English Civil War an Atlas which contains a history and some nice maps of the various battles. A snip at £30 from your favourite online retailer. He's challenged himself to dust off his old 20mm ECW and refight all the battle.

So it was that I found myself over this weekend doing Edgehill, with figures that are probably older than I am. We used Tercio: Liber Militus as they are quick. Below a few shots from the game, which we got about half way through.

In a slight reversal of history the parliamentary infantry were the aggressors but took shots as they advanced. 

Royalist foot in Dutch brigade

On the wings its pretty nip-and-tuck, with the cavaliers unable to breakthrough the parliamentary lines.

So part 2 IDC, unless Roy decides to complete it from there.  


Tuesday 25 January 2022

Shadow of the Eagles campaign - Helmstedt, June 7th 1813'ish

Three days after the last battle the armies clashed at the village of Helmstedt, just east of Magdeburg. The French 2nd Division renewed its attack on Magdeburg but were intercepted by the Austrian 1st Div. A Prussian brigade was dispatched from Magdeburg to support the Austrians.

For this game we added some objectives each worth 2 routed units - the village in the French zone, a hill in the Austrian zone and a road junction in the centre of the board. Both sides fielded 3 infantry and one cavalry brigade. 

Both sides lined-up with their cavalry in the east of the field and infantry in the centre. The Austrians adopted a defensive posture awaiting the arrival of the Prussians. The French were ordered to attack quickly to try and break through.    

Austrian centre

Austrian left (east side)

French left (west)

The French launched a strong attack in the east with their elite infantry brigade supported by the cavalry covering their flank. Centrally both sides advanced cautiously, preceded by their skirmishers. The Austrians had a slight numerical advantage in the centre which they hoped to exploit.   

The Swiss and Young Guard ready to attack 

In a reversal of last weeks game the French (well Swiss actually) columns were able to sweep away some Hungarians and overrun the hill that was victory objective, before a smart about turn to face back into the field. The accompanying cavalry melee was pretty much mutually assured destruction, with the larger French force coming out on top but badly damaged.     

The evening ended after 5 turns, with the centre heavily contested but the Austrians more damaged overall. The Swiss had captured the hill but were down to a single battalion and were surrounded, but with units rapidly coming to their aid. As we start turn 6 the Prussian infantry have just arrived and so we will see what difference they make. 

Hold that hill!

The plan is to fight on next week and see what the result is. Things are well balanced with roughly equal casualty levels.  The French have the better field position but the Prussians are all undamaged.

Saturday 22 January 2022

Shadow of the Eagles campaign - Magdeburg 1813'ish

Four days into the campaign we had our first encounter as the French 2nd Division attacked a Prussian Division guarding the road to Magdeburg. Despite the generally flat land the defenders had managed to find a little high ground. They also had the advantage of a Russian brigade marching to their aid from their rear.  

The Prussians field 4 * infantry brigades, 1 * cavalry brigade, 3 * guns and a unit of Jager's. The French has 3 * infantry brigades, 2 * guns, and 2 * cavalry brigades. The Russians marching to the battle had a single brigade of infantry and a Cossack regiment.   

The French set-up for an attack across the line with the Leger leading on the eastern side, all the cavalry on the western side and a grand battery in the centre.

The Prussians were more defensive with a refused flank to the east and their outnumbered horse on the western side opposite the French cavalry. 

The French pushed forward, aware that Russian troops would likely arrive some time between turns 5 and 10. The Leger and supports in the east attacked boldly in column, hoping to overwhelm the Prussians while the grand battery cleared the Inferior units occupying the centre. The western advance was a little more cautious, focusing on outshooting the enemy while the cavalry got into position.   

Western attackers

In the west the French  Dragoons charged up the hill and after a brief tussle were able to rout the Prussians and turn the flank, forcing the Prussian infantry  into squares. Sadly no artillery was available to really punish them.   

On the eastern side the French charged into the waiting Prussians but were repulsed again and again, seeing the attack grind to a halt. Despite the success in the west the eastern infantry assault had been stopped and pushed back.  

The eastern attack

6 moves in, the first Russian troops began to appear on the table. With both the Prussians and French on the verge of routing the Russians had turned the tide and we declared a win for the Allies.

An interesting battle with some troops arriving half way through the game. In the end this was not the reason the French lost though. Their infantry attack simply failed to break through, proving that columns do nt fare well against non-worn lines, especially when its 1-to-1.  Having been rebuffed the French were simply too damaged to rally their losses in time to launch a second attack. 

Saturday 15 January 2022

Shadow of the Eagles - the eve of the campaign

We're about to start a Napoleonic campaign based in central Germany, but it felt useful to try out the rough army sizes we plan to use to see if the games can be completed in an evening. I picked two armies typical of those we might use, in this case though the French had a few more points. To give some fog-of-war we deployed brigades alternately.  

The Austrians had 5 Reg Inf, 2 Superior Inf, 4 Inferior Inf and a rifle unit. This was supported by 2 artillery, 2 Heavy Cav (1 Superior / 1 Regular) and 1 Reg Light Cav. Four brigades in total. 

The French lined up with   6 Reg Inf, 2 Inferior Inf and 3 Superior Inf (Leger). This was supported by 3 guns, 2 Heavy Cav (1 Superior / 1 Regular) and 1 Reg Light Cav. Five brigades in total.

The Austrians deployed all their cavalry on the western side, with their infantry occupying the central sector and a refused eastern flank anchored on a large wood. Unusually the centre was mostly compromised of the Inferior troops.    

Austrian cavalry brigade

The French also deployed their cavalry in the west, lined up against their opposite numbers. They deployed a thinner centre with columns seeking to turn the eastern flank of the Austrians.    

Two French cavalry brigades

L'Ordre Mixte - a rare sight on the table top

The game began with both sides advancing their infantry across the line. It was quickly clear though that the Austrians had made an error as Inferior units proved much less resilient than expected and began to fall back under French pressure.  

As the French infantry began to make attack it became necessary to break the stand off between the cavalry and move forward to over the flank of the advance. The initial luck was with the Austrians as the French failed to counter-charge and got hit at the halt.  With the Dragoons pushed back the Cuirassiers and Hussars had to intervene to stabilise the flank. The Austrians had the better of the action but critically were unable to intervene in the centre. 

By turn 10 the Austrian centre had been put to flight and the French flanking force in the east was able to turn-in and begin rolling up the line. At this point the Austrians had almost hit break point so we declared the game a French win.  

It was pleasing to see we could play a whole game from deployment to routing in about 3 hours. We managed 10 turns but could have got a few more turns in if we were more practised at the rules. Our main takeaway is that Inferior troops are even worse than we thought, so will need to be cheaper. so we're going for 0.5 points for Inferior Line vs 1 point for Regular and 1.5 for Superior.



Sunday 9 January 2022

Christmas Game #4 - Napoleonic skirmish

 A little late but still part of the festive holiday period, I popped over to Fishponds for a game of Muskets and Tomahawks using the Napoleonic army lists.  

The game uses an activation deck, with a card for each type of troop on the table e.g. British Line or French Light. Players hold a hand of 3 cards and must play them all in turn before getting a new hand. The subtlety is that your hand might contain cards for enemy units so you are "gifting" them a go at certain points. 

When you do play an enemy card you gain Command Points which can be used to activate units instead of playing a card from your hand. So a safety mechanic in case you get mostly enemy cards. There is also spotting ranges that stop too much speculative long range fire. 

We played Anglo-Spanish (Guerrilla / British Line) vs French (Voltagier / Line Grenadiers). Units tend to be 6 - 12 figures, with lower quality units having more troops like in their Saga rules. The  aim was to secure a wagon of supplies in the village.  

The Brits deployed their Line on the road looking to push up in column while the Spanish flanked the village through the heavy cover. I opted to push half my force well forward  to block the British Line and try to secure the wagon with the other half.

The first few hands favoured me as the British failed to move while all my units got into a decent position and began exchanging fire with the Spanish. When the Brits got moving they were met with  stiff fire from my blocking force and their attack stalled.  

By the wagon, my Grenadiers took some accurate fire from the Spanish hiding in the terrain near the east of the village. A coupe of turns saw them routed and forced me to redeploy part of the blocking force to control the wagon. With the British stalled the win went to the French. 

Its a pretty quick game once you get the hang of the various cards and activations. Shooting can be pretty deadly if you get caught in the open so it feels more skirmish than mass battle.  

Saturday 8 January 2022

Sudan British in 28mm

A very slow grow project for me has been doing for Sudan forces for The Men Who Would be Kings rules by Osprey. I've been working it as a background task ever since Lockdown 2. Over Christmas I had a little spurt and have managed to complete about half the British.

The Mahdists have enough for a game so I've been focused on the Imperial forces. These for far stand at a Gatling Gun  

Naval Brigade Gatling gun 

Two units of infantry

British officer and sergeant

British infantry

And an officer, which looks nice but actually does not feature in the rules.

British officer

  Outstanding is another unit of infantry and a squadron of the 10th Hussars.  All figures are Perry.