Sunday, 4 March 2018

Battles for Bridgeheads

Finally found the energy for a new post, this time getting around to putting up pictures of some of our previous games.  
My veteran 7e Chasseurs à cheval were not needed on the day- let those haughty Guard Lancers earn their pay for once!

First up are some shots from a very enjoyable day of Napoleonic gaming back in December, There were two games, actually- the first was our usual Black Powder bash; and having enough time left for a second game, we decided to make it a true skirmish; our first outing with Ganesha Games' Songs of Drums and Shakos
Tools of the trade.
Thinking about it, I'm surprised I haven't posted this earlier, as the French were actually victorious! Twice!  Doesn't happen often in our games.

The BP game was admittedly a nail-biter; Matt and I played the bridgehead scenario (#5 from One Hour Wargames), and it proved both a challenge and lots of fun, with the British bridgehead eliminated as their forces were steadily pushed back over the river in twelve bloody turns.
Forces of Liberty, Fraternity, Equality, and Justice.
Forces of Hooliganism, Warm Beer, and high-fat Chip Butties.
We decided that this should count as bad going in the rules.
French advance into the fray.
The game featured a rare appearance of Matt's solitary Neapolitan unit, resplendent in white with pink facings, fighting on the side of the French. 
British cross the river.  For some reason Matt held back one line regiment as a reserve on his side of the river.  Mistake.
I had taken the courageous decision to rely on my French Guard Dutch (Red) Lancers for my cavalry.  These scarlet-hued and overpaid poltroons had so far let the side down miserably in virtually every game where they found themselves actually having to commit to combat. 

This would be their one last opportunity to redeem themselves; I had hinted darkly that if they failed me yet again, there would be some Prince August moulds under the Christmas tree this year, and let's just say I wouldn't be finding myself short of casting metal... 

But for once my lancers performed, if not brilliantly, at least competently; the punitive threat of immersion into the hot metal crucible has been averted- for the time being. 
Une pression impitoyable
French take the fight to the English point d'appui.
The Neapolitans also put in a creditable performance, as they often do in our games.  On this day they made several determined charges against the formed-up 60th Rifles.  After a number of inclusive rounds of intense hand-of-hand combat, the two adversaries fought themselves to mutual destruction, both having managed to fail their break test at the same time.  

But exchanging an exhausted unit of line infantry for one of the enemy's crack rifle regiments was a good trade-off in my books.
Broken Neopolitans.  Matt's grin soon faded as the Rifles failed their own break test.  Snap!
Actually, he's safer with the miniatures than are some gamers I've known. And he doesn't get greasy paws from dipping into a bag of potato chips.

We had time for a second quick game, so we decided to make it a skirmish using Songs of Drums & Shakos.  A British RN landing party's attempt to take the same bridge from a small detachment of voltigeurs- six figures a side.  

My first time non-solo with the rules, and I hadn't the time to get up to speed with them much before the game, so to some extent we were winging it.  

However, it didn't take either of us long to get comfortable with the basic mechanics.  I'm sure we made lots of mistakes, and omitted some parts of the rules.  In the interests of time, we were just concentrating on the essentials of movement, firing, and hand-to-hand combat.  
Alarme! Gaston and Pierre manage to wound a marine, as they bravely try to hold off the attack.
Lt. Alphonse de Martinet rushes the rest of his piquets to the bridge. Would he be in time?
Gaston and Pierre seek cover behind the parapet of the bridge.
After initial British success, and despite the wounding of their gallant lieutenant, the French were able to retake the bridge and slay the impertinent- and, as it turned out, fatally impetuous- Mr. Midshipman Stringplucker.
A fierce mêlée on the bridge sees the Jack Tars repulsed and their impetuous middy slain. Vive la France! 
SDS was great- a real hoot; easy to grasp mechanisms made for a fast-paced game, with not a dull moment. We will definitely be trying them out again.

We had another Napoleonics game on February 25th, and I'll add those pics to this blog later this week.  

Other hobby activities have been mostly building models.  Along with working on the 15mm Desert War British armour, I've been building an M36 Jackson & M4 Sherman Jumbo for my WW2 Yanks.  

I've room at the painting table for plastic kits or painting, not both.  But this weekend I tidied away the modelling equipment and will be taking up the paintbrushes again.  I have had a long period of time where the painting mojo had gone completely AWOL, but recently I've been feeling it returning again, so hopefully there will be a few new Napoleonics gracing the table for our next game.

I also need to work on some more terrain; I'm getting tired of fighting over the same farmhouses every game!


Gonsalvo said...

Hey Robert, great to see you back. A fine post, and I look forward to seeing some new units!

Phil said...

Nice looking game, wonderful figures and river...

Norm said...

Enjoyed seeing the Black Powder game being played with some lovely figures with low unit density and smaller table space - nice to see someone showing it working without the need of the 12' x 6' type table!

Carlo said...

Wonderful looking troops and terrain. Looks like that rough going should gave been classified as difficult though😉

Chasseur said...

Nice looking game, and doable on a smaller table is good too!

Robert said...

Thanks, all- we still hanker for a large game every now and then, but the smaller games can be challenging, when the loss of even a single battalion can hurt! Not for the impetuous...