Monday, 30 May 2011

Napoleon Captured!

The Sunday before last I was invited over to Roy’s house to play soldiers. Roy has a dedicated wargame room with a table 5’ x 12’, he also has thousands of 20mm figures spanning all periods. At the core of his collection are his Napoleonic Hinton Hunt figures and it was a real pleasure to see them en-masse.

Hinton Hunt Cuirassiers – I stopped counting at 96! Not all used in the game but what a stirring sight.
I knew that Roy had planned a small game so I brought Napoleon and Bernadotte along with me however I was a little surprised to hear that we would be using my own Rules Muskets & Marshals to fight the battle. Rather embarrassingly it transpired that Roy knew the rules far better than I did.

Initial deployment – view from the French right.

To aid deployment Roy has a large roller-blind on the ceiling that he pulled down along the centre line of the table so that both of us could lay our troops out in secret. When the blind went up I could see that Roy had refused his left flank and massed his cavalry on his right an exact mirror of my own deployment! In the centre he had massed infantry columns aimed at a small ridge near the middle of the battlefield.

Initial deployment – view from the Russian right.

The game commenced with an artillery barrage from the Russian grand battery aimed initially against the French infantry. The French replied with counter battery fire against the Russians which proved quite effective and eventually knocked out one gun completely.

The Russian Grand Battery – the gunners are all Hinton Hunt.

Whilst the Russian infantry moved forward towards the ridge, the cavalry of both sides charged each other. My Cuirassiers succeeded in routing the enemy to their front whilst my Guard Lancers suffered the indignity of being routed by Roy’s Russian Hussars in return.

The Polish Lancers and Russian Hussars get to grips.

Meanwhile Napoleon responded to the advance of the enemy infantry by ordering the Guard de Paris forward to hold the ridge.

Napoleon in command at his HQ (just behind the Guard de Paris)

The skirmishers of both sides were heavily engaged all along the line but the Russians had the better of things and the French Voltigeurs were forced back. Finally a Russian column was in position to charge the Guard de Paris on the ridge.

The Russians attack the Guard de Paris on the ridge (in the distance) while the rest of the French army look on.

The Emperor rushed forward to steady the line (and add his +1 to morale) but unfortunately this was not quite enough and the French broke and fled!

The Emperor caught up in the rapid “redeployment to the rear” of the Guard de Paris.

The Russians now moved forward to occupy the ridge and jeer at the unfortunate Frenchmen – victory was theirs.

The Russians take the ridge.

At this point we ran out of time and had to end the game. Although we only played three turns there was a surprising amount of action and what looked like a convincing Russian win. It was certainly helpful for me to play through Muskets & Marshals against another player rather than solo as I have done before, and the game highlighted a few anomalies that will require some rule tweaking - notably the complete absence of any pursuit rules.

Such was the indecent haste with which the French quit the field that both the Emperor and Bernadotte became prisoners (I was half way home before I realised this!) – luckily the generous Russians offered to repatriate them by Royal Mail.

My thanks to Roy for a splendid afternoon.


The Old Metal Detector said...

Can't believe there have been no comments on this yet - fantastic. It is great getting the HH troops on the table - my Prussians and Russians enjoyed their command and colours excursion with Foy a few weeks ago

Mosstrooper said...

I am impressed with this game very Old School feel to it.

Conrad Kinch said...

It might have to do with a seething miasma of envy descending over the Internet.

For myself, I just hadn't seen it until I went back to clear my google reader. A fine battle and one with a very satisfactory conclusion.

Lee said...

Lovely pics Ian. As said above, a true 'retro' look. Splendid!