Monday, 5 September 2011

The Battle of The Farm – Part One

It was clear to the Duke of Wellington that a battle was on the cards after the recent clash during his reconnaissance and with news that the Austrians and Russians would be joining him he decided to seize the initiative and take the fight to the French. His aim was to smash the smaller French force but to do this he knew his men must assault and take the Farm at the centre of the enemy line.

A general view of the battlefield

New Rule – Buildings: Buildings can either be placed on the table for purely aesthetic reasons (and have no impact on the game) or may be designated as a strong-point. A strong-point may be occupied by just one infantry unit at a time. Infantry in a strong-point may fire all their muskets from any side of the building during a turn or split their fire from different sides.

The French Grenadier Battalion was tasked with defending the Farm

The Emperor placed the elite converged Grenadier Battalion in the Farm with the 45th Ligne covering their left and the 4th Swiss their right. In reserve were two Battalions of Swedes (batting today for the French but only as 3rd rate line troops). The entire French Cavalry force of one Light and one Heavy Brigade were massed on the right flank supported by the Guard Horse Artillery.

Napoleon massed his cavalry on his right flank

The battle began with a largely ineffectual artillery exchange although an early shot from the Prussian Field Artillery knocked out two Grenadiers and poor old Marshal Bernadotte who was leading them. These two hits forced a die roll to see if the Farm would catch fire but luckily for the French the roll was a 3.

Rule - Fires: Buildings taking 2 or more hits from artillery may ignite. Stone – 5,6. Wood – 4,5,6. They burn for 3 turns. At the start of move 3 any remaining occupants are removed as casualties. By the fourth turn nothing remains of a wooden building. A stone building will leave soft cover ruins and can be re-occupied on turn five.

Perceiving a weakness on the Allied left flank, Napoleon sent his cavalry forward at the charge. Stapleton Cotton ordered his Hussar Brigade to counter charge but they failed their morale check and instead met the enemy Heavy Cavalry at a standstill with predictably nasty results.

The French Heavy Cavalry charge Stapleton Cotton’s Hussars

Mercer’s Horse Artillery got off one round of canister at the approaching French Light Cavalry but they kept their nerve and the gunners broke and ran. The French cavalry followed them all the way to the table edge.

New Rule – Pursuit: Immediately after a melee in which an enemy unit retreats or routs the victor’s roll 1 die. On a 4,5,6 (3,4,5,6 for all British cavalry) they must take an immediate pursuit move keeping in contact with the enemy. If the routers fall back through a supporting unit the pursuers stop once contact is made with the enemy support. A pursuing unit will stop and break off when the table edge is reached.

To be continued.


Anonymous said...

Great to see your new gaming space being filled with musket smoke!

Stryker said...

Hi Matt - yes it's great to be able to leave the table set up. Fortunately there is an air-brick in the garage wall that lets the smoke out!


Conrad Kinch said...

Splendid stuff - what rules are you using?

Stryker said...

Conrad - the rules are my own "Muskets & Marshals". The game was really a test play to do some rule tweaking.


Mosstrooper said...

Exciting game !.

Lee said...

All looks great Ian. I don't recall seeing those Carabiniers before, were they painted early on in the collection? I'll have to look back. You are certainly (slowly :-) amassing a beautiful figure collection and I have to admire the way that you have stuck with it. Looking forward to lots more pics.


Rafael Pardo said...

A beautiful view!

Rafael Pardo said...

It does not look well for His Grace!

Stryker said...

Lee - the Carabiniers were indeed some of the ones I painted right back at the start of this project. There are a couple of old posts on them.

Rafa - Yes, this may not be one of the Duke's better days!

Captain Nolan said...

It looks as though the Cavalry is operating in squadrons of 6, rather than regiments of 12. Is this an option under the current version of the rules?

Beautiful looking game, by the way.

Stryker said...

Nolan - originally cavalry units were 18 figures but as I could never get enough castings for whole units of the same type my regiments were composite with 6 figure squadrons. Since then Roy and I settled on 12 figure units which made getting enough figures more feasable. 12 figures is now the standard strength for my cavalry units.