Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Birthday Bash

As you may have noticed, last Saturday I hosted a game of Muskets & Marshals using pretty much all of my Hinton Hunts plus a smattering from Roy’s collection. The excuse was the celebration of a significant birthday and I thought it would be nice to invite some fellow bloggers and HH enthusiasts along to enjoy the fun.

The scenario was quite basic and the allied army was a rather eclectic mix of nationalities but we managed to play a full 12 turns and reached a satisfying conclusion (satisfying if you were on the French side). I was so busy playing that I didn’t stop to take enough photos for a proper narrative but I hope the following give a taste of the occasion.

Prince Murat commanded the right wing of the French army - more used to wearing white, Nigel put in a good performance as the emperor's right hand man.

A general view of the table at the start of turn four. French on the left commanded by Tony, allies on the right commanded by Matt. The troops look quite thin on the ground even though we had approximately 900 figures in play.
The churchyard was the focus of a lot of heavy fighting throughout the day.
Another view of Nigel's command contesting the churchyard with Clive's men on the opposite side of the hedge. The Swiss moved forward in an attempt to claim the place for the emperor but were cruelly cut down as they did so.
The Blues & Greys were transferred from Clive's (left) flank to reinforce Roy's (right) flank. I'm not sure that Clive was too pleased about this particularly as Roy had already lost four cavaly regiments by this time.
Poniatowski (that's the birthday boy) had some spectacular success with his cavalry on the French left flank forcing Blucher's infantry to spend the remainder of the battle in square. Sadly, due to a slight tactical error the French horse artillery were not able to capitalise on this situation.
The Swiss pictured just before they were forced to quit the field (being reduced to nine men). The Nassau grenadiers opposite them are worth a mention for the exceptional performance they put in during this fight.
British heavies clash with French cuirassiers - I can't remember who won this melee - let's just assume it was the French!
The famous 45th ligne take on some Swedes (oops thats actually the 105th - if only I had some way to tell them apart).
The 42nd Black Watch move up to the hedge under the watchful eye of Picton (Clive).
This was the start of Napoleon's winning move - a pincer movement from both flanks against the weakened allied centre.
The Old Guard close with the British Foot Guards. Even the presence of the Duke (Matt) could not keep them steady. A French victory, but a slim one!

My thanks to Matt, Tony, Clive, Nigel and of course Roy for a thoroughly enjoyable day. For some better photos take a look at Matt’s blog here and Tony’s blog here.

18 comments:

Vintage Wargaming said...

Hi Ian, actually I sent the RHG across (plus the surviving Scots Grey). I do regret it now as Roy's squares were perfectly safe and if I had kept my A+ cavalry I would have been reasonably confident of clearing all Nigel's cavalry off the board (my Dragoons having beaten those Cuirassiers) and then I probably could have rolled up the French right flank but not in time to help out the centre, so it wouldn't have affected the overall outcome.

I enjoyed the whole thing - rules, terrain, and of course seeing all those lovely figures from the blog. Almost enough to inspire me to do some work on Hinton Hunts after a four year or so gap - but I have my 1931 Soviet Armoured Brigade to finish first...

Great experience with extremely affable people and a tremendous spirit. I will remember the performance of the Nassau Grenadiers, the Prussian landwehr, and most of all the rocket battery, for a long time to come.And I think your photos are rather fine too.

KEV. said...

As always most splendid to observe the Hintons in Battle - excellent photos and narrative- you must be very pleased indeed with your Napoleonic Collection- well done. If you have the time Ian- please take a look at my Australians for Vietnan 1966 - like to know what you think about the figures I've made.

Stryker said...

Clive - if you've been tempted back to the Hinton Hunts that will be a great result indeed!

Kev - thanks for that, I'll check out your blog...

Al said...

very nice, lovely details

the Archduke said...

I too will remember the performance of the Nassauers and that rocket battery...if I could only have persuaded those cuirassiers that it's neither big nor clever to ignore dragoons bearing down on them..........
An honour and a privilege.

Matt said...

With a couple more rocket batteries I could have inflicted so much more damage.

Just not sure what side would have suffered the most though!

A fantastic days game and great company. Thanks again for the invite.

Wellington Man said...

Your battle reports never cease to delight, Ian. Spectacular!

And Happy Birthday too! Best wishes, WM

lewisgunner said...

We might append a note that Poniatowski had four A class cavalry units, mostly heavies against a mix of light and heavy all B class and in Clive's rules its all about class;-)). Clive is quite right the Blues could have been decisive on his flank, but I think Wellington (Matt's) judgement was good in that when he sent them acrostic looked like we might have a collapse on our hands as the French were advancing a gun battery and infantry onto the enforced squares. However, the heroic Austrian gunners destroyed the Guard Horse artillery instanter and changed the situation.

With 20/20 hindsight we should have lined up squares on the right flank supported by two units of cavalry and the Austrian guns and sent two cavalry units to Clive who could then have destroyed his opponent and had enough left to turn the flank decisively. However that sort of hindsight is gifted to authors on Waterloo be they Prussian descended or from the Ox and Bucks LI.

MSFoy said...

Great day - what fun. To be fair to the missing French Artillérie à Cheval on the left, the problem was some very streaky dice on the part of their Austrian opposite numbers rather than a tactical error! Murat must have been a bit miffed to see how well Poniatowski handled the cavalry - all the generals performed well and gallantly - and they all lived to fight again!

James Fisher said...

Lovely to see some more photos from this great looking game Ian.
Oh, and many happy returns, once more!

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

An inspiring event by all accounts and a joy to glimpse from a far.

Many happy returns,

hmm an annual birthday game, something to think about.

Stryker said...

Thanks for all the comments chaps - it was a great day!

Stuart C said...

21 again huh!

Looks like a nice game and good to get a few glimpses of the setup at Chateau Styker. I especially liked the Blues & Royals - very nice paint-job on those.

Stryker said...

Cheers Stuart - it was a fun game possibly made even better by being on the winning side!

Dave said...

These pics remind me
what attracted me to wargaming so many years ago, playing with model soldiers in a way that gives the flavour of the period but not getting in the way of having fun. BTW I built that Supaquick church several times as a youngster for my dad's model railway layouts, on the understanding I could borrow the finished product for my wargames.

Stryker said...

Dave - glad you enjoyed the post. I've built two of those churches, one when I was about 12 and the other just a few years ago!

Anonymous said...

Great looking game, great figures, love the photo looking down the table, also like the British Horse guards.

Paul

Stryker said...

Cheers Paul!