Sunday, 9 July 2017

Smash and Raab

Yesterday Foy’s Roadshow trundled across the forth bridge once more this time bringing his van load of goodies to Chateau Goya so we could play the delayed Battle of Raab game. This was another Commands & Colors affair but this time featuring Goya’s Austrians (supported by a smattering of my own) against Tony’s French.

This is the view at the start of the battle from the French left. Eugene has an impressive army stretching way into the distance and totalling some 36 units.
The view from the Austrian left. Archduke John has only 26 units but his position is a strong defensive one.
I think these lovely French Chasseurs are Higgins. Eugene deployed a strong force of cavalry on his right, they look unstoppable don't they?
And here is the man himself getting ready for the off.
The French centre is packed with infantry and artillery - more Higgins figures from Tony's collection.
On the French left flank are the Italians in natty white uniforms.
The Austrian right flank. The troops in the front line are Minifigs S-range figures from Goya's collection. Behind them are my own Hussars and Jagers.
This is Archduke John riding a splendid white charger.
My 51st Gabriel Spleny and Musketeer No4 Hoch-Und Deutschmeister regiments were given the task of defending a farm in the centre of our line.
Goya's splendid S-Range Austrian cavalry square up to the French cavalry on the left of the Archduke's line - the painting on these figures is superb.
The Austrian reserve - three units of S-range Grenadiers.
The action opened with an advance by Grouchy's massed French cavalry against the Austrian left flank.
Another of my killer beginners luck die rolls - anyone who has played C&C will know what a die roll like this means in a cavalry melee (if you've never played C&C think 6's!)
After several turns of toing and froing and the whir of tiny sabres the Austrian cavalry were victorious with 3 French units shattered and removed from play. Three nil to the Archduke.
Eugene now turned his attention to the opposite flank ordering his Italians forward towards the village.
In the centre the French artillery was beginning to take a toll on the defenders of the farm. The Spleny's, being veterans of many a tough fight, sensibly decided to withdraw - 2 more red tokens and they would have broken.
All along the centre and left the French press forward.
Austrian cuirassiers charge forward against the leading Italian unit forcing it into square. This move created a stalemate in front of the village preventing any further advance by the French.
The French were much more successful on the extreme right flank of the Austrian line which they turned in a decisive manner. My Austrian hussars are about to be given the heave-ho by infantry!
This is another view (from the Austrian side) of the action in front of the village. By now, despite all efforts by Eugene, the tide of battle was swinging very firmly in favour of the Austrians who were racking up a healthy VP score.
Eugene made one last desperate bid for victory by launching a heavy attack on the farm (worth 3 VP's if he could get it). However, by using our secret weapon (my beginners luck) the Archduke succeeded in blowing away two more French units taking our VP score to 11 - just 1 more was needed to send the French army packing.
Frustratingly though (for the Austrians) the French now had a change in fortunes and began whittling away at our VP lead.
The cavalry fight on the left flank started up again and sadly these lovely Uhlans had to retire from the field.
However, despite this late rally by the French, a counter attack from the farm finally pushed the Austrian VP score up to 12. Goya and I were happy Hapsburgs and Eugene was left to pack his van and retreat down the M90.

My thanks to Goya for hosting a superb game and to Tony for supplying the battlefield and French army. We even managed to have lunch in the garden again; we really should play more games as they’re guaranteed to bring out the sun in Scotland.

14 comments:

MSFoy said...

It was a great day - wonderful fun. Your report and photos are so much better than mine that I'll just try to pinch a little reflected glory and my own blog will simply feature a short link to this post!

Interesting the extent to which the game differed from (and, in parts, was similar to) the original battle. The struggle to get across the river, the formidable obstacle offered by the walled farm behind the central section of the river, and the to-and-fro struggles on the Austrian right and centre each had their own special moments.

I shall say nothing of the dice - my compliments on the musketry training which the Archduke has clearly been insisting upon. When I did finally use a big-movement card to mount an attack in the centre, it was simply blown away. Hmmm. So much for élan...

At one point I know I was 7-0 down or something - to get it back to 12-7 suggests that we must have won the second half (to quote Sam Allardyce)...

Paul Liddle said...

A stunning looking game lads, Commands and Colors plays so well with plenty of cut and thrust to make an exciting game. It's a system that gets a lot of table time at my house, I have a Marlburian variant on the table at the moment.

Rob said...

A fun and fascinating article as I'm trying C&C Napoleonics next weekend with a friend to see if they!re suited to figure gaming - clearly they are so it!s just a case of seeing if they match my preconceptions for a Napoleonic rule set and give a fast enough game for quick campaigns.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Splendid!

Best Regards,

Stokes

Stryker said...

I am a late convert to C&C having previously held the opinion that hexes in a tabletop game are wargaming heresy. I've changed my opinion because although it shouldn't work, using the C&C game system with miniatures does provide an excellent game with the feel of napoleonic warfare. There is a real ebb and flow to the battles that makes for a lot of interest and fun. Big games can be fought in 4-5 hours to a proper conclusion which takes away the 'if we'd had another hour my Old Guard would have smashed you' syndrome. It's also useful where players have troops based to different systems, as Tony, Goya and myself do.

As I've said before, C&C will never totally replace my own rule system for my Hinton Hunts, but I will continue to play it when I get the chance!

lewisgunner said...

I think those 'lovely French Chasseurs' are Garrison. Highly ns horse bases are oval and smooth whereas Garrison are squared and textured. Also they have the Usual Gartison wavy-sword position.
Pretty game!!

Stryker said...

Roy - I'm sure you're right about Garrison (I'm still honing my old school identification skills). It was indeed a pretty game!

Wellington Man said...

What Heinz-Ulrich said!

You're entering new realms, Ian. it's fantastic to see all those wonderful old ranges on the table top together.

Best regards, WM

Matt said...

A stirring sight indeed!

Stryker said...

WM - I saw your comment on Tony's blog re photos on this blog. I have turned the lightbox feature back on to make it easier to scroll through posts with multiple images. I turned this off several years ago because it made it impossible to read documents such as painting instructions and let you zoom in close to photos. However, on balance I agree it's more user friendly to have the feature switched back on!

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

A sight to raise a smile of pleasure/enjoyment and just a tiny brief touch of envy. Thanks for sharing.

MSFoy said...

Lightbox feature - nicely done Ian - that's a great help - damn, your photos are even better than I thought! They also reminded me that I really ought to make a better paint job on my two old Bellona bridges, so I'll get on with that!

Stryker said...

Ross - glad you enjoyed it!

Wellington Man said...

Cheers, Ian!