Thursday, 7 November 2019

Commands & Colors – La Rothiere

Yesterday Goya hosted a C&CN game of the Battle of La Rothiere which we played using Tony’s Ramekin rules variant of the original rules. The allies were played by Goya and Nigel whilst Tony and I took command of the French. The figures used were mostly vintage ones from our various collections.

Finding myself on the French left flank brought back uncomfortable memories of the last time I took part in a re-fight of this battle (click HERE). That game ended in humiliating defeat for the French when Roy’s Bavarians rolled up our flank whilst a massive Russian battery decimated our centre, surely history would not repeat itself?

The initial set-up, allies on the left and French on the right. The
Bavarians are nearest to the camera on the flank of the French.
The view from the other end of the table. La Rothiere is
represented by the rather splendid church model in the centre.
The Bavarians are Tony's. I believe the infantry are DK
whilst the cavalry are Hinton Hunt.
The right wing of the allied line was made up of Austrians
and Russians from Goya's collection. These are mostly early
Minifigs. The unit on the hill is my own Hinton Hunt
Russian Grenadiers.
The French centre. Two units of Young Guard occupy the
woods with Guard Light cavalry to their front.
Our men at La Rothiere are starting to take casualties from a
very strong Russian artillery battery on the high ground. The
town was to change hands three times during the course of play. 
Concerned by the Bavarians on our flank, Tony and I started
to shift troops to the left. However this turned out to be a clever
feint by the allies who actually made their attack in the centre.
By now the Russians had taken La Rothiere and we had no
option but to call up the Young Guard for a counter-attack.
These are lovely Hinton Hunt Russian Chasseurs from Nigel's
collection. I believe they are painted as mounted Jaegers.
Fighting rages around the town. These Russians were eventually
expelled by the Young Guard who in turn fell back under the
deadly fire of the Russian guns.
The Guard Heavy cavalry taking on the entire Russian cavalry
force on a do-or-die mission. They did do but they did die as
The situation at the end of play. The allies amassed 9 victory
banners (8 needed for a win) while the French had only 4.

It was an excellent game that was evenly balanced until the last turn although the eventual allied victory was a resounding one. My thanks to Goya and my fellow generals for a most enjoyable day.


warpaintjj said...

Tense refight featuring classy models on attractively neat terrain.
Glad to see the Old & Middle Guard performed on the day.
Best wishes,

Stryker said...

Jeremy, without the a Young Guard and the Guard cavalry it would have been a much more dramatic defeat!

Aly Morrison said...

A splendid looking and sounding game indeed...

All the best. Aly

Stryker said...

Cheers Aly!

'Lee. said...

A fine array of vintage soldiers there Ian. Are the early Minifigs referred to 20mm scale? I seem to recall the Crimean range was such?

Stryker said...

Lee, they are all 20mm scale. I'm no expert on Minifigs but Goya says some are S-range and others from a range that predates that.

MSFoy said...

Ian - nice report, and I can study your photos to see what mine should have been like! Looking at the starting situation, I think we did reasonably well - better than I expected. Only thing we had going for us was that the Russian battalions are mostly small enough to be eliminated (eventually) - they may not run away, but they can definitely be killed off.

My compliments, once again, on your bravura impersonations of wargaming celebrities - high spot of the day. When we get a stand at Claymore, this will have to be a feature. Not a dry eye in the house.

Blogger seems to have taken a dislike to me again this morning - it wouldn't let me comment on your post using my proper Google account - it seems to have relented now - mysterious.

Ross Mac said...

A great pleasure to see! (reads like the game was even better to play in.)

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

A beautiful testament to the hobby. Great stuff!

Best Regards,


Anonymous said...

The Russian infantry are a mixture of DK (I think), early Minifigs (again- I think) and Minifigs S range with HH and SHQ command. The early Minifigs are slightly shorter but more slender so yes 20mm. There is an explanation and catalogue list here.

Stryker said...

Thank you Anon, one would almost think you were related to the great Count Goya himself!

Chris Salander said...

That regiment of Chasseurs a Cheval look like Scruby's. And in front of them is the famous casting of Marshal Ney with his hat turned sideways.

Besides Scruby, all three flavors of HH, and plastic, I also use Les Higgins/Phoenix, some It Figures, Newline Design, and lots of RSM (Rusty Scabbard Miniatures, originally based in Kentucky). I normally use General de Brigade at 20:1 (going back to Column, Line, and Square in the 1970s.) But several members of our club like to play C&CN with figures (usually 15mm). So those two forces could come together. What hex width are you using? To fit four of my 8 figure infantry stands or 3 figure cavalry stands (both 60mm wide) would require a 5" hex.

Wellington Man said...

I remember La Rothiere chez Boss only too well, Ian. What a nightmare. I'm very glad to see that it doesn't always have to be that way. This was a much more evenly balanced affair!

The soldiers, as ever, are exquisite and just what I need to inspire my painting efforts this weekend.

Very best regards to all

Stryker said...

Chris, I think the hexes are 6" across the flats. C&CN is a good rule set for us to use as all four of us have different basing systems which doesn't matter as each unit is just a playing piece. Using miniatures to play adds a whole new dimension to the game.

Stryker said...

WM - yes that line of Russian guns was a tough introduction to my rules for you! Annoyingly though the guns were almost as much of a problem in this game as the 'mother Russia' rule gave them each an extra firing block!

MSFoy said...

Note for Chris...

Hi Chris - the Chasseurs a Cheval in the pictures are actually original 20mm Garrison figures - they do look similar to Scrubys - I think John Braithwaite designed for both makers. The horses, especially, are similar.

The hexes we used here are 7 inches across the flats - your hexes have to be large enough to allow a little scenery around the edges! 7 inch hexes makes the standard 13 x 9 hex grid table a comfortable fit on an 8ft x 5ft table!

Matt said...

You may have lost the day but your troops like their best while doing so.

Rob said...

That looked a pretty packed game and hard even though the French were always likely to lose. Unbalanced games can be a lot of fun but if very heavily slanted I think work better with players having a hidden identity and commanding a different randomly selected command each turn. I would’ve liked a few close ups of the troops as most of them are gems that are worth studying.
Great post here and in aspic, keep them coming they light up my weekends.

Khusru said...

Looks impressive. A good narrative to.

James Fisher said...

Fantastic looking game, wonderful figures and a close-fought contest (plus lemon cake, we are lead to believe...!) all in all a beaut day out!

This is a top battle to re-fight, so I can see why you have done it twice--well, all Napoleonics are, just some are even more gooderer than others, haha!