Monday, 20 December 2010

Battle of the crossroads – Part 3

While the French heavy cavalry passed his flank General Aldercreutz took refuge in the square of the 4th Swiss regiment. Aldercreutz presented something of a target on his high horse (due to the fact that being a ‘knock-off’ his base is unusually thick) but thankfully he survived the action unscathed.

General Aldercreutz took refuge in the square of the 4th Swiss.
D’Hilliers wasted no time in ordering his cavalry to charge straight at the Union brigade forcing them to make an immediate morale test. This they took on a minus one (because of Ponsonby’s demise) that left them shaken and unable to counter charge. A few more rubbish dice rolls meant the resulting melee was lost – the unthinkable had happen, the Union brigade was in full retreat!

The cavalry melee.
Meanwhile in the centre of the field things were going from bad to worse for Wellington. Mercer’s battery had been steadily losing casualties to the fire of the 10th Legere and yet another failed morale test for the Allies saw his guns limbered up and making haste to the rear. All this as the columns of the Nassau grenadiers and 45th Ligne were closing on the position held by Picton and the Naval battalion.

The French columns close in.

A volley at long range from Picton’s men took out three of the Nassauers and for a moment it looked like the line might just hold but then the Nassau colour-bearer ran forward holding his flag aloft (he has a very strong hand) and the Nassauers were in amongst the British with the bayonet. Even the presence of the Duke (with his plus one to morale rolls) wasn’t enough to save the situation and the Naval Battalion broke and fled.

The Nassauers show the Brits some cold steel.
The Allies were in full retreat and a dejected Wellington sat upon his trusty horse Copenhagen looking on at the sorry scene. “A hard pounding eh, gentlemen?” “A hard pounding indeed your grace.” said Lord Hill and Picton.

The vanquished.
On the other side of the field the Emperor looked upon the same scene but was in a very different mood “I told you the English were not good soldiers Bernadotte, did I not?” “Yes sire, you did.” replied Bernadotte. “They may have the best cavalry in Europe but it is the worst led and anyway, I’m sure those ones on the grey horse were drunk!”

The victors.

The battle was over but the war had only just begun…


Rafael Pardo said...

A funny battle and AAR... The Union Brigade was routed almost like the Old Guard cavalry in my Sellerhausen refight...
As Docsmith has said: All is in the dice!

Stryker said...

Hi Rafa - technically the Union Brigade only had to retreat (not rout) so honour has been upheld, well partly anyway...


Paulalba said...

Cracking read Ian,
That's an impressive collection you have put together in a short time.

Anonymous said...

I hate to point out the obvious, but if the British have lost there must be a serious fault in your rules Sir!

Stirring little action report and I look forward to reading more (after the necessary rule amendments of course!)

Stryker said...

Matt - of course the most annoying thing is that the units you painted are the ones that fared best in the battle!


Pjotr said...

I thought it was the best cavalry, but the worst "lead"...
Ian, congratulations, this was an incredibly entertaining, first class battle. I do hope you can keep this up, as you've set yourself quite a high standard to follow.
My favourite rules are still the Tunbridge Wells Napoleonic set from the 1970's (by Mr Gush). I wonder how your rules will compare.
Patience, Pjotr, steady lad...


Stryker said...

Hi Pjotr - thanks for your kind words. It may be a while before the troops take to the field again but I will post another battle report when they do. I have never seen the rules by George Gush but my own are based on the principles of simplicity and fun which is what I like in a tabletop wargame. I am still tidying up the rules to make them a bit clearer to understand and will post on them as soon as I have them ready.

Captain Richard's miniature Civil War said...

I like your bases...clean and neat

lewisgunner said...

Wellington (in the Peninsukla0 used to outnumber the French in skirmishers. Stikes me that you need to paint up some cacadoresa and rifles to enable Wellington to use a reverse slope.

Stryker said...

My thoughts entirely Roy. The Rifles have been pushed to the front of the painting queue!


MSFoy said...

Once again, this is great stuff. Apart from anything else, I'm interested to know how you do the lighting for the photos. The general look is straight out of Charles Grant's Napoleonic Wargame, which is intended as a major compliment.

I'm deeply impressed that the chaps have their rank and serial number printed on underneath - now there's posh!

More of this, whenever you like, please - excellent