Friday 25 March 2016

Hanau 1813 - part 3

The 4th Swiss put up a good fight but against two enemy units and being disordered this was only going to end one way.
Just to the right of the Swiss the 9th legere take on another Bavarian column at slightly better odds. There are more Bavarian columns coming up in support however.
In the centre the two sides have settled down to a fire fight and as you can see my French are starting to take casualties. The guard look on but remain uncommitted by the emperor.
The Swiss keep running pursued by one of the Bavarian columns. This shot shows my labelling system on the bottom of the bases to keep track of the various figure types.
The reliable 45th ligne get stuck in to yet another Bavarian column. The 45th were to win this melee and were the only French unit remaining on this flank at the end of the game although by then they were completely surrounded by enemy infantry.
The situation at the end of turn 5.
Another shot of the 9th legere. The 45th ligne can be seen in the background (top left).
This is getting near 'game over'. My right flank is crumbling with both cavalry and infantry routing. One solitary square resists Roy's cavalry supported by the carabiniers who are now seriously under strength. In the centre the combined grenadiers are taking a pasting from Austrian musketry.
Next to the grenadiers the 105th ligne are also taking more casualties including their colonel (who on this occasion is Lasalle). My men are giving as good as they get but behind the enemy front line are three more battalions as yet untouched.
Poniatowski is swept away with the rout of the 8th Polish battalion. Fortunately for him there is no river blocking his line of retreat.
The 9th legere are also routing and my left flank has completely broken.

The view from the Bavarian battery at the end of the game. One gun has been removed as a result of counter-battery fire from my guard artillery.
This is the view from behind the Austrian front line (looking at my combined grenadier battalion).
It's all over now as Roy's cavalry sweep forward to complete his victory.

With both my flanks broken it was time to concede defeat. It was a great game and another good test of the rules. This time I felt there was nothing to change in the rules other than the introduction of the initiative die roll. It's taken a while (I started in 1972) but finally I have a set of rules that I'm really happy with.

My thanks to Roy for yet another splendid game and lunch.

Saturday 19 March 2016

Hanau 1813 - part 2

The game commenced with an artillery bombardment and my poor carabiniers found themselves in the line of fire of two Austrian batteries. The gunners took delight in aiming at their shiny brass breastplates in a most unsporting way.
My guard artillery were not standing idly by however and a string of good dice rolls was soon whittling away at the Bavarian gunners opposite them.
The Austrian infantry now started to advance whilst on their left flank the cavalry of both sides engaged in a fierce melee. You can just make out my cuirassiers and light cavalry mixing it with the front line of Roy's troopers in the centre distance.
The Austrians came on confidently with banners flying high - or was it just the innocence of troops who had never been in battle before?
The situation at the start of turn 3
A close up of the cavalry melee. I forget the precise sequence of events here but I remember the melee went on for several turns. At this stage Roy kept back three of his cavalry units in reserve whilst I retained two (including the carabiniers who ranks had now considerably thinned.
On the other flank the Bavarians came on in column whilst I pushed forward in something of an ordre mixte. I had to do this to prevent being out-flanked as the enemy outnumbered me 2:1 on this part of the field. The Swiss are in line and about to feel the full force of two enemy battalions.
A view along the French line. In the middle distance you can see I have moved my guard cavalry up behind the Poles. What sneaky plan did I have in store?
This is not looking good - there are more holes in their ranks than in a Swiss cheese. The yellow counter denotes the fact that the 4th Swiss are disordered.
At this stage Roy hesitated slightly in his advance and I was able to get off a volley or two together with fire from part of the guard artillery. You will note the absence of skirmishers in this game. This was to help speed up play. I like to have skirmishing but it does slow things down a bit and rarely has much effect on the game so Roy and I have decided to drop them for bigger games.
Another overview of the table.
The Austrian columns stop and the front ranks deploy into line clearly Roy doesn't fancy the chances of these newbies with the bayonet. I brought up my two reserve line battalions to extend my right flank and start to pour volley fire into the Austrians. However things were not going too well with the cavalry melee by this time and my cuirassiers can be seen making a 'strategic withdrawal'.
"Load, aim, fire" The 105th put all that drill to good use.
Possibly foolhardy rather than sneaky. The guard cavalry charge into the flank of the Austro-Hungarian column but the dice favours the Bavarians who managed to react and form square whilst the Bavarian gunners can't believe their luck. The red counter means that the colonel of the guards is hors de combat.

To be continued.

I've added some 'Unit History' pages (toward the top of the side menu bar). These are for my own amusement but might also be of interest to some of you. I will add to them as and when I have time.

Thursday 17 March 2016

Hanau 1813 – part 1

I have to confess that I’d never heard of the battle of Hanau until Roy told me last week we would be playing a game based on it. I think his idea was to have a scenario where he could get to use his new Bavarian army and also throw in a few Austrian battalions for good measure (the 4 Austrian units are the precursor of Roy’s planned Austrian force for Vintage Leipzig). We used only a 6’ x 4’ area of Roy’s main table for this game. This is how the forces were deployed.

The initial set up of the table and troops

As you can see I was somewhat outnumbered but I did have several ‘A’ class units plus two ‘A+’ Old Guard battalions. Roy’s force was mostly ‘B’ class with I think one ‘C’ class as well. Under my Muskets & Marshals rules the unit class can make quite a difference in play, particularly in melee. We also introduced an initiative die roll system at the start of each turn (highest die roll gives initiative to that player – Napoleon always adding 1 to the die roll). The player with the initiative gets to declare charges first and the other player can only counter-charge on a die roll of 4,5 or 6. This helped to sort out a grey area in the rules regarding the charge/counter-charge sequence.

Anyway, enough waffle – this is what happened.

This is the allied left flank where all of Roy's cavalry were deployed. I think these are mostly Austrian figures - the hussars in particular are very pretty.

Some of the newly recruited Bavarian troops deployed in the centre of the allied line.

These Bavarian gunners are more of Roy's wonderful conversions. He not only produced these guns and crews but knocked out a limber for each as well (as he does for all his armies). This is impressive stuff as I have only managed to produce two limbers so far for my own forces.

Massed Bavarians on the allied right flank.

Another slightly closer view of the Bavarians - look at those converted mounted colonels! Roy has produced literally dozens of converted figures to use as colonels (Muskets & Marshals requires a lot of these as each unit needs to have one) and each one deserves close attention - don't forget you can click on the images to zoom in.

Four brand new Austrian battalions in the allied centre  - the first of many I am sure.

The allied cavalry - the figures are Austrian dragoons and hussars. I think some of them are painted as Bavarians but Roy will have to put me right on this.

These are some of my own French troops patiently awaiting the start of the battle. The 9th legere are nearest the camera being led on this occasion by marshal Groucy. Next to them are the faithful 45th (yes, I know that all Hinton units are the 45th but this one is special to me) led by no lesser figure than Prince Murat himself.
More conversions - this time Old Guard in bicornes. Lovely figures (that's Cambronne leading them). This unit also took part in Vintage Waterloo where they charged the British line in the closing stages of the battle.

The emperor with marshal Ney in position behind the guard.

Let battle commence - the guard artillery opens fire on the Bavarian batteries opposite them.
To be continued.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Hanau 1813 – coming soon

Roy and I got together yesterday to fight a game based on the Battle of Hanau 1813. It was just the two of us this time so the idea was to keep things small. Well, that was the idea but we still managed to put upwards of 600 Hinton Hunt figures onto a 6’ x 5’ area of table.

Roy commanded the Austro-Bavarian army (yes, he really has managed to knock up an entire Bavarian army since we played Vintage Waterloo) and I commanded the French. The forces were a bit unbalanced with the allies outnumbering the French but I think this helped to contribute to what turned out to be a most enjoyable game.

We played for a full eight turns and the game had a satisfying conclusion – a full battle report will follow!

Sunday 6 March 2016

Guest Appearance #6

Michael sent me these photos of some of his French and British Hinton Hunt forces. Click the images to zoom in for a good look.

Now this really is a big battalion - I think it's 48 figures - there are grenadiers and voltigeurs on the flanks.

Some seriously impressive buttons on the fusiliers and the flag is brilliant - I've painted a few of those and it's no easy task to pick out the lettering like that.

A wonderfully animated Ponsonby next to a one-piece British general.

One of my favourite figures - British dragoon at rest. This is a one piece casting and is very difficult to paint to the standard displayed here.

I think you’ll agree that’s some pretty stunning brush work there from Michael.