Friday 6 December 2019

First battle in the Hut

Tony, Goya and Nigel humoured me on Wednesday by coming over to play an inaugural game in the Hinton Hut. The scenario was non-historical and featured a Prusso-Russo-Austrian army fighting against the French. The troops were pre-deployed to provide four equal commands and we diced to see who got what. Tony became Napoleon on the French right aided by Goya as Bessieres on his left, I got Blucher on the allied left whilst Nigel as Gneisienau took the right.

As usual with my Muskets & Marshals games there were several objectives worth VPs and the game ran for 8 turns. At the end of play the objective VPs were totalled, and an additional VP was awarded for each enemy unit destroyed or routing. On this occasion all the figures used were from my own collection as I was keen to give them a run out in their new surroundings.

The allied right under Nigel (aka The Archduke) in his element
with both Austrians and Russians under his command.
My position on the allied left, the die decreed that I got to
command the Prussians which seemed only right really.
With the game underway Nigel's front line is starting to take
casualties from artillery and skirmisher fire.
My own troops were more fortunate as the first few French
cannon shots seemed to bounce off them. 
On the other side of the field the French were preparing to
attack along the central road with three line battalions supported
by the Guard.
The first clash of the game was between my Silesian Hussars
and Tony's lancers. As you can see, my Hussars have not yet
shaken off their 'new unit' status.
Rather uncharacteristically the French immediately started a
general advance which rather back-footed Nigel and I. This is
the view from behind the French left.
We were heartened however when Nigel's Hussars won an
initial round of melee against the Guard lancers.
But on came the infantry regardless.
It was clear by now that Napoleon really meant business and
in response we ordered our front rank units into line to
maximise fire-power.
The French steamroller edges forward although men (and
Colonels) were starting to fall.
Meanwhile the 10th legere were having a quiet time safe
within the walls of a farm. The farm was not an objective
however the square counter on the road was worth 10VPs
to us - if we could get there!
Getting there was looking increasingly unlikely although we
did have the odd spot of success such as my cuirassiers seeing
off Tony's lancers.
By now Goya's artillery and skirmishers were taking a toll
on Nigel's front line.
And Tony was pushing on unrelentingly in the centre.
On our extreme right the Austrian Hussars suffered the
indignity of being put to flight by DK cuirassier/dragoons.
But in the centre things were getting really serious as the
French columns went in with the bayonet.
And although our muskets took a deadly toll...
...our front line was soon broken.
At the same time Goya was adding pressure from the
French left - here the 105th ligne can be seen supporting the
combined grenadier battalion.
Finally the emperor deemed it time to commit the Guard.
While Ney personally led the 85th ligne against my new
Russian unit (this caused a slight conflict of interest for Nigel
as he had painted the 85th for me a couple of years ago).
With the front line gone the French now pushed into our
reserves including the Prussian Guard.
Our spirits sank however as the Guard were disordered by a
charge from the 9th legere...
...and even the personal intervention of Blucher (+1 to morale)
could do nothing to stop the rot.
Things were a little better on Nigel's front but not enough to
make much difference to the final result.
The final VP tally was 22 to the French and, er, zero to us!

It was a great game even though Nigel and I were well and truly trounced. Perhaps in retrospect I should have put a bit more thought into balancing the troop types on each side, although of course we did have the Landwehr so really there was no excuse to lose!

My thanks to the visiting generals and particularly to Tony and Nigel who battled rush hour traffic to make the 10.00am start.

Saturday 23 November 2019

Prussian Review

Now I finally have a permanent wargame table I thought it was time I held the long overdue review of the Prussian army.

Marshal Vorwarts and his team of glittering generals.
The infantry - 3x musketeer battalions, 1x fusiliers, 1x Jager, 1x Guard and
2x Landwehr.
The cavalry - 1x Cuirassier, 1x Dragoons, 1x Hussars, 1x Lancers.
The artillery - 4x battery and 1x limber
The entire army.

Hinton Hunt Prussian army started 2009 and completed 2019. Foot figures 216, mounted figures 57, 4 guns, 4 limber horses, 1 limber - total 282 pieces.

Monday 18 November 2019

Inside the Hinton Hut

The Hinton Hut is finally finished, and I have taken up residence. Some may question the wisdom of occupying the hut at the start of the Scottish winter, but I was keen to get all my stuff moved in even if it is a bit chilly.

The view across the length of the cabin from the door. My desk
is at the far end. The wargame table is 6'x4' but looks smaller
in this shot.
The desk area is big enough for my paints and accessories with
adjacent desk space for the laptop. The display cabinet is
central on the wall so I can view it from wherever I am sitting.
The view from the desk back towards the door (on the left).
I have used Ikea Billys for storage and the configuration works
well. If I turn the table the other way it can be extended to 8'x4'.
The storage area - soldiers and 'stuff'' on the wall, I'll get some
more storage boxes when funds allow. Most of my books are
on the unit to the right with a bit of overflow to the left (click
the image to zoom in).
I've managed to find space for all my pictures including this
article about the founders wife given to me by Roy on my
60th birthday!

It’s great to have a dedicated space for my toy soldiers, terrain, painting desk, books, pictures etc and a permanent wargame table. This is something I’ve dreamed of having since I was 12 years old, hopefully I’ll get some time to enjoy it.

Sunday 17 November 2019

Cannon fodder for the Czar

The Russian infantry unit is finished and ready to take up it’s place in my rather slim Russian battle-line. This unit is nameless (although it carries the flag of the Moscow regiment) but represents a line unit as the grenadier plumes had been docked by the previous owner. Hinton Hunt never produced any line troops so I guess Marcus Hinton always intended that the plumes should be discarded if not required.

In the best tradition of this project this unit came together using figures from different sources but surprisingly they are all vintage Hinton Hunt castings except for the Clayton drummer and DK flag-bearer. The marching figures in greatcoats were a recent eBay purchase while the Crimean War figures are originals I have had for a few years.

RN.18 Private in great-coat marching x 18
RC/17 Russian private, marching x 3
FN/11 Officer, charging (with head swap) x 1
Clayton Pavlov drummer (with head swap) x1
DK colour-bearer (painted by Goya) x1

I’m going to try to keep focussed and complete my Russian force so next up will be the Hussars.

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.