Tuesday 21 May 2019

Prussian progress 2

It’s been a busy few weeks with not much painting time and even less blogging time, but I have managed to churn out the first half of my final Prussian Musketeer unit. This one is a Colberg regiment with white collar and cuffs and red shoulder straps.

Being the final of the three charging figure units I’ve had to scrape the bottom of the barrel for recruits with a mixture of vintage (not many), reproduction and Clayton figures to make up the numbers. The Clayton’s, although ‘official’ castings, are the weediest of the bunch and are orientated slightly differently on their bases to the original figures and their muskets are held at a lower angle.

I’m not sure how long it’s going to take to get these finished as we have a few more busy weeks ahead, but I’m aiming to get them done by the end of June.

Thursday 9 May 2019

The Battle for the Hill

Yesterday I was joined by Wellington Man, Goya and the Archduke (Nigel) for a game of soldiers. WM had brought a small French expeditionary force with him comprised of three infantry units, the Guard Chasseurs and 7th Polish Lancers. Despite some minor damage in transit from New Zealand WM’s troops still looked splendid when they took their place in the French line. 

The French army (Goya and Nigel) was opposed by my Prussians supported by Austrians and Russians (Myself and WM). In theory the two armies were balanced at 12 infantry and 5 cavalry each however due to some poor staff work on my part the French had a 6 to 4 advantage in cavalry which was to have a significant influence on events.

The scenario was simple, there were 3 victory locations in the centre of the table each worth 5 VP’s. Additionally, 1 VP was awarded for each enemy routed unit. The side with the most VP’s at the end of play was the winner. The rules as ever were Muskets & Marshals, here are the highlights -

This is the view from behind the right wing of the French army looking towards
the section of the allied line commanded by yours truly. WM's beautiful Guard
Chasseurs are visible bottom right of the picture. The tree and the hill were both
victory point objectives.
Prussian Jagers were the first troops to take possession of the central hill and
they were soon popping away with their rifles at the French Voltigeurs on the
other side. Meanwhile both sides were pushing forward their infantry columns.
The emperor looks on. He managed to win every initiative die roll bar one
which combined with the French superior cavalry numbers put the allies under
pressure from the start.
French on the left, allies on the right. There is already cavalry action taking
place on both flanks while the fight for the central hill hots up.
The 4th Brandenburg infantry have gained the crest of the hill. However a whole
brigade of Swiss troops is waiting for them on the other side, with levelled
The 7th Lancers engage the Prussian Lancers. A lot of men have gone down
on both sides, however it was the Poles who would emerge victorious from this
fierce clash of arms. Both of these units were painted by WM.
This is the view from the other end of the table (French on the right). The
Prussians are pushing forward and, with the 1st Silesian Landwehr out front
what can possibly go wrong?
The Guard Chasseurs managed to catch the Splendid Splenys out of square.
I felt this was quite unsporting but Goya begged to differ.
With so many troops in a relatively small area it soon became something of a
pell-mell battle. Nearest the camera the Poles and Guard Marines are pushing
against the allied flank. The Guard Eclaireurs have been severely mauled by
artillery and fire from an Austrian square, however they succeeded in riding
down a battery in the process.
As we all know, it's always the new units that take the worst punishment in a
fight. Here the Brandenburgers suffer the inevitable consequence of being
fired on by 18 Swiss muskets at close range.

Now this surely wasn't in the script? The Silesian Landwehr are routing after
taking casualties from cannister and musketry. Fortunately the French
Cuirassiers were unable to take advantage having failed a morale test. 
With the Brandenburgers ejected from the hill the 3rd Swiss advance and take
their place. Things are looking shaky for the allies.
The allied left is under pressure now as well with the 'tree' VP location firmly
in the hands of the French, who are smashing the remaining infantry squares
with columns.
Honour restored - the Silesians have rallied!
This is one of Matthews amazing units - the 67th infantry I believe. Marshal
Davout seems very pleased with the way things are working out.
The obligatory black and white shot. You'll have to take my word for it that
the Swiss on the hill are a sea of red.
"Stop running mein children!" It's no use, Scharnhorst and the Brandenburgers
are legging it. A convincing win for the French who controlled 2 of the 3 VP
sites at game end (turn 6).

Thanks to WM for bringing his troops (and himself) halfway around the world to the game and to Nigel for making the 7 hour round trip across the border and back. Thanks also to Goya for producing 3 units for the game finished in gloss varnish even though this was against his principles (I believe they are being doused in matt varnish as I write!). Another good game played in great company.