Thursday 20 June 2019

Quatre Bras – C&CN

We played the C&CN Quatre Bras scenario on Tuesday and an excellent game it turned out to be. Goya, as host, was umpire while Tony commanded the French and I took control of the allies. We played Tony’s Ramekin rules variant with a few new tweaks and the result was another very near-run thing.

This is the view from behind the French left-centre at the start
of play. The stream is fordable along its entire length. Quatre
Bras is represented by the building in the distance and was
worth one victory banner to the French.
This is the French right flank. The troops on the opposite base
line are Picton's British regulars whilst those further forward
are a mixture of Dutch, Belgian and Brunswick allies.
And this is the view from behind the allied right showing the
Bossu Wood on the extreme flank.
Tony opened proceedings with a spirited attack on Bossu Wood
and quickly removed my Dutch artillery battery from play.
However, thereafter it proved much more difficult to dislodge
my infantry who hung on in possession all day.
The French are starting to think they may have to bi-pass the
woods and attack in the centre. Tony had a grand battery on
the central ridge that was soon pounding away at my infantry.
This is the view along the entire allied line from the Bossu
Wood. The very large British unit in the trees is one of my
Guard ones, these are like the Napoleonic version of Tiger
Tanks and proved very effective.
Here you can see that the French have started to advance
across the stream. I've pulled my own front line back to the
shelter of the reverse slope of the ridge to avoid the galling
artillery fire.
Of course I had to move the men back on to the ridge as the
French columns approached. There were unit losses to both
sides and it looked to me like Tony was getting the upper hand.
The Black Duke steadies the Owls supported by one of Goya's
excellent Hinton Hunt Hanoverian units (not strictly right for
the OOB but they were standing in for |Dutch).
These Dutch cavalry are also from Goya's collection - all
Hinton Hunt.
A 'classic' wargame shot as the two sides grapple for control
 of the ridge (in the background you can see that Goya's
servants are getting ready to lay the table for dinner as
soon as we finish playing).
Eventually, somehow, I managed to push the French infantry
back prompting Tony to throw in his Cuirassiers. Luckily for
me he had no horse artillery with which to crack my squares.
A lucky run of dice then brought me to the 9 victory banners
required to claim victory - game over!

This was yet another game with a lot of ebb and flow that went right down to the wire. My thanks to Goya for hosting, umpiring and providing a very nice lunch, and to Tony for a most enjoyable game.

Saturday 15 June 2019

Slender Billy

This is another contribution to the Quatre Bras game next week – DN/30 H.R.H. The Prince of Orange, in hussar jacket, full trouser and waving his cocked hat. A rather nice vintage casting I’ve painted in accordance with the original Hinton Hunt painting instructions.

I must confess that my image of the Prince has been tainted by watching Paul Bettany’s portrayal of him in Sharpe’s Waterloo. So, although Goya insists he should be known as Slender Billy, he will always be Silly Billy to me.

In reality the Prince was a reasonably experienced officer by the time of Waterloo having served on the Dukes staff in the peninsular. His performance at Quatre Bras was solid but he was later criticised by British writers who naturally enough wanted to big-up the part played by Wellington and his generals.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Brunswick Artillery

Hinton Hunt never made any Brunswick artillerymen, so I’ve had to resort to the dark art of head swapping to create some. The donor bodies are all British Horse Artillery and the heads are from various odds and ends of Brunswick infantry I had lying about.

There was just one Horse Artillery Battery present in the
Brunswick contingent during the Waterloo campaign. 
And one Foot Artillery Battery.

I’m quite happy with the Horse Artillery figures but the Foot Artillery heads are a bit big for the rather spindly RHA bodies resulting in quite a menacing pinhead look. The guns are on loan from the French, apparently the canny Black Duke sent his artillery chief to an auction following the Battle of Leipzig where he snapped up enough captured French guns to equip several batteries.

For C&CN we need two guns and crew per battery so mine
will be combined for the game.

So, I can hear you thinking “hey, those aren’t Prussian – what’s he up to?” well I can only blame Goya for this distraction. Next week he is hosting a C&CN game of Quatre Bras and we were short of a Brunswick battery for the OOB. A battle report will be posted here in due course.