Sunday 29 September 2019

Battle of Ligny

Yesterday we played my Ligny scenario for Muskets & Marshals. The game went well, and we managed to complete the required eight turns. I commanded the Prussians whilst Tony and Goya played team French, this is what happened.

View of the table at the start of play. St Amand-La-Haye is the
white building nearest the camera, St Amand is the cottage to
the right and the church model at the far end of the table
represents Ligny. Prussians to the left, French to the right.
The French got off to a spirited start with Goya attacking
St Amand-La-Haye and Tony attacking Ligny.
The two French units on the large bases are from Tony's
collection. He brought these along as they are mostly Hinton
Hunt figures and they performed annoying well.
As the French close in on St Amand-La-Haye the 1st Silesian
Hussars rush forward to intercept - well, they had to didn't they?
The same scene from slightly further back shows the solid
French infantry columns pressing forward. However there are
Silesian Landwehr holding the village so I'm not worried!
This shows the centre of my position. The gun on the hill has
taken a few casualties but otherwise we're in good shape. The
2nd Silesian Landwehr are being moved to the right to help
shore up the flank.
This is from behind the French left showing that Goya's
infantry are starting to take some casualties as they advance.
My hussars mix it with French lancers whilst the dragoons move
up in support. This is the first ever action for these hussars so
they're bound to do well.
A close-up of the intense fighting for St Amand-La-Haye.
Pretty much the same scene but I like the photo.
Meanwhile over at Ligny, Tony has just captured the town.
This was a bit of a shock and I only had a unit of Landwehr
on hand to plug the gap (S-range from Goya's collection).
Fortunately reserves are on the way. I managed to release all
three of my reserve units in a single turn and sent the Guard
and the Silesian Musketeers to counter-attack. Blucher himself
accompanied them - "Vorwarts!"
The centre of my line held firm as the French were having
problems getting their Guard units to activate, the Grumblers
finding it hard to believe Napoleon actually wanted them
to fight rather than just look pretty.
Over on my right things were not looking so good. My hussars
were following the time honoured tradition for new units by
legging it to the rear, and St Amand-La-Haye had fallen.
This was the do-or-die moment at Ligny as the counter-attack
goes in. Sadly as you can see from the markers it was not a
huge success and very soon I had 3 units streaming to the rear.
"Rally, mein kinder, rally!"
Well they did but it was too late.
At the 11th hour (turn 8 actually) the Brandenburg infantry managed
to retake St Amand-La-Haye denying the French a decisive
Finally the Young Guard arrive but it's all over now. The Old
Guard (top left) appear to be having a picnic but roll on June 18
I say...

The final result was a marginal victory for the French with a win of 8 points. It was a hard-fought affair with a fairly historical outcome. My thanks to Tony and Goya for a most enjoyable day.

Thursday 26 September 2019

1st Silesian Hussars

Finished in the nick of time the 1st Silesian Hussars are cantering towards the action at Ligny on Saturday.

The figures are PN.85 Prussian Hussar (mounted) charging with one converted to a bugler.

My Prussian army is now officially complete.

Sunday 22 September 2019

Council of war

It's the morning of 16th June 1815 and Wellington and Blucher have met at Bussy Windmill near Ligny for a council of war.

"I say old bean how very nice to see you again!"
"Ya, very nice indeed mein old kumpel."
"Do you think you can hold this place until I can bring my
lads over from Quatre Bras to fall on Boney's flank?"
"Ya, I vill hold it to my dying breath!"
"Jolly good, I'll just nip over to my HQ and we'll be back in
a jiffy with the entire guards division."
"Do you really think we'll be able to relieve Blucher by the end
of turn 8 your grace?"
"Not a snowball's chance in hell De Lancey but it's good to keep
up the Prussian's morale!"
"I do not trust ze British herr marshal, zay will not be here
by turn 8!"
"You're too negative Gneisenau, I'm sure Wellington will not
let us down and besides, the 1st Silesian Hussars have just
arrived in camp so everything will be fine!"

We plan to fight the game a week on Saturday and a full after action report will appear here in due course.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Ligny for Muskets & Marshals

I’ve knocked up a scenario for our next game based on the battle of Ligny so I can put all those Prussians to good use. Initial deployment will be as per the map opposite - The game starts at 4.00pm (16 June 1815) and lasts for 8 half-hour turns. The French are already in possession of St Amand while the Prussians hold Ligny and St Amand-La-Haye. The table is 6’x 4’ and the terrain is a simplified representation of the real battlefield (I have removed the Ligny brook as this is difficult to represent accurately using my terrain tiles and wasn’t much of an obstacle in the real battle anyway).

Order of Battle

7 x Line Infantry (B)
2 x Legere (A)
1 x Voltigeurs (deployed as skirmishers)
1 x Guard Marins (A)
1 x Young Guard (A)
1 x Old Guard (A+)
3 x FA Battery
1 x Light Cavalry (B)
1 x Cuirassier (A)

5 x Line Infantry (B)
3 x Landwehr (C)
1 x Jager (deployed as skirmishers)
1 x Fusiliers (A)
1 x Guard Grenadier (A)
2 x FA Battery
1 x Light Cavalry (B)
1 x Dragoons (B)

Victory conditions

French decisive victory – if they hold St Amand, St Amand-La-Haye and Ligny at the end of turn 8 Prussian decisive victory – if they hold any 2 of the BUA’s at the end of turn 8

Marginal victory – count VP’s at the end of play as follows:
1 VP for each enemy infantry or cavalry unit removed from play or routing
St Amand-La-Haye – 3VP’s to either side
Ligny – 3VP’s to either side
St Amand – 5VP’s to the Prussians


Roll 1 D6 per
unit at the start of each turn (from turn 3 onwards) – 4,5 or 6 unit released from the reserve. Units can either advance from their current locations or move laterally to any place on the table base line.

French – Old Guard, Young Guard, Marins, Cuirassier
Prussian – Guard Grenadier, Silesian Musketeers, Dragoons

Rule Modifications

Turn 1 – initial turn of firing only.
To make BUA’s a bit easier to take the following modifications will be made
Firing – treat buildings as Soft Cover
Melee – no additions for defending buildings however attackers do not get charge bonus

Sunday 8 September 2019

Hinton Hut

One of the reasons I haven’t got much painting done over the last few months is that I’ve been constructing this log cabin in the back garden. Log cabin is my preferred name whereas Goya insists on calling it a hut which I suppose is just one better than a shed.

With a generous 5m x 3m footprint I’m finally going to have a dedicated space for my painting desk, wargame table and associated stuff. There should even be room for Goya to park his sedan chair in the corner when he visits.

The cabin was a kit, which was just as well as I never was much good at woodwork but kits I can do. I was always an annoyance to my woodwork teacher as, being left-handed, he had to reconfigure the woodwork bench for me. Whist doing so he would mutter about kids who were ‘cack-handed’ as he so nicely put it (this was long before the invention of political correctness).

Anyway, I’m pleased with the result and now just need to fit out the inside.

Sunday 1 September 2019

Silesian Hussars update

I’ve just passed the halfway mark on the Silesian Hussars with 6 figures completed and the remainder underway. I have enjoyed painting these and for once even the white buttons on the trousers haven’t been a chore, this may be because I have broken in a new paintbrush. I tend to hang on to my paintbrushes for far too long because they become comfortable (a bit like shoes) but when I finally reach for a new one, I’m always amazed at how much easier it is to use.

It’s been quite refreshing to be able to go with mixed horse colours for this unit as the last few cavalry units I’ve painted have had horses all the same colour. The Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheets always specified the correct horse colours which is a detail not often included in uniform books.

The trumpeter is the last of the clever conversions carried out for me by Wellington Man. It was only when I started to paint the figure that I realised he had added a sword hilt to the scabbard and carefully removed the carbine from the riders’ leg. How he has managed to do either of these things so neatly is a mystery to me, but I’m very grateful to have such a lovely addition to the ranks.