Saturday, 24 July 2021

Battle of Three Generals

On Thursday I was able to host my first in person wargame in the Hinton Hut since 2019. General Foy and none other than the Archduke himself took arms against Napoleon (me) in what turned out to be another great table-top battle.

Nigel played the Prussians and Tony the British whilst I commanded a slightly smaller force of French who were playing on the defensive.

I deployed the forces of both sides in advance giving the visiting Generals a chance to reorganise before play commenced however they both declined this offer and we got stuck in straight away. The red star 'victory locations' were worth 5VP's each to the Allies but nothing to the French, additional VP's were awarded for enemy units destroyed.
I chose to push forward in the centre with my heavy cavalry to deny the ridge to the enemy. The Allies, rather timidly, replied by sending forward a single regiment of Prussian Dragoons to oppose them.

On my right I advanced the 6th Chasseurs against Nigel's Uhlans, however they immediately fell victim to his Jagers who appeared to be armed with machine guns.

On my left I charged forward with the Guard Horse Artillery who found themselves alone facing off against the Scots Greys and the RHA. After a half-hearted cannonade they quickly limbered up and retired.

The Allies soon recovered their composure and ordered their entire heavy cavalry to attack my horsemen on the ridge. Luck was with me however and both the Greys and the Prussian Dragoons were routed in the same turn.

All my shiny heavy cavalry seemed to put the fear of God in the Prussians infantry who milled about in confusion until finally managing to form square. 

On my extreme left flank I sent forward the 5th Lancers and their presence had a similar effect on the British infantry, except that I must say the British drill was a tad better.

With the Greys and the Prussian Dragoons defeated my Cuirassiers now saw off the Prussian Cuirassiers (these gentlemen didn't stop running until they reached Berlin I believe). Time now for lunch, this game would be wrapped up in a couple more turns I thought.

Back from lunch, and having been slightly goaded by wily old Blucher I took a chance and charged the 30th Foot with my Lancers. This didn't end well and next turn they were reduced to four figures and removed from play. It would be safe now for Tony to bring his infantry out of square and continue to advance.

As the cavalry melee continued in the centre of the field I consolidated my position on the ridge with infantry and artillery. Before long the Allied skirmishers and artillery were concentrating fire on the French gunners and starting to whittle them away, by the end of the game both batteries were destroyed.

Following some useful rallying die rolls both the Greys and the Prussian Dragoons had composed themselves and were getting ready for round two.

Early in the game the 24th Line had occupied the village VP location but their ranks were being gradually thinned by artillery fire. They were still hanging on at the end of play but only just.

Finally the Allies were getting the upper hand in the cavalry melee, the Carabiniers were disordered and the Cuirassiers had been routed by the Blues. Napoleon ordered his shiny new unit of Horse Grenadiers forward in response.

Meanwhile, back in 1970, a similar looking battle was unfolding.

The tipping point of the battle had arrived. Nigel charged forward with the reformed Dragoons shattering my infantry whilst Tony brought up the Greys in support. On the ridge, the Blues and the Horse Grenadiers crossed sabres as the last on my gunners were ridded down.

The same view from the Allied perspective (so that Nigel and Tony can savour the moment). The Blues were to rout my lovely new Horse Grenadiers in the final turn of the game.

Suddenly the Emperor found himself surround by a sea of legging Frenchmen.

On my left Tony charged forward with the 49th Foot and promptly disordered the 45th Line in melee.

Turn 8 and Nigel threw the Silesian Landwehr against the ridge. I was touched by Nigel's faith in the Landwehr in using them to attack the French line, such is the legend they have built up over the years! The entire Prussian phalanx of 120 infantry only took two casualties in the whole game.

"Hard pounding eh Blucher?"
"Ya, I am zeventy one years old unt a proud toy soldier!"
"Don't tell him your name Wellington!"

"Ah La Bedoyere, I had won the battle by turn 3 but lost it at the end of turn 8"

The situation at the end of play. Units bordered in white are routing, yellow are disordered. A count up of VP's revealed a convincing win for the Allies.

This was a fun game with plenty of twists and turns but in the end, I was soundly beaten by my opponents. The rules were my standard Muskets & Marshals, but we introduced written turn by turn orders which worked really well.

My thanks to the visiting generals for making the long hike here and for providing excellent company for a long overdue day of playing soldiers.


Wellington Man said...

Brilliantly entertaining, as always, Mr Styker. How horrifying it must have been to see the tables turning on your heavy cavalry like that!

I can't remember seeing La Bedoyere before. Is he new? He looks fantastic, whatever the case.
Best regards

Rob said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun. It started as though the Cuirassiers had shared their magic potion, as used at Bournemouth, with their compatriots but alas not to be. Being defensive with the French just doesn’t seem to be paying off, I think you need to put fire in their bellies.

Norm said...

Nice account - love the windmill on the high ground.

MSFoy said...

Excellent - great pictures too - the 1970 photo is another classic! I must say that, for someone who is not used to being able to move the entire army at once, the written orders were useful in a way I hadn't expected, since when I started moving the troops I was often surprised to read what I had wanted them to do just a few minutes earlier!

I suspect that my ancient memories of OS games are of players gradually deciding what they were going to do as they worked their way through the units on each turn. Having to write everything down in advance makes some subtle changes to the game. I liked it.

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

What a feast for the eyes! Cool maps too.

Best Regards,


Matt said...

An excellent looking game, your collection really is first class.

Great to see the Silesian Landwehr continue their path to glory.

Stryker said...

WM - it was a bit of a shock when the tables turned but great fun all the same. La Bedoyere’s varnish had hardly dried when he was rushed into battle but he will get his own post soon.

Stryker said...

Rob, they still did fairly well it was the Horse Grenadiers who let me down with the curse of the new unit!

Stryker said...

Norm, yes that windmill is one of my favourite terrain pieces.

Stryker said...

Tony, the written order system went well and will definitely be incorporated into the rules as I think it adds to the fun.

Stryker said...

Thanks Stokes!

Stryker said...

Matt, the Landwehr certainly lived up to their reputation once again. I got the feeling that the rest of the Prussian army was holding back because they knew the Landwehr boys could finish things on their own. I’m lucky that the 2nd battalion was not on the field as well!

KEV. Robertson. said...

Splendid IAN- certainly glad you've got this enjoyable game completed with your Friends after waiting so long. The photos are spectacular. Cheers. KEV.

Stryker said...

Thanks Kev, it was nice to have some social wargaming contact without Zoom although the way things are going here we may be back to that again soon!

The Archduke said...

Hard to overstate what a great day this was. I see that Ian saw through my wicked plan to leave it all to the Landwehr. They didn’t let me down.
A less fair minded player than Ian would probably have won. If he had not reminded me that my jägers had machine guns, it would have been very different.
As for la Bedoyere, well spotted, WM, and he is Gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Excellent looking game, always inspirational.


Stryker said...

Nigel, skirmishers can be very effective in M&M especially if you don't have sufficient of your own to hold them in check. However, I never intended them to be issued with machine guns but all credit to your die rolls!

Stryker said...

Thanks Paul, it was fun!

Aly Morrison said...

A great looking and sounding game Ian…
Truly beautiful to behold… This sort of thing always fires up my enthusiasm..

All the best. Aly

Stryker said...

Thanks Aly, the game really was a lot of fun and couldn't have gone any better unless of course I had won!

'Lee. said...

Always a pleasure seeing your lovely shiny vintage soldiers on the table Ian.

Stryker said...

Thanks Lee!

David said...



We incorporated an informal written orders component at the beginning of each turn as well, which I think all the players enjoyed and kept them honest as to their intentions for the turn. Lovely looking toys and a magnificent battle report. The machine gun wielding jagers were not a very polite thing for your opponents to support though! My sincerest commiseration regarding the Grenadiers-a-cheval. One has to expect that from a shiny new unit though...

Stryker said...

Thanks David, I'm sure I'll get over it!

James Fisher said...

Always a joy to see your beautiful figures on the table Ian. It does not get much better than that big cavalry mêlée!
Regards, James

Stryker said...

James, the more cavalry the merrier I say!