Sunday, 21 November 2021

Third Battle of the Hut

This week Tony, Nigel and I assembled once again in the Hinton Hut to play a game of Muskets & Marshals. It was another attack and defence game with me commanding a French army that was slightly smaller than the combined attacking Austro-Russian and Prussian armies. In total there were just over 800 Hinton Hunt figures on the table, all from my own collection.

This is how the action went.

The initial dispositions of the armies - amazing how 800 figures can look so sparse on a 6' x 4' table. French on the left, Austro-Russians nearest the camera and the Prussians just beyond them on the allied right.
Nigel commanded the Austro-Russian force. For this game they were joined by the Nassau Grenadiers (left in the front rank).

This village was one of the VP locations and was garrisoned by the French 24th line infantry. In the game VP locations were worth 5pts to the Allies but nothing to the French.

The Imperial Guard. Having a force like this is always a great comfort in a wargame, what could possibly go wrong if you have these lads on your side?

The Prussian infantry were under Tony's command. They looked quite intimidating en-masse.

Pretty in white! The Sommariva Cuirassiers (front) were rushed to the table with the paint on their bases barely dry to join their friends the Toskana Dragoons.

Turn 1 and I made the bold decision to develop an attack against the Allied centre beginning by moving up my heavy cavalry. In the top left of this photo you can see that Tony is advancing his light cavalry in an attempt to flank me on the left.

On the opposite flank things soon got nasty as the Pavlograd Hussars mixed it with the 6th Chasseurs.

For this game the Tyrolean Jagers were fighting as a close order formation which made a bit of a change. In the background you can see that Nigel is sending his Cuirassiers over to reinforce his left flank.

Another 'how it would have looked in 1972' photo.

Things didn't go quite as I hoped. The Carabiniers fell foul of a deadly cannister blast that saw them removed from play.

Meanwhile on the left, Napoleon sent La Bedoyere forward to help steady the wavering 85th line who seemed to be facing off against the entire Prussian army on their own.

My Cuirassiers did manage to rout the Silesian Musketeers however, and to force the Prussian Fusiliers into square.

1972 again.

Time to push forward in the centre-right. The Swiss and the Poles lead the advance with support from the Empress' Dragoons and the Young Guard.

Having conducted a masterly flanking manoeuvre, Tony threw the Silesian Hussars at the Guard Horse Grenadiers. This didn't end well for the Prussian hussars and both they and the supporting Uhlans were soon sent packing.

Drama in the centre as the Prussian Cuirassiers ploughed into the 45th line carrying away their eagle (why is it always the 45th?). Behind them the Prussian Dragoons have presented a rather nice target to my Guard foot artillery.

My own Cuirassiers have finally met with some stiff resistance and run away.

But the Empress' Dragoons come up just as the 4th Swiss also turn and melt away.

On the other half of the field Nigel suddenly remembers that he has infantry as well as cavalry and the columns start to tramp forward. The Moscow Grenadiers have just been routed by the 8th Poles although the Poles are now a bit isolated from their supports.

The 45th line make an undignified exit towards the rear whist the 1st Guard Grenadiers form line ready to blast away the pursuing Prussian Cuirassiers.

Vive le emperor! The Young Guard and the Guard Marins continue to advance.
Nigel's Cuirassiers finish off the 6th Chasseurs breaking the curse of the 'new boys' in their first battle.

Tony's infantry are closing in on my left-flank VP location (on the hill). I was intrigued to see how Tony did not have the same confidence in the Landwehr that Nigel had in our last game. Safely tucked away in the back line, they were the only units in his force not to suffer a single casualty in the battle.

The Prussian Musketeers press forward and poor old Gneisenau goes down.

The boys from Brandenburg crest the ridge forcing the the 85th line back to claim the VP location.

Er, um, I sort of wish that I hadn't ordered this charge by the Empress' Dragoons. I'm sure she would have been proud of them though.

The Old Guard move forward but it's now turn 7 and just a bit late to turn the tide - they look pretty though.

Even Nigel's tardy infantry have found a new lease of life as they charge into the village.

The Guard Marins melee with the Moscow Infantry but they have no supports and most of the Austrian units are still untouched.

The 24th line are expelled from the village and are cruelly ridden down by the Pavlograd Hussars.

To top it all, the new boys slam into the rear of the just rallied Swiss. Turn 8, victory is sealed - 33 points to 11 in favour of the Allies.

The run of bad luck for the emperor continues – I really should paint up some more French infantry.

Another highly enjoyable game and my thanks go to my visiting generals for their company and for soundly beating me yet again!


Rob said...

Hear, hear! More French infantry, but just not Garde.
An impressive spectacle and I was heartened by the Austrian Kurassier performance.
I think the French Army was about the right size for the table giving a bit more room for manoeuvre. Although the rules are fairly bloody so strength in depth is definitely called for.

Norm said...

Thank you. Absolutely fabulous.

Stryker said...

Rob, yes an impressive performance by the Austrian heavies - a taste of things to come?

Stryker said...

Norm - glad you liked it!

Graham C said...

Brilliant looking game and excellent photos - that’s what nostalgia is made of. Yes certainly when in doubt or on a losing streak paint more troops and you can never have enough French

Unknown said...

Excellent looking game, the Old guard look very good en masse.


'Lee. said...

800 Hinton Hunt soldiers and every one a little gem, what more can an old wargamer ask for? You have warmed the cockles of my heart (as my Nan used to say, never really understood it though!). Love the B?W photos.

lewisgunner said...

Lovely looking game and increasing the magnification on each picture shows how delightful the figures are. I concur that in M&M depth helps, particularly with cavalry as they are liable to evaporate in the heat of battle.. Very attractive all round.

Stryker said...

Thanks Lee, yes warm cockles sounds odd (but then I’m a vegetarian).

Stryker said...

Roy, this did seem to be primarily a cavalry affair. Tony and I both like to throw away our cavalry in a needless but dramatic way which can be great fun in M&M. We both noted that at the end of play Nigel had not lost a single unit!

KEV. Robertson. said...

Great work there IAN- a tremendous collection of Hinton Hunt - just superb!

Stryker said...

Thanks Kev!

the Archduke said...

Ian, it’s not my fault if you provide me with such magnificent fighting units. Now, if only I’d had that Landwehr....Thanks for a brilliant game. Warm cockles all round.

Stryker said...

Thanks Nigel, it did make clearing away your units quite easy as I didn’t have to go searching through the casualty boxes!

Aly Morrison said...

Absolutely splendid Ian…
My cockles are so warm I won’t need to put the heating on tonight…

All the best. Aly

Matt said...

Beautiful spectacle. Rather than more French infantry how about adding a some Allies?

Italian infantry for example could be exactly what is needed to stop the Landwehr (when committed) in their track?

Stryker said...

Cheers Aly!

Stryker said...

Matt, you’re a mind reader as I was just thinking about adding a possible Italian infantry unit!

Wellington Man said...

First class in every way Mr Styker Sir.
I like the sound of Italians!

Stryker said...

WM, I’ll add Italians to the ever growing list for 2022!

David said...

Oh my, but that display does get the imagination flowing! Here in the states we are starting our Thanksgiving holiday. I'll make sure to share my gratitude for being a part of this amazing group of hobbyists. I'm also preparing duck soup tonight, but thought the addition of some cockles, might be really nice. Anybody know where I can source those?

Rob said...

David, I'd skip the cockles if I were you - ever since a truly epic bout of foood poisoning I've never gone back to eating them.