Tuesday, May 23, 2017

1908 Campaign in Spain: Battle of Toledo 2nd day

Overnight the two armies remained on the field & reorganised.
At dawn the British renewed their attack though the village & on both sides of it. 
The renewed British attack did not go well - there were just too many Frogs. 
When the renewed attack began to falter, Wellesley, suspected that Victor was going to arrive sometime during the day began an orderly withdrawal.

Losses over the two days were significant, but not heavy for either side. There have been units broken, but no brigades.  The Brits managed to withdraw in good order before Victor arrived, but while Joseph's army recovers from the battle on the battlefield, Victor's fresh corps has set off in pursuit.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Flames of War: Kingston Kup 2017

The Kingston Bunker Rats held their annual Flames of War tournament this weekend at Good Games.  Attendance was rather down this year with only 12 entrants.   I was the only Camp Cromwell rep this time.  FOW v4 came out a month or so ago so this will presumably has been the last hurrah for v3.  It will be interesting to see if V4 gives FOW a resurgence or it's on a down hill slide.  The theme for this event was Barbarossa - Russian Front Early War.
Mitzi helped me pack my Schurtzen Coy.
The Good Games Cafe/Bar venue excellent for a small tournament.  They could cope with a larger one by overflowing into the games space behind their shop next door. 
As always the Bunker rats provided good looking tables.
I won one, lost two close fights I could have won with better luck, lost one to the eventual winner who was just too bloody good & lost one in a combination of mission, table & enemy that gave me no chance.  But two quick losses made it less tiring than usual & I enjoyed collecting my first wooden spoon. 

Andrew Oates from the Monday Knights came 1st, Smithy from the DAK came 2nd & the Monday Knights from Melbourne won the club prize (all pretty much the usual result).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Toledo

By day 34 of the campaign Wellesley had passed Talvera & was approaching Toledo only 50km from Madrid when he was informed that the French were waiting for him at the village of Yunco on the other side of Toledo.    Wellesley took his army cross country to attack the French on the afternoon of Day 35.  So w ehave out own "Talavera" a bit closer to Madrid & a smaller battle as Wellesley doesn't have Cuesta (who is still way to the west) & Joseph doesn't have Victor (who is down south having been delayed by Venagas).
Joseph Bonapart's army was deployed at a position he'd chosen.  He has a village on a hill in the centre of his line. Most of his cavalry was deployed on the plain on his left.  His right was protected by a narrow ravine and a low ridge allowed some troops to be hidden (not on the table for this pic).
The Brits deployed on a shorter front with 2 lines of brigades in their centre (2nd line not yet on the table).
The British advanced their centre, but held back their right.  The French began an advance on their left.
Some of Mike's British figs. 
On the French left the British infantry formed a line of squares.  The French cavalry suffered from long range rifle fire & artillery while their infantry on their far left blundered about & advanced at glacial pace.
In the centre the British attacked the village frontally, but so far Sebastiani's mix of Dutch, Germans & Poles is holding their own.  .
On the far flank the British are applying little pressure & the French are marching their right flank brigade behind their line to the centre.  
The Brits manage to take the front left corner of the village but the French allied troops are still holding onto the rest of it.
The stalemate continues on the French left as the cavalry continue to die waiting for the infantry to come up to attack the squares.  The half hearted British attacks on far side of the village have been beaten off. The attack on the village has finally got more success as the remainder of the front half of the village has fallen to the Brits.
Night fell at 10pm real time before any decision was reached.  No brigades were broken on either side.
On the French left, the infantry had only just got engaged.  
In the centre the Brits have taken half the village. On the right the French still hold the line of the ravine.

Casualties are about even.  The British have had 5 infantry battalions units & 2 rifle coys broken, including 1 guard battalion.  The French have had 6 infantry battalions & 2 batteries broken & 1 battery captured.  Most of the French casualties are in their allied units.  Sebastitani's two allied brigades & the Madrid Garrision brigade took the brunt of the British attack & all ended the day 1 unit break off the brigade being broken, so nightfall came at good time for the French centre.

At this stage neither side seems inclined to concede, so it seems the battle will continue in the morning (next week real time).  Overnight both sides must withdraw so they are 24" apart except that troops in cover can stay where they are (so both sides retain their half of the village).  All units will recover up to half their casualties & broken units will be rallied back 1 off being shaken.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Peuto Lapice Day 2

Despite being pushed back to within a hair's breadth of defeat on the first day, Vanagas surprised everybody by rallying his men overnight & standing his ground.
Overnight both sides rallied their men with broken units being returned in the rear 1 off being shaken & others recovering up to half their casualties.   The Spanish army is now deployed in an L with Peuto Lapice at the angle.  The infantry & cavalry on their right (left of pic) are the rallied broken divisions & are in poor shape.  The broken French division is off shot to the right.
Victor commended proceedings with an immediate attack on the Spanish left while his left maneouvred further left to attack the Spanish right.  His cavalry & artillery covered the gap between his infantry divisions.
There is desperate fight going on on the hill on the far flank, with the Spanish holding on suprisingly well (Mark having one of his good dice nights).
So far Victor has so far made no impression on the Spanish right & their left is also holding on nicely in the woods. The French battery is causing  casulaties in the village, but nothing decisive.
After the Spanish artillery was almost silenced by the French guns, Victor sent his cavalry forward to finish them off.  On the left the first French attacks have been beaten off & Victor is getting ready for another attack.  The other flank is still indecisive.  The French are becoming despondent in the face of unusually tough Spanish resistance.
Victor's cavalry has pulled back from the Spanish squares beside the village.  On the far flank the French have pulled back with both divisions having high casualties.  But on the left Victor finally launches a better coordinated attack with better dice & suddenly the Spanish right has crumbed.
With the collapse of the Spanish right, their position is totally compromised.  Victor resumed his pressure on the Spanish left.  The Spanish cavalry is no fit state to resist the wall of French infantry columns advancing on them.  The Spanish call a retreat.  One of the Spanish divisions on their left is broken covering the retreat, but the Spanish get away without failing their Army Break Test.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sunday Bolt Action at Good Games

I lent Mark my Brits & took them on with my Panzergrenadiers in a Double Envelopment Scenario. In this scenario you get 1 VP per enemy unit destroyed, 2 VPs for getting a unit within 12" of the enemy's baseline & 3 for getting a unit off the table on the enemy's side.
It's a good scenario & we had a good game though in the end it was a very decisive German victory.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Peuto Lapice

After the battle of Miajadas on Day 15, Cuesta retreated south to lick his wounds while the victorious Victor re-established line of communication with Madrid & marched east up the valley of the Guadiana to Cuidad Real where he turned north for Madrid.  But he then found Vanagas blocking his route, deployed in a strong positon at the village of Peuto Lapice with a lightly wooded ridge on each side.
The Spanish are on the right.  Troops out of sight of the French are not on the table.  The French have 6 infantry brigades & a cavalry brigade.  The Spanish 5 infantry brigades & 2 cavalry brigades.  The round trees represent olive groves.  The hills are covered in open woods.
Th elast French to arrive is their cavalry on their right flank.
Victor has launched his attack on the Spanish right with 3 infantry brigades.  The Spanish cavalry has appeared hiding in the woods on that flank.  It has advanced to meet the French as an infantry brigade is marched from the central reserve to the the right. is
On the far flank the French infantry made short work of the 2 Spanish cavalry brigades & then broke an infantry brigade as well.  But they didn't get all their own way, the Spanish defence managed to break a French brigade.
The 5th Spanish infantry brigade has been revealed on the near flank where the Spanish started a counterattack but then thought better of it and fell back again.
The French have broken through on the Spanish right and are wrapping around the flank of the remaining Spanish army which will Break if it loses another brigade.  But the Spanish hold on until nightfall.

For the third time the French have defeated a larger Spanish army, but not decisively.  Having held on until nightfall, Vanagas should be able to make a retreat overnight with his army still capable of fighting.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Majadas

After the battle of Ceceres on Day 8 the French fell back.   Wellesley dithered, perhaps unable to decide whether to pursue Victor or push on to Madrid.  The unmolested Victor took advantage of an unusually good supply situation to also sit around doing nothing a days march south of Wellesley.  When Wellesley finally ordered his force south after Victor he found that Victor had just left, moving south. 

Victor had moved south because he'd found out that Cuesta's Spanish army had reached Majadas and cut his line of communication to Madrid.  On day 15 Victor found Cuesta deployed just west of Majadas with his left flank in a village & his right protected by mountains.  Cuesata had been there long enough for his batteries to be in redoubts & the village streets barricaded. Wellesley is a days march behind him, so this battle is a must win for Victor.  Defeat will mean disaster.

The Spanish army had 5 6 battalion infantry brigades, 3 cavalry brigades of 4 regiments & 5 batteries. the French had 5 infantry brigades of 4 or 5 battalions, 1 cavalry brigade of 5 regiments & 6 batteries. The numbers were with the Spanish, but so far we have found that the quality difference makes it hard for the Spanish, even at 3:2 odds.
 The Spanish are on the left.  The French are making a general advance on the whole front.
The French light cavalry has arrived last having been the rear guard facing Wellesley.  The French infantry is advancing behind a screen of light infantry.  Unlike Sebastiani last week, Victor seems to have been reading his infantry manual.
Victor has attacked left and centre.  On the far flank the Spanish have made noises abut a counterattack, but there's no sign of it.  Initially the French attacks did not go well.  On the extreme left it turned into a dour struggle of attack & counterattack.  On the left of the vineyards there was success, but the Spanish cavalry stopped exploitation as the columns formed square.  The attack on the vineyards bounced off.  In the centre there was no immediate breakthrough either. It was looking like the Spanish might have a chance.

But our Break if Spanish rule is an insidious thing (they count Break if Shaken as Break if Spanish).  Spanish units starting breaking all along the line & very quickly the Spanish line started to crumble.  First their right broke, then their centre.  Cavalry plugged the gaps, but then a ring of fire broke the brigade in the vineyards & the Spanish had nothing but cavalry right of the centre.  They could do nothing against the line of squares the French deployed to cover their front while they brought up their artillery & cavalry.
The Spanish conceded the battle & sounded the retreat.  With plenty of cavalry they were able to break off & retreat south on their line of communication.

Tomorrow Victor will regain his Line of Communication to Madrid.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday afternoon at Good Games

Barrie was away this weekend & Rusty, John & Derek came to check out the new Good Games.
I lent Damian my Brits & we fought a meeting engagement.  Somehow I didn't get a pic of my  battle, but it was a good one.  At the end of turn 6 were were tied at 2 units lost each & it looked like a draw.  But the dice gave us a turn 7 & suddenly it all changed.  I got the first command dice & used it to fire two fausts at "Toast" the ever unlucky Cromwell.  It caught fire & the bots bailed out.  This freed my Stummel to pop out & it wiped out one unit with its howitzer & another with its mm.  Suddenly the Bad Guys were 3 kills up & the Brits had no way to come back.

Blore Heath at Molesworth

Dave set up a Wars of the Roses game based on Blore Heath.
Jim commanded for York, Peter & Dave for the Lancs. 
York is on the left.  Their army is smaller, with no cavalry & many less archers, but has some stakes & wagons to help stiffen their line & a cannon.
A line of stakes isn't much good to you if the enemy cavalry can ride around it & faced by superior numbers of archers, the Yorkists pulled back their right & counterattacked on the their left & centre after the enemy crossed the river.
 On the far flank the Lancs fell back across the river. In the centre the Yorkist gun proved surprisingly effective as the Yorkist centre battle swung right to counterattack. 
The Yorkist counter attack came close to breaking through, but not quite & when the Lancs cavalry finally charged home on the Yorkist right which had had to leave their defences to avoid being outflanked it was all over for the house of York

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spain 1809 Campaign Battle of Daimiel

Joseph has sent Sebastiani's corps south from Madrid to meet Vanagas's army marching north from Andulasia.  On day 12 of the campaign the forces met just north of Dainiel.
Sebastiani's advance guard of cavalry keep watch as the Spanish deploy & wait for Sebastiani's infantry to arrive on the road from left centre.
Sebastiani deployed his 2 French infantry brigades to the left .  As he did so the Spanish advanced on his right.  Good command dice got the Spanish in to action before Sebastiani's two German infantry brigades could properly deploy to their right.
The Germans troops had a desperate fight on the hands as the tried to deploy in a restricted area under an uncharacteristicly vigorous Spanish attack.
The Germans hung on desperately while the French launched their own attack in the centre & their left.  Both sides had light cavalry brigades come on late after returning from scouting duties. Sebastiani sent his to support his heavy brigade on his left.  Vanagas left his in the centre to support his infantry.
The Spanish brigade left of centre was broken by some stout defence by the Germans & the French counterattack in the centre.  The French infantry attack near the farm was a disaster & the brigade broke.  The French cavalry got the upper hand in the cavalry melee on the far flank and eventually broke the Spanish heavy cavalry brigade. 

The French had 1 of 6 brigades broken.  The Spanish had lost 2 of 6 brigades broken.  The Spanish conceded the battle & retreated in good order thinking they had done enough to preclude a dangerous pursuit.

For a while it looked like the Spanish were going to win, but their poor command and the Break if Spanish Rule told in the end & their 3:2 advantage in numbers wasn't quite enough. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sunday Bolt Action at Good Games

My Germans fought Sean's British in a Demolition scenario.  When we both put our bases (=enemy objectives) at the same end of the table it made it a difficult game to win as all the action congregated to the one end.  Sean did have an outside chance to win with a desperate charge at the objective on turn 6, but it failed & there was no turn 7 & the game was a draw.   It might be a worthwhile house rule to make the player put their objectives on different sides of the table centreline to make the scenario less likely to be a draw.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Campaign in Spain 1809: Battle of Caceres

Last week we started a campaign based on the Anglo-Spanish attempt to retake Madrid in 1809.
The players are:
Umpire: Jim
Victor: Nick & SteveJ
Joseph: Dale
Soult: Dave & Mitch
Wellesley: PeterC & Mike
Cuesta: Mark & Chris
Vanagas: PeterW & SteveD
Some of the players are in Canberra.  All are involved in the email strategy, but the battles are all to be fought at Camp Cromwell by whoever from each side shows up on the night.

The first battle was at Caceres, a town about 90km from the Portuguese border about 1/4 of the way along Wellesley's direct road to Madrid.  Wellesley had moved quickly past the town.  With no news of the French he may have assumed they had gone south to deal with the Spanish, but to protect his  line of Communications he left a light cavalry brigade at Caceres & had their 3rd divison on the road from Lisbon about a week's march behind the main body.

But Victor suddenly appeared marching towards Caceres from the SW.  Wellesley reversed his Corps two days march beyond Caceres.  He sent his heavy cavalry division ahead to join the division on the road - which it did before the French reached the battlefield.

This is where we started the battle.  The British heavy cavalry brigade is in the foreground, the 3rd division (of 2 inf brigades) is on the road to the right 4 turns off table.  The British light cavalry brigade is on the left in front of Caceres.  Wellesley's Corps of 2 infantry divisions (4 inf brigades & 6 batteries) is 6 turns off table. The head of Victor's column is behind the cat.  He has a light cavalry brigade, 5 infantry brigades & 7 batteries.

The British throw their cavalry forward to disrupt the French deployment.
The British light brigade was broken & the heavy brigade thrown back, but they did their job of delaying the French deployment & the British 3rd division has had time to come on & deploy to meet the French attack.  
The head of Wellesley's column has arrived, but it is in single file of units because it has debouched froma pass earlier in the day (on good ground forcess march in double columns each side of the road with the artillery & baggage on the road). 
The French attack is hampered by poor command dice while Wellesley marches quickly forward. 
Regrettably there's a bit of a gap in the photo record here.  The French columns pushed the British line back, but the first line ran out of steam & the second line hadn't come up fast enough to provide immediate support before Wellesley started to close in on the French right.  Victor ordered a retreat after 1infnatry division broke.  Another was broken while acting as a rearguard, but Victor made good his escape with just 2 of 6 divisions broken.  The Brits had 1 light cavalry division broken.

The Brits had considerably more troops in the area that the french, but the French had the opportunity to defeat them in detail.  Victor had to break the 3rd division before Wellesley could bring superior numbers to bear.  Had he done so he would have been across Wellesley's Line of Communication forcing Wellesley into a do or die situation.  But the British cavalry, poor French Command dice & a bit of French indecision due to poor intel caused enough delay to save Welessley.

The campaign rules provide for limited intelligence.  Before this battle Welelsley was blessed with good intel dice & had a good idea of Victor's strength & position.  Victor on the other hand had poor intel dice plus high guerrilla activity to deal with.  He had no idea of the British strength or location until he they got onto the battlefield, but marched boldly forward against Welelsley's LOC regardless.  But as he always did in real life, Wellesley managed to wiggle out of the trap.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sunday Bolt Action at Good Games

I lent Brad my Brits & we fought the Hold Until Relieved scenario.
The LH house is the objective defended by my Germans whose table edge is on the left. 
Brad was a good player & it was a good fast moving game that ended in a draw after turn 6.  Another turn might have provided a winner, but the dice decreed there wasn't one.