Monday, 25 May 2020

Blucher 1806 Prussians

I've finally finished the first lot of the interminable 1806 Prussian army for Blucher, consisting of the command stands, some cavalry, the artillery and the allied Saxon infantry.

The High Command, these are from the AB Jena Staff set. The one on the right is Blucher himself, I'm not sure who the others are meant to be:

A Kurassier unit, originally I was going to do the units with only 6 figures per unit so these are painted as two different units. However, it didn't look good (unlike using 16 infantry per unit instead of 32 which looks fine) so they got combined into a single unit. These are Essex figures:

Some Dragoons, painted in with the same pink facings as one of my later Prussian units. These are AB figures picked up cheaply in the Fighting 15's sale:

Finally for the cavalry a Hussar unit painted as Blucher's regiment, again AB figures (though with rather brighter red uniforms than they perhaps should have):

The 1806 Prussian army does not get much artillery in Blucher so I only did a single heavy artillery and a single horse artillery battery. I also did a couple of bases of Jaegers to add to the foot units to represent Advanced Guard brigades:

Rather than paint endless Prussian infantry units I thought I'd add some Saxons to the mix. They also have the advantage that they can be used as French allies in 1809. These are Eureka figures again from their recent sale. Firstly the 1st and 3rd Infantry Regiments plus a base of Grenadiers:

Secondly the 2nd and 4th Infantry Regiments, again with a base of Grenadiers that combines with those of the 1st and 3rd to make a Grenadier Brigade:

I have another eight units of Prussian infantry which just need the basing finishing plus three further units of infantry, one of Kurassiers and one of Hussars to paint. This army has been very hard going, I've been painting them on and off for the last three years I think and enthusiasm for them continually drops. Difficult to say why really and rather odd as I actually enjoyed doing the Saxons and like them, unless the army develops a personality when/if I use it I can't see it getting many outings and it even crossed my mind to sell it!

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Blucher Battle of Vimeiro 21st August 1808

With the lock-down continuing I'd been thinking of a way to play Blucher in a smaller space and thought I'd try a solo game with each unit a single 40 x 30 mm base allowing me to play a game on a 3ft x 2ft table.

For the first game I played a scenario I found online for the battle of Vimeiro, the first battle of the Peninsular War involving the British. The scenario seemed a little unbalanced with a much superior British army taking on a French army which was arriving piecemeal.

The British army under Wellesley is deployed on hills either side of the river Maceria which is fordable along it's entire length. The village of Vimeiro is on the French left with Toledo on the right. The initial French force under Junot is Loison's Division and a single brigade from Delaborde's Divsion:

Junot orders Loison's Division to attack quickly and attempt to overwhelm the outnumbered British to the east of the river while the single brigade from Delaborde's Division attempts to hold the riverbank. Kellerman has done well to bring the French Reserve, the most powerful part of the French army, up quickly to support Junot (they arrived at the first opportunity). Wellesley has sent some brigades to support the British east of the river while other brigades begin to try to outflank the French:

Kellerman moves up to support the French attack, Welesley continues to redeploy his forces and initial skirmishes occur between the armies:

French fire is effective and hits the British hard:

Skirmishing continues in the centre. On the French left the British are attempting to cross the river but are held up by French infantry and the threat of the French cavalry:

One of Anstruther's brigades,holding the hill in the British centre, breaks and falls back. The second French cavalry  brigade catches some Brtish infantry not in square and inflicts heavy losses on them:

Three of the four brigades of Loison's Division are almost spent though the British have taken loseses as well:

The final French units, the remainder of Delaborde's Division, have arrived and move up to engage Trant's Portuguese brigade:

French Dragoons charge a British brigade attempting to cross the river but are repulsed. On the other hand the French Grenadiers and infantry are whittling down the British brigade at the end of the line:

The British charge the two brigades of Loison on the right of the French line. One French brigade is destroyed and the second falls back shattered:

 Kellerman's Chasseurs charge one of the attacking British brigades and destroy them. With break points for both armies only 4 the French have lost one brigade, the British two and both sides have several other units wavering:

The French Dragoons charge again, this time with much greater effect:

An overhead view of the battle showing just how many units in both sides are badly damaged and only just holding on. Which side will break first?:

The view from the French lines, with only two units left having an elan above 2 the situation is desperate:

Another French brigade breaks, both sides have lost three brigades now so one more loss will see either side break. The British appear to be stronger though:

However, in the distance the skirmish between Trant's Portuguese and Delaborde's Division has been continuing to little effect on either side. Making one last effort Delaborde's men manage to inflict three hits on the Portuguese in a single round of firing breaking them and winning the game for the French:

The final position in the main area of the battle with the French army disintegrating just as victory is achieved!:

I have to say this battle was much closer than I thought it would be from looking at the army lists. The British army is much stronger than the French (even taking into account that in the scenario two of the British brigades were meant to be "mobile" which allows them to move and fire, a very powerful advantage that I decided not to give them).

The British position is not a strong one though with the river making it hard for the British to reinforce their isolated units to the east of the river. This was exacerbated by the fact that the British could only activate either individually or by commander resulting in a few turns when they struggled to make some important moves and make use of much of their army.

Having said that for the French Kellerman arrived as quickly as he could and even so the French only just won so most of the time I'd expect the British to easily win the battle.

Using a single base as a unit worked okay, it was rather ADLG-like seeing such a small number of figures making up the armies so was not as spectacular as a full-sized battle would have been but the  it was easier to set up, play and clear away!

Sunday, 17 May 2020

DMH The Law and The Hole In The Wall Gang

Having enjoyed my solo game I thought I'd add two more gangs for Dead Man's Hand, firstly "The Law" featuring the Earp brothers:

supported by the Sheriff and a couple of Deputies:

These are all Artizan figures. I was intending to paint them all with a black theme but decided to do the Sheriff differently. I might repaint the coat on the Deputy with the shotgun to give them a bit more variety, he looks more like an undertaker than a lawman as it is!

When I ordered the figures for the Lawmen I noticed that Pulp Figures also did some Wild West figures so I added a pack of 'Vaqueros Americano's" to the order. These turned out to be really nice figures, full of action and reminding me in some ways of the old Timpo toy soldiers I had as a kid. They will form the nucleus of an Outlaw gang:

I had a couple of unpainted Artizan figures left over from last time I bought some so I added them into the gang (the last two figures on the right):

One thing I didn't notice until after I'd placed the order was that Pulp Figures also did some Mounties in a range called "Yukon Peril"! If I had noticed I would undoubtedly have ordered some and with lock-down looking to extend for a while I suspect that sooner rather than later I'll be adding some of them to my collection.......

Saturday, 9 May 2020


My fourth game of TMOCB saw the USMC taking on the NVA again. This time rather than take the M113 and extra men as supports for the USMC I took the sniper, artillery observer (both added to the platoon commander's group) and the extra men.

Initial deployment found the Americans rather spread out among the Vietnamese villages:

The Lieutenant interrogates a villager and finds a cache of food which his men quickly destroy:

The second squad under Sergeant Elias also find a cache of food and destroy it:

The NVA Platoon Commander move up through the jungle:

The NVA Commander calls down a mortar barrage on the village the US Platoon Commander is searching. It is very effective taking out two US bases and all FOUR peasants in the village. This tragic loss of civilian life is doubtless the fault of the Americans:

The Lieutenant retaliates with an artillery strike of his own but it is ineffective:

Sergeant Rambo and the 1st squad move into a village:

Another NVA mortar strike reduces the US Platoon Commander to a single base. The NVA commander advances upon his counterpart but loses a base to fire:

The NVA assault but the Lieutenant manages to fall back:

This time an US artillery strike hits the village and kills an NVA base:

Rambo searches a village and discovers another food cache which he destroys. The Lieutenant has fallen back and is less exposed now:

Sergeant Elias' men search another village but get ambushed by VC losing two bases:

Another NVA squad has arrived and moves up through the village:

Sergeant Barnes arrives with the 3rd squad, discovers another food cache and destroys it:

Rambo's 1st squad is hit by NVA mortar fire. Rambo and two other bases go down in the barrage!:

More mortar fire sees Sergeant Elias down as well!:

1st squad fights off an NVA assault but loses another base:

The Lieutenant calls in a Medivac Chopper which picks up Rambo and the other casualties under heavy fire:

US artillery fire takes out the NVA platoon commander:

3rd Squad moves up to support the 1st Squad:

An NVA squad chases down the few survivors of the 1st Squad:

Another NVA squad attempts to catch the Lieutenant who is guarding an arms cache:

The survivors of the 1st Squad are wiped out:

The last men of the 2nd Squad are also wiped out:

The game ends with the 3rd Squad and the Lieutenant hanging on in a village. The NVA have also taken losses though and fall back:

This game started well for the Americans then declined towards the end. The support choice probably worked better (otherwise the Lieutenant would have been wiped out very quickly). Positives for the Americans were that they searched a lot of villages, managed to evac the majority of casualties and found several caches. They did take a lot of casualties though and the numerous artillery strikes on both sides took out many peasants (which could have been more as I kept forgetting to check for peasant casualties when firing).

Final score for the NVA; Turning up (15), 4 villages not searched (8), 13 US bases down but 10 evacuated (9), 6 peasants killed (6), media outrage (6) and 2 destroyed units (8) total 52.
Final score for the USMC: 6 dead NVA, 5 removed (1), 8 caches found (1), 4 low value caches destroyed (36), 1 high value cache held at the end (15) total 53.

So a draw this time, much closer than the previous games and if the Americans had not lost two units in the last two moves they'd have managed a narrow win.

Having played four games now I think there is a fairly steep learning curve and you'd need to play a few games to get the hang of it (in which you'd probably get slaughtered against a player with experience) which may not be suitable for introducing at the club where I feel my potential opponents might only want to play very occasionally. Rommel is similar in that for an inexperienced player against an experienced one things can go very wrong very quickly!