Friday, 25 March 2011

Le Tondu Surprise: French Win Again!

Our on the spot reporter got the news first hand from the combatants. He caught up with Davout queueing for wine and cigarettes for the post battle cafe philosophy discussion....Gitianes or Gauloises and the root of dialectic materialism.

Oui, I, Davout held zee Russian left flanking attack long enough to engage zee centre (oui, zee centre not zee 'middle' zee 'orrible eengleesh word) an' I just cuffed the Russian artillery wiz ma cavalry.....What do you mean 'run out of Gauloises' uh? Zen I'll 'ave 20 Gitaines....So what we never got ze redoubt! I just told zem we already gat one!

Next our reporter tracked down Buxhowden in the 5 star 'Ye Olde Pratzen Heights Dacha and Grill' (Karaoke night Thursdays 7pm to midnight) about 3 miles from Moscow.

Battle!..what battle? Here where's the corkscrew? (hic) anyway I said...stan' still, an' I'll tell ya....(hic) but no, why waste it (hic) 'coz that serf is standin' at an angle... aren't we? (hic) I really loved that ' was my (hic bestest mate in all the (hic) world....true story by the way.

So there you have it. Eye witness accounts of the action at Austerlitz.

And now for the pictures.
 Fog and mist today's Austerlitz duo
 A combination of sand and mat
 Cavalry ride out of the mist
 Caisson hits tree. Insurance details exchanged.
 French hit road..the long climb.
 Buxhowdens 'carry out' ambushed
 ...but cavalry retrieve situation
 Redoubts forward defence

 Dice to rear make Russians nervous
Nervous? No sir, that was the horse.
 The General contemplates
 Russian Guard
 Waiting for the off.
 Column of attack...vive l' emperor
 Battle heats up

 Russians swing out...
 ...and to the right
 Threatening the hinge between the forces on the hill....
...and in the valley. But it fails when the French cavalry catch the guns in transit. Anyway we were all hungry by then and Buxhowden had the munchies.

I was going to post a picture of the participants but the laws of common decency apply to this blog....maybe next time.

Thanks chaps...great game, great day.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Republic to Empire Weekend

Allow yourself no preconceptions when going on a war games weekend for the first time. I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. The following photo's are from a final selection of over 300. 
 It was a 28mm version of Borodino (the middle bit)
 Artillery by the brigade
 Beautiful 2ft by 2ft scenic terrain squares
 Lovely trees...
 ..and guns
 and positions, with more guns
 ...and guns...
 plus artillery....
 Russian infantry under fire from the Grand Battery...
 Advancing French infantry
 and more guns...
 ..of the Great Redoubt
 and lots more French
 ...and did I mention that there were a great many guns?
 ...and Russian Infantry..
 did I mention guns...
 ..and fletches with guns?
 Probably, just to recap, there seemed to be some artillery present.
 Of course the standard of the figures and the paintwork speaks for itself.
 Superb doesn't really describe it nor the photo's show it to its full extent.
 The 'off table' Grand Battery (even more guns) was allowed some sobering salvos upon the Great Redoubt...
 ...reducing it to mince and roughage.
 Cuirassiers a plenty
 Table 1 of the two, each 12ft by 6, experienced the lions share of the combat.
 but a jolly time was had by all, unless you rolled a lot of 'ones' in which case there was a well stocked bar.
 At the end of the day it was all so jaw droppingly sumptuous an eye fest that there was always something to see even if you hadn't much to do.
 The R2E rule set coped admirably with all the permutations of eventualities
 ..not once, in a very crowded and complex battlefield scenario, did we have to resort to the old 'let the dice decide' routine. Testament to the rule set in my opinion above this fact was how quickly you could be brought into the action within a move or two....of course, as with any other scenario, there has to be some action for you to get into.
 You also have to be a priority of some sort in order to benefit from the 'movement pip' hand out part of the mechanism.
Don't get in a tizz it's a sugar cube

They're pretty, but can they fight?..Oh, yeah!
 The scenario was cleverly applied. Each flank of the game was rolled up separately and its effect felt in the main game by the addition or withdrawal of support.
 Here is a good example of the only aesthetic glitch in the rule set...marker overload.
 ...but it does allow for large games such as this one. And we did get very historical results.
 Positions were lost and regained with the frenetic regularity of the real battle and by the 'original' units.
Stop the charge, I want to read the flag.

watch the birdy eh!
 There was no 'recycling' of troops just hundreds of them arriving at preordained turns.

 If you've never been, you owe it to yourself to go once. A whole weekend of spectacular war gaming in comfortable surroundings what could be better?...except victory, of course.

My thanks to all.