Monday, 21 November 2011

Salamanca (almost) Part Two

 Victory conditions were that each hill was worth 25% and each division was also worth 25%. Once established on the hills it was thought that the extra French division would be enough to dislodge the British and their Allies.
 French column against British wasn't 'till after the battle that we realised that support didn't actually mean going into the attack but standing back cheering. One line could blow away 3 columns!
 Fighting suspended whilst horse racing is on...
 ...ridges to the rear enabled support fire over the heads of the advancing infantry, usually very dodgy.
'I'm right behind you lads'
 The last French regiment is committed.
 ...very effective 9pdr support
 French right flank made some head way....
 ...but the Allied line was continuous and deep

 They came on in the same old way...
'One more 1 and I'll blow out ze brains, n'est pas?'
 ...and threw rubbish dice.
'A hard pounding, gentlemen' -  'Yes, sir, for the French.'
 Target rich environment.
 The Brits could give as well as receive
 The Dutch played the part of Hanoverian's and Brunswick's.
'Aha, pointy stick wins over musket!'
 Push comes to shove...
 the exploding cannon balls (round pins stuck in card with cotton wool) mark the casualties until we make up proper casualty markers.

 Looks confusing...I had to have smelling salts to recover

'Hey, mister, can we have our ball back?'
Try as they might, the French could not gain a hill

...and finally a division broke in the attempt.

Although the right was going strong, the left gave way as, apparently, it did on the day

Very impressed by the greatcoated Strelets figures. They fitted in well with all the modern plastics.

As usual we had a good laugh, cry, tantrum and handshake afterwards (not that I recall any racism on the pitch) and a Chinese carry out to boot. My thanks to Billy,Billy, Billy, Billy, Alan and Colin for a cracking days gaming and the spur to paint more stuff.

Salamanca (sort of) Part One

Yes, the battle based on Salamanca produced an epic clash of plastic. Though not too large, considering previous battles, Approximately 1100 French fought it out with 750 British and their Allies. Two British Divisions and three French, going by the Shako 2 rules set. Those of you who have read of this battle will know that the French and Anglo-Allied armies had march within sight of each other for a while. The French commander saw dust ahead an assumed the Brits were off to capture the town with their cavalry and so sped up his march that a gap became evident. Wellington saw this gap and ordered an attack across the valley to isolate the lagging part of the French column and the rest, as they say, is history....

'We'll be coming round the mountain when we come'
 To set the battle on an even basis we began it by reasoning that the French leading division is off the table.

'I see you!'
 This recreates the gap in the French column.
 The French must continue to move in the column for another 3 moves unless they see what the enemy is doing then they can react straight away.
 The 'off table' division has to roll a dice 6 and take a delay of whatever they throw. Then the order of arrival is cavalry, then artillery and then infantry.
 Problem for the Brits was that they were seen straight away due to an over excited cavalry commander...
 ...and the reserve division threw a 1.
'weeeeeeeeeee' (oui)
 So, on came the cavalry brigade...
'Oi, watch my crop!'
 ...followed by the artillery
 Plus HQ, staff, C-in-C, his ADC's, teddy bear and spare tooth brush.
'Form square'
 British cavalry speed over the hill...
 Brits shake out into line and advance
 ..on come more French guns...
 ...the gunners...
 ...and the target...
 Brigade HQ between skirmish screen and columns.

 The French were remarkably quick off their mark
'You're right, red is not a good camouflage colour'
 ...but it was inevitable that the Brits would get the hills first
 but could they do it with enough strength?
 Billy 4, yes we have to number our Billy's, pointing out that he's been extremely clever with his British cavalry and trapping his French attackers
 Meanwhile, on the British right flank, strength builds...
 ...despite the arrival of the reserve division...
 British Heavies throw themselves at the French guns quite successfully the mad dash of the infantry will decide all; arriving in strength, first.
 forming line...
 ...with artillery to break up incoming formations
 ...but nothing puts off the clash of plastic!

'Oh! There you all are. Good show'

skirmishers out!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Here We Go

Columns of infantry, cavalry and guns must move onto the field of glory before the clash of plastic can materialise. The hour approaches. Here are a few shots of the troops of both armies moving at the behest of their commanders and betters into the line.
Ah! the memories this invokes. The veteran Airfix move confidently along with the now seasoned and well rehearsed Esci/Italeri. Yet, the Hat Industrie, new and eager for a taste of action vie with the Zvezda for opportunities for glory. There are some though, odd, grizzled Warriors made of sterner metal of many a long year; elderly Minifig and occassional Hinton Hunt.
 HLI follow on the Highlanders to the famous cry of 'Airfix forever'
 An officers work is never NCO has to do it for him.
 Infantry in skirmish order cover the wood as the Hussars go by
 Even the odd heavy squadron is mooching about the field
 Fusiliers, Rifles, Shire Regiments of Foot all fussed over by anxious leaders
 The beer is in...
 ...nibbles at the ready...
 Johnny Franciose across the way is here...
 'Hurry up, you'll be late'...
 Frogs can see the Roast Beefs in the distance...
 'Let them come, mon amis'
 Voltigures doing their speedy best...
 The 'Beau Filles' are on..
 ...the lights...
 ...and the 'Gross Freres'...
Not long now...