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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

First games of Muskets and Tomahawks


Yesterday I travelled down to Bristol Independent Gaming to play some four player games of Muskets and Tomahawks.
None of us had played the rules before, but I think we all found them fun and fast enough moving. Our games were played at 400 points, each player with 200 points, the army lists were roughly;
British:
1 Regular Officer
8 Regular Infantry
6 Tories (used as provincial Infantry) with boats
3x5 Indians
4 Indians
1 Light Infantry Officer
10 Light Infantry
(45 Figures)

French:
2 Compagnies Franches de la Marine Officer (1 deployed as regular, 1 as Irregular)
2x10 Compagnies Franches de la Marine (deployed as regulars)
2x6 Canadian Militia (used as Compagnies Franches de la Marine scouts)
2x4 Indians
(42 Figures)

Game 1
For our first game we rolled up Slaughter as the goal for the French and Scouting for the British. The French troops were able to advance very rapidly up to the British defensive lines, however they might have done better to have been a little cautious. Drawing their Regular cards early in the term and advancing them so far on their right flank left them vulnerable to the Indian Allies who opposed them.

British Light Infantry fire drives back the Canadian troops.
The large unit of British Light infantry, Irregulars with Regular morale (even if half the time I rolled their reaction tests as Irregulars..) had a lot of staying power against the French Irregulars and their Indian Allies outside the British blockhouse.

British Indian Allies charge into combat with the French Firing line. If Indians ever lose combat they are extremely fragile (they would retreat on any roll but a 6 on their reaction test), but fortunately they were able to slaughter the French line for the loss of only 4 of their number.
Close combat is extremely brutal in M&T, especially compared to the long rage musketry which makes up the bulk of the fighting in the battle. A unit which loses combat is unlikely to be an effective force for the remainder of the game.

Compagnies Franches de la Marine scout to the river bank whilst their Regulars man the fences in the background.

The Compagnies Franches de la Marine push across the fences on their left flank as British Irregular forces clear the fields of French troops.

The British Regulars bring their muskets to bear to drive of the Marines.

Firing lines exchange shots at long range as the British troops begin to encircle the French

concentrated musketry forces the British to fall back from the exposed corner of the blockhouse.

Alternate view of above
The few remaining French units suffered badly soon after these last pictures, their morale card forcing them to make difficult reaction tests. The French threw in the towel and we agreed to have lunch before moving on to the second game.

Game 2
In our second game we set up the terrain again, and rolled up new scenarios. We got Slaughter vs Scouting Mission again, however this time the roles were reversed. We British were to be attacking the French Civilians whilst the French attempted to scout the six 2' square table sections.

The table was split fairly centrally by a river, one side of the river holding the settlement and most of the farmland with the wild frontier of forests beyond.  Predictably most of the regulars of both forces deployed in the settlement side of the board, with the regulars tending towards the forested side.
British Regulars approach the settlement as Civilians break for the safety of the blockhouse.

The view of the British line as it advances to the settlement.

The French scouts take up positions behind a fence to try and delay the British advance.
French Indian Allies watch the civilians make for the blockhouse. In the distance the British are coming.


British Light Infantry take up positions behind the stone walls, using the position to take shots at the Canadian scouts approaching over open ground.on the banks of the river French and British Indians begin to trade shots, the British allies fleeing almost immediately, straight off the battlefield.
 The British regulars advanced stoically into the centre of the settlement, looking for the cover of the wooden fencing, taking heavy casualties on the way.
French Regulars attempt to repulse their British counterparts. 

The view from behind the settlement.

View down the centre of the table.

Aerial view of the battlefield. Almost every unit is engaged in combat by this point. The British regulars who remain have made it to the cover of the fence.
 On the left flank the British irregular troops attempted to sweep their outnumbered French opponents away so that they could use the tree cover to get close to the French regulars.
British Indian Allies approach the Canadian skirmishers. The one man with his musket loaded succeeds in killing an Indian, convincing the rest of them to fall back into the cover of the woods. Several turns later the Indians would manage to advance on the Canadians, killing all three.

British Provincial troops take up positions to fire upon the French regulars on the opposite bank.

British Light Infantry broke out of the tree cover to combat with the French Line, killing most of them in the brutal aftermath of combat. The long Marine escapes with the standard, until being shot dead.

After these photos end the game took a decidedly scrappy turn. As the victorious French regulars and Irregulars from the settlement finished killing all the British Regulars, and the Officer (all of which stood resolutely to the last man behind the wooden fencing) they advanced to meet the remaining British Light Infantry, Provincials, and Indians. This was when the morale card kicked in, seeing a good 75% of the remaining troops flee from the board, including the civilians the French needed to remain on the board to win the game. The final turn began with 3 Indians and 4 Provincials on the British side against 6 Canadians and an Officer trying to protect the one remaining civilian on the map, each side hoping the others morale card would turn up first. As it happened the British Indians activated soonest, and with 3 shots were able to bring down the final Civilian.

A brutal scrap probably more fairly judged a draw, the Slaughter objective was completed with only about 3 Civilians actually killed, the rest left the table as casualties caused by panic.

A good day of games in all, and nice to finally get the FIW troops to the table.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Mansions of Madness (1ed and 2ed)

I've been painting the models from the Board game Mansions of Madness (both 1st and 2nd edition) in order to play with my friends recently.

I've finally finished all the pieces in the game, so here they are.

1ed Investigators

2ed Investigators


1st Edition Figures

2nd Edition Figures

The Whole Collection

I hope you like them, and I look forward to this game hitting the table in the future.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

January's painting - Finishing the Woodland Indians

This January I've been painting the final figures for my 18th Century Woodland Indian force which is now finished.

This month I painted 6 Indians with bows, 12 with muskets, and a Sachem with a musket.


The 6 Bow armed Indians, along with the Sachem.
Musket Indians from Redoubt, I didn't find these figures as nice to paint as the other Indians in my collection, and their heads and general body size look pretty big stood side by side the North Star and Conquest Indians.

6 North Star Musket armed Indians

4 Forest animals to use as table clutter or Hidden Markers. White Tailed Deer only have spots as foals, I painted them on as a mistake but I like how it looks anyway.

The modest Indian force now. 3 Sachem, 6 bows, 48 muskets, 6 civilians and 6 casualties.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

Recent games of Blucher

I haven't posted much recently, so I think I may as well post up here the last 3 games of Blucher I played.

First up we have;
Austrians vs Late French (300 points) 02/09/2016

Having set up the terrain with my opponent, and successfully having won the toss to pick sides, I made the bold, brave and wise choice to defend in the scenario hoping to use the cover of a large forested area and the narrowness of the battlefield to stem the tide of French conscripts.

The left flank, bounded by an impassable marsh and the large forest which dominated the centre was to be a stalemate of long range artillery bombardment for much of the battle largely for 2 reasons, firstly neither army wanted to march into the mouths of their enemy’s guns and secondly the generals were much too busy directing the efforts of their soldiers on the opposite flank.
The Infantry staring contest.
 On the right flank the attacking French were much more aggressive, determined to force their way past the outskirts of the forest, unfortunately for them what opposed them were my elite Hussars and Cuirassier, more than a match for the French pansies who opposed them.

The initial clashes on that flank were rather half-hearted attempts from the Austrian cavalry, clearly already deciding how to spend the spoils they were sure to win after their certain victory over the French light horse. Despite these early reverses Austrian cavalry were able to maul the first French forays into the right flank, routing 2 units of light cavalry and overrunning 2 massed artillery batteries, although casualties were reasonably heavy for the Austrian cavalry no units were lost in their entirety.
Austrian Hussars await the oncoming French column

Austrian Heavy Cavalry leap upon the first elements of the column to leave the safety of the woods.

Soon Austrian Cavalry have dispatched the French Light Horse and pick off the Artillery unprotected by French Squares.
 With the French army four tenths of the way to breaking and not a single Austrian unit having been forced to quit the field I was feeling pretty good about my position. So what if the French had managed to create a lot of pressure on my right flank and left a lot of units close to their break point? My left flank was still strong, and I could always weaken the centre to try and support the right.

On the left flank French cannon had bought a unit of Chevauleger down to a third of its starting strength but in general artillery fire between the two sides had been without major impact. It was at this point that the first French troops began to approach the hill which acted as the centre point for my Austrian battle line. Deciding that aggression is in fact the better part of valour my brave conscripts charged down the hill to engage the counterpart French conscripts, their advantage at skirmish combat made close combat seem a much safer prospect.

The French have pushed through on the right by force of numbers, and Hungarian Grenzers have been sent to try and support the Austrian Heavy Cavalry.

At this point the full table shot shows how little has changed on my left flank, although I have perhaps missed my opportunity to send the Grenadiers and other infantry here on the attack whilst my opponent dealt with moving his forces through the right.
In response to the ever more rapid collapse of my right flank, and my quick approach to my break point of 8, I decided to launch my left flank of elite infantry in an attack on the French infantry who had remained idle since the first turn of the game. 
The infantry charge was extraordinarily successful, at once smashing a hole in the centre of the French line behind the power of the Hungarian Grenadiers who eliminated a unit of Fresh Frenchmen in a single round of combat. Even the regular Austrian infantry seemed to be faring well against the French conscripts, buoyed up by the success of Grenadiers they took it upon themselves to bloody the French noses.

With both flanks now engaged, and both armies close to breaking point all that was left was to see who would break first.
As it happened my Austrians broke first, reaching their break point and giving me one final turn to attempt to break two units on the French right to tie the game as a mutual break. The unit of Chevauleger pasted by French artillery at the beginning of the battle now swept in and routed an exhausted unit of French conscripts which meant I had 2 units of infantry firing at some weakened cavalry and what was left of my infantry charging the battered French right. As it happened several French units were reduced to a single strength point, but unbroken resulting in a tight but deserved victory to My opponent, his army a single unit away from its own break point.
My elite Grenadiers made short work of the French infantry corps who had looked impressive, at least numerically to that point, but too little and too late.

Lack of numbers resulted in my right flank falling back into the plowed fields to their rear, unable to hold any longer.
 At this point my army had broken and whilst my opponents was extremely bloodied, just 1 unit away from his own break point, he was victorious.

 Whilst My opponent’s army consisted very heavily of conscripts and extremely average cavalry, his army contained a number of regular units who formed part of the corps opposite my cavalry corps. These units were crucial to in shielding his conscripts, who’s penalty against cavalry becomes very apparent when facing off against the strong Austrian heavies. All in all, a cracking game, nice and close but deservedly won by my opponent my opponent.


Up next is my Early French vs Peninsula British (250 points) 04/11/2016)

I won the dice off at the start of the game again, and again opted to defend, hoping that the Peninsula British penalty of forced tiny Corps would ensure organising an attack would be difficult.

From this point on it wouldn't be unfair at all to call this game a fiasco for my opponent. Played a game of Blucher, 250 points, at my local club today. My French took on a Peninsula Anglo-Allied force and I won the role to choose to be the defender. Very early on my Dragoons were able to heavily damage the British light cavalry on my left flank, combining with my Horse artillery to break 1 unit on just the second turn.
On the far left a single unit of French Hussars was able to break 2 units of Spanish Light cavalry before spending the rest of the game lazily ambling round the back of the Allied army achieving nothing. Meanwhile my Polish infantry advanced on the left hand side of the central hill to oppose the 4 Spanish line units supported by 2 units of British regulars. To say that these Spaniards under performed would be underselling it, over the rest of the game they would manage to chalk up a single hit on the Poles, with the Brits only managing a handful themselves. On the right and centre the infantry remained out of skirmish range for the time being, with only the French artillery being able to fire – which they did to reasonable effect on the expensive British Regulars.

French Cavalry batter their Anglo-Spanish opposition to take control of the hill whilst the infantry of both sides look on.

This table shot shows both armies snaking along the length of the field. At the very bottom shows the back corner of a unit of French Light Cavalry who managed to wipe out 2 units of Spanish Militia Cavalry on their own.
 The images of the endgame position show the shambolic end of the Anglo-Allied army, completely broken without having been able to break a single French unit, highlighted by the failure of an almost Fresh unit of British Heavy Cavalry being unable to break a unit of French artillery on just 2 strength points. By this point the Spanish Militia in the centre, anchored between the central hill and the town to their left had been completely smashed by French line who had charged them after softening them up with several turns of long range fire. On the French left the Poles had been just as successful, hammering the Spanish Regulars with skirmish fire and a charge on a weakened unit, even managing to break a unit of British Regulars.

My opponent had been hamstrung by having to attack with the cumbersome early British Corps structure, being limited to corps sizes of 4 made organizing the attack within the MO limits very difficult for him and allowed my smaller elite French army to concentrate on favourable engagements with the weak Spanish units rather than the very strong British units, which combined with the Anglo-Allied armies extremely “cool dice” meant for the extremely rare perfect sweep and a game which finished over an hour earlier in the night that normal. A very pleasing result for my French.

The British left had attempted to push on but bad dice from themselves meant they were unable to push very hard, in fact most of the French units are still in remarkably good condition for the end of a game.

The Spanish infantry holding the centre have completely disintegrated, and the left has taken a lot of attrition from the Poles accurate skirmish fire.
 The Final game for this post is a bit of a fanciful engagement between my Austrians and my opponent's Early Prussians, for a bit of a shake up. (250 points) 25/11/2016

We rolled up an unusual battlefield, smattered with loads of urban bases, but with no elevation and only 2 areas of rough terrain, one forest stuck off to the side and a field smack in the middle of the battlefield. Our armies were very different, mine featuring a solid infantry core (mostly of which were conscripts) backed up with 2 units of Grenadiers and lots of artillery combined with a smaller cavalry contingent of elite Cuirassier and Hussars. Against this my opponent bought a smaller but very elite army, including 5 very powerful Heavy Cavalry and the Prussian Avant-Garde brigades (a unit comprised of Skirmishers, Fusiliers, and Light Cavalry). My opponent won the dice roll and chose to attack, wanting the first turn to try and get his army  into a favourable position.

On my left flank I advanced into canister range of the Saxon brigades pushed in front of the expensive Prussians so that my massed artillery could begin to take effect. This they did fast, wearing through the Saxons in only a few turns of shooting. Behind this front line Austrian Grenadiers and some Conscript Landwehr began to advance in order to help overwhelm the weakened Prussian Infantry.

Pushing my guns  straight into canister range to try and weaken the elite Prussians enough for my Grenadiers to charge home.
 The centre was dominated by a tight grouping of small towns and a field, which limited the combat there. The Austrians in square there would never move again (although one unit would be wiped out completely by the artillery firing at them, although the Dragoons to their back would turn to face off against the Prussian Light cavalry who had managed to sneak through to threaten the Austrian second objective.
This area of the battlefield was extremely static. The tight cluster of villages and the plowed field combined with the Austrian squares served to almost completely separate the infantry clash on the left from the cavalry on the right.
 Finally, on the right flank elite Austrian cavalry found themselves in the rare situation of being outnumbered by even stronger cavalry than themselves, and facing a battery of Horse Artillery to boot. The noble (and brightly coloured) heart of the Austrian army would spend the game falling back in the face of the Prussian heavy horse.

The one charge made by Austrian cavalry resulted in the Hussars being rebuffed by the Prussian Horse artillery. After that the Austrians would find themselves constantly on the defensive.
 The battle quickly spiraled out of control for my opponents Prussians from this point. His Infantry were smashed apart by a mix of infantry charges and the close range fire of my artillery batteries. His right flank was now held by a corps of 4 units with a total strength of 6, 3 of which had their backs to my Austrians, leaving the other infantry corps close to completely surrounded. Both units of expensive Avant-Garde infantry had been routed by this point and the remaining Prussian infantry were in no position to even attempt to hold off the Austrian infantry who still included 2 units of full strength Grenadiers.
Austrian Infantry pour into the void left by the retreating Prussians, turning the flank of the Prussian position.
 On the right my cavalry had been ground down quite considerably, 1 unit lost entirely, but were still looking likely to hold up the Prussian Cavalry who were in no position to assist the Prussian Infantry and leave these half strength units to their rear. Despite their significant advantage, (the Prussian cavalry were still at strength values of 4, 7, 6, 5 and 5 {27} against my Austrians on 4, 4, 3 and 5 {16}) it looked likely my cavalry would be able to hold out for several more turns and possibly even escape off the board unrouted.
with the exception of a single unit of Hussars the Austrian cavalry have all been forced to fall back from their starting positions, however they were still strong enough to hold out for several turns longer yet.
At this point my opponent threw in the towel, unwilling to watch his infantry be swallowed up by the encroaching Austrians, and seeing no way to break my army, even if he would be able to wipe out my cavalry quickly which seemed unlikely.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

North American Civilians


I recently painted up some unarmed civilians who might take to the field when I play some games involving my Native American Warband.

The 6 European Colonists are from the Perry AWI range, whilst the 6 Natives are from the Conquest Miniatures range carried by Warlord.

I hope you like them, I think the Gentleman and his wife have come out nicely and are probably my favourites.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Finished Indian Warband

 I finished the Indian warband I've been making for gaming the FIW with Muskets and Tomahawks.

I'm quite pleased with the result in all, now I need to add some terrain and some civilians to fight over. I also need to decide on 7 of the grunts to use as "unit leaders". The rest of the unit has to stay within 1 move of the leader so I need to decide on how best to mark them out, maybe a different colour on the rim of their base?

Anyway, here are the pictures;
The 38 man Warband
The 2 Sachems







I split the Indians into 6 man units for the photos. This isn't exactly how I'll be running the army, but its a good number to photograph at a time. Hope you guys like them.