Thursday, 12 January 2017

Fort Fleury, Guadeloupe, around 1794

Already before the start of Angus‘ infamous West Indies Campaign (for Sharp Practice), we had 2 deserters/AWOL!!! Bill was frozen-in at Livingston and Bart was missing in action. Campbell defected to Dragon Rampant, so that left only me and Donald and Angus; with me never even played the game or looked at the rules ...

The British had landed and were forming two line regiments and a couple of grenadiers, light infantry and some naval guns to: either get the guns to a nearby hill (to shoot the fort, objective A) or to take it by storm directly, as history has it (objective B). The horticulturally named fort was defended by Loyalists, a gun and Monsieur Ignace-Joseph-Philippe de Perpignan who could defect to the British side later on, but which Angus forgot in the heat of the combat. I'm sure not because he played the French revolutionaries. And said personnes occupying Guadeloupe herself, voila!

The first half of the battle, I must admit, I fell nearly asleep. The card driven game in combination with two aged bookworms digging their faces into the rules, all the time didn‘t help either, but we got there in the end.

The LI advanced and got shot to pieces, then the Grenadiers did the same and got hurt, in-between a complete line regiment was enfiladed by the only gun, but just survived. In total, three units of six were almost fucked up, one commander wounded and stunned the other demoted ... with the revolutionaries finally swarming out of Guadeloupe ... it looked bleak, this wasn't how Donald envisioned the storm of the fort.

Well, that was when I remembered that I was actually the CinC and instead of listening to Donald (somewhat umpire and British advocate (or CinC in his eyes) who wanted to storm the fort - I decided to fire at the gun in the fort!!!

That was when things got very bad for the Sans culottes for a change! Their gun got shot off the wall. Then I stormed the only left loyalist line and hacked them to pieces -  they broke. Before the turn ended my naval guns hopped on the hill and deployed the guns towards the city ad the rabble - c‘est ca!

It was all in all a very good game, certainly also because I won, of course, haha! My only suggestion, as with many card driven games, we need to speed things up in the future and give the CinC's extra "flag" cards ( if only) for movement or so, as the starting phase (from initial deployment to turning point of the battle) was 75% of the time.
Also scenario objectives with gaining ground or positions are tricky - but that is just my humble personal opinion.

The French Loyalists in the fort  - in the background my declassed Bourbonnes
The British Lines are forming
The revolution has captured Guadeloupe! 
The British Gun trail between tropical forrest and lemonade 
The initial deployment for quite a while 
The French sent flowers!
The Line has to watch the Grenadiers getting blasted!
The enfiladed Line dies, but does not retreat. 
The revolutionaries take their time to get over a rivulet 
Again the Grenadiers get shot - Ouch! Retreat!
Enfiladed, shot to pieces, but still standing, just so ...
The moment after I decided to blast the damn gun off that wall!  
Seconds later the British are within the fort!
The remaining LI jumps in front of the weary enfiladed Line - text book! 
The Jacobites with their baguettes stumble out of Guadeloupe
The final moments of the battle - the naval guns take the hill.
The French naval officer decides to defect to the British ...

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Merry X-mas form some of the stem duchies of HRE ...

... Count of Askania, the Dukes of Swabia and Saxony, the City of Mainz and the Duke of Lorraine, the Emperor and the general lot ....

Thursday, 24 November 2016

There must be something wrong with the Schlieffen Plan!

I couldn‘t resist and got the 6mm Guns Of August out and enlisted Campbell as the French General Joffre, while Mike played the Brits B.E.F. and the Belgians and I was rather uninspiring the German Moltke the Younger.

Firstly I started quite nicely getting Liege under my thumb, rather because only the tiny Belgian Cavalry was defending it than my valour. And attacked the French down in Lorraine and the Vosges inflicting heavy losses on the gauls.

But I hadn't counted on Campbells spirit of defense, he didn‘t needed the Plan 17 counter attack rule – he counter attacked anyway! And did so more successfully with lots of 6‘s which lead to a lot of "Defender exchange", i.e. he suffered a lot, but got eliminated as well. Which led to an rather unhistoric open warfare in the Alssac as the troops to close the gaps were missing!

Then I advanced on Antwerpen and got attacked by the rest of the Belgian Army, which failed and got anihilated. I advanced into the fortress and Belgium kapitulated!

Then the B.E.F. came as alway too late and stopped my advance across Lille, by rather foolishly charge with the cavalry between my lines -  in the end they invaded Netherland and fleed to Hamburg!! By that time it was December and I hadn't occupied Lille, so it was a draw!

The rules are worked quite nicely -  I still have a lot to paint, but I guess I'm half way through!!!
And the German High Sea Fleet had its 1st outing, but of course no Royal Navy in sight – still on its way with the Royal Mail!

The French defending Belfort

Verdun still far away

The French regionals defending the Lille–Reims line

The initial set-up

The complete Hochseeflotte at August 1914

The big right wing before Belgium

Liege just defended by a Belgian 1-1-4 Cavalry coprs

Gaps appear after the 1st month!

Attack and counter-attacks rip the front line apart!

After October the line starts to "entrech" itself (brown tokens)

at the end of the game ...

Friday, 18 November 2016

2nd Novara 6 June 1513

The Swiss, aaah, what are they when the do not move? Sitting ducks, Targets and Schiessbudenfiguren! We set them on their journey, the Reisigen! Run home, Reisläufer! Gloria Victoria, all for the French juchheirassa! Toblerone now with wider gaps!

The French Cavalry was played by Ken, who joined recently our Renaissance league, and aspiring defender of the Papal throne(s) for battles to come. For the French centre a very capable club mate stepped in, who's name I unforgivenly forgot, even as Jack shouted me his name 3 times!!! And myself as the German part with some Landsknechts. On the other side the usual victims of biblical sins and proportions, Angus, Jack and Donald defending Milan for the Swiss in their own ways and good intentions.

As the Ken was appointed CinC he gave the order of the day - no retreat, attack as fast as possible, en avant, lets out step the swift Swiss! So we advanced as quick as a cannonball on both flanks and we somehow did it, out shot and unsettled them before they could find their footing. Donald fought well, but too much tabletop embellishment hindered his advance ... all the while the bullets and shots were relentlessly flying ...  at the end one Swiss block was shaken in front of two medium imperial feldschlangen ...hmm ... , Ken had destroyed most of the Italian tin pride ... I for the record successfully formed a hedgehog blocking a another Swiss block while shooting at the other, ended Swiss hegemony in its begining.

All in all we had fun I guess, even if the retro-garde can't come out of their strategic lethargy .. maybe one day ...

I set up the 2nd Novara battle with a little bit of extras, the pike blocks were bigger for our standards, and the supports were a bit more numerous. We used Pike and Shotte with a bit of home grown spice.
The Figures were by me, Angus, Jack and of course Donald.



For the ones who want to know what really happened:
The French had been victorious at Ravenna the previous year. Nevertheless, the French under King Louis XII were driven out of the city of Milan the following month by the Holy League.

In 1513, the French army of 10,000 under Louis de la Trémoille was besieging the city of Novara, which was held by some of the Duke of Milan‘s Swiss mercenaries. It has been argued that the Swiss may have intended to annex  Milan to the Swiss. Novara, c. 40 kilometers west of Milan, was the second most important city of the Milanese duchy.

However, the French were surprised at their camp there on June 6 by a Swiss relief army of some 13,000 troops, who came to relieve their forces in the town. The German Landsknecht mercenaries of the French, pike-armed like the Swiss, were able to form up into heavy squares, and the French were able to deploy some of their artillery. Despite this, the Swiss onslaught, sweeping in from multiple directions due to forced marches which achieved encirclement of the French camp, took the French guns, pushed back the Landsknecht infantry regiments, and destroyed the Landsknecht squares. Caught off guard, the French heavy cavalry, their decisive arm, was unable to properly deploy, and played little role in the fight.

The battle was particularly bloody, with 5,000 casualties (other sources state up to 10,000) on the French side, and moderate losses for the Swiss pikemen, mostly suffered from the French artillery as the Swiss moved into the attack. 700 men were killed in three minutes by heavy artillery fire. Additionally, after the battle, the Swiss executed the hundreds of German mercenaries they had captured who had fought for the French. Having routed the French army, the Swiss were unable to launch a close pursuit because of their lack of cavalry, but several contingents of Swiss did follow the French withdrawal all the way to Dijon before the French paid them off to leave France. The Swiss captured 22 French guns with their carriages.

The French defeat forced Louis XII to withdraw from Milan and Italy in general, and led to the temporary restoration of Duke Maximilian Sforza, although he was widely regarded to be the puppet of his Swiss mercenaries and „allies“, who held real military power in Milan.