I was in the chair and - surprise surprise thought I'd have a bash at another shinyloo game. My first thought had been the Indian Mutiny but they are not yet table ready so that will wait until later in the year. So Shiny it would be.
As it happened both sides in this shiny war had received reinforcements. The French had more Cuirassiers a 14 figure unit of Dragoons and some more Line Infantry and the British had a few more rifles half a dozen more Line Infantry and the 1st Royal Dragoons- well a four figure troop thereof anyhow. Ancient 30mm Minifigs on Stadeen horses culled out of another ebay joblot with 3 more Scots Greys. The box of these is slowly getting smaller but there are still a good few too paint so the armies will continue to get bigger but Oh so slowly.
|French Dragoons . Aged Hincliffe figures I picked up for a song. Once I had cleaned off the filth you could see that the chap who painted them knew what he was about.
So to the game Theatrical Steve took the British with Mechanical Shaun and Andrew the Tekkie taking the French. The scenario was based upon Quatre Bras but I only had enough road for three arms so Trois Bras it would be.
|The Rifles hold Trois Bras. Mostly Stadden 30mm with a few Willies and a couple of Hincliffe.
The idea was to have various forces arriving on table at different ties to see how the players would cope with not having access to all their troops at once. Also the French had to actually find out what they were facing and where it was..
Steve began by placing his Rifles- 2 companies -in the village of Tros Bras at the crossroads backed by a Footguards company and a weak company of the 92nd Highlanders.
|The arrival of the 44th Foot.
Initially the French Dragoons came bowling down the road and received fire from the Rifles which sent them back up said road at a somewhat smarter pace. However a Company of French Skirmishers using the other arm o moved onto the rifles flank and caused a bit of bother eventually causing Steve to withdraw the Footguards to cover. At more or less the same time dark masses of French Cavalry started to appear at the far end of the table. Cuirassiers, Chasseurs of the Guard and Polish Lancers all began to mass on the French table edge, Things were looking decidedly sticky for the Duke of Wellyboot!
|More French troops arrive. Squeaky bum moment for Wellyboot .
However the Rifles clung on to the village- seeing off the surviving French skirmishers and just in time the 44th foot all 3 and a half companies turned up and sloy moved through the woods. The following move as the French began to move forward with their cavalry the Royal Dragoons and the Scots Greys appeared on the British table edge. The Duke of Wellyboot's "squeaky bum moment" appeared over.
|The Arrival of the Scots Greys and the Royal Dragoons
Shaun didn't hang about. A combined column of Lancers and Chasseurs of the Guard steamed up the road towards the village at speed. However the Rifles were ready and being veteran troops held their nerve until close range ( decent dice for once from Steve) , The resulting volley emptied many a saddle and caused the discomforted cavalry to scuttle back and take shelter behind the newly arrived Imperial Guard Grenadiers.
|The Frecnh thrust against Trois Bras,curtains for the Polish Lancers.
|French Cavalry advance.Mostly Hincliffe - from the same source as the Dragoons but with some added Stadden and Willie
|The French Standing about The Imperial Guard Grenadiers are mostly Minot with some Stadded Napoleon Shinyparte is a Willie on a Stadden horse.
However the climax of the affair was at hand (!) Shaun's other cavalry, Cuirassiers and Dragoons moved past the village on the French left heading for the British baseline . Fire from a company of the 44th blunted but did but stop this daring thrust. The first Squadron of the Greys supported by the new shiny troop of Royals contercharged and a fierce two move melee ensured. Honours were more or less even but the casualties from fire and the fact that Steve still had a reserve squadron in hand meant that the French had shot their bolt even though the Royals were wiped out first time out !. On the other flank French Artillery had finally arrived but its first rounds were singularly ineffective. Andrew was not pleased. At this point Andrew conceded and declared a British victory - even though no french Infantry - other than skirmishers had been involved. French morale had obviously been affected by the cavalry carnage.
|The cavalry melee. The Royals will go down bravley but the French dragoons will also suffer. The reserve squadron of the Greys will then finish the business.
Rules- once again we used "Charge!" but this time I added in the morale test from Grant's Napoleonic Rules. More work needed here but the combination adds just a little more subtlety and possibly flexibility to the Charge system and I shall persevere and have another go,
As is normal with us Lunch was Landlady Jeans excellent Beef Butties and chips washed down with Consett Brewery Pale Ale- or a disgusting brownish liquid known as er Coke- for the drivers- filthy stuff but unavoidable for those driving. Rumour has it that your gentle Umpire actually consumed a "fruit based drink" before his first pint. Andrew was heard to mumble something about "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" but no - nothing alien I simply didn't fancy a pint at that time ...... or did I ......
I am really take with using Charge for smallish Napoleonic actions that are larger than the current vogue for "skirmish- a-likes" The game had a total of 300 or so figures available for both sides though not all appeared so it was not by any means a big action. Their is an awful lot less farting about using these over say Black Powder. For larger actions upwards General de Brigade would do as well or possibly better. Now to get more Bavarians and Austrians painted. It will be a while before they are table ready but shiny 1809 is on the cards