Archive for April, 2013

Club Night – Tuesday 30th April, 2013

Folks,

 

The only plan at the moment is to run one of three possible board games depending on numbers (only 3 members made it along last week) as follows:

 

2-3 People:

Napoleon4thEdition

We’ll run “Napoleon” by Columbia Games.

This re-creates the 100 days campaign in Belgium using blocks and road / area movement with engagements being fought over a “battle board” (see our previous after action reports for details & pics)

 

4 People:

SPQRWallp-FORUM(RBM)ss

We’ll run “Crown of Roses” by GMT Games.

This is a campaign system covering the political squabbles & intrigue of the Wars of the Roses. This uses a card driven initiative system for movement & actions with battles being fought off table using a simple dice & block mechanic.

 

5+ People:

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We’ll run”Command & Colours – Ancients: Epics” by GMT Games.

This is a hex based, card driven game covering famous battles of antiquity. Most members are familiar with the system after several previous games.

 

If anybody else wants to put something on just let us know and we’ll let folks know.

Hope to see you all there.

OWG

Club Night – Tuesday 23rd April, 2013

Folks,

Just a quick note to say that we’re planning to run a couple of games tonight.

 

Table 1:

Mike T will be putting on a 28mm Ancients game using Field of Glory rules.

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Table 2:

Roger & Ross will be running a game of AK47 Modern African Wars skirmish.

Its funny how parts of Africa look like Normandy.......

Its funny how parts of Africa look like Normandy…….

 

Hope to see you all there.

OWG

Club Night – Tuesday 16th April, 2013

Folks,

Just a quick note to say that we’re planning to run another Bantry Bay naval scenario (as described in Alistair’s recent After Action Report). This is in preparation of the club attending Carronade in May.

We will also have a short chat regarding the clubs plans for this years shows and figure out who can make it along to support the club at these events.

rm_seven

Hope to see you all there.

OWG

Bantry Bay – After Action Report

Words by Alistair Massey

 

FRENCH INVASION PLANS OF IRELAND GO AHEAD

Historical Background

In 1796 the war was turning dramatically in favour of the French government. Royalist rebellions had been crushed, Spain and Holland were set to become allies, the war in Germany had stabilised and General Bonaparte was enjoying success in Italy. Plans to invade England could be taken seriously. However, the Treasury could not support such a vast undertaking and it was decided to launch an invasion of Ireland instead. The republican government offered to send 25,000 men but the Irish in exile in Paris were satisfied with 15,000.  The invasion fleet consisted of the second-rate eighty-gun Indomptable, sixteen 74-gun ships of the line, 13 frigates, six brigs, seven transports and a “powder vessel.”

The French main fleet arrives, but are they too late to save the day?

The French main fleet arrives, but are they too late to save the day?

The Scenario

A “What if……” scenario set in 23rd December 1796 was refought on Sunday. Here the Royal Navy’s Channel Fleet with one first-rate, the King George, a second-rate and five ships of the line were pitted against fifteen ships of the line and six frigates. Their object was to sink the French transports anchored in Bantry Bay.

 

The Refight

Fortune did not favour the red ensign. The British charged eagerly but were foiled by the early intervention of two squadrons of the French with a favourable wind on their quarter. They were able to quickly shut off the inlet to most of the Royal Navy fleet. Two frigates that penetrated were quickly mopped up by French frigates that guarded the transports. Having damaged the British ships considerably, the wind turned 180° to the French advantage as it doubled back along the British line.

The action reached a crisis when the British admiral on the King George and two of his ships nearby tried to knock out the French flagship, the Indomptable, and her companion vessel, the Fougeux, by boarding them. But they shrugged off three attempts and turned on their would-be captors, taking them as prizes. This almost emulated Nelson’s exploit with his “patented boarding bridge” at the later battle of St Vincent, using one prize to board another.

It was definitely “one in the eye” for the British!  Leaderless, damaged but not entirely defeated, they limped home to fight another day.

“Nightmare on the Berezina” – After Action Report

Words by Alistair Massey

Berezina_1812

The Berezina crossing is often portrayed as the end of Napoleon’s army in Russia. This is only half-correct. It is true that an estimated thirty thousand stragglers and non-combatants failed to cross to the western side, but the actions of the rearguard formed by Victor’s IX Corps and the army’s vanguard saved the Emperor from complete destruction. That the river was bridged at all was a miracle of improvisation and leadership by General Eblé. He countermanded Napoleon’s order to destroy the pontoon train, saving two field forges and eight wagons loaded with charcoal and tools. He also instructed hi sappers to each carry a tool and fitments. Napoleon also played his part by tricking the Russians into believing that the crossing would be elsewhere.

The initial set-up. French rearguard - foreground & centre.

The initial set-up. French rearguard – foreground & centre.

OWG refought the rearguard action on the east side of the river on 28th November. The French division of 5,000 was commanded by GD Girard, which comprised a Polish Brigade under GB Ouviller, the Baden Brigade under GB Hochberg, a small reserve of the 4/55th  and four 12 pounders under an artillery officer and three depleted cavalry regiments of Baden and Berg under GB Fournier.

The Russians were commanded by their Advance Guard commander, MG Vlastov, who was also in charge of a mixed force of 2,500 and 12 guns supported by an Infantry Brigade of 4,000 and 24 guns under MG Berg, a mixed force under MG Fock of 1,000  and a cavalry brigade of 600, totalling 8,000.

Beginning at 1400, the French forces defended the line of difficult marshy ground in the stream valley. Vlastov’s brigade fixed the Polish brigade and its skirmish screen with a series of probing actions while the  Russian artillery was brought up. After a concerted attack in the centre a Polish battery and a battalion were overurn. General of Brigade Ouvillor had no option but to order a withdrawal to a final stop line on the river bend to cover the south of Sudyanka.

Fierce fighting on the French left flank......

The pressure during the next hour mounted on the French left flank, the Baden brigadier Hochberg panicked and blundered into the enemy lines. Shortly thereafter the Baden morale collapsed and they fled the field in disgrace. Disaster loomed for the French side but the remaining brigades stood their ground.

All that remains of the Austrians after their disasterous "Snake-eyes" morale throw.......

All that remains of the Austrians after their disasterous “Snake-eyes” morale throw…….

The Russians realised that they were on the brink of victory but had to continue with their ENGAGE orders to ASSAULT. Their command suffered from casualties and unhelpful throws. Somehow the Poles managed to extricate themselves and take some of the steam out of the Russians advancing towards the bridges. Meanwhile on the right flank, the Russians came within a whisker of contact in the northern part of the village but were stopped by the 4/55th Battalion and four 12 pounders (the only French troops on the table).

The last hope of the French - Napoleons "Beautiful Daughters"

This was followed by two decisive charges by deftly controlled Baden/Berg cavalry. It attacked the rear and flanks of the battalions spearheading the attack. With nightfall, the Russian bid for victory was extinguished.

Russian Losses: 70 figures = 1,400 men (not including routers in last two turns)

French Losses: 87 figures = 1,740 men + 12 guns lost or overrun

NB: Sources differ for OB information. Our OB was based on Digby Smith’s Data Book.

The Historical Battle:

This involved French artillery support from the other side of the river for a limited period, which we might factor in for the next refight. We might allow Russian pioneers to bridge the stream for artillery, though the ground would still be difficult. Although the Russian artillery fire managed to panic the estimated 30,000 stragglers and non-combatants, the action fizzled out at about 1800 in an artillery duel and skirmishing. However, one similarity was that the 360 German cavalry played a vital role. In the historical battle they heroically sacrificed themselves to prevent the Russians from outflanking the French on the left of their defensive position. Losses were heavy on both sides. The Baden Brigade lost 28 dead and wounded officers and 1,100 dead and wounded men; a total of 900 remained in arms.

Berezina - Area Map

Additional Monthly Sunday Game – 14th April, 2013

Folks,

 

Just a quick note to remind folks that Alistair, Mike, Mike  & Robert will be setting up to run the “Bantry Bay” 1:1200 Napoleonic Naval Scenario this Sunday.

 

The "King George" smashes its way through the French line - the beginning of the end for the French!

SKELP 2013: The “King George” smashes its way through the French line – the beginning of the end for the French!

The room is booked for 10am to 4pm. If you can make it along then please drop us a line.

 

Hope to see you all there.

OWG

2nd Monthly Sunday Game – 14th April, 2013

Folks,

Mike Ritchie, Mike Travis and Alistair will be meeting up again this Sunday to run the clubs Bantry Bay scenario. This is a Napoleonic Naval “what if?…….” demonstration game that the club ran last year at SKELP and will be running again this May at Carronade in Falkirk.

20130409-233448.jpg

They guys are looking for a few more participants so they can run thru the rules etc. in preparation for the coming show.

If you can make it along can you please let us know as we need a minimum of 4 players to run the game.

Hope to see you all there.

OWG