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March 2018 Update

Folks,

February saw the club mainly playing thru two new rulesets (or new to the club anyway)

Both are proving popular with the players and are likely to become regular choices for the periods / scales they cover.

Stuart Insch has written up a couple of After Action Reports for the games he ran using “Beneath the Lily Banners” (following text and pictures courtesy of Stuart Insch)

Beneath the Lily Banners – Encounter at the Ford

We’ve been working our way through the BTLB rules since I picked up a copy of the 1ed cheaply on the Lead Adventure Forum. The 3rd edition is on its way so it seemed like a good time to play some games and learn the basics whilst building up our armies.

We’ve played a few games over the last couple of months and really enjoy them. This edition suffers a bit from some information being scattered over different pages and the QRS as well as different systems for morale for horse and foot, but it’s hitting the spot and I’m checking daily to see when the new book is out

So we threw some terrain on the table and got things going….

The Allied army and that of the Franco-Bavarians were advancing towards each other. Both sides has sent and advance guard to seize a key ford and as a result an encounter between the two was triggered.

The Bavarian force consisted of two regiments of foot, a medium gun, squadron of cuirassiers and a squadron of dragoons. The Danes had three foot, 1 squadron of horse and a medium gun.  Two French regiments, supposedly supporting the Bavarians had gotten lost somewhere and would not arrive til the following day! – the post was late getting them back from the painters!).

The Danes moved quickly to occupy a small farm house and field closest to the crossing whilst they brought up their remaining troops. The Bavarians moved in line of march along the road to the ford, dispatching their mounted contingent to engage and cover their right flank. Their gun deployed in front of the ford and Rgt Spilberg to its right,  which d the cover of a hedge. Rgt Maffey moved behind these units to take up position on the right, but would be thwarted from doing so by the fast moving Danes,

The Danish unit at the farm came under fire from Rgt Spilberg and the now dismounted Dragoons, a galling fire which caused it to retreat after a stand was lost.by now the guns were firing and the second Danish unit was taking hits, however the gun crew were in range of Danish muskets and were starting to be picked off. Rgt Maffey was forced to halt, its men formation split by a hedge.

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The dragoons now moved up and occupied the farm but Spilberg was taking hits from the Danish gun and could not reply since the Bavarian gun crew had all been killed. However two Danish foot had been forced to retire due to mounting casualties and the crisis of the battle had been reached.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. Spilberg retreated from its position behind the hedge, it was well on the way to suffering 2 bases lost and the dragoons were still in place across the ford. Maffey was holding up and the Danes were becoming worn out. However the Danish horse had still not been engaged and launched a desperate change on the flank of Maffey. A one was rolled for Maffey’s morale ….and it too was forced back.

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With both Bavarian foot regiments in retreat and the artillerymen killed there was nothing the dragoons could do and they had to mount up and retire as well, taking the in engaged curiassier with them. The Danes, though badly cut up, had secured the ford.

 

The Battle of Helmantica 1704

Last Tuesday I had another game using Beneath the Lily Banners at Oldmeldrum Wargames Group. Andy and I continued our mini campaign with his Danes driving further in to the territory of their foes, following up the Bavarians as they retreated from the scene of the previous battle.

I picked a disguised scenario from One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas, itself based on one of Charles Grants which was based on Salamanca….that’s about as covertly disguised as you can get!

Helmantica is the name of the original settlement near to the site of what would become Salamanca.

Andy’s Danes advanced down the road in column heading for the town which their scouts had told them was held by the a token Bavarian force.  For two turns they advanced, getting closer and closer while my dice throwing meant that I was unable to activate any units. (Normally one would be activated, but for this scenario it was actually pretty apt that none were!).  As they closed on the town the Danes swung off the road and brought up their gun, where the hell were the rest of my troops!

The Bavarians put their battalion gun into action and sent the first round sailing between the ears of the horse drawing the Danish artillery. Their second took the head off  one of the gunners but it was going to be an uneven fight if this continued.

Then on the hills on the west side of the table the tops of banners could be seen and the Danes began to glance nervously over their shoulders, they’d been flanked. Regiments Maffey and the straggling French infantry of Touraine and Anjou appeared supported by a squadron of dragoons and another of cuirassiers.

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The Danes hastily limbered up their gun and withdrew back up the road, their infantry halting and trying to wheel into line while their cavalry closed the end of their formation and protected their rear. This was all accomplished with a degree of calm and order which seemed to unsettle the men of regiment Touraine, and some were observed dropping their muskets and running from the field (I had  draw a “cowardly unit” event card and 25% of them legged it!). Loud curses were heard in German but with 5 units on the flank, one in the town and a battalion gun free to play on the Danes, the Bavarians still had the advantage.

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Rgt Spilberg advanced from the town, supported by its battalion gun and fired on the Danish unit to its front, the killing had began.

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On the hills the Bavarian cavalry swept down, crashing into the Danish cavalry before they could move. Somehow however the dragoons found themselves facing armoured cuirassier while their own cuirassier faced the opposing horse. Danish morale held and many toppled from the saddles but they wore the red and grey of Bavarian men not the Danes. The attack had failed and over 50% of the Germans had been slain. It was a disaster.

By now regiments Anjou, Touraine and Maffey had closed to within musket range and the engagement was general across the field. The Danes had unlimbered their heavy gun which tore gaps in the French, but the Danish guards were taking casualties to their front and flank.  The decisive moment of the battle had been reached. Both the guards and their attackers from Rgt Spilberg had lost a stand but when it came to morale checks the former passed and the latter rolled a 1 – unable to stomach more losses they turned and headed back to the town in rout.  On the hills Rgt Anjou was forced to withdraw, recovered briefly and then took more casualties and  routed and suddenly the tide was turned. The Danes had the upper hand and now marginally outnumbered the Germans.

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The Danish horse chased the remaining Bavarian cavalry from the field and sent a squadron galloping down the road to hound Spilberg into the town, eventually riding down the battalion gunners and sabering the men of Spilberg in the streets.

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There was no option but to withdraw, Touraine covered Maffey and the two remaining regiments retreated up the slopes. The battle was over.

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Club AGM – 30th January, 2018

Folks,

 

Just to let all our members and subscribers know that it’s time for the clubs AGM. As usual it’ll be held at the Oldmeldrum branch of the Royal British Legion on Tuesday 30th January, 2018.

Napoleon_bivouac_Wagram

Topics of discussion will include the selection of the Committee Members (Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary) for the coming year, decisions on what shows the club will be attending and what games we will be putting on. The treasurer will also comment on the state of the clubs finances and the membership and nightly club fees for 2018 will be decided upon.

 

If you can’t make it to the AGM and you want to put yourself forward for selection for the committee this year please let us know via email. The same goes for any topic you want raised during the meeting or suggestions you may have – the chairman will raise it on your behalf.

 

Hope to see you all there,

 

Oldmeldrum Wargames Club

Battle of Pfaffenhofen, 15 April 1745 – After Action Report

words & pictures by Stuart Insch.

 

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I had a look on the excellent Honours of War Forum and came across the Pfaffenhofen scenario. This battle involved the Austrians trying to either capture or drive the Franco-allied army from the field. Not so much a fire fight as a chase!

Being somewhat short of players, unusual for us nowadays, we had a three player game with Club member (and resident Prussian) John taking on the allies (using his Prussians) whilst I controlled the Austrians (with some Russian stand ins) with another club member Robert, (because I have light infantry, much to John’s chagrin!).

An interesting fight, with plenty of melee and some good and bad dice throwing on both sides. The Austrians failed to get their Grenadiers to do anything constructive, but the cavalry charges looked great. In the end the French and their friends did manage to get away just, but were badly mauled.

The rolling terrain and lines of figures made for some nice pix.

Battle of Magnesia, 190 BC – After Action Report

words & photos by Stuart Insch.

Ruleset used: Stuart’s own set based on “Ancient and Medieval Warfare” by Neil Thomas.

 

Battle Of Magnesia

We like to try to stick to a single set of rules for a few weeks at the club. This lets everyone get use to the rules and the period and get into it, before we move off into something different. With a couple of members really just kicking off their armies it helps to give them something to keep the painting going. For the rest of us it saved having to remember of this week if numbers are good, do we get saving throws and how far do things move!

With a couple of buckshee weekends I’ve been able to get back to playing Ancients. My first attempt was scuppered when I had to deal with a work emergency and nearly had to fly off that afternoon, but I’ve managed four games since which have more than made up for it.

The culmination of this was last Sunday’s refight of Magnesia.  This battle effectively spelled the end of the territorial ambitions of the successor kingdoms and brought Rome armies to the eastern Mediterranean. The Seleucid army was defeated by the Romans in a battle which saw pikemen, scythed chariots, Celts, elephants and cataphracts clash with the three lined Roman republican legion and its Latin allies.

This refight of the battle was a short notice affair because of some unexpected free time last Sunday. So armies were quickly put together and some stand ins were required. However the key elements were all present and we got kicked off with an attack on both flanks from the Seleucid.

Quite quickly the attack on the right got bogged down with the Cataphracts and Aegma becoming tangled up with the Latins. This ground on slowly for the most of the battle. Neither side gaining the upper hand until quite late in the day. Whilst the Seleucid cavalry failed to defeat their foe, they were able to tie up large numbers of the Romans which kept the Phalanx secure from attacks on its own flank.

On the left the Seleucid swept away the enemy light cavalry and infantry and that side became a swirling series of melees which drew in the Pergamene troops as well. Again neither side had the upper hand for much of the battle, but as it drew to its close it seemed the Seleucids were starting to edge ahead.

When the two central portions of the armies clashed the Seleucids pushed their elephants out just ahead of the phalanx. Faced with these creatures there was little the Romans could do but hang on and hope their multi line formation could soak up the damage. However the pike versus legion combats seem to grind away with the phalangites slowly losing an extra casualty here or there, succumbing to the effective gladius in the press of melee. And so it was with this fight. At a critical moment a phalanx battalion was lost, the Romans turned to their flank to take an Elephant which was carving up a neighbouring unit of hastati. This caused it to go berserk and it turned and crashed into the side of another beast on its right, causing its death in the smash. Suddenly this left a hole in the front line and several fresh Romans units able to exploit it.

With the flanks if not safe then at least secure the Romans would have been able to push through the centre and overlap the remaining phalanx units. No second line for the Seleucids and no reinforcement meant that after several hours of playing, the game was over.

What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

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Emsdorf 1760 – Honours of War Scenario

words and pictures: Alistair Massey

 

For Tuesday’s Honours of War scrap, Stuart devised a scenario that was a rearguard action in Emsdorf, 14th July, 1760. It was played on a 6′ x 4′ table, where the front was the narrow side and play ran along the longer one. Assembling his troops, the Prince of Brunswick devised a plan to catch Glaubitz’s Bavarian force off-guard in its positions on a bridgehead guarding a crossing of the River Ohm.

The battle began with a furious Hanoverian attack, the stuff of which legends are made. Without halting to fire, the brigade rushed upon the enemy with a double move. The cost was high but it meant that there was less time for Glaubitz to put his defences in order. Meantime, the Hanoverian and Hessian brigades skilfully deployed to threaten the shaken Bavarians on their flanks. The Duke of Brunswick was clearly waving his hat in the right direction.

The next major development was to take the Francophile Bavarians by surprise. A rather motley regiment of Hanoverian Hussars seized the moment and charged the Bavarians in the flank near the centre of the table and went on to destroy a battery that had been specially placed to repel the Allied advance. A poor initiative rating is a severe handicap in these circumstances. With his communications cut, the Bavarian commander waved his hat towards the rear, so he could regroup on the other side of the river.

The main rules question that arose was about the nature of “pursuit”, whether it is the follow up of the beaten enemy or a movement in the same direction as a charge. We agreed that the rules envisaged a pursuit move as an extension of the charge move and allowed targets of opportunity.

This was a valuable little scenario that only took two hours to play. As well as geographical objectives, the Bavarians should perhaps be awarded points for delaying or fending off the Allied vanguard. Thanks are due to Stuart for devising the scenario and umpiring.

 

 

Emsdorf Scenario notes & OoB’s etc. – Emsdorf – 1760

The Raid on Wurstdorf – Honours of War Scenario

words & pics by Stuart Insch

 

HOW are proving an excellent set of rules. Last night we played this scenario from the HOW forum as I hadn’t had a chance to put together something of my own. You can find it here HOW Forum

We used my Russians as the Pragmatic army and a mix of Hessians and Hoegaarden troops for the French.

An excellent little scenario for a great club game. The “French” achieved their objective of scoring the forage, but the “pragmatic” forces broke their army in the process. A somewhat Pyrrhic victory.

Highlights included the early destruction of the French advance Dragoons following a spirited charge and follow up by the Kuirassier. And on the last turn a death or glory charge by French cavalry into the hussars only to be shot up badly on the way past by musketry which caused heavy casualties and lead them to being destroyed.

Some piccies below!

Quatre Bras – 19th June, 1815 – GDB Fictional Scenario

Photos by Mike Travis

Just a little bit of eye-candy from a Sunday game from a few weeks ago that some of the guys set-up using the General de Brigade rules.

Fictional scenario – French rearguard action at Quatre Bras – 19th June 1815. Alistair and John were French, Tim and Myself were the allies. Bit of a blood bath with the allied cavalry turning the flanks and centre and beginning to see the French off the field back to Paris!