Monday, 13 June 2011

En Avant.... Retreat....

I played a Napoleonic game yesterday.

Cue blurry photo...

The game was a recreation of Fuentes d Onoro, though I didn't now that until afterwards.

It was a multiplayer game with myself and two other players commanding the French, and the Allies were commanded by four players.

On the French side we had a Grand Battery, 3 Infantry Brigades, and 2 Cavalry Brigades - one of which was a heavy brigade made up of Cuirassiers (which was a little odd given that we were in the Penisula). The British had a cavalry brigade, a mixed Spanish Portugese brigade, 2 British Infantry Brigades and a Spanish Infantry brigade.

The French plan was pretty simple. Two of the infantry brigades would attack the village from either side, supported by the heavy Cavalry and the artillery. I was tasked of defending the flank of this attack with my infantry brigade and the medium/light cavalry.

This being Blackpowder, things didn't work out like that. The heavy cavalry surged off towards the village, while two of the imfantry brigades failed their command check and stood watching from the rear. The other infantry brigade did manage to push the Spanish and Portugese out of the village, but failed to break the brigade, and then spent the rest of the game fighting with the British cavalry with varying ammounts of success.

From my point of view I ended up facing off against two brigades, and we fought to and fro over the ridge line. That is when I manged to get my infantry moving - which took three turns - and then I found myself slightly hampered by my commander being rated as hestitant, making giving any orders risky (as I had to reroll any order that gave me three actions points).

Ultimately my infantry did succeed in it's task of holding up the Allied left, but as the rest of the army was beaten in detail and forced to retire it didn't make a real difference.

It was a good game, and really showed the rules in a very good light.

I'd like to say that the French defeat was the result of poor dice - and there certainly was an element of this, particularly when an infantry column charged the flank of the Spanish artillery, failed to beat it in combat and was forced to retreat. But the reality is that the basic tactical plan was not entirely sound, and there was poor co-ordiantion between the French commanders.

Though it was rather splendid to watch the commander of the heavy cavalry brigade throwing his troops into battle, rallying them (after a fashion) and then throwing them into the fray again. They didn't really achieve much, but they did little with great elan.

The main thing is that after the game, I came home more deteremined to carry on painting my troops, and when I did so today, that 36 man unit didn't seem half so tiring to paint.

In other news I ordered the first of my Bolsheviks the other day. In part because I wanted something quick and easy to work on between my blocks of Frenchies. It did cross my mind to sell my GW stuff to fund my other projects but for the time being I decided against it.



  1. I recently just played a small game of black powder- the game must have been a blast to play I'm really liking the rule set, so setting forth with my Russians hopefully will have some up soon.

    Hard to think all I use to paint was Austrians!

  2. And plastic Russians on the way soon via Warlord.