Friday, 22 March 2019

28mm French Napoleonic Light Cavalry (Hussars) - Wargames Illustrated Sprue: Assembly

Had to put this sprue together; the latest free giveaway from Wargames Illustrated, French Napoleonic Light Cavalry, Hussar (see below):

An officer and a trooper .. these be Warlord games but I have an unopened box of Perry's to join them. I think I need to look into "Sharp Practice 2" (see below, within a blink of a weekend and a few week nights sixteen troopers appear):

Slightly a historical with the backdrop of a section of my WWII Naval Library. Satisfied that they are assembled, painting is another thing and getting them onto the wargames table yet another. Methinks I have some more gluing to do .. perhaps see this lot on table in 2020?

Thursday, 21 March 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "Victory .. Ramilies Falls" [Game 18] Post #20

A plucky unit of French Dragoons charge the disordered Hanoverians (or rather mass of Hanoverians) attempting to repeat the astounding success of the Allied line cavalry on an equally massive target of Bavarian Cuirassiers, but for all its valour it is routed - but it will draw the four bases of Hanoverians with it in pursuit but importantly they are not "lost" to the Allies cause and will eventually return. Meanwhile the charging Allied Dragoons continue to hack into the static Bavarians trading cruel blow for cruel blow (see below, this effectively will end the French cavalry on this wing as a fighting force):

The Allied Dragoons are gone [but not forgotten] but only one strength point remains on the Bavarian unit - which means that it will "die" in the next combat (see below, there is also a good chance that if pressed or charge it will simply dissolve away):

The precarious position of the French is shown here. The angle of their "L" is being encircled slowly. What good troops they have here cannot escape. The last unit of cavalry is one casualty away from 50% so will not fair well in a combat (see below, what is more the Allies are about to deploy a light cannon - there will be no peace for the French - the Allies are now confident of victory ):

The Wild Geese are destroyed and half of Ramillies occupied by victorious British troops. The last remaining stand of French will retire. Ramillies falls to the Allies after a bitter contest (see below, once garrisoned it effectively traps any French troops to the south [three infantry brigades and the last Bavarian Cuirassier regiment] in a hopeless position):

The French C-in-C concedes that  "All is lost" and the rearguard action has to start, falling back down the river-line, losing all their baggage and train (see below: it has been a long, long day but it will be a longer night for the French with the bitter taste of defeat):

Bitter sweet is the victory given the piles of Allied (and French) dead that litter the battlefield. It just showed you the true genius of Marlborough and how he conducted the real attack!

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "The Attack on the Name-Sake" [Game 17] Post #19

The action at Ramillies becomes intense. The full weight of Allied infantry comes to bear on the defenders (see below, one senses no quarter is taken in this battle - particularly with the Wild Geese involved):

Successive rounds of combat build up infantry losses on all units. The Allies weight of numbers allows them to distribute them more evenly across many units instead of one (see below, the Wild Geese are down to their last 'base' of troops in the top section of Ramillies):

On the Allies left flank two more cavalry charges take place. At the top two French Dragoon dice versus four Allied Line Cavalry (both sides charging in). At the bottom the Allied Dragoons catch the Bavarian Cuirassiers at the halt (this seemed to be the straw that broke the French camel's back). The Allied Dragoons had turned the table of their Bavarian Cuirassier foe and the chances are now that there will be several bloody rounds of combat (see below, with this the sands of time had run out for the French Cavalry Wing):

Along the river the infantry firefight had exhausted itself. The British had sacrificed a full third of  their forces but the French were unwilling (or perhaps unable) to launch any form of counterattack (see below, two forlorn bundles of fascines had been placed [next to the bridge, right-middle] at such a great price - too high a price in Corporal John's eyes):

One thinks the Allied far right wing commander is almost tempting the French to charge across the bridge [to do so they have to form in condensed columns]. It looks ripe for attacking the Allies in teh flank but they would swing round to face and charge [probably] (see below, the Frenchman does not seem to be a gambler):

Another infantry fight, but after a protracted fire-fight the Dutch infantry charge in. At three stand to one they hold a distinct advantage (see below, there is much confusion when common colours used on both sides [one thinks of BLUE as a French colour but the Dutch used it too], you can only tell the Allied infantry by the direction of their advance):

The combat ends with the French in a state of rout. Additional Allied infantry are also following up to exploit the success (see below, yet another whole appears in the French line - brick by brick the French wall is crumbling):

The coup 'de grace' on the Cavalry Wing. The French Dragoons put up a round of resistance before routing whereas the French Line Cavalry finds itself in a protracted hacking match (see below, the Allied cavalry have done all asked of it on this day):

Both sides reduce themselves to below 50% casualties, this means heir combat effectiveness is now all but minimal , yet still the hacking continues (see below, the Allied Dragoons have in the course of the battle travelled the full depth of the Cavalry Wing - from the Allied baseline to the French baseline):

With one weary round of combat to go the Bavarian Cuirassier will be the last man standing in this combat as a hoard of Allied cavalry comes his way. Guaranteed to lose one casualty if he fights again this places this unit is a completely "no win" situation (see below, the Allied cavalry has truly earned its laurels at Ramillies):

The way is now clear for an advance down the undefended French baseline, straight to the French baggage camp behind the rubble that is now Ramillies.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "The Crumbling French Right" [Game 16] Post #18

The fighting on the left wing of the Allies is condensed around the French baseline. Never a good sign for the defender when one errant move can see formations disappear off-table in the blink of an eye. Even more concerning is that the French and their Bavarian allies have "no room" to manoeuvre. They are literally tripping over themselves, with their flanks and rear being constantly threatened (see below, a draw would be the French could hope for here!): 

Ramillies is assaulted ... the "first wave" goes in and both sides extract casualties on the other. The Allied artillery has done good work on the original brigades (including the Wild Geese) and reinforcements sent it to take the place of casualties (see below, more disconcerting for the French is the second wave of Allied infantry advancing to reinforce the contest next turn):

The bravest of the brave ... foolhardy souls simply obeying orders (see below, the Allied Cavalry Commander[me] only hopes their sacrifice will not be in vain):

All eyes focus back on the Allied cavalry wing. They [the outnumbered Allied line cavalry] fought and died hard ... killing more of the enemy that they lost themselves which meant they actually won the melee. Therefore no morale test for the Allied Cavalry (see below, a tense time suddenly comes for the French C-in-C because, if the Bavarians fail they will rout "off-table" and that is the best part of his "last" cavalry on this wing):

The die is cast and the Bavarians morale crumbles. The Allied line cavalry had fought them so hard that despite being inferior in numbers they astounded all and won! The Bavarians could not take it and will flee (see below, with this one result in particular you could see the French C-in-C's personal morale crumble too - one stand will be pursing four stands off table):

Rather than take a devastating infantry fusillade it is clear that the Hanoverians will charge and try and fight their was out of a tight corner (see below, with the French on their own baseline a win means an unrecoverable rout off-table - the Allied cavalry will pursue off table but in battle terms they are deemed 'recoverable'): 

The first wave of infantry assault Ramillies. These are the poor unfortunates who will take the brunt of the defenders fire. Three units go in against the defenders two. It will now become a slogging match and the bodies of the dead will pile high (see below, flags a flying the boys go in):

A final glimpse of the chaos that is now the French right wing. Soon there will be more Allied units on the French baseline than the French themselves have. This is not a good sign (see below, the "L" in the French line is being turned in on itself):

Posing briefly for the camera the 'luckiest' Allied cavalry unit of the day departs off table chasing the Bavarian Cuirassiers (see below, this exposes the flank of the remaining French cavalry unit on the French baseline):

Once again the Allies have a distinct cavalry advantage which means an "end run" into the French rear is now possible (see below, the slow moving Allied infantry brigade is now free to move down the enemy baseline to their camp and behind Ramillies):

The French cavalry may have one final fling of the dice, but all know they are doomed. Along with their demise then the French hopes of holding Ramillies flounder.

Monday, 18 March 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "The Hanoverian Cavalry Make Their Mark" [Game 15] Post #17

The "prodigal sons" return. On the Allied baseline a "lost" unit (well base) of French line cavalry with attached General appears "far from the maddening crowd" (see below, they spy in the distance "routers that" could be easy pickings - fate seems to be turning in ever so small ways to the French, the Allies nerves are beginning to tingle a little):

Even the French infantry are getting the "best of it" in the attritional battle of the flank of Ramillies (see below, the addition of a cannon seems to be helping the French cause):

I must confess that the long hours in the saddle pitching my wits against French horse had not prepared me well for this match-up against the infantry. Seeing the hard-won cavalry advantage being thrown away was heart-breaking. At this point I was set to become defensive, bring up my light cannon and let the infantry take over. That seemed slow but sure. Thankfully the Cavalry Commander of the Reserve was made of sterner stuff. Not only was he going to charge again but in condensed double line. That way his mass should break the the disordered French infantry (see below, the might of two whole lines of Hanoverians thundered at the French - all eyes turned to the outcome of the melee):

Down the line another small but vital action took place. A bastion of French heavy artillery pieces had to be removed and the brave Dutch infantry charged into contact (see below, they took the force of the "effective" cannonade but removed the canons [one base]):

As the mighty Hanoverians stampede in, a unit of Dragoons move half and dismount - just in case the Hanoverians come to mischief (see below, the theory being that if we cannot ride over then we start shooting them up - I had the distinct feeling that this could be the Allied Stalingrad):

But my worries were unfounded. The Cavalry rolled eight dice to the oppositions four (it really helped with the double line and the infantry remaining disordered) and rolled well. The infantry (my beautifully painted infantry - Grenadiers and all) were routed (see below, a most welcome sight for sore Allied eyes, yet all the work is not yet done as the Bavarians lurk alongside the last French infantry brigade):

Seen from another side the catastrophic destruction of the French infantry brigade. This is deemed a huge swarming mass of mixed cavalry and infantry which prevents "volley fire" from the last remaining "wing" infantry unit (see below, the infantry are hapless and will be removed next turn as the cavalry will always catch them in a pursuit situation):

What remains of the original Allied cavalry forms up ready to attack the Bavarians. There target is a condensed formation of two lines of Bavarian Cuirassiers. The top right unit of line cavalry will lead the attack and the dragoons follow up one after the other - expecting to find the Bavarians disorganised and hence themselves at an advantage (see below, even so it is by no means a sure thing):

What seems like a crazy charge follows, the Allied line cavalry seek to sell their lives dearly so others may follow up (see below, with this turn of events this "wing" may well become cavalry neutral! With both sides obliterating each other): 

Meanwhile the Allied infantry were methodically cleaning up the second French artillery bastion outside of Ramillies, steadying themselves for the main assault with "friends" out of camera shot to the right (see below, gaps were now appearing in the French Line, here there was not the defence in depth as seen on the river-line):

One more push is called for as the very walls of Ramillies are assaulted!

Sunday, 17 March 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "The Sternest French Infantry of the Day" [Game 14] Post #16

Yet again this fierce brigade of French Line Infantry fought off the savage charge of Allied cavalry, despite being in a state of disorder. These men were the firm stanchion that fixed the point of concern in the French lines (see below, a clash of arms of savage fury, yet more horse than soldiers fell - the cavalry learning respect for the socket bayonet): 

Yet Ramillies itself was coming under severe pressure with a considerable force of Allied infantry steadfastly advancing. The French brigades inside had already suffered fearfully  (see below, the ruins give it some protective cover but not the fortress walls afforded at the start of the battle):

The Allied cavalry on their Right Wing had scattered back, forming a concave depression. The French however were in no mood to risk a counter-attack, preferring a slow death instead (see below, the moment of danger had seemingly passed here):

The flickering firefight was continuing along the whole length of the line of the river. The French seemed to be getting a "defensive upper hand" but did not have the necessary mass to exploit anything (see below, the British Line Infantry brigades seemed perfectly happy to trade blows at a disadvantage to the French defenders, dying in some cases to a man instead of retreating/routing):

The blood and thunder back on the cavalry wing was going the French way. Having not broken the infantry in the first charge the Allied cavalry suffered 50% casualties but bravely fought on, passing a morale test (see below, this dreaded infantry formation had broken two Allied cavalry - a good return on investment): 

In desperation an addition stand of mounted Allied Dragoons reinforced the melee - another rule we had not experimented with (see below, the plan was to bleed the infantry with yet another round of melee):

The regular cavalry was routed away. The French line although disordered was still intact (see below, the next round of combat was going to go very badly for the Dragoons): 

The Dragoons too rout, but at least a base is taken of the French infantry brigade (see below, this has been a costly business particularly as the Bavarian Cavalry Reserve is reforming behind them):

For the first time there is notable concern within the Allied Cavalry Wing. The infantry's flank must be protected in their assault on Ramillies (see below, any more piecemeal commitment of Allied cavalry could have disastrous consequences):

I had painted this French Infantry well, perhaps too well. How I secretly regretted painting that extra base of French Grenadiers (see below, at this rate it was ploughing through the Allied Cavalry Reserve at a game winning rate of knots):

Something decisive was sorely needed from the Allied side or the game could be seen to be slipping away from them.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "The Allied Cavalry Close on the French Infantry" [Game 13] Post #15

Personally I would have burned those wretched fascines as they just gave the British Infantry Commanders the wrong impression the were to conduct an assault. In fact anything more than a long range musketry duel to draw the French Infantry Brigades "fire fire" helped the enemy. The elusive bonus of an extra "fire dice" if they changed their orders to 'defend the river-line' (as per the French) was too much of a temptation. Alas they were gradually sucked in (see below, the first line of British Infantry has been shot to pieces, trading blows at a rate of three back for every two landed. Not the best investment of blood): 

Meanwhile with the French Artillery position overrun, a beautiful flank attack on (my beautifully painted) French Line Infantry Brigade (see below, careful boys it has the French 'Combined Grenadier' stand attached): 

The angles are measured and the French can only make a derisory defensive musketry volley (see below, the big brigade can only "fire" with one stand but will fight the melee with all):

The Reserve British Cavalry charge in (see below: great things are expected - although this is unknown territory as I cannot remember an infantry/cavalry melee in any play test):

Meanwhile the outer arm of the Allied Cavalry Wing [paradoxically tipped with a regular line infantry unit] wheels to close the door (see below, in the top left the Bavarian Cuirassier Reserve see-saws back along its baseline, reversing the course it just went, to meet this "new threat"):

If the British Infantry were suffering down by the river then Allied Right Cavalry Wing found itself in a farcical position - within French musketry from regular Line Brigades and had to reverse tack, presenting many "condensed targets" to the French Artillery (see below, this perhaps was the moment when the French could have "seized the moment" and taken the initiative away from the Allies - however the French Commander was content to sit back and inflict casualties):

The "infantry v cavalry" melee unfolds. Shockingly despite "hitting in the flank" the cavalry are "out-gunned" their four dice versus seemingly many (see below, the outcome of this seemingly 'sound' move looks bleak):

The cavalry lose, but inflict two casualties and disorder the infantry, but receive three in return (50% casualties) fail a morale test and "rout" (see below, steady infantry seen too tough a nut to crack, but what about the now "disordered" infantry?):

A second line of cavalry are sent in to find out "the hard way". A bit like ancient Gauls charging teh Romans - if they get a first round break through "great" otherwise it becomes a sucking melee they are bound to lose):

This time because of their "disordered state" the French infantry's defensive volley is again poor and the Allied cavalry manage to 'charge home' (see below, all eyes turn to see how this is going to turn out as the Allies seem to be 'bleeding away their hard won cavalry advantage' on one [albeit beautifully painted and large] French Line Infantry Brigade - and the french still have plenty of these lying around the place):

Notice the mounted Dragoons that have moved up in support. They are considering reinforcing the second and subsequent rounds of combat. Another 'rule' not as yet used.