Wednesday, 29 August 2012

It was the best of times...

... it was the worst of times. It was my holiday. It was very busy, BUT I still got in a game.

Martin wanted to try the "Shako" rules for Napoleonics. Oh, yeah! That's my favourite set of rules for "big battle" Napoleonics! So he and Andy came down to my house and Rob and I took them on in the front room. It was an odd little mix - Andy and Martin leading a French-Italian division on the attack while Rob and I defended the terrain with a mixed force of British and Swedish, about a reinforced Brigade each.

Columns advanced shaking out into line as the French approached the Coalition lines.

Andy's Columns of attack. He and Martin came to an understanding -
Martin got the skirmishers, Andy got the artillery.
Martin's columns of attack with skirmish screens. The three left hand columns (one  partly obscured) are red-coated Swiss battalions. They counted as elite for morale but line for fighting.

Andy's cavalry - 2 Italian Dragoons sandwiching Westphalian Hussars

Martin's French cavalry division - hussars, chasseurs, and cuirassiers.

Andy's columns  broke into lines as they approached the defended village. That's a battalion of Poles in the front rank. My Varmland Feltjagare (in green) have advanced to take pot-shot at the cavalry.
Andy's photo of his Grand Battery - two foot batteries (3 crew), a horse battery (2 crew), and a heavy battery (on the left - 4 crew). All the batteries are Italian and proud members of my wife's Italian army of Prince Eugene!
The little round circle is drapery hanging disk which shows a casualty on the horse gun.
One for me and the Swedish artillery!
  The fighting got hot and heavy as the Allied troops came near the defended village and hill. Rob's Brit's (line, Highland, and Royal Marines as well as the 60th Rifles) fought against the charging cavalry and exchanged fire with the advancing French.

Hand to hand on the hill. The Swiss have sustained three casualties (4 will wipe the unit) and are shaken, hence the red bingo chip. There are Rifles on the hill and a foot battery as well. A Royal Horse Artillery battery is seen on the far left
Marshal Martin Gras-Doigts manoeuvres his troops. Rob's British await the onslaught.
Yes, two battalions of Royal Marines are in evidence. They are quite necessary for the Anglo-American War of 1812.
The swirling mass of cavalry descends on Marine and Highlander squares. The Black Watch smacked around the Chasseur a Cheval unit. I remember the Marines doing well against the Cuirassiers. Martin might remember it differently.
Off to the right, Light Dragoons meet Hussars head on.

A blurry view of the British line. Either the general or the cameraman was drunk.

Andy's photo of the British-French matchup. One unit has fallen back into the village where the Swedes are in the houses. Very little cavalry left on the far right. Looks like the Marines are gone too. Oh, now  I remember!
Meanwhile on the left of the Coalition battle line, the Swedes were taking losses and still surprising me at throwing back some of the Allied troops.

Swedish hussars take on the Italians and Westphalians. Lucky for me, Andy attacked in column... which doesn't works so well for cavalry. Of course, he still beat me and the smaller Swedish Hussar unit fell back. An article in a wargaming magazine many years ago (prior to the release of Shako II) said Swedish cavalry regiments were of such a large size that a case could be made for allowing them an extra stand and a higher morale rating due to size, not quality, like Austrian line infantry. (4 stands instead of 3) I said "Case closed! An extra stand it is!" I still get beat.
Andy's division advancing in line. His troops included Poles and a foreign regiment, the Regiment de Prusse.
Facing them are Swedish skirmishers and two battalions of Regiment Bohuslan (nicknamed "the Parrots") -
grey trousers, light blue coatees, red AND yellow facings.
The battle joined! 2nd Battalion - Regt. Bohuslan, Swedish horse artillery, and the Nora Skanska Carabinier Regiment bravely face the French deluge. Well, no one can say the Swedes are not colourful! (You can say it but I'd ask for evidence!)
What's left. The 2nd Bohuslan stands firm, the 1st having been broken. The Carabiniers are shaken. (Red chip) The Italian dragoons are "blown", having charged. (Blue chip) The Horse Artillery have melted away.
The white stick is for ranging artillery - This, my friends, is known as "Old School."

The village occupied by two regiments of Swedes -  a waste as it turned out. The King's Own Enlisted Regiment on the parade ground and 1st & 2nd Uppland in the houses. The houses are paper, downloaded from a Warmaster internet site and made larger on a graphics program. They're done on light card stock and painted as I want them.
Can't get much cheaper! {I mean... affordable!}

Another view of the village. The  Uppland had taken some casualties.

The Royal Marines and the Black Watch stand firm but the French are all over the ridge. Time to withdraw!
Doesn't look so good for the Swedes, neither! The French and Allies have paid a price though!
The French battalion in brown greatcoat in the centre of the photo are converged Grenadiers, which I think Andy liked!
When Andy and Martin left, Beth called me to the back deck...

... to see the DOUBLE RAINBOW. The photos don't do it justice, but there was a double rainbow after a short rain.
You can see it faintly over the hydro tower.
The game was very enjoyable and it reminded me that I must play Napoleonics more. Maybe next time, I'll bring out the Ottoman Turks! I have enough British and US troops to do a decent War of 1812 large game, but as I'd said in another blog, Shako worked best with large division-plus-sized games, which are very rare for the 1812. Turks might be fun - scads of mediocre cavalry, Jannisaries attempting to kill the Nizam-i-Cedit, militia everywhere and armed with anything.

I hope to have more gaming reports from the Hamilton Road Games club soon and a possible campaign that is in the formative stages. Time will tell.


  1. Did you mean "Marshal Martin Gras-Doigts" as Greassy Fingers, or did you want to say Gros-Doigts as in Large fingers.

  2. Well, it was a good-natured dig at Martin. "Fat fingers" since his mit was in the photo. I guess I'll stick to English from now on. I have a better chance with that!