Sunday, 20 December 2020

Napoleonic Storming a Limburgian Castle-farm on a Sunny Sunday afternoon

Inspired by the ‘Waterloo sieges’ on several farms such as Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte and Papelotte, the availability of such a 54mm building and the starting of Christmas holydays collided into this gaming scenario for both my steady opponent Stan, and myself.

The grass-matted tabletennis table was again the main platform where it all was situated on. Figures from  most known firms make up the corebody for this game. Playmobil props add atmophere. The modelfarm is calculated 1/32 scale. It has moveable gates, removeable rooftops (absent in these pictures), loopholes, windows and multiple attic floors to situate courageous defenders behind and on it.

ABOUT BONPARTE (author Dirk Donvil, published by Partizan Press) gaming rules were used. On pages 53 and 54, some basic siege rules are explained. We tweaked these to our own good use. 
British and their allies are in the building, French forces try to kick them out. 
French strength was double that of the defenders.

British forces:

Foot guards,1 unit, elite (8+1)
Grenadiers, 1 unit, veteran (8+1)
Line inf., 4 units, regular (8+1)
Light inf. ‘Rifles’, 1 unit, green (8+1)
Light inf. Dutch Jagers, 1 unit, green (8+1)

French forces:

Supreme commander
Chasseur a Pied, 2 units, elite (8+1)
Grenadiers de ligne a Pied, 2 units, veteran (8+1)
Infanterie de Ligne, 8 units, regular (8+1)
Comp. Franches de la Marine ( ūü§® ) 2 units, green (8+1)
Tirailleur de ligne, 2 units, green (8+1)

The British player (Stan) first got a chance to fix his defenses to his statisfaction with the available ‘Brown Bess’s’. The attacking party (me) deployed the units decided by die rolls, having twelve sectors along the edge of the table. Surprisingly the majority of the soldiers entered their adventure predominantly  in two adjacent table sides. This immediately effected the initial defenses, making at least a third of it’s musket barrels, pretty useless. So, although they had a naughty tavern wench amongst their midst, they should have brought a clever officer of the Royal Engineers like Colonel John Chard. A free bonus for the little Emperor.

Grenadiers with a fuselier unit in support, advance across the stone bridge on the North side. Their goal is the double-door gate on this side of the farm.

Tirailleur units skirmish in the woods on both sides of the road to the South gate. Supplying cover fire for advancing units carrying scaling ladders.

The Rifle unit at the exterior hog-pen on the South-East corner, is driven off by massed French presence on the East wall, amongst them, an elite Chasseurs company, resembled by Timpo actionpack grognards.

Knock, knock..... first contact with the South gate. This first attemp is valliantly denied by the guardsmen on both sides of the huge doors. Fierce firing thrue every possible loophole thows back the initial French assault by two flags.

We treated obstacles like doors and gates as un-opposed close-combat features. Giving an obstacle a suitable amount of  thrown ‘A’ dice credits. Attackers must be in base contact with the hindrance and the ‘A’ hits are cummulative over as much close-combat turns as needed. A regular front door was worth 3-, and a gate door 5 A’s. Hindsight tought us these numbers could be higher.

As the defenders inside have not much choice but to sit and wait where the shit hits the fan, the first ladders are put up against the South-East corner walls. French light troops start their ascent. Each surplus flag thrown by the attacker in comparison to the defender puts a stand on top of the wall, wich was an attic in this situation. We played as NO support could be given from defending units in adjacent attics (or room for that matter).

French troops formely attacking the East wall, move up to the North gate. They are no longer harrased by musket balls, because the sons of Albion have been summoned to  install their Alamo in the court-yard.

Having arrived at the North side, Engineers (sappers) of the Chasseurs grab the opportunity to first demolish the regular entrance door of the homestead, left of the main gate. It cracks and it moans and gives up after 3 ‘A’ rolls. A volley of Dutch jagers directly behind the invalidated doorway, pushes the grognards back, once, and only 20 cm’s. But everybody knows; these guys won’t take no for an answer.

The following turn is the final one. The intruders from the Northside soon regain the upper hand. They end up in the court-yard, flanking the defenders behind the still closed North gate. Simultaniously the South gate falls. The British garrison and their allies are sandwiched. They surrender and safe quarters are given.

A fun game, taking us about 2 and a half hour to actually ‘play’ it. The fun sure started hours before when we were setting up and discuss rule possibilities. Coffee, applepie, ethanol and pizza added to that. We sincerely thank Mr. J. Voormolen for his contribution: the focus of the battle, the farm.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. J

 Also this Pzkpfw IV is a >40 year old model (with play damage), receiving a late war patern (work in progress). The orriginal painted models can be seen in my first test game of About Patton.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman Twice in One Afternoon

 Last Saturday, my good friend Claude Bailey, almost 900 miles away in Tucson AZ, and I nerded out and played back to back games with the same scenario but different rules. The scenario was the charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman and the rules were The Sword and the Flame (TSATF) and The Men Who Would Be Kings (TMWWBK). The games couldn't have been more different. Both games started with three British units of lancers within charge distance of the four Hadendoa units hidden in the Khor, and one Baggara unit of riflemen behind the Khor who were the original target of the charge. In the TSATF game the Mahdists had to roll to stand and fight and two out of three failed and had to move back the total on four D6s, Shaken. The Lancers had to roll five D6s for movement and one of the three came up short. The one unit of Lancers who fought hand to hand with the Hadendoa won the melee, but at the cost of almost half their number. The rest of the game, the Mahdists kept missing their stand and fight number and so were gradually pushed off the table. Both sides lost less than 20% to casualties. By comparison, the TMWWBK game was, in Claude's words: a blood bath. As Attack is a free activation for Regular Cavalry, all three units of Lancers got stuck in the first turn. Being Lancers, they got two dice per trooper, hitting on 4+. The Hadendoa also hit on 4+, being rated Fierce, but they needed two hits to kill mounted opponents. The results were predictable, the Mahdists suffered nearly 80% casualties, but the Lancers also suffered over 30%. Using the Follow Up option, the Lancers made short work of the Mahdists and it was all over in two turns. It was a fun way to kill an afternoon!



Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Sdkfz 250 and panzerjäger IV l/70 in 1/32

Finally did some painting during these corona times.
As a young teenager, I had some models I used for playing with my toy soldiers.
At the time I had painted them grey. 
Now giving them late war design.

I know, not the best painting job, but for my wargame standards, it's good enough.
And it's work in progress.