Been a few months since WR reported on the monthly 25 / 28mm napoleonic gaming at Bob’s garage (Redondo Beach, CA). With Bob recently on a long european vacation, including sightseeing the June 18th 200th anniversary of Waterloo and battlefield vicinity for almost a full week, the garage has been quiet from the sound of dice rolling. Well, time has advanced with Bob’s return, and the dice once again are rolling their favorite numbers to torment the gamers. This month’s napoleonic era scenario was a joint Bob and Dan creation. Dan rostered up the historical eastern French army under General Rapp circa 1815, including those favorites like national guard battalions, vs. Bob’s entire painted full strength OOB Bavarian army, again circa 1815 organization. So we have the opportunity to see Bob’s painted Bavarian kuirassiers, guard grenadiers and those late era jager battalions acting tough against French national guard.
Standard pick up game set up in the garage. Both sides sort of lined up their wooden deployment blocks using 1/3 placement group clusters. Dan placed his first third of French blocks, then Bob his Bavarian, then Dan’s 2nd third of blocks…etc. Each side had one or two dummy commands for placement within their deployment zone. Block deployment was in 1st foot square row and all blocks had available extra 1/2 map movement point to enable the commands, in battle mode, ability to advance quickly forward one square on first move.
Terrain was typical Bob layout. Central hill with standard low slopes, a central town cluster of buildings, and scattered woods and low hills. Stream was either 2″ cost or 2″ cost and terrain disorder. Terrain disorder depends on d6 die roll upon 1st unit touching the stream terrain piece. A roll of 1 or 2 meant that stream length was terrain disordering. We marked those stream lengths with a small blue ring.
Team France was Dan (CinC), Daniel, Tim, and Andy. The French army consisted of two cavalry divisions of mixed cavalry types, four line infantry divisions, and three national guard divisions.
Team Bavaria was Bob (CinC), Rob, and the furry WR. Bavarian army had three large infantry divisions each with a cavalry brigade included in their organization, the light cavalry screening division, and the Bavarian reserve or guard division. Tabletop weather was a typical warm & clear So. California beach day. Rainy tabletop days at Bob’s garage are unheard of….;-)
Note: The tabletop is gridded off into one foot squares (hard to see in the photo). Blocks movement rate based upon command type (infantry, cavalry, etc), if in strategic or battle mode, and entering terrain costs. This is summarized in this link on the WR blog: Block Movement.
Opening miniature deployment since commands come into adjacent tabletop squares. First the non-phasing players (ie.. the Bavarians) since the French block movement placed them adjacent. Bavarians place their units on the tabletop then the French. Reason why the Bavarians first… it will be their movement next. Interesting to note neither side used any scouting or their senior commanders to scout out the opponent’s commands, their strength and unit composition.
Miniature deployment reveals the Bavarian light cavalry division screening the main Bavarian body of infantry divisions (crossing the stream behind). The French reveal their unusual deployment with two cavalry divisions center position on the hill. Three infantry divisions flank the cavalry near the centre town (two on French right flank, one beyond the town).
The Bavarians place their infantry into battle mode formations then slowly advanced in the center. French cavalry advanced forward and then ordered several charges to chase away the screening Bavarian light cavalry.
Spotting an opportunity, Daniel son of WR, charges his French hussar regiment into the Bavarian chevaulegers. He is seeking the limbered 12 pdr reserve artillery behind the cavalry.
The grand charge ends with a mutual cannon fire phase. The exposed French cavalry remaining on the hill suffers losses from the unlimbered central Bavarian divisional batteries. The right flank Bavarian division needs to be miniature deployed (adjacent tabletop square) while a battalion of Bavarian uhlans seek their charge on the exposed French division beyond the town.
Bavarian uhlans (split regiment) line up their charge on the French division and promptly fail their charge test. Several French battalions quickly form squares while others enter the town buildings.
- Note: Large cavalry units (8 or more miniatures) can split into two half “battalion” units before scenario start. The shock combat CMR rating remains the same but the morale is reduced one CMR for the “2nd battalion” unit portion. The same rule applies for large 10+ miniature infantry battalions.
Time to start the Bavarian plan of attack. Pin the French center left and left with the Bavarian right division. The center and left Bavarian division will seek to develop a gap along the stream line into the French right center position. Then the Reserve (Guard) Division will rupture the French right center towards their line of communications road exit.
The battle of the town starts with Bavarian infantry columns entering the town against the French defenders. The center Bavarian division is still a bit ruffled from the snap French hussar charge, slowly dragging their divisional and reserve cannon batteries into position.
WR’s Bavarians approach the stream defending the stream. Two French divisions in their column formations facing WR. The blue rings means the stream is terrain disordering so the Bavarian assault will be difficult.
Another French division joins their cavalry behind the town. Parts of the central Bavarian division are repositioned to assist the right Bavarian division embroiled in the town.
The town battle continues, dragging infantry battalions into the maelstrom from both sides. Building exchange ownership several times as infantry columns seek their opposite numbers in the roadways.
While the French eyes are on the town fighting, WR sends Bavarian dragoons charging across the stream to force back the front infantry lines. Several French battalions form squares, which soon have Bavarian linear lines firing musketry volleys into their dense ranks.
The French battalions beat off the Bavarian dragoons for now. More exchanges of artillery fire rip into the exposed ranks. Miniature removal is quick and deadly on this flank.
As the smoke clears from the last artillery shots, Bavarian infantry column surges across the wet dragoon bodies in the stream. One Bavarian battalion assault the French battery frontal, charging across the stream in linear formation.
While the left flank has periods of heavy musketry and cannon blasts, the right flank cavalry and the regrouped Bavarian light cavalry form up to press back the French division holding the town outskirts.
Victory across the stream but losses in several Bavarian battalions… now to expand the lodgment across the stream. The French divisions mass on the hillside, a bit defensive when a quick counter stroke may have thrown back the leading Bavarian battalions.
Instead, the French charge several cavalry regiments into the gap between the center and left Bavarian division…. right into the path of the approaching Bavarian Reserve Division. Bavarian skirmishers and two chevauleger regiments are quickly forced to retire. The French mounted effort shows the weak cavalry position in their center right…. time to advance the Bavarian Reserve Division and win this scenario.
The French left is soon retiring to join their advancing reserves… their last line division and national guardsmen find their way onto the tabletop.
WR brings the refreshed Bavarian dragoons back and charges home with solid results this time. Several French battalions take flight or are morale disordered in place… easy pickings for the Bavarian sabers. Bavarian battalions push deep into the befuddled French ranks.
Fighting still rages in the town. The brawl there was on-going till the scenario end. An opening shows were the French and Bavarian cavalry just melee’d for the brief moment till the advancing Bavarian Reserve (Guard) Division fills the void.
While the Bavarian Reserve Division advances to rupture the French center right, the French left flank marches rapidly to stem the Bavarian advance, led by their light cavalry regiments and skirmishers.
The battlefield feels the massed hoofs of the Bavarian kuirassiers charging. Two French 12 pdr. batteries and the weaken French cavalry soon are overrun, but some stubborn French cuirassiers perform valiant service by countercharging the massed Bavarian cavalry.
With their right center position just crushed, the French army sounds the retirement. Forming squares, they face down the Bavarian light cavalry division till the Bavarian battalions march forward.
French left flank retires in formation, the tattered French right center has reforming Bavarian kuirassiers and fleeing French infantry. Even the Bavarian Guard grenadiers have a chance to momentarily cross bayonets with the French gunners.
Scenario called, the French right flank is just dissolving into a fleeing mob. Only a few French battalions to stem the advancing Bavarian infantry or kuirassiers. Having the Bavarian Guard infantry now involved just makes the situation worse.
Bavarian victory it seems. Eleven turns played by both sides or almost eight hours of actual game time in garage. WR thanks both Dan and Bob for arranging the scenario and Rob, Daniel. Andy for their participation.
Another 3rd Saturday game in the books continuing our Southern California group’s monthly game for almost for 40 years now (started in 1975). All are welcome to join in… just bring the desire for miniature gaming. Contact WR via his contact information link and be placed on the monthly email broadcast group. WR contact info: WR
Cheers from the garage.