My friend Mark found himself with some time on his hands and the house to himself, so he put up a Peninsular battle in his man-cave and invited me over. This was a wing scale game of Napoleonics, with each stand representing a half battalion or squadron, with allowances for companies and other smaller level units. This system grew out of the Volley and Bayonet wing scale variant. Mark came up with the brilliant idea of giving flank companies a special role for his V&B wing scale War of 1812 games. This set our group on fire, and we have been working on migrating the system to the Napoleonic Wars. Charlie created a higher level system, Napoleon's Rules of War, that the group uses for for large battles. I have been working at fleshing out the system at the original wing-level, where each player commands a brigade or maybe a division. Mark has been an important collaborator in all of this. This weekend, we took the latest version of the wing-level system out for a spin. Although General Dice did intervene (Mark had a terrible run of dice), the game system held up under every odd circumstance that came up. I think we've arrived at a workable set of rules--not a simplistic set, but not overly complicated. I encourage you to visit Mark's blog for an account of the day. Here is my own run down...Clix Pix for BIG PIX
|Mark setting up the French Division|
|Lords of the Scrub, the 90th Lights|
The French went first and headed for the town, occupying it first with some advance skirmish companies. The Poles, on the French right, advanced boldly on the other side of the scrub, making for a strong turning force against the British left. On the French left, the Westphalians and a battery of artillery held at first and cannonaded against the British right, eventually advancing and overcoming the Brunswick rifle company that had been holding things up over there.The British quickly moved to the center and managed to expel the French detachments from the town on the first attempt (fortunate). The environs of the town would be the scene of much action, but it would remain in British hands.
|French advancing in the center.|
On the British left, the 90th Light Infantry would control the scrub/rough ground, which cramped the operations of the Poles. The Brunswick hussars and horse artillery battery on the British left went in against the advancing Poles and were able to roll them back before running out of steam themselves and having to fall back and consolidate. On the right, the Westphalians overwhelmed the Brunswick rifle company and were on the move, but the British countered with the 42nd Highlanders, who deployed to secure the British right along with a squadron of light dragoons. In the center, the Swiss, supported by the Brunswickers and a British battalion, launched an assault that took out a French foot battery and pushed a battalion back in the center, threatening to break through. Mark brought up his last reserve, a squadron of French dragoons, and launched a charge that turned back the threat.
|View from behind the 100th Foot overlooking the fighting in the center.|
|The 42nd keeping an eye on the Westphalians.|
Mark was gracious enough to concede a marginal victory to me in his blog, but I must say that when we parted, we were in agreement that it was a solid draw. Regardless, it was great fun. Here are some narratives of a few decisive actions during the game. Enjoy!
THE STORY OF THE BRITISH LEFT: BRUNSWICKERS V POLES
|The Poles advance under the watchful eye of their General...|
|The 90th Lights trying to influence the action.|
|The Brunswick Hussars receive receive their orders|
|A telling maneuver...|
|The Poles in crisis! But one squadron of Brunswickers fails morale...|
|A miracle: the Brunswickers Turned back. Situation stabilized!|
|The French seize the town.|
|The British Counterattack and take the town.|
|High-intensity fighting in the center. The 89th charges to take pressure off of the town and break up one of the last assaults.|
|Last Stand of the 89th.|
|The Swiss attack begins, taking out a half battery and throwing back a French battalion counterattack. The Brunswickers get moving in support after recovering from cannon fire.|
|The last of the French Artillery in the center is wiped out and the Swiss have broken through! The British Foot and Brunswickers move up to finish it off...|
|The Poles hold fast and the French Dragoons arrive to spoil the party...|
|The Swiss have had enough. The British gunners are in place to support the town, and both sides start consolidating.|