Sunday 29 May 2016

Whetting the appetite for 'Versailles' on TV next week

This week's game was last week's postponed game if that makes any sense. I wanted to get one more 1672-78 game in before having to focus on the 18th century again in preparation for the Battle of Soor 1745 refight Robbie and I  are doing at the AMG16 weekend of 11/12 June. Robbie, John and Paul joined me for the game, it being Paul's first encounter with Impetus Baroque.

The armies were the same as in the last two games, as I've not managed to finish any new units. John and I were the Dutch/Spanish while Robbie and Paul took the French.

The armies face each other across the table.
The majority of the Dutch horse were concentrated on the right flank.
The French left.
A very silly French three-barrelled cannon.
John's Spanish occupied the town on our far left.
Paul's French and Swiss guard advance and occupy the Forge, supported by a Scots battalion. During the course of the battle, the Swiss guard were routed, the French guard were forced to retire and the Scots beat a hasty retreat!
The French left advance slowly, supported by several squadrons of rather timid horse.
Paul's French Maison du Roi about to punch a hole through the Dutch centre!
The Maison du Roi overran a Dutch battery, drove off one squadron of Dutch horse but were finally halted by a second squadron.
More Maison du Roi and Grenadiers a Cheval crash into a Dutch (Brandenberg) battalion. The infantry failed to stop the charge with their closing fire and were pushed back and broken.  
Despite having a rather large hole in our line, the French were unable to exploit it as their horse were a spent force and the immediate danger passed as they withdrew.
On our right I finally decided to get my cavalry into action after having softened up the French foot a little with musketry and cannon fire. My cuirassiers were exposed to flanking fire as they charged home successfully.
The first squadron of cuirassiers drove the French back but chose to withdraw, allowing the supporting squadron to charge and again push back their target onto their supporting Swiss battalion. The Dutch Horseguards are poised ready to exploit any sudden collapse of the French. Sadly it came close but never materialised.
The Maison du Roi (whats left of it) sheltering behind the Piedmont regiment.

At the Forge, the Gardes Francais have been forced out and their place taken by a Swiss battalion.
The Dutch Horseguards crash into the battered Regiment d'Auvergne.
More Dutch horse pile into the wavering French centre, but its too late as the constant charges by wave after wave of Dutch Horse has failed to burst through the French line. I felt a bit like Marshall Ney!
Imperial cuirassiers in the final onslaught against the French left are unable to close with their target.
The Spanish held the town throughout the battle without any serious loss or inconvenience, although their dragoons lost the skirmishing against their more numerous French counterparts.
The two companies of French dragoons were not inclined to exploit their success over the Spanish dragoons and remained on the river bank for the remainder of the battle.
D'Artagnon commanding the main French battery at sunset. The guns failed to hit anything throughout the entire game.

Again, it was an excellent game and I have really taken to the rules. I think we're all getting the hang of them as well. We declared the game a draw as both armies had taken a pounding for little tactical gain. As usual, many of our plans and amazing battle-winning moves were foiled by poor dice rolls. In fact, we might have done better as the Dutch if I had actually formulated a plan of any kind and communicated it to John before the battle! As it was the game had several missed opportunities for the Dutch/Spanish alliance, namely my failure to advance quickly enough in the centre, my sluggish moves with my horse on the right, and John not realising he could have swung around the weak French right wing, overwhelming the dragoons and artillery with his resplendently dressed five battalions of infantry.

Oh well. Super game and John and I are planning another one this coming week.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

French - Dutch War, another go with Impetus Baroque

Not much gaming activity this week. I am currently laid up with my arthritic spine, meaning standing up straight, walking and frankly doing anything is not much fun. I write this through a haze of MST and Oramorph solution so I trust it'll make sense.

The last game we played saw Robbie and John return for another go at Impetus Baroque. I asked if I could be the French as I do like them rather a lot. I hadn't banked on the dice rolls for sides resulting in me being on my own facing the other two with the combined Dutch/Spanish/Imperial force. Not only that but I was of course in charge of refreshments and lunch, which actually proved quite handy as it meant I had the occasional breather from the game.

The 'sides' were the same as last time, with the cavalry rearranged into units of three stands to match the frontage of the infantry units. This of course gave us a couple more mounted units for each side, but slightly more for the Allies. It was a simple encounter battle with the single objective of breaking the enemy.

Robbie supping his tea while the armies start to close on each other.
Spanish dragoons holding the orchard, which they did for much of the battle.
The French left wing horse slowly advancing on the Allied right. Too slowly on reflection.
The Dutch foorguards, supported by artillery with a brigade of horse to the rear, advancing in the centre.
My right flank facing a strong infantry force supported by artillery and rather more horse than I was comfortable about dealing with.
On move one this entire command became disordered after attempting to move as quickly as possible towards the town area. Thankfully they were safe from any interference by the enemy.
The advance of the Dutch footguards is stopped in its tracks by concentrated artillery and musket fire. The leading battalion is eventually so damaged that John chose to withdraw it from the battle, his preventing me from claiming the maximum victory points for destroying the unit.

Imperial cuirassiers and the Maison du Roi clash on my right flank. 
The Dutch holding the hedgerows to the right of the town.
On my left, I finally got my dragoons to move (their commander was poor but an unlucky double '1' resulted in him being downgraded to s**t for the rest of the game). My plan was to shield my horse and try and soften up the Dutch foot before charging with my horse. Great plan. Nearly worked too.

The Dutch footguards an instant before they were withdrawn. They left a nice gap in the line.
On the right, my horse had managed some early successes against superior numbers of the enemy but eventually they were all destroyed and driven off the field by John's victorious but much battered Imperial and Dutch horse. Unfortunately my flank was now completely up in the air......
On the left my horse charged the Dutch and in a succession of waves managed to break one unit, albeit at some loss to ourselves.
In the centre my infantry assaulted the orchard and drove the Spanish dragoons off after a hard fight.
The French left showing their horse (the Cuirassiers du Roi and La Reine) charging into the disrupted Dutch line.
My dragoons were successful in pinning down part of the Dutch line but were eventually destroyed.
The French C-in-C ponders. What to do now? Our left is crushed, the centre is advancing with superior numbers and the right has made some gains, but at great loss.
A Scots regiment in French service closing on the Spanish in the Allied centre.
The French second line included the Gardes Francais (in grey to the right) and the Gardes Suisse. Both were fresh units.
The Dutch left crosses the hedgerows to exploit my outflanked units.
Imperial cuirassiers charging into my exposed right flank.
Above and below are two 'arty farty' shots using one of the facilities on my new camera (I blame my photographic genius Brother-in-Law for this impulse buy). It does lots of stuff and is as yet not fully explored.

The end of the battle. The Spanish in the centre are being driven in, but will the French succeed in the centre and on their left flank before the Dutch sweep round on their exposed right flank? We will never know. The consensus was that it was a draw.

An excellent game and I have now just about got the hang of the rules and am warming to them rapidly. You really have to think carefully and plan your moves. Much more cerebral than Pike and Shot (which I still like). Deployment is key and get it wrong at your peril. I really like the command and move sequences, together with the option for the enemy to react to certain of your moves/actions. Anyway, good rules. Go out and buy them. Excellent game too. I will now of course have to rearrange my armies to cit in with Baroque, but apart from the some jiggling of cavalry units that won't be a problem.

No game this week for the reasons stated. In the meantime I am planning for another game using Baroque next Tuesday before going back to the WAS/SYW.

Friday 13 May 2016

Camp scenes

I need a couple of encampment bases for our refight of Soor at AMG16 so put these together. The top two pictures are a couple of Black Hussar tents with some Perry AWI camp scene pieces. They will do I reckon.

 Next are a few photos of the Prussian General Staff waiting for the King to finish his 'business' on the the field latrine mk1, i.e. unhinged door with hole cut in it over a large bucket. The eagle-eyed among you will see that Frederick doesn't appear to be reading despatches; is that a copy of 'Bustenhalte Weekly'?