Thursday 29 September 2016

Where have my favourite blogs gone to?

Woke up this morning and when I went to look at my blog I saw that all the links to my favourite blogs that were on the right hand side of my blog last night have vanished! Very strange. Even more odd is that when I tried to put them back it wouldn't let me. Looking around the web it doesn't seem to have happened to anyone else.....

Never mind though, I will get my resident IT guru (Mrs Carryingsonupthedale) to have a look.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

First Demi-Brigade completed for my Suvorov project

As the title of the post suggests I've now finished the first formation for my French in Italy and Switzerland. I now have a full demi-brigade of three battalions, a battalion of combined grenadiers and a swarm of skirmishers. Some of these have been featured in an earlier post but not in their entirety. The figures are all Elite Miniatures from their "collectors' range".

A second demi-brigade (Trent Miniatures) is almost done, as are two battalions of light infantry and another of combined elites. I've started on some artillery and commanders for both sides and expect to have the second fusilier battalion of the Rosenberg/Moscow Grenadiers done by the end of the weekend coming up.

Not sure if I have a game this week. Hope so.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Two trips to look forward to and a FRW update

Yesterday I booked a few days next month in Lisbon for Mrs Carrryingsonpthedale and me. She has family there and she also has other family links going back to the Napoleonic Wars when her great, great, etc grandfather was a physician attached to the Portuguese army. His family settled there after the war and they are all buried in the English Cemetery in Lisbon. It'll be nice to put photos of their graves on Katherine's family tree which I've been working on since about 2012.

I have also booked a long weekend in Antwerp that just happens to coincide with Crisis 2016. What chance of that happening, eh? I am really looking forward to it.

No game this week as family and a busy life have intervened but back to normal next week. I do have two more battalions of French almost finished (just the basing to complete) and six more very close to completion. I did farm out some infantry and cavalry to be painted for me and 24 Austrian Cheveaulegers and 24 French Chasseurs a Cheval should be with me by the end of the month. I really must get on with finishing my remaining Russians and getting the artillery and generals for both sides started. And lots of Cossacks! Lots and lots!

Speaking of artillery, I picked up some mdf guns, limbers and caissons off Warbases. I've put the them together and they're great. Once painted I shall post a few pictures. I just need some mountain guns for the Russians now!

Friday 16 September 2016

Just for David B: More Russians for Suvarov in the Alps, and the first of the French.

More progress with my FRW Russians and French for Suvarovs campaign in Switzerland.

 The two photos above are of one of the fusilier battalions of the Moscow grenadier regiment. (Eureka Minis)
 This photo and the two below are of the7th Jager regiment, again Eureka miniatures.

 The following are pictures of my first French, Elite Miniatures, two btns of the 13th Demi-Brigade and some skirmishers.

I'm working on the third battalion of the 13th DB and a composite battalion of grenadiers for the French and a regiment of two battalions of Russians in greatcoat from Eureka that I bought off plan so to speak as they're not yet listed.

I need to do some artillery and cavalry plus a few commanders, but there's plenty of time.......or maybe there isn't.

Heat, fly spray and the Thirty Years War again.

After the beating the Imperial troops under Robbie had last week using Pike and Shot I offered to restage the game this week but using Impetus Baroque. It was relatively easy to rearrange the orders of battle and unit composition in order to make the switch and there are suggested 'army lists' in the back of the rule book to help with troop factors and capabilities. Now, I am not a particular fan of Army Lists but these were handy for getting troop capabilities right(ish) within the context of the rules although I did make some changes based on my own reading and understanding of TYW Swedish and Imperial forces. The problem we had last week were the maxim gun-armed Swedish shot (well that's what I'm sure Robbie thought they had). The Swedes should have fire superiority but not the way Pike and Shot suggested it should be reflected with three sub units of shot to each pike block. But thats another discussion entirely.

Anyway, the orders of battle were re-jiggled and all was ready. Paul joined Robbie on the Imperial side while John and I reprised our roles leading the Swedes, with me as CinC again.

 Battle is joined. I put all our horse on the right again supported by a brigade of lower-class Mercenary infantry. John's task was to push the elite veteran Yellow and Blue Brigades straight up the hill to dislodge the Imperial troops using their superior firepower and training. Mmmmm? Robbie had deployed his vastly superior cavalry on each flank, with Pappenheim's elite brigade facing my horse.
 In the centre one of  the three regiments making up the Blue Brigade advances supported by our artillery.
 The Blue Brigade reach the walled hills with the Yellow Guard regiment in support. We couldn't tempt the Imperial tercios across the fields. When they did advance we were to regret it!
 Pesky Croats on our right flank. The first regiment charged my Scots regiment in the flank but were held off and they in turn were charged and routed by my dragoon regiment. Sadly my dragoons were severely mauled in the process and retreated to the town for the remainder of the game.
 I underestimated the Croats and allowed (but not on purpose) their second squadron to hit my flank as I approached the Imperial dragoons in the woods. A bad move on my part.
 In the centre my horse and commanded shot advanced while a unit of Finns charged a disordered Tercio and actually drove it back twice before grinding to a halt. A second Tercio was advancing on our centre supported by artillery. Treks are very powerful units in these rules, as long as you can get them into melee and don't get shot up too much in the process.
 The Finns locked in combat while a squadron of Swedish horse flanks another Tercio.
 Imperial cuirassiers about to charge the White Regiment. The latter failed their test for defensive fire and were hit by undamaged cuirassiers. Fortunately the cuirassiers didn't get their impetus dice as they were facing pikes, so were held.
 One of the anomalies in the rules is that dragoons seem to a little too effective. On our left, a regiment of Imperial dragoons charged one of our regiments and held it until it in turn was hit in the flank. On my flank my battered Scots regiment was charged by Robbie's dragoons who eventually gained the upper hand and broke my unit. OK I chucked some bad dice but I don't think TYW dragoons would or could have achieved that much success against a veteran infantry regiment. Never mind, it didn't matter in the long run.
 On the left, John's demotivated Saxons had stayed put for most of the battle,  only advancing to line the wall-off field. Paul charged one regiment with his cuirassiers but they were repulsed by closing fire. He then charged his supporting regiment in. They hit and pushed the doughty Saxons back back but failed to break them.
 Back in the centre Robbie and Paul had finally realised that they would never win a firefight with the Swedes and advance towards the Blue Brigade, destroying one regiment in the process. They followed up and hit the Yellow Lifeguard regiment who just managed to hold the Imperial tercio.
 My mixed regiment of horse and commanded shot in the centre held off the Imperial cuirassiers while to their left my musket-armed regiment of foot were eventually successful, thanks to a flank charge by my cavalry, in driving back their opponents.
 My horse, having broken the foot which they'd hit in the flank followed through, rode over an Imperial battery and hit Wallenstein's Lifeguard at the halt. They drove them back for two consecutive rounds of melee before breaking them. There was now a massive gap in the Imperial line and both infantry brigades were shattered.
 Robbie conceded defeat at this point. His foot were shattered and his horse were badly mauled, rose on although Paul's horse on the flank were holding their own and driving the Saxons back.
 Wallenstein's Lifeguard hit by pursuing Swedish horse.
 Imperial Harquebusiers covering the withdrawal of their army.
 The Saxons on the Swedish left, still holding.
 Wallenstein makes his escape covered by his one remaining tercios.
 Gustav II Adolf did bugger all in the battle, mainly as I forgot I could use him proactively if I wished. In fact I actually forgot he was on the table at one point.
 I gave the Swedes one regiment made up solely of shot as I understand that as well as the commanded musketeers which were made up of 'surplus' personnel, some units had 'lost' their pikemen, the latter trade not being a popular one in the Swedish army.
 My German 'Green Regiment' bravely doing very little throughout the game other than cover my right flank after the Scots ran away.
 Another view of the German 'White Regiment' locked in combat with Imperial cuirassiers. 
 Rounding up Imperial stragglers.
The Colonel of the Scots regiment which ran away so ignominiously receives the judgement of the court martial.

Well, it was a great game and a tough one, but quite exhausting if only because it was a very hot airless day, made worse by the fact that the Swedes deployed chemical warfare in the form of some fly spray when several wasps had the temerity to fly in through the open window! 

We've not played with these rules for a while so were a little rusty but we soon got back into the swing. By lunchtime John and I thought that the Imperial army would be triumphant as it was pushing back our centre and had held up the flanks. All of a sudden it was another story as the Imperial centre collapsed in very short order and it was all over. Imperial casualties, in terms of losses, were pretty catastrophic at over 50%, but the Swedish losses were also almost 40%.

The sequence of play in Baroque took a little getting used to again but the game speeded up as the day progressed. Robbie was happier with the result than the previous week even tough the Imperial army still lost, but if I think that I was to adopt these rules permanently for the TYW I'd need far too much re-basing and reorganising. And I'd have to do my Poles too!

Next time I think we shall go back to the Seven Years War using Honours of War as its been rather a long time since the last time Frederick and Co were on the table.

Saturday 10 September 2016

This week it was the Thirty Years War (no not all of it!)

Yep, as the title says this week I thought I'd give my Swedes and Holy Roman Empire/Catholic League forces a long overdue airing. As usual Robbie and John joined me for the game. We threw dice to see who would be fighting on their own with the Imperial army and it was Robbie who drew, or threw, the short straw.

The forces were reasonably balanced on paper. The  Swedes had more infantry, of which three brigades  were very good, one was average and the other (the Saxons) was poor. The two very large Imperial brigades (three pike and six shot units each) were elite or veteran but lacked the firepower of their Swedish opponents. However the Imperial army was far superior in numbers and quality of horse, as they had twice as many cuirassier squadrons than the Swedes and one of their brigades was commanded by Pappenheim, which meant all the unit's got 'ferocious charge' and one got 'terrifying charge'. Robbie also had a bunch of Croats (four squadrons) and a dragoon unit. The Swede's best cavalry were two squadrons of Finns. I gave the Swedish cavalry attached commanded shot and a light gun. In terms of artillery, each Swedish brigade had an attached light battery and the army was supported by a battery of medium guns, while the Imperial army had two heavy and two medium guns.

Robbie's objective was to hold his position until the time we'd agreed to end the game while the rest of his army made good their withdrawal with their baggage train and siege artillery. Our objective was to defeat the enemy before the aforesaid end time (3:30pm) otherwise their main body would be deemed to have slipped away.

 The field of battle, Swedes on the left, with all of their horse (12 squadrons plus commanded shot and guns) deployed on the right. 
 Three brigades of Swedish  horse poised to launch an all-out attack on Robbie's left wing. They would be supported by a general advance in the centre with the Saxons anchoring the left wing. That was the plan anyway......
 Pesky Croats lurking on the flanks. They're pretty useless in a stand-up fight but are good at hitting flanks, rears and disordered or shaken troops.
 The Finns charged Pappenheim's command and not surprisingly came of worst. But the now damaged cuirassiers charged the following move and were beaten by the Swedish supporting squadron and forced to retreat.
 Those Croats again being annoying. One squadron was quickly disposed of by the commanded shot (fortunately).
 The Swedish right wing trying to carry out its orders (which as John pointed out repeatedly I appeared to have forgotten).
 This is what I'd have liked to throw.
 This is what I actually repeatedly threw!
 The veteran Blue Brigade advances towards the Imperial centre. 
 Wallenstein's (Robbie's) bodyguard. Cuirassiers with lances. Ouch!
 The Imperial army had deployed one brigade of horse in the centre so they were (slowly) moved to the left to counter the Swedish threat.
 The melees continue on the Swedish right with the Imperial cuirassiers gaining the upper hand (just).
 The Swedish Yellow Lifeguard Regiment and the German Green Brigade advancing towards the Imperial right on the hill.
 The veteran Blue Brigade charged the Imperial troops in the centre and broke them after a fierce fight. I had tried to use the 'Swedish salvo' rule (you get to shoot THEN charge). We had an interesting debate about this rule last year and reckon its not been thought through fully. Even the Warlord Forum were very quiet on the subject. Anyway, if the Swedes shoot and cause a break test on their target who then run away, do the Swedes still charge? Who will they charge? Anyway, we agreed that they would have to make at least one move as the break test could arguably be taken as a result of the volley and the sight of hundreds of unfriendly snarling Swedes running very fast in your direction.
 The Saxons (they're the ones in RED) slowly advance. About an inch. It was a very enthusiastic inch. I think they're badly done to in the rules but its fair to give the Swedes some unreliable troops to worry about.
 The battle in full swing. In the foreground the Swedish horse and commanded shot can be seen facing Pappenheim's elite cuirassiers and arquebusiers
 Seen from behind the Imperial left the Swedes look unstoppable.
 Wallenstein's lifeguard (sorry about the blurry photo but I need it to keep the story going) charged a unit of commanded shot and drove them off but failed to break them. They followed through into some Livonian cuirassiers and Robbie threw his usual dreadful dice and they broke.
 The Imperial troops on the hill were defending stoically but loosing heavily as the Scots and Germans assaulted their positions.
 Scots mercenaries and Imperial troops locked in combat on the hill. The latter were forced to retreat with several units broken.

All of a sudden both of Robbie's battallia of foot reached the point where their losses put them over the threshold for a broken brigade. Pike and Shot are not as brutal as Black Powder so at least they didn't have to retreat. Saying that their saving rolls went to 6's only, not very good. The Swedes had cleared the hill and disposed of the Imperial infantry on the right . Robbie's horse on his right had remained stationary throughout the game but in the final turn managed to hit a unit of Swedish shot in the flank. I don't know why they didn't come forward earlier to threaten our left flank. Robbie's horse were actually pretty much intact so we reckoned that the army would be able to extricate itself and withdraw to fight another day. Definitely a Swedish victory as we'd cleared the hill and broken all of the Imperial foot, but not a decisive one.

In P&S Swedes can be deadly (I'm sure Robbie would say they ARE deadly) as their firepower is pretty much overwhelming, if one throws the right dice of course. I have organised each of my Swedish/German regiments with one base of pike and three of shot to try and reflect the Swede's tactics over the rest. When it works of course. The pike block is not quite as good as their opponents in terms of melee dice (one less), but this is offset by more shot. Of course the flip side is that Imperial cuirassiers (Pappenheim's especially) are equally unstoppable and its a rare day when a squadron of Swedish or Finnish horse come off better in any combat, but it does happen, and indeed did twice in this game when the Imperial cuirassiers were caught on the back foot and unable to charge.

Anyway, before the figures go back in their boxes they need quite a few pike reattaching. I might even refight the game next week, either changing sides, or using Impetus Baroque. Food for thought.

On a totally unrelated subject I have now finished five battalions of Russians and two and a half of French for my Suvarov in Switzerland project. I will put some pictures up shortly.