Saturday 31 December 2016

Another Russian victory and other stuff.

We had neighbours round for drinks and nibbles on Wednesday early evening. Peter was here with his wife and I confirmed with him that we'd have a game the following day (on Thursday) he walked down the hill for the game after lunch. I rearranged the terrain from last week's game and we had another go at my French v Russians during the campaign in Switzerland in 1799.

It was a similar scenario to the last game, with the Russians needing to force the French off the table and control the majority of the river crossings. As before there were more French than Russians. I am a little tired with the constant series of rolls and re-rolls that BPs characteristics give troops. Ok, I could do away with these features of the rules altogether but they do add a certain 'something' to the games and perhaps go some way to representing troops' performance more appropriately for any given scenario. Anyway, I decided to do away with as many extra rules as I could so out went the 'Stubborn' and 'Crack' rules. Instead troops normally with these attributes were given an extra point of stamina. This might seem too much but having successive and never ending re-rolls can be a little 'difficult' and more than a little frustrating for the opposition, whereas giving a unit an extra stamina point means that their potential demise is so much more finite.   So, as I allow all my Russians to be 'Stubborn' normally, their stamina was raised by one point from three to four in the case of line infantry and from four to five for grenadiers. Ouch! you may think but actually it worked really well as we didn't need to remember to do loads of re-rolls and several Russian battalions did creep towards and exceed their stamina levels necessitating a break test. Thankfully, nobody broke or was forced to retreat but it could have been so very different, so I'm quite happy to roll this idea out to future FRW battles.

Back to the battle,  Peter made a fundamental mistake and put his worst troops in a position of great importance, i.e. his centre, and then proceeded to order them advance towards the Russians. As a consequence I was able to steam-roller six battalions of Russian musketeers right over them, supported by my artillery and some Cossacks. He also didn't use his superior artillery to its greatest potential which was also helped by a couple of moves where Demi-brigades blundered across the guns' front, masking them, or retreating units similarly got in the way. Such are the fortunes of war......

The Russian right flank tied up Peter's best troops (converged grenadiers) as he pushed them into a village. There they were  held in place by a small brigade of grenadiers and jäger. The Russians then successfully stormed the village and moved on to try and turn the French flank.

The Russian left (another small brigade of grenadiers and jäger supported by two regiments of Austrian chevaux-legers) were able to hold up and suitably be a pain in the proverbial arse in the face of a superior mixed force of French infantry, artillery and cavalry. One regiment of Austrian cavalry got stuck on the bridge for about half of the game after driving off a force of French skirmishers, but the other managed to see off two weak units of French chasseurs a cheval, while the grenadiers and jager held then drove back the Legion Helvetique and a battalion of French infantry.

By this time several Russian battalions were shaken or approaching shaken but none had broken. The change to the stats certainly made it a little more tense for Russians as the odd failed saves had slowly mounted up, whereas under the previous system battered units might still have few or no casualties thanks to the re-roll. However, the French had collapsed in the centre and had lost six or seven battalions broken and others shaken and withdrawing. With half his army gone Peter had to concede defeat.

Just for once I had a plan, and just for once I was able to execute it successfully and clinically and win a game for a change. It wasn't a comfortable feeling as my guest's army was battered to pieces but as Hannibal Smith in the A Team used to say, "I like it when a plan comes together!"

I took advantage of Foundry's Christmas sale and bought some of their early Napoleonic Saxons. Now I don't actually want to do them as Saxons, but thought they might just about do for Hanoverians or Hessians for the Flanders campaign. That of course will necessitate buying and painting a shed load of Austrians! Gulp! I have some lovely Trent Austrians but fancy a couple of regiments of Elite miniatures figures as well.

Finally, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that 2017 brings you health, wealth and happiness, as well as all that you might wish for (unless it happens to be a new army or two that paints and bases themselves, because I want that!).

No photos this time as I had tidied up my camera and could locate it in time for the game. 


  1. Nice account. I know what you mean about the extra rule layer in BP - I have dropped the random leader characteristics.

  2. A game over Christmas, I'm green with envy? Great account of 'The Plan' coming to fruition, it so rarely does I find here in GHQ! Happy New Year! Happy New Armies; guess they'll be done for next week...

  3. Thanks guys. David, sadly there is no chance of the Austrians and others emerging before Easter, well in sufficient strength that is ;-)
    The first planned game for the new year is a 15mm rendition of Minden using my mate Paul's enormous collection which he's bringing up to play up here in t'dale. Norm, I always forget things like the random leader characteristics too so have binned them as well, and just adjust commanders' ratings as I see fit.

  4. Colin, I take it Easter is early this year?😉

  5. I suck at executing my own plans and have very fond memories of a multi player game in which a group of friends successfully executed one for me!

    Saving rolls may go back a long way buf they don't work for me. I like the change you made by upping endurance, the hit dice themselves provide enough randomness to my mind.