Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Sunday 29th May 2016

Campiagn Game
Somewhere in North East Spain

London Gazette -
Diasaster in Spain, Moore lost.

Britain and her allies humiliated by the Craupards.
Moore prisoner of the Corsican Ogre!

 Just north of Zaragoza two Spanish and one Britsh corps were trapped betwen two French corps and tried to escape south.

Battlefield was spilt between 2 tables, North and South with allies deployed on both and a French corps on each side.

North - Adam and myself (Spanish) faced Steve and Lee French)

South - Bob (British) and Mark (Spanish) faced Les and Rob (French)

We had a plan, but didn't stick to it. Instead decided to wait a turn or 2 in the north before launching a counter offensive.
However, the French didn't want to play.

North table -
Troops were lined up and French deployed most guns onj the Spanish left, whilst infantry were ready to go on the right.

Main attacks cam on the allied right flank an dsoon came forward, with charge and counter-charge all across the battlefield. The Spanish lancers did well with 2 regiments holding up 3 French regiments, before reinforcements, slipped passed the British and arrived in their rear.

Initial worries about Spanish being wavering, were not founded and only 2 battalions were lost from this throughout the day.
The infantry held up the Fench attacks and several battalions were swapped by French, but carried on gallantly.

To the left the French attacks were slower with initial cavalry charges, clearing away the Spanish cavalry. Despite help frmo 2nd Corps they were soon overwhelmed. The infantry however held on and by battles end the corps was broken but ther right flank was withdrawing in order.

South Table -
The British deployed half and half across the river, whilst eh 2nd Spanish corps took the right flank.

The main French deployment was on the allied left facing the British, whilst a small holding force was depolyed on the right.

The French had a large gun line facing the British and took no time in sending their troops forward, pining the British before they could do anything.
On the right, any thought of advancing to the weakened French line ws stopped by cavalry pressure from in front, with repeated charges. 
WIth the loss of some artillery, the second corps was able to start movingn forward, but this was only by battles end and was allowed to escape. 

Whilst reinforcements from Zaragoza, arrived in the French rear, but too late to have any effect.
On the other side of the river the British were being pounded, and add to this the retreating Spanish from the north table along with the pursuing French, the end was near.

Wounded and unable to carry on, Moore gave orders for troops on the west side of the river to escape south, with hopes of reaching Lisbon. Whilst the surrounded and beaten troops on the east side lay down their arms ans surrendered.

A black day in British military history.

A good win for the French, they came up with a plan and stuck to it.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Monday 9th May 2016

Second Battle of Santiago

Campaign update

After our last battle for Santiago ended in stalemate, with the French still in control of the town, the allied forces withdrew out of cannon range.

After discussion, the allies withdrew south being followed by a "victorious" French force.
several days, and many miles later the allied plan was revealed. They were only marching to met up with the remainder of Beresford's troops. The Portuguese doubled in size over night and the French decided to go back north!!!

This time it was the allied turn to chase the French, but they wanted to catch them and did, s few miles south of Santiago. The French were attempting to retreat by crossing 2 rivers and were caught between them, battle on!

The French deployed and their left flank was across the rivers already and attempting to hold the allies as long as possible, The centre was split between the 2 sides of the river and the right stuck between both rivers.
The allies deployed as follows -
Right flank was the Portuguese, whose entire 1st Division along with Cavalry and Artillery from the second Division on table and the remainder left off table in reserve.

A nice line of 10 gun batteries faced the "thin blue line"

The centre and left were needed to deploy on the far side of the first river, which gave the French an advantage, however there were plenty of guns to be used too.
The centre ready to go
The left faced the hardest fight as the French were deployed well forward in an effort to hold up the allies, whilst inflicting lots of casualties.
The left fight was the hardest with Bob suffering from poor dice and good French resistance. Initially, Bob sent a cavalry unit around the flank to try and get in the rear. However, march column, traverse shot inflicted casualties, followed by a French cavalry counter charge saw the end of that!
The remainder of the Divisions struggled to get across the bridges.
But did find a ford and by the end had started to get across.
The centre fared a bit better, managing to cross in several places.
Stubborn French cavalry charges, combined with infantry and artillery fire, slowed the advance down and it became a bit of a mess in the centre.
The centre were finally able to push through the town and had started to cross the far river after som e hard fighting.
Unfortunately in their eagerness to get across and into the French baggage, the gallant French defenders in the town were ignored and managed to escape under cover of darkness.
The Portuguese fared a lot better and were frustrated in not being able to get at the French, who deployed over the river, with the only bridge well defended, whilst being rigged to blow. The French infantry suffered under the constant gun fire as the Portuguese slowly approached behind a rolling fire of cannon.
The infantry were thankful to be ordered to withdraw out of range, but this left the artillery to suffer instead. On the far right, the Portuguese tried and tried to cross the bridge to no avail. Finally leaving it to the artillery to deal with the stubborn cavalry holding them back, but too late to get the Portuguese across.

Luckily for the Portuguese, their first attempt yielded a ford and the first brigade streamed across, with the Cazadores finishing off a gun battery with close range musket fire. By the end of the day, 1 brigade was over and being closely followed by another.

The battle soon ended after this and was declared a draw. unfortunately, most of the dead French were able to recover and re-join the army as were the allied.
Once again luck was with the Portuguese and took no casualties, I'm sure their luck will run out soon.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Salute 2016 - Show report

Saturday 16th April 2016

Another year , another Salute. Went on the lunch time train Friday with intentions of a wander around the docklands area, but the rain kept us in.

We were lucky this year to get the hotel next to the Excel, so somewhere to leave bags and not have to get up so early, as in other years traveling in from other parts of London.

In the queue for a reasonable 9:10 and still near the front. As with our first visit to Excel 4 years ago we got a KR Multicase Golden ticket - Adam was the lucky bag winner this year and so another excellent back pack.

We had our shopping list and had narrowed it down to a few games we wanted to try. When show opened, first stop was KR for the bag and a redistribution of weight load. 

Right next door was a couple of XCOM games and we went for the longer mission. This was one we had played on the Xbox and thought we might know what we were doing!!!! 

Excellent terrain and figures, 5 players taking 6 figures, so we all had 1 each and Mark and I shared the lone MEC. We had to the mission to get to the Trawler and activate a homing beacon to allow bombers to come in and finish the job, after which we had to extract back to the start point. Crysalids came at us all the way and the MEC was first to die.

Whilst the others provided cover fire, I managed to gain the bridge and activate the beacon. Getting back was another thing. Finding myself with several Crysalids between my figure and the rest of the team, we decided to extract the remaining team, whilst I took as many out as possible.

So, my guy died heroically whist remainder successfully escaped, mission complete.

So, hour in and time for a wander. Mark really wanted to play the Minion Racing game and we walked over several times and each time a game was under way and very busy, a popular game.

Over the next 4 hours, we walked around, spent money and admired the games.

All were very good, some big and some small, all good quality. Trading stands were not overly crowded either, and had no problems getting what we wanted.

My favourite game was 54mm Napoleonic Peninsular battle, using Victrix figures. I had a battle of wills to stop myself buying a pack, however, when the new Osprey Napoleonic rules come out (as I like Black Ops), who knows!!!!

Another excellent game was a 40mm Peninsular Napoleonic game, which included Sharpe and Harper and also Hakeswill.

For Black Powder, and for amazing terrain, there was a 25mm SYW war, with a fantastic city scene at one end of the battlefield.

 No more games were played, this seems to be different every year, as last year we played lots of games, but we all still enjoyed the show. We are looking forward to next year, and hotel is already booked (assuming same weekend) and same hotel as in such a good location.

Some more pics of other games and great terrain.

There was a big Horus Heresy game on which was a optical feast.

There was a big 25mm Vietnam game, with plenty of detail and things to see.

And finally a very nice ECW siege game.

Nice quiet trip home and 3 happy Wargamers arrived back home Saturday night to inspect their wares.