July 2022 – Weakley’s home from Vanuatu…so lets do Waterloo!

So Gamer PaulW has returned from soaking in Whisky by the pool in the tropics for a short visit and requested a game while he was here. So….let’s do Waterloo! Its at this stage I must confess…its not really a battle I have an interest in…..as I prefer to game with Austrian’s and Russian’s…….and the only troops I have for it(apart from French of course) are Dutch. Namely a Brigade of Chasse’s 3rd Netherlands Division and von Tripps Heavy Cavalry Brigade, plus of course a command base of that Military GENIUS the Prince of Orange!

Thankfully I have PaulG’s base cloths he made for our 2015 multi player, some of the hills we made for it and Alan has been making the buildings(Hougoumont, La Hay Sainte and Belle Alliance) on his 3D printer, and PaulW has a Papelotte set sourced from Hovels so we are okay for buildings. Troop wise we are fairly okay, except Alan had to go and sell the Household Cavalry the weekend BEFORE the game to fund new Victrix replacements. Arrgghhhhhhhhh.

So the Saturday just past the Garage Gamers available assembled for a Waterloo refight in my Lounge…as its winter…..and more pleasant in the lounge and I can fit an 18ft by 6 foot table plus the dining room…kitchen and 3 toilets are readily available! The only Gamers missing were Russ who was out of town at a gaming convention and Keith who was ill.

So after spending evenings all week working out sides…troops..scenario and printing sheets for the players we actually started Turn 1 before the start time of 10am. The French players were Rob, PaulW, SteveT, Robert and Graham. The Allies were Moi, Alan, StephenC and PaulG. Rob was Napoleon and Moi was Wellington…and Orange and Uxbridge and….I was very confused and didn’t do much all game needless to say.

So below are the the ladz…from left to right… Robert…Graham….Rob….SteveT…PaulW who has already started on the whisky….Alan…StephenC and PaulG(Goldie). The painters have just finished on the room…no new curtains up yet!

So Turn 1 and Graham leads off the French attack. Now somehow…the French High Command( am sure I had NOTHING to do with it :)) got the force allocation wrong which I did not pick up on. PaulW was meant to be on the French left….with 2 Division’s of infantry and 2 Cavalry Corps seeing he can handle that many troops…and had not had a game for a while. But he was put on the right…so I got him moved to the left…but he somehow lost control of the larger infantry division and the Cuirassiers which I did not notice! Bugger!!

The Allied left anchored on Papelotte……. this is a lovely set from Hovel Models. I made small command cards for each side as I had downsized all the troops so a table top bttn represented arrox. 1700 men, a cavalry regiment 1000 sabres and batteries way down to 5 or 6 a side! A shout out to JaysWargamingMadness for the downsizing idea. The command cards listed the commands/units and any special abilities for the commander. Took these from the Albion Triumphant book.

And here is Hougoumont which Alan has printed on his 3D printer and painted up. It is smaller than the Hovel’s version which would have been way to big a piece for the game table! Alan the clever sod has made a base mat for it as well as the walls and gardens. It is beautiful. Trees are a recent purchase by Goldie from K&M Trees…..I bought some from them couple of years ago during first lockdown…outstanding service provided by Rebecca again!

So here comes PaulW and his sidekick SteveT around the side of Hmont. They did not actually attack the buildings all game. Mix of Brits and Nassau awaited them.

Close up of the action as skirmishers from both sides shoot it out.

Back on the ridge….the French can be seen advancing…they didn’t do much of this…..except towards La HayeS where the Brunswickers and some rifles were encamped.

Young StephenC has a thingk for Highlanders…has these lovely painted models and also been working on English Civil War ancestors. This is the other side of La HayeS.

More Nassaus in Papelotte and also in trees to its front. Robert’s French advancing in distance.

Back on the French left….somehow my Dutch brigade has arrived early..who would have guessed that would happen! PaulW’s whisky glass in background…..the Whisky of the day will be reviewed at end of report.

I do love a good blunder…Robert gave his battery an order…they got real confused and blundered…they limbered up and raced across the field and unlimbered by troops in woods to front of Papelotte. …and were so exhausted..they……missed!

Back on the French left….PaulW and SteveT march on…clearing all before them.

Meanwhile back over at Papelotte…Goldie charged the battery…destroyed it and retired. Graham replied with Cuirassiers + Kellerman…who added extra attacks.

PaulW is getting the casualty markers out…its getting bloody. The ‘W’ counters tell us in continuing combats… who won the last round.

So back on the right..the Cuirassiers beat up the Allied Cavalry who retired…the Cuirassiers followed on …fought some infantry…didn’t win and retired. So Goldie hit them as below…the Cuirassiers were shaken so could not counter charge…it didn’t go well…and Kellerman died!(apparently his replacements kept dying……as good cavalry commanders should!)

Turn 5 arrives and the Prussian 4th Korps arrives…..Goldie had command of them. The French had been alerted to the arrival and were moving cavalry and Young Guard over to support the flank.

View towards centre where Kellerman is heading for Valhalla…the French did not press the centre of the battlefield which was a wee bit surprising. The Allied lines look impressive…but..a lot of Landwehr there. The French infantry either side of La HayeS advanced…carefully….and were held by Alled shooting…a special star were the Brunswickers who stopped Grahams attempts to advance by disordering fire……and with so many troops trying to get around the far right flank…..the French were stopped in the centre.

Back on the French left…..Allied line is getting pushed off table……..what remains.

On right…. Goldie’s cavalry falls back from destroying the Cuirassiers.

The British in Hougmt have clambered out and shot up a French column in the flank…didn’t do much…..French turned to face and British attacked…still didn’t do much.

Sigh…..it was another of my wonderful suggestions to Alan…..

View from French centre towards La HayeS…the black smudge are Brunswicker’s..who were real stars!

Its heating up over on the left…..Ney has lead a unit into combat…he added extra attacks…he…died a glorious death…like a Dwarf Slayer in Glorious Battle…Gotrek would be proud of him! The Cuirassiers are looking for opportunities….but…its very cluttered.

Prussians are relentless…..Robert’s attempt to stop them on edge of table did not go well….

We had run out of Allied cavalry so I used Austrians……if Sri Lanka ever sorts themselves out will send some Dutch cavalry over to Fernando’s to get painted.

Allied infantry almost gone…but the cavalry had a good flank attack into some French..so some French have joined the casualty list.

Woohoo…..if you roll a 12 to form square….the cavalry complete their charge into you….ouch.

More and more Prussians pour onto table.

Oopsy…what’s that behind the French..is it a small force from Halle! I think it is fair to say this did not go down well with the French.

No matter how often we discuss open flanks…….. this happens…..

The French push around the flank has stalled…..

Sigh…open flanks…..rampaging Cuirassiers hit a Guard unit in the flank…..for 2 turns I had been suggesting moving said unit to change facing and block off rear of Hougmt….. thankfully the Gods of War smiled…somehow the French lost…in 2 Cuirassier combats…SteveT rolled 20 dice …and achieved…2 wounds! Heavy cavalry have now been added to the list of troop types SteveT is NOT ALLOWED TO COMMAND!!

End Game…..the French Guard Cavalry are sitting in rear..Grahams infantry are in trouble…the Brunswickers were amazing….I never had to use the Household or Dutch Heavy cavalry. The French Old Guard never arrived on the table..I hadn’t noticed or would have made sure they did!

On other flank…..British have had minmal damage and Prussians are rumbling forward…so we called it quits.

There is a LOT of Allied troops on this flank.

So at the end of the day…its a crushing Allied Victory. The French plan to attack around Hgmont did not work…..the Allied ridgeline defence was never really tested…and the Prussians were….unrelentless.

So onto the Whisky of the Day….PaulW had procured a bottle of Arran Sherry Cask

The toasting notes are:

Nose: Orange chocolate, with Christmas spices, lots of dried fruit and toasty oak.

Palate: Loads of juicy sherry influence, with chocolate-dipped cherries, raisins and a touch of caramel.

Finish: Oak spice, dark chocolate praline and oak char.

So we tried this wee beauty during the day….Paul then stayed for dinner…we watched the Rugby….why oh why…and then played music….drank whisky(the Arran…..a Bowmore 15 and the last of the Aberlour 14!) and wine and sang til late.

A Great Day!!

Til next time….Terry out!!

Battle of Gross Eckau – 18th July 1812

So for something different I decided to run an 1812 game with Russians v Prussians! With a few ladz down with the covid was ideal opportunity to run a 4-5 player game, and in the end we had 4 players so perfect.

The Scenario is:

Russians –

The Governor of Riga has sent Lieutenamt General Levizov to Ekau to disrupt French supply lines. The Cossacks have detected a Prussian force marching towards you and you are ready for them! You win by breaking the Prussian force.

The Russian force is as follows:

Commander Lieutenamt General Levizov SR8

1st Brigade commander GM Veliaminov SR8

1 Hussar Regt

1 Don Cossack Regt

2 Musketeer Bttns

1 Jager Bttn

1 large light battery

2nd Brigade GM Gorbuntsov SR8

1 Dragoon Regt

1 Uhlan Regt

3 Jager Bttn

3 Musketeer Bttns

Prussians –

The French The French X Corps is marching on the vital supply base of Riga. The Prussian contingent under Generalmajor Graf Kleist has detected a Russian force moving to block the French supply line and is moving to eliminate the threat. You win by breaking the Russian force.

The Prussian force is as follow:

Commander Generalmajor Graf Kleist SR88

1st Brigade commander von Bulow SR8

IR No 3  – 2 Musketeer bttns

IR No 4 – 1 Fusliier bttn

IR No 4 – 2  Musketeer bttns

2nd Brigade Commander Generalmajor von Horn SR8

IR No 2 – 1 Fusilier

Leib Regt – 1 Fusilier bttn

1 small Jager bttn

2 Hussar Regts

2 Horse batteries

Reserve  Brigade commander von Massenbach SR8

2 Dragoon Regts

2 foot batteries

2 Musketeer bttns

The Russian players were Rob with the 1st Brigade and Alan with the 2nd. The Prussians were Russ with the 1st Brigade and the reserve and Robert with the 2nd Brigade.

Below is the map of the battle. The Russians set up with 2 bttns in the village, the battery was on the small hill facing south north of the woods, Rob had the rest of his force north of the village facing east and Alan set up with most of his force on the west side of the stream in the open with some Jager in the woods! Russ set up as required with Prussian 1st brigade in the SW corner of the table and Robert the 2nd brigade on the East flank.

Turn 1 and Russ charges everywhere!

Russ sent 2 bttns across the stream and into the Jager’s you can just see in the woods. The 2 Russian bttns on the right are in the buildings. In the background are Roberts Prussians on the right and Robs Russians to the right of the battery. Below we have Russ attacking to the left of the stream…I recall one of these units popped quickly.

Below we have Roberts flank attack. …..an infantry/artillery gunline with the Hussars tucked nicely in to the rear flank.

A view from Rob’s position…Prussian Jager’s sitting in woods…..

and those Jager’s shot REALLY well…disordered the Cossacks and inflicted 2 casualties!

View from small hill of Russian positions……Rob had 1 of his Musketeer bttns in the village which left him very light on troops to hold this flank……

which Robert exploited by sending a unit of Hussars into the flank of the battery….

followed by a sweeping advance into the skirmishing Jager. You really have to cover open flanks ladz!!

Meanwhile…Russ is grinding his way forward.

So the Hussar unit that charged guns/Jager has reformed and charged the Russian Hussars in the rear…who had been disordered and unable to do much….as they were charged in the rear, all they could do was turn to face, negating use of their lances. Robert promptly charged the now about faced Hussars in the rear with his other Hussar unit. Beautiful. Elsewhere the Musketeer bttn that was in square got charged by a column of Fusiliers…it lasted a couple of rounds of combat..but…with the Cossacks already having been destroyed by gunfire…with the loss of the Hussars , the guns, the jager and now the square…Rob now had one unit left sitting in the village….and a broken brigade.

Here is close up of the destruction of the Russian Hussars.

Alan’s Uhlan’s decided not to charge..yet…but eventually they did…however..they did not do enough damage …….

and even though Russ had lost his 1st Brigade…the Reserve Brigade was just blasting its way forward with the Dragoons forcing Alans surviving infantry into squares…a Prussian victory was declared.

So the Prussian’s won this game however I will redo it..I feel the Russians handled differently will make for a closer game……..I sense a cunning plan and am very keen to give it a whirl…so a refight will be not to far away!

Next couple games will be ACW, one in the Garage and one at the Hutt Club. I am working through some new Confederate command stands and also a supply of the newish Perry Union mounted standard bearers are nearing completion so hopefully will have them ready as well.

New Confederate bases below…..would been finished yesterday..but….it has been raining so much….needed get a submersible pump to keep water at bay and spent day and night keeping as much water away from house as could!

And that’s all for today! The sun has come out…wind still blowing a gale…..but rain is clearing….so I have some clearing up to do outside!

Terry over and out!!

SteveT has a birthday game!(May 2022)

Garage Gamer SteveT was having one of those birthdays that feature a ‘0’ so he decided to host a Game in his Garage. Steve has written the report and I have added pictures.

Enjoy.

Battle of Bautzen Report by Steven Thompson

Why host a big Game?

There was two key reasons why I wanted to host a big game for the Garage Gamers using my own old school 20mm Napoleonic armies. I wanted to celebrate a major upcoming birthday milestone (how the hell did that happen – one year at a time I guess) but more importantly I wanted to do it to thank Terry Swain and the other Garage Gamers for allowing me to participate in their garage gaming nights.

I was very much a solo gamer before Terry invited me to the Garage Gamers nights. It is the best thing that has happen to me in the hobby as I have enjoyed playing with beautifully painted 28mm armies, experienced a wide range of periods that have included ancients (elephants!), ACW, WW2 Sea battles (battleships!), Napoleonic sailing ships (which brings out the kid in us all) and recently Flames of War modern battles.

The forward to the Black Powder rulebook says it best, ”let us remember that ideal accompaniment to the journey [in our hobby] maybe found in good brandy, fine cigars, and the companion of like-minded enthusiasts.”

We may not be big on cigars but we do like fine brandy & whiskey and I cannot think of a finer bunch of like-minded enthusiasts to share the hobby with than my fellow Garage Gamers.   

Planning a Scenario

I have long been fascinated by the 1813 campaign which featured a number of epic battles which are rich in the element of “what if” scenarios. Bautzen is one of these, and I was interested when reading Michael Leggiere history of the 1813 Spring Campaign about the debate in the Allied HQ for a counter offensive against the initial three French Corps that crossed the River Spree on the first day of battle.

My Bautzen game was more in the spirit of the battle rather than a historically accurate refight. I wanted to use the terrain boards from the epic Wagram battle at Call to Arms in 2019 as I have fond memories of that game and the boards lovingly built by Paul Weakly deserve to be used. 

Boards from the Allied right flank

This still allowed me to retain the key elements of a Bautzen game, Allies in strong defensive position on heights, a number of fiercely contested villages as the French launched pinning attacks before the arrival of the sledge hammer flank attack. The layout of the terrain boards also allowed the Allies the opportunity to use their advantage in cavalry to inflict a punishing attack on the initial French deployment.

Allied left

I added a bit whimsy to my scenario by making the Czar as a very distracted CnC for the Allies as Terry had wanted to spend part of the day drinking whisky while listening to 70/80’s Lps on my  stereo. However this did remove the best player on the Allied side from the game at important moments. 

Me listening to Steve’s Album collection….managed to enjoy Elton Johns ‘Captain Fantastic’ and Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’…. some of my Fav 70’s sounds.

In planning any good scenario game you should try for an even match in player abilities and temperament and this was where I came a bit unstuck due to unexpected late withdraws. I had Paul Goldsmith commanding the Austrian Bde (I know but I did say it was in the spirit of Bautzen!) and a Heavy Cavalry Bde as he knows how to get the best out of those big battalions in white and is an aggressive cavalry commander. Rob Parks who was to command the French VI Corps and I Reserve Cavalry was a good match against the Allied commanders he was likely to face in the opening stages of the battle.

Steve’s 2pm set up SNAFU…deployed Russian Jager BEHIND VILLAGE so French took village unopposed. I had to send myself to the naughty corner in the music room and start drinking.

However due to illness neither could attend which meant I overloaded poor Keith Gates with the Austrian Bde when he enough on his hands being Blucher. Rob’s unavailability meant that Keith & Stephen Clarke had to face Russel Briant in command of 3 French Corps from move one.

Early action in the centre….players went through a LOT of units in game around this spot.

Russell is a player I have huge respect for as he sees the angles in BP rules for flank attacks just quicker than anyone else. When playing him you are constantly under the threat of your units being overwhelmed by a never-ending wave of flank attacks and playing with French he rarely fails any command rolls so these attacks come at a speed that is difficult to defend against. He only failed one command roll all game.

I also learnt a lesson about not laying the units on the table at 2am as you will make deployment mistakes which allows one side an unfair advantage which was never your intention.

How did it Play?

We managed to get six full moves completed by 4pm. Robert Nippert had the heavy lifting role of storming the heights defended by Alan Hollows entrenched Russian & Austrian Bdes.

Prussians race to fill the void

Robert is an experienced French player and due to my early morning placement blunder he quickly crossed the River Spree, stormed the village at the foot of the heights and pushed a Russian Bde back into the woods at the top of the heights. However he could not sustain his position and his Bde representing Oudinots XII Corps settled for retaining control of the village.

Table shot.. love this terrain…a lot of nights were spend in the former garage carving polystyrene sheets….applying the fields…..painting the roads….tracks….assembling the 4Ground building etc

His second Bde representing McDonalds XI Corps also managed to make it to the top of heights, storming a redoubt before facing fierce cavalry and infantry counter attacks which drove his units back down to the river line. Fighting in this zone of the battlefield settled ended in a stand-off but Robert had achieved his objectives of pining Alan’s Bdes in place and seizing the village.

Russ attacking in the centre…Austrians being Austrians really didn’t want to move off escarpment into the town when ordered to.

The key battle was in the centre between Russell, commanding the French IV & VI Corps, I Reserve Cav Corps and the Guard and Keith and Stephen with Bluchers I Prussian Corps, & 3rd Army of the West.  Keith took my “what if” scenario to heart and advanced boldly forward to attack the French VI Corps but did not use the heavy cavalry Bde to provide flank support.

A lot of cavalry fought over this section of the battlefield.

Russell took one look at the open flank and reoriented the Swiss Bde he was planning on using to attack the town of Bautzen, to slam into Keiths advancing Prussian Bdes. The poor Prussian Bde was hit by the 2nd Bde of VI Corps to its front and the Swiss Bde to its flanks and eventually destroyed.

Yeehaa….Ney arrived to be greeted by the Czar!

Stephen moved this Bdes into the gap and launched a series of attacks against Russell’s advancing French. This involved a series of heavy cavalry battles which despite losing some units Russell managed to prevail, destroying the Allied heavy cavalry Bde. The end of the days play saw Stephen and Keith cobbling together a make shift defensive line as Russell was bringing up his guard units to deliver the coup de grace.

End game is nigh

Terry deployed the Russian Guard and Reserve Cuirassier Bdes to face Ney’s flank attack which finally arrived in turn four. We ended playing a game divorced from the rest of the action which more resembled an Age of Marlborough game as we both deployed our units in line to blast away at each other as Terry used his cavalry to try and take out my artillery. 

Table view from Allied left.

We are planning to rerun the game in the summer when everyone is fit and healthy and it will give me a chance to tweak the scenario to make it flow a little better so we can fit more turns in a day’s playing which is always the challenge for big Napoleonic games. 

But as for my two personal objectives it was very much mission accomplished!

Steven Thompson

So that is Steve’s report! I must thank him for his hospitality…fully stocked fridge…hot tea..and his lovely wife Clare provided a sumptuous feast for lunch! I personally enjoyed the bottle of Monkey Shoulder Whiskey while I listened to music before my occasional visists to the Game room…. this was the role as per the scenario instructions! PERFECT! As Steve said…he plans to replay game in summer when hopeful everyone is free of Covid.

So the Whiskey of the Week has to be Monkey Shoulder.

Review is:

Color: Dirty gold.

On the nose: A faint mix of honey and chili flakes make up the top notes, accompanied by sliced white bread. The base notes are all about malt: porridge, oat cookies, and the slightest touch of starch. Then, it transitions into old bananas, apple skins, and cotton candy powder. These aromas blend too soon until only the malt notes remain dominant.

In the mouth: The core of malt remains but with added light citrus peel and toasted rice. The fruity aromas are less distinct, giving way to wood spice, old gumamela flowers, and Manila paper. The texture is thin. It has a medium-length finish, beginning with powdered nuts and weak Victorian perfume before trailing away with toasted wood and old flowers.

Must say that is one of most ridiculous tastings have read…its a blended whiskey…was quite pleasant and on a cold day….warmed me up nicely….what more can one ask for! Thank you SteveT!!

Til next time..Terry out.

p.s Garage been out of commission for a month….we have been replacing furniture so old stuff was in garage until all sold…then popped down to the Winter playground of Queenstown to visit one of my daughters who is working there at moment. Normal gaming resumes next week.

Games in April 2022 – Game 2

So 2 weeks prior to Game 1 posted….Alan, Rob, Robert and I visited the Hutt Club taking along some Naps for a game.

I had an idea for a game…….got there and changed the set up. Stoopid. I told ladz after game when I have one of those ideas…you know to tell me its stoopid before we start!

So rather than playing across the table…we played down it….and I increased the number of units for each side as well. I must fight the desire for ever larger games!!

Below we have Bavarians and Russians at one end. Alan had bought along his newly painted Victrix Bavarians. Being not allowed into his office for a couple of years due to earthquake damage and the plague that goes on and on and… has really allowed Al to focus on painting armies…darn that man!

And at the other end of the table we have the Frenchie’s with Robert having those on the left and Rob on the right!

Shot through my Russkie’s to Roberts French at the far end. It was a rush to reach the centre of table where woods and village was!

Alans newly to Battle Bavarians. As ever..wonderful paint job.

Now these are Perry plastic Bavarians. The enlightened among you will know the Perry’s do not(well yet anyway) make plastic Bavarian cavalry…this is Alan playing with heads…adding shabraque extensions etc to make units up. He’s just embarassing.

So the issue with my really bright idea is now apparent…wall to wall troops…in depth with no space for manoeuvre. A slug fest.

Robert was really aggressive….Russians eat up aggressive….especially aggressive columns charging their large batteries…yum yum.

What a mess.

So the game ended in a fairly bloody draw…..

Now one of the nice chaps have met at the Hutt Club is doing some 3D printing and I have purchased the 3 buildings below which are Team Yankee scale 15mm building and will fit in perfectly with the pre painted building have bought from Battlefront. He is also doing various tanks etc which look quite good.

So that was the 2nd visit to the Hutt club…. finding with upgraded motorways now open its only a 15 minutes drive!

Til next time…..Terry out.

Games in April 2022 Part 1

Been bit slack in writing up games….

In no particular order.

Game 1: Battle of Saltanovka

So another game played at the Hutt Club. Previous visit had taken Naps along for a game and 2 of the regulars in Reg and Doug expressed a desire to get their Russians out on the battlefield so I rounded up Rob and Goldie to play them while I helped with rules for Reg and Doug. Chose our old favourite in Saltanovka but we reduced the orbat by roughly 40%.

Below is a picture of ladz… from left Rob, Doug, Reg and Goldie.

So the Russians are on the left and the French on the right. You probably have already figured that out! Doug had the Russian right flank opposite Rob in Saltanovka and Reg was on left opposite Goldie in Fatova. Russians deploy up to 8 inches on table and have first move. The rounding down on orbats gave each Russian player a brigade of 2 Jager and a brigade of 4 Musketeers with 2 batteries attached. On turn 4 a brigade of 2 heavy cavalry would arrive. The French players had a brigade of 4 battalions plus a battery each. On turn 2 another brigade of 4 battalions would arrive. On turn 3 they get a brigade of 2 heavy cavalry. The French start positions were holding the 2 villages.

Goldie’s force with battalion in line on left behind field fortification with a battalion in each of the houses and then a 4th in reserve. The battery is set up to shoot down the road. Reg’s force in distance.

Here we have Doug advancing on Saltanovka. Note the lovely 5 gun battery on a gorgy terrain piece on the left. It fired as a standard 3 gun battery but was so lovely we made sure it was on table! Rob has battery in advance behind cover with bttn’s in buildings and 2 in reserve.

A bit along in the game….. Doug has taken out the French battery and the cavalry for both sides is on the table. Goldie has moved the bttn from beside Fatova to woods further back due to artillery fire.

French reserve infantry are advancing around French right flank.

Woohoo! I do love heavy cavalry charging each other! Rob’s cavalry brigade has charged the Jager skirmishers who evaded out of the way opening up a charge on the Russian Kuirassier’s who counter charged. It got quite bloody… Rob’s Kuirassier’s imploded…Doug did a sweeping advance into the 2nd unit of Kuirassier’s…resulting in both units becoming shaken…but Doug’s won the combat. Rob’s 2nd unit was now shaken and so was removed from table as brigade now broken.

Now on the other flank… Reg has been throwing some truely appalling dice….and Goldie was getting stuck in and avoiding the Russian artillery…..

A bit further along and end of game time…and…well….its all a bit confusing…units have charged all over the place…combats have carried on..Reg has made some amazing dice rolls to hang in there…..but in the end…Goldie got there

On the other flank…was last turn so I encouraged Doug to charge in and see what would happen…good practice… sigh…..several bttns popped…….taking buildings can be very hard…even when you shake units with artillery first!

So that was a learning game for Reg and Doug.

Hopefully they will want to play again!!

And its Whisky of the Month time!!(Month as with Weakley overseas…..far less Whisky being consumed!!)

So I received an advice from my favourite online supplier to tell me that the Talisker Dark Storm was back in stock. However as I excitedly logged on to buy…found already sold out…..like…not happy (picture a very sad emoji). So I looked around and saw the GlenDronach Port Wood was in stock so decided to give it a trial.

The marketing spin says:

Glendronach 10yo Port Bottling Note

Following on from its Peated Port Wood Finish, GlenDronach have released another sumptuous single malt that has enjoyed a rest in Port casks. This particular expression is a 10 year old whisky, initally aged in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks before being finished in Port pipes from Portugal’s Douro valley.

The tasting notes say:

Nose: Huge helpings of dried fruit, mixed with aromatic oak and strawberry jam.

Palate: Brandied cherries, blackcurrant and chocolate digestive biscuits.

Finish: Honey, biscotti, raisin and orange zest.

Terry says….liked sound of it…..but…..bit of a let down…..perhaps being harsh as have had the GlenDronach 15 and 21’s and perhaps expected more from this…could be the finish in the Port casks….am not a Port drinker….will put aside for partner to drink..she enjoys a port!

Til next time.

A return to Borodino – March 22

Seeing as the Borodino game boards are stored in the garage, I decided to use 3 of them for a game. For a change… the French would be defending and the Russians attacking! I set the game up for 6 players but alas only 4 of played on a lovely evening.

The terrain boards were the Great Redoubt down to the Fleches but without the southern woods instead I left it open and deployed cavalry brigades on the now open flank.

The French had 5 x4 bttn’s of infantry with a 2 regt light cavalry brigade on the right flank, and a 2 regt light brigade and 3 regt Dragoon brigade on the left. Their was a horse battery on each flank and 5 batteries. 2 batteries and 2 extra legere bttn’s were in reserve for the French commander to deploy when he arrived.

The Russians had 2 standard infantry divisions each of a 4 bttn Jager brigade and 2 x 4 bttn’s Musketeer brigades plus 2 large batteries. They had a light cavalry regt on the left and on the right a 2 regt light brigade and a 2 regt Dragoon brigade. I also gave them a 2 regt brigade of Uhlan’s in the centre. They also had a horse battery.

Rob was first to arrive and he chose to be French so he commanded the French. Alan walked in next just ahead of Goldie so Alan was Russian commander and Goldie 2nd French player. I then played as the 2nd Russian player. Rob took the French right v Alan and I faced off against Goldie.

The French got to fire… the Russians then got first move. Below the view from the Great Redoubt.

My Russian Hussars on the right flank! Love these guys.

Alan on the left sends his skirmish line up with the Musketeers moving up in support.

This is a few turns on….I forgot to take photos as was having to much fun. I do love Russian cavalry!! So I have lost a unit of Hussars….and surviving shaken unit is in top right corner….having cleared out the French light brigade. Both my Dragoon regts are gone….. ran off table…shaken so can’t come back! There is a shaken French Dragoon regt in the lower right corner. Goldie and I traded a number of cavalry charges…in last one I thought I had him….but I threw REAL BAD…Goldie threw REAL GOOD. The remaining 2 French Dragoon regts are on the table but not in good shape either.

On the other side of table they were getting into it!

A bit further along and is end of game time. In the centre skirmish lines and batteries traded shots and skirmish units retired and were replaced by fresh units.

On the right … well…I had a lot of fun…..my horse battery blew the French dragoons that were in the corner away…..my Uhlan’s and Goldie’s other Dragoons got into it…his Dragoons are no where to be seen anymore…..Uhlan’s followed up into infantry who popped and I had moved horse battery up to obliterate a shaken column…..Goldie shot up and destroyed the shaken Hussar unit in corner……but enough damage had been done to Goldie’s flank that it was a Russian victory on this flank.

On the other flank Alan was making good headway and was attacking the Redoubt itself! It looks in the balance here but feel Alan has his nose in front.

So that was a fun game…. I do love cavalry charges.

Next game is Black Sea’s sailing ships which will be at Alans place as a change. Rob has painted his first ship up.. the ‘Victory’ so will report how he does!

Til next time..Terry out.

Somewhere in Belgium…….

Hello again from the Hermit Kingdom…..where the latest bright idea from our leaders is to allow at Xmas those citizens in our largest city of Auckland(1.5Million) which is still locked up to allow 30,000 of them at a time to ‘book’ an exit time to go on holiday. But only if you are vaccinated…..OMG….what..idiots.

So I was reading an old Wargmes Illustrated which had a ‘Battle of Wavre 1815’ article which got me thinking of making a scenario where some of Grouchys Generals decided to march to the sound of the guns of Waterloo.

So the scenario is the game played down the table where a brigade of Dutch/Belgiums is a blocking force in a walled farmhouse/fields. French infantry and cavalry are rushing down roads and run into them….reserves then march on for both sides and we see how the game goes.

So the game starts with Russ commanding the Dutch in the farmhouse and Rob French light cavalry in march column rushing down a road. Behind them are 2 Dragoons and a horse battery. Robert has 6 French ligne marching up a second road which joins the first short of the Farmhouse.

Turn 1 and French light cavalry have been shot up by the troops in the Farmhouse and fallen back disordered. The Cavalry behind them are in march column down the road(was easier to just place them on the table). The start of Roberts brigade is on the second road. Behind them are a small legere brigade.

The Dutch blocking force is below. On the left is a line bttn in the open between woods and Farmhouse. The Farmhouse has 2 militia bttns in it. Between the Farmhouse and hedges is a battery and a Bttn of Jager is in the hedges.

The unhappy cavalry. I probably overdid the terrain by having the wood beside the Dutch line bttn.

Jager’s watching the French ligne. Very nice Perry sculpts.

A bit further into the game, a Hanoverian brigade has arrived down the road and a British light cavalry brigade has appeared on rear of table. French ligne are approaching the hedges.

Now 3 bttns of French ligne have advanced to the hedgerow…leaving a flank for a Dutch battery to swing onto…oh dear.

Rob started to move his light cavalry to support the French right.

And Russ moved the arriving Hanoverians to bolster his left flank. Note the French are now down to 2 bttns.

Allies now forming a strong position as more French arrive.

The British cavalry who had refused to move for 3 turns finally obeyed some orders. On right Hussars move up to support square. French Dragoons in distance.

French ligne charge Hanoverians supported by Chasseurs into the flank. Cavalry took some damage coming in but made it.

The Hanoverians lost the combat, but held so the cavalry had to retire with combat to continue.

And then I actually got some cavalry to charge the French in the flank……. I did damage but the French held and the cavalry were forced to retire. But the French brigade was now shaken.

More French charge in! They don’t win.

And the end game has the Allies in possession of the battlefield. The French ligne brigade has now broken, the legere brigade has made slow progress moving on and the game is called as an Allied victory.

So that was that. Think guys enjoyed the game, I overdid the terrain a bit but these things happen!!

Til next time.

Lockdown and Production Update October 2021

So that sneaky virus has managed to infiltrate Fortress New Zealand once again…..in late August….. and the borders once again resemble a block of Swiss Cheese……..

Now for those of us not in Auckland it was 2 weeks at Level 4 followed by 1 week at level 3. This basically means stay home….. in my case…I was told had to go to work…..how annoying. Poor old Auckland is still locked up….they may be allowed out by Xmas(hopefully this year)This has meant minimal hobby time as been a bit busy….especially as the eldest daughter and the boyfriend moved in while between flats for a month(and the lads gaming machine was put on landing by my paint table…meaning I couldn’t paint as too noisy)…..but some progress has been made.

Now first is another unit of Byzantine Heavy Kavallarioi. I have just based them as I didn’t get the right shields or decals and so had to do an order to Gripping Beast and at the moment orders take 4-6 to make it out here to the ‘Hermit Kingdom’. A big thank you to Gripping Beast for buying Front Rank Miniatures as well! So figures are Gripping Beast, shield decals and banner from LBM.

The figures are mainly from a SAGA box set I picked up in a sale. So I decided to use the ‘Warlord’ or General figure in the unit. Was fun to paint as I played around with a box set of Army painter washes I have on the figure. Happy with result. I have adopted a mainly consistent approach to armour…leather etc across all the Byzantine units with slight variation on the ochres and browns and then differing washes.

The next unit is one of Byzantine Infantry. Again from Gripping Beast and decals/banner from LBM. The unit is 2 ranks of long spears and then bows at the back.

And a close up.

This brings my Byzantine force up to 2 Heavy Kavallarioi, 1 light Kavallarioi and 2 Infantry units. Next up is a 2nd light Kav unit to finish off a Division of 4. Below is photo of the force.

Now about an hour before Lockdown started at midnight there was a knock at the door and Goldie had turned up to hand over some Front Rank Wurttemberg Jager he had just finished for me to base for him. Now I have finished the basing and returned them, but being an idiot did not take finished picture. So here is one of the 3 oval bases part based. Will steal them back for a photo shoot!

Next are 2 Bttns of Austrian Grenz for my 1809 force. These are the 2 bttns of Grenzer Regiment No 13 Wallacho-Illyrian with the figures being Front Rank.

Still being worked on are a Bttn of 1809 French to add to Friant’s Division. This is the first of the 108th Ligne’s bttn’s. Figures are Front Rank Reinforcement pack figures. Am going for a non parade look…so making look bit scruffy with stained uniforms using some Army Painter inks.

Next up are some light infantry and skirmishers for my Romans. A bit of Ancients Gaming is starting so was time added some light units to my Legions.

Now Alan and Goldie have started painting the Prussian Hordes for the Franco Prussian War. The French plastic infantry have not been released yet for me to paint thankfully. But below are some of Alan’s figures.

Til Next time….Terry out.

Aspern Essling 1809 Revisited

Greetings from the ‘Hermit Kingdom of New Zealand!’.

So named by a former Prime Minister recently during a discourse he made about our beloved current Prime Minister ‘Redcinta the First'(and hopefully last) as she mirrors the achievements of all good Socialist leaders(assuming there is actually one).

So Goldie planned to run a refight in August…then someone sneezed in Auckland, and… lo and behold the entire country closed its borders…again….. and hid behind our castle walls. Thankfully the sneezing was mainly in Auckland so the rest of us have been allowed a degree of freedom while the poor sods in Auckland remain locked up.

So we had out refight in September 2021…….

The Austrians would have 5 players and the French 3. Nick, Alan, Keith and Goldie would have an Austrian Korps each while I had the Reserve Korps. There were 3 French players in PaulW, Rob and Robert. The scenario was Day 2 and each side would set up in the positions they held historically, but you could put any any troops you wanted there.

So below we have the French set up with Robert on the French left running from Aspern Village(out of picture), Rob in the centre and PaulW on right. Paul had the Cuirassiers and put all 6 to move around the right edge of the table……which was wonderful from an Austrian perspective! The 2nd line of French infantry were the elites of Lannes Corp. Some Guard were loitering on the edge of the table.

Then below we have the Austrians with from the left, Nick, Alan, Keith and Goldie with me off table in the centre. The Austrians had 1 division also off table on each flank ready on turn 2 to march on and attack the villages(or rather to remonstrate that they were to draw forces away from the French centre).

Austrians advance on the Frenchies.

Massed Cuirassiers attempting to ride around the right flank. There is not space between Essling village and the edge of the table.

Lannes orders the reserve line from the centre to move around the flank as well. We Austrian players were extremely happy at these troop movements away from the centre!

An oppsy moment, Lannes Blunders and instead of attacking/advancing decides a move to the right is required.

So below we now have disordered Cuirassiers and blundering infantry in front of Austrian infantry in square.

Meanwhile in the centre…..is that a gap I see……

It is indeed a gap…some French have popped….both sides lost some guns…..French light cavalry charged Austrians in flank…who cared not….in distance French Guard can be seen approaching. On the French left Robert was churning up Goldie.

Panorama shot…Nick still has a Division off table on Austrian left…..Grenz are skirmishing( 2 new units I painted during lockdown) , Alan is looking solid in the middle as the Reserve advance into the table, Keith is taking it to Robert and Goldie is doing really silly things in Aspern(I told him NOT to attack the Buildings).

Beautiful sight. Keith has punched a hole in the French line, I have supported with Cuirassiers and am moving the Grenadiers up to exploit the gap.

PaulW sent some Cuirassiers around the village hunting guns…light cavalry etc….they did well then got forced to retire back in front of building…shaken…..Lannes gets some troops into the square….and the square held.

If you look beyond the village…that is a Division of Austrians that have advanced into the French rear…a beautiful thing. The French Cuirassiers are disordered and cannot charge…

A close up below.

On the Austrian right…..am not sure…but I think Goldie could be in trouble here. The cavalry are Wurttembergers from Front Rank…so actually only light cavalry…..

And below we have the result of the events of the last turns….PaulW threw the Guard in to stabilise the centre…..they died gloriously…hit by Austrian large columns to front, Cuirassiers to the flank….and with an intact Austrian reserve supporting the relatively undamaged Austrians( we were disavowing Goldie at this stage) the French agreed they had been defeated!

So that was another Aspern-Essling refight in the bag. The French deploying all their heavy cavalry on one flank and also supporting with the reserve infantry of Lannes I feel lost them the game. There was insufficient space to deploy effectively and Austrian large bttns are very hardy and take up space… to much space for the cavalry to quickly take them out.

Now friend Paul Weakley along with his family are leaving our shores for 4 years shortly. and the container taking their supplies(the important items like Whisky and Wine) can only take full bottles. So Paul booked in for a meal/wine/whisky evening. Now after a meal of slow cooked lamb shanks(which were not only HUGE but tasted absolutely amazing)) along with all the trimmings…copious amounts of wine followed by an apple and rhubard crumble Paul had made, we sampled wine and listened to 80’s music for the evening….well til 2ish anyway. So…todays Whisky of the week is…..Bladnoch Adela 15….which has an amazing bottle……

Tasting notes:

Nose: Walnut and coffee cake, juicy cherries and a hint of lemongrass.

Palate: Chocolatey and rich, with notes of strawberry, liquoirce and clove in tow.

Finish: Quite long and packed with Oloroso sweetness.

Now I really liked this one, great colour and capped off a great evening. I shared the last drops with my neighbour John and he has retained the bottle to be his ‘infinity bottle’!

That’s all for now…..more reports to follow!

Battle of Teugn-Hausen: 19th April 1809

Now 1809 is my favourite period in the Nappy Wars so am always happy when we swing into some 1809 games.

Now Garage Gamer Paul W will be leaving us for 3 years as his beloved has obtained an overseas posting in Vanuatu and Paul, who rightfully considers himself the luckiest man alive will spend 3 years not being allowed to work there and so will sit round the pool drinking or go diving looking at all those WW2 ship wrecks…lucky man indeed.

Now Paul has expressed a desire to refight a game on his Wagram Terrain boards before he goes. So this has resulted in another surge of new troops led by Alan with units of Grenz, Jager, 2 Hungarian line and artillery. I have pitched in with 2 units of Grenz and am expanding my 24 figure line bttns to 36’s. Goldie is painting up the Wurttemberg light Infantry brigade as well.

So before we get round to refighting Wagram there will be a few practice games. The first is a refight of Teugn-Hausen which was fought on the 19th April 1809. In this battle Davout’s 3rd Corp is marching along a road heading north when Hohenzollerns 3rd Corps attempts to intercept him. The 2 sides are fairly equal in numbers of around 17,000 each with the Austrians having 5 squadrons of Hussars as the only cavalry. The French are marching along a road and the Austrians cross a wood lined ridge to attack them. Both sides have troops then joining in.

Below is the opening set up. I allocated sides to players as they arrived. Alan arrived first so he deployed his Austrians including the new units on the ridge to sweep the French aside and take Teugn. StephenC arrived next so he got to be the French defending Teugn. StevenT was next so he got to be the Austrian artillery batteries massed in front of Hausen and the 5 bttns marching onto the table. Goldie was next so he got his 6 French bttns lined up on road heading north. These French bttns are the very same bttns that were on that road in 1809….incuding..groan..the 57th. Robert arrived next so he was 3 French bttns and a battery marching on from behind Teugn.

Oh dear…its very early on in the game and as often happens, newly painted units don’t last long. Alan has already lost his Grenz and Jager! French have a shaken unit and Alan is charging forward with his large bttns.

Alan has had some success, but Robert is rushing on with more French and a battery is trying to blunt a bttn’s advance.

So after the Austrian initial advance, they have been repulsed and the French ready themselves to counter attack.

So Goldie has now taken the field with his French troops that were marching down the road. They can be seen moving through the woods. StevenT is opposite him with 5 large bttn’s of Austrians. There were 3 batteries posted in front of the Hausen which StevenT has moved and placed in what looks a dangerous position. Roberts French can be seen moving to link up in the centre. StephenC’s French have stated to advance as well. Alan has moved his horse artillery and Hussars up on the flank.

So in the centre Robert has charged a shaken Austrian column. I didn’t take a picture…but…it didn’t go well for the Austrians…more French charged in ..the artillery was hit in flanks…pooped from other combats….someone is not getting artillery again for a while! Yes that’s you Mr Thompson!!

The Terrible 57th march to the attack!

StephenC launches an attack on the right.

But…all is not lost for the Austrian, I arrive with Grenadiers from the Austrian right! Sounds impressive……but…am attacking French with same stats…I have 7 attacks, they have 6 and re roll a miss…. so its…all down to the dice rolling.

So a bit further on…. 57th getting destroyed…..combat had gone on here for a few rounds…the flanking Grenadier unit is there as I got very excited when had a unit ready to roll up the French flank where you can see the 12 pdr battery. Forgot to announce the order before rolled, an automatic Blunder Order …and as a result…they moved to the right and onto the flank of unit now charging…so they joined combat in their next turn. Thankfully after combined artillery fire into flank with infantry shooting from front, the French bttn…popped!

Meanwhile in the centre….Arch Duke Charles has arrived with an escort of Cuirassiers ….he was there to look good…not join in! The Austrians here had lost their artillery but still had intact bttns.

While in the centre, Alan has retired his damaged brigade before it pops….. with StevenC and Robert closing in.

So that was that……the Austrians failed to break through and stop Davout’s march Northwards. The early loss of the Grenz and Jagers in the right woods followed by the loss of the 3 batteries in the centre really put the breaks on the Austrian attack. I rolled to see if the Austrian reserves were 5 more large bttns in the centre or the 4 Grenadiers and a 12pdr from the right corner marching on…happy was Grenadiers. But in the end, the French were to good in the centre.

So to the Whisky of the week….and it is a BEAUTY!

I have just ticked over another year so I asked the beloved for a nice bottle as a prezzie. Now when Anita had her 60th earlier this year, we dined out at a lovely restaurant where I sampled a whisky with my dessert which I asked for. It was OUTSTANDING!

So this week, the Whisky of the wee is the GLENDRONACH PARLIAMENT 21 years.

It is with out doubt the smoothest whisky I have owned. I have worked up from the GlenDronach 12 and 15 and now jumped past the 18 to the 21.

It is named “Parliament” after the collective term for a group of rooks – and there is a Parliament of Rooks living in the trees near GlenDronach… how cute.

Nose: Soft smoke and lemon juice, cedar wood, apple peel, toasty oak, soft earth, date and walnut cake and a hint of freshly made espresso.

Palate: Golden syrup, soft, juicy raisins, tangy oak notes, peach, cherry blossom, cocoa and honeydew melon.

Finish: Sherry tones lead the finish, with a hint of sulphur, chocolate, luscious fruit and pepper.

And there we have it readers, get one if you can!!

Til next time.