Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Game 100 : The Relief of Khartoum

 This is game 100 and a milestone. Bizarrely it wasn't in 10mm. It was 28mm Sudan fighting using the "Sands of Sudan" rules by Carlo Pagano who spent a lot of time collating all the old bits of information of the original rules by Peter Gilder.

The figures and terrain are all from Dave Docherty's collection, nearly all of it was used to play the game. Dave and his friend Martin were the umpires. The table, as you know, has 2 x 24 feet lengths. A column would march down each, Omdurman being the ultimate target at the other end, plus the relief of the Egyptians and the retrieval of the wives!

They are certainly alive and kicking. Briefly, the players are the colonialist forces trying to relieve Gordon, and the bad guys are card generated and played by the umpires. The Colonialists have to advance 24 feet along the table to Omdurman. Near to Omdurman is a forward base garrisoned by 2 Egyptian btns. They would need rescuing. In addition, the Officers wives have wandered through the desert to this base for a "jolly outing". The main column also has reporters who will obviously exaggerated both success and failures.

Many pictures were taken, here are a few to enjoy.


On my table length, Graham and myself were being umpired by Martin. Here you see Omdurman at the end of the table and the "isolated Egyptian btns". There is a wadi that crosses the whole table. Also on our side at the other end was the Suakin railway with engineers busily laying new track.


The Egyptians cam under almost immediate attack. They would survive 3 major attacks and then were running perilously low on ammo. This meant an attempted breakout towards the relief column led by the Guards. One Egyptian btn escaped whilst the other succumbed to overwhelming attacks.


On the other table were another of Dave's group, Steve, and Bob who is a regular. They had to take this unnamed Mahdi town. Immediately to their left is the River Nile and we did have gunboats!


Mahdist mounted troops getting cut ti ribbons by infantry and artillery fire and the despatched by the Bengal Lancers.


Controlled volley fire from front and rear drives off Fuzzi Wuzzi attacks. The colonialists tend to be safe providing the y are not caught in flank or rear or are heavily outnumbered frontally. Even then, the baddies have only about a 1 in 9 chance of withstanding withering fire.


The ultimate cauldron with the Mahdists managing to get surrounded on all four sides. The rules do assume that all fire is directed correctly, so no friendly fire!! The above action saw the end to part one of the battle. The colonial columns had been deemed to have reached and taken their objectives and now the next action would be the relief of Khartoum.


Khartoum with its garrison. All the Mahdist forces are present and all are deployed. There is also a replacement system for the Mahdists, essentially all losses are recycled at their rear lines on the opposite flank to where they started.


This is Graham & myself facing the strongest attack we had yet encountered. We were somewhat lucky, the artillery on drove off the Mahdists after a second round or melee, as did the Guards. If either had gone another round, it is quite likely that both units would have been wrecked. The Indians brigaded with us were having a rather good day of it. Two complete firing lines were wrecking any attack the Mahdists tried to mount well in advance of their position.


The Indians create slaughter on the Mahdist attack. The Guards behind them to the right, volley awat Mahdist cavalry at the last moment.


On our right flank, Bob & Steve have the river boats moving along the Nile. Eventually, Khartoum would be relieved from the Nile whilst at the same time the Mahdist position in the centre would collapse. 

This shows the final position. The Nile riverboats have troops entering Khartoum. Graham & my forces now have no enemy between us and the gates to the city. Khartoun itself has held out against various assaults and Gordon stands ready to welcome the relieving troops, off course along with the reporters!!


Rogue's gallery. We also had a visitor, another Steve, who was testing out our new entrenchments in front of the Situation Room. Game 101 will se us back with 10mm Napoleonics, we're fighting Plancenoit as a stand alone battle. Looking forward to it!!!!


Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Game 99 : Battle of Vimeiro revisited : August 21st 1808

 There was just the two of us to play this game, its a repeat of Vimeiro, what would happen this time?


The battlefield is dominated by the village of Vimeiro itself and there is a stream that runs laterally across the battlefield. Both armies consist largely of infantry but the French do have two Brigades of Cavalry against a single Brit Cavalry Brigade. Deployment is fairly simple, linear, with no major surprise.


The above pic shows the front line from the Brit left flank. There is a hill that provides an anchor for the Brit deployment. The nous is on the French to attack and the Brit uses the village of Vimeiro and the stream as his main defensive line.


This is viewing the front line again, from the French left flank and all the armies have been deployed. The battle will literally spit itself into three convenient sections, left flank, centre and right flank.


A lot of the action was centred in and around Vimeiro. The French launched multiple assaults, but each time the British infantry were up to the task of defending. This was true along the line. The French would attack and the British would hold the line.


This shows the French left flank. British squares are facing off French Heavy Dragoons and the battle at this end is in a form of stalemate. The othe comment to make was that the artillery duel between both sides was being won slowly by the French, this would be telling later on.


The story was the same on the French right flank. Here the British started to advance and it was only French artillery that dissuaded the British as to the wisdom of such an advance. 


Eventually the French were lucky. The village came under attack from two columns, the first was repulsed but the pic shows the second column, French Grenadiers, closing on the village. The defenders were ejected with heavy losses.


Vimeiro is now solidly under French control, as are the immediate flanks. This forced the British to ful pull back from the river. The British line is still intact


This is the French left. The taking of Vimeiro, along with winning the artillery duel, has given the French the height ground. Moreover, further left, the French Heavy Dragoons can now work their way around the British right flank which is being held in squares. The only option is for the British to withdraw which they do successfully.

 

Game II

 

 

French Formations

Losses %

British Formations

Losses%

Infantry

Cavalry

Artillery

Infantry

Cavalry

Artillery

Junot

-

-

35

Wellington

-

-

52

Brennier

12

-

-

Acland

10

-

-

Solignac

12

-

-

Anstruther

34

-

-

Charlot

16

-

-

Hill

19

-

-

Thomieres

31

-

-

Ferguson

63

-

-

Kellerman

27

-

-

Fane

2

-

-

Bruyere

-

10

-

Bowes

30

-

-

Margaron

-

14

-

Nightingale

3

-

-

 

 

 

 

Taylor Cav Brig

-

13

-


Peninsular battles are always intriguing as they allow a lot of tactical nuance. This game was not different. Next up is going be a surprise as it will be the 100th game. Unusual and unexpected I would say. Until then!























Sunday, 24 April 2022

Game 98 : Battle of the Mincio River : February 8th 1814

 This battle is early in the 1814 campaign in Northern Italy. Both armies are trying to "get the jump" on their opponent to try and conduct a swift and conclusive campaign. Never happened, plans and all that! Its Austrians, some not too good, against Junot with a mixed bag of nationalities and abilities!

This was probably the most peculiar game we've played in a long time. Deployment was blind for both sides with defined areas where they could start. Immediately, the lead Austrian Division, on the opposite of the river to the rest of the army decided to attack a French Division in site to its right flank


This is the above attack. The only problem is that another French Division arrives immediately to its left flank, or now rear. This Austrian Division now has to escape and it takes time, hampered by poor command and control.


The Austrian Reserves to the rear and central of the main army then decided to attack a French flank Division on their left. When they found they couldn't "fit in" the line, they turned axis and went to support the Austrian Division on the far side of the river. At this point, the Austrians had a left, a sort of centre and no right flank.


The French exploit the fact there is no Austrian right flank and advance to keep the Austrian frontage compressed. The French Division that arrived on their right has stabilised its position and has fixed the Austrian left seen below.


Although the number of troops on this flank, for both sides, were not large, it had the effect of bottling up the Austrians. They had plenty of men, but no place to use them.


This pic shows virtually the entire Austrian army compressed in a small area. The French are literally herding them into a smaller and smaller space where they have no space to fight effectively.


The French left now advances with two full Divisions deployed. The centre is fixed and the French drive in with significant fire support and drive the Austrian back in disarray.


A pic taken from the opposite angle, the French assault is at the top of the pic. Austrian cavalry is now trapped behind the central village, also blocking the manoeuvring of their own infantry. Isolated artillery batteries are also now getting overrun.


The Austrians are now caving from their right and its is a piecemeal battle. The Austrians are also having problems in issuing orders for formations to retire, to at least create space for a rear guard. We called the game at this point.

French Formations

Losses %

Austrian Formations

Losses%

Infantry

Cavalry

Artillery

Infantry

Cavalry

Artillery

Eugene

 

 

34

Bellegarde

-

-

71

Lecchi

7

6

0

Stanisavlevics

3

55

0

Bonnemains

-

1

8

Marziani

4

-

13

Grenier

-

28

46

Vescey

-

17

46

Rouyers

4

-

0

Perclat

12

-

38

Quesnel

14

-

9

Sommariva

0

0

15

Verdier

-

0

5

Wrede

9

-

13

Palombine

2

-

0

 

 

 

 

Fressinets

2

-

0

 

 

 

 


The casualties reflect the "oddness" of the battle. Artillery on both sides suffered badly, a lot of counter-battery at effective range! After that losses are really light, it would be prisoners that would have shown how badly the Austrians became trapped.


Rogue's gallery again. A good time was had by all. The next game will be Napoleonic, back to the Peninsular with a refight of Vimeiro over a possible 3-4 days. It will allow us either to fight it twice or fight a complete battle including any covered withdrawal.


Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Game 97 : Battle of the Katzbach August 26th 1813

 

This battle pitched Marshal MacDonald against Blucher. It was also fought in foul weather, rain occurring a lot of the time with affects on movement, musketry and artillery fire. The armies are reasonably matched and we use some form of variable morale reflecting the troops of the year and theatre.


This is from the initial action on the French left. Some time was spent with forces of both sides taking time to get to grips, but the ebb and flow of battle was soon to be upon everyone. The above village changed hands at least three times.


Further in the centre, the French advance to secure the actual river line to facilitate movement between areas as the river bisects the battlefield in two. The village here was held by the allies throughout the battle.


The first cavalry clash on the French left. It was a fairly bloody affair with the French receiving high casualties, but not broken. Back to the infantry slog.


Remaining on the French left, each side commits two Divisions of infantry to the village combat. The French would win this combat decisively, but trying to make progress further into enemy lines was to prove disastrous.


Another view of the same action. I've now also changed the camera mount to get longer shots.


A long shot along the battlefield. The French are on the right of the picture. It seems to give a better "feel" for the action along the whole front.


This is the same idea, a long shot taken from the other end of the battlefield with the Allies on the right hand side.


The battle still rages unabated on the French left. The Allies are assaulting again. To put things in more context, we must have played about 35 turns. Most of that was fought in some type of "rain" mostly light but sometimes heavy.

Disaster befalls the French. In the centre of the pic is a Prussian Dragoon Regt (I think) that has broken a French column, then rallied and will charge along the flank of the French front. Its a race to see if the French Generals can extricate their Divisions with order changes! They succeed, but not before some horrible losses.

French Formations

Losses %

Allied Formations

Losses%

Infantry

Cavalry

Artillery

Infantry

Cavalry

Artillery

MACDONALD

 

 

 

BLUCHER

 

 

 

Souham

-

71

38

Sacken

 

 

 

Brayer

43

-

33

Vasiltshikov

 

 

 

Delmas

19

-

41

Lieven

0

-

0

Albert

6

-

14

Neverosky

2

-

14

Ricard

11

-

8

Tschaplitz

-

8

21

Marchand

4

-

0

Karpov

-

15

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauriston

-

17

23

Yorck

 

 

 

Maison

30

-

8

Steinmetz

21

0

28

Rochambeau

25

-

23

Mecklenburg

9

28

31

 

 

 

 

Horn

19

17

3

MacDonald

-

22

55

Hunerbein

21

11

16

D’Henin

16

-

17

Jurgass

-

12

33

Charpentier

19

-

8

Scmidt

-

-

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sebastiani

 

 

 

LANGERON

-

-

6

D’Hurbal

-

24

0

Sherbatov

 

 

 

Exelmans

-

27

33

Tallisin

50

-

11

St Germaine

-

6

8

Bernodossov

43

-

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alsuviev

 

 

 

WEATHER 35 turns

 

 

 

Udom

31

-

0

 

 

 

 

Rudsevich

36

-

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kapzevich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urussov

35

-

20

 

 

 

 

Turtshaninov

10

-

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pantschild

 

31

44


As with all previous battles, any losses at 30% or higher mean that the formation is combat ineffective. Losses of 40% or higher really mean the formation is wrecked. When we called the battle, the Allies still held their front line and were pressuring both French flanks. The French army would retire, there would be no Allied pursuit.


Here we have the "rogues" gallery. 10 players for a week of gaming, including the bottle of Port. A very civilised time was had by all. Next battle, a surprise new one staying with the Napoleonic theme.