Monday, 29 November 2010

Lasalle tournament, Alicante

Lasalle Tournament , Alicante

Its been over a year since I last blogged on here, but it has certainly been a busy time. Moving into a larger house with my own dedicated wargames room was one of the best things that happened, but another is joining a wargaming club in Alicante. They play Napoleonics in 15mm using the Lasalle rules by Sam Mustafa. They are a great bunch of guys and were very welcoming, and it is improving my Spanish all the time.

On the 20th of November we held our first Lasalle tournament, there were 10 participants with one person flying in from Majorca just for the day. We had three games each, my army was a French Infantry Division and a Dragoon Support who are designated as reserves, so you have to dice for them to enter.

The first match was against the British with Brunswick Support. I was attacking, the British had plenty of wood cover, and only a small gap of open terrain. My plan was to feint a frontal attack with an infantry brigade and then hit them with my reserves. Unfortunately my Dragoons did not turn up until turn eleven, two moves later than Ihad anticipated. By that time most of my infantry units were committed to combat, with only one success by some irregulars in the woods. Although they were tantalising close to the objective, I had no reinforcements to exploit the gap. My army was over its breakpoint threshold and finally broke around turn 18. So I lost my first match 2-5.

British positions of the first battle.

My Infantry start to engage the British Right Flank.

My reserves enter, but alas too late.

My second match was against Austrian Avant Garde and Hussar support, We both wanted to be attacker but I lost the dice throw so I was the defender. I decided to use streams to slow his progress and because my support was off the table, concentrate my troops in one quarter of the table with the stream and hill as the defensive features. The Austrians advanced very rapidly in march column, and I had not unlimbered my artillery because I was moving to the front of the hill, so I could not take advantage of the juicy targets. Soon I was engaged on all sides. A special mention to my artillery who first fought in close combat with a large unit of lancers and won, and then won against two Infantry units attacking it. One onlooker described my defence like Hamburger Hill, I was more inclined to think of it as Custer's last stand and waiting for the rest of the 7th Cavalry to arrive. Sadly as in the battle of the Little Bighorn. It didnt turn up until it was too late (this time around turn 13) . By that time most of my line had broken and having reached army breakpoint my dice scored low to lose the match 5-2.

Austrian Hordes advancing rapidly.

My artillery is still limbered and the Austrians are nearly at the foot of the hill.

Ooops We are surrounded

Miguel moving his troops into charge whilst I look on.

All the action happening in one quarter of the table.

After a break for a meal and chat (and a little Spanish lesson off Miguel) . We returned to the club for our last game. For my last game I was playing against the Russian Guard with Cuirassier support. I was defender again and used my tactic of an additional stream again, this time I made sure my artillery were unlimbered to cause harrasment and slow up the Russian hordes. By a miracle my Dragoon reserves arrived quite early turn 5 by throwing "snake eyes". The Russians placed their cannons at short range around my troops to blow them to pieces, but my artillery managed to break one their artillery unit, before it managed to fire a shot. This success was short lived as my poor placement of my Dragoons meant that his cuirassiers managed to make a hole in the defences and broke my army. I lost again 5-2.

Russian Cuirassier Brigade advancing.

Russian Guard Advancing

My troops moving up to defend the stream.

Cuirassier Brigade charging my flank

Even though I came second (to last) I really enjoyed the day and even though we started at 8.30 in the morning until around 8.00 at night I was enjoyable all the way through and didnt turn out to be a chore. Congratulations to Paco from Majorca for winning the Tournament. Thanks to Dani for organising and umpiring the tournament and thanks to everyone else participating in making it such a friendly and enjoyable experience.