Monday, 15 September 2014

Napoleon at war Tournament at Montmelo, Barcelona 13th Sept 2014

"I say Picton how many of these damn peajes do we have to march through"

A few weeks ago I was invited to a Tournament of NAW in Barcelona, this came with impeccable timing because  my youngest daughter was starting university there, so we could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

The event was the second NAW tournament in a year and had changed venue to a Little town, North of Barcelona called Montmelo and was hosted by the kind fellows from the Ludus Historiae. The venue came with its own free parking and was bigger than the hall we used before in Gava. Unfortunately due to it being a Bank holiday weekend in Barcelona, there were quite a few players that could not make it . In the end there was six of us , three French armies, two British and one Austrian

This time I wanted to play British but not wanting to defend all the time. I decided to go with a Heavy Cavalry Brigade with all my other forces being in reserves.

                                       My 1500 points Heavy Cavalry Division consisted of;
                                      1 Heavy Cavalry Brigade of 3 British Heavy Dragoon Regiments
                                      1 British Infantry Brigade of 3 line Battalions and 1 Light Battalion
                                      1 British Guard Brigade of 2 Guard Battalions
                                      1 Brunswick Infantry Brigade of 3 line Battalions
                                      1 Brunswick Hussar Regiment
                                      1 Brunswick Horse Artillery
               The list was a bit of a gamble due to having only one forcé starting on the table at the beginning of the games. But with my terrible dice throwing I was sure I would get the reserves on quite quickly. Also it was the only British list which you can attack with.

The first game was against Eloi's French Infantry Division and was the scenario, "Attack on a prepared position" from the rule book.

 On turn one, one of my cavalry regiments charged a infantry in line. Eloi decided to stand and fire, I succesfully rode down both of his skirmishers and his regiment fired. He managed to get one hit and you guessed it , I rolled a one and lost a base, I then failed my unfavourable Elan test and so fell back. If I was able to charge into combat I probably would have eliminated two infantry battalions and exhausted one of his forces straight away. Instead my cavalry limped away.

My Infantry brigade arrived on the table on turn 3 and I directed them straight ahead to try and capture his objective in the enclosed field. With my cavalry protecting their left flank from the French Dragoons.

My two forward infantry regiments formed line and advance to attack, unfortunately they lost their firefights and fell back behind their supports.

With the French centre and left flank being kept busy with my Brunswick reinforcements, on turn 5 my two Infantry support battalions charge the French and rout them. Also my cavalry finally charge the French dragoons after a stand off and rout them off the field. Afterwards they wheel and threaten the flank of the French Infantry.

My cavalry charge the surrounded French infantry in the enclosed field capturing the objective. Unfortunately with time running out. I lose due to needing 1 more VP point to win.
There was quite a few lessons learnt from this loss, one was independent cavalry regiments are very weak. I lost my Brunswick Hussars in the final turn. It was either being blasted by the French Artillery, or charge some French Hussars. I chose to charge and lost with the unit being eliminated.

After the first game we left the venue to go for lunch. It was then I remembered that when my Heavy cavalry went into Close combat they have an advantage (2D6) for being brave and with both opposing cavalry brigades being Battle cavalry they would cancel each other out. If I had remembered that during the game I would have charged earlier on and avoided the stand off. After a lovely meal with good company we returned back to the venue.

My second game was the third scenario in the book, Rearguard. I was playing against Jose Luis and his French Light Cavalry División, as we both had Agressiveness of 3 we had a dice off to see who was the attacker, unfortunately I lost and was the defender. With only only my Heavy cavalry Brigade on the table I placed two regiments far up the board to keep the French away from the Objectives and kept one regiment in reserve. Unfortunately the Jose Luis could deploy where he wanted and deployed his Grand Battery in front of my cavalry.

Luckily both my forward regiments just about manage to survive the artillery onslaught. There was no way I would be able to charge the cavalry, the only option would be to retreat out of the fire zone and attempt to rally.

A French light brigade  advanced around my left flank and captured the first objective, so I advanced my reserve regiment to contest the objective. I made a mistake of trying to rally my other two regiments instead completely moving out of the fire zone of the Grand battery and lost them  to the Grand Battery. With the special rule of not being able to roll for reserves until turn three I had no chance of surviving and lost in turn two.

With plenty of time on my hands, I helped Bob and Julian,  newcomers to the rules with their game.


My last game was against Bob's French Infantry División. The scenario was flank attack, I was the attacker so decided to use my cavalry to clear his left flank for my reinforcements to come on. Bob decided that keeping his infantry in line and firing was a good option, however my Cavalry finally lived up to their reputation and began riding down the french infantry for the fun of it and quickly destroyed two of his brigades. Bob,  a little war weary from a whole day playing a new set of rules conceded defeat, and I won without my reinforcements appearing, a total reversal of my second battle. 


Jose luis was the winner with his French Light Cavalry División


I came fourth and won some Man at war French Imperial Guard Infantry, just actually  was on my shopping list to buy next, so I was very pleased 
Players and umpireat the end of the tournament. 
I really enjoyed this tournament and of course the excellent company . I definitely will be there in Febuary for the next tournament to attempt to reclaim the title for Alicante. I also learnt a few lessons;
1) Have your forces as organic and support, they may cost more but will start on the table on turn 1.
2) If you do decide to choose a forcé that is reserve, make it cavalry so it can move quicker into the action.
3) With equal points it's alot harder to attack than to defend.
4) Dont take one unit independent forces, when they are eliminated you lose a victory point.
5) Check what forces the other player has before deploying, so you don't have any surprises like facing Grand batteries.
6)  Make sure you take dice that have fives and sixes on them. Im sure mine didn't.
On a little side note, there was a few small issues that came up from the players that were experienced with playing Napoleonics but were new to playing the NAW rules. I know from experience you can't please all the people all of the time and everybody has their own opinión of how a Napoleonic battlefield should feel. However to attract more players to this great set of rules I have a view ideas that I will be writing in different articles on my blog in the next few weeks in the section on NAW rule variations. Will keep you posted

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    We are new on Napoleon at war but motivated.

    The next year, plan you to redo a tournament?

    If yes, maybe 3 players from France...