Wednesday, 14 July 2021


                            Waterloo Refight

Just putting on some of the big games on my blog from the last few years. This was from 2015 when we played our 200th Anniversary game at my house. It was a great turn out with 5 players on the French side and 4 players on the Allied side. We played free deployment and with both sides not knowing if Blucher or Grouchy (or even both) would arrive on the flank. 

I set the table up in a L shape, all the troops are off the table at the start.

The Allied Players, left to right; Carlos, Jose Angel, Toni and myself.

The French Players, left to right; Miguel, Francois, Vicente, Salva and Javi.

The game wouldn't have been possible without other players bringing some of their collections as well. Javi very kindly supplying some of the British. 

Whilst the French players were upstairs discussing their tactics and sorting out commands, The Allied Players were deploying their troops. Any troops behind the ridge were replaced with playing cards (including blank cards) so there was an element of doubt for the French where the Allied units were placed.

Most of the Allied troops are not deployed because they are behind the ridge.

I was in command of the British flank, Units on the ridge and defending Hougoumont were placed on the table.

The French players after making their careful plans of attack begin to place their troops.

View from the Allied side as the large French columns are placed on the table. 

With the help of Javi, I explained the special rules for the game.

One of the special rules was for the arrival of Grouchy or the Prussians. I had written a number of messages about the sighting of troops (or lack of signs) on the French right flank. We used real time as a trigger to a dice roll to see if either side received any messages.

So between 9.00 to 1.00pm 1-4 no message
                                              5-6  one message

2.00 to 3.00pm 1-3 no message
                           4-5  one message
                              6 two message

4.00 to 8.00pm  1-2 no message
                           3-4 one message
                             5-6 two messages

The messages have a brief description such as "Light cavalry are sighted on the flank" these are weighted with +5, +10, +15 or -5, -10 and -15 points. After 5pm and every hour after the points are added up and when they reach a certain amount then the French or Prussians are placed on the field. This gives each side a level of knowledge or uncertainty when the troops are going to arrive.

Wellington takes up his position on the ridge.

Napoleon with his Imperial Guard

The French Centre begins their advance.

Panoramic view from the French side.

Toni was in command of the Allied left Flank and did a very good of delaying the French advance.

This time, Napoleon wasn't messing about and had sent his Imperial Guard in the first attack, advancing onto to La Hay Sainte.

The Highlander Regiment from the British Reserve Corp managed to hold onto the village of Smohain until the very last turn.

A view from the Allied controlled village of Papelotte.

The French emerge from the woods to finally attack Hougoumont.

The French Cavalry begin their attack between La haye and Hougoumont. 

Close up of the French attack.

Hougoumont under increasing pressure from the French VI Corp

Hougoumont was on the ropes, and to its flanks the French cavalry had reached the ridge so therefore the Allied troops behind the ridge were deployed.

Break time for a BBQ and the swimming pool to cool off.

The French infantry reach the ridge but are counterattacked by the Allied cavalry.

The French Cavalry supported by their horse artillery begin to charge the Allied infantry squares behind the ridge.

The Imperial Guard finally take La Haye Sainte.

                                     The pressure on the Allied centre is growing.

The Prussians finally arrive, more or less the same time and place historically.

Unit of Cuirassiers destroys three infantry units including a battalion of riflesthat had not form in square in time.

More Prussian arrive but move slowly through the woods allowing the French to hurry reinforcements to block the advance.

The game finished with the French taking all of the ridge apart from one Dutch battalion that was under my command. Due to the victory conditions technically this meant the Allies had held the day although if we had chance to play another turn then it would have been surely a French victory.

It was a great game played on a very sunny and hot day. We had used Lasalle rules for the game due to all of us knowing the rules although it had been a few months since we had played them. It was one of the largest games we have put on with over 3828 infantry, 624 cavalry and 65 Artillery.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Skirmish at Butlands Ford a Colt Action Game

                                                      Skirmish at Butland's Ford

After Lee's victory at Gettysburg it still left the Army of Northern Virginia spent. So after the 3-day titanic struggle Lee pulled back to Virginia but not before receiving the recognition of Britain in the conflict. As such Britain has broken the blockade and is trying to arrange a ceasefire leading to mediation with France and Russia. Thus the United States has limited time to end this conflict.
A small Union raiding force has been tasked with seizing a British advanced supply point on the Potomac that is thinly guarded by some convalescing infantry and guards with a nearby gunboat under going repairs.

The supply area (collection of buildings) is set up in one corner of the CS/British side of the table where the British units will come on. The Confederate units will come on from the parallel table corner splitting the table is a river that can only be crossed by a ford. Whilst the Union force will come on from any point on their table edge.

We used scenario 9 out of the Bolt Action rulebook : Point Defence, Kiefer placed 3 objectives (some resin barrels and cases) and we were set.

Kiefer was playing his favourite side the Rebs and worked out his 1000 points as below.

Confederate and British Intervention Forces

Veteran Captain mounted  70pts
Confederate veteran cavalry company,   rifled muskets, 14 men 224pts
Confederate vetran cavalry company, rifled carbines, 11 men 198pts
Regular Confederate light gun with horse limber, 90pts
British Guard veteran company, 11 men 165pts
 British veteran infantry company, 11 men 143pts
Royal Marines regular company, 11 men, 110pts

                                                                  Total points 1000

I played the Yankees and decided my forcé would be slightly varied to try give the different weapons and units a game to see how they interacted in the game.

Unión Force

Regular Major + 1 Regular soldier mounted  95pts
Inexperienced infantry company, rifled muskets, Green  10 men 80pts
Inexperienced infantry company, rifled muskets, 10 men 70pts
Regular infantry company, rifled muskets, standard bearer, 10 men 110pts
Veteran Infantry company, smoothbores musket, tough fighter, musician 8 men 125pts
Sharpshooter Company , Sharps rifle   5 men   75pts
Sniper regular, Whitworth Rifle + telescopic sights, 2 men 50pts
Regular cavalry company, Breech loading carbine , standard bearer 8 men 146pts
Veteran cavalry company,  Repeating rifle, bugler, 6 men. 143pts
3in Ordnance rifle with Horse limber 105pts

                                                                    Total Points 999pts

Kiefer had placed his British troops defending the supplies, with his Confederate allies coming on as reserve. I decided to bring all my units on in the first phase, I placed most of my infantry on my right flank to attack the objective in the town. I placed my cavalry on the left flank supported by an infantry company to quickly take the objective. In the centre was my artillery unit to support the final attack on the centre objective by the flank units that had (hopefully) secured another objective.

My Officer, helped with his "Snap to" order helped the Unión infantry companies to begin their advance.

The British Guards took a early pin although no casualties from the Unión sharpshooter company.

A Confederate cavalry company arrives on my left flank and dismounts to defend their objective.

The dismounted cavalry begin to get into a firefight with a Unión infantry company. On their right their officer and a large Reb cavalry company come onto to the table in a column of two formation.

Unfortunately my artillery is hit by counterbattery fire from the Confedrates 6pdr, luckily one of the crew survived and passed his morale test, so was able to continue.

My right flank slowly advances shooting as they go. my Sharpshooter on my extreme right flank. enter some woods to find cover and suitable firing positions.

The Guards advance from their initial position to the stone wall for better protection.

A view of my right and centre positions at the end of turn two.

    My Cavalry were caught at the back of the board, due to my cautious approach, Kiefer took the initiative and charged his cavalry at my dismounted cavalry. They were able to get a volley but did not cause enough damage to stop the charge. With Kiefer having over doublé the amount of figures than myself, my unit was totally wiped out and the victorious Rebs regroup.

       Seeing the other cavalry company get annihilated, I decided to dismount my other company to begin shooting at the Reb cavalry with their repeating carbines.

                 The Unión Infantry were still making slow progress over the open ground.

        My sharpshooters had finally made their position and started to make an impact on the guards.

    Although now the Guards had moved up to the Stone wall and hard cover.

My Unión Artillery observor in his hot air ballon above the table (sorry no photos, but it will look great when I've made it) sent a message to the Unión reserve artillery and I placed a marker next to the large reb cavalry company.

The Royal Marines in the Woods had to rally because of all the pins on them, however not enough of the hits were being converted to kills for my liking.

Although my reserve artillery did come in, it did very little damage to the Rebs, only putting on a single pin. Straight away Kiefer sucessfully passed his test and charged into my dismounted cavalry, it was another massacre and my left flank was lost.

                          The Guards held steady  under increasing pressure from their front.

           Close up of the Guards, I had converted them from some Perry's Zulu war British and Green stuff.

 After finding it hard to destroy the Marines by shooting,  I decided to flush them out by charging in. However I lost the combat and my third company.

    The Confederate Cavalry began to move to the Ford to attack my centre, ignoring my sniper in the Woods. He first took out the Confederate commander and then began his deadly work on the packed cavalry.

Also my artillery had seen the threat and turned the cannon to place some effective fire on the Rebs, causing them to stall under the weight of the pins.

   My inexperienced company continued to advance but the Marines were still dug in and not going anywhere.

With time and turns running out, I charged with my Unión infantry however the Guards were able to destroy the attack.

The Guards were slightly weakened by the first attack and so I charged in with my sharpshooters and was able to wipe out the Guards. With my last command dice, my commander galloped across the ground and captured the objective, taking all the glory for himself.

So at the end of turn 6, I had captured one objective and Kiefer was still in possession of two, so had won the game. We were very pleased with the actual game play of the rules with no real problems and flowed very smoothly.

In two previous articles of the blog I have published the rules and Army lists we used. If you would like a copy to try I have them in PDF format, just drop me your email and I can send you a  copy.