Monday, December 12, 2011

A lost game.....

I found these pictures in my computer recently. They are from a game that ended before a conclusion could be created. I only post them as eye candy. In large part because the terrain makes the figures look better then I am used to seeing them.

This is the head of the Austrian column marching toward the row of hills

This is the bulk of the Austrian column. I love the large Austrian commands. They look as intimidating as hell. Quantity has its own beauty. Notice the battalion guns.

These were 2 of the small contingent of French that was supposed to stop this Austrian onslaught. I always seem to give walls too much credit as the French battalion behind this wall was eventually pushed back from this defensive strong point. The officer apparently was of little use in exhorting his command to remain in place.

These 3 pictures below are from the French center and right wing. Below is what the French see attaking them. The 5 battalions of Austrians facing the house made absolutely no headway.

What the Austrians see of the French Right Flank, hiding in buildings and behind a fence.

Above is the French cavalry in the center of the line. They didn't scare the Austrians much.

Now to get flags for my Austrians

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Possibly the first time ever.....

As far as I can recall, I have never had a game decided "completely". There was always alot of "as I see it","what if"...and "yes, but" discussions that would go on at the end of games as each side tried to show what more would happen if more time existed.

Not this game.

It was a bit of a meeting engagement, a bit of a set piece battle that was based on the premise of a retreating Russian army having to stop outside a village and hold their ground. No more retreating! In this scenario, the rest of the Russian army was retreating and needed to have the town in the bottom right corner held so that the bridges (off board) could be used to get across the river. The French of the other hand had tried to cut off the retreating Russians and would arrive spread out across the game board. Each side would essentially be trying to condense the front towards the "right" of the picture,

The French entered the board to the top of the picture and promptly moved straight forward. Around game turn 3, the French were able to engage across their entire front. On the left, the French light cavalry crashed through 2 Russian hussar regiments and a horse artillery battery before getting stopped by dragoons 45 minutes later. The Russian plan prior to this charge was to move from the far left entry road and take a cavalry division with trailing a infantry brigade as well as 2 batteries and reinforce the center. The French cavalry crushed the front of that command and took them out of the game. The Russian infantry did not even try to enter.

This shows the Russians trying to push through the French light cavalry screen. Notice the unformed 12 gun Horse Artillery.

In the center, two French regiments marched against the Russian Combined Grenadier division deployed in depth and with a 12 lb battery deployed in split sections. By turn 5 the Russian guns were out of ammunition, one section overrun and a regiment with 3 battalions of Russians suffering significant losses. While the Russians grenadiers were being actively engaged along the entire front, the French Heavy Cavalry Brigade was in position to punish the Russian left of center with a charge across the whole front. The Russian grenadier battalion in front of the approaching French cavalry also was getting hit by artillery and musket fire, so forming in square was not an option. No doubt the Russian center was 2 turns from getting rolled up by a curaisser charge in the flank from the Russian left to right.

This picture is taken from behind the French advance against the Russian grenadiers in the center. The hill to the front would slow the French advance down the most.

Now to the battle in front of the town on the Russian right flank. A French regiment of 5 battalions attacked 2 Russian regiments containing 12 battalions which was deployed in line in front of the town. The Russians were to hold this part of town until the other troops could arrive safely. The attached Russian battery had a wall behind which half of it was placed. Lots of damage should have been inflicted on the soon to be attackers. The French marched across the flat field, took 2 rounds of cannister and had one of the soon to be heroic battalions take 30 percent casualties. There certainly were casualties, but not along the lines of what both commanders expected. This French battalion then was able to charge home on the battery and destroy it, while also pushing back it supports. The French battalions on each side also were able to drive back the Russian battalions to their respective fronts, intermingling lots of retreating Russian battalions hopelessly in the streets.

At that point "my wife called" and I said it was time to shut down the game. Keith, Tom, and Jack pulled off an amazing French victory; while myself and a few others who I will not name (to protect their reputations) showed uninspired leadership and found our Russian division crushed before it could safely arrive at the river. Another game of General de Brigade that finished in 10 turns or less. Forces involved were 3 Russian infantry divisions and a mixed heavy and light cavalry division. Many of which were never really engaged as they routed off the board.
The French had 3 regiments of 5 battalions each, 3 batteries and 2 cavalry regiments.
As a further foot note: many Russian battalions were "just painted". Perhaps this was the problem?

This was possibly the first time that everyone looked at the battle field and said in a hushed embarrassed tone..."we should clean this up". Nobody had to dicker over who had won this battle.
I think it was unique in my wargaming experience

I believe that other games/rules systmes may will have been less decisive. In fact, I wanted to try to play this using the Carnage and Glory system, but had no luck in getting myself organized enough to do it. Maybe next time. Lots of thanks to the participants!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Maps of Saltanovka

I think the above map is the most helpful.

Above is a more difficult to use map, but seems to confirm some of the concepts. Below is a map from Nafzinger.

The above maps are what I have used for giving an idea of where the woods will be located on the map. John Snead has been kind enough to immensely help with some details of the version he ran Historicon. Hopefully mine can be nearly as good in my own way.


I volunteered my army to the guys who run the C&GII games at Historicon for their refight of Borodino. In preparation, I have decided to set up a Saltanovka game for the local guys. As such, I have been researching what I can on Saltanovka from a variety of sources. Special thanks to Chris Maine, Jack Hixon, Paul Edgar, John Snead and all responders to my requests for help on a variety of web sites.
I had made some comments on other sites about the conflicting information that was out there. It remains a bit frustrating that talented writers can't agree on "facts". I can understand that opinions, or interpretation of facts, may be in complete disagreement, but to have units stated to be present and or engaged that didn't exist in that chain of command just seems silly.
I am also still looking for an answer as to why contemporary artists draw the map at a 60 degree angle from the Dneiper River, yet recent Google maps show it to be much closer to perpendicular. Included will be some of the maps and a useful OOB. After the game, I will go ahead and provide an after action report.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Carnage and Glory game at Keith's

The above picture is the start of a game from Keith's 15mm C&GII event the last weekend in March. It featured troops from the OOB of Sicile, and had the French attacking the prepared Austrian positions stationed below the town.

The battle ended in a minor Austrian victory.

The French attacked in force along the entire Austrian line below the town. The first line of the Austrian line was pushed back, but the Austrian second line was not particularly challenged. It was an easy game to play and a fair bit of fighting did occur. Ultimately, the game ended due to real life time expiring. I was the unfortunate owner of the Draggons, poised to make the big central charge, that was probably 2 turns away.

I like the C&G system for a few reasons; at the end of the afternoon I haven't fried my brain doing math equations, the fog of war the system creates, and the implemenation of fatigue as a trackable variable on the battle field. I would however beg for a better system of using the system for large battles. Waiting for sequential event entry really can slow things down.

However, in the end, I had a great time as Keith R can beally host a party.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Some stinking realty problems forced my recent hiatus. Nearly a year later, I have gotten back into a small roll on the gaming front. I have a nice little agenda I have tried to create and successfully implement.

First, a local gaming store has relocated and it has provided a small impetus for me to get playing again, especially since they have a bit more tables, which will allow me to set up some real battles and recruit new interest. It also seems a local group who regularly meet on a typical work night for me has claimed many saturdays at this game store and will relocate some of their gaming up to my back yard. Yea! more people rolling dice!

Secondly, I have had lots of fruitful contact with the RTE crew (Clarence and Barry) and I hope to be providing a good chunk of my forces to help their gaming weekend. This will hopefully get me to complete some of my basing projects and flesh out my OOB. I have a large but quite amorphous collection that really needs a unifying OOB for each army to give me a natural boundry at which I can (gasp) stop collecting.

Thirdly, I had a great talk with a VERY NICE guy whom I drove down to the Williamsburg muster to meet, Rick O'Brien. He gave me an exhaustive amount of time on how to install the flags and had quick and apparently appropriate answers to my many either sophomoric and/or insightful questions. If it indeed proves that he moves up here to Virginia, then I expect I will enjoy inviting him up to play a fair bit of games. Creating a uniform look with my flags was/will be important to me moving forward with my collection. I will try to catch up with him again at Cold Wars. I suspect that if you many of you are aware he runs, and offers a very helpful and important, quality authentic looking flag with pole for your miniature units.

Fourthly, I have had some fruitful discussions with 2 painters, both of which should be sending me more painted lead over the next few days. Nothing gets a game going quicker then reinforcements who need to be christened in battle. I really look forward to 6 new battalions of French legere, and a host of Russian cavalry. I expect now to have enough Russians to create way too many divisions.

Lastly, I got an invite to play up at Keith Rocco's place to play some 15mm napoleonics later this spring. I will try to catch up with a AAR after the event. Before then, I will try to get a game of either RTE or CGII accomplished.

I will look to post some more scenarios, now that I have time to contribute that as well.