Noel put on a game using Phil’s excellent 15mm figures testing out his home made Napoleonic rules which have a Shako feel, to iron out any issues prior to using them for our refight of Talavera on Sunday. One keys aspect is the Army morale, which starts at 100% and is divided by the number of units the army has to calculate what each unit is worth as a percentage. Each time the army loses a unit, the morale drops by the percentage that unit represents and its parent formation (division usually) has to undertake a morale test. If this test fails the player has to test his army morale.
The terrain was quite broken with a good smattering of woods. The Prussian forces had superior cavalry but not infantry. Alan and Noel played the French opposing them was Mike, Jonathan, Phil and Simon for the Prussians. Deployment was fairly conventional with infantry in the centre and cavalry on the wings. The superior Prussian cavalry attached on both flanks whilst the Prussian infantry moved forward to engage the French who were defending a ridge line. Alan who has decided now that cavalry is not his thing or is cursed by lady luck when commanding them soon came a cropper on the French right wing. Anything that could go wrong did go wrong. On the French left the Prussian Cuirassiers were repeating a similar feat and smashing through the French cavalry.
Meanwhile the French guns were causing mounting casualties on the advancing Prussians. However more defeats on both flanks to French cavalry cause divisional morale checks. To compound matters further unlucky dice rolls resulted in both French cavalry divisions failing their morale checks which resulted in two army morale checks. The morale was already down due to cavalry losses, provided that they did not throw any very high dice roll on the army morale they would be fine and could the French turn the tide on the Prussians. Lady luck decided that is was not a French day with the worst die they could possibly roll at 100% dropped their morale to the low teens. The Prussians needed to destroy two more French units to win the game….
More pictures of our game from the victorious Mahdists player Jonathan. All the figures were painted for me by the very talented Ross at FigurePainting.co.uk.
We gave my Perry figures another run out at the club using Black Powder rule set. The British were given 2 Brigades of infantry each with 3 Battalions of foot with support by a 7pdr Screw gun, a Gardner and Gatling Machine gun. They were also given a brigade of Cavalry of 3 regiments including a regiment of Bengal Lancers. These were faced by 8 foot units of Beja warriors (2 rifle armed) and 2 Nile Arab units on foot. In support the Mahdists had 2 cavalry, 2 camelry units and 2 captured Krupp guns.
The British players Noel and Phil took a brigade of infantry each and split the cavalry. I am not sure whether much discussion was had over a battle plan but noel decided that speed was of essence and his cavalry charged down the British right flank and very quickly charged into trouble! Phil of the right flank decided a much more prudent advance was the order of the day even though that meant Noel’s brigade’s left flank was hanging in the air. Both British players decided that an advance in line was the formation to adopt – not brigade squares. Noel’s cavalry after a fierce engagement withdrew slight worse for wear. His infantry were marching as quickly as they could to help support the outnumbered cavalry.
The Cavalry charged again and were destroyed. The natives led by Simon and Jonathan surprised the advancing British infantry and smashed into the advancing British infantry brigade. Unable to deploy his supporting machine guns (due to poor order dice rolls) Noel’s British brigade ended up in a fierce melee all long his line. However Phil’s troops were still some way back and were unable to support. Lady luck deserted Noel in his dice rolls and combined with clever aggressive play by Simon and Jonathan resulted in Noel’s brigade of infantry being destroyed – even the Scottish infantry fell to the charge of the Ferocious Beja. I am sure there will be questions in the house… Phil’s brigade finally got into action seeing off a few native units and started to grind forward. However heavily outnumbered and still far from the objective and game time running out the day was won by the Mahdists. The British players were left pondering where it wrong…
More Pictures from Phil's fantastic game
Over on the samurai right, the fight goes on with the Kuroji still in control of the temple and seemingly destined to remain so. As the first temple under threat it seemed to be ready to fall, but has ended up the only temple still firmly in the monks’ control. As for the others, one has been ransacked and the other two are close to falling. The switch of the Hachisuka clan to attack the Oushokuji temple appears to have reduced the pressure on the Kuroji.
Meanwhile the fight on the central hill is nowhere near producing a result .
As night falls and with it the lure of Rob San’s wonderful nosh, Phil San declares a marginal victory for the Samurai with only the arrival of darkness and hunger preventing a substantial victory. With that said, the assembled throng of wargamers alighted on the said wonderful nosh and proceeded to debate the events of the day, or as much of it as the now arrived partners of the wargamers would allow.