Saturday, July 28, 2012

Second Battle of Farm House

After the first Battle of Farm House a few weekends ago, I wanted to re-fight it with the french in defense and with increased numbers to see how it would work out. The result was a fun, albeit quick game resulting in an astounding victory of the attacking British. 

The british came with a little more enthusiasm and troops than last battle, having a battalion of Line and a battalion of Scottish Highlanders. They also had 4 companies of the 60th Regiment of Foot Rifles and 2 squadrons of Light Dragoon Cavalry held in reserve (no need to commit them unless things go poorly) A 6 gun light battery was assigned to the Brigade to support the advancing infantry. 

The French had 2 full battalions of Line infantry, each having 1 1/2 company of Voltigeurs and the Grenadiers being attached to the Brigade command. The farm house was also defended by one light gun at the outer defenses. 

The French deployed with both battalions in open order along the wooden fence with the artillery in the center and the grenadiers in support.

The British deployed with the Highlanders in March Column (foreground) with the rifles in open order screening the advance. The Line battalion entered in March column with their light company depolyed in skirmish order as well. The artillery were placed on the British Right flank to provide direct fire on the french in front of them as well as enfilade fire against those units along the British left flank. 

The Rifles advance and open up on the french 2nd Battalion

Even at long range, the rifles  score 2 hits

Already looking down for the french!

The French descide to advance on the rifles with the hope of routing them before the Highlanders are able to deploy. They hop the fence and make a dash toward the outcropping of trees

In like fashion the 1st battalion on the British Right advance to the outer fence to lay down fire on the advancing column.

Voltigeurs and the Cannon open up on the rifles, no hits.

A look across the field from the cannons toward the French 1st Battalion. The battery opens up and fires on the french at Effective range. The guns were well sighted and of the 6 shots they fire score 4 wounds.  

 A look through the trees as the British shells bounce through the French 2nd Battalion in the outer defenses.

The British 60th Rifles are the heroes of the day. This was their first round of shooting. The unit advanced into the trees before the french could and then laid down murderous fire. The 4 stands of rifles opened up at effective range. Notice the triple 6? yeah...Critical casualty on the French 1st Battalion. The secondary roll on the Critical chart scored a Wound on the Battalions Colonel.

A sniper's view as the rifles skirmish with the French Battalion.

View from the French 1st Battalion as the orchard erupts in clouds of smoke as hot lead is poured into the unit.

The fire was too hot and the Battalion, having lost their colonel, ran toward the farm house.  In the French turn, the Brigadier General rallied and reformed the men. They advanced back to the fence line.

The French returned fire and killed the Highlander Light company that had attached to the Rifles. The Rifles fired another volley, and killed another 2 stands! they scored 8 hits with 8 rolls! again, the rifles showing their keen eyes paid off.

Clearly, the British Light Companies were not the place to be during this battle as the French 2nd Battalion opens up on the British Line's Light company in Skirmish. The French have some great shots and kill the whole company where they stood...and at long range too! Things are starting to look up for the french!

The Line Battalion deployed into line formation and advances.

While the artillery opens up a world of hurt on the French line. They fire another volley and cause another 3 casualties, finishing off the stand that they had hit in the previous round.

The French battalion fires on the British in line and cause 2 casualties.

The Rifles advance and fire as the cavalry round the flank. The Highland battalion forms line and advances, thought the deployment is only for show...the left flank had completely collapsed by this time as the 1st battalion had all but been destroyed, leaving only the Battalion command and the partially destroyed voltigeurs. Not a good day for the french. On the other side of the field, the British line battalion advances and pours more fire into the already wavering 2nd battalion. The French General has steel resolve though and decides to keep fighting.

The Rifles pour more heat into what remains of the first battalion, now so reduced in number that they can occupy the farm house.

The Highlanders, completely untouched, advance on the french battery. The guns stay silent.

The final shots are fired as the french and british trade shots back and forth.

Smoke filled fields. The French try disparately to push the British back, though the british keep firing as long as the french stay on the field.

The French Brigadier looks on in horror as his brigade withers under the intense British volleys.

The Grenadiers are sent to support the wavering 2nd Battalion.

A final look from the farm house as the French general realizes he can no longer hold his position against the British onslaught.

The Day ended in a Total victory for the British. Unit of the day award goes to the Rifles, who single handedly destroyed the French 1st Battalion Killing 340 and wounding 180 of 660 men.

The French deployed 1320 men and 2 guns. A total of 580 were KIA with 280 wounded including a Battalion Colonel.
The British deployed 1560 men, 120 Cavalry and 6 guns. 120 were KIA with an additional 80 wounded.

A SMASHING victory to the British.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So, since my last blitz of painting I have been slowly but steadily working on my Light infantry Battalion.

The full battalion is going to be 36 figures to make a full battalion - 1 company Carabiniers, 1 company Voltigeurs and 4 companies of Chasseurs.

Here are the most recent pictures after last nights additions.

Here is the traditional way I paint my minis. I glue them to the head of a nail with PVA glue and then prime them. The nail gives me a really easy handle to turn the mini any way I need to without fearing that it will stick too hard to the nail...PVA is pretty easy to pop off the nail :)

Also, notice the carnage in the 6 month old son is still trying to learn the fine motor function required to pick up cheerios and other cereal...emphasis placed on the trying part!

Here is a close up of the Carabiniers. Last night I worked on adding Red and brown to the models, I got the plumes, epaulets collars and the sleeve turn back. The brown was applied to the packs, guns and scabbards (I am alternating black and brown scabbards per unit) 

Also seen in this picture are the scantily painted Voltigeurs, red only being applied to the sleeve turn backs and the pom-poms. Brown was also applied to these models. 

Here is another shot of the same group. 6 grenadiers, 6 voltiguers and 24 chasseurs...progress moves slowly, but each additional color makes the models pop with added life!

Here is a close up of the Chasseurs. I love the minis from Old Glory 15s Battle honors line...they are really well done and offer some nice models in a variety of poses. It really makes a unit come to life when the models look like they are moving. For a unit like the Chasseurs that were constantly running around, being sent out to the Skirmish lines and back to the battalion, it makes it nice to see the figures in moving poses. 

Here is a close up of the Battalion commander as he is currently, nice full beard...we'll see if he keeps it :) 

So there you have it. Slow progress, but thats what you get for an hour of painting with a screaming flayling child throwing cereal at you. I am pretty happy with them so far. The great thing about 15mm is that the scale hides a TON of sins. The devil is really in the details of the straps and belts and all. these minis are pretty easy that way, once painted up they look a ton better and look like I have spent eons of time on each one...thats the beauty of colored primer and ink washes :)

More pictures to come as I make progress!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Small action Battle Report

This weekend I got to try out my "City Fight" small engagement rules...and the game was AWESOME

It didnt turn out the way I had hoped...I was playing solo, but hoping the French would win.

The French had:
1 Company Grenadiers (one stand)
1 company Voltigeurs (2 small stands)
9 companies Fusiliers (one stand each)
1 gun of Light Artillery (one stand)

The British had
5 stands of line (10 companies)
2 stands of Rifles (2 companies)
1 Stand of Brigadier General Staff
2 stands Light Dragoons

The British were set up to defend a Farm house. The house had a wooden fence around the perimeter and then had a stone wall around the courtyard with an orchard on the right flank of the house.

The French lined up with 3 line companies to each section, one to the right, one in the center and one on the left. The Group on the right had the grenadiers with them. Group Center had the Cannon and group left had the Voltigeurs.

The french sat and pounded the brits with the cannon for a few turns as the infantry got into position, but did nothing as the British were in cover behind the fence.

The General advance was sounded and the french began the assault. Along the right flank they formed into columns with the grenadiers leading the way through the orchard.

In the center they advanced through the open field as the British Rifles took Pot shots at them.

The left flank advanced in line with the Voltigeurs out in front.

The right met very little resistance through the orchard as the British troops were not in range and were too under-strength in the other parts of the line to reinforce the flank defense. The Center moved up and let out a volley at long range and did some small damage. The left moved up and the voltigeurs opened up on a company causing 3 kills (on a stand of 6) The the company ran toward the farm house.

The right pushed through the orchard and was met by a company in cover, causing a few casualties to the fusiliers. The Center marched to effective range and traded rounds with the line and rifles, but as the brits were in cover and the French were in the open, the day went poorly and 2 of the 3 companies ran.

The left flank marched up to the fence and the voltigeurs hopped it and poured lead into the rear of the British in the front line. The Brits held their ground and poured murderous fire into the left flank killing a company and sending another running. The volrigerus continued harrassing the brits and the British unit that ran was rallied and entered the farm house on the right flank.

The company in the farm house opened up on the Grenadiers at close range and scored 2 critical hits...making the company fail their Morale test and run.

The Supporting battalion in the courtyard opened up on the other Fusilier company, they missed all shots and followed up with an assault that caused french company to flee. The other two battalions on that flank also took murderous fire from the farm house and the courtyard causing them to run before they crossed the wooden fence.

In the center the french came over the fence and killed a British company of line and a company of Rifles. The left held as the french companies were either killed or ran due to intense fire. The voltigeurs were flanked by reinforcing dragoons and both stands were destroyed.

With the cavalry reinforcements and the center and right flank in retreat, the left flank felt it better to retreat than to press the attack and be destroyed.

The British held the farm.

After totaling everything and applying some house rules to casualties I found that the French ended up taking 76% casualties - Killed or wounded. the British took 55% and held the field. overall, an impressive feat of defense considering the odds.

The most impressive bit of the day? I was in the middle of the game when My wife came home from babysitting and she said "Next time you play I would like to give it a looks like fun. If it is totally boring nothing lost, but it looks fun. I would like to give it a shot."

So...the brits won the day and my wife wants to give it a try...not a bad turn of events :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Progress and Research

Since my dedicated attack of my models from last month I have had very little time to get any real work done. I have, however, started a new unit that is progressing slowly. I have started my first Light Battalion. The unit is comprised of 36 figures, 6 for the Carabinier, 24 Chasseurs and 6 Voltigeurs. Any time I have a 36 man block on my table it is a daunting task. Seeing progress in such a large group of minis is always a blessing.

I have found in writing this game that there is a TON of research that goes into it to make it accurate.

So far, here is some of the info I have found (and I am posting it for my benefit as well as anyone out there that reads this)

I have worked out the following:

Unit composition

and I am currently working on getting detailed Order of Battle for a number of battles for the era. I hope to be able to publish a detailed Order of Battle book containing all the major battles of the Napoleonic age...just as an aside...the list of battles is 4 pages long so I have my work cut out for me.

For Units I have found the following (I will use France as the common element)

Line Battalions:
Battalions were made of smaller units called Companies. For the period I am focusing on a Company was made of 120 men (6 figures for the game at 1:20 compression). With this scale, a full company would be mounted on a medium base.

Each Line Battalion (of French) would have 1 Company of Grenadiers, 4-8 Companies of Fusiliers (Line infantry) and 1 Company of Voltigeurs (Marksmen)

Each Light Battaluon (of French) would have 1 Company of Carabinier (a true double threat in that they had to be the best shots to make it into the light infantry and had to be large enough and veteran enough to make it into the Grenadiers), 4 Companies of Chasseurs (light equivalent of Line troops, veteran troops selected for their ability to shoot) and 1 Company of Voltigeurs.

Grenadier uniforms were distinctive, traditional blue coats with white trousers and tunics. the Collars, cuffs, accents on the Shako, epaulets and plumes were all red. Grenadiers were also required to wear facial hair.

Line troops wore the same uniform with blue coats, white trousers and tunics. their Collars and cuffs changed per their battalion, but generally they were still red in keeping with the Tri-color theme of the Republican era. Their hats were trimmed depending on their personal distinction. Some hats were covered with water sealed canvas, usually indicating service in a given campaign depending on color. Pom-poms were colored based on company. The first company of Fusiliers in the battalion would have Dark green pom-poms, the second would have sky blue, the third would have Orange or pink and the fourth would have violet (looks like I have some correcting to do on my minis eh?)

Light troops wore blue coats and pants with white Tunics. Their cuffs were left blue with red collars. Epaulets were green and red as well as the plume with green on bottom and a red tip. Shakos were generally black with White braids.

Voltigeurs wore the same uniform, their pants were white as well as the tunics. Collars and cuffs were yellow, epaulets were green and plumes were yellow with green tips. Shako braids were also yellow.

Each unit had their primary role. Grenadiers were hearty and were meant to inspire the line as well as punch a hole in the enemy. They were big fearless men that often lead the charges. In units of questionable resolve the grenadiers would be at the rear of the battalion pushing the reluctant troops forward.

Fusiliers and Chasseurs made up the bulk of the army and were tasked with standard duties of firing. Chasseurs did this a little better as they were taken from the best shots of the Line battalions and assigned to the Light battalions.

Voltigeurs (jumpers) were the best at shooting. They were expert marksmen tasked with scouting, screening the advance and skirmishing. Their doctrine dictated that they should target enemy officers and NCOs to cut the head off the snake that was the enemy battalion. They were originally named for the primary role that Napoleon wanted them to do - to jump onto the backs of cavalry, kill the riders and take the horses....this plan was scrapped but the name remained.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Next on the Chopping Block?

So I thought I would take inventory and see what you would like to see painted up next. I have nails open to start my next project and am going to have time tonight to get something done.

The options are:

1) Artillery unit with 3 light guns, 2 heavy guns and 1 howitzer with 24 crew

2) Cavalry unit: 16 Cuirassier Heavy Cavalry, 16 Hussar Light Cavalry or 16 Dragoon Heavy Cavalry.

3) Light Infantry unit: 24 Chasseurs Light infantry.

4) Line Infantry unit: 42 Line infantry - If this is the predominant choice, I will most likely paint them up as Swiss or Bavarian Line just to give myself something fun as the last unit I painted was French Fusiliers.

5) Grenadier Battalion: 36 grenadiers.

All units will be french, as they are the army I am trying to get done first. I am game for anything, Its just nice to paint up something that someone will want to see :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rules Update

So with the updates I have been doing to the rules, I wanted to run a few playtest games before releasing the rules, I ran through a few small games with the new painted French Battalion...they look too good to not see action right away :)

The major change in the game is that units are based off number of Stands rather than number of models. Each stand has a FRS (Fire Resolution Strength) and a MRS, no, not a ball and chain...but Melee Resolution Strength. Each unit has 3 FRS values and one MRS value. FRS is broken into Long Range, Effective Range and Close Range. With the way massed musket fire worked, the closer you get to a battalion the higher chance they had of hitting and killing.

Just as an example, a Normal French Line infantry unit will be made of 4-10 Companies. Each stand represents a company as a stand is 6 figures at 1:20 Ratio this means that a stand represents roughly 120 men, a decent strength company. A traditional French Battalion would have 4-8 Fusilier Companies and also had 1 grenadier company and 1 Voltigieur company. The French and a few other countries liked to attach Light artillery guns, man portable guns, to the battalion as well. With the Battalion command, a normal battalion would have 4 Fusilier stands and the option to add a Grenadier, Voltiguer (whole or half company) and a Light Artillery gun.

As an example of the new game play, a Fusilier stand may only get 1 die at effective range where a Voltigiuer would get 1.5 (with rules on how to resolve the .5 explained in the rules)Grenadiers would also only get 1. However in Close combat, a Fusilier stand may get 1 die where the voltigiuer would get .5 and the grenadiers would get two.

Long story short: Line infantry are vanilla, Light companies can shoot better but dont fair as well in melee. Grenadiers are normal for shooting but excel in melee.