Monday, 16 January 2017

Peninsular - Rio Coa 1810

Intermission post for this small Peninsular War action. Wacky Races meets black powder in an effort to get the towels down on the bridge before the enemy does...
Overlooking the action is the fortress of Almeida garrisoned by the Portuguese...
 ...with big guns
 ...and infantry
 Enter stage left the French Army led by Ney...
 And downhill but up wind is Black Bob Craufurd with his British
 The object of the exercise is to get the transport back across the Rio Coa. The vulnerable Penelope Pittstop moving with the alacrity of the Arkansaw Chug-a-bug
 The British, as we usually do, have bitten off more than they can chew. They have pushed over the Coa to find a massive French force approaching. After a bit of a cavalry skirmish Black Bob has been ordered to get back across the bridge in case he is outflanked...which was in the process of happening
 The baggage moves painfully slowly to get away from the continentals (so, no change there then) and a thin screen of troops fall back by fire and manoeuvre covering their breakfast,,,er, sorry, exit
 Resplendent in their old trousers the French advance with confidence...seeing as Ney knows the rules far better than Craufurd
 But as the French advance...
 ...and form column of attack
 the British step backwards
 Eventually the French catch up and the slogging match begins. The 95th stand fast to cover the unit behind turning (only one action at a time for the British, two for the French under Shako 2 rules)
 ...and marching off
 The French, as per usual, have pitched up mob handed and more besides
 ..oh dear..
 The staff look on with a certain confidence
 First outing for Colins new Hanoverian in French service (nice...and red! Shape of things to come?)
 The British are being contacted all along the line
 The Portuguese fire the odd shot as the occasional French unit comes into range
 ...but are helpless to do more and are left chomping at the bit
 On they come in the same old way...

 A battalion of Cacadores hold the British right flank
 But disaster struck! On the slippery road the lead vehicle sheds its load and the blockage is desperate

 Things are getting trickier as the retreating units are now blocking movement and some are even beyond the baggage

 The 95th, assailed by multiple French battalions, are assaulted by two and three at a time...they need a six, then another and another...

...and they do

 Having been righted the baggage goes over again! No one can move along the road

 Thanks to the Portuguese, the 52nd and the 95th, some units are beginning to disengage enough to make for the bridge before the French hordes can cut them off

 Roll well and live!

 And they do

 The right flank is turned and the 52nd fight impossible odds from two directions

 ...but they make the enemy pay dearly do the 95th with their stupendous dice!

 They are mowing the French down...two for no reply

 The baggage is down again aaarrgh!

 ...but 4th Cazadores make it over the bridge. Huzzah and hoorah!

 Followed closely by British lights...

 Meanwhile, the 95th need another miraculous dice to stop the charge...and they get it!

 Nothing can save the 52nd. They're gone.

 Finished to a man. But the game was done bar the last of the 12 move game the Anglo-Portuguese were up 2-1 with the last shot to go...

 They come on in the same old way...and the 95th meet them in the same old way
'En avent! Vive l'Empereur' 
 ...with volley, bayonet and cold silent rage
 They stand and having done all to stand, they stand...
The game was 12 moves. The 95th took out 5 French battalions and won the day.

Fab wargame. Day of days. Now the Old 95th are retired to the cabinet of curiosity along with their winning dice. Mucho, mucho ta to Colin and Mark...what a I'll have to paint a new 95th...blast...

Monday, 9 January 2017

Kursk - modelling the terrain

 Aristotle 'Sandy' Brown, our resident 1/72 Civil Engineer has had his work cut out for him doing the terrain for this famous action. Not since Stalingrad, when his men had to roll down their sleeves when it got a bit 'parky' and get an extra issue of tea, has the team had so much to do. Not this time building but digging...
Firstly, once the bulldozers had put the hills up, there were the trenches
 ...and on the hill overlooking Ponyri Town and railway station. The mid green shows the gradient of the hill
 The white part of it is a cutting...
 A feature of the battle was the digging in of Russian armour. this made for a much smaller target being hull down, as they say, and afforded greater frontal protection
 Ponyri is just having the final touches administered...
 Sandy is well pleased with the works so far...and he's got a Studebaker S6 to get about in from those terribly descent American Lend-Lease chappies. Very handy for bringing up a wet brew.
 ...the team finish of the last of the tank bays...making sure they've got the measurements right
 The wire was a job but the Russian infantry moving into the line like the look of it
 Some above ground, no Mexican waves from the trenches in front or they'll never play the violin again.
 Obligatory anti-tank ditch...can't make it too easy for Harry Hun. He'll have a slog on his hands
And...more trenches. Did I mention trenches?

Next: Intermission or 'What I did in my holidays' - New Year game was Rio Coa 1810 (or how to roll more 6's than the other guy). Good result and not a dry eye in the house