Advancing with Mr Churchill

Making the most of the Easter break it was good to dust off my late war British for a Spearhead game. Due to my opponents armies I tend to find myself using Germans so deploying the British was rather appealing. My British Infantry Brigade in 1944 can be supported by Shermans and Sherman Fireflies or the slow moving and poorly armed, but well armoured, Churchills. After some consideration I opted for the Churchills.

Played over a few hours spread over a couple of days it was all that I hoped it would be. Well balanced with a number of tactical problems all combined with a little good luck interspersed with equal measures of bad luck. If you’re interested a few photos of our game can be found here.

Needless to say the game really reminded me that I need to get back to working on the British armour for 1940 France…

Disaster for Davout

A couple of photos from this evenings Volley & Bayonet game set in 1806. The French comprising Davout’s III Corps, reinforced by elements of Lefebvre’s Reserve Corps and not fully deployed, are caught by the advancing Prussians. While the French were of extremely high morale the numerically superior and concentrated Prussians and Saxons advanced with great élan.

Above and below the French centre. The town was secured initially by Gudin’s Division that formed the French right. Morand’s Division eventually deployed to the left towards an area of cornfields. The disordered Prussian guns provoked a French attack, which unfortunately failed to achieve the hoped for dramatic breakthrough.

Below, a view which shows the French right and centre. French cavalry, including Nansouty’s Heavy Cavalry Division in the forefound, was heavily outnumbered by Prussian cavalry.

The French left eventually expanded to past the cornfields but was outflanked by Saxon cavalry and forced to retire. Below, just prior to retiring, Friant’s Division with Hulin’s Guard Division in the left foreground.

However, the battle was decided in the centre where repeated French attacks were thrown back with heavy casualties. Indeed, Morand’s Division eventually collapsed after several hours of fighting. A truely fascinating encounter, but with a very different result than that at Auerstedt.

Move Swiftly, Strike Vigorously!

A couple of weeks ago four of us gathered for another Volley & Bayonet encounter. Given we have played a few Napoleonic games of late we decided on an American Civil War encounter set in 1862. The Union forces were commanded by Jon and Alastair, with Jon proving the Union forces. Opposing them were Robin and I with the Rebels from my collection.

Each army comprised 3000 points with the Rebels fielding two corps and the Union three smaller corps. While I follow the draft lists I tend to construct the divisions on actual orders of battle. For this battle the Rebel order of battle followed closely that of Lee’s army at Second Manassas in August 1862, which therefore defined the strategic situation of a Confederate advance north against Pope while McClellan removed his army from the Peninsula.

Using the Scenario System in the Volley & Bayonet rules the Rebels were found to be concentrated and therefore had the burden of attack. In contrast the Union forces were strung out in line of march yet they would be able to shake their troops out and reinforce the advanced and isolated Union Corps, if they could just hold the line. A photo report of the game can be found on my Volley & Bayonet blog here

Another great game and an excellent Friday evening.

Advance to Kutzenberg

Last Friday evening found three of us deploying our armies for another 1813 game using Volley & Bayonet. These days we often use the “Road to Glory” Scenario System to develop our Friday evening games and as always it produced an excellent battle.

Having organised a couple of slightly larger armies, 4000 points rather than or typical 3000 points the armies were deployed. Ney commanded four corps which were opposed by two reinforced Austrian corps and a weak Prussian corps.

Given the game a week prior was set in 1813 it seemed fitting to somehow link the two. A few photos of the game, as well as a brief summary, can be found here.

Eagles on the Weissbach

A very busy January has prevented any Volley & Bayonet so it was pleasing to finally be able to organise a multiplayer game for last Friday evening. 

I’ve been using Volley & Bayonet, across two versions, for well over 20 years. Yet every time I use them I’m reminded how much enjoyment they provide and how they create a game that follows the accounts of the great battles of the period. Dramatic events unfold as armies comprising multiple divisions and corps manoeuvre and clash on the table.

We opted to use the Road to Glory System to develop the scenario with each army comprised of 3000 points of troops. With 1813 armies often comprising poorly drilled troops. Therefore even 3000 points can produce reasonable sized armies. I was particularly keen to deploy my Austrians and prepared for a dynamic engagement. I just hadn’t realised how dynamic the upcoming battle would be!

These days I don’t attempt to provide photo reports of all my games, but this time I felt I should make an exception. Therefore a short account of our game can be found here. I’m looking forward to our next encounter in a weeks time…