Sunday, 14 July 2019

6mm Napoleonic Armies on Parade

I've been quiet as regards photos of my new minis recently. I've been too busy painting!

Anyway I decided that it was time to rectify that and also time to get out all my 6mm Napoleonics and see what I've got.

Since December 2018 I've built up sizeable French, British and Russian forces for use with Blücher.

From front to back: French, Russian, British.

The most recent additions are the Italian Infantry for use with the French at Maroyaroslavets. These should also be usable in quite a few other battles. There are 2 line infantry regiments, 1 legere and 1 guard.

French, showing Italians in the foreground

Before that I have been adding to my Russians: Militia, Grenadiers, Cossacks, Hussars and lots of artillery.

Finally a close-up of my British, though I've not worked on those for a while. I really need to increase the numbers of Portuguese.

All these troops are of course from Heroics and Ros.

I have a lot more to paint yet and a whole Prussian army on order. :)

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Maloyaroslavets - Blücher- First Attempt

Last night we had our first attempt at fighting a historical battle using Blücher.

We chose the battle of Maloyaroslavets, 24th October 1812. As Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow, Dokhturov blocks his crossing of the river Lutza and forces Napoleon to take the same road back as he had advanced in on.

I have most of the troops needed for this and had to proxy in just the Italians and Saxon troops. I have the Italian infantry on the painting table right now and hope to have those done for the next time we try it out.

The game worked well with a victory to the Russians. I'm not sure what tweaks to make yet, but have another fight of this scenario booked for Sunday.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Blücher Frequently Forgotten or Misunderstood Rules

After quite a few plays of Blücher I've made quite a few mistakes with the rules. When I have identified one of these I've written it down. I have now got quite a list and thought I'd share that list.

  1. -1 in melee if attacking up-hill
  2. Infantry shooting artillery or cavalry does not receive the firepower or skirmish trait bonuses.
  3. More than one hit on an artillery unit in shooting causes it to retire, not break
  4. A unit whose path of retreat would take it even partially off the enemy’s table edge, is broken. If its path of retreat takes it off a friendly or neutral table edge, it retires.
  5. The retreat path must be the shortest legal path to reach the closest legal place where it can end. You may not artificially extend the length of a retreat move to your advantage.
  6. Always roll at least one dice in combat.
  7. Must charge "greatest threat"
  8. Difficult Move. Pivot only once, but either at beginning or end of move. However the actual move is done in any direction! So it's almost like pivoting twice!
  9. Charges are limited to a 45 degrees pivot at the start of the move. This has more effect on limiting what you can charge than you'd think. Check it!
  10. Simple move can pivot to any direction at the start of the move, not just 45 degrees. 
  11. Scharnhost - first day 3 movement points
  12. Can move and charge through friends not in contact with enemy. Remember though that charging units do have to have line of sight to the enemy they are charging.
  13. Can sit on friend until end of activation of force
  14. In Melee defender takes damage first and if destroyed attacker only takes 1 damage even if they lost the combat. This means no need to roll any dice if you attack a unit on 1 elan. They just are destroyed and the attacker takes 1 damage independent of the dice rolled. Note this is quite different if the defender is artillery.
  15. Shooting hits are resolved after all shooting is completed. Hence concealed targets are only revealed at the end of shooting and destroyed units remain on table until shooting is finished, still potentially blocking line of sight.
  16. (Extra) There's no initial pivot when retreating. The retreating unit slides in a straight line away from the enemy unit(s). Then, if passive, turns 180 degrees about it's centre point.

See here for some more Blücher mistakes...

Saturday, 8 June 2019

6mm Napoleonic Buildings

Having painted up the first part of my Russian Napoloenic army I really needed to get some buildings ready that were not Spanish. After all fighting with Russians on the Peninsular would be really silly.

I had bought some Total Battle Miniatures buildings earlier in the year and they have been sat on the to-do shelf since then. The time was ripe to get some paint on them.

Of course now they're all finished. They're from the Big Battalions, Black Powder Europe range and I'm very, very pleased with them. Loads of detail and the rubber town bases are great!

These bases should do okay for something town-sized in Blücher. For a city base I think I'll make something myself to take these same buildings.

I've made some inserts to be used in the town bases for when I have to remove a building or two to make space for a unit base. Conveniently the holes are 30mm x 30mm and so match the bases I was going to put my artillery on. In the end I put the artillery on the same base as everything else 60mm x 30mm so I had enough spare.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Russians First Blood - Blücher AAR

Unfortunately Gerald had to drop out of the planned Blücher game at the last minute, but Andy stood up to take his place. He took the French army and I used my Russians.

We played the pick-up game scenario and I rolled snake-eyes for terrain so placed just one piece, a village in the middle of the table, to Andy's five. The table was split in two by river running from one player's side to the other.

I was to be the defender and chose my side and deployed first. Andy had put the objectives wide apart and so I decided to defend just the one on the crossing on my right flank.

I placed the last objective on the smaller side of the river, across from my army. Andy deployed his forces split up across the whole table, hoping to do a sweeping action onto my flank.

Andy swept around my left flank using the village in the centre as a pivot and also advanced on my right. His first artillery shot in the centre hit one of my heavy artillery units, forcing it to retire. I was less than happy about that!

The village in the centre however was to work against Andy. I spotted a way up the centre advancing with the village as a shield and threatening his artillery. I would have my revenge on those!

Meanwhile I moved some artillery I had behind the river in the centre into a better position where they could hit Andy's assault as the advanced on me. On my right flank I also shot as he advanced.

What followed was several turns of advancing and shooting with artillery. I certainly gained the advantage here with my superior artillery damaging his advancing units. 

Eventually I reached his artillery in the centre, destroyed it with a cavalry charge and then headed back towards his attacks.

Andy decided it was time to bring his Cavalry Reserve into play and they moved up to attack my central advanced corps. I put a couple of trailing infantry brigades into square to dissuade him from advancing much further as I wanted to keep pummelling his attacking force with my artillery in the centre without him getting any support.

As Andy got close to my artillery I moved up some infantry units right behind them to support.

On the other flank Andy decided to stop and shoot at me, using his skirmishing advantage. I brought cavalry and artillery around and forced him on to the defensive. I assaulted and started killing brigades.

On the left, Andy pushed my heavy artillery back in an assault, routing one unit. This revealed my supporting infantry and they opened fire. Meanwhile my centre cavalry came onto the flanks of his infantry, but he brought light cavalry up to screen them 

Andy's cavalry reserve advanced into the centre. My infantry and cavalry assaulted but didn't manage to defeat Andy's right flank forces. 

As we ran out of time, I'd only lost a single unit, Andy had lost five. It didn't look like he would be able to make that difference up and it was only going to be a matter of time before I destroyed the two units I needed as much of Andy's force was in retreat. Andy resigned.

A great game and the first time I've beaten Andy. A good start to playing with the Russian army, which certainly seems to be a strong one.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

200 Points of Russians Completed

I've completed my 200 points of Russians just in time for the Blücher game against Gerald at COGS tomorrow night.

3 Corps in total with Kutusov and Kutaisov.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Russian Cavalry

I'm working towards a usable 200 points Russian Blücher force. I've just finished the 4 cavalry bases needed.

There are two bases of cuirassiers and 2 bases of dragoons. Heroics and Ros only have cuirassiers in their catalogue, but on investigation I found that both cuirassiers and dragoons have almost exactly the same uniforms with different coat colours (green for dragoons and white for cuirassiers) and the addition of black cuirasses on the cuirassiers. So the cuirassiers models I have will do for both in 6mm scale. Each base is painted for a different regiment, the differences being the facings, collars, cuffs and shabraque (horse blanket).

I've also completed 6 more infantry bases.

Next will be some artillery.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Tiny Russians

When I initially got into 6mm Napoleonics some 20+ years ago I bought some Heroics and Ros Russians in addition to my British. I'm not sure why I didn't get French... I was a bit confused about the period in those days...

Anyway, they sat in a box all that time; spent years in the loft; years on a shelf; even spent some time on Bring and Buy stalls. But somehow I never got rid of them.

So when I restarted my 6mm Napoleonics with Blücher I committed myself to getting the Russians painted as an army. I soon found I needed more than I had originally and so bought a few more from H&R.

With my French and British very much playable I have finally started work on the Russians. I have enough unpainted models to make a simple 300 point army, but I am starting first of all to get the basic troops ready for a 200 point army.

In Blücher there are only 6 unit types in the Russian army (excepting the usual 3 types of artillery) and so it's quite easy to build up. I have enough models to get to pretty much all options in the fictional army lists built up. Most of them up to their maximums.

So, first are 3 bases of line infantry.

I've based these up differently from my French and British. Russians don't have the Skirmisher ability in Blücher and have strong melee abilities instead so I've gone for two columns on the base in a cross between battalion and company formation. I've avoided the Warhammer style officer, drummer and standard in the front rank and have moved those into roughly appropriate places from what I can see on the battalion layout diagrams. With 34 models to a base I'm still working on around a figure scale of somewhere around 50 men to a model so it's all just designed to look nice anyway.

I've also created a full set of unit cards and magnetised everything for storage and play as normal.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Blücher - Scharnhorst...

Another day another game of Blücher. This time a 300 point Scharnhorst against Ed.

We'd played the Scharnhorst part of the battle last week at lunchtime. The situation had ended with me declaring battle and having one of Ed's corps surrounded. He had the advantage though with Victory points. I had to break him or take the town off him, he just had to survive to win.

Breaking him seemed the easiest choice and this seemed even easier when I found out that the large corps I had surrounded was made up of weak allied Spanish troops. Also it had nearly no defensive terrain at all!

Ed soon realised his mistake in trying to defend with them as I munched through them at a rapid rate with a withering artillery onslaught and French Infantry marching in column. He decided that the only solution would be to retire them as quickly as he could from the field before I destroyed too many. Then with his third column hopefully appearing soon he'd be able to survive.

It wasn't to be though. As the last of the Spanish troops headed off the table one was left behind and was facing an impossible force of French troops. It routed taking him to break-point.

In Blücher though you only lose at the end of your own turn. This meant that if Ed's reinforcements arrived in that turn his break point would increase by three meaning he'd still be safe. He needed a 1 or a 2 on a d6 for this to happen... it didn't and he broke, meaning I won... finally after so many losses recently!

With two or so hours left to play we wondered what to do and decided to carry on as if Ed's reinforcements had arrived. We'd play a What-If-What-If...

His reinforcements arrived and started to fight back. Bringing my dead pile up to a similar size to his own. It was getting too close for him though and he started to pull back in towards the town. I'd re-organised my columns and started to push onto there as well.

The battle continued right up to the wire. Turn 29 came and I'd not quite managed to break his force and he won the game on victory points... though not really as I'd already won it... way back at about turn 12.

I've not got another Blücher game now for over two weeks... How am I going to survive?!