Sunday 24 March 2019

Blücher - First attempt at Scharnhorst

Another game of Blücher this afternoon. This time a 200 point game of Scharnhorst. We were playing British (Ed) vs French (me) and chose the Peninsular as the theatre of battle.

Ed won the Intelligence and decided to come on from one of the short edges. At the end of day 1 two of our columns had met in the middle of the battlefield at the town of Estacia.

I had collected a lot of VPs on the way in, so Ed had first choice to declare a battle. He chose not to. I did however choose one as I'd worked out how I could get all my columns onto the table. Ed ended up having one column coming on as reserves, though right into my flank.

The end of Day 2 was like this...

The battle was declared in the area marked in black below...

We then spent quite a while setting up the terrain. This took longer than I had expected. Anyway, it ended up like this...

Ed's other column would be coming over the river at the top of the photo above. Though with a factor of 5 it could be quite a while before we saw it.

With the Morale as it was, Ed would need to kill 5 of my units. I just needed to kill 3 of his. I needed to hit hard and fast before his reinforcements arrived.

I pushed my large II Corps forward along with my Cavalry Corps to assault the troops in front of the village. They were ripe for killing. In the end I found they were very weak. A Horse Artillery unit, Ed's heavily fatigued Portuguese Cavalry which he'd used for Recon and some Heavy Dragoons. Light Infantry had garrisoned the village.

As I advanced they fell back beyond the river, except the Light Infantry which were safe in the village from the cavalry on my right flank.

I had to push across the river to fight his centre troops. Victory looked assured. Those reinforcements better not arrive!

I only needed to rout one more of his units to win!

And then the reinforcements arrived...

Heavy Dragoons slammed into the flanks of my uncommitted VI Corps and Foot Guards started to assault the town. Suddenly his army looked a lot tougher and started to rout my units. Nevertheless I still had the upper hand... there was hope!

But it wasn't to be. A bad MO roll for me and a couple of good ones for Ed followed and my army was in shreds. Victory to Ed's British forces... again!

A wonderful game and it's got us chomping at the bit for more Scharnhorst!

I'll sign off with a couple of photos of my entire French army and commanders. There's still a lot more that I have to paint!

Monday 11 March 2019

A couple more Blücher Games

So another two Blücher games in the last couple of days.

Yesterday's was against my 12-year-old son and he soon caught on to the rules. His strategy needs a little bit of work but that will come with experience I'm sure. It won't be long before he's giving his dad a thrashing.

For that game I'd done some work to blend the hills in with the cloth. It was better, but I still wasn't too impressed with the cloth. It was ragged at the edges and had to be taped down to top it creasing all over the place.

I prefer boards usually, so in a mad moment I decided that I would make myself some. In the end I bought three 6mm thick MDF boards from B&Q and had them cut them down to 960mm x 480mm. Together these work out to the correct board size for my 60mm wide bases. I covered them with "bitter chocolate" masonry paint from Homebase and then when dry covered with static grass and some fine ground terrain foam.

Tonight they were used for the first time against Gerald. This time we used 200 point armies with Napoleon commanding the French and Wellington the British. Using the special two CinC's actually made the game a lot quicker to play and meant that we got to a conclusion a good 40 minutes earlier than the previous game. Also it was easier to play the sides. I think in conclusion that I'll use these CinC's when teaching the game to new players.

The new boards looked great, though the static grass did come off quite a bit. I've just finished re-covering them and have absolutely saturated them with sprayed on watered-down PVA. Hopefully that will make them more resilient.

Monday 4 March 2019

Blücher - 3rd game - Still loving it!

So the second game of Blücher in two days and my 3rd game in total. This time against Gerald and using the pick-up game scenario and 200 points.

I was French and on the attack again, Gerald's British lined up along a row of Spanish hills. There was a river on my right flank and I soon realised since there was no bridge across it in my deployment zone and that I'd have to assault on my left flank. So I deployed everything on that side of the river. I also then realised that there was rather a lot of difficult terrain on that flank as well!

Gerald saw what I was up to and deployed his reserves immediately to cut off an attempted cavalry assault on that flank. He then spotted a chance to get on my right flank with a reserve move and brought up a corps there.

My assault on his flank struggled and after a lot of effort he pushed it back. On the other flank his flanking corps marched forwards into a hail of artillery fire and repeated cavalry assaults. He struggled and it faltered. I was safe there.

Meanwhile the rest of my force was pushed back onto the windmill hill by his counter-assaulting army. My attack had turned into a retreat!

As we ran out of time Gerald put one last assault in to break my army. However he committed too much and I managed to get a few kills myself as well!

We had both been pushed over our break-points, but checking the rules only the active player's break point mattered for victory, so I won! Gerald won't make that mistake again.

A wonderful game again. This time getting my new Spanish buildings on the table. The windmill is from Leven Miniatures and the rest are a 3d-printed set from eBay (an absolute bargain).

We have another game booked next week. We're going to use 200 points again and this time use Wellington and Napoleon as our commanders.

Sunday 3 March 2019

Blücher- 2nd game - First time out for my French

I just finished playing my second game of Blücher, the first for Ed and the first for my French force.

We played the Across the Danube scenario again, with French and British rather than French and Austrians. This time I got chance to see what it was like as the Attacker.

The board we played on was the correct 24BW x 16BW and it made a massive difference to how the game felt. The sweeping cavalry flanking charge we had in our first game was not possible.

I did get a flank movement in, but Ed managed to build a good defensive line against it so I decided to attack across the river on the other flank. Low MO rolls meant that I didn't get the open flank attack to move for quite a few turns. It did so after the attack across the river finally succeeded having cost the corps on that side and also my reserve corps.

In the end Ed needed just one unit to be destroyed to win. There were several tense turns and I managed to get him so I just needed two more units and it looked like I was about to succeed when he managed a devastating assault on a light cavalry unit of mine. Ed won.

It was a wonderful battle with a real sense of commanding a large army at the highest level. We'll be playing another game very soon. In the mean time I have another game booked tomorrow night against Gerald at COGS.

I'm also rather pleased with how the terrain has come together, though I'll have to do some work to blend the hills into the base cloth. That will have to wait until after the next game however.

Saturday 2 March 2019

Kings of War Vanguard at Hammerhead

We had a successful day playing Vanguard participation games at Hammerhead today. Quite a bit of interest in both the game and the boards.

We'll be at Chilcon in Sheffield on 23rd March running Vanguard participation games again. Come along and say hello...

And now for the obligatory photos...