Friday, September 15, 2017

Crossing Point - 12:00 Gordon Calls a Council of War; Opinions Appreciated

This post follows Crossing Point, Brute Force - 11:15 and precedes (placeholder)

What would you advise?

General Gordon (the NPC GOC) is convening a council of war.

The South Mordors have retired and nothing more can be expected of them.
The enemy is across the bridge in some strength. Three (-) infantry battalions and two cavalry regiments. Another, and worse yet, Cuirassier regiment is already on the bridge.
As you will see from the situation map, Gordon's left flank is pretty open and basically hanging on air.

Mission: crossing point currently occupied by the Cuirassiers.

Available forces:
The Killmore Highlanders
1/Gobilinado Line
2/Gobilinado Line
The Eyes'n"Gourds Foot (somewhat isolated to the left)
The Joccian Greys Heavy Dragoons

Still en route, but as yet unaccounted for:
The Glasgeegian Regiment of Foot
B/RA Foot Battery

These troops may be arriving from the West, the South, or the East. We really have no idea from whence they may appear.

Enemy forces:

In addition to the three infantry (-) and three cavalry units already noted as being south of the river, a further 1 infantry battalion, 1 grenadier battalion, and 2 foot artillery batteries remain north of the river.

I have come up with thee plans, and am soliciting opinions and options for other courses of actions.

Plan 1: Call it a day. Cover the army's withdrawal with the cavalry, and try to salvage as much as possible.

Analysis: Unpalatable but what I would do. However as I am actually playing the Red side, my judgement may be biased here.

Plan 2: Concede the crossing point for now, counter attack later. In this instance the Eye'sn"Gourds would move eastward in square. The cavalry will move westwards and try to cover the open flank. 2/Gobilinado will form a reserve.

Analysis: Outnumbered 3 to 1 in cavalry I am not sure the efforts of the Joccian Greys, however gallant, will suffice to settle my open flank. This option also allows the enemy to continue crossing in force. The end game might well see Blue's infantry having to attack northwards while under threat of a cavalry attack from west, south, and east.

Plan 3: Move on the bridge right now, before the enemy can reinforce his bridgehead further. The Killmores will advance, pausing only to volley occasionally in order to keep Red at a safe distance, and then form line south of the bridge, facing north. 1 and 2 Goblinado will form first at a right angle to the Killmores, running North-South until the Eyes'n'Gourds come up at which point the four battalions will form and open square. The Joccian Greys are tasked with shepherding the movements of the Eye'n'Gourds towards the main force at which point it will disrupt Red cavalry actions as able.

Analysis: With Red having two batteries of guns north of the river, Gordon's command would be subject to cannonade and unable to reply. This is the most risky option and might well lead to the loss of Blue's entire force. it poses a special risk to the elements not yet arrived as their entry points will be far from the main force and in enemy cavalry country.

"Well there you have it Gentle Rats, Orcs, and Goblins. Your thoughts are most welcome".

I plan to post this in a few places, including my blog, and keep the discussion open until Monday morning-ish, to give everyone who might be interested a chance to speak up.

Thank you all in advance for your help.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Crossing Point, Brute Force: 11:15

This post follows on from Crossing Point - 09:45

The assault is now well and truly under way. 

In short the 12th evaporated in cloud of musket smoke as the valiant South Mordor continued to defend the crossing. The 12th lost its Eagle!

The rump of the 12th, held back from the assault, sent the Regiment Gobilinado packing.

The 66th Legre not only saw off the Eyeshore Light Dragoons but in so doing routed them.

The 23rd followed up the 12th with better result but still did not force the South Mordor to retire.

And finally, the Coltzen Lancers are across the bridge and overrunning the Orc battery.

Meanwhile, Albion reinforcements continue to arrive, in addition to the South Mordor, the enemy now boasts the Killmore Highlanders, the Eyes'n'Gourds orc foot, and two battalions of the Regiment Gobilinado.

Pictures (many pictures) with short descriptions follow:

A long range volley brings down the valiant Colonel of the 12th Ligne.

Still the battalion marches on.

The Eyeshore Light Dragoons arrive on the field.

As does the first battalion of the Regiment Gobilinado, bringing the hard pressed South Mordors some much needed support.

Their ranks thinned, the 66th Legre suppresses the orc battery, while the 12th Ligne crosses.

Another shot of the Eyeshores. I feared they would put an end to the 66th before any support could reach my Voltigeurs.

Colonel Symmerson proudly looks on as his orcs drop in their ones and twos to sniper fire.

The Goblins advance just as fast as their tiny legs will let them. 
Perhaps not the best troops for a "fire brigade"?

In the foreground the Killmores arrive on the field.
In the background the 12th has launched its assault leaving one division to confront the approaching goblin menace.

Another view, this time from behind the South Mordors. 
Note the Eyeshores closing in for the kill center left.

The 23rd moves to support the 12th across the Anduin. 
Imperial forces queue up waiting their turn.
Nothing subtle in this offensive.

The 12th is badly shot up but a few brave souls make contact with the Thin Red Line.

The result is predictable. The assault column is wiped out.

True to form, Symmerson seizes the Eagle from the soldier who captured it and leaves the battalion in order to present to Gen. Gordon in person.

Their Eagle lost, the 12th have succeeded in  disrupting the South Mordors long enough,

for more,

And more Imperial troops to cross the river.
Vive la Foret Noire!

The remaining division of the 12th repels the Regiment Goblinado.

Only one brave elf of the regiment remains.
They may have lost their Eagle but they have covered themselves in Glory.
But will it be Glory enough for the Emperor?

The Killmores deploy to cover the west side of my bridgehead.

The battle unfolds from Marshal Sault's perspective.

In the far distance, the Coltzen Lancers can be observed overrunning the orc battery.
A second battalion of Goblins forms a backstop behind the South Mordors and the routed Eyseshores are withdrawing to the right.

Slowly the Diberian is hauled to the front while the Dragons overtake them.
It is a race for Glory.

The 66th recover after their surprise defeat of the Eyeshores. 
They have even taken a prisoner, foreground left.

The chaos of the Napoleonique battlefield.

Purists, squint and use your imagination...

...and you may well see the chaos of the Napoleonic battlefield as well :)

And as always thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Crossing Point - 09:45

Albion artillery harasses my arriving troops with long range fire.

This post follows on from:  Crossing Point , and precedes Crossing Point - 11:15 .

1st Brigade arrives in strength and trudges into position.

GdB Haute directs the 23rd toward the left of my line.

While the skirmishers engage the enemy. They lost three figures to canister fire before the gun drew back out of range of their muskets.

However the South Mordor is now the subject of their attention. One orc down.

Marshal Sault observes the deployment, willing his enfants to move faster for it is predicted that orc reinforcements might arrive as soon as 10:00..

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Crossing Point!

The Ground. Despite appearances the hill is treated as a gentle slope.

Equipped with the new Pedion tiles, have been inspired to try another of Charles S. Grant's "Programmed Wargames Scenarios". The book, for those not yet familiar with it, contains 18 tabletop scenarios, as well as two mini campaigns, that allow a player or team to play only one side of the engagement while the book handles the enemy forces and reactions. In fact it is also possible to play most games on "autopilot' where the book can be used to make decisions for both sides.

The Book. Highly recommended.

In this instance the scenario is "Crossing Point", and I shall be playing the aggressor, Red. I have chosen to play the attacker as, quite frankly, I am not very good at being one, much preferring to use maneuver to force the enemy into that role. 

In this instance however a bridge must be forced so I shall have to give it a least until I get across the river!

Have decided to make this a part of a narrative campaign that started with another river crossing battle that I reported on the Alternative Armies and Orcs in the Webbe Facebook pages. In that instance I played the defending army of Albion, and stopped the advance of a Coltzen brigade of werewolves supported by centaur lancers.

For this game I have reversed roles and will be playing for the Ferach Empire. The rules are a hodgepodge of ideas based on Young and Lawford's venerable Charge! rules. For this game a new wrinkle will involve firing in full groups of six only for line troops. This mechanic joining variable moves, as the main departures from "Charge!".

The crossing will not be unopposed.

Here is the situation: "Blue (Albion) has a small force, which has moved north at great speed to secure the crossing point and arrived there in the early hours of the morning. They know that a Red (Ferach) force is on the way to seize the crossing and is likely to start arriving from the north shortly after dawn. Blue has reinforcements on the way but they are being hastily assembled and may arrive at any time during the day and in any order. Dawn is at 06:30".

My first task was to dice for the composition of my forces. The result has given me 5 battalions of  line infantry ( 20 figures each), one battalion of light infantry (12 figures), 1 light cavalry regiment (10 figures), 1 medium cavalry regiment (10 figures), 1 heavy cavalry regiment (10 figures) and two gun batteries (1 gun and six crew each).

From that I came up with the following OOB;

Marshal Sault G.O.C.

1st BDE (Ferach) - GdB Sylvain Haute (Deliberate)
1/66th Legre
1/23rd Ligne
1/12th Ligne

2nd BDE (Coltzen) - GdB Prinz Jozef Ponyitowski (Deliberate)
1st Diberian Line
2nd Diberian Line
1st Visthowla Legion

3rd BDE (Combined Cavalry) - Col. Antoine Fortune du Jeu (Rash)
1st Coltzen Lancers (Centaur)
7th Dragons (Elf)
2nd Cuirassier (Elf)

Divisional Artillery - Majo Boulette de Canard (Rash)
1st  Freach Battery
1st Diberian Battery

So, my Generals de Brigade show no outstanding characteristics but at least du Ju, and de Canard, are elves of action.

Next my entry point needed to be determined. I will enter from the northwest thus...

Coltzen cavalry and elven light infantry advance
accompanied by Marshal Sault and his staff.

Order of march: Coltzen Lancers, 1st BDE, Legere leading, 1st Ferach Battery, Train 2nd BDE, Visthowla to the rear, 1st Diberian Battery, 7th Drgons, 2nd Cuirassiers.

Arriving at 08:30 the light cavalry found the enemy in place south of the crossing. At this point I needed to dice for the composition of the opposition. Blue had 6 line infantry, 1 light cavalry, 1 heavy cavalry, and 2 batteries available. No light infantry! That fool Wogan must have sent Sharke off on some piffling errand, much to my delight. Still a sizable force.

Symmerson's South Mordor Regiment of Foot
and A Battery RA prepare to give my elves a warm reception.

Dicing for their deployment only 20%, or two units were already on table. The South Mordor and a battery of orcish guns stood south of the bridge ready to contest my advance. I should rather Symmerson had been true to form and put some of his command on the north side of the river where I could crush them, but at least Albion's initial force was small. The remainder would arrive by one of three points, all south of the river; the west corner, the center, or the east corner of their table edge.
Colonel Symmerson proudly surveys his Regiment while his
faithful, if borderline psychotic, Sgt. Major consults " 'is Muvver".
Note the limber in the orchard left background.

Given that time is of the essence I have devised the following rather less than cunning plan:
  1. The light cavalry will split into two squadrons, one moving up, and one down the riverbank looking for fords, and keeping me apprised of any enemy coming from that direction. Not sure if the scenario allows me to look for fords, but that seems a sensible precaution.
  2. The 66th will deploy into open order and engage the enemy gun west of the bridge.
  3. The 23rd will form east of the bridge and engage the South Mordor with volley fire.
  4. The 12th will form an assault column and cross the bridge, presumably engaging the South Mordor. Looks like the bridge will only take four figures abreast, so this part won't be easy.
  5. Guns to support 1st BDE.
  6. 1st BDE should orient its bridgehead to the east.
  7. Second BDE to remain in reserve for either a second assault across the bridge or for follow up and exploitation of 1st BDE's assault. 2nd BDE should orient its' bridgehead to the west.
  8. 7th Dragons and 2nd cuirassiers to form divisional reserve.
Hopefully what the plan lacks in subtlety will be compensate for in its simplicity.

Coltzen centaurs admirably fulfilling the light cavalry role.

Next time we will see how it all unfolds.

The story continues with Crossing Point 0945

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Pedion Terrain Tiles have arrived!

Back in 2015 I backed Pedion Terrain's Kickstarter to...kickstart a line of 30cmx30 cm terrain tiles.

Today they arrived!

A bit note here, George Panopoulos, has done a great job with communication during the birth of this line of terrain. I have been fully informed throughout the process and never doubted the Kickstarter fulfilment. In fact, as I had anticipated, waiting this long has allowed Pedion to improve technique and quality as they progressed. In my case the bridge and walls are of the new variety you can see on the blog by clicking the Pedion line in the first paragraph.

Bringing a new product to life always has some pitfalls and I am well aware, as you all, Gentle Readers, should be that a Kickstarter is an investment in a company/creator and not some form of pre-order.

I am very pleased at having been part of the public that has enabled these fantastic tiles to reach the market.

Here is my hastily thrown together set up, 6 x 4 tiles. I have another 9 tiles, not shown, three more river and the rest various types of terrain. This gives some much needed flexibility when setting up a game or even scrolling a game that goes off board at some point.

Here Sharke and some of his lads prepare to ambush a hapless column of werewolf line infantry. The hedges and trees are moveable and magnetized, so that they may "clip" on to the tiles in various places. I am very pleased that they are so well based they will stand up fine anywhere even without a magnate.

Another view showing a tree lined road. You can just make out the werewolves at the top centre.

Another party of Rifleorcs on the ridge overlooking the road.  The hill tiles also have hillocks that are separate pieces. In this photo you can in the middle distance see some of these that I placed on a plain tile rather than on top  the hills foreground right.

Another shot showing the lovely river texture, the hill tiles, and, perhaps not easy to discern, the risers that allow any tile to be elevated as a slope or ridge top. These risers are a great way to make a long ridge as opposed to the rugged looking hills that appear on the hill tiles.

Here's a close up a huge river bend. The piece also came with a separate insert that will turn this bend into a plant choked swamp. Brilliant!

The whole was shipped in a box cleverly constructed to serve as a storage box as well, actually two storage boxes in this case.

Oh and the tiles are magnetized in the corners to "clip" the tiles together as they are lain down. 

Very happy with the results George has achieved here and recommend Pedion to any of you folks interested in modular terrain. They even make city tiles now, and the regular tiles come in desert, Martian, and snow schemes as well.