Friday, 22 July 2016

My Prussian's make their debut

As the title says, my Prussians had their first outing on the table last night. Their numbers are small at the moment so a small fighting withdrawal scenario was devised: a Polish brigade advancing into contact with an advanced Prussian post. The Prussians, very much out numbered, are to delay the Poles and withdraw off the table to their main force.

We used some of the other aspects of Napoleons Campaigns in Miniature (NCiM) in this game. One of these being the observation and hidden units rules. This meant that initially no Prussians were deployed and would need to be located. To do this I sketched out a rough map, noted the location of my troops and wrote out very general orders.

Prussian forces were, 1 Line regiment, a Jager detachment and a single squadron of Uhlans (this is all I have at the this time). The Poles (Played by the wily, Mike Goldyn) consisted of a full Infantry brigade with a battery of 6lb's. The Poles started on two entrance points (roads), 1 move in from the table edge, so not all of them started on the table.

The First Prussian pickets were sighted - Skirmishers on the hill and jagers in the wood.

These forced the Poles to shake out into line and send their own skirmishers forward. The Prussians on the hill retreated back to their parent unit which was located behind the hedge of a wheat field. The jagers opened fire using the longer range of their rifles (300mm). This was a mistake because they were firing at their maximum range and the +2 fire factor for First Fire was wasted against a -9 range factor and - 4 factor for firing at skirmishers.

The fusilier in the wheat field reformed and took some fire from the Polish skirmishers but withheld their own fire to retain their +2 First Fire bonus (the lesson learned from the jagers).

The fusiliers stood steadfast in the face of the Polish musketry & only lost one casualty as a result of determined effort by the skirmishers. The soft cover of the hedge helping out in this case.

The jagers shot it out with the skirmishers to their front where they inflicted casualties and drove the Poles back behind the safety of their line.

The Polish forces having taken the high point of the little hill could now see the remaining Prussian troops deployed further back - One battalion of musketeers in the other wheat filed behind a stone wall and another battalion in reserve on the road.

The Jagers were driven back by volleys from the Polish line and retired through the woods in good order with two companies of Polish voltigeurs on their heels. The Pole now brought up their canon threatening the forward Prussian fusilier companies who retired on to the rest of their battalion at the other of the end of the wheat field.

The jagers regrouped and joined the musketeer battalion in the second wheat field exchanging shots with the Polish voltigeurs emerging from the woods. Over the other side of the road The Poles advanced on the heels of the fusiliers and prepared for an assault. The gunners on the hill took aim at the fusiliers to little effect.

Also... Previously unmentioned, a squadron of Prussian Uhlans were sighted at the extreme left of the Polish position. They were initially ordered to observe and retire but their orders were changed to engage the Polish line and then retire. They made a futile charge which was stopped by the massed musket volleys from the Poles and they routed. They were too close and the musket range was too short. The result of being way too slow to deploy into line. 

P.S. I didn't manage to finish painting the uhlans due to a power outage (brush in hand) the night before.

The Poles now advanced on the Prussian positions. Some skirmish fire was made against the Prussian musketeers who replied with company volley fire and inflicted some casualties. the Polish guns changed their aim to target the musketeers in reserve on the road and inflicted some injury on them. In wheat field #1 the Poles, under ineffective fire from the fusiliers shaped up for the assault...

The Prussian's fired to little effect. The Polish columns were unformed due to their advance through the wheat and struck with a reduced impact. But the assault, although wasn't decisive, had the desired affect of forcing the fusiliers back. The results of the following morale tests had the Prussians steady and the Poles following up for a second round.

Here the game was called of due to the late hour.

Lessons Learned:

Overall it was a very enjoyable game with some good lessons learned. We're still coming to grips with the rules but doing this scenario resulted in some interesting situations and brought to light some topics for later discussion.

I think that my major gripe would be the constant referral to charts. We've discussed the need for a Quick Reference Sheet and after last night I think this is a must. We had printouts of charts all over the table as well and needing to constantly searching through the book for various things. So I'll get to work on this.

I'm not really keen on all of the National Characteristics. I don't mind the Morale, Shooting, Melee Factor stuff but the individual Movement Rates and Formation Change stuff leave me cold. For a Prussian cavalry squadron to take 1½ moves to shake out into line from column is a bit ridiculous. I know I could have just deployed them into line (they were a little unit after all) but I wanted to go through the process to see the outcome.

Overall, I like the flexibility of the rules. Unlike other rules sets for Napoleonic's NCiM allows a very detailed level of play if you want - Such as my initial deployment of my fusilier battalion into company elements and their later reforming into the full battalion. This isn't something that you would normally do in a larger battle but in a smaller engagement like this NCiM allows for this type of action where other rules don't. And, after recently reading about similar scenarios that actually occurred in the lead up to Ligny, these smaller encounters were widespread throughout the period.


  1. Cool to see someone playing (and blogging) about NCiM. It was the first set I played for Napoleonics (after Featherstone H&M) when I was a kid. We seemed to manage.

    Hope you guys are successful in pulling it apart, tweaking a few things, and smooshing it back together. Just followed you, so I can follow along.

    1. Thanks Stu,
      We've had a couple of games now. The idea is to play NCiM a lot so that we can get the play flowing. It's a pretty free style game so, at the moment, we're think some sort of structure is needed.

  2. Great stuff, nice to see this all moving along, inspires me to get to work on my own stuff.

    1. Thanks Norm. I'm really enjoying Napoleonic's again. It's great to move big battalions around the table after a long hiatus.