Saturday, 24 March 2018

GdA ~ Game 5 and some new players.

We played another game of General d'Armee today. This time we had two new recruits, Paul & Tim, joining Pete Andrew & I (we're veterans now). I didn't actually play this game, I set up so that Paul & Tim opposed each other and I took them through the rules, step by step and refereed for them.

It was an interesting game with many different questions being asked and many different perspectives offered. Tim & Peter played the Prussians whilst Paul and Andrew commanded the French.

I won't give a full blow by blow account of this battle as, in many respects it was an introductory game. But here's the general gist of how it played out:

The game started with the French gaining the initiative. And they simply advanced their line. Tim got into the use of his ADC's right from the get -go and used a Forwards tasking to get his reserve brigade marching and took control of the farmhouse on the flank. In the following turns Paul moved his skirmishers up and and some general skirmish fighting took place.

Paul invested a wood near the farmhouse with his infantry but these were countered by a Prussian horse battery unlimbering beside the farm.

On Andrew and Peter's side of the table it was similar for the first couple of turns but their fight mainly tuned into a cavalry battle on the far flank.

My new Chasseurs a Cheval make their debut.

Some of Paul's French cavalry including his ADC conversions.

My new battalion for Lutzow's Freikorps standing in
for the missing fourth landwehr battalion.

All around the table plenty of skirmish fire and artillery took place with varying degrees of success or lack thereof. 

On the far right flank Andrew and Peter maneuvered their cavalry for a big fight. The French got the initiative and launched a charge with their dragoons in the lead and light cav in support. They met the Prussian dragoons who had a regiment of landwehr cavalry behind them.

Tim and I lose our heads during the thick of battle.

Paul thinking hard on some difficult tactical decisions.

Now, I've had these French dragoons for quite a long time and for most of that time they've sat in a storage box doing nothing. Now, every time they get into the thick of it they win. And it's never a Pyrrhic victory. It's always a crushing defeat of their opponent. This time it was no different. They sent the Prussian horse packing, causing the brigade to falter. Luckily for Peter he rolled well on the Faltering Brigade Chart and the Prussians rallied.

But Pete's saving his cavalry didn't really help. Paul had been targeting one of Pete's landwehr battalions in the center and had caused significant casualties. Now Paul launched his cavalry at the battered battalion. They failed to form square and became unformed. The gun battery gave some supporting fire but it wasn't enough to check the French horsemen. In the ensuing melee the infantry retreated and the added casualties from the retreat caused them to disperse.

The result of this was that Pete's Landwehr brigade Faltered and rolled badly in the ensuing Command Phase causing the whole brigade to retreat due to a Suave Qui Peut result.

Tim tried to save the day by charging Paul's dragoons bringing up the rear with his uhlans (who had recently forced the French horse battery to pack up and run) but poor rolling on his behalf saw both cav regiments retire to their own lines. Paul kept up the pressure by charging the faltering landwehr with his lone regiment of chasseurs.

Tim also tried an infantry assault on Paul's line at this time but a good solid volley & dismal Prussian dice saw the assault thrown back in disorder.

So, that was it. It was getting late. The Prussian center was in full retreat and the veteran infantry of the Leib Regiment were not in a position to take the fight to the French without withdrawing and reforming. So the day went to the French.


Another good game but I don't think Tim was enamored with the rules. He had some successes throughout the game but his main attack failed. I hope he comes back to play again because he's a very experienced and more than worthy opponent.

As for the center collapse I prompted Paul to charge with his cavalry. He's a seasoned player but new to GdA so I explained the possible results of charging and he went with it. Due to Peter's troops being Recruit status and the casualties they were carrying, the chances of his battalion forming square were drastically reduced. He could have formed square when Tim chased off the battery that was battering them but his focus was on the cavalry battle on the wing.

Strangely, both Pete & Time placed their landwehr towards the center. I'm guessing this was through a lack of communication but it did make the Prussian center weak.

Being a referee can give you a perspective that you don't see when you're in the thick of it.

And some more pics including some I stole from Russel (some of the better ones above are his too).

And there we are. from the left: Someone's head and a neighboring game,
Pete, Tim, Me, Paul, Andrew.

Andrew looking rather contented as his troops take up positions on the hill.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Do I Smell Chicken Chasseurs?

No you do not!
They are the 9th Regiment, Casseurs a Cheval.

My French cavalry arm was severely lacking (one lone regiment of dragoons) so I needed to add a bit more horseflesh to mon Petit Armee. I picked up a box of the Warlords plastic chasseurs a cheval and, I must say, they are somewhat underwhelming. But they were going cheap at $20.00 a box.

The basic riders  come in two poses - Arm bent and arm bent a little bit less. Their mounts are similar in their variation. The metal commanding officer looks nice but I'm unsure about the sabretache hanging off his hip. This isn't a piece of kit used by chasseurs. All the other figures have them too but, because they're plastic I cut them off. This left the scabbard hanging in an unusual manner.

The commanders' horse is shitty. It has it's two front legs thrust out with dirty great pieces of metal attaching them to the base. These looked very ugly and had to go but they left the horse with only one rear leg attached to the base. So I drilled through the base and into the horses belly. I then inserted a piece of brass rod to hold the horse steady and (hopefully) prevent it breaking when handled.

The hornist is one of the standard riders with the trumpet arm attached. I sculpted his shoulder fringes. The standard bearer is... Lacking. Lacking everything. He has no belts. No shoulder fringes (home sculpted again). A scabbard with no sword. He even had no head! But he does have a sabretache. Lucky him.

Note: The spellcheck wants to change sabretache to "heartache."

Anyway, for better or worse here is the 9th Regiment, Casseurs a Cheval (the cheap version). I'm looking forward to the upcoming Perry plastic set.

And now I can get back to Lutzow's Freikorps!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Lutzow'z Freikorps - First Battalion

I decided to do something different for the next lot of troops to add to my Prussians and I settled on Lutzow's Freikorps. There are several reasons for selecting this formation and in no particular order they are:

1. They look easy and quick to paint,
2. They will make a self contained "Brigade" for Gd'A, and
3. They have a great unique and impressive look.
4. There is some freedom regarding how to represent them.
5. Good practice for painting "back on black", for paining the Black Brunswicker's sometime in the future.

I decided to use the Perry Prussians in greatcoats for the infantry. They are not perfect but they look great. The actual uniform should be double breasted with two rows of brass buttons but I thought the rest of the uniform details would give them the overall distinctive look of the korps. The figures also have gaiters instead of pants.
Oh well... I could have used Calpe Miniatures but Perry were cheaper.

Black on black... It's easy to do but it's not easy to get the effect right. In the flesh the effect looks much better than the pics. I did the coats in German Grey with a black wash.

The flag I designed myself. It's unknown if they actually had any standards but I considered that because they were a volunteer formation with plenty of wealthy members they could afford to pay for semi-elaborate flags.
So that's what I gave them (and yes, it is over-sized!).

Easy and quick to paint? They were. This battalion took three days. I have two more battalions to go, a few jaeger companies, A couple of hussar squadrons, a couple of uhlan squadrons, and a couple of batteries.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

GdA Game 4 ~ Russo-Prussian Alliance.

So it was another game of General d'Armee at NWA Croydon today. This time the Prussians combined with a small Russian force to take the war to the outnumbered French.

In our last game where the Prussians were outnumbered and took up a defensive position and prepared to sell themselves dearly. This time it was the French who put up a defence and faced a full Prussian brigade (division) with a smaller, mixed detachment of a couple of brigades and a small Russian brigade with some formidable 12 gun batteries in tow. The French fielded two small divisions each of a 3 or 4 brigades.

The Prussians were Peter & I with our newest addition the our growing GdA group ~ Jim and his Russians. Robin & Andrew once again played the French. While it sounds like the French were heavily outnumbered it has to be remembered that quite a lot of the coalition troops were Reserves and Landwehr whilst the French were predominantly Line with some Elite cavalry.

So, the French took up a defensive deployment centered on some hedged fields with a walled farmhouse on their left and a small group of out-buildings in the center. For the purpose of the game a unit in the walled area was considered to be occupying the yard and farmhouse likewise, any unit on the crossroad was considered to be occupying the group of out-buildings.

The Coalition deployed with the Russians on the right facing the farmhouse and the and Prussians in the center and left.

The French got the initiative on the first turn and moved up their skirmishers on their right and pushed out some infantry and cavalry to guard against a large Russian cavalry presence on their left. The Coalition made a general advance along the line. First blood went to the French as both skirmish lines opened fire.

Using two turns of Forwards ADC tasking's I managed to push one brigade up and conduct a left hook to threaten the French flank and deployed my battery on a hill overlooking the French center.

Accurate shooting  from Pete's skirmish line drove an advanced leger battalion in the French center backwards. Looking at the pic you can see they left two dead behind!

In response to my left-hook, Robin released his reserve to come around and try, in turn, to turn my flank.

From what I could make out, the Russians were having trouble getting their forces moving (Jim's first game with GdA) and their cavalry was stuck in a place unable to move out due to Andrew's decision to push out to his left. Jim deployed his horse battery in front of the regiments and they proceeded to perform appallingly with bad dice rolls resulting in several Fatigue Casualties and Low Ammunition.

On the  Prussian left, the French attempted to launch a charge at my battery on the hill. But, before they committed, some confusion and a recalculation of the charge distance left them standing where they were (no doubt an outspoken captain explained to the colonel that the prospect of being stranded in the middle of the surrounding Prussians was a distinct possibility).

Unfortunately for the dragoons they started to take telling casualties from the Prussian skirmishers.

My new divisional commander figure makes his debut 
(below on the right with some ADC's).

Robin does some tricky maneuvering whilst Andrew
and Jim discuss life on the Russian Front.

The French counter hook came in close and I tried to counter it by wheeling my furthest battalion to face them. We won the initiative and I managed to launch a charge at the leading French battalion. I attached the brigadier and also gave them a Glory tasking.

Unfortunately the charge ended in a serious set back for my brave men. They were forced to retire and with 4 casualties they were now reduced from Line status to Recruit (Reserve Rule).

In the center, Peter kept up the pressure forcing Robin to draw back where he formed a steady line. Pete constantly picked out the center leger battalion for long range fire from his battery in order to create a weak point in the French line. He then launched a charge on the leger using an Infantry Assault ADC tasking. Unfortunately the lead charge unit had to be his line regiment and not the Gurde zu Fuss with their big white plumes. 

The leger's defensive fire and fire from the support battalion was very good and Pete's troops suffered for it, but they passed a Discipline Test and kept going in. However, the casualties counted in the end and both units retired back to their starting positions. 

I'd lost track of what was happening with the Russians but I was aware that the poor under-performing horse battery finally gave up and dispersed. Their poor dice rolling resulted in 4 Fatigue Casualties and constant skirmish and counter battery fire kept the casualties mounting.

On my flank I kept up a constant accurate fire on the French dragoons who became Hesitant and, due to a Discipline Test became Unformed, just stood there and took it. Then came the shot of the day... My skirmish line fired and I rolled:

This took the dragoons  up to 10 casualties.

In the next turn the French took the initiative and the Dragoons launched a charge at one of my Reserve battalions.

My battalion managed a good volley and with support fire inflicted another couple of casualties. Then we rolled for the Charge. I rolled 8. Robin rolled: (blue dice)
And the hapless dragoons dispersed and took the walk of shame back to their storage box.

And a cry was heard: "Unleash zee Landwehr!"

I had been holding my landwehr in reserve and I was lucky enough to roll 4 ADC's in the next turn. I gave them ADCRedeploy and Forwards taskings. This sent them on their way with the cavalry leading.

I thought the Russian flank was quiet but all of a sudden things started to happen. Seemingly from out of nowhere, Jim launched an Infantry Assault on the farmhouse. We've never done an assault on a BUA before so this was new... In the final tally, Andrew rolled 6 dice and Jim rolled 4.  Andrew rolled very badly with zero hits and Jim scored two hits. Enough to drive the French out.

That was unexpected. I did mention to Andrew that some Russian general had said that "the bayonet was the true weapon of the Russian soldier." To which he replied, "Lots of generals say stupid things."

Meanwhile, my landwehr cavalry maneuvered into position. The next turn and we won the initiative again so I launched a charge against the French flank battalions. The dice were not on the side of France this day and he failed to form square and became unformed.

The lances of my brave boys forced the first battalion to retreat and they then Charged On into the next battalion which resulted in a melee and eventually saw the Frenchmen ridden down.

The French flank collapsed and the farmhouse was in Russian hands. It was late in the day and the game was called: a Coalition victory!


Another great fun game and the first real win for my brave Prussians. I figure that all they needed was direction and the presence of an actual Divisional Commander figure on the table was just what the doctor ordered.

It was great to have Jim join us and I hope we can get a few more club members who have expressed interest on board for a demo game or two. We have players with Austrian and Polish armies as well as more French. Peter also has Confederation of the Rhine (Bavarian's if I recall rightly).

We're getting more and more fluent with the rules with every game and some turns seem to fly past. I think today's game resulted in somewhere around a dozen to 13 or 14 turns. Missing from this report is a lot of shooting an battery fire, which took place all over the table. My central battalions took decent casualties but held the line and allowed the breakthrough in the end.

And some bonus pics from other NWA members:

 My new battalions doing their thing.