Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday After Thanksgiving Napoleonics Game

Battle Report
: (Please click on the title for the full gallery)

One of the DFW Irregulars' traditions is to play a post Thanksgiving Day game on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Most of us are and have been “hitched” for years; this game gives the best excuse for not doing the spousal shopping task as the commercialized Christmas season “opens” for business on that Friday as well. We decided on a Napoleonic game using Clay's “home brew-NINJA rules”. These rules have taken what we like best about several sets and melded together for a cool little set of rules that are simple yet subtle.

I set up the table in a 6'x12' configuration and put several farms, Botond House, Sandy's Mill, and a ruined medieval chapel in the mix. Allen Eldridge (The Terrain brought me a new box of his new “Pin a Trees” to supplement my collection. His tree line is varied in color and contains deciduous and pine trees in the “railroad tree style”. They go pretty well with the natural trees I made with real twigs and such and were a lot easier (for me) to get to the table. Highly recommended! So highly I bought 68 of them and have ordered another 68!

We like to put figures on the table. We've got the space so why not!? Here's how the forces broke down.

Orders of Battle:

The Russian force consisted of
23 Battalions of infantry (12 figure battalions)
3 Regiments of Dragoons (12 figure regiments)
1 Regiment of Kurassier (12 figure regiment)

1 Regiment of Hussars (12 figure regiment)
6 medium guns (4 crew per gun)

2 heavy guns (4 crew per gun)


The Russians were backed up by Prussians. This army is a classic Hinchcliffe army from the late 70s-early 80s. It was painted by Jim Cooper, originally owned by David Jones

and gifted to Clay.

It was cool to see this army on the table again. It consisted of: three

regiments of three

battalions (9 Battalions x 12 figures each plus each regiment had attached Jaegers. One regiment was Landwher (Conscript). One battery of guns. The three regiments of cavalry didn’t show…. (3 x 12 figure Regiments)-they never made their activiation rolls for the entire battle. That was pivotal.

Figure Totals: (No the table didn't collapse)

Infantry: 22 battalions x 12 figures= 264 figures

Cavalry: 5 regiments x 12 figures= 60 figures

Artillery: 6 guns (4 crew per gun)=24 figures

6 Generals


Infantry: 9 battalions=120 infantry
Artillery: 4 guns with 16 crew
Cavalry: 3 regiments x 12 figures=Did Not Show*
3 generals

Allied Totals:

Infantry: 384 figures
Cavalry: 60 figures on table-paper strength 96 figures

Artillery: 10 guns, 40 crew

9 Generals including Tsar Alexander

Clay sent me the OB strengths in figures for the French and Bavarians. Thanks Clay!

French and Bavarian Infantry:

420 infantry

96 cavalry

16 artillery models and 54 crew

10 Generals (of this total, the Bavarians had 60 infantry, 2 guns and 8 crew)

Total Figures on the table:

Infantry: 804 figures
Cavalry: 156 figures
Artillery: 26 models and 94 crew

I got to see my old, trusty Heavy Cavalry Division consisting of the 2nd Carabiners (1812 uniform-12 figure Regiment),

Westfalian Kurassiers (they're over 25+ years old and have never been on the table!-12 figure Regiment), Baden Dragoons (12 figure regiment), 5th Cuirassier (French-25+year old Hinchcliffe Foremost 12 figure regiment) on the table again. That was cool!

French forces concentrated in the center of the table supported by a “mini-grande batterie” of medium and heavy guns.

They proceeded to press the Russian forces in the center. The Russians held stolidly for several hours (in real time) but were pressed back by the numbers of French. Botond House and the famous (at least to us) “Three Tittie Fountain” were taken by French leg ere.

On the flank, it was a hard pressed issue as the French advance slowed under a press of Russian conscript infantry. The French “converged heavy cavalry division” arrived on the flank and the Russians began to get nervous. Their cavalry had not made an appearance.

The mini-grande batterie made the Prussian advance untenable as it literally paved a “lane of death” through the Prussian ranks. The Prussian general lamented frequently on the tardiness of his cavalry. He had three regiments in reserve that could not seem to find the battlefield. Their non-appearance was pivotal in the battle. (No picture due to lack of physical presence) :)

French Heavy Cavalry division II was sitting in reserve and was not called upon to exploit the holes in the Russian lines. This game was a sluggo match with the pretty boys on pretty horses watching the action take place.

The Russians under Bob Hall were slowly grinding down the French. It seemed as if the French were like kicking an anthill; the more we “whacked”; the more strode down the road. Bob held the line and launched local counterattacks to keep the French from completely splitting the field in two.

Steve M. launched his Grenadiers (4 battalions) that made up his second line on the mid-left flank. These Grenadiers hit an elite French battalion and both battalions explod

ed in heavy causalities. Our game's combat system is simple, you fight a percentage of dice per figure depending on your morale grade. Elites fight 1 dice per 1 figure. The Russians hit the French with 8 causalities out of 12 figures. The French hit back with 9 causalities out of 12 figures. Both sides were staggered but both sides passed morale. Steve Bidwell kept the pressure on the Russians all day and captured a battery of medium guns. He received a battlefield honor for doing so, crewed the Russian guns with French infantry and TURNED the gun back upon the Russian Grenadiers. Bob and Steve looked at each other and knew it was going to be “one of those days”.

Scott kept the Prussians from advancing while Allen pressed the attack in the center. It seemed as if the French would not get stopped from splitting the Russian/Prussian forces. Steve Bidwell knocked a hole in the Russian flank with a Westfalian (?) kurassier charge that swept two battalions from the field. The Russian cavalry arrived and a standoff ensued on the left flank. Steve took the Kurassiers and Hussars (“The Crabs”) and moved them to shore up the center of the Russian flank. It was devoid of infantry at this point.

A hole developed in the French center between the first and second lines, exposing the French grande-batterie. Steve decided to stake the battle on taking out those guns. The “Crabs” (a job for Hussars or Chasseurs right?) took on the job, rolled their charge distance dice (normal movement + 2D6) and came up about two inches short of reaching the guns.

Steve's personal morale was broken at that point. A glorious try but as we all know “almost is only good enough for hand grenades and machine guns”.

The game was called as the Russians literally had nothing but several decimated infantry batallions, a battery of heavy guns, a shot up regiment of Hussars, and the Russian cavalry that sat on its collective saddles on the left flank keeping the French from sweeping the flank. A French victory on its way to Moscova!

Good game to all!

If you are interested in playing Napoleonics or other historical games in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, please drop us a line. We've been around for over 25+ years as a viable game group and play various periods of historical, and some non-historical games as well. Drop me a line:

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