It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get round to this. Partly due to work and partly due to being on a slight downer afterwards as it was such an excellent day and it was a shame it was over! So what was it? Well, the gentlemen at the A Military Gentlemen Forum (for people who own John Ray’s most excellent book of the same name) were putting on an C18th take on the battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras. With nearly 20 people involved and using figures from some of the finest C18th collections around it was always going to be an excellent event but it far exceeded people’s expectations and was a real showcase for the hobby.
Most of the planning and organisation was done by Graham Cummings (of Crann Tara Miniatures) who produced the excellent teddy bear fur terrain and also the leaflets available on the day. The scenarios were based on Charles S Grant’s Wolfenbuttel War book and Mr Grant himself was the main umpire as we were using The War Game rules. Here are the attendees:
- Charles Grant
- Adam Woolhead
- Dave Jarvis
- Mark Allen
- Jim Purky
- Paul Robinson
- Colin Ashton
- Dave Hall
- Graham Cummings
- John Ray
- Andy McMaster
- Gary Philips
- Neil Cogswell
- William Harley
- Andrew Fielden
- Guy Barlow
- Phil Olley
- Iain Burt
- John Dougan
My part in the game was on the ‘French’ side at Quatre Bras, the smaller of the two games, allied with William and Adam and opposed by Andrew and my arch-nemesis Mr Burt! 🙂 Everyone else was on the Ligny table and I have to admit, the day was so engrossing and fun that I never really got time to investigate the other game fully so this post will really deal with my game.
Where to start…
As the morning mists cleared the French advance guard, sixteen squadrons of cavalry approached the Allied defenses.
Time was of the essence and with the infantry advancing behind it was decided the cavalry would push forward across the stream and engage the enemy who were defending woods and buildings.
The left hand squadrons began to deploy to the right rather than try and force their way up the narrow road, the remaining squadrons pushing on past the farm complex.
And over the thunder of hooves the supporting infantry came marching onto into sight!
As the cavalry advanced to cross the stream they came under effective artillery fire to their front and withering musketry from the occupants of the farm complex on their left.
Eventually the left hand lancer squadrons took so many casualties they were forced to retire. But the others pushed on and across the stream. The squadrons to the right having better success as those in the center were subjected to canister, volleys and cavalry counter charges!
Meanwhile, the infantry on the left began to drive back the troops from the woods and my own ‘Savage Swans’ began to assault began to assault the resolute defenders of the farm complex.
The first assault was driven back but they went in again!
And were again thrown back but enraged at the injustice they went in again!
But to no avail. The farm complex remained in enemy hands!
In the center, the cavalry battles raged as squadrons were driven back and returned to the fray, those to the right finally engaging enemy infantry and driving them off.
But more enemy troops were arriving in support and the task facing us now seemed insurmountable!
Regardless, the infantry in the center pushed on and across the stream.
But the first unit across, assailed by musketry and canister, was charged in the flank by skulking lancers!
At this point, we decided to call it a day. It was clear we could not get anywhere near our objectives. But we’d had great fun trying! William, on the right had had better luck forcing a crossing. Adam’s cavalry finally came into play and drove off one enemy infantry unit and his infantry on the left had driven the enemy from the woods. However, the stream was the killer. There was just no time to reform after crossing before being engaged by either firepower or enemy cavalry! It was great fun playing with William and Adam and the opposition (Andrew and Iain) were gents (well, Andrew was… 🙂 ) .
The Ligny games was stunning. A superb table crammed with superb troops. Others on the forum have posted better pics and hopefully there will be something in next month’s Wargames Illustrated but these were all the pics I got.
It was a most pleasurable day. My main regret was not getting to chat and meet everyone on the other table properly. Thanks have to go to everyone really for getting there and making it so special but especially to John Ray who’s book and forum brought us together in the first place, Graham Cummings who brought the whole event together on the day, and Charles Grant for the rules, umpiring and years of inspiration. I just wish the light had been better so I could get better pictures (a couple of used have been filched from Graham Cummings blog!). John also supplied the attendees with a lovely figure of a gentlemen about to put on his coat with the help of a servant and it was also great to meet Jim Purky (Die Alte Fritz, Minden and Fife and Drum miniatures) who had made the long journey across from the States for the event! Although Ayton was the first game that got me into C18th ImagiNations, Jim was the man who sent me my first batch of RSM figures (the Savage Swans in the above pics) which helped decide my choice of figures for the entire project!
So, there we are, a great day and plans are already afoot for AMG 2016. I just hope I can secure a pass!
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