After the Russian/Allied setback on Day 1 we decided we all wanted to play another game on the Sunday so we jiggled the terrain and had the British/Allied forces pushing out and attacking the Russian forces. We drew lots for opponents but kept the same forces as the day before. I drew Iain (Essex Boy) as my opponent.. which I knew would result in an ‘entertaining’ game… In an attempt to prevent the usual ruinous cavalry events he is famous for, this time he brought an entirely infantry force to the game made up of two brigades: the Erbprinz (Spencer Smith Little Britons) and the Dystopia National Guard (lovely little figures sculpted, cast and painted by himself) along with a machine gun and a field piece.
After removing a few walls that is was decided would too generously aid an all infantry force, we deployed. My Savage Swans had as captives two Boy Scouts and the unofficial objective of the game was for Iain to recapture them.
The battle was really in two halves – physically and emotionally! But the events and outcome were strongly shaped by random weather events which from early on saw all units reduced to half movement due to mud and several periods where visibility was so reduced it was impossible for most troops to see anything to shoot at. My rapid advance on the left stalled and Iain was able to make the hedge first. He then let loose multiple withering volleys the vast majority of which I saved! I was then able to deploy and return fire and drove off one unit quickly.
In the centre I pushed forward both Jaegers and these were to do sterling work peppering the advancing troops and holding them back. The Russian Jaegers found alcohol in the nearby house and become very drunk but still fought on until the remaining officer charged the enemy, pistol in one hand and broken bottle in the other, to die a heroes death!
On the right, things were not going well for the cavalry. With the Erbprinz advancing valiantly into the fray (or hiding behind a big wall as some would call it…) there was little point in a frontal attack. And getting too close put them at risk from the gun, and staying back allowed the gun and troops to shoot across at the other troops. And when the movement was reduced to half there was no way they could redeploy to the left, and advancing was slow and left them exposed for too long. After a lot of effort I finally got both heavy units brigaded again only for a random Boy Scout to offer to lead them around the flank only to abandon them in a walled enclosure further to the rear! Although the Cuirassiers and the Cossacks tried to advance they were shot to pieces before getting anywhere near the halved charge range! Finally, they and the Naval Battalion in the centre started to withdraw having already lost the machine gun.
While Jaegers died valiantly in the centre and cavalry were frustrated by mud and Boy Scouts on the right the Altefritzenburgers and Swans fought on! Despite exchanging volleys and saving well the extra cover from the hedge was to tell and finally the Altefritzenburgers, reduced to half, fell back in disarray!
The Swans on the other hand fought valiantly! As they approached they took fire from front and side and in the fusillade of lead the CO, Oberstmajor Johann Patrick von Donovan, was struck down and severely wounded! This did not stop them pressing on and exchanging fire! But casualties mounted and they stopped at the hedge line and fought and died to a man! Hugely outgunned and outnumbered it was a valiant stand! They left a trail of dead behind them.
The Boy Scouts were then taken into the uncertain care of the Erbprinz regiment and the battle was over!
It was an excellent game and it’s always great fun playing Iain, even if he does argue lots! 🙂 I just didn’t have the infantry to fight what was basically an infantry battle and when I could have used the cavalry to at least hold and threaten, the mud made getting them anywhere impossible. Iain had some shocking dice at times but also some convenient brigade activations at crucial times. But overall it balanced out. The card systems works well and is fun. There was some concern that as a force reduces in size those few units can sometimes get multiple activations in succession and zip around a lot. But nothing happened that detracted from the overall fun! I’ll be buying the rules when they are released.
Thanks again to Tim H and Simon T for all the setup work and all the guys for making it a fun weekend both on the table and in the evenings. And also to Paul for giving me a lift which made the whole trip possible.
I might need some more Shiny toys…
And here’s a small gallery with all the pics and a few at the end from other games.
And Simon took a load of pics as well which you can see on the LAW forum. His iPad seemed to take much better photos!