Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Following on after Turn 8 I’ll now run through quickly how the battle played out.
In the North the French 1st Hussars and Lancers charged into the Brit’s 7th Dragoons as the French 5th Hussars charged the 33rd Foot. The 33rd failed to form square and were ridden down.
In the centre the French launched an assault on the town with Engineer Support. The Spanish Militia rolled very badly and were bundled out of the town with heavy losses. Their efforts for the day were at an end.
BELOW: The Spanish Militia try to hold back the keen French conscripts, but it's all to no avail.
In the south the Veteran French battalions, supported by the Dragoons, launched a co-ordinated attack on the 69th and 44th Foot. The 69th Charged downhill at the French Battalion threatening them, only to be counter-charged by the Dragoons. They had an inconclusive result against the Dragoons, but were bested by the French Infantry and withdrew back to their start point, worse for wear. The 44th didn’t succeed either, and were driven back. To make matter worse, the 44th now had a Conscript Battalion threatening their right flank!
BELOW: The 44th Fire a Volley and then Charge the French Veterans!
Back to the North sector, and the 7th Dragoons finally broke under the combined weight of the 1st Hussars and their Lancer comrades. The only good news was the success of the fresh and rested 2nd Dragoons charging and routing the French 5th Hussars, blown after destroying the 33rd Foot; and the 1st Foot Guards managed to drive back the Conscript Battalions. But now the Foot Guards had the Victorious French Battalion that had stormed the town pouring out behind them, and the French Chasseurs a Cheval were forming to charge the only British cavalry on the battlefield, the tired 2nd Dragoons.
The British commander conceded defeat and ordered a withdrawal.
The rules are very easy to understand and they give what I consider a realistic result.
They are often described as "a clean set of rules", and by that I suspect people mean you don't get bogged down in piles of charts. I particularly like the way "Skirmishers" are tackled. You get the "eye candy" by using "Markers" to represent their presence, (that is if you want to use markers); but none of the hassle of having to "fiddle around" with companies of lights when all you want to do is drive your Bridage forward. They ARE there, and their effects are obvious, just none of the hassle game-wise.
Artillery is also well handled, with bounce through a consideration and Canister fire can be devastating!
The use of Engineers / Sappers to assist in clearing field works and other defences is also well simulated.
Getting use to the idea that in your turn you are the DEFENDER takes a bit of getting use to, but once accepted the game flows very easily.
This is a game that rewards a combined arms approach and the maintenance of a reserve.
I'm very impressed!
It would have gone for about 4.5 to 5 hours I think.
Now that I'm across the rules, about 3 hours would have done it.
What I meant by (to para-phrase) "..the rules reward a player who maintains a reserve" is just that. If you (the player) can maintain troops in reserve and be the last player to commit them you'll probably be victorious. In my game the Brits had thrown everything in, and the French still had the Chasseurs a Cheval and about 2 fresh, uncommited Battalions to throw in. Even though the 2nd Dragoons and 1st Foot Guards were doing well, they would soon be countered by Fresh units, or Infantry in their rear, (thanks to the failures of the Spanish militia to hold the town and the final collapse of the 7th Dragoons). The Highlanders would have been better off as a central reserve, (behind the town), and the 33rd should have formed square earlier, (probably on the reverse slope of Northen Hill).
Thoughts on bases for 28mm:
I'll probably go with 40mm square bases with 4 figs (2 x 2).
45mm x 40mm with a frontage of 3 figs in 2 ranks would also look good.
P.S. You can find a detailed review of "Lasalle" at the RULES DIRECTORY. (Highly Recommended)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The Opposing Plans
To make things simple I gave all Sub-Commanders a Vigour of 0, but I did add an advance play option of Engineer support to the French, (to be used in the inevitable assault on the town of Pyranesia).
The French plan called for a direct assault on both flanks to pin those British troops there down, and hopefully to draw any reserves away from the center (Town). Once this was done a Battalion or two supported by engineers and the Divisional Battery would storm the town and rupture the British center.
The Veteran Brigade under General De Brigade Champine on the right would be tasked with seizing South Ridge. The Division’s Dragoons would be in support.
The Conscript Brigade would be under the direct command of the General de Division Faint. Their task would be to keep the British on Northern Hill distracted whilst also capturing the town. They would have the Divisional Battery in direct support as well as having a Company of engineers tasked to help take the town.
The Light Brigade of Hussars, (5th and 1st), Lancers and Chasseurs would sweep around the left flank. General de Brigade Grochy would command. The Horse artillery would assist as required.
The British plan was simple. Hold both Northern Hill and Southern Ridge. The Local Spanish militia would defend the town. The Dragoons, (less their organic RHA Battery) would assist the 1st Foot Guards and the 33rd foot in holding Northern Ridge. The Infantry Brigade Commander was Major General Taff.
The two Dragoon Regiments (2nd and 7th) were under command of Colonel Cusbert-Smyth.
The Divisional Commander, Lt General Cambridge would command the 44th, 69th, 42nd and the Minden Battery on the British left flank.
The Militia were also under his command, (apparently).
The French advance along the entire front.
The Minden Battery, Royal Artillery (RA), opens a Long Range bombardment from the ridge towards the Combined Swiss -Croatian Battalion. No hits, (not surprising given the long range, difference in height and intervening woods). The 42nd moves to the Southern Ridge sector and the Dragoon Brigade moves to the Northern Hill sector. The Militia move into the town.
The French Horse artillery dash forward and deploy their guns near North Farm.
The Divisional Artillery deploy opposite the town. The Infantry of both Brigades march forward. Some of the Infantry of both Brigades start to pick their way through the woods. The Light Brigade splits with the Chasseurs and Lancers heading to the north of North farm and both Hussar regiments advancing between the farm and Darks Forrest.
The British Battery fires again and score a hit, but this doesn’t cause any disruption, (Dist). The British Dragoons advance in March column toward the northern end of the hill.
The French Horse gunners fire at the British 2nd Dragoons and score two hits= 1 Dist! The remainder of the French host continue to advance. The woods and forests hamper some of the battalions.
The RA Fire again. Their gunners are having a bad day; no hits again. The 33d Foot change to "Attack Column" formation and advance to cover the 1st Foot Guards right flank. The 7th Dragoon change formation to “Abreast” in an effort to cover the 2nd Dragoons . The 2nd try to recover but can’t get rid of their one Dist.
The French Horse Artillery fires at the 7th Dragoons. No Hits! The 1st Hussars charge the 7th Dragoons! The French infantry close in on the British,..
The British RA Battery fires at the combined Swiss – Croatian Battalion as it emerges from the woods and scores two hits = 1 DIST! The 7th Dragoons clash with the 1st Hussars. The Dragoons have the combat advantage of being in “Abreast” formation against the Hussars that are coming on in “Waves”. The Dragoons also have a 2 Dice advantage in being “SHOCK” cavalry. That’s 12 v 8 dice. Both need “5” on each dice to hit.
The dice roll! (the Dragoons did roll 12, though only 10 are shown here. the missing two score 1 and 3).
The Hussars pull of a win, but it's an "inconclusive" result. The Dragoons a driven back and suffer 1 DIST. The 1st Hussars also take 1 DIST, but advance after the 7th Dragoons.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I thought I’d post an AAR and Review of Sam A Mustafa’s latest offering “LASALLE”. So what is “Lasalle”?
Well from the HONOUR web page (Lasalle is a rule set within the HONOUR series)
The game is small-scale and tactical in nature, focusing on the movement of individual battalions and regiments of cavalry. The player will manage a small force of roughly a dozen units as he tries to complete some specific mission assigned to him, such as “Hold the village and our bridgehead at all costs!” or: “Drive the French from Plancenoit!”
Lasalle is ideal for a small gaming table, and it plays in real-time with most battles lasting 2-3 hours. It is perfect for pick-up games or tournament play. It therefore includes sample army lists enabling players to collect and paint typical small forces from a large number of possible nationalities.
Right then; let’s see for ourselves!
I’ll admit right from the start I am slightly bias towards Sam Mustafa’s work, (Shock, Horror)!!!.
I have played his MIGHT AND REASON rules for the 7 Years War and really like his FAST PLAY GRAND ARMEE (FPGA) rules. I have high expectations that these rules will be well written in an easy to understand and logical manner that will give a realistic game, (as realistic as any game can be).
You’ll find heaps of reviews of the rules on the web and in various magazines, so I’ll stick to the basics and devote more effort to an actual After Action Report, (“Play Test” so to speak):
The rules are presented in a hard bound book with lots of illustrations and pictures of miniatures in scales from 6mm right up to 40mm. A sturdy book that can take the beatings one normally subjects their rules to; (and NO, I don’t mean actually BEATING your opponent with the book, no matter how tempted to do so).
There are plenty of examples inserted at the appropriate places within the book, with diagrams to ensure that nothing is left in doubt. There are Army lists for the major combatants and most Minor States. Oddly enough there is no list for the USA(!?)
There is a Quick Reference sheet (QRS) of sorts in the book. I say “of sorts” because it’s not a card like QRS, but rather pages. That said, you can download a QRS (exactly the same as that within the book) for free together with an Errata and “Tips and suggestions” and there is already a free Army List for the OTTOMAN EMPIRE. In fact, all future army lists will be available for free! It states in the “ARMY BUILDER section of the book:
“You will never have to buy and Supplements to play Lasalle”
Obviously Sam is no businessman in the mold of the teams at Games Workshop or Battlefront!
The rules are very well written.
Rather than writing the rules to mirror the sequence of play they are written in a logical order by way of introduction to the Sub-systems, thus enabling the reader to better understand each subsystem as they are introduced.
There are Advanced rules, Historical Scenarios, a FAQ section and as mentioned before, a QRS, an Army Builder and Army List section. Another useful “bit” is the “Learning The Game Concepts" section, dealing with Unit Sizes and Formations, Depicting Skirmishers, Fronts and Flanks, Terrain and lots more.
So How Does It All Play Out?
Well, like I said, I could rattle on about the actual rules and how well they are written and what nice quality the paper is and "are the lists truly representational of the Armies they represent",. BLAH BLAH BLAH but let’s face it, your here for the AAR and the pictures; sooooo......
The Battle of Pyranesia, 1810
The Battle of Pyranesia, 1810
The French ORBAT
A Infantry Division from the Peninsular List:
2 x Veteran Infantry (plus 1 extra, see note) = 3 Vet Btns
3 x Conscript Infantry (Plus 1 extra, see note) = 4 Con btns
1 x Dragoon Regt
1 x Divisional battery
NOTE: Because the French are attacking in this game they get 1 extra Veteran Infantry and 1 extra Conscript Infantry battalion.
I also added an “Organic” Brigade of Light cavalry:
2 x Hussars (1st and 5th)
2 x Chasseurs (but I changed one of these to lancers ‘cause i wanted to see what effect lancers had).
The British ORBAT
An Infantry Division from the Peninsular List:
4 x Infantry (33rd, 44th, 69th and 42nd)
1 x Large Elite Infantry (these are not Guards, but for this game I’ve made them the 1st Foot Guards)
1 Royal Artillery Battery (Minden Battery RA)
2 x Skirmisher Bases (95th Rifles?)
I also added a “Reserve” Dragoon Brigade *:
2 x Heavy Dragoons (the 2nd and 7th). These should be + Large units, but I've kept ALL cav in this game as small 4 base units.
PART 2: The Game! to be post soon!