Saturday, March 18, 2017

Yet another Over The Hills battle !

Another super outing with Over The Hills as Stephen wanted to try his Peninsula British against my French.
We decided to reduce the number of Artillery units to a maximum of 2 per 250pts (will likely allow Russians 3) as we find them pretty powerful and they can dominate a game if too plentiful.

British units are pretty tough having a base 8 strength (Highlanders 9) but with a really excellent trait of being able to conduct Defensive Fire AND Countercharge enemy Foot making them very to deal with (both feel that points wise they are a tad cheap but hard to fix) and means they act pretty historically.

French do get benefits for charging in Attack Column but this can be thwarted by not winning first round of combat (forced into Line or -1 fatigue) also we discovered today that when rolling to hold fire with units if a Column fails and shoots it too is forced to try to deploy into Line.

Game saw 3 Foot and 1 Mounted Brigade each with French having a mere 3 units of Line more than the British ie not enough to make a real difference.

Game was a bloody affair with French attacking mainly in Column and destroying a unit of Portugese Foot but losing 2 units to a counter charge by British foot on my left.

A steady drain of casualties occurred elsewhere with the superior British inflicting several hits more.

Both Cavalry Brigades cancelled each out being reluctant to charge with only their respective Horse Guns affecting the fray.

A French Brigade was shattered with its opponent a mere 1 Fatigue from a similar fate.
We called the game at that point.

Great stuff again

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Over The Hills another bash

Having enjoyed last game so much we decided to give Over The Hills another outing today.
We used French (Stephen) versus Prussian (yours truly) circa 1813/14.
We used points system to generate 250pt forces and I rolled up terrain from North Europe listing and we diced for set edge.
I had 2 large Infantry Brigades and a Light Cavalry Brigade.
French fielded 3 Infantry and 1 Cavalry Brigades.

Another excellent game and we discovered that Closed Column is a superb formation for Infantry facing Mounted as automatically adopts Square when Cavalry charges.
It also moves twice as fast as Square and can shoot when forming Square.
Only real downside is that it can suffer like Square from shooting.
Cavalry really cannot deal with fresh supported Infantry as they take a -5 whilst Infantry gain +6 making it a done deal that Mounted will suffer greatly (pretty much like in Shako).
We also discovered that Brick Villages are also massively tough to assault.
Really need to soften up such targets with Artillery to have any real chance.

Now that we have the basics sorted the game plays really fast with only a few of the Optional rule interactions requiring us to look up rule set.

Rules are most likely our go to set for Divisional (3-5 Brigades) size games as they have nice mix of playability and period flavour.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Over The Hills game played

Game of Over The Hills today at Stephens using a Borodino scenario from an old (circa 1999 good grief I feel old !) Wargames Illustrated magazine.

This pitted my French advancing against Russians defending an artillery redoubt.
A big game for Over The Hills in hindsight especially when fielding our 4 base units (could have used 2 base ala FOB) but great fun anyhow.
Over The Hills are an excellent rule set with a lot of period flavour with the multiple options for formations and indeed rules.
Not having played the rules for a while it took us a bit to reacquaint ourselves with the intricacies of the set (definitely suffers from less than user friendly layout) when including the numerous optional sections but they are so rewarding once sorted.
A more tactically nuanced set than FOB so not as fast playing but whilst similar in feel to Gen De Brigade they certainly play faster than that also excellent set.

In the game the Redoubt was proving a tough nut for French artillery to damage.
French on left were pushing into Russian defenders but their weak right wing Brigade was Shattered.
Sadly we had to call time just as the French Cavalry Division was about to appear with Russian mounted due following turn.

Stephen got to use his newly acquired 'mouse mat' style terrain mat and very nice it is too.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Field Of Battle once more 'The Garde Au Feu' scenario

Another outing for FOB2 today using the same battlefield as last game but with scenario (adapted again from GDB) this time having French Guard attacking the villages in Gross-Goschern area to wrest them from the Prussians and Russians.

Another simply super game with this excellent fast playing rule set.

I lost 2 Generals today (rolling 1 on a D20 twice !!) and a unit of French Guard Lancers wrecked complete havoc on a Russian Brigade wiping out 1 Mounted and 3 Foot units without so much as suffering a single Out Of Command result (no odd rolls) or Pursuit loss (again no Odd rolls in final combat !!).
This saw Allied left wing collapse and the Prussian contingent also suffered at hands of Young Guard facing them.

Whilst Allies only lost one (Klein-Gorschen) of the 2 villages they held initially the losses were such that they folded at second attempt of an Army Morale card after running out of Morale but only after a hard fought and bloody battle.
So the French gained revenge for defeat in last scenario.

After three excellent games using FOB we are happy with it as a fast play set for big games (we have fielded 25+ units each in these scenarios).

I love the sweep and excitement this rules system engenders and the narrative it 'reveals' during a game.

We have now settled on a few small house rules for Napoleonic games which we feel suits our understanding and desires for the period (I like that the rules can take a few tweaks without fuss).
Essentially these are:
No unit can charge to contact when interpenetrating another.
Horse Artillery can Limber/Un-Limber on an Odd or Even winning Move roll.
Infantry Charged by Cavalry resulting in an Immediate Melee/Melee must try to form Square by rolling their DD vs Cavalry DD, if they roll higher they form Square and Cavalry must fight the square.
Infantry in Line in Melee with Cavalry are down 2.
If Infantry fail to roll higher they fail to form Square and count the down 2 above.
This compulsory roll only occurs in Class I terrain and only if flanks vulnerable (ie no terrain or Square within 2")
We have also reduced the Close (Cannister) range of Artillery to 4".
Foot Skirmishers can be fielded as 3UI units that are permanently in Skirmish and which must attempt to Evade if Charged (DD vs DD again).
Infantry in Line Moves at 4" per segment.
Raw Infantry can only charge to Contact in Attack Column.

Young Guard assault Klein-Gorschen

Russian Guard defend area of Gross-Gorschen

At start as French Guard appears

Doomed Russian left wing

Garde Au Feu..................................

Prussian Reverse units contest a slight rise (Note the 3UI Skirmish units)

Russians await with Blucher urging them on

Prussian Commander falls putting his troops Out Of Command (yellow markers)

Struggle in front of Gross-Gorschen

French Guard Lancers riding into flank of Russian Grenadiers

French push Prussians of the rise

All that remains of Russian left.
A Routing unit and a rather lonely and forlon (replacement) Commander