Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Rumble

Ambler Gamers rang in the new year with a Napoleonic rumble in Joe's gaming Mecca.  In a change from our usual "more lead!" approach, this time we played a scenario where Prussian and Russian armies sought to link up while a French force in the middle tried to scramble into a position where it could deny its opponents the chance to achieve their goals.   Lots of open space on the table, with lots of reserve forces waiting in the wings.

Before the game started, though, we had our usual show and tell session. Scott brought some of his Martian tripods. He had already rigged up some of the bigger models with LED lights, but was frustrated by the inability to fight both LED and battery pack in the smaller models. His solution: create a diorama, with batteries hidden inside the wrecked units on the base.  Looks brilliant!

I brought some of the Front Rank Spanish I have been painting up. Everyone agreed that yellow was an underutilized color in the Napoleonic Wars. What was less certain was whether or not that was a Good Thing.  At any rate, these pretty boys did not stick around for the carnage to follow. That was strictly going to be a French/Russian/Prussian/Bavarian/Polish/Wurttemberger affair.

The table at setup.  French on the Right, Prussians at the left, and Russians at the far end by Joe.

Mark surveys the field.  "My, that's a lot of Russians," he thinks to himself.

In the distance, Scott begins to bring his reluctant Russians forward. The Allies suffered from weak command rolls, allowing the French to command the center of the table.  In the foreground, my cavalry makes contact with Herb's.  As poor as my command rolls were, my combat dice were positively charmed yesterday, and what should have been a draw went positively in my favor.

Herb looks on in dismay as my cavalry roll on. Sadly, the infantry behind them is reluctant to engage their German-speaking brothers.  I had hoped to stall Herb with an infantry brigade and my light cavalry while my other division and a half raced to the center of the table, but on this day, "racing" was not in the cards.

A look up the road that should have been filled with my infantry columns. My other cavalry brigade tries to keep it clear from the advancing French. Herb won the ensuing clash of sabres and lances, but his own cavalry was so badly mauled that they were forced to withdraw as well.

At the far end, Scott has problems of his own. His flanking force gets pinned down, and his infantry brigades creep forward at mere inches per turn.  Mark doesn't seem to be regarding the Russians with such dread anymore.

In the foreground, my Prussians continue their slow slog in parallel columns.  In the background, my lone brigade and some light cavalry reinforcements have done an effective job in guarding my flank. 

Mark had two brigades facing the center of the table, waiting for a drive up the middle that never materialized.  Reinforcements were random in type and entry point, so everyone was kept guessing.

Herb tries to push his left flank into the path of my advancing column, but he faced some bad command rolls of his own.

The Prussians did not want for reinforcements.  A brigade of Guard cavalry threatens to smash the Bavarian/Wurttemburg center.

The Prussian columns finally reach the bridge that will take them to the center of the table and their Russian allies, but they find the way blocked by a swift-moving brigade of French.  Though numbers in this sector of the field were roughly even, a confined space meant that I would be unable to deploy a significant part of my force.

Scott tries a cavalry rush around his right flank, hoping to give his attack some momentum.  A fierce defense by the French meant the Russians were running short of option. 

Stand, damn you!

After a few hours, we called it in favor of the French.  Speedy maneuvers at the start of the game helped the French control the battlefield and forced the Allies into bottlenecks that limited their ability to attack.   



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