Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Spanish Ulcer - The battle of Granja de la Abundancia, Spain 1810 (Black Powder)

This last Sunday I was joined in battle by my friends, Kurt F., Matt V., Andrew Y., Bob T., Steve B. and Eric E.  This was the scenario "The battle of Granja de la Abundancia" that is right out of the Albion Peninsular Scenario book.  We played it with some modifications to the forces in 15mm scale.

Many of you have seen and played this battle before but this is our first time trying this scenario.  Let me introduce our full house of players.

Player Introductions
So we finally got Kurt to show up.  I have missed putting him in bad situations and above all missed his trash talk from across the table.  And of course we are to always suffer from his Monty Python like French accent.  It has been a little hard to get him to play with us so it was a pleasure to finally have him join us.  Life just seems to get in the way of our gaming doesn't it?  Andrew Y. was in attendance.  He is fairly new to the Club and has a big interest in Nappy and Civil War.  He seems to really like Black Powder so he wasn't going to miss an opportunity to play again.  Good to have you with us.  Matt V., Bob and Eric are regulars and we have been wargaming together for years now.  Steve is new to our group.  I worked with Steve for years and I found out about a year ago his interest in history so I finally got him to join us for a battle.  It was great having him join us and we were surprised at his knowledge of history.  Thanks for coming over.

So we had a really good bunch of guys play in this battle.  Everyone is pretty laid back and having fun was the order of the day.

Of course I served up some food and drinks and I also displayed the map (below) with a memo stick on my TV in the Theatre room so either force could step away from the table and discuss tactics.

The Battle
There are points for objectives as you can see by the map from the Albion Triumphant book below.  We used the special rules for the British Steady Line and Pas de Charge and Attack Columns for the French.  We had Kurt, Matt and Andrew playing the French Commanders and Eric, Steve and Bob playing the British/Portuguese commanders.

As it describes in the scenario book the French are hard pressed for supplies.  The British find out about this "raid" on the "Farm of Abundance" and attempts to cut them off.  The hill at the top of the map I call "Cross Hill" to make it easier to identify.  And of course being in Spain I made a Cross on a mound and placed it on the hill.

The battle was listed for 12 turns but were able to call it around turn 10.  As you can imagine the French had the numbers in Infantry, Cavalry and Guns but the British/Portuguese forces had the quality.  If the tables were turned and the British had the good opening moves then this could have been a totally different battle.

The French plan was for Kurt on the French right flank to send his large battalions at Cross Hill and grab the 3 points.  In the center Matt was to rush his Cavalry command to the center to start pinning down the British in place.  Get them into square and overall be a nuisance which was accomplished.  Andrew was to take the Farm and hold it from the British.  And I have to say that they pretty much stayed to their plan and accomplished their missions.  Very good maneuvering by Kurt and Andrew keeping the momentum and taking their objectives.  Although, both of the French flanks took many hits and a majority were shaken or close to it by battles end.

The British Commanders took a similar plan but with lousy movement dice it was going to be a long battle.  Steve on the far left stormed the hill but the French were already well emplaced.  Eric on the far right took his Light Brigade and moved on the Farm.  His elite Cazadores ended up breaking but he had enough troops at the fences where we decided to give him some points along with the hill he controlled.  Now for the center which also had some tough fighting.  Bob did everything he could to keep the center from breaking.  He was charged by Attack Columns, Dragoon's and Chasseur's, suffered Horse Artillery fire but he stood his ground.  Special mention has to go out to the Highlander Battalion.  They took it on the chin and kept making their Break Tests.  Nice work in the middle Bob.

Honorable Mention
On the French side we have to give Andrew the player of the game for accounting for 5 points of the French 9 points.  For the hill he controlled and the Farm.  On the British side we have to mention the stand of Bob and his Highlanders.

Again, great job by all.  Thanks for coming over and I will schedule another battle soon.

P.S. The allies lost both Portuguese units  which might say something for quality?  The line did not get the British Steady Line, First Fire, etc rules.  But the Cazadores did get some quality attributes, Light infantry, Elite, etc.

So I have again tried to create a "picture book" of the battle with the captions embedded (ala Tony Fryer).  I hope you enjoy the post.

(I think some of  you don't know you can just click on the pictures to explode the view.  Better to see the captions.)

You can see that if you don't move quickly it can
become a difficult fight.
Slow Allied movement

French Cav and Horse Battery denying the road

Need to note the French Horse Battery was deployed well
forward by the tree line. This made them targets for the British
Rifles who ended up breaking the battery. 

I think I mentioned the square being destroyed when it actually
had to retire two moves from the Attack Column attack by Kurt.

There was a point where Kurt "Blundered" with this Attack Column
but he rolled well enough to save it from doing something
embarrassing like run off the table.
It was the only "double 6" roll in the game for orders, damn!

Andrew's capture of the Farm. You can see his units
flanking the Portuguese!

We called it after 10 full turns.  The British were not close
to penetrating into the French half of the table at this point.

Okay that's all I got....man this takes some time...lol.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Colorado Military Historians (CMH) Vet Wars 2013 - Bolt Action Battle

Doug and Dave were able to put on a Bolt Action Battle the first evening of the Vet Wars event.  I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do because I actually got to PLAY in a game this time.  It is always a great time playing Bolt Action.  I played the wide open left American Flank against Herr Manley on the German side.  Jeff played the Americans against Aaron in the middle and Nate playing Americans on the far right against Rick.

Our mission was to take this small village in the middle out of German hands.  They had opportunities to hide squads before our assault.  What actually happened was that Herr Manley and his Sgt. Heinz (Squad Leader) launched a devastating attack from the German center which destroyed Jeff's MMG and assaulted and killed one of my blundering squads.

We never did take the Village but we all still had a good time.  The miniatures were all Dave Manley's which look great!  And Doug who ran the game laid out another one of his excellent terrain boards! Thanks Doug and Dave!

So here are few pictures for your enjoyment.  Dan

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Colorado Military Historian (CMH) 2013 - WWI Square Bashing

Next year will be the 100th Anniversary of The Great War. Some of us at Vet Wars this year were able to put on some WWI actions. Terry Shockey took the opportunity to run the latest of Peter Pig's Square Bashing rules. I didn't get to play in this one because I was one table over in a Civil War battle but received great pictures and feedback regarding the battle. John Owen and Doug Wildfong handled the Americans with Dave and Jordan Newport taking the Germans. It sounded like it was a very good game. Thanks Terry for putting it on.

If you do not know about Square Bashing please go to the Peter Pig Website and take a look at all of their nice ranges of figures and rules. The figures used in this scenario are a split between Peter Pig and Minifigs.

Peter Pig Website


So let me get to the battle. This was an American Force protecting a command bunker and their trench line from the Germans. We got some nice pictures and some narration from the players - enjoy.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Colorado Military Historians (CMH) Vet Wars 2013 - Rorkes Drift

At Vet Wars some excellent games were being played.  One was Rorke's Drift put on by Dave and Jordan Newport using their homegrown rules.

Doug and John
Matt Vigil, in his 2nd Colonial played one of the Zulu Impi Commanders along with Jordan.  Doug Wildfong and John took the British.  Dave kept up the pace of the battle running the game.

The battle emulated the movie Zulu and from all accounts it was spot on.  Matt would comment, "It was the best battle and ruleset that Dave has put on yet."  As many of us at CMH know Dave usually steps out of the box and creates his own rules which anyone will tell you are always fun and innovative.  Dave's  rules are written to be printed on one piece of paper, keeping it simple, keeping it fun and keeping the flavor of the period.

I didn't get to play in this game but I heard it was intense to the very last turn.  I heard one Impi Commander say aloud, "Just one more wave and we could have taken it!"  Until the next time, we look forward to the next Zulu battle.

Thanks again Dave for putting this on.  So enjoy the pictures.

Compound from a Wiki image
Excellent looking kit

Dave's game exciting to the last turn!
The location today (Wiki).  The buildings are modern.