Ponte di Spurlacco Part 4 – The Main Action

With the Medetian heavy cavalry having shrugged off the enemy Hussars’ opportunistic attack, and their infantry driving on the village and bridge, General Amore was feeling confident that the battle was going his way. His men were doing their duty well and his artillery had the Fleurian infantry in its sights.

The action was not decided yet, however.

General Bevue watched anxiously from the other side of the river as his Jager bore the brunt of the Medetian assault. Although they blasted away at the approaching enemy, too few Grenadiers and Grenzers fell to slow the advance.

Closer to the river the Wurttemberg Jager were trying to hold their own against the serried ranks of the Braganza Regiment, who traded a powerful first volley against the constant skirmishing fire of the Jager.

A general view of the battlefield at this time, with the infantry coming to grips, the artillery in place and the cavalry yet to fully engage:

Both sides’ infantry regiments were manoeuvring for control of the bridge but neither seemed keen to storm across it until things were settled in their favour elsewhere.

With the cavalry on the other flank yet to really get stuck into each other, the Fleurian artillery decided to intervene first. With an enfilading volley of prodigious dice throwing, 7 hits were scored on the hapless Medetian Cuirassiers (only 2 were saved) as they struggled to form up on dry ground. This was to be a decisive point in the battle.

The Medetians were tough fighters though. The Grenadiers went in with bayonets fixed and the hard-hit Cuirassiers turned to face the Fleurian Dragoons as though they were unwilling to admit the presence of the guns that were busy re-loading..


The infantry fight continued meanwhile..


The reason everyone has Grenadiers in their army – one turn of fighting and the village was theirs, with the Friant Jager taking to their heels.


The Medetians were about to receive a blow to their chances however, when a second artillery hammer blow was delivered on the Cuirassiers. Reduced to half strength, they were forced to retire, leaving the entire flank open and with only the river to protect the artillery, the Medetian line of communication and, basically, their whole position.

General Amore faced a moment of truth; should he accept that his cavalry’s departure had rendered his position untenable or ignore all that and push on with his attack? From fighting stock going back generations, he wasn’t going to give up now! Over the bridge went the 1st company of the Braganzas. Nearby the opposing lines blazed away at each other, with casualties mounting on both sides.

After suffering some casualties, and being outflanked due to the loss the village, the Wurttemberg Jager splashed back over the river and took up new firing positions. Fearing a collapse, Bevue’s ADC waded into the fray and directed the Bravence regiment into positions to repel attacks from two directions.


Seeing the backs of the Cuirassiers as an opportunity, the Fleurian Hussars benefited from a very good command roll by Bevue and thundered forward at an outstanding pace. The Rutowsky Dragoons left their position on the Medina di Spurlacco and followed the Hussars to threaten the flank of the Medetian artillery..


.. which frantically turned a gun to oppose them.

The Weissach Grenz, having helped the Grenadiers take the village, quickly about-turned and dashed back to protect their precious guns. Would their effort be in vain?

Everything was about to turn on a single moment – the Medetian infantry stormed over the bridge into the Fleurian line. Who would prevail?

The dice favoured the bold – and the defenders routed. The impact of the charge, combined with the losses to musketry from across the river, was too much for them.

For General de Bevue this was the end. Although he had dominance on the left where his cavalry were unopposed, without his infantry and with the loss of the village, the Fleurians could not hold their ground against such an aggressive enemy. He ordered the cavalry to pull back to protect the rest of the force, and his artillery to retire in sections, offering covering fire as they went. There were few orders for his infantry, they weren’t stopping to listen!

A few final pictures as the game came an end and the Medetians consolidated their possession of the vital bridge.




Thank you for staying with my battle account, there were a lot of pictures in the end!

So, I’ve blooded my 18th century armies in the Medetian campaign, had a good time with the rules, and enjoyed a superbly fun wargame – hopefully in the spirit of many of those who’ve inspired me in the hobby.

A final word on the scenario: well done Phil, Spurlash Down is a brilliant introductory game and offers a fascinating tactical challenge – even if you’re controlling both sides!

Ponte di Spurlacco Part 3 – Opening Moves

There was little hesitation on either side, and the first turn saw plenty of movement.
Both armies advanced according to their orders, although the command rolls created some variety in the urgency of their marching. Good old General de Bevue was a bit slow off the mark and the more impassioned Amore got the jump on him a little.

So, to the action:

The Medetians advanced, while their Cuirassiers swung right to cross the river.


The Fleurians, being a nation with a long memory, remembered what had happened to their French allies at Blenheim and decided that the best time to attack was while the enemy’s cavalry was disordered after crossing water. With that, the Legion Hussars galloped forward and prepared to charge the first line of Medetian heavy cavalry as it emerged from the river Asta.


Pagani’s battery got into position overlooking the bridge and unlimbered swiftly, its commander seeking out the first target for its guns.


Meanwhile on the eastern flank, with lots of lighter troops involved, things were moving more quickly. Friant’s Jager company occupied Spurlacco and immediately took up defensive positions to repel the inevitable Medetian onslaught. It was certainly coming; TheWeissach Grenz soon emerge from the woods, supported by Sebastiani’s grenadier company – the perfect assault troops.


The Wurttemberg Jager moved up alongside the village, to provide its defenders with flanking support. With the enemy’s Braganza Regiment coming coming on inexorably it would be require careful decision making from the Jager commander on how long to stay and fight, and when to pull back. Shooting commenced at long range in an attempt to disrupt or at least slow the attack.

Across the River Asta, Rasalle’s battery had deployed in its central position. Although the respective batteries were within each other’s line of sight throughout the battle there was only to be a single attempt at counter-battery fire (when no other target was viable), which had no success. No, the artillery was to ply its deadly trade against horse and foot, as it was trained to do.

Skirmishing began on the edge of the village, with the safely ensconced Fleurians getting the better of their enemies in the initial exchange.

On the other side of the battlefield the lone squadron of Legion Hussars charged home into Sebastiani’s Cuirassiers as they pulled themselves up the river bank. Although outnumbered and outmatched they had momentum and elan on their side.


The clash lacked weight however, and the hussars effectively bounced off their heavier opponents, losing the fight by one.

What had been a daring move of dash and courage soon turned to disaster as the hussars, lacking support and having failed to make a dent in the Medetian regiment, suffered a moment of doubt and made for the rear!

General Amore waved his hat and shouted ‘bravo!’ as his victorious cavalry brushed themselves down and dried themselves off. Although they showed restraint and didn’t take off after the retreating enemy, the Medetians had won a foothold on the enemy side of the river, just as their infantry on the other flank was pushing forward decisively between the village and the all-important bridge…

..and that’s where we need to leave things until the next installment. Will General Amore’s bold plan continue to succeed after such a good start, or would the slow but steady (and often tipsy) General de Bevue be able to turn the tables and provide Fleurie with an early victory in this campaign?

Ponti di Spurlacco Part 2 – Deployment

Generals Amore and Bevue both looked at the ground they would fight over, and in particular the bridge which was the key. The way the land followed the river on either side of the border meant that each advanced guard would be able to easily push forward on its left, while having to cross the river to engage on their right.

General de Bevue, Fleurian aristocrat that he was, despatched the last of his chilled Sancerre and, via his ADC, ordered his forces as follows:

The Bravence infantry regiment was to march swiftly in column towards the bridge and engage any enemy it found there or on the way.
Both Jager companies were to cross the river before arriving in the area and make an immediate beeline for the village of Spurlacco, to hold it against the expected Medetian assault.
The artillery was to deploy in the centre and support everything else, while denying the opposite bank to the enemy.
The cavalry was to operate on the left flank, to prevent the enemy from crossing and threatening the army from that direction.

General Amore sent off a final love letter to his most local mistress and, from the saddle, gave orders to his Medetian units:

All the infantry was to push forward on the left, capture the village and swing right to take the bridge. The Weissach Grenz would operate on the extreme flank, using the spinney (boschetto) for cover.
The artillery would dominate the centre, while the cavalry would cross the river at the start of the action and drive the enemy’s lighter cavalry from the area around the farm, before pushing onto the high ground and making the Fleurian position untenable.

Sensible plans all round then, with more boldness from the Medetians and a bit more ‘wait and see’ from the Fleurians.

Here are some shots of the forces moving onto the battlefield.

From behind the Medetian line:

Fleurian Hussars move ahead of the rest of the army:


Medetian Cuirassiers on the right flank, with orders to wheel right and cross the river:

The Bravence Regiment massed to rush towards the bridge:

Fleurian light infantry ready to make an early descent on the Medetian border village of Spurlacco:

General view from behind the Fleurian left flank, morning sun on the water:

Everything’s set up for the battle then, so I just need to find some dice and try to remember how the rules work! Battle report next.

Ponte di Spurlacco – A Classic Wargame Scenario Re-fought in the Medetian Wars

Having recently enjoyed a re-read Phil Olley’s short-lived but excellent Classic Wargamer’s Journal, I decided to fight a solo game based on the Spurlash Down scenario devised by Phil ( link ), which was in turn based on the famous Blasthof Bridge action from the book ‘Charge!’

The Grand Duke and the King were at war… A good start, and a typical one for this sun-drenched corner of southern Europe in the 1750s.

Spurlacco is a small innocuous village in the borderlands between Medetia and Fleurie, with one interesting feature – its bridge over the River Asta, the border between our two frequent combatants. On the morning of the day in question armies from both sides are approaching the scene, with their advanced guards out in front. Both are tasked with seizing the strategically important bridge so as to allow the following main force to cross into enemy territory. The high ground to the west and the village to the east are also important for covering the advance, so need to be captured too.

Phil states that “I would go as far as to say it is a perfect scenario to aim for if you are starting out building two balanced Classic armies of Horse, Foot and Guns.”

Inspired, and now with just about enough troops to give it a go, I’m hoping to prove this assertion!

The Battlefield
The table is 6’x4’, dominated by a central river with some key terrain features on either side. Due to the style of my river bank sections, I had to square off the river with two 90 degree turns rather than replicate Phil’s diagonal river line. Even so, it retains the effect of dividing the battlefield into 2 halves at an angle. The river itself is fordable to infantry and cavalry along its length (at half speed), except for an area stretching about 9” either side of the bridge.

The hill (the original Spurlash Down) is now the Collina di Spurlacco, and reduces movement by half. The Spinney becomes the Boschetto di Spurlacco, and reduces speed to half, visibility by 6”, counts as light cover and disorders all but light infantry.

Vale Farm becomes Il Fattoria Valle and the village is of course Spurlacco. Both count as hard cover for occupants, which can be up to a full company of infantry (12 figures). As I wanted the village to be on the Medetian side of the river, (primarily so I could indulge in some Italian name changes!) I have inverted the map, so south is up and north is down.

Table plan, created while having a coffee, using my set of small card tiles that replicate my 1 foot square terrain boards. Some extra details added via Paint.net

The table set up and ready for our protagonists




The Armies
The Army of the Grand Duchy of Medetia
Advanced Guard under the command of General Amore (a veteran
of the campaigns in Byzarbia and Granprix).
Borganza Regiment                                              (Line
infantry, 36 figures)
Sebastiani’s Converged Grenadier Company       (Elite infantry, 12 figures)
Weissach Grenz Company                                   (Light
infantry, 12 figures)
Montanelli Cuirassier Regiment                            (Heavy cavalry, 3 squadrons,
Pagani’s Field Battery                                   (Medium artillery, 2 guns, 8
The Army of the Kingdom of Fleurie
Advanced Guard under the command of the Baron de Bevue.
Bravence Regiment                                              (Line
infantry, 36 figures)
Friant’s Jager Company*                                      (Light
infantry, 12 figures)
Wurttemberg Jager Company                               (Light
infantry, 12 figures)
Rutowsky Dragoon Regiment                               (Heavy
cavalry, 2 squadrons,
                                                                               12 figures)
Legion de Fleurie Hussar Squadron                      (Light cavalry, 6 figures)
Rasalle’s Field Battery                                  (Medium
artillery, 2 guns, 8 crew)
*this unit is standing in for the recently painted, but
regrettably not yet fully based, Legion
skirmishers I posted about last month.
The rules I’m using for this battle are Henry Hyde’s ‘Shot,
Steel and Stone’ as used at the big multi-player games at Ayton. They should
certainly suffice for this little encounter.


This is the first solo game I’ve ever played with this
collection, and the first time I’ve used a 6’x4’ table at home, so it’s all
new!  Deployment next, and then the battle report to

A Raid Over the River Asta

I had an opportunity for a game yesterday, so while Brazil were struggling to overcome Chile I set up a small table in sight of the TV, opened a beer and played through a very enjoyable skirmish.

It was an excuse to use the new river sections and bridges for the first time, so I created a rustic setting with a winding river, crossed by no less than 3 bridges, leading to a small settlement based around an inn and a watermill. This would be a section of the border between Medetia and Fleurie, ripe for a raid by a Medetian force while it was only lightly garrisoned. Strengths were around 30 figures per side, although the Fleurians would start with their irregular allies (a dozen Cossacks) off table, with random arrival times and locations.



The garrison are alert, but don’t yet know where the attack will come from

A lone sentry on the main bridge.

He didn’t need a roll to spot the main Medetian force when it appeared moments later!

Meanwhile groups of musketmen were dashing forward on the left.

One at a time or all together! That’s one brave Fleurian. He was determined to get at least one shot off (he missed) and didn’t last much longer, as might be expected.


Flanking support was coming into position as the main force stormed the bridge.

Although they’d been caught out by the speed of the enemy’s initial approach, the Fleurians had managed to re-order themselves enough to be able to contest the main bridge while bringing musket fire to bear on the Medetian flanking groups. Both sides charged into the fray and it was a bloody affair on the bridge, with the Fleurians getting the better of the first clash. Lieutenant Valoran distinguished himself by killing no less than 3 enemy swordsmen in hand to hand fighting as well as a 4th by a superb pistol shot when an intrepid Medetian tried to wade the river below the bridge.

While the main action on the main bridge was attracting most of the defenders’ attention, the Medetians were pushing round on both flanks too.

The fighting was getting fierce everywhere, and the Fleurians were driving forward on the bridge despite the odds against them. Medetian swordsmen were falling in droves under the flashing blades of the Fleurian officers.
Attempts to cross the wooden bridge near the mill were met with deadly force, and the Fleurian’s irregular allies were just about to arrive to shore up the right flank.



The Medetians hurried to send more men that way too, and the action was by now spread over much of the table as the Medetians closed in from 3 directions.


Things were coming to a head on the bridge though, and the two leaders finally met amidst the swirling melee.
After a couple of rounds Captain Corleone vanquished Lieutenant St Denis and the game was up for Fleurie.


After that there was still some tough fighting as the Cossacks entered the fray, but it was pretty much a mopping-up exercise for the Medetians. A few final pics:
Game over, with the Medetian flag planted in the middle of the settlement:


Lots of fun, and good to use the new terrain and scenery. I’d like to start developing a bit more of a storyline campaign with these games, possibly with some mild ‘character’ development, but I haven’t decided on anything yet. Stand-alone skirmishes are good in the meantime, however, so no hurry.

A Mighty Tussle in Central Europe

Well I had an excellent Sunday (actually the previous Sunday but I had trouble getting this post to publish and have been away for a few days). Although it was a pleasant drive, and lunch outside was very nice, the superb weather was incidental. That’s because I had the great pleasure of a visit to John Ray’s where I played the part of the Duke of Wurttemberg in the next instalment of John’s continent-spanning campaign.

The game was titled The Battle of Schwabisch Hall, a town (despite its name) that the Duke and his army of Wurttembergers and assorted allies from the Empire were attempting to defend. John had prepared a very interesting and challenging scenario, with the Prussians under Frederick himself launching a typical Alt Fritzian flanking attack on my outnumbered forces. A big treat for me was the invitation to contribute a brigade of Medetians who served as Bavarians in their pale blue. Accompanied by 2 small units of my heavy cavalry and a company of Jäger, 3 ‘Bavarian’ battalions formed up alongside John’s lovely troops as the Prussians marched into view.

I won’t describe the battle itself as that’s John’s area, but I will say that it was very enjoyable, hugely entertaining, and it contained a few surprises! My Cuirassiers in particular had a tremendous time, and honour was served pretty much all round (although a couple of Prussian Dragoon colonels might be in for an ear bashing..)

As with my previous visit, the rules played out very smoothly and provided believable results throughout, along with a fair amount of tension.

John was a very gracious host and I’m grateful to him for the effort he put into the game. A well thought out 14×7 (in places) foot table with lovely scenery and 1,200 figures didn’t put itself together!  And everything fitted neatly into the campaign narrative which explained why the armies were where they were, and what the strategic situation was; very important for deciding on battle plans and potential lines of retreat should things go awry.

Altogether, with the battle and the excellent company, I had a great day and came away freshly inspired to face the rigours of my own painting schedule. I’m already looking forward to the next (big) game later in the year.

Ayton 2014

Ayton 2014 – What a way to fight a war!

What can I say? Once you’ve spent 12 months anticipating an Ayton wargaming weekend; planning, collecting and painting your forces, and looking forward to meeting up with good friends again, expectations are pretty high. Fortunately this year’s event, as with all the previous ones, hugely exceeded those expectations.

Although I’d promised myself there wouldn’t be a frantic rush at the end this year I was still finishing off the last of my new hussar unit, St Angelo’s Ghosts, on the Friday morning – just as I knew deep down I would be. Those Perry plastic French hussars do take some painting..! Fortunately I’d packed all the rest of the army a day or so before, so once the paint on the bases was dry I was ready to set off.

My journeys there and back were very easy, considering the first one was on a Friday afternoon before a bank holiday. I stayed at the Lodge which was very comfortable, and for some reason I had a suite including a full kitchen and four poster bed. Not bad for the standard room rate! Most people gathered at the hall from about 5pm onwards, which allowed time for the tables and scenery to be set up for the 2 opening battles that would be fought on the Saturday. It was also a great opportunity to say hi to everyone again, catch up generally and of course admire each other’s newly painted figures. To say there were some stunning units present would be an understatement – the photos of the event will do them better justice.

Everyone took pictures during the weekend and many have been posted on the LAW forum. They’re well worth a look. Mine are here for day 1 and here for day 2
Henry’s YouTube videos are excellent too, giving an overview of the final battle and capturing the atmosphere very well.

Here are a couple of tasters from the final battle just to add some colour to this post:


In brief then, our team of Simon, Paul, Ken and Dave M (and Peter on day 1 as the Duke) were invading Granprix to recover it for Duke Zigor. We even had a plan, worked up over the preceeding weeks under Henry’s umpireship. Opposing us were Mark, Iain, Richie, Mike, Andy (and Peter on day 2 as the King of Grenouisse). Due to the way the campaign progressed, we pretty much achieved our aim of approaching the capital, Pescadrix, from east and west simultaneously and this resulted in the 2 battles on day 1. There were also naval actions taking place off the coast and these has some impact on the success and timing of our amphibious landings. A final show-down between the 2 main fleets is to be played out by Henry who will hopefully let us know how things panned out. Hopefully we will be victorious!

On day 1 we clearly outnumbered our enemies in the east (things appeared more even in the west) but that didn’t prevent Iain and Andy fighting a tough defensive battle for the coastal village, inland hills and the plain between them. We prevailed however and pushed them back on the capital, following up for the big denouement before the city walls on day 2 (actually set 2 days later after some R&R and a brief march). Here, after a much harder battle, we were again victorious and captured the King to round off the liberation of Granprix in glorious style. I’ve written up an account of the campaign from the Medetian perspective for Henry and am happy to see what use he makes of it before posting anything in more detail here.

Despite winning the war however, the true highlight of the event was the social side with its cameraderie, fun and wargaming in the best possible spirit. Everyone was clearly there to ensure that their opponents got as much enjoyment from the games as they did themselves. I played against Andy and Iain on the 2 days and more pleasant, good natured, company you could not hope for. My allies, Paul and Simon, were equally enthusiastic and fun to play alongside.

There were also a few other games staged by members of the group who wanted to attend, but had plans of their own that they’d been working towards. Tim and Tim have got seriously into the world of proper toy soliders (54mm etc) and put on a couple of stunning games over the 2 days. Albions vs Europans in the age of empire was superb, as was Aussies vs Japanese in the Pacific. The scenery on both ocassions was excellent, fittingly so for the sumptious armies on display. Bob and Heather played a couple of good looking VBCW games too, with the usual interesting forces being deployed (it appeared to be police vs ladies). They were clearly enjoying themselves and everyone was welcome for a natter.

Of course no Ayton weekend would be complete without copious food (courtesy of the Dennison Arms) and copious beer (the social club next door to the hall this time), which was all consumed against the backdrop of very enjoyable wargaming conversation. Naturally next year’s game was a hot topic and I’m pleased to say that we’re returning to the 19th century for this one, and in rather hotter climes..

Thanks again to everyone for attending and putting in the effort and creativity, in particular Peeler for organising things again, and Henry for his fantastic umpiring and background work. All in all a superb weekend with a great bunch of guys. Roll on 2015!

Ayton Event 2014 – Grenouisse Ascendant

Now that we’re into April, the preparations are gathering pace for the multi-player 18th century game at Ayton at the start of May. There are 3 and a bit weeks to go, and painting still to be completed (and not just by me – I’m sure most of the other participants are feeling the pressure too). A little bit of time most evenings seems to be moving things on fairly well, but no doubt the final push will be just as frantic as last year!

Over the last week the momentum, and excitement, has started to build. Although local arrangements are mostly in the hands of Peeler (as he’s widely known), the game and background are the work of Henry Hyde, who is currently working feverishly at the multitude of tasks and communications a full-on unpire needs to look after. The volume of messages and intelligence reports that 12 players can generate is clearly enormous, but Henry is handling it with style and creativity, and there’s always a period flavour to what you receive back, and a sense that we’re involved in great events and embarked on a course that will re-shape history. Some of the general information/news items are being reported by Henry himself at Henry’s Blog but naturally most exchanges are private and bilateral with the unpire, unless players’ characters are understood to be face to face with each other in which case we can contact each other directly.

At the moment the 2 sides, one nobly seeking to recover the Duchy of Granprix which was lost to the dastardly invaders from Grenouisse in the 2011 game, the other seeking to hold onto these ill-gotten gains (you can guess which side I might be on!) are beginning to assemble and manouevre. Plans are being made, well sort of (due to the challenges of differing opinions and troubled communications), and there will be some pre-weekend campaign moves by land and sea which will hopefully set everything up nicely for some dramatic on-table action as the culmination of the story.

Orders of battle are of course secret too, and that’s where the painting pressure really comes in. No-one will want to take the field with fewer troops than they’ve previously committed to, as the only one to suffer will be themselves. I will of course post pictures of my recent additions soon, but have to be careful not to give too much away to any enemies that may be watching..

The Battle of Wingen, 6th August 1870

I played my first game of the year today, spending a very enjoyable day with Goat Major, as he’s known on a few forums. GM requested 6mm Franco-Prussian War and I was happy to oblige.

I decided on a hypothetical early war setting, on the same day as the Battle of Worth, involving the French V Corps and the advancing Prussian 3rd Corps. As we would be determining sides randomly I wrote briefings for each and drew up a battlefield map based on a selection of terrain boards for a 4×3 foot table, with appropriate towns, woods and other scenery to represent terrain typical of north eastern France.

Initial terrain plan, using small card tile versions of my terrain boards to define the basic setup

Towns and woods added, and placed within a larger map for pre-game manoeuvring using brigade-level counters and the odd dummy for fog of war, and to help replicate the poor scouting that beset both armies in this conflict.

. which translated into this scene of pre-carnage tranquility


The Goat drew the French of General Failly, so I was General Alvensleben. The French 1st division was already in position on high ground covering the key town of Wingen, which was both side’s objective. All other units were marching towards the scene, demonstrating a combination of brilliant generalship (probably), deployment blunder (me mainly) and a mutual firm determination to get stuck in.

Suffice it to say we had a lot of fun once the blinds were replaced by the real formations (with a few surprises on both sides, especially when the respective cavalry brigades were revealed – and used fairly aggressively in the true spirit of wargaming!) The fighting was fierce and the battle raged across the entire field, with both commanders toughing it out and pulling reserves in where they could to try to gain the initiative. The fighting for the town of Wingen was particularly bloody, with the French tenaciously holding on in the face of repeated Prussian assaults.

As the day wore on though, the devastating firepower of the Chassepot was put to better use by the French than the superior Krupp guns were by the Prussians, and the latter began to struggle to keep their attack going. As the sun set (ie. when the game clock ran down) the Prussians were finally forced to admit defeat and withdraw from the field, giving up their toehold in Wingen and leaving the field to the victorious French – well done GM!

The rules were from the Realtime Wargames series, the figures Heroics & Ros and the terrain and scenery a right old mix of bought and scratch built.

Although I didn’t take as many as I wanted to, here are some pictures of the battle:

The Prussians mass for the charge up the road to Wingen (in the distance, top right). The Prussian blind following them turned out to be the reserve cavalry, which launched a number of charges in an attempt to create havoc in the French lines. Some even succeeded!

For example..

Wingen under sustained assault

A remote corner of the field, demonstrating that bad things happen to isolated units

Prussian battalions grit their teeth and march towards the enemy held treeline on the western flank

Prussian cavalry sacrifice themselves to drive the French batteries off a hill overlooking the town, but in the end it’s to no avail and the day is lost

So, a very enjoyable game in good company as always, and with plenty of dramatic moments. The rules were straight forward and left the players to focus on fighting the battle, which I think is always a good thing. It was great to bring these armies out for a game, and it reminded me that I need to make a start on my 1859 Austrians at some point!

The Defence of Noelev and St Nikolas – Part 2

The Battle Report

Playing a solo game to a scenario you’ve written yourself means that you have a good idea of what’s going to happen, but you usually still get plenty of surprises! First off, the random terrain rolls generated a nice handy forest avenue in the middle of the table for some of the beastmen to slip through without being targeted by defensive fire. The Kislevites were deployed in some depth in the centre, in and behind the church and village, as this was the key to the battle. However, their limited numbers meant that there were fewer units to guard the wide flanks, and these would no doubt prove vulnerable – depending of course on how and where the enemy attacked, and where and when the Empire allies arrived.

The beastmen went for brute power, with their toughest, nastiest guys (including minotaurs and a giant) in the middle. With chariots, centigaurs, warhounds and ungor skirmishers they also had the advantage in fast troops and would be able to move forward swiftly on the flanks, causing the defenders concern there too.


So, without further ado the game started and the forces of chaos pounded forward through the snow as fast as their hooves (and command rolls) would carry them. There was little maneouvring apart from the light units on the flanks, which the Kislev horse archers and skirmishers sought to counter, and within 2 turns the defenders were beginning to open up with their handguns at the approaching horde. Casualties at long range were light, however, and it was clear that hand to hand fighting was going to decide the day. That said, help was suddenly at hand with the arrival of the hoped-for Empire allies (a lucky roll!). Doughty swordsmen and fanatical flagellants came on behind Noelev and St Nikolas as additional reserves, while to their left a glittering unit of Reiksguard knights cantered forward to plug a gap and take on the enemy’s boar chariots.

Led by a hero of renown the knights charged to victory over the chariots (typical, as the latter are of course a favourite scratchbuilt unit!) and helped to drive back the enemy on this flank. The allied units became scattered though, and their generals were never to have enough command points to make this early advantage count later on in the battle. On the other flank things were going most definitely in the beastmen’s favour, and before long they were beginning to roll-up the Kossars who stood increasingly exposed as the enemy swept in. In the centre the battle was fierce, with casualties high on both sides. The defiant priests, and even the Ice Queen herself, led the Kislev forces in a desperate defence of the church. Helped just in time by the Empire swordsmen they saw off several units of beasts and minotaurs and killed 2 of their chiefs, but the chaos giant was causing mayhem and slaughter, aided by the wizardry of a sinister bray shaman.

Eventually, though the giant was finally brought crashing down on the very steps of the chuch, the onslaught was too much and the overwhelmed survivors were forced to retreat (the Kislev army had suffered the requisite damage score for the beastmen to win), resiging the village of Noelev and its church of St Nikolas to utter destruction, and leaving in the bloody snow the last of the guardian priests who had sold their lives dearly for their beloved holy ground.

All in all, a good fun game and well worth the effort of writing up the scenario and digging out the terrain and figures. I’m sure there’ll be an opportunity for the Ice Queen’s revenge at some point…!