In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Road to Polotsk

I decided that I needed a game to recharge my mojo while wrestling with some Cheveauxleger, so a game of Sharp Practice was called for to blood all these Napoleonic figures that I've been painting and reacquaint myself with the rules.

So the setting is Russia, August 1812 (although I suppose we could ignore the Russian shakos and be in Poland in 1807 too) and a Russian force is making a foray against a Bavarian outpost. 

The Russians are attacking simply because they have a limber to move their gun. The Bavarian gun starts in the redoubt overlooking the village. 

Table viewed from Russian Deployment Point

I also wanted to see how my Russian front buildings would look up against my 28mm figures. After building them I felt they were over sized for the 15mm that they were intended for. Except for the doors, which you barely notice, they actually worked pretty well I think!

Russians deploy first with a formation of grenadiers and the 10 pdr unicorn under their force commander. The general lifting his hat in salute is the Deployment Point 

Bavarian light troops hustle up the road 

I'm using the coloured chips to mark the Big Men on table but am drawing cards for activation

"Achtung!" Gun crew is alert and springs into action

Bavarian fusiliers begin to arrive. The Emperor (their Deployment Point) helpfully pointing the way forward. 

6 pdr opens the game putting a bunch of shock on the grenadiers marching up the road 

Russians spreading out into fields opposite the redoubt 

Bavarian light troops get into the village 

"Franz?" "Ja, Hans?" "There are pigs, Franz." "Ja, Hans, there are. Cabbages too." "How have they not been eaten yet, Franz?" "Ich weiss nicht. We should do something about that, Hans."

Schützen taking aim, and wondering how to get the pigs and cabbages back to their bivouac without anyone else noticing

Jaegers on the left of the line beginning a flanking move on the battery

Russian gun begins bombarding the redoubt

"Present! Fire!" Sgt Harfner puts a close range volley into the grenadiers, who recoil from the excess shock.

The village is wreathed in musket smoke. The Russian Colonel is knocked out by a stray bullet. His 3 command initiatives would be really useful to help rally off some shock right now, but he's stunned and being given brandy by an orderly for the rest of the game 

Bavarian gun flays advancing Russian infantry with cannister!

Fusiliers form up to support the redoubt. Notice the Russian Jaegers have sidestepped into the woods at the base of the hill

Russian musketeers all alone in a field

Advancing Russian musketeers getting hit with cannister, musketry and soon the Bavarian lights will enfilade them from the village! They will break with over 50% casualties!

Jaegers give the battery a volley!

UURRRAAAH! Charging up through the musket smoke they carry the redoubt with their bayonets! 

Second formation of Bavarian Fusiliers arrive to put some musketry into the Jaegers.

The wreckage of battle. The victorious Jaegers are alone and unsupported as the rest of the Russian infantry flee across the table covered in shock markers.

A Bavarian win, I think. Even though the Russians achieved their objective, the Bavarian Force Morale was still at 8 whereas the Russian FM had dipped to 7 and the Jaegers wouldn't be able to hold on long enough to spike the gun or blow up the redoubt.

Both sides get some bragging rights I think, and everyone looked FABULOUS! even my low budget Hät Fusiliers.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Scharf's Schützen

Initially each Bavarian infantry company had

 Twenty especially clever and agile men... were designated as schützen to perform light infantry duties; granted short green plumes and other distinctions, they held elite status similar to the company of grenadiers in each battalion. In 1809 the number of Schützen per company increased to 36, and 1811 saw the creation of a separate Schützen company for each line and light battalion (A Soldier for Napoleon, the Campaigns of Lieutennant Franz Joseph Hausmann ed. John H. Gill p.23). 

These designated skirmishers would form a skirmish line on the command "Schützen vor!" 

Light battalions followed the same practice. 

Here are half a dozen rifle armed schützen from Front Rank. I painted them in the green and grey of a Light Infantry Regiment. A significant number of those had black facings and red piping so I went with that.

As I have found with Front Rank figures the quality of the sculpting just seduces you and pulls you in as a painter. I once again found myself painting all kinds of things I normally skip over and I highlighted all the things!, not just the coats.

Because they are significantly chunkier than the Hät figures I opted to put them two to a base. I got a bit dramatic with the flocking and tufts. But I always figure skirmishers are running around out in the weeds.

Comparison with some of my Hät Light Infantry. Same height, just heftier and more imposing. From three feet away they look fine on the table together. Whew!

Of course, now I am thinking about getting more and some leader figures to make a proper Formation out of them with a couple of Big Men: Hauptmann Ricard Scharf and Feldwebel Harfner.