Monday, 27 June 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 17 - 20

 Turn 17

The start of the turn saw the Imperial Guard continue their assault on the heights occupied by the Prussian left flank. Here the 1/2nd Chasseurs of the Old Guard (left column) and the 2/3rd Grenadiers of the Middle Guard charged the 2/2nd Silesia Landwehr accompanied by Blandowski. The Landwehr morale broke leading to a "Mass Panic" Brigade morale result. This would see the Silesians flee the field.

With more Prussian units routing from the field the Prussian left flank all but ceased to exist. The Imperial Guard were on the verge of completing their initial task albeit with some battalions having received higher than anticipated casualties.
Continued -

Friday, 17 June 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 11 - 16

 Turn 11

The Imperial Guard marches relentlessly on, their progress slowed as they enter broken terrain (half speed). Although the Prussian cavalry are light in numbers they are sufficient to prevent the French deploying their skirmishers. 

Napoleon decides he can wait no longer and orders Vandamme to begin his attack on the Prussian centre. The first columns move through the artillery line, several becoming unformed in doing so. 
Continued -

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808 : Turns 1 - 10

 Turn 1

The Prussians gained the initiative in turn 1 and had the privilege of firing the first artillery salvoes at the French. A single 6pdr scored a double 6 on an Old Guard 6pdr battery knocking out one of its guns and forcing the battery to retire. Otherwise it was rather uneventful with a sprinkling of French casualties along its front line.

The French response was rather underwhelming given their numbers. Casualties were inflicted on many Prussian units but mostly singles.
Turn 2

Scouts report to Napoleon that a Prussian force is moving towards their rear and expected to arrive early afternoon on their left flank. He therefore does not have the luxury of pounding the Prussians relentlessly utilising their advantage in artillery. 

Having won the initiative this turn, the French artillery open up again on the Prussians but with a repeat of turn 1 (poor dice rolls) Prussian casualties are relatively light. Earlier than he would have liked, the Imperial Guards were ordered to form attack columns ready to move out. The French plan being to deliver a right hook with the guards to be followed up by a blow to the centre with Vandamme's Corps.
Continued -

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808 - Introduction

Battle of Grazzbenn

Table Size = 6'9" x 4'6"

Figures = Baccus 6mm
Rules = General de Brigade
Start time 0900 hours = 32 turns

The Battlefield

                                      13A10                   13A9                                 13A8
                                      13A5                     13A4                                 13A3

Note: Each square = 3' square on the table top.


13A10 – Firm grazing land, hedgerows, fences, river deep.

13A9 – Town of Grazzbenn, extensive army barracks, training area around Grazzbenn Castle on hill. The town contains many workshops. River to north bordering square is deep with stone bridge.

13A8 – Bleak rocky terrain around hill (difficult terrain), softening off towards town.

13A5 – Firm grazing land, hedgerows, fences, river deep, stone bridge.

13A4 – Broken rocky terrain with many gullies. Craggy hills. (Difficult terrain - steep slopes).

13A3 – Firm open scrubland. Sunken roads (cover - 8' deep).

Rule Amendments:
For difficult rocky terrain, movement half speed but artillery may deploy. Cavalry formed when standing but unformed when moving. May charge but unformed.

Sunken road - represented by hedgerows. Equivalent to in buildings for receiving artillery fire. Cannot be fired at by muskets or fire out of unless adjacent to them or on the road with clear line of sight.

Army breakpoint being discarded for this battle. 

The castle on the tabletop is rather larger than that on the map. This is primarily due to the fact that I currently have no smaller option and I wanted to make use of Total Battle Miniatures walled town set. 

Prussian 1st Corps reinforcements:
They are scheduled to arrive on turn 17. However, to introduce a little uncertainty, they will dice for arrival beginning turn 15 and will arrive no later than turn 19. 

Continued -

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808 - Prequel

With lighting installed in the garage its time to return to wargaming on the tabletop. In advance I provide a recap of the events leading up to the next game to be played in the Napoleonic campaign - the critical battle of Grazzbenn:

On 24th March, Napoleon decisively captured the Prussian capital Grissburg. 



Continued -

Monday, 16 May 2022

Wargaming - The Return!

With the finishing touches all that remains in the new home, wargaming is on the verge of resumption. Moving house certainly gets no easier as age takes its toll! 

The first to complete towards the hobby was my new painting/study room. This enabled figure painting to resume but it has been far too long since the last wargame leading to serious withdrawal symptoms!

At the time of writing this, the garage modifications have mostly been completed with just new lighting to be installed. There are restrictions where I live on garage conversions. It must be capable of parking a car within and therefore the main garage door must remain. I therefore sealed it as much as possible with draught excluder and gaffer tape around the mechanism. An insulated ceiling was added with a rubberised tile floor. The breeze block walls and ceiling were painted white. 

The garage is left open plan with the half nearest the main door given over to household storage and the rest becoming a wargaming area. The lighting immediately above the wargames section are 5 spots on a single bar housing adjustable daylight bulbs. It will allow me to have a playing area of 4'6" in width and up to 10' in length although I doubt if I will ever exceed 9'. More table supports would be needed! 

All being well, the lighting will be installed within a few days and wargaming can resume. I will shortly be introducing the first game in my new retreat!


Friday, 15 April 2022

On the Workbench: ECW Foot Regiments and WW2 Ships

This will almost certainly be the last blog post before my house move. If all goes according to plan, in a little over 4 weeks I will have a new wargames room enabling the resumption of tabletop action.

In the meantime more units have been completed:

Two Royalist regiments have been added to the inventory. These are Salisbury's redcoats and Molyneux's bluecoats, both of Wentworth's brigade. 

Continued -

Friday, 8 April 2022

On the Workbench: HMS Repulse and Japanese Destroyers

Several 1/3000 scale ships have been completed for the "Defending the Malay Barrier" scenario.

Firstly, HMS Repulse:

This is a refurbished Navwar model. It is one of several in my collection that had been given a very basic paint job many years (in fact decades!) ago. I should have taken a 'before' photo to show the comparison but to give you some idea, this is HMS Malaya in pretty much the same state as Repulse before the make-over:

To remove the old paint I use nail polish remover. Normally one bathe in the stuff with scrubbing by a stiff brush does the job. But on Repulse some paint had collected very thickly in some of the recesses. It required a second bathe and even that did not remove it completely.

I shied away from the 1941 camo scheme and decided on how she would look in 1940. I have found painting camo in this scale a little hit-or-miss. In fact mostly 'miss'. So for the most part I avoid camo schemes adopting the more basic battleship grey.

Continued -

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

On the Workbench: Two Foot Regiments for Edgehill

 More units for Edgehill roll off the production line!

For Parliament, Brooke's Purplecoat regiment. Part of Thomas Ballard's brigade and a pike/musket ratio of 1:1. I have reduced several bases to 4 figures to allow for the formation to look right. I have minimised this as much as possible as in this scale it can be fiddly!

Dutton's whitecoat regiment for the Royalists. This was part of Charles Gerard's Brigade. In time, as the collection expands, more musketeers will be added to this and other pike heavy regiments for future games. 

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Defending the Malay Barrier

Over 10 years ago I bought a job lot of wargames figures from a local auction. The principle reason being that the lot consisted of a large number of reasonably well painted 28mm figures and I saw it as a money-making opportunity sprucing them up and selling them on ebay. That side of it went well but this is not what this blog post is about.

Included in that collection were over 100 1/3000 scale unpainted Japanese warships still in their manufacturer's bags - mostly Navwar with some Davco. I already had a collection of such ships which included a handful of Japanese. I retained these believing them to be useful addition and they have sat in a box ever since!

Fast forward to a few days ago and something on one of Storm of Steel's youtube videos caught my eye. He had a pdf file printed by a company called Doxdirect which got me thinking about all the pdf files stored on my laptop which rarely, if ever, get read. I am quite simply poor at reading rules and scenarios (unless very brief) in pdf format preferring the printed variety.

One such file is a General Quarters 3.3 campaign "Defending the Malay Barrier". I have glanced through it several times intending one day to do something with it and of course using those Japanese warships festering away unloved in a box somewhere!

'Time to get it printed' I thought and duly checked out Doxdirect's website. It was simplicity itself to send the pdf file for printing including selecting the type of paper required. I went for the basic 80gsm matt double sided print with 300gsm card outer covers. I also selected to have it spiral bound which I find by far the most useful for gaming purposes. This is the result:

There was a glitch in the original print with 2 maps only partially reproduced. It was explained to me by Doxdirect that the pdf file needed to be 'flattened' to prevent this problem occurring again. The necessary software would need to be purchased from Adobe which I had no intention of doing as I would be using it so rarely. Doxdirect kindly performed that operation for me and reprinted the file for no extra cost and in quick time. 

The overall quality is excellent and all 74 pages for approximately £12.50 including postage. There is just one small glitch in a couple of symbols on one of the maps has printed in a different colour for some reason. It is not a major issue and something I can live with. Next time I will probably go with the 120gsm satin finish paper which does not cost that much more. 80gsm is fine for this scenario book however.

This has spurred me on to diving into that Japanese collection with the first 3 destroyers on the workbench. I am conscious of the fact that I cannot keep adding to my projects list so this will probably sit in the background to be dabbled with as the urge takes me. I tend to find with Naval wargaming that the painting and collecting of the various ships has more fascination than the actual playing! The majority of my ships in various scales have never seen the tabletop.

I have a softspot for ships probably stemming back to my brief time in the Merchant Navy in the 1970's. Researching the different ship classes and painting them up, even in such a small scale, is very satisfying. 

As an aside, and with what is going on in Ukraine, that time in the Merchant Navy included a visit to Odessa. We had an all-British crew on a British registered ship which made for an interesting experience at the height of the cold war. We were guests of honour at the Opera House with front row seats to watch the Battle of Stalingrad enacted on stage! I gingerly turned around to see that the entire audience consisted of Soviet soldiers and I swear that they were all sat to attention - and appeared to be staring at us! In the Soviet era Odessa was pretty austere but even then still had some very attractive areas. I am keeping my fingers crossed it does not suffer the utter devastation inflicted on Meriupol. 

I will post the painted Japanese destroyers on the blog when completed. They are currently sat at one end of the workbench providing a useful break from painting countless ECW figures!

If anybody is interested in trying out Doxdirect you will find them here