Tuesday, April 28, 2009

10mm Napoleonic Rules Playtest Part 2

Let the firing commence!

In the fifth turn the French seized the initiative and plowed forward. All of the French commanders advanced their men as ordered. Lafleur brought his brigade forward, intent on bringing them through the woods to hit the defending British in the flank, while Colonel Ducot advanced the Imperial Guard, scattering the greenjackets back to their regiments. Meanwhile
Colonel Lerout charged his men over the walls, knowing that to stay behind the walls and deploy their own skirmishers might be dangerous, and the British rifles had excellent range and could certainly throw them into disarray as they held, out of range...

The British suffered a major setback. Unreliable the entire time, Colonel Kryzeski again ordered his columns to halt and, seeing the French rushing to the attack and hearing the crackle of musketfire ahead, decided to redeploy backwards. Furious, Picton galloped back to get the Allied commander under control, leaving Colonel Smith in the center to form into line to recieve the charge of the Guard. Meanwhile Colonel Sharpe, seeing the French erupt from the forest and from behind the walls behind him and coming downhill at his men with bayonets fixed, ordered his men to fire! The British muskets roared, killing Frenchmen in their tracks. The flank regiment of infantry took serious casualties but the rest got off relatively light, considering the long lines of red facing them... coming downhill helped, as the British tended to fire high.

This left three brigades in need of taking "Stand!" tests. All of Colonel Sharpe's British troops passed, although there was a little panic evident as the French columns crested the rise in front of them... the Colonel's quality and leadership was all that kept one unit from becoming Shaken. Of the French, Colonel Ducot's Imperial Guard stayed steady, having run off the majority of the enemy rifles, but a single battalion of Colonel Lerout's attack faltered as it barrelled down the hill, men falling and others beginning to edge back (Shaken units are shown by turning one of the two battalion stands backwards to represent men at the rear beginning to turn)... if only the French could make contact with the thin British lines and see them off!

Turn Six saw the French crash home. Most of the brigade commanders followed their orders properly and the two forces came together. The British lines fired volley after volley into the attacking French columns, killing scores of blue coated infantry, but the French, who had advanced this far without being shaken, pressed the attack home!

On the British left the French columns rolled down the hill and into the thin red lines. Bayonets stabbed, Highlanders swung their gigantic claymores, men clawed and spit and cursed... on the far flank, Colonel Lerout and Colonel Sharpe, the two most capable brigade commanders on the field, urged their men on, Sharpe joining the Scots in the fight. In the center three French brigades crashed home, including the Converged Grenadier Battalion, which took minimal casualties and rolled down the hill into the British lines like a lightning bolt.

The British for the most part held on. In the center, however, a piece of the British line gave way, taking horrible casualties while being overrun by twice their numbers of Frenchmen in deep, unstoppable columns. When the time for "Stand!" tests came, that unit predictably failed and became Shaken far behind the lines where they had run to... not a good sign. The rest of the British held on, however, and one of the French battalions, already Shaken the turn before by the heavy British musketfire, broke and ran from the field, while the Converged Grenadier Battalion also began to edge backwards as musketfire raked its flank...

In the center, drums beating and sergeants screaming, the Old Guard marched up the hill into the British lines. The British, firing downhill, were surprisingly ineffective, managing to kill some Guardsmen but unable to stop them. In turn the deep Guard columns crashed into the British like a wave. In the woods the flanking battalions of each brigade locked bayonets and hacked at each other mercilessly, each trying to throw the enemy back. One British battalion, assailed by two French columns, fell back, leaving a carpet of red bodies, and promptly failed its "Stand!" test, becoming unsteady, but the French Guard battalion attacking the crest began to waver as well and the rear ranks began to turn and run back down the hill, despite the fact that Colonel Ducot rode among them, shouting encouragement.

Meanwhile Colonel Lafleur held his men up, presumably to see where they would be needed, while Sir Thomas Picton rode back to his Allied Colonel and managed to get the coward to get his men up into column and moving again... but would they get to the center in time to help hold back the French? Or would the French Old Guard crest the hill and throw the British center back, taking the high ground and leaving Colonel Sharpe and his brigade out to dry... assuming they can even hold off the French columns!?

The next turn began. On the left, Colonel Sharpe's Brigade clashed again with Colonel Lerout. Both commanders, forceful and charismatic, were among the best either army had to offer, but one had to lose. And indeed, it seemed it would be the French, as the Highlanders countercharged into the flank of the French Converged Grenadier Battalion, which was already Shaken, and the British units in the center pushed back againt the attacking French columns. And the British began to inflict more casualties, with their flanks held by two Scottish battalions. The routing French infantry continued to run, and on the far flank the French infantry battalion, with Lerout screaming orders to his men, was nonetheless crushed backwards by the ferocious British counter-attack. Lerout had to let them go, hoping they would rally in the safety of the abandonded farmstead behind them, and galloped on, urging his remaining men to throw the British back while they had a chance...

The center swung back and forth. With Sir Thomas Picton looking on, the British center unleashed volleys of fire while they could, and then the Guard plunged forward. The battalion holding the road fell back like the one to their left did in the last turn, unable to hold the Guard back, and took casualties as the Guardsmen hacked and lunged with their bayonets. Importantly, however, the British battalions on the left flank on the hill and the right flank in the woods managed to hold, and then came the all-important "Stand!" tests... and finally the fact that the attacking Guard battalions had taken taken fire, first from the skirmishers and then from the British lines, began to pay off as 3 of their 4 Steady Guard battalions failed their "Stand!" rolls and became Shaken. The British had been forced back in the center and had taken casualties, and Colonel Lafleur was about to crash into their flank, but the Guard brigade was beginning to falter up and down the line... if only Colonel Sharpe could finish off his flank and bring his men up in support, if only the damned Colonel Kryzeski could bring up his brigade, and if only Colonel Smith's men could hold on for a few more turns...


kriegspiel said...

I've been reading your blog for some time now, and I must say your gaming table is awesome. I've read you use isolation foam under the felt. And that's a brilliant idea. About the felt: is it painted and then flocked or simply used as it is?

Author said...

Hey man!

Nope, just used! What I do is I put the felt over the table, and then I actually shake flock over it... it works pretty well. I have a little dedicated dust buster (got for free) to suck the flock up when I need to, and honestly the overall look is pretty good. Plus all of the pin-bottomed trees help hold the felt in place. If you look back at an early "table" post there might be a shot of the whole thing coming together:)

Anyway... thanks for coming by! If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask, getting to talk toy soldiers is always a pleasure:)

kriegspiel said...

well, that's a very simple idea indeed.
Another question: what kind of flock do you use (color, size)?
I intend to use your method for my zorndorf table

BTW: nice to see a fellow 10mm-gamer^^

Author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Author said...

Hey man,

I use Woodland Scenics blended turf, a green blend...


I have two big shakers of it... I use 1 usually, although I have the second in case I need it. I generally flock a little heavier in lower areas, and a little lighter on hilltops and such, so as to fool the eye a little into seeing shadow and highlight. It seems to work well!

If you go back to this post there is a bit more info about the table itself... I have to say, it works pretty well as far as giving nice, natural looking rolling hills.


If you want any specific pictures just let me know and I can snap some for you! And if you have any toy soldier photos of your own...?:)

kriegspiel said...

Thanks a lot. i'm looking at the rest of it, and wow, impressive.
You can see some pictures at my blog:

here for 10mm burgundian ordnance:

and here for my 10mm Russians:

but sorry for the content, it's in French. I'll try to add some text in Shakespeare's language ;)

Peeler said...

Hi, nice Blog! Smashing pictures. I'm into 10mm Naps myself. can I ask..are your Inf units at 40 figures each, and what size base do you use? Thanks.