Thursday 8 May 2008


For the next two or three moves the game swung backwards and forwards as the French attempted to force their way into the village and the Spanish inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing units. the main French attack was repulsed but a secondary attack by the Nassau finally broke into the village. French skirmishers were albe to bring the spanish guns under close range fire and prevent them from firing. Finally the Spanish cavalry holding the high ground by the wood broke.
Although a reserve unit launched a successful counter attack they did not have the numbers to be decisive.

On the opposite flank the French cavalry had driven the last Spanish units from the field, the sweating Spanish gunners dragged their guns around to try and establish a new defensive line.

The French had suffered heavy casualties in the centre, and would have found another direct assault difficult to achieve, but with both Flanks in the possession of the French the Spanish General decided that the time was opportune for a dignified withdrawal and conceded the game.

The French prepare for a last charge on the Guns. Fortunately the Spanish general conceded before it was attempted. Even when aware of the 30" charge move it can still take you by surprise. These cavalry are within charge range.

The game took about 9 moves from early afternoon to lunchtime the next day. There was not one uneventful move and once more the charge rules proved able to give an exciting and interesting game. The game was almost unique for me for two reasons. I had a plan rather than just winging it and even more unusually the plan worked.

Now to sort that bloody Garage out!

Edelweiss 2


The very first move had a cavalry melee, however looking through the photographs I find that whenever the game got exciting I forgot to take photos!

You will have to take my word for it that both flanks were heavily engaged throughout the game with whirling squadrons emerging from dust clouds and disappearing again to the flash of steel and the thunder as lines of the giant heavy cavalry collided. In fact in the first two engagements both Steve and I made the novices mistake of allowing lights to mix it with heavy cavalry. The difference was that he threw mediocre dice which allowed me to withdraw my chassuers dented but usable on the wooded side. But on the plain to the east his hussars were almost destroyed by the french cuirassiers.


On the west flank the dragoons advanced to fill the gap left by the Chasseurs rout. The infantry trudged forward and a battery deployed to fire at the village of Delft.
In the centre the infantry columns tried to swing away from the Spanish Artillery but the six foot range of the guns left little place to hide and the Marine regt marked its progress across the plain with a trail of crumpled blue overcoats.

On the second move the French artillery deployed within close range of the Spanish line.

The photo shows the guns with a battalion of Nassau deployed as support to replace casualties and help crew the guns. o the right the main french attach develops while the Dragoons move to the front and the Chassuers can be seen in the distance rallying. The counters on the guns denote gun crew casualties, already the Spanish Counter battery fire is weakening one unit.

The Spanish battery in front of the village proved a real nuisance to the French. Figures by Redoubt(early range)

The Spanish light Infantry occupy Delft. (figures by connoisseur)

In fact the luck of the dice throws affected things quite a bit, the French Grand battery consistently threw low and was less effective as a result. This was more than made up for by the cavalry melees where the french consistantly threw better dice. In fact the first melee on the plain was a decisive one for after that the French always had the advantage of a reserve unit which could be used to attack any spanish cavalry while they were rallying.

Here the Spanish dragoons have won a melee but they face fresh units which will attack when rallying.

Meanwhile in the centre the objective of the main french attack was clear.

Battle of Edelweiss

We had lunch before making a start in the early afternoon. Steve chose the Spanish side which meant he was south on the map and had the village of Delft and the splendid defensive position of Moulder hill in his deployment area.

However Steve had to contend with two major disadvantages. he had a difficult drive of a couple of hundred miles through the heart of the midlands which took him a little while to recover. He also had no previous sight of the table or map. However he was able to use the lethargy and lack of planning to help get into his role as a Spanish General.

Both Steve and I felt that the open ground to the east of Sarchen See would be Cavalry ground. He put two heavy and one light regt there. Next to them a battery of six guns deployed on the imposing Moulder hill. These were supported by four infantry units. On the west flank two cavalry regts and one infantry unit held the gap between Delft and the woods. The light infantry garrisoned Delft supported by two more units and a battery. the centre was held by a thick line of infantry of seven units.

This seemed to make a formidable defensive position with both flanks securely anchored and a stable centre commanded by imposing artillery support. Although he used his cavalry in aggressive support Steve maintained defence as the main purpose of his opening moves.


The previous evening I had spent some time wondering how it was possible for the player on the north (in the book the Prussians) to win. The south having such a strong position and the sides being equal. I decided that the only hope was that the defensive position might tempt the northern player to deploy his guns on the hill and sit back and wait. So reluctantly I attempted to put this theory into practice.

Essentially I wanted to refuse the centre and break in both flanks. I could not put all my cavalry on the east as this would have left the attack on Delft vulnerable to counter attack, and I knew that tired or not Steve would not simply sit back and let me waltz up to the village. Aboveall I needed to keep from straying in front of that damned hill.

In the far corner of the picture can be seen three cavalry units 2 Cuirassier and a light. They have no other supporting units

This side of the village of Edelweiss are two battalions of Marines and one of middle Guard. The center is three battalions of Nassau and three of line together with three batteries. All of these units were ordered to swing diagonally toward the village of delft and attack the ground to the immediate centre of the village. The 6 guns were to gallop forward and deploy as a Grand Battery causing disruption to any attempt by the Spanish to transfer units across the center.

On the Western flank three infantry, one heavy and one light cavalry, and one gun were to advance along the line of high ground and seize the village of Delft.


The game proceeded at a leisurely pace with a break for refreshments every two moves. and in that spirit I will postpone an account of how these well laid plans actually turned out until my next post.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

I feel a post coming on!

Well here we are once again, its rather like an old house, rather cold and empty with a couple of unanswered posts waiting on the mat. Still not to worry a couple of logs on the wargaming fire and we will be up and running in no time.

I recently had a visit from Mr Steve Gill who came to play a napoleonic game. I wanted to have a thoroughly old fashioned set to. No points or scenarios, just set about beating he hell out of the opposing army. We were playing on the first and second of May so a Dos Mayo commemoration was in order.

I went to Charles Grant's last work, the posthumously published 'Wargames Tactics'. For some reason this has never grabbed the Old School imagination in the same way as some of his earlier books, nevertheless I have always enjoyed its diversity and sure enough I found a Napoleonic battle which fitted the bill perfectly.

Now I am sure that there are those who, when they want a game have no more to do than don the smoking jacket and stroll through to their games room perhaps pausing to pick up a glass of suitably smoky single malt'

In truth this is what I expect in my minds eye, but in reality the garage where the table is sited had become a little cluttered over winter.

Even the table itself needed a bit of work to clear it for action.

Finally the figures had to be taken from the immaculately organised storage system.

Still it was no more than a days work to set up the table and clear a path through the junk that enabled us to edge around it.

Finally I was able to start setting up using the Map of the battle of Edelweiss from the book. The main features were laid out on 13' x 5'8" table. The centre was dominated by a strong natural defensive position of a hill fronted by a marsh. One edge of the table was forested and accessible to light troops only.

The Spanish drew up on the side with the hill. they had 15 x 30 man infantry battalions. The French had 12 x 36 units. Both sides had 3 x 24 Heavy cav and 2 x 24 Lights. Additionally each side had 4 batteries of two guns each. The Spanish had one regt of light infantry while the French had the ability to deploy 6 skirmishers per battalion.

The rules used were the full set from Charge. However we have been incorporating some small amendments to allow us to use them with figures on six figure bases. Generally speaking I disapprove of mucking about with other peoples rules and to alter the great Charge is pure sacrilege, but.. Peter Young eventually gave up wargaming because he couldn't face moving all the singly based figures any more. Using bases makes it possible for two people to play a game of this size in a day.

So with the table set up and ready to go, it is an opportune point to halt and await the arrival of Steve.