Monday, 17 December 2018

Battle of Albuera 1811 - AAR


A big Napoleonic Game with bags of figures on an unfeasibly cramped table was the beginning of my gaming journey nearly 40 years ago and I am so glad to have that back in my locker.

A few months ago I posted a Scenario post for the battle, a combination of my holidays, shift work and illness meant that it took ages to finish, but with a permanent set up and a Yarkshire outlook, there's no need to rush lad.

https://yarkshiregamer.blogspot.com/2018/09/battle-of-albuera-1811-set-up.html


It was also the first real test of my Quarrie version of GdeB and it was a very positive experience, everyone got it straight away. After the game we all agreed they were the way forward and other than a couple of tweeks (some of which were rule based rather than National Characteristics (NC) based).

There were some anti NC comments on the previous post however I find them the most flexible way of representing troop types, for some reason some people can't get past the base stat line, it's a guide, if a particular regiment performed well increase the stats, if it's a Marie Louise battalion reduce them. A link to the original rules post is below.

https://yarkshiregamer.blogspot.com/2018/10/quarrie-to-general-de-brigade.html


Back to the battle itself, things started as you would expect with this battle with a French assault on the Alled right, specifically on the Spanish troops lining a number of hills. As per the scenario the French had 6 moves to "get on with it"

Vistula Legion Lancers make a hole in the Spanish Line
The French Cavalry didn't muck about and went straight at the Spanish Cavalry on the flank, it was no match and it wasn't long before the Spanish Brigade broke, first spoils to the French.

Godinots Brigade advance
In the meantime whilst the British and Portuguese were waiting for the signal to move out the French had redeployed Godinots Brigade to attack the Spanish above Albuera. The remaining French Infantry and Cavalry poured towards the hill line in one seemingly unstoppable wave.

Spanish Infantry open up on the approaching French
With the British troops only just waking up the first Infantry attack fell on the Spanish troops lining the hill. Ripples of musket fire went up and down the line as the French columns came on.

Recule
As you can see from the photo above and the abundance of Falter and Retreat markers the first blood fell to the Spanish who with a combination of steady fire power and poor French die rolling, saw off the initial assault of Godinots Brigade.



The troops of Gazan and Girand where coming into action whilst the French Cavalry continued to cause havoc on the allied right, The Vistula Legion Lancers tried to break the square of the Spanish Irlanda Regt, it was a close run thing but the square held.


After a brief lull the French renewed their attack on the Spanish, with the elite French Grenadier Battalion heading the charge the Spanish finally started to give way after a long hard fight. Brigades began to break and the resistance crumbled.


Coles Division had formed a defensive line with the Fusilier Battalions facing the oncoming French, this was fine whilst the Spanish held but as they left the field the flank of the Fusiliers was exposed. The Allied generals failed to deal with the position and left the flank exposed, leaving the British Cavalry unused on the hill at the rear of Albuera. This would prove their downfall.


Meanwhile the French and British Battalions clashed around the town, a couple of French units made gains but there wasn't enough support to push the advantage home.


The game ended when the French Grenadiers pushed home an attack on the flank of the Fusiliers, poor dice rolling saw the impacted battalion break and then a double 1 on the Brigade morale saw the flank collapse.

There were plenty of untouched British and Portuguese troops to allow an orderly withdrawal from the field but the day and the honours went to the French.

Below is a list of the casualties in our game, if a unit is not mentioned it suffered no losses, these casualties do not include routing troops.

French Casualties

Godinots Brigade
1/16 Legere 13 out of 28 figures = 260 men or 46%
2/16 Legere 16 out of 28 figures = 320 men or 57%
3/16 Legere 6 out of 28 figures = 120 men or 21%
1/51 Ligne 12 out of 36 figures = 240 men or 33%
2/51 Ligne 17 out of 36 figures = 340 men or 47%
3/51 Ligne 5 out of 36 figures = 100 men or 14% Routed
Grenadier Battalion 10 out of 48 figures = 200 men or 21%

Briche Cavalry
10th Hussars 7 out of 20 figures = 140 men or 35% Routed
21st Chasseur 4 out of 20 figures = 80 men or 20%


Brons Cavalry - No Casualties

Bouvier des √ąclaits Cavalry
14th Dragoons 1 out of 16 figures = 20 men or 6%
17th Dragoons 1 out of 16 figures = 20 men or 6%

Unattached Cavalry
Vistula Legion Lancers 6 out of 28 figures = 120 men or 21%
27th Chasseur 1 out of 22 figures = 20 men or 5%

Girards Division
2/34 Ligne 3 out of 24 figures = 60 men or 12%
3/34 Ligne 1 out of 24 figures = 20 men or 4%
1/40 Ligne 4 out of 20 figures = 80 men or 20%
2/40 Ligne 1 out of 20 figures = 20 men or 5%

Gazans Division
2/21 Legere 13 out of 20 figures = 260 men or 65%

Werles Division
2/12 Legere 8 figures out of 36 figures = 160 men or 22%
3/12 Legere 4 figures out of 36 figures = 80 men or 11%
3/55 Ligne 2 figures out of 30 figures = 40 men or 7%

Total Casualties 2,700


Allied Casualties 

Colbornes Brigade
2/31st Foot 7 figures out of 21 = 140 men or 33%
2/48th Foot 1 figure out of 23 = 20 men or 4%
2/66th Foot 6 figures out of 22 = 120 men or 27%

Houghtons Brigade
29th Foot 6 figures out of 25 = 120 men or 24%
1/57th Foot 1 figure out of 32 = 20 men or 3%

Abercrombie Brigade
2/28th Foot 4 figures out of 26 = 80 men or 15%

Myers Brigade Broken Brigade
1/7 Fus 14 figures out of 36 = 280 men or 39% Routed 
2/7 Fus 1 figure out of 28 = 20 men or 4%
1/23 Fus 5 figures out of 37 = 100 men or 13%

Harvey's Portuguese Brigade
1/11 Line 1 figure out of 29 = 20 men or 3%
1/23 Line 1 figure out of 28 = 20 men or 4%


Hamilton's Portuguese Brigade
1/2 Line 3 figures out of 30 = 60 men or 10%
1/14 Line 1 figure out of 30 = 20 men or 3%

Blake's Spanish

Lardizabal Brigade
Canaris Foot 1 figure out of 24 = 20 men or 4%
2nd Leon Foot 4 figures out of 24 = 80 men or 17%

Ballasteros Brigade Broken Brigade 
Catalonia Foot 8 figures out of 20 = 160men or 40% Routed 
Pavia Foot 4 figures out of 20 = 80 men or 20%
Lena Foot 7 figures out of 20 = 140 men or 35% Routed 
Castropol Foot 8 figures out of 20 = 160 men or 40 % Routed
Inifiesto Foot 4 figures out of 20 = 80 men or 20%

Zayas Brigade Broken Brigade 
Spanish Guard 12 figures out of 30 = 240 men or 40%
Irlanda Foot 13 figures out of 30 = 260 men or 43% Routed 
Patria Foot 3 figures out of 30 = 60 men or 10%
Toledo Foot 1 figure out of 30 = 20 men or 3%
Esteramdura Foot 3 figures out of 30 = 60 men or 10%
Spanish Artillery 12 figures out of 12 = 240 men or 100%

Loys Spanish Cavalry Brigade Broken Brigade 
Castillo Hussar 5 figures out of 20 = 100 men or 25% Routed 
Granaberos Horse 6 figures out of 20 = 120 men or 30% Routed 

Penne Villemuir Spanish Cavalry Brigade Broken Brigade 
Reina Horse 7 figures out of 20 = 140 men or 35% Routed 

Total Casualties 2980 men

An excellent game, closely balanced and a good challenge for both sides, highly recommended, I will be looking at getting another big Napoleonic Game in soon but this time trying out the rule mods in a 1813 situation.


Sunday, 9 December 2018

28mm WW2 Warlord Italian Bersaglieri


It's been close on 2 months since I posted anything on the old blog. It's been a bit of a break full stop, I had a month off work for a trip round Italy with Mrs YG and then it has taken a bit of time to get back into the normal blogging, painting, gaming routine, but sometimes a break is good to get the mojo going again.

20mm Anti Tank Rifle 
I picked some nice straight forward Italian WW2 figures to get the Vallejo flowing again, all technique and little skill is the way forward with these boys. The figures themselves are from Warlord Games and are the last figures in my Italian to do box (not including vehicles).

Detail photo
Warlord figures are very different from the Perry Miniatures that form the mainstay of my Desert Collection, slightly larger in size, a good deal chunkier and with rougher detail, they definitely have a great character about them. The raised detail makes them easy to paint with my dry brush, wash style and for very little work it's possible to get a pretty good result.


Italian 100mm Artillery 
The main reason for clearing up the remaining Italians was to get this Artillery piece ready for action. The 100mm gun again from Warlord will definitely add a bigger bite to my Italian forces. The figures are standard for both Europe and the Desert, I simply added the Sun Hat heads to get the Desert look.


The game on the table is our next Op Compass Campaign game (No 5) however these troops are not in the Order of Battle so it might be a while before they see action.


So it's good to be back in the blogging habit, coming next will be the AAR for Albuera and a post on the Op Compass game. On the paint table is a Muslim Heavy Cavalry unit for the Crusades which I am picking at whilst prepping for this year's Analogue Hobbies Winter Paint Challenge. See you all again soon.


Friday, 12 October 2018

Quarrie To General de Brigade Napoleonic Rules Conversion Kit


Introduction

A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away, I like many others started my journey into the world of wargaming, back before 'puters and the tinterwebnet, I picked up a book in the local libary and that book would literally change my life. That book was Napoleons Campaigns in Miniature by Bruce Quarrie.

I seem to have spent my life looking for that perfect set of rules, I spent a good few years using the "Hard Pounding" computer rules, that sadly came to an end when first the rules moved onto PC (and never worked) then my trusty Atari ST gave up the ghost in the mid 90s leaving us with no viable platform for the rules (yes we tried emulator etc etc, nothing worked). So I started that search again. I thought about modernising my beloved Quarrie rules but never seemed to get round to it. I never liked Gilders bucket o'dice approach and it wasn't until General de Brigade came along that I felt that long lost love for Napoleonic gaming return. However there was one thing missing, National Characteristics (NC).

I know the author of General de Brigade is not a fan of NC from his interviews however, interestingly they do seem to be creeping in with newer versions.

This is my attempt to introduce that Quarrie feeling into GdeB.


Important Notes (please read)

What follows are my thoughts on a suitable conversion, many people have asked me to put these on my blog over the years and I am only to glad to share.

This is not a stand alone set of rules, you will have to buy the General de Brigade Deluxe Edition hardback rules to make them work. I don't believe there are any copyright issues in fact the opposite I am encouraging people to go out and buy the rules. A working knowledge of the Quarrie rules will help but is not essential.

This is not an argument about National Characteristics, you either like them or you don't, there are a lot of people out there, like me who want them in their rules more from a personal nostalgia basis as opposed to historical fact. If you are not a fan, I get it, this post isn't for you.

The NC tables below are a guide, as they were in the initial Napoleons Campaigns in Miniature book, there are troop types missing for example, I have tried to keep close to those covered in the book. I am more than happy to add suggestions from readers and think about modifications in the tables, we all have our favourite armies and want better factors after all !

Where something is not covered below, revert to the GdeB book for rule clarification.

All my modifications are for 15mm figures, my collections are based on the Quarrie 1:33 ratio, GdeB is 1:20, with over 6000 15mm Napoleonic figures I am not rebasing, so to get over this we simply use my figures as they are and record casualties on paper. So a 24 figure French Line Battalion works as a 36 figure unit for the rules it's a straightforward conversion. Low figure number units don't work particularly well in GdeB.

I have done very limited playtesting with these, if people are interested in the concept and wish to try these modifications out that would be fantastic and I would love to hear about how your games went and any issues raised or modifications needed.

I will now go through the fast play sheet (FPS) from the rules covering the modifications required, please note the NC tables are at the end of this post.


The Rules

Game Turn Sequence - No change

Initiative and Orders - No change at this time although I do plan to introduce the individual named commanders in the Quarrie book at a later stage.

Movement
In each of the NC tables below distances in cms are given for each troop type, this is arbitrary but is a reflection of training and ability, a better trained unit from a country noted for its mobility being able to move faster.

For Square Movement and Retreat etc use the GdeB distances.

Formation Changes - remain as per GdeB but is being looked at.

Charge distance is +20% rounded up.

Where GdeB refers to troop classes refer to the NC tables below, anything with a Morale of 2 or higher is Guard / Elite.
Morale of 0 or 1 is Line / Veteran
Morale of less than 1 is 2nd Line / Conscript


Musketry and Artillery Fire

Relatively straightforward, ignore all of the Infantry Fire Modifiers in column one on the FPS, the new modifiers are,

Fire Factor (from NC), Fired / Melee last turn -2, Faltering / Unformed -4

On column 2, Artillery Fire Modifiers remove the first two factors relating to Artillery Class and add,

Fire Factor (from NC)

Target Modifiers, casualties, double 6 table etc remain the same.

Some Veteran Line Battalions would shoot better than their freshly raised counterparts and this should be considered when setting Armies out at the start of a game, so a Veteran French Line Battalion could have a +1 Fire Factor, a Marie Louise unit -1, I would factor that into the NC prior to the start of the game.



Melee

This was a little harder to incorporate, here you need to be familiar with the Quarrie concept of Impact Melee and Confused Melee, it's fairly obvious to be honest,

Impact Melee or Charging Melee (as I call it) is the factor used when a unit has met all the requirements to be counted as having charged into a combat.

Confused Melee factors are used in all other situations, for example if a unit has failed to reach the criteria to charge by not travelling far enough or standing to meet a charge. It also is the factor used in any subsequent rounds of melee after the first, by BOTH units.

So going back to the FPS their are a lot of changes, mostly deletions.

You can remove the vast majority of the factors on the FPS sheet, they reflect, troop type, morale class etc and these are all included in the individual factor on the NC tables.

So my melee sequence would be, each side rolls 2d6 and adds or subtracts the following,

Unit Melee factor (either Charging or Confused depending on situation)

In Open Order -2
Foot vs Cavalry count 1/2 figures
General leading troops in front rank  + 1 (for now individual factors to follow)
British Infantry in line (If post volley) +1
Unformed / Faltering -2
Attacked in flank or rear -4
Infantry charging in column +1
Square vs Cavalry +4
In Cover +1
In Buildings +2
In Fortifications / prepared Buildings +3
Outnumber enemy by 50 % +1
Outnumber enemy by 100 % +2

Retain all the numbered points under the Melee Factor apart from no 1, Lancers should use their Confused factor in those circumstances.

Consideration for veteran units and mount quality should be considered before the game begins and added or subtracted from the NC as you see fit.

Results and casualties remain as GdeB


Cavalry Pursuit Test

Remove all modifiers and replace with,

General Attached +1 (individual commanders coming soon)
Control Factor from NC

Note some Elite Cavalry units can choose to use either a plus one or a minus one depending on their circumstances and preference.

Unit Morale Test

Remove all factors relating to troop class and replace with,

Morale Factor from NC tables

Use +1 for attached General until individual factors are published.

Brigade Morale Test

Use as per GdeB except, remove Guard and Elite Brigades and replace with Morale Factor 2 or above and remove 2nd Line, Conscript etc and replace with Morale Factor of -1 or lower.

So there you have it, nothing too controversial in my mind and hopefully if you miss a bit of Quarrie then it would be great if people gave this a go. I look forward to any comments/ suggestions.

The National Characteristic Charts

Below you will find my first draft of the tables, apologies for the formatting but I had a real issue importing them in from Excel, enjoy.

Apologies I don't have any Austrians, here's some Portuguese Line 

Austrian         Fire Factor Charging Confused Morale Control Line Col Road Skr
Infantry Melee Melee
Grenadier 1 5 3 1 0 11 14 16
Fusilier 0 3 1 -1 -1 8 11 13
Light 0 3 1 -1 -2 8 11 13 13
Jager 1 4 2 1 -1 11 14 16 16
Cavalry
Cuirassier 0 8 5 2 0 17 21 25
Dragoon 0 6 4 0 0 18 22 26
Uhlan 0 7 3 0 -1 25 29 34
Hussar 0 4 3 1 -2 25 29 34 29
Artillery
Heavy 0 0 0 0 0 10 12
Light 0 0 0 1 0 17 21









British Infantry in column awaiting deployment















BRITISH            Fire Factor Charging   Confused Morale Control   Line Col Road Skr
Infantry Melee Melee
Foot Guard 3 6 4 3 Choice 13 17 19
Fusilier 2 5 3 2 0 12 16 18 16
Grenadier 2 5 3 1 0 11 15 17
Line 1 3 2 1 -1 10 14 16
KGL Line 1 3 2 1 0 11 15 17
Light 2 3 1 2 -1 11 15 17 17
Highlander 0 6 4 3 -2 10 14 16
Rifles 2 6 4 3 Choice 12 16 18 18
Cavalry
Household 0 10 6 3 0 17 21 25
Dragoon Guard 0 8 5 2 -1 18 22 26
Dragoon 0 7 4 1 -2 17 21 25
KGL Dragoon 0 8 5 2 0 18 22 26
Light Dragoon 0 4 3 0 -3 24 28 33 28
Hussar 0 5 3 1 -4 24 28 33 28
KGL Hussar 0 6 4 2 -1 25 29 34 29
Artillery
RA 1 0 0 1 0 13 15
RHA 2 0 0 2 0 24 30









Italian Infantry on the move












CONFED /                           ITALY Fire Factor Charging   Confused    Morale   Control   Line Col Road Skr
Infantry
Melee Melee





Guard Gren 1 6 3 2 0 13 16 18
Guard Fus 1 5 3 1 0 12 15 17
Grenadier 1 4 3 1 -1 12 15 17
Fusilier / Light 0 3 2 0 -1 11 14 26 16
Musketeer 0 3 2 0 -2 10 13 15
Jager 1 3 2 1 -2 12 15 17 17
Cavalry








Guard Cuirassier 0 10 6 2 0 16 20 24
Guard Heavy 0 8 5 2 0 18 22 26
Cuirassier 0 8 5 1 -1 16 18 24
Dragoon 0 6 4 0 -1 18 22 26
Guard Lancer 0 8 3 1 -1 25 29 34
Lancer 0 6 2 0 -2 24 28 33
Guard Light 0 6 4 1 -1 25 29 34
Hussar / Lights 0 4 3 0 -2 24 28 33
Artillery








Guard Foot 1 0 0 1 0 16
19
Guard Horse 1 0 0 2 0 29
33
Foot 0 0 0 0 0 12
15
Horse 0 0 0 1 0 27
32










French Columns Advancing











FRANCE         Fire Factor Charging Confused Morale Control  Line Col Road Skr
Infantry
Melee Melee





Old Guard 2 7 5 3 Choice 15 18 20
Middle Guard 2 6 4 2 0 15 18 20
Young Guard 1 5 3 1 0 14 16 18 18
Grenadier 1 5 3 1 0 14 16 18
Fusilier 0 3 1 0 -1 12 14 16
Chasseur 0 3 1 0 -2 12 14 16 16
Voltigeur 1 4 2 1 -1 13 15 17 17
Cavalry








Guard Gren 0 10 6 3 Choice 18 22 26
Guard Dragoon 0 10 5 3 Choice 18 22 26
Guard Lancer 0 10 4 3 Choice 26 30 35
Guard Light 0 7 4 2 -1 26 30 35 30
Cuirassier 0 8 5 1 0 17 21 25
Dragoon 0 6 4 0 0 18 22 26 22
Lancer 0 7 3 1 -1 25 29 34
Hussar 0 5 3 1 -2 25 29 34 29
Chasseur 0 4 3 0 -1 25 29 34 29
Artillery








Guard Foot 2 0 0 2 0 18
20
Guard Horse 2 0 0 3 0 31
35
Foot 1 0 0 0 0 14
16
Horse 1 0 0 1 0 29
33









Sorry No Polish either !










POLAND Fire Factor Charging Confused Morale Control Line Col Road Skr
Infantry
Melee Melee





Grenadier 2 6 4 1 Choice 14 16 18
Fusilier 0 4 2 0 0 12 14 16
Voltigeur 1 5 3 0 -1 14 16 18 18
Cavalry








Lancer 0 7 3 1 -1 25 29 34
Cuirassier 0 8 5 1 0 17 21 25
Chasseur 0 4 3 0 -1 25 29 34 29
Hussar 0 5 3 1 -2 25 29 34 29
Artillery








Foot 0 1 1 0 0 14
16
Horse 1 1 1 1 0 29
33










Portuguese Infantry defending a hill
















Line Column Road Skr










PORTUGAL Fire Factor Charging Confused Morale Control Line Col Road Skr
Infantry
Melee Melee





Line 0 3 2 0 -1 11 14 16
Cacadore 1 3 2 1 -2 12 15 17 17
Cavalry








Dragoon 0 5 3 -1 -2 27 31 35
Artillery








Heavy -1 0 0 0 0 14
16
Light 0 0 0 0 0 25
31





11 14 16






8 11 13

Prussian Infantry 






8 11 13 13
PRUSSIA Fire Factor Charging Confused Morale Control Line Column Road Skr
Infantry
Melee Melee





Guard 2 6 4 2 Choice 11 13 15
Grenadier 1 5 3 1 0 10 12 14
Musketeer -1 3 2 0 -1 8 10 12
Fusilier 0 3 2 1 -1 8 10 12
Jager 1 3 2 1 -1 10 12 14 14
Landwehr -2 2 1 -2 -3 6 8 10
Cavalry








Cuirassier 0 8 5 2 0 17 21 25
Dragoon 0 6 4 1 0 18 22 26
Uhlan 0 7 3 1 -1 25 29 34
Hussar 0 4 3 1 -2 25 29 34 29
Jager 1 4 3 1 -2 26 30 35 30
Artillery








Heavy 0 0 0 0 0 10
12
Light 0 0 0 1 0 18
22





11 14 16 16










Spanish Infantry waiting for a French attack






17 21 25
SPAIN & NAPLES Fire Factor Charging Confused Morale Control Line Col Road Skr
Infantry
Melee Melee





Guard 1 3 2 1 0 12 14 16
Grenadier 0 3 2 0 0 10 12 14
Line -2 1 1 -2 -1 8 10 12
Light -1 1 1 -2 -1 12 14 16 14
Militia -3 1 1 -3 -2 8 10 12
Cavalry








Guard 0 6 4 1 1 17 21 25
Cuirassier 0 5 3 -1 0 16 20 24
Dragoon 0 4 2 -1 0 18 22 26
Lancer 0 3 1 -1 0 20 23 28
Hussar 0 2 1 -2 -1 20 23 28 22
Artillery








Foot -1 0 0 -1 0 10
14
Horse -1 0 0 0 0 16
20





18 22 26






25 29 34
Stationary Russian Infantry 






25 29 34 29
RUSSIA             Fire Factor Charging Confused Morale Control Line Col Road Skr
Infantry
Melee Melee





Guard Grenadier 1 9 5 3 Choice 13 16 17
Guard Jager 2 6 3 2 0 14 17 18 17
Grenadier 0 7 4 1 0 12 14 16
Musketeer -1 5 3 0 -1 10 13 15
Jager 0 5 3 0 -2 13 15 17 15
Cavalry








Guard Cuirass 0 10 6 3 Choice 16 20 24
Guard Dragoon 0 9 5 2 0 18 22 26
Cuirassier 0 8 5 1 0 15 19 23
Dragoon 0 6 4 0 -1 17 21 25
Guard Uhlan 0 9 5 2 0 25 29 34
Uhlan 0 7 3 1 -1 24 28 33
Guard Light 0 6 3 2 0 25 29 34 29
Hussar 0 4 3 1 -2 24 28 33 28
Guard Cossack 0 5 2 2 -2 26 30 35 30
Cossack 0 3 1 1 -3 25 29 34 29
Artillery








Position 0 0 0 0 0 8
11
Guard Light 1 0 0 2 0 14
16
Light 0 0 0 0 0 13
15
Horse 0 0 0 1 0 24
30










All Charges +20% Rounded Up































10
12






17
21