Friday, July 25, 2014

While I Am Away...

...the troops prepare for battle.

I have been away for work at the home office in Seattle this week.  One of the few good things about a six hundred mile round trip for work is that it gives me plenty of commute time for podcast listening and thought pondering.

One such rumination focused on how to see a better performance out of the British in the last tabletop battle.  After the first Battle of Arroyo con Pollo, the British take up positions to relive the action upon my return.





Will we witness another French victory or have the British learned a thing or two from their earlier defeat?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Alt-Battle of Cerro Gordo, 1847 BatRep

The second battle of Cerro Gordo in the Mexican-American War was fought at Terry's at the end of June.  Given the American victory in our earlier clash (Cerro Gordo BatRep), Terry provided an alternative scenario.  This time, the Mexicans under Santa Anna caught wind of the American outflanking maneuver and repositioned his forces to thwart the plan.

While Terry commanded the Americans, John and I commanded the Mexicans.  Mexican forces were split with John taking the right and center.  I took command of Velasquez and the cavalry on the left.  Since the Mexican right consisted of a force solely of militia, the Mexican plan was to hold the right in support of the center as the Mexicans quickly brought the battle to the American left before they could be reinforced.  At start, the Mexican guns on the heights were sorely exposed and were much closer to the enemy than their own lines.  The guns needed support and quickly! 

The game was fought using the Mexican-American War variant of Regimental Fire and Fury using Terry's 25mm Scruby collection.  On to the action...
Mexican Deployment
U.S. Deployment with Mexican guns exposed on the hill
Mexican infantry prepare for action
Mexicans advance into the valley to support the guns
and take the fight to the Americans
Mexican left and center advance while the right, whose
ranks are filled with militia, hold
Mexicans continue the advance on the American right.
Contact!  Mexican cavalry charge the guns.
The guns limber and move away suffering no damage. 
Mexican advance continues cautiously
With the Mexican guns still unsupported,
the Americans charge the guns
Mexican gunners are overwhelmed.
Guns suffer damage and withdraw.
Hussars cover the left
while Vasquez leads an assault against the
Americans holding the ridge.
The Mexican assault is checked
and then disaster strikes!
Vasquez's command fails its Maneuver roll and routs!
There goes any hope of success on the Mexican left.
The repulse on the left triggers Vegas to advance in the center
while on the Mexican left cavalry clash.
U.S. dragoons drive off Mexican cuirassier and then
destroy a second Mexican cavalry unit.
With Velaquez in retreat, Mexican cavalry go in against
the Americans.  Even supported, the Mexican cavalry
make no progress and recall.
In the center, Vegas prepares for an assault against the hilltop
as the hussars force the American rifles into square.
Mexican charge goes in and then back from whence they came.
With the Mexican left and center in tatters, Santa Anna withdraws the remnants of his army from the field.  What can the Mexicans do to win a battle against the Americans?
That question remains unanswered! 

Another enjoyable outing with RFF using the Mexican-American variant.  I wonder which battle Terry will offer next?     

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From the Vault: Battle of Marengo - BatRep

Having not had the 18mm Napoleonic collection out onto the gaming table in longer than I can remember, I began looking through some of my old notes on a dual mission: search for ideas from past games and find my notes from the Battle of Raab replay.  Well, I found my Raab notes but they are still in very rough form and will require a fair amount of work to sort out and transcribe.  In some places, I cannot read my own handwriting!

Since the notes and scenario materials were in presentable shape, why not post them for comment?  This Marengo scenario has been gamed three times: once solo, once against an opponent, and once as umpire with two friends commanding the Austrians and French.  Not many game photos but the narrative is complete.    

-- 27 Feb 2008 - Notes From A Solo Replay

A Note on nomenclature: In the replay, Austrian infantry regiments are prefaced with 'IR' while French infantry demi-brigades either carry 'DB' suffix or no identifier.



Battle of Marengo, 14 June 1800
Napoleon vs Melas

Special Rules:

  • Bormida is unfordable and may only be crossed at bridges
  • Fontanone is Marshland/Treelines. Units take one morale hit when assaulting across this obstacle. Battalions guns may not cross. Austrian regiments do not have battalion guns on east bank of Fontanone until Marengo is captured by the Austrians. 
  • Castel Ceriolo is a Cover Class ‘A’ feature.
  • All villages are Cover Class ‘B’.
Scenario:

  • Battle begins with the 10:00am Austrian turn.
  • Napoleon begins movement on the 11:30am turn.
  • Monnier, Consular Guard, 12 CaC begin movement on 11:30am turn.
  • Desaix, Boudet arrive on-board south of St. Guiliano on the 3:00pm turn.
  • Ott begins movement on 11:00am turn.
  • Napoleon becomes CinC once he and Berthier are in contact.
Orders:

  • Kaim, Hadik, Frimont, have orders to force the Fontanone and take Marengo, La Barbotta, Spinetta. Kaim MUST assault Marengo @10:00am. 
  • Ott has orders to assault Castel Ceriolo and once secure turn French right flank.
  • O’Reilly has orders to take la Stortiglione and turn the French left and drive on Cassina Bianca.
  • Morzin, Nobili (Elsnitz) in reserve.
  • Nimbsch (Elsnitz) cannot cross Bormida until 3:00pm.
  • Victor, Lannes defend Fontanone line.
  • Kellerman support Victor
  • Champeaux, Duvignau defend right flank and Castel Ceriolo.
French Reinforcements:

  • All French reinforcements arrive at the road south of St. Guiliani under maneuver orders.
  • 3:20pm - Desaix, Boudet
Victory:
French Strategic: Exit army from west map-edge with no Austrian units on map.
Austrian Strategic: Exit army from east map-edge with no French units on map.
Otherwise, see Victory Points table.

Marengo battlefield from east
Marengo initial deployments from south
Marengo initial deployments from southeast
10:00. Anchoring the Austrian right, O’Reilly along with his two grenz brigades and artillery moves south to attack la Stortiglione containing a detachment of the 43rd DB. As the grenz approach la Stortiglione from the northeast and northwest, O’Reilly’s guns unlimber within 300 meters of the farm and open fire. In the initial salvos, the 43rd DB is disordered. On O’Reilly’s left, Hadik sends Kaim’s three infantry regiments across the Fontanone attacking Victor from Marengo to one KM south. Frimont approaches the northern reaches of the Fontanone in his advance on Castel Ceriolo. Melas orders Morzin’s four grenadier brigades and St Julian’s infantry to support Kaim’s assault on Marengo. The IR63 and IR47/2 cross the Fontanone and close with the 24th Legere. Disordered while negotiating the Fontanone, the Austrians bog down in a firefight with the French. IR63 and IR47 both become shaken in the encounter but are not repulsed. Both combatants take heavy casualties. IR47/1 crosses the creek and hits the 43/1. Disordered while crossing, IR47/1 takes heavy casualties and routs back across the Fontanone. IR23/2 assaults the 101st DB garrisoning Marengo and withdraws back across the creek shaken. Finally, IR23/1 assaults the 44th DB and is repulsed, demoralized. With the Austrian setbacks along the Fontanone, Kaim’s division panics and falls back upon Pietrabuona. Two-hundred-fifty men from the IR63 surrender.

The defenders of la Stortiglione, 43/2, rally and prepare for the anticipated Austrian attacks. The 43/1 joins the 24th Legere in an attempt to repulse IR63 and IR47 from the upper Fontanone. In the firefight, the Austrians are demoralized and fall back across the creek. Lannes advances his command to the Marengo – la Barbotta road and sends the 6th Legere off to the north to garrison Castel Ceriolo. O’Reilly’s artillery disorders 43/2 in la Stortiglione.

10:40. Melas and Hadik ride back to Pietrabuona to rally Kaim’s panicked division. IR63 and IR23 rally but IR47 remains disordered. Melas orders Kaim to assault the Fontanone a second time but Kaim delays as he continues to regroup his command. O’Reilly’s grenz assault la Stortiglione. In the firefight, the 43/2 is shaken and withdraws to the south from la Stortiglione. The Kreutz Grenz occupy la Stortiglione. Further to the north, Bellegarde advances to the Fontanone opposite la Barbotta while two reserve artillery batteries unlimber on Bellegarde’s right opposite Marengo. These two batteries open-up against the 101st DB in front of Marengo. The 101st suffers heavy casualties and is shaken. Frimont reaches the passage through the marsh along the Alessandria-Castel Ceriolo Road. Chambarlhac’s artillery targets one of the reserve batteries to no effect.

Chambarlhac rides over to rally the 43/2 but his presence fails to inspire them. The 101st falls back through Marengo and rallies but remains in disorder. Campeaux, with his brigade, advances to the west of Castel Ceriolo while the 6th Legere occupies Castel Ceriolo. All French batteries save their fire as they prepare for the Austrian attacks.

11:20 Kaim continues the delay in relaunching his attacks on Marengo and the Fontanone. Ott sorts out his command and begins advancing towards Castel Ceriolo. Bellegarde and Morzin cross the Fontanone and prepare attacks on la Barbotta. O’Reilly’s grenz attack the 43/2 along the southern approaches of the Fontanone. The Kreutz and Banal grenz attack the shaken 43/2 on the east bank of the Fontanone. In the attack, the 43/2 is demoralized and retreats to the southeast leaving 25% of his men behind to be captured. The 24th Legere is shaken by the retreat of the 43/2 and likewise falls back. Two Austrian reserve batteries fire on the 22nd DB near la Barbotta disordering the unit and causing heavy casualties. The 44th DB near Marengo is disordered during an artillery bombardment. Chambarlhac passes his panic check.

Napoleon receives a message from Berthier relaying the onset of the Austrian attacks and begins riding towards Marengo accompanied by the Consular Guard. Napoleon reaches San Guiliano. Before departing, Napoleon directs Monnier to take his division and march on Castel Ceriolo via Villanouva. Monnier reaches la Ghilina. The 22nd, 101st, 44th, 24 legere, 43/2, and the 9th Dragoons rally. The 6thLegere garrisons Castel Ceriolo. Campeaux sends the 1st Dragoons (1 and 2) against Frimont’s Lt Dragoons and Gottesheim’s 10th Dragoons. The French dragoons take artillery fire from Frimont’s battery and are disordered as they close with Kaiser Lt Dragoons. The 1st Dragoons clash with the Austrian light cavalry but break off when their initial contact fails to break the Austrians. In the center near la Barbotta, the 12th Chasseurs a Cheval and the 28th DB counterattack IR53 before it can shake out after crossing the Fontanone. IR53 takes heavy casualties and retreats demoralized taking Latterman’s Grenadiers with it. The French do not pursue across the Fontanone. To the south of la Barbotta, the 22nd DB supported by the 40th DB attack IR52 supported by Weidenfeld Grenadiers. Both combatants are shaken and take heavy casualties but remain locked in a firefight. To cover the retreat of the 43/2, the 2nd Cavalry attacks the Banal Grenz on the east bank of the Fontanone. With the approach of the cavalry, the grenz fall back demoralized across the Fontanone with 250 grenzers laying down their arms. The 2nd cavalry breaks off the attack to recover. On the southern flank between la Stortiglione and Cassina Bianca, the 8th dragoons and the 20th cavalry close with O’Reilly’s hussars (5th and 8th). After a lengthy clash, both Austrian Hussar regiments are pushed back beyond la Stortiglione, demoralized. The 8th Dragoons suffer heavy casualties. With three units demoralized and being repulsed all along the southern front, O’Reilly panics and orders a retrograde to the relative safety north of la Stortiglione.

12:00. IR47/1 improves to disorder while O’Reilly has difficulty rallying his force. O’Reilly’s hussars remain demoralized as do the Banal Grenz. Latterman’s Grenadiers and Frimont’s dragoons rally. IR53 remains demoralized. Kaim accepts orders to renew his attack on Marengo and Kaim and St Julian approach the Fontanone for a second assault. Melas sends an order to O’Reilly to fallback to the relative safety of Pietrabuona. When Melas sees no action from O’Reilly, Melas rides south to join O’Reilly and help reorder O’Reilly’s column. With Frimont’s battery disordering the 9th Dragoons, Frimont and Gottesheim’s cavalry attack the French cavalry in front of Castel Ceriolo. Overwhelmed, the 9th Dragoons retreat back to the southeast of Castel Ceriolo with half of the regiment either being captured or scattered as the Austrian cavalry close. Both Austrian dragoon regiments pursue and hit the 1st Dragoons. The French cavalry take some casualties but repulse the Austrian dragoons. The Austrian dragoons break off and retreat to the north. Ott’s command continues its unimpeded advance on Castel Ceriolo. Between Marengo and la Barbotta, Latterman’s Grenadiers cross the Fontanone and assault Lannes’ battery north of Marengo. Having been disordered by crossing the Fontanone, the grenadiers press on against the battery. As the grenadiers approach, Lannes’ guns, having saved their fire, open up and inflict 250 casualties causing half of Latterman’s grenadiers to become shaken. Still, the grenadiers press on. As the cannonade continues, the grenadiers become demoralized and withdraw back to the Fontanone. Bellegarde attaches to IR52 to lead a counterattack near la Barbotta. In front of la Barbotta, Bellegarde and IR52 supported by Weidenfeld Grenadiers attack the 22ndDB who, in turn, is supported by the 40th and 28th DB. IR52 and 22nd DB both sustain 25% casualties as the assault grinds down to a firefight. Both primary combatants are demoralized but remain in contact due to pressure from their supports. In Austrian artillery fire in front of Marengo, the 44th DB is disordered and the 96th DB sustains 25% casualties and becomes shaken.

The French 1st Dragoons and 2nd Cavalry rally while the 9th Dragoons remain demoralized. Kellerman leads the 8th Dragoons and 20 Cavalry to fall back on Cassina Bianca, covering the French left flank. Campeaux falls back to the heights south of Castel Cerioli. Napoleon reaches Cassina Grossa and the Consular Guard reaches San Guiliano. On the north approaches to Castel Ceriolo, Duvignau’s dragoons reach Villanouva and Monnier reaches la Ghilina. Victor pulls his forces back to the southeast in a line stretching from Marengo to Cassina Bianca. The 28th DB reinforces the combat in front of la Barbotta in an attempt to swing the balance in favor of the French. In counterbattery fire, the Austrian guns opposite Marengo disorder Lannes’ guns. In front of la Barbotta, 22nd DB and 28th DB supported by the 40th DB counterattack IR52 supported by the Weidenfeld Grenadiers. The French drive the Austrians back across the Fontanone. IR52 is demoralized but Bellegarde does not panic.

12:40. With Melas’ presence, O’Reilly rallies the 5th Hussars, and both Grenz brigades. The 8th Hussars improve to disorder. Melas then orders O’Reilly to take up defensive positions near la Stortiglione. Latterman Grenadiers rally while the Weidenfeld Grenadiers improve from demoralization. Gottesheim’s dragons rally and Frimont’s dragoons improve to disorder. Pilatti debouches from the Fontanone and moves to cut the Castle Ceriolo – Marengo road. Ott’s command bears down on Castel Ceriolo and prepares for the assault against the beleaguered 6th Legere. Three Austrian reserve batteries fire on Marengo causing the 102nd DB, defending Marengo, to become shaken. Weidenfeld Grenadiers/2 move through IR53 and cross the Fontanone into contact with the 28th DB. Morzin joins the grenadiers. Morzin and the grenadiers drive the 28th DB back on la Barbotta. Weidenfeld Grenadiers/1 advances into contact with the demoralized 22nd DB south of la Barbotta. Weidenfeld/1 takes significant casualties in destroying the 22nd DB. Latterman Grenadiers/2 move through Latterman Grenadiers/1 and assault Lannes’ guns deployed to the north of Marengo. As they close, Lannes’ guns fire into the advancing grenadiers causing their morale to drop to shaken while suffering additional casualties. The grenadiers press-on, forcing Lannes’ battery to limber and withdraw. IR47/1 and IR63 cross the Fontanone and hit the 24th Legere. Supported by the 43/2 DB, the 24th Legere repulses the grenadiers and they rout back across the Fontanone. IR11/1 and IR11/2, joined by St. Julian, cross the Fontanone and hit 43/1 DB. As St. Julian and IR11 approach, Victor’s guns open up with a saved fire salvo crippling the attackers. IR11/1 takes 50% casualties and is demoralized while IR11/2 takes 25% casualties and is shaken. After a quick clash, IR11 routs back towards the safety of the Fontanone but few survive. IR11/1 is destroyed. St. Julian panics and 200 men of IR11/2 lay down their arms. Austrian guns lining the banks of the Fontanone counter Victor’s battery and cause 50% casualties while disrupting the guns. With Kaim leading the assault, IR23/1 and IR23/2 cross the Fontanone and contact the 44th DB on the outskirts of Marengo. IR23 is driven back across the Fontanone with few casualties. Kaim panics and the orderly retreat becomes a rout as Kaim’s command streams back towards Pietrabuona. Banal Grenz cross the southern Fontanone and then form square in the face of Kellerman’s cavalry lurking near Cassina Bianca.

All French units rally with the exception of the 9th Dragoons which improve from demoralized to shaken. With a fear of being flanked from the north, Berthier sends orders out to Lannes and Victor. Victor is to fall back first on Spinetta and then continue to Cassina Grossa. Victor accepts these orders and passing them on to his division commanders, Gardanne and Chambarlhac. Gardanne accepts and begins an immediate withdrawal towards Spinetta while Chambarlhac delays. Lannes is ordered to fall back on Cassina Grossa. Lannes delays. Napoleon reaches Berthier and takes over command. Duvignau’s 6th Dragoons and Monnier’s battery reach Villanouva with the dragoons deploying on the heights southeast of Castel Ceriolo. Napoleon’s Consular Guard approach Cassina Grossa. The 40thDB and 28th DB counterattack Weidenfeld Grenadiers outside of la Barbotta. The Weidenfeld Grenadiers/1, although supported by IR52 and Weidenfeld Grenadiers/2 are slowly pushed back from la Barbotta. The grenadiers are shaken. In an effort to cover Lannes’ withdrawal, the Guard Cavalry charge Latterman’s Grenadiers north of Marengo. The grenadiers are overwhelmed and fall back demoralized. The grenadiers sustain heavy casualties. The cavalry continues pressing the grenadiers and they are forced back over the Fontanone to relative safety. With both attacks repulsed, Morzin panics and Weidenfeld falls back to the Fontanone.

1:20. With Kaim, St. Julian, and Morzin panicking, few Austrian brigades are able to rally. Melas moves to Pietrabuona to join Hadik and Morzin in an effort to rally their commands and issue new orders. Hadik is ordered to push back across the Fontanone and take la Barbotta. Melas sends an order to Elsnitz to move on Castel Ceriolo and turn southeast to cut the French line of communications. Elsnitz accepts and orders Nobili to move out. Pilatti’s cavalry attack the 1st Dragoons southeast of Castel Ceriolo. Kaiser Lt Dragoons hit 1st Dragoons/2 and the French are demoralized in the clash. The 1stDragoons fall back. Pilatti and the Karaczay Lt Dragoons/1 hit 1st Dragoons/1. The Austrians become disordered and break off the attack. Karaczay Lt Dragoons/2 hit the shaken 9th Dragoons. The French dragoons are destroyed.

The 1st Dragoons/2, 96th DB, and Guard Cavalry rally. Chambarlhac continues to delay his order to withdraw. Lannes falls back between la Barbotta and Marengo. Victor rides over to Chambarlhac to encourage action. Gardanne falls back to Spinetta. Monnier deploys to the northwest of Villanouva. Gottesheim’s artillery begins bombarding Castel Ceriolo, disordering the 6th Legere. Campeaux and the 1st Dragoons counterattack Karaczay Lt Dragoons inflicting heavy casualties and breaking the Austrian dragoons. Karaczay Lt Dragoons/1 are destroyed in pursuit but Campeaux is injured and carried to the rear. The 6th Dragoons charge the disordered Kaiser Lt Dragoons/1. The Austrian dragoons attempt to withdraw demoralized, but are caught by the French pursuit and destroyed. Pillati panics and half of the Kaiser Lt Dragoon/2 surrender.

2:00. Neither of Pilatti’s cavalry units rally and remain stationary south of Castel Ceriolo. All grenadier brigades rally as does IR47. Hadik orders Morzin and Bellegarde to push back across the Fontanone and take la Barbotta and Marengo. Morzin accepts the order while Bellegarde delays. The grenadiers recross the Fontanone and advance on la Barbotta and Marengo. Frimont’s Grenz occupies the recently vacated la Barbotta while Frimont’s battery unlimbers and fires into the 12th Chasseurs a Cheval. The chasseurs take heavy casualties and are disordered. In the south, Kaim gets his division moving back towards the Fontanone. Nobili positions his cavalry between the Fontanone and Castel Ceriolo in preparation for driving the French from the heights. Ott unlimbers a battery and with Gottesheim’s artillery pounds the 6th Legere in Castel Ceriolo while the remainder of his column skirts the town to the north.

All French units rally. Napoleon turns to Murat and orders Murat to take Campeaux’s troops and maneuver to the heights between Villanouva and Spinetta and defend. Lannes continues to fall back slowly nearing Spinetta and forming up on the right flank of Gardanne. Chambarlhac finally gets his division moving back towards Spinetta. Monnier falls back to Villanouva. The 6th Legere abandons Castel Ceriolo and attempts to join Monnier.

Situation at 2pm
2:40. All grenadiers shake out into line after having crossed the Fontanone. IR52 and IR63 rally. Bellegarde crosses the Fontanone. Ott advances on Villanouva. Climbing the hill south of Castel Ceriolo, Gottesheim’s dragoons catch the 6th Leger as it vacates the town. Surprised, the 6th Legere withdraws shaken but then is caught again as the dragoons continue on. The 6th Legere is scattered taking heavy casualties. Nobili’s 9th Lt Dragoons hit the disordered 6th Dragoons while the remainder of the command occupies the ground between Castel Ceriolo and la Barbotta. Overwhelmed in the clash, the 6th Dragoons are scattered. Duvignau panics and flees the field, taking the remnants of the 12th Chasseurs a Cheval. Lannes remains calm as Duvignau’s command flees.

Monnier sets up a defensive position anchored on Villanouva. The 72nd DB forms square in face of an Austrian cavalry threat. The Consular Guard moves up to support the Guard battery on the heights. Victor wheels his line back to the east. As Victor wheels back, Kellerman falls back to cover Victor’s left flank. The Guard Grenadier Chasseurs a Cheval move up to cover the gap between Lannes and the Consular Guard. Murat launches a cavalry attack on the heights in an attempt to relieve pressure on Monnier using the 1st and 8th Dragoons. Murat and the 8th Dragoons are countercharged by the 3rd Lt Dragoons. As the Austrians close, Napoleon’s artillery disorders the dragoons. After the clash, both combatants break off and withdraw. Murat and the 8th Dragoons fall back to protect the Consular Guard. The 1st Dragoons hit the 9th and 10th Lt Dragoons. In the contact, the 1st Dragoons/1 triumph over the 9th Dragoons/1 destroying it while the 1st Dragoons/2 is repulsed by the 9th Dragoons/2. The French fall back to the Consular Guard.

3:20. Ott attaches to Gottesheim’s cavalry to help rally. Gottesheim improve to shaken. All Austrian infantry rally. The 9th and 3rd Lt Dragoons rally. The 3rd Lt Dragoons/2 and 9th Lt Dragoons/2 attack the disordered 1st Dragoons/1 before it can regroup from its prior attack. The 1st Dragoons are demoralized and destroyed in pursuit. Seeing the destruction of the 1st Dragoons, the 8thDragoons panic retreating back towards Cassina Grossa. Ott advances on Villanouva and unlimbers two batteries to begin softening Monnier’s defenses. Frimont’s cavalry and Pilatti’s two remaining cavalry charge the Guard cavalry. The Guard cavalry repulses the attack and the Austrians break off. Morzin and Bellegarde breakout from the la Barbotta – Marengo line and advance on Lannes northeast of Spinetta. With the Marengo bridge undefended, the Austrian reserve batteries pour over the bridge as Kaim advances cautiously on Victor. O’Reilly advances to cover Kaim’s right flank. Nimbsch arrives and begins crossing the Bormida. Monnier’s battery fires into Gottesheim’s artillery damaging the guns and disrupting the crew. Chambarlhac’s damaged battery fires into IR23/1disordering it and inflicting 250 casualties. Lannes guns disrupt Latterman Grenadiers/2 causing 250 casualties. In counterbattery, one of the Austrian reserve batteries damages and disorders Lannes battery.

Desaix arrives from the south and lead elements of Boudet’s division pass through St Guiliano with orders to support Monnier. The 70th DB and Lannes’ battery rally. In continuing counterbattery fire, Lannes’ battery damages an Austrian reserve battery near Marengo. Victor continues to slowly give ground to the south of Spinetta. Lannes counterattacks the grenadiers advancing on Spinetta. As the French attack, a reserve battery opens up disordering the 102nd DB. The 102nd DB supported by the 101st DB reaches the much reduced, Latterman Grenadiers/2 but is repulsed. The 40th DB and 28th DB then attack the Weidenfeld Grenadiers and they, in turn, are repulsed. Murat rides back to rally the 8th Dragoons while the Guard cavalry fall back to protect the guard battery. Berthier joins the Guard cavalry. The Austrian reserve battery along with Gottesheim’s battery continue pounding the 70th DB outside of Villanouva. The 70th DB becomes shaken and takes heavy casualties.

4:00. All Austrians rally with the exception of IR63 and Gottesheim’s cavalry. Nobili advances into the gap between the Consular Guard and Villanouva. Nobili’s 3rd Lt Dragoons attack Napoleon’s battery in order to screen the other attacks from artillery fire. The 3rd Lt Dragoons are destroyed by canister as they bear down on the battery. Near Villanouva, the 70th DB continues to be pounded by two Austrian batteries. The 70th DB is demoralized and reduced to 25% strength. Kaim advances on Victor. Two reserve batteries unlimber in front of Marengo and fire into Spinetta to no effect. Ott launches an attack on Monnier at Villanouva. The grenadiers attack Lannes east of Marengo. Morzin and Latterman Grenadiers/1 supported by IR52 attack the disordered 40th DB. The 40th DB is demoralized and routs with 250 Frenchmen surrendering. Weidenfeld Grenadiers assault the shaken 28th DB. The 28th DB is demoralized in the attack and retreats taking 500 casualties. Pilatti with support from Frimont hits the Guard cavalry east of la Barbotta. In the charge, the Guard cavalry are disordered and withdraw. The victorious Austrian cavalry break past the guard and hit the retreating 40th DB and 28th DB. Both the 28th DB and 40th DB are ridden down, thus destroying Lannes’ command. In the chaos of the Austrian break through, Napoleon is injured and carried from the field.

Hearing of Napoleon’s fall, Monnier and Boudet panic and retreat to the southeast. Thus, ended the Battle of Marengo.

Battlefield Casualties (Killed, wounded, missing, captured):
French casualties: 5,100 infantry; 1,100 cavalry; and 2 damaged batteries; Campeaux and Napoleon wounded
Austrian casualties: 7,500 infantry; 1,100 cavalry; and 2 damaged batteries.

Analysis:
The Fontanone provided a formidable obstacle for the Austrian attacks. In the south, multiple attacks across this feature were repeatedly repulsed. In the north, the Fontanone channelled Ott's advance and limited it to a narrow frontage. After Kaim and St. Julian's first failures, the Austrians would have been better served to bring up the reserve batteries to soften up the French positions. Only after the French were disordered should Melas have relaunched his attacks. The combination of Victor and Kellerman kept O'Reilly bottled up near la Stortiglione with little chance of breaking out into the plain. This tactic may have hurt the French, however. Kellerman's heavy cavalry could have been useful in the center against the numerically superior Austrian cavalry. For the deployments near la Barbotta, Lannes' decision to send the 6th Legere north to Castel Ceriolo was costly. Without Monnier in position to either garrison Castel Ceriolo or support the 6th Legere against overwhelming odds, the redeployment of the 6th Legere to the north proved futile. Once Castel Ceriolo fell and the Austrian cavalry deployed on the plain south of the town, Victor and Lannes' positions were untenable. 


Marengo is an interesting battle and one that I may set up again for a replay with more photos of the action.  Besides, the 18mm Napoleonics have been in the boxes for far too long!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SAW U.S. Infantry in 28mm

These lads are the first U.S. contingents I have painted for the Spanish-American War (SAW) project.  When the Spanish infantry underwent the brush so many years ago, I remember thinking that these were some of the best 28mm sculpts that Old Glory produced.  Well!  The Old Glory Americans may be even better than the Spanish.  Originally, I fielded Spanish to oppose a friend's Old Glory Americans.  He had an extreme interest and fascination with the Spanish-American War from the American perspective.  Perhaps there was a familial link in there somewhere?  To foster that interest, I painted Spanish.  I could also mention that my 1/1100 Houston's Spanish-American War naval collection originated during this time period too but that is another story.  I moved and contact and interest waned.

Then, Jake and I discussed a Spanish-American War project led off by a replay of the naval Battle of Santiago Bay.  I fielded a few more Spanish while Jake painted Americans.  We managed a few games in this project before duty called and Jake was deployed for one of several tours of duty. 

Back to figures!  The Old Glory Americans are even better sculpted than the Spanish.  Poses are dynamic and the faces have much character.  As seen, the standard bearer still awaits his Stars and Stripes.  Great figures and a real pleasure to paint.  Several bags in this range lounge in The Lead Pile and I would enjoy getting them into a more frequent rotation in the painting queue.




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

25mm Scruby Mexicans

Having never painted any of the Scruby figures, I dipped my toe into the Old School waters and ordered two dozen figures from HistoriFig.com to give them a try.  Ordered were enough figures to field two, 12 figure Mexican battalions.  The figures arrived quickly and figure clean-up was minimal.  The first thing I noticed was that detail found on more modern figures is lacking or very slight on the Scruby figures.  Some detail will have to be painted on.
Scruby 10th Line Regiment
I have been enjoying Regimental Fire and Fury games using a Mexican-American War variant at Terry's on a semi-regular basis.  Well, he holds the games with great regularity.  It is I who attend on a "semi" regular basis.

As I have noted before, Terry uses his old, 25mm (or one inch) Scruby collection from the mid 1970s for his Mexican-American War gaming.  His collection is painted in what I would classify as an Old School, Toy Soldier style as seen in the photo below.  
Scruby figures from Mexican-American War line
Notice in the photo above that Terry fields commanders in a larger size than the one inch, Scubys.  That way, the "Big Men" can immediately be identified on the field of battle.
At our last game, I mentioned that I picked up a few Scrubys and was entertaining the notion of painting up a couple battalions of Mexicans.  After looking through his Mexican-American War books, Terry picked out two Mexican battalions that he has yet to field.  So, these figures will muster out as the San Blas militia and the 10th Line.

The first battalion off the painting desk is the 10th Line Regiment.  The 10th wore a dark blue jacket with purple facings.  In the photos below, the dark blue and purple are very similar so no dynamic contrast is present.  The figures remain unbased in order to confirm Terry's basing scheme.  A matt finish was applied as a top coat rather than my usual Dullcote finish.  The matt finish produces a sheen and provides an Old School feel, doesn't it?

The second battalion, San Blas, is seeing action on the painting desk.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

28mm Chasseurs a Cheval

With the outside temperatures tickling 100 F, spending time at the painting desk in the coolness of the basement seemed the prudent choice.  One of the products of that time employed at the painting desk are eight Front Rank cavalry.  Having recently held a 28mm Napoleonics game, the motivation to follow up the game with an addition to the project was heightened.  The cavalry mustering off the painting desk represent two squadrons of the 13th Chasseurs a Cheval.  The burnt orange of the 13th's facing color is a pleasing contrast against the dark green of the uniform. 




A number of other units are seeing action on the painting desk including 25mm Mexican-American War Mexicans, 25mm SAW US regulars, 18mm SYW Prussians, and a trio of 15mm Sardinian artillery limbers for the 1859 project.

What motivated the artillery limbers to jump into the painting queue?  QRF Models are offering a 20% discount of Freikorps 15s.  Thinking I could use additional artillery limbers for the project, I dug through The Lead Pile to see what remained.  Finding three Sardinian limbers, I pulled these from inventory and set them aside for primering.  Good idea to paint what remains before new models arrive, right?  Well, I thought so and into the painting queue they go.    

Friday, July 11, 2014

Action at Arroyo con Pollo - BatRep


KGL hussars ready for action
With the scenario background laid out in an earlier post (Scenario Arroyo con Pollo), on to the battle report of the action.  In this fight Kevin and his brother, Dylan, commanded the French while I took up responsibilities for the British.
With flanks protected by the embankments,
British deploy across the valley
KGL lights garrison one of the farms guarding the defile
while the KGL lights skirmish with the approaching French.
French skirmishers swarm around the outpost
French skirmisher from the grenadier battalion takes aim
The French advance is quite orderly and precise
 with lead battalions in line and supports in assault column.
Outnumbered, the KGL skirmishers abandon
the farm to the French
and take up positions in the farm house to the rear.
The parent KGL battalion falls back from the farm
and slowly gives ground back to the main defensive line.
Sweeping view of battle as French advance upon the farms,
concentrating their attacks on the British left.

Seeing the French concentration on the left,  British advance
from the relative safety of the defile into the fields on the right.
Hussars position themselves for counterattacks against the
French among the buildings.
French take the second farm without much resistance from
the KGL and begin working their way along the ridge line.
French advance continues through the farms
as French guns are brought up.
French grenadiers prepare for action.
French cavalry prepare for action.
Countering British advances on the British right,
French redeploy Taupin's brigade to the opposite bank of the arroyo.
Skirmishing erupts from the field as French columns close with
the lead KGL battalion.
Faced with overwhelming odds, KGL skirmisher calls for reinforcements.
Four French battalions on one, this will not be fun!
French press on into the field to close with the KGL.
Rather than sending three battalions in against the lone KGL foot,
Taupin receives a directive to pin and flank.
Relieved to be facing only one opponent, the KGL foot remain steady
firing two volleys into the French.  Both volleys are ineffective.
Shaken by their failure to stop the French, the KGL are pushed out
of the field in the assault.
Spencer joins the KGL to stiffen their resolve.

Note in the background that all French cavalry have been
 redeployed to support Taupin. 
French take cover from artillery fire behind the farm walls.
Spencer spends more time than he would like under fire
in an attempt to rally the KGL.
To protect their KGL foot brethren, KGL hussars cover the right of the infantry.
French launch a charge with four squadrons against two.
In the melee, the hussars are scattered and the British right is in danger.
British right is exposed 
while 5th KGL advances to cover the
7th KGL as it attempts to rally.
With both farms cleared of KGL, French advance on British
defensive positions at the mouth of the defile.

To relieve pressure on the right, British attack on the left,
 driving back one French battalion beyond the farm.
British right attempts a retrograde in the face of both
cavalry and infantry.
French musketry and artillery fire-volume increases
 and the KGL begin to waiver.
With enemy cavalry on the flank, the 7th KGL forms square.
Spencer points out that French cavalry are upon the flank.
KGL foot attempt to stand firm against increasing pressure.

French skirmishers soften up the line
before sending in the Swiss.
The 5th KGL recoils, uncovering the gun
which immediately becomes a target of French cavalry.
Anticipating the danger, the gun limbers and heads into 
the cover of the defile.
With the British right uncovered and nothing to stop the
marauding French cavalry, the contest ends. 
Congratulations to the victorious French but what a dismal outing for the British!  As the British CinC, I made a number of blunders, only a few of which I will account.

Edit 12JUL2014: The British disaster was even worse than first recounted.  Looking at the game table, I saw that the British overall commander, General Spencer, was in the dead pile.  That triggered a memory forgotten in the heat of battle.  What happened to Spencer?  While attached to the 7th KGL in square, the infantry square came under heavy French artillery bombardment.  Spencer suffered a horrible death causing his entire command to drop 1 CE for the remainder of the game.  Spencer's death, the CE drop of the whole force, and the French cavalry success in breaching the defile forced the British to concede the game.    

First, the British would have been better served to remain within the confines of the defile and let the French come to them.  As the deployable space contracted, the French attackers would have been forced to do the same.  Overwhelming odds against any one British unit would have been difficult if not impossible.  The tactics at Agincourt were too long in the past to recall, I suppose.

Second, British firepower was abysmal throughout the game.  Even with their higher Combat Effectiveness and larger frontage, none of the British infantry could hit the side of the proverbial barn.  Even the French were astonished!

For the French, they directed a well-made assault using combined arms tactics to soften and then destroy two foot battalions.  French skirmishers were very effective at driving the KGL lights out of their defenses on the left and weakening the KGL foot on the right.

Well done, guys!

With my poor showing, I will likely reset and try the scenario again to test my thoughts above.  Until next time.
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