Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Imperial Guard Artillery

Although I'd finished off the French Imperial Guard recently, when I bought the figures I'd also got myself a set of heavy 12lber cannons, to use as either a battery or attached artillery. These didn't take long at all to paint, with only about 31 figures on the base, so I just sat down and cranked them out one afternoon.

The six guns are modelled nicely and represent Napoleon's 'Beautiful Daughters', his pride and joy and the heavy battery at Waterloo whose bombardment started the battle.

The heavy artillery in Blücher get certain bonuses for firing at long range, so are pretty good for softening up advancing infantry.

As mentioned, I also made a couple of attached artillery tokens from the spare guns and crew. This will slot on a brigade base during a game.

This then brings the total of 6mm figures now painted to: 3,335!

I have been busy on other projects as well, as I got Rommel by Sam Mustafa in the post recently, I decided to extend my Square Bashing board to be able to try it out. The two games are based on a 6" grid, so I repainted the underside of my second 4 foot by 3 foot board with Burnt Umber, then added flock in 6" squares to double the board size for Rommel.

I've not had a chance to try the rules out yet, but reading them gives me confidence they will be an interesting take on the usual WW2 rule sets. Time will tell!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Trois Bras; A Blücher AAR

Last weekend Ninjasaurus Rex called over for a game of Blücher. I had finished off the French Imperial Guard and was looking to try them out in a game, along with everything else I have been painting for the past two years... 

I set up the board as a French attack that was centred on capturing a ridge with a small village on top. The forces were:

I & II Corps
Imperial Guard Corps

I & II Corps
Brunswick Corps

The points hovered around 300pts per side, so we would be rolling 3 MO dice and the army break point was nine brigades for both sides. Given the amount of bases on the table, we didn't have much space to set up: 

In the opening moves I revealed my right flank as the I Corps and they began moving forward. As they did they came under fire from British artillery on the objective ridge line.

As my spread out Corps advanced in lines the British left flank moved out to meet them led by their cavalry and the Brunswicks.

By this time, I began pushing forward the left flank of II Corps and the Guard in the centre of the field.

Meanwhile on the right, a small cavalry clash was desultory, but my infantry were still coming under fire from the artillery.

The French cavalry of I Corps were successful in chasing off the Brunswick cavalry as his infantry tried to restore order to their ranks.

Slowly the Guard moved towards the rising ground and some British units moved forward in order to meet them.

The fighting on the fields on the right flank was not proving decisive for either side, just yet...

As the British in the centre nosed out of the safety of the ridge, I sent forward the Guard cavalry to threaten their flanks.

Meanwhile, the slow grinding attrition on the right flank was taking its toll on my infantry, who had failed to break through the Brunswicks.

In an unprecedented move British infantry attacked the Guard cavalry, sending them flying!

A third of the way through the game and although we had clashes between the Imperial Guard and the British Guard infantry nothing had been decided!

I gathered the Guard together, ready for another frontal attack on the defending British Guards.

The I Corps on the right flank was fighting its way through the Brunswick defenders, finally, making some headway.

But the forward unit was smashed in the flank by British cavalry.

Meanwhile, the Guard piled forward into the British Guard.

Pushing them back to the ridge line!

This allowed me to send forward more units to continue the success!

Then we were joined by Wellington's Cat.

I knew I had to get moving to win the game, so I started moving the II Corps through the woods on my left flank. This was slow progress, but I wanted the fresh troops up front to continue pushing against the British line from the flank.

The attrition on the right flank was taking its toll on the British infantry and I still had plenty of fresh Brigades, just waiting for the right time.

In the centre of the field the fighting was intense.

Including the destruction of the Imperial Guard Chasseurs under a combined attack from British and Dutch infantry!

The victory was not long in celebration though as British brigades also broke.

The British lost their final brigade, breaking the army morale and ending the game in a French victory, but only just! Had I lost a couple more brigades the result would have been very different.

On the French right flank serious damage had been done to the British defenders, but their line was still relatively intact.

It was a fantastic game of Blücher and given the amount of figures on the table it took us two days to conclude (we were chatting a lot, so the game could have been a lot quicker...). But it was great to be able to get about 3,000 figures on the table and prove to myself that the last two years worth of work is worth it! Mind you, I still have a few more British and French Corps to finish before I even begin with the Prussians!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Final Unit and the Full Imperial Guard Corps

The last brigade I needed finish for the Imperial Guard was the Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale and the Dragons de la Garde impériale.The heavy cavalry!

As befitting their heavy cavalry status, this is an Overstrength unit which also has the shock trait. On top of that they have 8 Elan! These are like sledgehammers to crack a nut!

As the unit is Overstrength I added the extra squadron of Grenadiers so it looks overstrength and the unit is a nice mix of blue and green. During their time at Waterloo, both the Grenadiers and Dragoons were involved with Ney's cavalry charges against the British squares.

That finishes the Imperial Guard and brings my total 6mm figures painted to 3,304. And the following pictures are of the entire Guard, I have nothing more to say other than; enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Lancers of the Guard

Quickly following on the heels (or hooves) of the Garde Chasseurs à Cheval comes the next Imperial Guard cavalry unit, the 1st and 2nd Régiment de Chevau-Légère Garde Lanciers. This was a mixed unit of French, Dutch, and Polish Lancers and included the famous 'red Lancers'. 

Also included in the brigade are the Polish Lancers. When I was a kid, I collected the Esci 1/72nd scale figures of the Napoleonic wars, including a couple of boxes of their Polish Lancers. So it has been nice to complete the circle, by being able to paint the unit again, even if they are a quarter of the size...

This is a lovely little unit, very colourful and easy to paint! It's also pretty heavy hitting with the Elan of 8!

The lancers took part in the charges against the British positions during the Battle of Waterloo and also covered the subsequent retreat as a rear-guard.

There's only one more Brigade of the Guard to finish, but that's for another post.

Total 6mm figures painted: 3,272.

In the meantime, another Sam Mustafa ruleset dropped through my door the other day:

I've only had a chance to read through it once, but it looks like an interesting alternative to Rapid Fire! for us. The game is based on 1km grid squares (translated as 6 inches, no one has a board that big!) and is operational level gaming. I think it may be too abstract for many WW2 gamers, but I'm looking forward to trying it out. 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Garde Chasseurs à Cheval in 6mm

I have been up in Scotland for the past week working on an excavation of some First World War trenches alongside veterans suffering from PTSD and other injuries. There is some information n the Facebook page of Operation Nightingale and Breaking Ground Heritage, both of whom are involved with the work. Click on the names to see more about the project (and give them both a 'like'!).

In between that time, I managed to complete the first Imperial Guard cavalry base, namely the 1st Brigade Régiment de Vieille Garde Chasseurs à Cheval. 

The Chasseurs were commanded by Baron François Lallemand, who's brother Henri also fought at Waterloo, in command of the Guard artillery. After the battle, François tried to follow Napoleon to St Helena, but was imprisoned on Malta for two months before escaping to America and settling in Texas for a while. By 1830 the Bourbons had been overthrown and he was able to travel back to France where he joined the Army General Staff until his death in 1839. This, despite having been sentenced to death after Waterloo!

The Chasseurs really should also have 26 Mamelukes amongst their number, but at the scale I am doing them this equates to about half a figure, so I left them off (that and I couldn't source any Mameluke cavalry in 6mm...).

 Another step closer to completing the Guard (and maybe having a game one day...).

Total 6mm figures painted: 3,246

So thanks for reading!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

2nd Brigade, Young Guard in 6mm

In a week that has seen quite an upheaval in my personal life,ie, my wife moving to Vienna for a year long job at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, I have been slowly working on the Imperial Guard. The latest being the 2nd Brigade commanded by General de Brigade Baron Nicolas-Philippe Guye. It was made up of the 3rd Tirailleur Regiment and the 3rd Voltigeur Regiment.

In Blücher terms, this is an Understrength unit, so therefore it only has three battalions as an aide-memoire.

Despite being Understrength it still has an Elan of 7 and is Steady and also causes Shock, meaning it is one of the most powerful Understrength units on the table!

As with my other Imperial Guard infantry these are in attack columns.

As I said, I will have a bit more time to paint more tiny little men, so hopefully the Imperial Guard won't be long off finished, with only three cavalry brigades to paint now!
Total 6mm figures painted: 3,220
Thanks for reading!
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