28 March, 2011

Battle of Sacile - Scenario

In April 1809, Archduke John invaded north-eastern Italy in conjunction with the Austrian advance into Germany. On 15 April at Pordenone, the Austrian advance guard routed the French rear guard, inflicting heavy losses. Undeterred by this setback and believing he enjoyed a numerical superiority over his opponents, Eugène attacked the Austrians east of Sacile the following day. Though the two sides were equal in numbers of foot soldiers, the Austrians possessed a two-to-one advantage in cavalry.

Here's the full C&C: Napoleonics scenario

Click to view a larger version

Battle Notes

Austrian Army Commander: Archduke John of Austria
5 Command Cards

French Army Commander: Eugène de Beauharnais
5 Command Cards
Move First


6 Victory Banners

Special Rules

The Austrians gain one victory banner for holding the bridge at Sacile.
The French gain one victory banner for holding the bridge at Fontana Fredda

The Map

The Austrians ‘Foot Artillery’ units actually represent Guard Artillery The ’Portuguese’ units represent Italian Allies The water course on the French right is fordable for its entire length.

Some additional comments:

I couldn't figure out how to place labels on the map.
Fontana Freda is the town occupied by an Austrian Light infantry unit in the centre of the map. The bridge is just beside it.
Sacile is the town at the bottom of the map, the French Line Infantry with the general are occupying the hex with the bridge.
The Artillery on the Austrian left is occupying another bridge.

I don't think there are this many bridges in the hex mix, but marking two of them with relevant VP markers should suffice.

Obviously I've had to use the British as Austrians and the Portuguese as Italians.

While both Archduke John and Eugene were notoriously poor generals, I reckoned that playing this with a hand of four cards would've been torturous...

26 March, 2011

Neither Guns nor Prisoners

In preparation for playing the 1809 campaign, and specifically for the Sacile scenario, I had to come up with some national rulings for the Austrians.

The 1809 Campaign was only a marginal victory for Napoleon, at least militarily. Austrian troops acquitted themselves creditably on the fields of Aspern-Essling and Wagram, especially given their performance only four years previously. Aspern-Essling was the first time in over a decade that Napoleon had tasted defeat.

General opinion of the Austrians throughout the Napoleonic period is quite ppoor, but Napoleon is more more appreciative of their strengths than the average wargamer.

Following Wagram, Napoleon said "War was never like this, neither guns nor prisoners. This day will have no result." The French suffered more casualties at Wagram than the Austrians did.

On his return to Paris, one of Napoleon's minister was contemptuous of the Austrians, but Napoleon's rebuke: "It is evident that you were not at Wagram" spoke of his new-found regard for them.

The Austrian Army
A command card cannot be played directly from hand. It must be placed in preparation for the next turn. Scout, Counter-Attack and First-Strike cards are exceptions; they can be played as normal. [1]

Fusiliers (Line Infantry)
4 Stands
Move 1 and battle
A line infantry unit which did not move will have 1 additional battle die in ranged combat. [2]

Grenzers (Light Infantry)
4 Stands
Move 1 and battle or Move 2
Unlike most light infantry, Grenzer units gain no bonus to ranged combat. [3]

as normal Rifle Light Infanty

as normal Militia Infantry

All cavalry units have 4 Stands [4]

Rules Explanations:
1. Austrian command was still stymied by the lack of initiative shown by officers. In many ways it was still stuck in the mid-to-late 18th century.

2. Austrian Brigades had light (3 or 4-pound) batteries attached. Before the reforms arising out of the debacle of 1805 these seem to have been used in a manner resembling mid-18th century practice. While the move was to have fewer calibres used in a more modern way, in 1809 the artillery arm was still in transition.
Coupled with the fact that the Austrian army was better in defensive duties, both operationally and tactically.

3. Grenzers were a hybrid of line and light infantry, and the practice may have been suitable for frontier warfare, but in battle it was probably the worst of both worlds.

4. Austrian cavalry was certainly a match for its French counterparts, though it may not have been used en masse in as effective a way as their opponents.

I'll have to be somewhat harsher if I do Austerlitz and the 1805 campaign, but these seemed to work well the other night.

I will post the Battle of Sacile scenario in a couple of days. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera the other night, I took some poor pictures on my phone so I may do a re-staging of it...

21 March, 2011

The French Army crosses the Danube

The French Army has gathered to cross the Danube

The left wing controls a hillside

Left Wing controls hillside

THe centre is deployed for battle

Centre deployed for battle

The Grand Battery in a commanding position

Grand Battery

Lancers behind ready to be let loose


Infantry Division marching through

Infantry Division marching through

Light Infantry in vineyards

Light Infantry in vineyards

The right wing snakes around fields

Right wing snakes around fields

A firing line readies itself

Firing Line

An infantry column

Infantry Column

The Guard stand ready

The Guard

The entire French Army

French Army

Putting finishing touches to Sacile, so we should see these guys in action over the next few weeks...

17 March, 2011

The Battle of Maida

Before my first game of Force-on-Force at Leprecon I played Kinch's Command & Colours: Napoleonics game.

The armies clash at Maida

Clash at Maida

British line in distance awaits the French advance

British line in distance

French Lights advance through the woods on their left flank. This advance does not go well - one of them has left vital equipment back in their baggage and the other is quickly overwhelmed by fire and pushed back

French Lights advance through woods

The French line is bombarded by the British guns, to some effect, though it is not decisive

French line bombarded by British guns

British Rifles feel the heat of concerted French efforts on the left - in the distance you can see tha tthe French are continuing their advance in the centre

British Rifles feel the heat

British guns ready grapeshot for the French are closing quickly, having driven off another British battalion

British guns ready grapeshot

British square repulses French light cavalry, but the nearby French infantry takes advantage of this manoeuvre to pour fire into their ranks, wiping out the battalion and killing Colonel Cole

British square repulses French light cavalry

At much the same time at this serious reverse occurs for the British another battalion in the centre is caught by a double column attack and smashed. Colonel Oswald dies in the rout

British caught by double column

The British have been driven from the field, in a most decisive manner!

Although the score was 6-2 there were some seriously depleted French units (specifically on the left, where several were withdrawn)

Thankfully there was little need for these French casualty markers...

French Casualties

14 March, 2011

Lead Painters' League Kicks Off

Season 5 of the Lead Painters League has just kicked off over on the Lead Adventure Forum

If you're not familiar with it get yourself over there to see some amazing eye candy (as well as people getting rid of their lead mountains at a tremendous rate!)

Here's how it works
In summary, paint up a team of miniatures, you're randomly paired off with another contestant, everyone votes for their favourite in the pairing and then onto the next round. There are ten rounds after which a league table of sorts has been established. There are bonus points for matching themes in three of the rounds. This will help explain the surfeit of civilians in round 1.

I did intend to enter (I even sketched out what I was going to do over the 10 rounds) but couldn't quite get my ducks in a row.

I'd urge you to join up, take a good look and vote.

I won't mention any of my favourites, but I will draw attention to a few of the match-ups I think are particularly close in quality

Hapless Hostage vs European Traders

King in Yellow vs Civilians

Nefarious Docks vs Delancy Street

Good luck to all involved!

13 March, 2011

GW Pertinent

GW  Pertinent is running a competition over here

Of course that Old School Dark Angels Captain looks like the normal one to me - but that just shows you how long I've been out of the loop in 40K!
The main point for me is that every blogger needs a bit of feedback (even if they protest and say they enjoy blogging for themselves) and to become a living blog with a real voice some interaction with their audience is necessary.

Here are my three picks:


There's some model customisation on these new Space Hulk Terminators, but the really interesting part is the bases. Using bits and pieces from just about anything (I suspect spare bits off sprues and vehicle kits - probably even the sprues themselves!

Anyway this just shows that with a bit of imagination you can really add some nice detail to models - really looking forward to seeing how they paint up and suit the boards themselves

Travel Hulk

I must admit a certain mix of nostalgia/angst at seeing this. I mean I thought of this years ago! I even coined the phrase "Travel Hulk".

Great to see someone finally implemented the dream though - really nice painted jobs and I like the blips.

Post-Apocalypse Konflikt
This setup from Konflikt Terrain is just fantastic - definitely going to look him up. It'd suit any kind of post-apocalyptic or even old industrial setting.

Those posters and such are great flavour for 40K, especially that "Invictus! The Bolter and Chainsword" one.

Anyway, I hope you click through to some of these links, some really nice stuff over there.

11 March, 2011

Black Day at Garmsir - Campaign Scenarios

A British mission to snatch a Person-of-Interest in Garmsir seems to be going to plan. But Murphy’s Law applies in spades as everything which can go wrong, does go wrong.
A ‘Perfect Storm’ of battlefield friction hits the operation: a downed chopper, a well-staged ambush of a column at a choke-point and higher-than-expected resistance makes this a very black day in Garmsir.

Person of Interest
8 Turns

Intelligence assets have identified a senior Al-Qaeda figure hiding out in Garmsir. A cordon has been thrown around the area, and a platoon of Royal Marines has been sent in to capture the person-of-interest.

Capture the Person of Interest.

Destroy the British invaders and ensure that your leader escapes their cowardly attacks.

A high density urban area bordered by poppy fields and overlooked by a broken ridgeline.

Deploy the British on a line from A to B,
Deploy the Taliban Senior Leader in any of the buildings at X.
Deploy the Technical at Y and the remaining units on the Hotspots, with not more than one unit at any location.


British forces are well-supplied and have high confidence (TQ D8 / Morale D10)

Platoon HQ (Lieutenant, Sergeant, Medic)
2x Infantry Section of two four-man fire teams (2x SA80s, 1x Minimi, 1xSA80 wUGL)
1x GPMG Weapons Team (1xGPMG, 1xSA80)
1x Dog Team (1xSA80, 1xAlsatian)


All Taliban forces are Locals. They have normal supply and have high confidence (TQ D6 Morale D8)

1 Senior Leader & Bodyguard (D8/D12)
4 Groups of 9 (Leader, 1xRPG, 1 RPK. 6XAKs)
1 Technical (.50cal) with 3 crew
1 DShK Team (1 DShK, 2xAKs)

Insurgency level is 4 and a D6 roll must be made lower than 4 to bring forces on to the table. If successful, the Taliban player rolls 2d6 and consults the Reinforcement Table.

Roll 2D6
2 1d6 (AKs) + 1 (RPK)
3 1d3 (AKs) + 1 (RPG)
4 1d6 (AKs) & Roll Again
5 1d3 (AKs) + 1 (RPG)
6 1d6+2 (AKs)
7 1d6 (AKs) +Leader + 1 (RPK)
8 1d6+2 (AKs)
9 1d6 (AKs) & Roll Again
10 1d6 (AKs) + 1 (RPK)
11 1d6 (AKs) +Leader + 1 (RPG)
12 2d6 (AKs)

Fog of War cards are drawn as normal after Reaction Tests.

No Assets.


Taliban units are not subject to Shrinkage

The Senior Taliban Leader has made a plan for his Extraction and will stick to it. He will only leave his building when the Technical arrives or when the British have made contact with him and his bodyguard. If the Technical is taken out he can make a quality check to move out.

The hotspots link Tunnels which run underneath Garmsir. A Taliban unit may spend its entire activation moving from one hotspot to another.

Dog Teams can automatically detect IEDs or hidden units within 8”.
They prevent out-of-contact movement or the use of any hotspot inside that radius also.
They add +1 to checks to disperse civilian mobs.

Taliban Victory – Increase Taliban morale by 1 die type in ‘Charlie Foxtrot’ and ‘Ambush Alley’
British Victory – Reduce Taliban insurgency level by 1 in ‘Charlie Foxtrot’


Each Taliban Leader killed or captured +1
Taliban Senior Leader captured +10
Taliban Senior Leader killed +5
No British KIAs +3
No British Seriously Wounded +2

Each British soldier captured +5
Each British soldier killed +3
Each British soldier seriously wounded +1
Taliban Senior Leader escapes +10

All four scenarios of the campaign are available here

10 March, 2011


With the battle for Garmsir lost, Taliban forces are attempting to escape the cordon which ISAF have set up.

A British platoon close in, coming across the fields towards the town wall. The large Taliban group in the marketplace has been joined by a heavy machine gun, and it is on this group that most of the British fire is concentrated on

British close in

Fire exchanged as British advance through the poppy fields. A dust storm kicks up reducing any British advantage in range, especially for the sniper.

Fire exchanged as British advance through Poppy Fields

This outlying Taliban group are much depleted by the time the British fireteam reaches the wall

Taliban are much depleted

British gain high ground overlooking trees. Though at this stage the GPMG team and its supporting fireteam can't draw a bead on the Taliban inside the orchard.

British gain high ground overlooking trees

As that group withdraws (exit stage left as it were) the WMIK burns rubber, hurtling through the gate and around the corner. It trains its gun on the Taliban, but they beat it to the punch.

WMIK burns rubber

One crewmember is killed and the rest bail out as the land rover is immobilised. As they rush for cover across the street a new group pops up on the compound rooftop and catches them in open ground. They are now at the mercy of whatever Taliban chooses to advance, as there are no nearby British units

WMIK shot to pieces

British clear house, while one of the team is downed on the way in the rest breach the house, killing all remaining Taliban along with their leader (that loudhailer is definitely not a luck thing to carry!)

British clear house

Having had two successful close assaults (a fireteam against 3 or 4 Taliban each time) and fearing that the large remaining Taliban unit is about to get clean away an ill-considered bayonet charge occurs. The four unfortunates are gunned down by the Taliban as they reach the archway

Ill-Considered Bayonet Charge

With three of their number advancing to engage the sniper team around the corner, the other four execute the wounded marines. [Worryingly for the British player, we are now running out of casualty figures]

Running out of Casualty Counters

That group continues to take punishment from the lone GPMG gunner in the trees, but they stand firm and finish him off - there are but two Taliban left in this group now. The sniper team has advanced so far that its now at point blank range. All in an attempt to protect their wounded comrades

Sniper team tries to protect wounded comrades

Meanwhile the rest of the British force is clearing hotspots and remaining Taliban holdouts, as well as rescuing the WMIK crew. These civilians though fled into the compound when the WMIK arrived outside in a hail of fire.

Clearing Hotspots

So there we have it. I think a draw overall, or maybe a marginal victory for the Taliban - they lost their esteemed leader, but inflicted some serious casualties on the British (Won 2, Lost 2 over the weekend). I had a blast, getting players for each of my slots easily enough, and playing with some people who've been threatening for ages.

[You may notice I used the same layout as in the previous scenario - that was planned, given the frenetic pace I had to do set-ups at Gaelcon, I decided well in advance to give myself a bit of an easy time on Sunday afternoon]

I'll be posting a pdf of the campaign (nothing as complex as Wilson's Wadi) tomorrow or Saturday. Thanks for reading!

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