Tuesday 2 July 2019

The Bridges at Taco Reir.

It's been a while since I've put on a game so I thought I'd go to town on it. The game I've decided on is not a big one by any stretch of the imagination. However, it does involve new rules, a scenario by C.S. Grant, and my table with all of my trimmings.

Firstly, the rules we will use are Lasalle by Sam Mustafa. I've had these kicking around the place for a long time. At first all I could see were the negatives but, following positive advisement by friends, I read them again (this time carefully) and thought they might be worth a go. This is quite a reversal for me. Lasalle rules might be Napoleonic but, they are not 'Peninsular Napoleonic' and my preference is always towards very period / theatre specific rules. My reservations still persist but having read the rules again, and again, they seem robust enough for 'home thought' tinkering. Of course, for a first time out, very little tinkering will be required. Indeed, except for calling 6 stand units of cavalry 4 stand units, partially ignoring artillery frontages (the artillery being one of my problems with the rules), and having bigger 'town sections' than the rules propose the rules used will be as per the book. 

The set up. Note the French forces moving up behind their bank of the river - cavalry brigade marching away from the camera, 'amateur' infantry brigade towards it. Table layout is 8 x 6.
The scenario is one by the Old Man (most recently Napoleon) Charles S. Grant, who will be forever in my debt for turning the Allied flank in the LOGW Dresden 1813 game quite recently. That aside, Scenario 21,  from his book Scenarios for Wargames has all the makings of a rip roaring tester. 

Note: Can you can see the grapes, Carl G? 
The game is Charles S. Grant's Bridgehead Breakout. Surprisingly, this is a scenario I've not played before. Of course, the scenario I will play is not exactly the same as that in Charles' book. If you want to see the original map, forces and notes you will have to read his book because I will not reproduce his exact scenario here. However, the bones of my scenario has the French breaking out from a bridgehead and the British trying to crush it and force the enemy back across the river. To successfully break out the French must hold their bridges and take the high ground facing them. To successfully crush the bridgehead the British must hold the high ground and dismantle the bridges (by holding a near bank exit for two turns). Any other result is a draw - simples.

The scenario has two bridges crossing an unfordable river. In the original scenario these are both pontoon bridges. In mine one is a pontoon and the other a wood bridge, the latter recently repaired by the French. The other side of the table is dominated by a ridge of gently sloping hills (the French objective). There are a number of built up areas dotted around the table and three walled areas of rough ground that give soft cover (orchards and vineyards). All other terrain serves only for aesthetic purposes.

In my scenario, remembering this is a rules test (I have no idea how the balance of types will work) the forces are as follows:

New British cavalry additions - the 1st and 3rd Dragoons.
Love the hats, boys!
British: Commander is Vigour +1, Good.

Infantry Brigade: Sub-commander is Vigour 0, Poor.
1 unit reliable, experienced, SK2
1 unit valiant, experienced, SK3
1 unit guard, valiant, experienced, SK3

Infantry Brigade: Sub-commander is Vigour +1, Average.
1 unit reliable, experienced, SK 2
2 units reliable, experienced, SK3

Cavalry Brigade: Sub-commander is Vigour 0, Average.
2 units valiant, experienced, shock 

Cavalry Brigade: Sub-commander is Vigour -1, Average.
1 unit valiant, experienced, pursuit.

Artillery: 1 battery of 2 guns, 1 howitzer.

French: Commander is Vigour 0Average.

Infantry Brigade: Sub -commander is Vigour 0, Poor.
3 units reliable, experienced, SK2

Infantry Brigade: Sub-commander is Vigour +1, Average.
3 units reliable, experienced, SK 2

Infantry Brigade: Sub-commander is Vigour +1, Average.
3 units reliable, amateur, SK2

Cavalry Brigade: Sub-commander is Vigour 0, Average.
1 units valiant, experienced, shock 
1 unit reliable, experienced, pursuit.

Artillery: 1 battery of 3 guns, 1 howitzer. 

A new piece of terrain. I'm not sure when the Spanish started to put pictures 
on the outside of their chapels, but I like it so I've done one. The bell, rather
over-size I'm afraid, is one end of a golf tee. Doors and windows are by War 
Bases (large door modified by gluing two together - hence the cross beams). 
The roof is by Will's HO building materials (pantiles). The rest is a load of 
foam board and paint tosh by me. Based on 4 mm plywood.
Note on ID beads: 
Red: Shaky or Vigour -1
Green: Reliable or Vigour 0
Blue: Valiant or Vigour +1
White: Experienced
Yellow: Ameteur
Pink: Tactically poor
Purple: Guard or Tactically good.

So there we have it. A game set up for Wednesday night - the first game here for ages!


Derek said...

I get envious ... oops I mean inspired when you post an photo of your table laid out :)

Derek said...

I alway get envious... ooops I mean ‘inspired’ wen you post an image of your table :)

Norm said...

A visual feast! thank you.

pancerni said...

Always a treat to see how you craft a scenario! Nice to see the intelligent use of the WRG book and the rules for the game.

i have not played LaSalle, will watch with interest.

Victor said...

Beautiful table and the LaSalle rules are good. The scenario sounds like it will be a lot of fun.