Thursday 26 September 2019

Battle Report

Last night the guys turned up to fight the scenario I'd set up earlier in the week. 

Peter drew the lot for the British and Graham the French. Peter rolled up for a skilled commander (with a 'skilled' sequence deck) and Graham rolled up for an average one (and an 'average' sequence deck). 

They rolled off to decide who got to choose which the side of table take and, against the odds, Graham won. He chose to defend the town. 

Following this, using a similar set up procedure to that used in FoB 2, Peter was fated to see where three of the enemy commands would deploy and Graham found that one of his command groups would have a delayed arrival. Unfortunately, for Graham, the delayed command was Division 1, which had all of his best infantry in it. It wouldn't arrive until the end of the evening.

The French left and centre. Division 2 formed line through the town and Division 4 were place on the extreme left.
Facing them, the British deployed Division 2 on their right and Division 3 in the centre. 
The right wing of Division 2 extends out of the other side of the town, here supported by their guns. On the right, Division 3 is supported by the cavalry of Division 5.
A closer shot of the deployment of British Division 2 in the centre of the British battle line. To its left flank stands the British heavy cavalry of Division 4.
Before I could take a shot of the British left, Division 1 supported by the Light Dragoons of Division 5, was on the move, advancing with alacrity across the ford and through the woodland at the foot of the hill.
The hill would be the focus of most of the action on the first evening. The British won most of the early initiative and siezed the hill before the French could move against it. From the heights, the British poured fire onto the the French below, sending one of the French infantry units retreating to the rear before it managed to rally at the table edge.
With the battle around the hill getting underway, the British make their attack general along the whole front. 
At this point, Graham, with his best troops delayed, had insufficient troops to launch any further counterattacks of his own. His frustration is evident.

Note the French infantry unit scuttling to the rear after taking heavy punishment from the British firing down from the hill. We all though this unit was lost but, Division 3 is led by an excellent officer (Up 2) and it will rally at the table edge in the nick of time.
The British roll over one of the Bridges. 
Back on the French right, the British heavy cavalry fords the river to threaten the left flank of Division 3, Regiment Irlandais being forced into square. The French attack against the heights has completely stalled.

This morning, I took some shots of the action as it appeared at the end of the first night's play.

An overview of the action on the hill. 

Note the infantry unit to the rear of the French 1st Hussars. This unit has been rallied and is now heading back into the fray. So far, neither side has actually lost a unit! 
French Division 1 has finally arrived to the right of the town.
The British hold the Bridge on the French left.
A close up of British troops defending the heights on the British left.
Below them, the French attack has stalled. The British are closing for the kill. In the distance, the British heavy cavalry is licking its lips in anticipation of a lively pursuit.
The troops of French Division 1. This is the best division in the French army; if it hadn't been delayed the narrative of the battle so far would have been much different.
The French of Division 2, sheltering in the town.

An overview of the whole field. It's looking pretty good - especially if you are rooting for the British.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Peninsular Encounter Battle Scenario

This scenario is the very straight forward encounter battle I've set up for Graham and Peter to fight this, and probably next, Wednesday night. We will be using a hybrid version of classic Piquet and Field of Battle 2 rules, with the odd house rule as a cherry on the top.

It is set up to use all of my painted Napoleonic troops, the British list now being just three units short of half way. There still aren't enough units, certainly of the right types, to make up proper commands but, I'm fairly close now.


Speaking of commands, I've now pretty much decided that my basic command group will be the division rather than the brigade. This is because of a combination of what the historical narratives of the battles are telling me and how my rules work. 

However, to make it all stick together, I'm going to have to use a great deal of fudge when it comes to the internal organisation of my divisions

When using Piquet style rules, I've found the best size for a command group is four to six units. This doesn't really fit either the British or French organisation of either brigades (French regiments ?) or divisions, especially when I will only be using a four stand, 24 figure unit of infantry as the basic building block - I will have no big or small units. 

Having spent some time poring over historical OOBs I have noticed something quite interesting. Most divisions in the Peninsular, French and British, averaged between 4000 and 7000 men. Only occasionally do they have less or exceed these numbers. If you divide by 1000 to get a 'strength value in units', 4-7000 men average is bang on the money. So, for my Piquet games at least, that is what I'm going to do. 

This means most British divisions (5000 strong) will have five units (three British and two Portuguese), the Light Division will have four (breaking down as two light infantry, one Cacadores and one Rifles), and 1st Division will have eight units (choosing the most flavoursome units this breaks down as two guard units, one light infantry, two Highland units and three KGL units). 

Typically French divisions will also field between four and eight units but, unlike the British five, most seem to be a little larger at about six units strong. There are too many divisional breakdown variations to list, so I'll not trouble to.

The Napoleonic Purists (.....heard of but never actually seen.....) will be tearing their hair out at this point. They'll be setting up a Facebook page called 'Burn Olicana the Heretic', and they'll be sharpening their pitchforks but, I'm afraid I'm going to do it this way anyway because, well because in game terms, I think it will probably work out quite nicely.

The Table.

The battlefield is dominated by a shallow river (class II terrain), everywhere fordable by infantry and cavalry, which winds its way along the table. Two large rocky, scrubby hills (class II terrain, soft cover) rise from a surrounding plain dotted here and there by settlements (town sections, heavy cover) linked by a road network, among small fields (class II terrain, soft cover), and areas of woodland (class III terrain, heavy cover).

To encourage aggressive play, especially in the middle of the table, several features are battlefield objectives worth Army Morale Points (see picture above). To claim the points a unit must be in control (on top of) the objective marker at the end of its initiative. 

  • Black points (9 per side) are in the players' central initial deployment areas. They can only be claimed by the other side. They can only be claimed once, coming out of a neutral bank. 
  • Red points (21 total) are outside the players' central initial deployment areas. They are claimed from the opposition's bank. They could change hands several times during the battle.
(Note: Our house rules, a hybrid verison of FoB 2 and classic Piquet uses approximately 70% more morale points than FoB 2 so anyone using this scenario should bare this in mind).

The Armies 

I have organised both armies into 'Divisions' and rolled for unit quality. The players will be assigned their army by lot. I have not rolled up for commander quality or assigned artillery or rifle companies (where applicable). Likewise, I have not assigned a particular table side to either army. The players can decide this on the night as part of the set up procedure (as per our amended Field of Battle 2 tables).

The French

Division 1

3 Battalions 2nd Legere : DD 8 / CD10; DD8 / CD12; DD6 / CD12.

2 Battalions 1st Paris Municipal Guard: DD10 / CD12; DD8 / CD12.
Division 2

3 Battalions 27th Ligne: DD6 / CD10; DD6 / CD10; DD4 / CD8.

1 Battalion Legion Du Midi: DD6 / CD10. 

1 Battalion Legion Hannovrienne: DD4 / CD10.
Division 3

3 Battalions 36th Ligne: DD6 / CD10; DD6 / CD8; DD6 / CD8.

1 Battalion Regiment Irlandais: DD8 / CD10.

Division 4

22nd Chasseurs: DD6 / CD10

4th Dragoons: DD6 / CD12

 Division 5

1st Hussars: DD8 / CD 12

Vistula Lancers: DD8 / CD12+1


2 batteries of foot artillery: DD6 / CD12; DD6 / CD10.

The Anglo-Portuguese

Division 1

71st Foot (light infantry): DD8 / CD12.

92nd Foot (highlanders): DD8 / CD12+1.

2nd & 5th Battalions KGL: DD8 / CD12; DD6 / CD12.
Division 2

50th Foot: DD6 / CD10.

53rd Foot: DD8 / CD12.

13th Line (Portuguese): DD6 / CD12.

16th Line (Portuguese): DD6 / CD10.
Division 3

24th Foot: DD8 / CD12+1.

1st Battalion KGL: DD6 / CD12.

13th Line (Portuguese): DD6 / CD10.

13th Line (Portuguese): DD6 / CD10.
Division 4

1st Dragoons: DD6 / 12CD.

3rd Dragoons:DD6 / 12CD.
Division 5

14th Light Dragoons: DD6 / CD12.
Arillery and rifle companies:

2 batteries of foot artillery: DD6 / CD12; DD6 / CD10.

4 rifle companies to add to integral skirmishers. (Note: choose most appropriate 4 of 6 provided).

Friday 6 September 2019

Some pics from recent games using FoB2 and a PK'd version of our own.

I don't seem to have much time to do much in the way of blogging these days, which will hopefully change after the schools go back, but, to be going on with, here ate some pics of my Peninsular stuff in action last month. The collection is coming on and decisions, after much faffing about, on the rules are too.