My Secret Wargaming friend has been busy, he has painted some figures, scratch built some buildings, and asked for others for his birthday. He has started his Napoleonic armies, something he promised he would never do, because he didn't know where it would end......................
A French sentry guards the prize - a command wagon full of secrets
For a while, my secret wargaming friend has been patiently working on this project, and it has been well worth the wait. Tonight he put on a great skirmish game. I was the British commander (represented on tabletop by a suitably dashing command figure), SWF - the French, and he too was represented by a command figure (who's tunic was a little too tight around his belly).
I had strict orders to reconnoiter a nearby town, and bring back captured supplies if possible. I had 13 men for the task, and had to cross a river to get into the town.
The British approach was from the bottom left of the picture then on toward the bridge
There was another crossing point, a ford in the river. It seemed as though the game designer (SWF), was tempting me to split my force, I seriously considered it, and discarded the idea. If my opponent wanted me to split my force, then it would not be a good idea to fall into the trap.
So I decided against it, and opted for the less than subtle - " charge across the bridge and straight toward the enemy". I borrowed the idea from a World War One guide to assaulting enemy trenches that I had recently borrowed..........
The dashing commander, painted in my likeness, along with the short drummer boy, and an overweight standard bearer.
The Forlorn hope
The town was guarded, at first glance by four or five sentries, easy pickings to my group of hardened soldiers. It was the first time I have ever played Napoleonic's, and I was not disappointed. It took me a little while to get my head around the fact it was skirmish rules, but once I had done that, the game was quick, and I felt provided a suitable flavour for the period.
My column approach the bridge at the double
This time the pigs couldn't escape - the gate was closed
My brave boys were quickly spotted by the French sentries. Not surprising really, since they were marching down the centre of the road in bright red tunics. I was hoping speed may give me an advantage - it almost did, almost.
The sentries raised the alarm, and previously unseen French Grenadiers started appearing from the nearby inn, and house. The pressure was on, and I had to get over the bridge. I formed up some of the men in line for volley fire to see of the enemy sentries on the other side of the bridge.
A quick exchange of musketry between the British advanced group and the sentries resulted in private Stevens being seriously wounded. Note the brave officer sensibly leading from the rear - no need to make early futile gestures is there?
The exchange of shot eventually saw the French commander woken from his slumber. I am not sure what he thought was going on, but he was obviously in a rush at this point. He started to shout commands to his troops.
More Grenadiers appear from inside the buildings
Fool-hardy, or brave - British troops, led by a portly sergeant hailing from Hereford, race across the bridge, with French musket balls speeding past their heads.
My opponent, was at first bemused by the rather direct and unimaginative approach of my little company of men, until they crossed the bridge - without suffering a single casualty due to some horrendously poor French dice rolls.
At this point, he sent a man to move the command wagon. The race was on.......
French Grenadiers, in a bit of a panic, try and move the command wagon, and it's precious content away from the speedy British scout force.
The French commander takes personal command of the blocking force
For some of the occupants of the town, life continues as normal......he is called Pepe and belongs to the landlord of the inn.
Vicious hand to hand will soon be on the agenda
Unfortunately, the game was not finished when time was called, down to the both of us getting used to a new rule set.
A good game and great evening.