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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Return to Frederick's war!

Today, we tried my old Seven Years War rules, with the hope that they might be suitable for a future imagi-nations campaign. We had not played them for a few years, so it was a bit like learning a new set!
I had a Prussian force, Lawrence had my old Franco-Reichsarmee army.
Phil was given the Reichsarmee and Lawrence stuck with the French.
As stands, the system gave me a more than average chance of getting initiative, and so it proved! This meant the French got choice of table side, but deployed first, and as I diced so well, I also got the chance to deploy in the flank sectors of the deployment area.

I put Von Seydlitz and a strong cavalry wing facing the Austrian horse, the infantry was strongest facing the Reichsarmee, too. No question where my attack would fall!
Phil had 2 regiments of Austrian Kuirassiers and a regiment of Hussars screened by the Hesse-Darmstadt and Blau-Wurtzburg infantry.
The French deployed in 2 full lines, with their horse behind, ready to deploy. As I had no intention to attack his infantry, my own line was thin.
The Reichs artillerie began firing as Seydlitz advanced towards the Austrians, fortunately for me, their fire was inaccurate.
On the other wing, the French cavalry began to deploy against my weak right wing horse. The French artillery was out of effective range.
My right wing horse was only 2 units, a Kuirassier and a Dragoon regiment. I advanced them rapidly, hoping to get the French cavalry while they were still deploying.
Seydlitz, meanwhile, had encountered the 2 Austrian Kuirassier regiments!
The first Austrian regiment fought bravely...
...but broke, the second Austrian Kuirassier regiment...
...got swept away in the pursuit.

On the French wing, my Kuirassiers drove off one regiment of Cheveux-légers, despite a second regiment moving up in support.
The French wing seemed in disarray with units moving all over the place!
My Kuirassiers broke the second French unit and pursued them.
Lawrence had a Cheveux léger regiment covering his flank...
...these charged and chased my winded Kuirassiers off table.
My supporting regiment of dragoons now came under fire from a battery of French artillery. My dragoons decided to retreat back to their infantry!
On the Prussian left, the Austrian Hussars were threatening my victorious Kuirassier regiment's rear, so I sent forward my Frei-korps to dissuade them!
My Grenadier brigade now engaged the Hesse-darmstadt and Wurtzburg regiments. My first volleys tore holes in them, Hesse-Darmstadt broke, but the Wutemburgers held. 
Further down the line, the poorer Reichs infantry, supported by their artillery, actually drove back a Prussian regiment!
No matter, I surrounded the Hussars and had my left wing wheeling onto the flank of the Reichsarmee.
The French commander signaled the retreat! I felt sorry for poor Phil having to face the best of the Prussian army with a less than stellar army, but...this is war!. Phil can be proud of his brave defence!

We discussed the game after and decided if I review the rules, and simplify them a bit, they may well work for the forthcoming campaign.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Return of the Zulu

Today, with Phil away, and still no sign of Alex, Lawrence and I had a Colonial game using my Zulus and British.
We had a company of the 24th foot facing nearly 400 warriors of the uThalwana Ibuthu.
The scenario had our company defending a stream bridge, with its 2 redoubts, reinforced by a mealie bag redoubt. We rapidly decided to deploy in front of the defences to try and weaken the attackers, and fall back to the redoubts if we could not stop them. Had we started in the defences, much of our fire would have been screened by terrain.

Our starting positions, in front of the defences.
The Zulus! 
By deploying on a broad front, we hoped to prevent the encirclement of any of our men. 
We fired at the advancing warriors. 

 At long range, our fire was ...less than spectacular in effect!
We began to fall back towards the defences. shooting as we went. 
Lawrence's shooting was taking a toll on the lead Zulu units. 
 The brave warriors, urged on by their izinDuna, kept up their steady advance. 
I had trouble keeping a steady fire on the Zulu right, as my left hand unit would lose sight of the advancing Zulus as soon as I left the hillock. After a volley, I withdrew them at the run towards the sandbag redoubts. My other unit, in the open, kept a steady fire into one of the enemy groups...
... which halted, allowing me to retreat with greater safety. 
Lawrence had no such terrain problems... 
Both his units were shooting well. 
 Their leftmost unit also ...paused... in the face of such fire! 
The unit to their left continued to advance despite it! 
The Impi was now attacking in echelon!  
The Zulu right, having been screened from much of my fire, was now in advance of the rest. 
The lead units of the Zulu line were now beginning to halt... 
...leaving the second line to pass through them to keep up the momentum of the attack. 
As the Zulus opposite me emerged from the cover of the mound, my men halted to shoot. 
My other unit in the centre continued falling back to keep the line contiguous.
On Lawrence's wing, a unit of musketeers passed through the halted spearmen... 
Lawrence focused on these - they are one of the most dangerous units in the Zulu force, we have found!
The musketeers continued to close through heavy fire to get into effective range! 
In the centre, there still seemed still to be a lot of Zulus! 
Lawrence could not bring his full force against the centre of the Zulu line, as his force was still being threatened by the Zulu left. 
The musketeers were still gamely advancing! 
On my wing, I finally got my 2 units shooting at one enemy unit... 
 ... we managed to halt it, just!
Lawrence now withdrew towards his redoubts. 
My centre unit and Lawrence's left hand unit reached the big redoubt. 
 Lawrence bought himself some time as he halted the musketeers.
 In the centre, the Zulus were still advancing steadily.
 On my left I halted the lead unit, allowing me to retreat to the small redoubt...
 ...but a musket shot from the Zulus killed one of my men.
My men made a dash for the redoubt. 
Having entered the main redoubt, my other unit fired on the advancing Zulu. 
Lawrence's unit joined me in relative safety. 
Lawrence's flank unit was now being outflanked by the Zulu centre... 
...what should they do? 
Urged on by the inDuna, the musketeers were edging forward again. 
The first Zulu unit routed trying to close with my unit in the redoubt... 
...jeered by the second line units! 
These now charged Lawrence any my men in the great redoubt. Several Zulus and one of Lawrence's men fell in the melee. One of my men was wounded too!
My flank unit in the little redoubt was keeping the Zulus facing them at a distance. 
The Zulu units fell back from the redoubt... 
...only to be shot at and badly mauled. 

The Zulu right now held back, doubting their chances of victory. 
A final unit now charged the great redoubt, but were overwhelmed and broke. 
All the Zulu units now began to fall back... 
...We had survived!

That was a scary game, we very nearly got overrun, especially on my wing, and but for a couple of of lucky volleys which caused Zulu units to hesitate at key moments, who knows?