Monday, June 6, 2011

"Food for Powder"

Two weeks ago the Conscripts enjoyed a visit from from Conscript "founding managing director" Curt C, who makes his home in our neighbouring province to the west these days, but still makes time to peel down the highway and throw an occaisional game and visit. This trip marked the debut for the "grand manner" style of Napoleonics gaming with 25/28mm figures for us here in Winnipeg, and man was it cool!

Curt staged a game for the group on the Thursday night - a replay of his tried and tested "When Things Go Boom" scenario, an entertaining "what-if" engagement post Battle of Waterloo. He has already filed a report on his blog, and you can see some photos there.

As one of the players who tried in vain to crush the British rear-guard, I cannot report not much more than heavy casualties for the french side...Dallas and Dave V handled the defence of the village very well. Meanwhile, together with Brian and Mike F, those of us on the French side endured frustration and rocket attacks. The darn rocket battery chased off our Dragoon Regiment! Stupid brits...

Unfortunately my picture-taking that night was a fail, but check out "Analogue Hobbies" (Curt's blog) for some great pics. The game was outstanding, and it looked awesome. A big thank you to Curt for rolling out the game, and to Dallas for hosting!

Curt stayed over the weekend, as his wife was attending the religious ceremony otherwise known as the U2 concert that Sunday (I was able to go too, and I have to say I will now shut up about Bono after watching an incredible rock show). We were able to fill the time before the concert with some great gaming, including a first deployment for my Austrians! Here are some pictures.

The scenario was the Battle of Venzone, set in Italy in the 1809 campaign, with a brigade on each side. It is exactly the sort of battle no exalted history or rules-book-scenario writer spends much time on, and is exactly the kind of battle that is a great game with Curt's modification of Black Powder, which he calls "Food For Powder".

In the scenario, the Austrians are the aggressors, led by a fire-eating officer (pretty rare), who is leading an attack against an advancing French column.

The scenario was the one Curt and I had committed to playing in 25/28mm quite some time ago, and was the inspiration for me to get moving on painting my Austrians for this scale. Needless to say, it was quite exciting to finally deploy the lads for action!

In the spirit of this rare agressive Austrian officer, I attacked the French as soon as we could, launching my Hussars, supported by Dragoons, at the French Dragoons as they moved on to the table. The battle went well for the Austrians - the Dragoons were driven off, and in the follow-up for the assault, the Hussars caught a French battalion in column, wrecking their day as well. The charge finally whimped out in the face of a French artillery battery.

Curt countered by using the "Follow Me!" ability of his brigadier to get the artillery back into action, and my Hussars soon decided they had enjoyed enough action for the day. But their work was done - the French column was damaged and stopped - time for the ground pounders to get to work!

I sent the infantry straight up the middle, with the Grenzers in the lead. We had the advantage of one French battalion being driven into a square by the presence on my cavalry. A firefight lasted for a few turns (as I failed on my command rolls to get the brigade fully in motion) but we managed to out-shoot the lads in the square, and ultimately drive them off.

The Grenzers paid the price for "screening" the assault, but the following Austrian regulars were able to make up for the sacrifice, driving enough French units away while still "holding their bottle" in the face of some heavy-duty musketry.

It was an absolute thrill to get the Austrians on to the table to for the first time. Curt will surely find another scenario soon, and accompanying roster that I can use as a new target to build toward. Thanks again for the game dude!


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Nice looking game and seems to a fun one with the Austrians just barely hanging on.


Curt said...

Thanks Greg for posting these batreps. I felt some sympathy for the French during the main game as they only had one brigade when they went in (the other was just about to come on) but that is the fortunes of war (especially with a frothing headstrong Ney leading).

I agree about the rockets. It was a credit to Indo and Dave's hot rolling that those 'infernal contraptions' were uncharacteristically deadly...

Finally a big thanks to all the guys who played the new set of rules. Your comments and suggestions were very valuable (and Brian, you're right, the artillery should NOT have been able to fire canister but the carnage seemed somehow fitting to the setting ;))

It was great seeing you all!

VolleyFireWargames said...

Ahhhhhhhhh so now I see would love to see his "modifications" for Black Powder. probably very interesting from the looks of things.

After Waterloo scenarios are always interesting especially if you what if the british lost!