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Saturday 25 January 2020

Vive la Roi?

Today, we had another Seven Years War game. After recovering some honour against the Russians in the last game, it was the turn of Lawrence's Franco-Reichs army to face Frederick.

Things started badly for the Prussians, we got outscouted and were stuck on the defensive again. The allies were able to deploy in one of the table flank sectors.

My Prussians, forced to deploy in the centre sector.
Lawrence expanded beyond my left, with Cavalry, supported by infantry in the centre. 
 They had a conventional infantry centre.
 Phil commanded their left. He would have to negotiate the wood.
We randomly drew chits for the quality of our brigade commanders, amazingly, I once again drew 2 incompetents (the yellow D4s) 
 My right wing cavalry had a cautious, but competent commander.
 My left wing got a Brave, Competent commander, so I put Seydlitz there!
 The French - despite having generally average brigadiers, managed to throw only one order...
...for all three brigades! 
 A series of 1's also meant the troops got no orders in the first turn too!!!
 My Heavy gun joined...
...my medium guns ... 
...and managed to disorder the only French unit to advance, a heavy battery. 
My turn...and my entire infantry centre failed to move too! 
The right wing cavalry began to deploy out, however. 
My left wing horse, under Seydlitz, moved forward confidently. 
The Reichs regiment Beyreuth faced off with KR11. While the  Széchényi Hussars tried to take out my heavy gun.
 KR11 won, just, in the process... 
...chasing off the vaunted Austrian Hussars.
The Reichs cavalry reserve failed to charge in support of the retreating first line.

KR11 charged, once again only driving off their opponents.

The remnants of KR11 charged a third enemy cavalry line...

...but were destroyed, fighting gloriously!

The weakened Reichs cavalry were now faced by my second line Kuirassiers.

On the other flank, French light troops approached the wood in front of my Right wing.
With my right brigade of infantry still failing to move, I could not really contest their move.

Phil even got his guns into an enfilade position.

Phil's heavy cavalry moved up in support.

Meanwhile, in the centre, I had managed to advance a regiment, which easily brushed away the French heavy battery which was deploying.
The Reichs infantry advanced to engage them.

Soon, both sides infantry were engaged in a fierce fire fight.
On my right, my Hussars had driven off their French opposite numbers, but then ran into the Cuirassiers Du Roi! Amazingly, my Hussars held their heavy opponents and the melee degenerated into a confused mess.
I finally got my Frei Korps into the wood supported by IR6.
My Kuirassiers moved from behind my Hussars, so they could avoid being run into if the light cavalry routed.
My Prussian infantry started well, but the 2 incompetent brigadiers failed to keep the line in good order.
Even having Frederick nearby didn't help stop the rot.
In the wood, the light infantry destroyed each other, my Grenadier regiment was now in position to move through the wood.
Unfortunately, the Reichs infantry got a crashing volley in, which devastated my front line.
The two centre regiments retreated through their second line, disordering them.
My army, by no means destroyed, was severely disrupted by this disaster.
My left wing horse resented being forced to retreat at their moment of victory.

So, Frederick's birthday (24th January) celebrations will have to wait for another day!

Great game though, and its nice to see the Prussian cavalry performing well again!

Sunday 19 January 2020

Return to Zululand

Yesterday, we had a Colonial skirmish game at our club, and as it was a long time since we did one, I got my Zulus out!

I quickly worked out a scenario...

A British company is detailed to defend a drift against any Zulus attempting to seize it.
Dust in the distance leads to Captain to take most of his men off to investigate, leaving a lieutenant and 20 men to guard the baggage.

Phil had the Sergeant Major of the company.
Rhys had our Captain, and I a Lieutenant. We were all at the far end of the table.
 The other Lieutenant was Lawrence, holding the drift.
 The Zulu force, of course, approached from the far side!
Alerted by a shot from the drift defenders, I quickly turned my men and moved towards the drift. 
 Rhys moved in a compact body to accompany Phil...
...who headed towards a small hill behind the drift. 
Lawrence opened fire. 
One of the Zulu units took a few casualties. 
 A few of the Zulus had firearms...
 ...one of Lawrence's men fell dead from a musket ball.
Phil approached his hill. 
Rhys moved towards the rear of the drift, in extended order. 
I had moved to the right of the drift, where I could see Zulus approaching. 
 Lawrence's men bravely stood despite being outnumbered 18:1! 
As the range reduced, the Zulu unit's casualties mounted. 
The now halted unit was overtaken by a fresh unit. 
Other Zulu units bypassed the small band of defenders. 
Phil faced a large force crossing the drift opposite him. 
 A small unit started crossing.
Phil, now in position on the hill, opened fire.
The Zulus were only slightly discomfited by their attentions. 
 The large Zulu unit in front of Lawrence fired a shot...
 ...wounding a corporal.
Phil, on top of the hill, was attracting a lot of random firing from the units in front of him. 
Dressing his ranks, Phil's Sergeant Major kept up the firing rate. 
Lawrence, meanwhile, abandoned the mealie bags and withdrew through the huts. 
Rhys, finally in position, began to fire at the Zulus outflanking the outpost. 
The Zulus were fording the drift in some numbers. 
Lawrence was  tearing holes in the the unit opposite him.
 My men, too, now opened fire.
The first of three units in column took a few casualties, but kept coming.
Phil had forced the small unit at the ford to retreat, but other fresh units pushed on past them. 
 Lawrence and Rhys were beginning to form a line against the advancing hordes.
Slowed by my fire, I tried to keep the enemy at a distance by firing and retiring. 
Would my fire be sufficient to keep the Zulus out of reach?
 The centre was looking less threatening now, as the Zulus began focusing on both wings. 
 One of the musketeers in the Zulu force...
...wounded one of my men. 
Phil, on the other wing... 
...also took another casualty. 
His men held, and returned fire. 
 Their fire was only moderately effective.
 Lawrence had retired beyond the rear wall of the outpost...
...and fired at the unit opposite with controlled volleys.
 Rhys kept back, providing fire support to Phil's beleaguered men. 
 He got a very good volley on his target unit.
 My men continued to hold and fire... 
 ...I failed to halt the enemy who kept slowly moving forward.
 Phil lost another men as the Zulus massed to attack his hill.
Lawrence's men fell back as the Zulus charged...
 ...driven back, they were shattered by a point blank volley.
Rhys was keeping his opponents at a distance. 

 His fire slowed the unit opposite.
On the right, my men tore holes in the front unit facing me... 
...but the survivors charged in!!! 
 My men held the Zulus, and won...just!
As the Zulus fell back my men fired...
The few survivors retreated.
Lawrence held his opponents at the barricades.
The enemy were forced back.
Phil was stormed on the hill, Rhys on the flat. 
 Despite both British units losing a man... 
...The Zulus were repulsed, and shattered by short range volleys. 
 As the broken units retreated, fresh Zulus filled the gaps in their line. 
 A fresh Zulu unit crashed into my men, too.
Despite losing a man, the Zulus, again, were forced back...
 My men fell back firing by ranks.
 Phil and Rhys had formed a line, and fired.
 The enemy took heavy casualties as they advanced.
Phil's men fell back, bending the line, ceding the hill. 
 The third Zulu unit tried to charge me...but fell 1cm short!
 My men blasted them, and halted them.
The final units on the Zulu right charged Phil again, but lost. 
 With all their units now halted or in retreat, or routing...
...the IzinDuna called the retreat! Close to breaking at both wings, the British were content to let them go!