Saturday, 29 April 2017

1st Brigade, 1st Netherland Division in 6mm

Over the Easter break I was able to crack on with the units for the Allied II Corps. Having painted all the red-coated brigades in the Corps, it was time to turn attention to the blue-coated Netherland Division. The first unit is the 1st Brigade, unsurprisingly... This brigade was commanded by Generaal-Majoor Ferdinand d'Hauw.

The Brigade was made up of the 16th Light Battalion, 4th Line Battalion, 6th Line Battalion, 9th National Militia Battalion, 14th National Militia Battalion, and the 15th National Militia Battalion. For my purposes these were reduced down to four battalions of Dutch line and militia.

Given the large amounts of militia in the unit it is classified as Conscript in Blücher terms, and has an Elan of only 5.

However, fighting as a large formation with the other units in II Corps this shouldn't be much of an issue on the tabletop.

Now there's only two more infantry brigades to finish off for II Corps now! Onwards and upwards!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

6th Hanoverian Brigade in 6mm

The third brigade of 4th Division of the Allied II Corps was the 6th Hanoverian Brigade. Like the other Hanoverian brigades in Wellington's army the battalions were named after the Hanoverian cities, so this unit had the Launeberg, Kalenburg, Nienburg, Hoya and Bentheim battalions in it. 

As this is a normal sized unit in Blücher I left off the fifth battalion and stuck with the usual four to avoid confusion on the table. As with my other recent Hanoverian unit I reused the flags that I had sourced before. It's not entirely accurate, but until someone can supply me with every single Hanoverian regimental flag I'm happy with their look.

The 6th Brigade took no part during the Battle of Waterloo, being stationed out at Hal in the west, but it is part of the 100 Days Allied OOB, so is included for that reason and could have fought at some point in the campaign.

The Hanoverian uniforms were pretty similar to the King's German Legion's, so it is nice to add another red-coated unit to the total.

Over half way there now with II Corps. The Easter break allowed me to hammer out some of these units, so I am getting ever closer to the finish line, for II Corps at least... However, I am back at work now, so it will slow down a little.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Mitchell's 4th Brigade of 4th Div in 6mm

The next British brigade that I completed for my 6mm 100 Days Campaign project is the 4th Brigade of 4th Division commanded by Lt-Col H.H. Mitchell. This was a fully British organisation and contained the 3/14th, 23rd and 1/51st (light Infantry) battalions.

This was the only unit of the 4th Division that fought at Waterloo whilst the rest of the division was stationed near Hal to the west of the battlefield.

In Blücher terms this is a pretty British average unit, with an Elan of 6, they can take a bit of punishment. The 1/51st are the only unit in the brigade not to carry their colours during the campaign, so I left them off here.

It is a full strength unit, but only has three battalions, hopefully this won't cause too much confusion during a game...

A rather unremarkable unit really, but another one off the list. Slowly, slowly, catchee II Corps...

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

O Canada!

Sunday 9 April 2017 was the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Arras, which featured the smaller but important Battle of Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian Corps captured the German position. This was done with help from British support troops, British artillery, British aircraft, British Commanders (Byng) and British tactical reforms developed from the Battles of the Somme in the previous year. But try telling Canadians that... 

Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge overlooking the Douai Plains,
showing the tactical and strategic importance of the position

Ninjasaurus and I decided to play a game of Square Bashing on Sunday, based loosely on the Battle of Arras, in that I used 1917 army lists to draw up the forces. The British consisted of:
  • 1 x HQ
  • 3 x Professional Infantry Battalions
  • 6 x Regular Infantry Battalions
  • 2 x Reservist Infantry Battalions
  • 4 x MGs
  • 3 x Field Guns
  • 2 x Heavy Tanks
Facing them were the Germans consisting of:
  • 1 x HQ
  • 2 x Professional Infantry Battalions
  • 9 x Regular Infantry Battalions
  • 5 x MGs
  • 3 x Field Guns
We rolled a dice to decide on who would take which side and I got the British, Ninjasaurus got the Germans. Then we went through the pre-game steps to decide who was the attacker and defender. The British were attacking (which was lucky for me, as tanks are useless in the defence...) and during the pre-game steps I was also able to increase the quality of the two Reservist battalions to Regular and ramp up my artillery support. The next step was for Ninjasaurus as the defender to set up the board, I then had a chance to move some of the scenery around, which I did. Finally, we set up the attacking forces:

The Germans then set up their defence and we rolled for depletions, which reduced his forces slightly. He chose to move some of his depleted battalions to his reserve off board and we were set:

The opening move saw me bring down a point effect barrage on his front line, pinning the Professional Battalions in place as they were threatening the hill objective which I'd just captured (Vimy Ridge).

There was also a general advance against the ruined building objectives on my left flank.

Then on his turn, the Germans ordered a rolling barrage which blattered my attacking left flank, causing a few casualties here and there.

On my right flank the Battalions that had advanced into the broken ground were pushed back by a localised counter-attack, taking heavy casualties in the process!

In turn two, I called in more artillery support, this time a rolling barrage. I rolled for the accuracy and it fell short and landed on my attacking soldiers! However, it did also roll onto the German positions, causing some damage at least.

With the barrage falling around them the British attackers stormed into the ruined building objective overrunning the MG and field gun in there. I was now in possession of two of the four objectives.

Girding their loins on the right the three attacking battalions rushed the woods with the tanks in support and threw the Germans back to their start lines!

Beware the Hun in the Sun! Suddenly a German ground attack aeroplane swooped down above the battlefield looking for juicy targets.

With the barrage markers lifted the battlefield was looking much clearer, the British infantry had possession of most of the left flank buildings and the right flank woods. In the centre my tanks were threatening the crossroads objective and the Germans were being squeezed into a tighter position.

German reinforcements arrived on the road, but the British pressure on the centre saw the Germans falling back in that sector as well.

After some hard fighting, the German defenders were largely cleared out of the ruined buildings and the centre, but they still held on to the crossroads and with a reasonably large number of defenders as well. The tanks attacked the crossroads, but lost the fight and both tanks ended up damaged for their efforts!

The German ground attack aircraft flew off again, but not before causing casualties on the units holding the hill objective.

Then another calamity! The tanks were overrun by the German crossroad defenders, both were completely destroyed in the attack and my centre was open for exploitation!

The crisis was averted by pushing in more infantry to plug the gap. The Germans were pushed off the crossroads and took massive casualties (10 in total!) as they fell back.

On the left flak, despite being held up in the ruined buildings and damaged ground, the British infantry were able to attack and push the professional German battalions back to their back line. I also called in air support to try and break up the defence further.

Despite German aircraft also patrolling over the battlefield the defenders were being forced into an ever smaller and smaller spot, the wood objective on the right was also in British hands by this stage. All the objectives were in my hands, but we still had loads of time left on the countdown timer, so we continued playing.

The Germans pulled back together on the road to consolidate their forces, what remained of them...

And then brought in a point effect barrage on the British on the crossroads. It fell perfectly and did heavy damage to the battered battalion defending the objective.

The German attack on the crossroads was stopped short by the barrage, as they were unable to move into it and I took the chance to close off their rear on the road.

The barrage lifted and the professional Germans attacked and captured the crossroads again!

And despite attacking them from three sides I was unable to crush them!

Then in a crazy move, the Germans advanced down the road! This was not so crazy as it was threatening the hill objective, now only defended by two field guns and an easy target for infantry!

But their headlong advance was checked with another point effect barrage which finally finished them off.

I retook the crossroads, the fourth and final objective. We didn't count up the victory points as it was a pretty obvious Allied victory. Here is the board on the final turn:

In the end it was a walk-over for the British, I barely lost a full battalion, whereas the Germans were destroyed almost to a man. It was largely down to the dice rolling on the Germans side, there were a lot of poor rolls on his part.

From a tactical point of view the German defence was sound; the MGs were in good positions; but Square Bashing does favour a big and bold attacker. This I used to my advantage and weighted the attacks in my favour. A thinly spread attack line achieves nothing and you have to gather together and pile on the pressure. A sledgehammer to crack a nut, basically.

Square Bashing always provides a fun and exciting game and this was no different, you could even say that the British gave the Germans a good kick up the Arras!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

3rd Hanoverian Brigade

I am really flying through the brigades of II corps at the moment and the next finished unit is the 3rd Hanoverian Brigade, commanded by Colonel H. Halkett. It consists of the Bremenvörde, Osnabrück, Quackenbrück (my favourite name for a formation...) and Salzgitter regiments. All of which were Landwehr units.

It was also the weakest of the Hanoverian units, with only just over 2,500 men. During the battle of Waterloo they were held back in reserve with the rest of their Division (3rd) behind Wellington's right.

Later in the afternoon the Brigade advanced and formed square on the reverse of the slope behind Hougoumont. Finally, the Osnabrück regiment took part in defeating the Imperial Guard and the brigade commander Halkett took the surrender from Maréchal de camp Cambronne, the commander of the Chasseurs à Pied of the Imperial Guard.

The figures are the Baccus British infantry in Belgic Shakos, with one of the flag bearers replaced with an infantry figure. Speaking of the flags, as the Hanoverian flags are so difficult to track down, I just reused the flags I had found for the 1st Hanoverian Brigade. It's not a perfect solution, but avoids lots of hair tearing on my part...

So, the third unit of ten is complete, soon II Corps will be complete! Then  have to start thinking about which Corps to tackle next... But that is long away in the future right now!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Over the Hills and Far Away...

I am working my way through the British II Corps at a good speed at the moment, the next unit I completed is the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Division, under Major-General Adam. This is probably the most famous of the Allied units at Waterloo as it features the 95th Rifles (whom most people only know about through the Sharpe books and TV series).

However, the unit also features the 1/52nd, who attacked the Old Guard and had a major role in defeating them by hitting them in the flank. They were also the only light infantry unit of the British army to carry their flags in the Waterloo campaign which is why there is only one set of flags in this Brigade.

With that in mind, this unit took a bit of faffing about on my part, I had to replace the standard bearers for the third unit (71st Foot) with infantry, plus I had to clip the bayonets off all the riflemen's muskets to make them look like rifles!

It's a pretty heavy hitting unit, a Elan of 7 means it will stand up to punishment, helped by the fact it is steady and also has firepower as assets.

Another unit finished, but plenty more to do! So keep checking back for further updates to II Corps!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Back to Blucher

It's been a while since I completed some 6mm Napoleonics, but I have had the unpainted II Corps of the Anglo-Allied army waiting on my desk for a while. It's a big task, so I was completing a few other bits and pieces before starting up on them. But after a gathering all my information from the Cent Jours website start on them I did. I proceeded in no real order, and the first unit is 1st Kings German Legion of 2nd Div under Colonel G.C.A. Platt.

The 2nd Division suffered 19% casualties during the Battle of Waterloo and was initially deployed in reserve on the right of the Allied line.

All KGL units had a good reputation as effective soldiers and this is reflected in their reasonable Elan of 6.

The flags, as ever, were sourced from Napflags, which is an excellent resource for flags of the period. I just resized them to 6mm. It was also nice to be painting redcoats again, after all those French figures!

There's not much else to say about this unit, except that is represents the first in many brigades I have to complete! Every journey begins with a single step...

Thanks for reading!
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