Thursday, 13 February 2020

En Avant ..... Au Double! - Day Two

Here, as promised is the second day, Sunday, of our Peninsular War Sharp Practice weekend. My partner had decided to try and get an earlier flight home because of Storm Ciara, so I was playing solo for both games. Lots of photos, but, once again not a great deal of glory for my Anglo-Portuguese.

Onto the action! My first game was all about trying to get two-thirds of my force across a bridge over a river. Personally. I'd have preferred to be the side trying to stop the French crossing the river, but that wasn't to be. It would be a long trek.

Once again, I would suffer from the attentions of French artillery, which pretty much swung the game away from me. It wasn't so much the casualties, it was the double shock from cannister that made my task so hard.

I'd got my Atiradores to secure a wall, preventing the French musket-armed Voltigeur skirmishers from peppering my infantry columns as they advanced towards the bridge.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos from other games;

Now, back to my game. I'd pulled the Atiradores back from the wall, to help contain another French threat, together with a group of Portuguese Granadieros.

Meanwhile, at the bridge, the French attack columns were advancing. 

Halfway along the road, I'd foolishly halted my 61st Foot and deployed them against the threat that my Atiradores were dealing with perfectly well. A definite mistake.

My Portuguese Fuzileiros held the bridge, throwing back the French and subsequently making their escape across the river, but it was too little, too late. This game went down as another minor French victory.

The final game was a clash between French and Anglo-Portuguese to control a strategically-important plateau and road.

I started out with a pretty coherent position, and I hoped that things would work out OK.

French Dragoons, advancing against my right flank.

My Rifles, protecting my right saw off the Dragoons, removing one threat.

The 61st advanced on my left, protected by the Atiradores, who did sterling work seeing off the Voltigeurs in the woods ahead of me. I repeatedly used Sharp Practice to keep the Atiradores loaded, so that they could make the most of their firing as my left flank pressed forwards.

I hoped that my Portuguese Line would be OK, holding the centre as the 61st made good progress.

Unhappily, Rob's Voltigeurs attacked over the hill, defeating the Rifles, who were caught unloaded in Fisticuffs, pushing them back to the edge of the table. Before long, they would be gone, leafing the Portuguese line with an undefended flank.

This led to the breakup of the line, and their eventual defeat.

We were running out of time, but things had kind of turned into a stalemate. My 61st and Atiradores held the heights on the left, and were inflicting casualties on the main French line but my right was reduced to a single group of Portuguese who had little hope of survival. 

In the end, we called it a draw, but my Force Morale was plummeting.

In the end, an excellent weekend of gaming, and one that has given me much food for thought. I may well have to venture back into buying and painting up more British, flank company skirmishers with muskets, not Rifles.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

7TV; one of my 2020 projects gets going at last.

I first played 7TV a couple of years ago and decided that it was a game I could enjoy a lot. When Crooked Dice launched an upgraded version of the rules, I bought the box and I got a few starter sets of figures. Then, other things became more important and my 7TV project languished on the shelf. However, it was always my intention to get things moving this year, and when 7TV Pulp came out last Summer, I bought those rules too, seeing lots of possibilities for existing figures, as well as the chance to buy loads of lovely Bob Murch minis too!

So, without further ado, here are my first efforts. First, some female Minions;

Here is the Chief Minion together with two of her enforcers;

Next, a couple of Minions with SLRs;

And three with sub-machine guns;

Now, the Stars and Co-stars of my team;

The co-stars;

And the stars themselves;

The premise of 7TV is that the various teams (a.k.a. "casts") are based around TV programmes from the 1960s and 70s. I decided that my first cast would be for a glamorous high-budget secret agent series called "Antony and Cleopatra", featuring the dynamic duo of Jason Antony and Claudia "Foxy" Cleopatra. Together with their co-stars, the sisters Pandora and Petunia Perkins, they are the main assets of a secret government agency known only as Department X. They can call upon a variety of assistants ("extras") and the ones I have chosen to portray are a bunch of women security guards known as Althea's Amazons, led by the formidable Captain Althea Abercrombie.

Department X, clearly a forerunner of "The X-Files" is tasked with investigating any and all manifestations of occult, alien, weird science or otherwise inexplicable phenomena, and individuals and groups who may be involved in such goings-on.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

En Avant ..... Au Double! - Day One

In other words, a Sharp Practice Peninsular War weekend event at BIG here in Bristol, organised by Phil and Jenny, who are regulars at these events.

This followed the format of other similar events, with two games each day, spread across several tables, each of which was a real work of art. The games were designed so that there were a pair of players on each side, with the pairs staying together over all four games. Unfortunately, because of the dreadful weather, my partner for the weekend, Rogier had to get an early flight back to Rotterdam and wasn't able to take part on the Sunday.

Each pair of players was in charge of an army totalling 110pts, using the Cerro Manteca force rosters developed by David Hunter. As Rogier was flying over, I provided the complete force for us, using my Anglo-Portuguese 28mm troops.

Anyway, there was much fun had by all, in some extremely challenging scenarios, and here is a selection of pictures from the weekend. In the first scenario we played, the French were trying to capture a Spanish priest so that he could be dragged away and executed, due to his extreme anti-French sermons. The Anglo-Portuguese were trying to protect him. We failed in this, so the game ended up as a minor French victory, because they hadn't managed to get him off the table.

Here are more photos from a selection of other games, all from the Saturday session.

What a lot of Dragoons, including some as Infantry, and elite company ones as skirmishers.

The Anglo-Portuguese in action, trying to stop the French crossing the river, so that an Allied engineer could blow up the bridge.

All weekend, apart from in the last game, the Anglo-Portuguese suffered heavily from the attentions of French artillery.

Oh dear! The French are running riot on the wrong side of the river. Another defeat,

So, my gallant Anglo-Portuguese didn't cover themselves in glory on Day One. The problem was twofold; French cannister shot and swarms of French skirmishing foot.

I have very much come around to the view that Allied skirmishing light infantry with Baker rifles are an expensive luxury, because of the slow reload of the rifles and the high cost of the actual troops themselves. I am considering buying a Victrix plastic British Flank Company box and making up some Light Bobs with muskets to replace them. However, then I'll have to paint them and I really cannot face doing any more Napoleonic uniforms for a while. A project for later this year, I think.

I will do a second post later this week to cover the Sunday games.