Saturday, April 28, 2012

Battle of Blasthof in 40mm

This weekend I carved out a bit of time to do a dining table re-fight of the classic Battle of Blasthof from Peter Young's "Charge". This time the thought was to do the battle using 40mm Prince August homecasts and playing the battle twice. Once across the short dimension of a small 4'x5' table and once across the long dimension using the same terrain set up. So what follows here is the battle set up according to "Charge" but with some variations in the forces and start positions. One of the things I wanted to experiment with was having big figures on a small table but still having enough room for some decent movement. The Charge rules were played essentially "as is" with the small addition of a save roll when officers are hit...not sure it makes much difference but I just thought there needed to be some sort of value in having all those splendid fellows on the table for something more than their visual pomp.

So here follows the account of the Battle of Blasthof (version 1):
Advancing cavalry contest the Blasthofberg
 The opening stages of the action are dominated by advancing cavalry on both sides. To make the small table "work" as a larger space, I staged the entry of the entry of the infantry using a D6 to randomize their entry turns, that way the cavalry had a large space to move in the early game.
 The Grolsteiner Uhlanen make the first charge against the second squadron of the 4th horse as the first squadron of the 4th prepare to engage a squadron of Royal Rousillon Cavalerie
Royal Rousillon ford Blasthof stream while their their second squadron moves to secure Blasthof Bridge

The first melee
The initial cavalry clash on the Blasthofberg found the uhlanen particularly fierce in the initial round of melee. (Another house rule is I give lancers equal footing against heavy cavalry in the first round of melee...if a second round follows, they fight as an unequal combat versus the heavies.)
Bleiherzen Hussars clash with the Royal Rousillon

British foot begins to arrive on the field

 The Uhlanen manage to drive off one of the squadrons of the 4th but are caught by a timely volley by a the grenadier company of the 12th ordered to advance on the Blasthofberg and on the other flank both the hussars and the French withdraw and regroup.
Royal Artillery firing on the retreating French horse

Cavalry retreat and regroup

French Artillery comes into action against British foot fording the stream beyond Blasthof Bridge

A company of the Lyonnais Regiment accompanied by their grenadiers on the right are ordered to clear the farm of some enterprising Jagers who have taken up residence
 The Regiment Lyonnais finally begins their advance and immediately begins to take casualties from both the British artillery and Colonel Gerlach's Jagers holding the farm.
(The French CinC is as yet unpainted)
The Royal Rousillon regrouped and advancing to the charge again.

French gun supporting the advance of Regiment Lyonnais

The 12th Foot defends the bridge with a Royal Artillery gun in support

Royal Rousillon Cavalerie

Grolstein Uhlanen in full cry!

Regiment Lyonnais delivers a volley.

Second cavalry clash

The second charge of the Royal Rousillion results in a huge hole punched in the British line and the final retreat of the 4th Horse.
The Grolsteiner Uhlanen charge in support of the Royal Rousillion run into a volley from the British grenadiers that stops the charge dead in its tracks.
British infantry retreats from the right bank of Blasthof stream to consolidate

Regiment Lyonaise close in on the bridge

with the Jagers driven from the farm, all that remains is a fight for the bridge

Meanwhile the cavalry finish the day in a wild melee.

the grenadiers of the 12th move up to support the final defense of Blasthof Bridge

Momemts before the final volley

In the final minutes of the day, the Bleiherzen Hussars charge the flank of the French heavies bringing them to their break point.

The last volley...
The British deliver a crushing volley that causes the Regiment Lyonnais to reach their breakpoint and ends the battle in the final hours of daylight. The British hold the field!...Can they be defeated in the next battle?


Rodger said...

Great report and an awesome looking game. Love the troops.

Ross Mac said...

Excellent! I could spend hours looking at these armies. Your painting has hit exactly the right note with these. and the British Grenadiers? Absolutely lovely!

Once Huzzah is over and done I'm going to have to get back to my PA molds.

I take it you are using the full version of Charge! The Basic Rules used the original Blasthof have, of course, 1/2 the movement and shooting distances of the full game. Have you tried using those on the smaller table? I haven't yet myself.

littlejohn said...

Ross, I went with the "full monty" advanced rules, with a few added rules...

..and thanks Rodger!!

Mark Dudley said...

Absolutely Splendid - you have captured why Prince August figures look so good.

You seem to have got more figures painted than your last report and must have invested in quiet a few moulds.

Will you be building your forces up to full 48 man units ?



joppy said...

Enjoyable report, splendid photos - thank you.

littlejohn said...

Mark, At this point I think I'm going to keep the units at 2 companies since these days my gaming space is limited to my dining table (my large table is over in the back room of my wife's yarn shop!?...and I hardly ever have time to go there..) So for now the infantry regiments are 32 plus officers/ncos/drummers. same with the cavalry (2 squadrons instead of three). Light cavalry are 10 to a squadron since in the period they tended to be fielded in larger units...and it helps to offset the weight disadvantage they have in melee against heavy horse.

--actually I found the moulds to be fairly cost efficient since some of them allow you to cast two it helps to have a lot of old metal laying around to use for casting...(and other than the toxic metal problem...which is why I can only cast in good weather outside)

I'm also trying some head swaps and such to get more from the range. (The uhlan commander is a hussar body with a uhlan head)

Peter Douglas said...

Beautiful looking game and figures.