Monday 19 December 2011

The battle of Kitchen table Round Five

First some back story. Frank likes Napoleonics and is keen on playing games of Volley and Bayonet. Another friend had recently bought a set of rules called Waterloo (or something equally similar) which is a Warhammer product using their War of the Ring rules engine to play small Napoleonic actions. Four games were played on my kitchen table,. resulting in four great French Victories. Later that day, the French lost a game of Rugby.

Naturally, all of this went to my head and resulted in a small amount of trash talk. I am making my Volley and Bayonet French up out of largely Airfix figures, as such due to the hunched up nature of the figures, Frank has refered to them as being my Uruk-Hai French. His Army, as always, is beautifully painted and quite shiney.
The WIP French Horde.
Another WIP. Airfix Waterloo French Cavalry (Cuirassiers). These are figures I bought brand new at Hobday's when they were released in the 1990s. And, yes, I have painted the saddlebags things wrong. I plan to correct this when I give them more paint for the next battle.

And divided into to two divisions.

Airfix French Infantry Officer mounted on Airfix Cowboy horse. figure was acquired second hand with bent arm. I added the horse, gave a repaint, and the now standard GW Devan Mud wash. it's great stuff!
And some pictures of Frank's Redcoats. Frank uses Hat British Infantry of some type, with added SHQ metals, the occassional Strelets figure, with some Zvedza thrown in too. All very nice.
Nice stuff. Each VB stand is a Brigade, but Frank puts on the Colours of one of the Brigades battalions to make it look pretty.

I believe these fellows are Guards... But I wouldn't bet on it!
The British deploy. In one spot. A novel but successful measure.

The table had some terrain put down by Frank. The Urban areas are buildings he has made up for his CD3 Bosnian games.
Both sides deploy. the French lack room to deploy fully, and this will cost them.

Very Nice BUAs for all seasons and a variety of periods.

Great looking Barn, Shed, or windowless Slum. No window tax due here!

The view down the road to the other town.

The main street of a no horse town?  I love these buildings!
The game was like the last game of Volley and Bayonet (VB) - quick, brutal, and marked by an utter ignorance of the rules! It was all over in around four turns (I believe each players go counts as half a turn), as the enemy came on in the same old way, and got beaten in the same old way (to paraphrase some guy). Essentially, I committed the same mistakes Frank did when he played me. I keep on wanting to put units behind, and in base to base contact with, other units that are assaulting the enemy. In some systems this rules in bonuses to the attacking unit as it is supported by friendlies. In VB, this results in no bonus, but actually creates the risk of units becoming disordered by the front unit if it is forced to fallback after an attack. This occurs something like this.
Look its the British! Lets advance and crush them by throwing both Divisions against one wing!

This will be successful! Look how many stands are in support of the attack!
The attack is suboptimal. The French are disordered!

The Counterattack by the British, and the French get further disordered to rout status, and both Divisions hit their exhaustion point.
Stands actually eliminated during the game. French Cavalry, Artillery, and Infantry.
In short, I took a pounding, had lots of fun, and both Frank and I increased our understanding of VB. Clearly I need to get cracking on with painting the French! The key question is, especially for campaigns, if the terrain doesn't favour your deployment, should you commit to battle? For our pick up games, I will game on any terrain, with any force, as playing against the odds is something I enjoy, and often learn from. Campaign games would require slightly more thought as to whether or not a battle should be joined.


  1. Hi Brian,
    Looking at those pics reminds me of a Gilbert & Sullivan tag that runs: 'When Wellington beat Napoleon, as every schoolboy can tell, the House of Peers did nothing in particular, and did it very well.' With all due respect to your friend Frank, his wait until we see the White's of their eyes was a bit risky. What if you had waited for him??

    I have to admit, although V&B I find uncongenial, the armies designed for that rule set do look the business, no mistake.

    If you have any, use the Airfix Napoleonic British Hussars as French - the uniform designs were much the same. They are a swine to affix to their bases, but they do paint up very nicely. Those figures could also be used for Chasseurs-a-cheval of the Guard.


  2. Here's a link to an army that features Airfix Napoleonic cavalry figures:
    I quite liked how they turned out...