Saturday, March 28, 2015

SYW - Battle for Winter Quarters - Part 1

Our group played PART 1 of the Winter Quarters battle. The scenario is both sides are trying to get one last victory and stay in this area for winter quarters. There was a early, light, snow covering the ground that does not effect movement. (I hadn't used my snow terrain in years so I wanted to give it a try.

Here is a photo of the terrain before the battle. On the right is the Allied base line, and the left is the French baseline. Both sides will have random arrival times for their columns. See the Scenario special rules below.

Brian and Jan were the French Commanders.
Myself and Steve "The Hanoverian Hammer" were the allies.

Scenario Special Rules


The game starts in darkness just before dawn – visibility 4”

The first time the Stratagem card is turned (in the French deck), dawn arrives, with visibility up to 12”. (If for some reason the turn ends before the card is turned, it has the same effect)

Second time card is turned normal visibility.

No Stand Removal

I spent a lot of time collecting the figures, so we are going to leave them on the table. I have casualty markers that should work fine for the game.

Command Group Arrival

All units start off board. Players designate their arrival locations. Infantry MUST arrive on a road. Cavalry may arrive anywhere on base table edge.

When a side wins initiative for the first time, they roll a D6 for each command group. On a 4-6 the command group arrives and may take one move in Column of Route (March column) onto the table from their designated entry point at one impetus per command group. If the command group rolls a 1-3 they must wait for the first Move in Open card to be turned. Hence all commands arrive by after the first Move in Open card is turned. (Thought about making this more difficult, but wanted everybody in the game quickly).

Special Maneuvers and Deployments

If a unit is not within 24” of the enemy they may Maneuver or make a Deployment on the Officer Check card.

Victory Points

This game will be driven by VPs. The player gains 1 VP for each enemy unit routed from the table. The player gains 2 VP for every “destroyed” unit.  This will force players to remove battered units from the frontlines and attempt to rally routed units before they leave the table. Whichever side has the most VP when either side reaches zero morale chips wins the game, even if they still have more morale chips.

Rule of ½

In this game, because I want both sides active, the losing side on the impetus roll gets 50% of the winner’s impetus rather than just 33% like we normally play.

The French rolled in 2 of their 5 commands on the first impetus, while the Allies brought in 3 of their 4 columns with theirs. Below is the Swiss Brigade of the French army arriving in column of march.

This will give you a lay of the land, with the Allies to the left and the French brigades\commands on the far side of the table.

The Hanover cavalry swings wide around the town, to threaten the Swiss flank..

Der Hammer's infantry command which rolled up a Superior leader (adds a Brilliant Subordinate card to the Allied Sequence deck which this command can use)

Even though the Allies started well with all their Brigades arriving quickly, the French go the upper hand early and were able to move and get their commands deployed for combat early. Here you can see the French moving into the town on the Allied right wing.

The Swiss and the large French center begin to deploy for battle, while the Allies fumble around in the dark. Visibility is still 4" as this point in time due to darkness.

At this point the Allies rolled 19 - 1 on the impetus roll so they received 18 impetus and the French received 9. The allies dashed forward in column of march, taking advantage of darkness and knowing they would be able to deploy before the French could act. This is a rare situation in Piquet, but with that much impetus, good things happen.

The Hessians (Allies) shake out into line ready for battle.

The Hanoverian infantry is ready and their cavalry is also poised to hit the Swiss in the flank.

Der Hammer cleans up his line for the attack, pushing two units into the Class II woods at the road junction, while the Hanoverian Grenadiers get ready to attack.

View across the front showing the French lines on the right and the Allies on the left. Hessians closest on the left.

More cavalry movement for the Hanoverians. A single Swiss regiment holds the flank.

View from the Hanoverian perspective.

Cool photo of the Hessian and French lines

Der Hammer launches his infantry attack. Grenadiers and Swiss exchange fire at close range with little effect. Hanover regiment Behr (Yellow flag) exchanges volley's with the Swiss then gets destroyed by the 8# French battery!

The black spots are casualty figures from the Behr regiment. The regiment behind them moves into this gap and we draw a Heroic Moment card.

The Ahlefeld Regiment (Blue flag), is the worst unit in the Hanoverian command (8 Fire, 4 melee, and 4 morale), but with this Heroic Moment, Point Blank, and First Fire, their modified firepower becomes a D12, and they proceed to destroy the entire Swiss regiment in front of them with 9 hits (the Swiss had already lost a stand - 3 hits).

The Hanoverian cavalry moves ever closer along with the two infantry regiments moving through the woods.

Von Post Regiment (Green flag) moves out of the woods and fires into the flank of the Deisbach Swiss Regiment (Things are not going well for the Swiss)

Diesbach is routed and can be seen clumped with the other routed Swiss regiment near the board edge. The French continue to wheel into position to try to shore up this flank.

Here is the shot of the forces after the evening. Two unfortunately things for the French. They forgot to add the Weather Check card to their deck to signal the changing of the light. We were at 12" visibility when we stopped. They also forgot to put their Brilliant Leader card in their deck on the first turn. I guess the overall commanders was having breakfast and didn't want to be disturbed.

The rest of the photos are just nice after the game photos. We will continue the battle next week.

French Dragoons

French right flank where the Swiss left their dead and wounded.

Center from the French perspective.


Overhead shot. Here you can see in the top right of the photo, the Prussian cavalry brigade attempting to outflank the French. The Irish Regiment, Berwick, is formed up on that side of the table to stop them.

Shot of the gulley. Will the Grenadiers or the French battery reload first. The Grenadiers did manage to cause a stand lose to the battery just as the night was ending for us.

Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

SYW - Battle of Vorst - Part 2


We continued our game from last week and we had a wonderful time as usual.

Charles (my stop-action video king) couldn't make it this week, so Steve controlled the entire Hanoverian Wing! Steve did extremely well for his first game of Piquet. May have to give him a new nickname: The Hanoverian Hammer!

When we left there was a major cavalry clash that was finished on the French right wing, with 2 out of 3 French cavalry units destroyed. This left the French flank fairly unhinged.

This is Piquet, so recovery was possible depending on the impetus, cards, and die rolling.

Group (L to R): Eric B., Eric C., Mike J., Steve (the Hammer!)

The Allies win the initiative and the first card they pull - Cavalry Move in Open! Uggh, there goes my French Artillery! Steve wheels his Heavy cavalry and smashes into my flank causing an immediate disorder! We fight one round of melee, and I somehow manage to survive to face, but the, the second round the cavalry completely shatters my French artillery!

Not a good start for the French

French General Eric C., rolling to hurt some Hessians!

Nice shot of the table, after  the Hanoverian cavalry run me over. In the bottom right of the photo is the French Heavy Cavalry Berry! They want to draw some momentum away from the Hanoverians so they charge a weaken Prussian Hussar regiment. The dastardly Hanoverian commander expecting that move unlimbered some medium cannons in the valley pointing directly at Berry's flank. The reckless French general (me), charges anyway, hoping the guns will whiff! The hit square on and cut the Berry regiment in half. Berry survives the fire and morale challenge and destroys the Prussian Hussars! Huzzah!

The Berry Regiment, wanting to teach the Hanoverians a lesson, charge down the hill towards the flank of the Hanoverian line! Who would blink first! Well, the Hanoverians turned Artillery Reload card, reloaded, then fired at my charging cavalry regiment. The Berry Heavy Horse was no more! Their commander was also killed in the artillery salvo. The entire French right wing cavalry command group has been destroyed!

On the left, General Eric C. not pushes his two French Cuirassier regiments into melee. They are both rated D12 which is excellent, plus being in attack column they are going to be rolling D12+2 in melee provided they can initiate it!

Meste-de-Camp manages to make contact after the Hessian infantry miss their Opp Fire. Whew!
They would eventually melee with the French Cuirass winning, but having to pursue their routed foe! We had two opportunities to rally from pursue. We failed both. One of them, if we rolled anything but a 1 on a D12, we would have rallied them. Guess what, we roll a 1!

Meanwhile, the French Colonel-General Cuirass is jumped by the 2nd Prussian dragoons and routed! The Prussian dragoons also pursue their foe off the table! Haven't see that happen in ages.

here is the French right wing, refused, to hold off the flanking Hanoverian cavalry. See the steady stream of scarlet heading towards the thin French line?!

To try to relieve some pressure against the right, Eric C. launches an attack of 4 French\Swiss regiments versus 2 Hessian regiments (the Grenadiers are already disordered) in the Center of the battlefield.

The Hessians opp fire and do no visible damage! Viva la France!

This photos shows most of the action with the central battle raging above the forest and my French right wing command attempting to hold the line. Giving ground and casualties as the fall back.

The Hanoverians finally strike, but the French are ready and deliver a close in volley! Drat! The two French line regiments fail to inflict any damage! Gulp.

Below you can see the devastating volley the Hanoverians lay on the French. Dauphin routed, Le Reine lost 50% casualties. The only thing saving the line is a medium battery I fortuitously moved from the center to the right flank! They fire and cause 50% loses on the Hanoverian unit to their front.

The Hanoverians bring the fresh regiment Reden through the gap and over the mounds of dead.

They fire and rout the guns! The game is over as the French lose their last morale chip.

This was truly a wonderful game (both nights) with impetus swings, incredible sacrifices, and good tactics. Below is the situation on the French right flank from the Hanoverian perspective.

Not much left of the center or the far left of the French line. The French attack in the center was feckless as volley after volley failed to clear the single Hessian regiment holding them up.

So, we will be fighting another battle, same period, in a couple weeks. Look for more reports then!