Clotted Lard 2020

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Siege of Delhi, Indian Mutiny - Black Powder

Editors Note:
This post covers one of the three games played in early March 2020 and was submitted prior to the announcement that the club has now closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 Lock-down and the prohibition on social gatherings.

We look forward to a resumption of normal life as soon as possible, extend our sincerest condolences to those who have lost friends and family during this time and encourage everyone to stay safe, stay home and protect out National Health Service.

I was only on the field as a Reporter for The Times, so I do not wish to detract from the official report that will be forthcoming. However, it has to be said that those dashed Mutineers learnt the error of their ways and Our Gallant Fellows gave them a Damned Good Pounding!

After the British Cavalry were gallantly led forward and chased off the ragged heathen Horse, they were obliged to retire back to our Siege Works, so Our Thin Red Lines could get in some good target practice!

The mounds of Mutineer dead were almost as high as our parapets! The Horde of Pandey's even managed to unnerve the Highland Battalion, which was in the open, causing them to retire from the field in disorder. This left the Besieging Artillery dangerously exposed and lured the Mutineers in, for a desperate charge at the guns.

They were bounced by a half strength field battery, but were confident when they hit a disordered, half strength Naval gun in the flank! However, the British matelot is built of sterner stuff and although badly outnumbered and outmanoeuvered, they fought off the Mutineers and turned to face, daring the Horde to try again!

A mighty cheer erupted from the British Lines and the Mutineers decided to retire and lick their wounds. Happily Our Troops could return to their encampment in time for Tiffin and gather around the camp fire for some tales of Daring Do.

I Remain as Always,

Your Correspondent in the Field,
Currently outside Delhi

Saturday, 11 April 2020

ACW 15mm using Brigade Fire and Fury 2

Editors Note:
This post covers one of the three games played in early March 2020 and was submitted prior to the announcement that the club has now closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 Lock-down and the prohibition on social gatherings.

We look forward to a resumption of normal life as soon as possible, extend our sincerest condolences to those who have lost friends and family during this time and encourage everyone to stay safe, stay home and protect out National Health Service.

The Scenario

This game was based upon the Battle of Raab. Archduke John of Austria was being pursued by EugĂ©ne de Beauharnais, Napoleon Bonaparte’s stepson . In this game the Austrians were replaced by the Rebels and the Union troops replaced the French.

Battle of Raab, 14th June 1809

The Rebel army was made up of half Veteran and half Experienced and Green units, whilst the Union troops were either Veteran or Crack.

The number of stands was the same for both sides so it was all about using quality against defended positions.

The town counted as full cover and the farm was fortified. The river was fordable but disordered all troops on crossing. Guns could only cross via the two bridges but the horse battery with the cavalry could cross to the right of the fortified area.

The Game

The deployment and first move were made using cards to simulate mist coming off the river. On revealing the units we found the Union deployed on their right with the cavalry division and two crack infantry divisions. The two other divisions were on the left next to the main bridge leaving the centre completely free.

The Rebels deployed in and around the fortified farm and on both hills to gain height for their guns and waited. The rebel guns opened fire on the advancing union columns causing light casualties. As the union forces advanced on their left the rebels surprised their opponents by coming to meet them. Shaking into line both armies clashed exchanging fire and charges. In a very ballsy move a rebel brigade left the farm and crossed the small centre bridge in an attempt to attack the unions in the rear.

On the union right the fast moving cavalry and infantry headed around to attack the rebel left. The rebels held the hill and dished out fire from their guns in the fort and on the hill without slowing them down. Once again the rebels awaited their destiny.

At this point the action was all on the rebel right flank and they managed to force the union forces to
straighten their lines, a euphemism for falling back. These actions had, however caused severe damage to the rebel units as well as to the union. The rebel problem was that their units were not all that good. With that Union attack now seemingly stemmed the rebels sent what spare units they could away to their left to help stem the next onslaught

Eventually the union troops arrived on the confederate left and the cavalry dismounted and started using their machine guns (repeating rifles) to try and pin down the defenders of the fortified farm but they were faced with artillery and infantry and were gradually whittled down. The fast moving union infantry then burst through the woods and attacked the rebels lined up on the hill. The rebels fought bravely but against superior quality troops they were eventually pushed back. However it has to be noted that a rebel brigade did repel a massed attack from three good union brigades before finding themselves suddenly all alone on the hill, whereupon they fell back in good order onto the town.

As this was going on, the union forces on their left now launched a second attack and got to grips with the rebels and forced them back towards the town.

At this point the Confederate leaders gave the order to fall back to the next town down the road and a slight union victory was declared.

I would like to thank all participants for playing the game in such good humour. The scenario was interesting for me because the accepted rule is that the attacking forces should outnumber the defenders. In this case the quality was meant to negate the quantity issues. It did seem to work so I was happy.

This is Steve Land production, generously corrected and added to by Mr Steve. Thanks to you sir.

Figures from AB and Blue Moon. My thanks to Nick and Mr Steve for their efforts in painting them for me. Battle Mat by Tiny Wargames. Buildings by Empires at War. The trees are a mix of Ebay buys and from Buffers Model Railways. The hills were from Total System Scenic (TSS). Roads and rivers are from Fat Frank. The rails fences I got from ebay.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Southern Ukraine 1919 - Red Actions.

Originally billed as an AWI game, after a quick figure count I realised I couldn’t field enough troops for four players. I’d intended bringing John Bull/Patriots to the table. After some head scratching, I decided the best solution was Red Actions, similar rules and long overdue an outing.

The scenario came from the generator in the rule book, ‘Is that the Chattanooskaya Choo-Choo?’ The attacker, the Whites in this case, need to secure the rail station before an ammunition train arrives in order to capture it intact.

I rolled for the forces as per the scenario generator, the Red defenders getting 180 points and the White attackers getting 260. This gave each Red player three companies of five platoons, all Red Regulars, an MG each and a field gun each. They also had a squadron of Red cavalry and a spare MG.

The White players each had two companies of six volunteer platoons and a company of five Colour infantry platoons. They shared out four MGs, an FT17, one field gun and an Austin-Putilov armoured car.

Since I was not as familiar with the rules as I’d like and the players were all new to the game, I avoided Commissars and other complications. As a house rule, we decided action sequence by dice roll. Each player rolled a handful of dice, one for each element with sixes being wild. Dice were then allocated to an element in numerical order. Ties were re-rolled and sixes could be used whenever the player chose. This seemed to work well and at a couple of points made for some interesting twists.

The Reds set up around the rail station making use of buildings and what cover they could. The Whites entered from the far edge, a little further back then the scenario suggests, to give players a turn or two to familiarise with activation and movement.

There didn’t appear to any particular plan on the part of the Whites, other than ‘You go up that side, I’ll go up this side.’ A clearly inexperienced White gun commander quickly discovered that a limbered gun on a sky line makes a good target. After beating a hasty retreat, a more cautious approach then followed. The Austin AC was similarly incautious, but the hapless crew didn’t get a second chance. The Red gunners were on their game.

On the Whites’ right a steady advance brought them up to the trees overlooking the sidings. Under covering fire from the FT, the Colour infantry attempted a flanking manoeuvre. At the first attempt they were beaten back by rifle and MG fire, whilst the Red field gun duelled with the FT.

On the White left, some order was being imposed and slowly troops, MGs and the field gun were positioned to win the firefight. The Whites scored a major blow when they managed to rout the crew of the Red FG, who routed away before they could be rallied.

Back on the Whites’ right, a second flanking attempt by the Colour infantry was forced back by the threat of the Red cavalrymen. This cost the Reds a platoon but held the flank for now. However, after several turns of duelling, the FT eventually got the better of the Red FG.

About the same time, a White volunteer company finally gained a foothold in the church, forcing back the Red company. The Reds had a very nicely placed MG behind the church, which had very effectively enfiladed the Whites flanking movements for several turns, whilst being out of sight of the Whites fire support. The loss of the church made its position untenable, unlocking the right flank for the Whites.

The Whites were now massing in the centre and having knocked out both Red FGs, had a decisive advantage. The Reds we’re slowly getting prised out of their positions, left and right.

Having played for four hours, we called it at that point. All the players enjoyed the rules, even if I made a few mistakes in application. As a first game with the rules it worked well, players running their sides of the table with minimal refereeing. The rules are pretty simple but have considerable character. I really like the similarity in basic principles with John Bull which makes switching period much easier with minimal relearning of rules. 

All figures are Peter Pig, buildings are Ironclad miniatures or scratch built and rolling stock by Siku toys. Railway from Battlefront/Gale Force 9. Great to see the toys on the table, it’s given me the enthusiasm to paint my Red sailors, Cossacks and Tachankas. Hopefully more to follow before too long.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Devon Wargames Group - Future Meetings Cancelled until Further Notice

It is with regret that the members of the Devon Wargames Group have decided, in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and recent guidance from government recommending not to attend public gatherings and clubs, to cancel planned future meetings until further notice.

As a responsible part of our local and national community the club is keen to support the efforts to bring a speedy and positive conclusion to the current situation and to not put anybody at greater risk and thus we have decided to halt our normal schedule of meeting dates.

We still have some game reports to publish here on the club blog, so those will appear in the time being together with any other appropriate club news between now and what we hope will be a short intermission to our normal output.

We wish everyone to remain safe and to stay in good health and look forward to a return to more normal circumstances.