Saturday, October 30, 2021

Lasalle 2 at the Ulster Wargames Society

First meeting of Ulster Wargames Club in Belfast today since Februrary 2020.

Stephen and I brought along his French and my Prussian forces for another game of Lasalle 2 using Scenario 5 'Hold Your Ground' with French in defence.

Good old slog along a river line with my Prussian Grenadiers managing to take one of the two town objectives but my Line units failing to take the other despite 6 separate assaults !! got nowhere near the third objective in French rear area.

My Skirmishing dice were very poor all day even when I had 28 vs initial French 18 and I only won one phase outright, with 2 drawn (I did get Initiative on those 2) and lost other 5 phases.

Pretty much a toe to toe scenario this one as French can line river with initial forces and tough nut to crack (the extra MO needed to move/charge across river is a real drain) even before French reserves arrive.

Another fun and slick game with these rather enjoyable rules despite (or maybe because of) its abstractions and broad brush style.

Was great to get back to further normality and see people in the flesh as it were instead of via Zoom. I hope to get to Elimination club as well in due course (just have not had a free Friday evening this month)

Besides our game there was a Field Of Glory Renaissance game (Ottomans Turk vs Venetians) and a Chain Of Command game (British vs German).

Prussian right wing attacks  

As Grenadiers and Russian support attack on left

A solid line of French defenders (several Elite Battalions to the fore)

Disorders start to accumulate

Prussian cavalry are across river

First assaults on town are repulsed

Russian suffering on my left as Grenadiers threaten an unoccupied town

French cavalry have appeared to counter my mounted units (we both lost a unit each)

Grenadiers about to take the town (Prussian high water mark)

The 'two Davids' and Paul with the FOGR clash, I tried to take a pic of the rather excellent flags on display but photo does not do them justice.

The 'two Jeremys' and yet another 'two Davids' and Phil (a newcomer to the fold) battle it out on western front with CoC i

Thursday, October 28, 2021

O Group - Cristot scenario started

Game using O Group today with Stephen utilizing the included scenario 'Cristot' in Normandy. We had tried this back in March via Zoom but only played a few turns so decided to give it 'proper' outing to re-learn the rules.

Stephen picked attacking British and I therefore was Germans in defence.

Having only played these once and briefly it there was a lot of looking up of how orders and suchlike work and we made a couple of mistakes but enjoyed the game overall, indeed we only played 5 turns so have left it in situ to continue next week.

Took us a minute to recall that visibility/LOS and elevation is key concept in rules with even tanks only able to fire at 30" unless on higher ground (can fire up to 50") as sort of used to fairly unlimited ranges with other rule sets. Infantry engagement ranges are also quite truncated (14" for Rifle Platoons) on level. This is particularly important for use of FOO/Coy spotters)

Some queries arose over the use of Combat Patrols as these are key components of the game system but think we got all sorted (mainly could they could be shot at as React Fire).

Two overt mistakes were allowing British to deploy a Sherman Platoon at start (these are in off-table reserves in scenario) and later I deployed an Infantry Platoon fire in Defensive Fire Phase to conduct React Fire which would only be possible if they were in Ambush.

All the various shooting, moving and combat in O Group is really very straightforward and easy to pick up, the complication is in the Orders, Deployments, Combat Patrols and things like Phase Lines/Consolidation Points partly as these are often spread throughout the rules and in some instances not tightly explained.

Took a bit to decipher how an 'Independent' Section (such as an MMG) works as not initially clear to us if must be attached to a Company and its CO or if operated as a 'pure' Battalion asset as such. We decided they must attach to a Company and operate within their area of operations as that seemed to be intent of rules but not fully clear. 

The Consolidation Order (allowing Reserve Company to deploy on captured objective/phase line) is also bit unclear on how this concept is actually enacted on table (does the Company already on table have to halt or move 'out of the way' ?) as intermixed Companies not really functional/allowed.

As things stand the British on their left have taken initial objective of a large orchard and have Consolidated a fresh Reserve Company on this location. A Pak40 engaged Shermans brewing one and Panther engaged second Sherman Platoon (only possible as on elevated ground). British have lost 1 Infantry section and a Sherman. The Germans have lost 3 Infantry sections  (1 Platoon lost in pre-game bombardment). Both sides have several Platoons still not revealed/deployed. To be continued.................

Nice to get the WW2 toys out for a change.

Cristot from German lines not many troops deployed at start (but errant Shermans visible on low rise)

British Infantry Platoons deploy and push forward

Lots of fields to give Infantry some much needed cover on both sides

Panthers deployed from Reserve 

British orchard objective (I lost a full Platoon here) captured and reserve Company has now deployed additional Combat Patrols

Situation at end of turn 5 (maximum of 16 scheduled).

Friday, October 22, 2021

Lasalle 2 - Another Omelette broken - French vs Prussians

Another game of Lasalle 2 this time with 'Le Duc' in our first post plague game as he wanted to see Lasalle in action (being a fan of Sam Mustafas rules in general).

So I set up scenario 4 again with Le Duc attacking with Prussians against my defending French.

Prussians had 2 infantry brigades each with 3 Inf, 1 field gun and a unit of Hussars, they had a cavalry brigade of 1 Dragoon and 1 Uhlan, also a brigade with 2 Grenadiers and a Howitzer battery, their force was completed by a brigade of 3 Russian allied infantry. These 18 units generated a basic 28 skirmish dice. Le Duc had the 'Valiant' trait for his General.

French had 2 infantry brigades of 3 veteran infantry with a field gun, 1 brigade of 3 veterans and a cavalry brigade of 2 Chasseurs. So only 13 units but still 27 basic skirmish dice. The General choose 'Charismatic' trait to assist with rallies.

So honours even re skirmishing and I think Prussians won 5 Initiative and French 3 out of 8 turns played with never more than 4 'Voltigeurs' ever placed.

Le Duc had not read the rules beforehand so very much a teaching game but Lasalle is very easy to teach and indeed to pick up its basic premises even when using the 'advanced' rules especially as a goodly portion is familiar from play of Blucher and Maurice.

Learning how best to use the MO is harder to assimilate but he seemed to be catching on as game progressed and once he realised the potency of cavalry in the game.

We had a ding dong cavalry battle on my right flank which was essentially an even dice fest which I managed to win taking out the Prussian Dragoons and Uhlans, getting 2 on 1 and/or a flank contact is very powerful and usually decisive.

This then forced his supporting brigade of Russians into squares which my artillery and infantry then pounded to destruction and subsequently wiped out. I was however lucky not to lose a Chasseur and infantry unit to enemy artillery fire on this flank.

In centre I had some trouble dealing with Prussian Grenadiers but once Russians collapsed they were exposed and lost 1 unit but timely support from nearby Hussars saved the other.

On my left the Prussians piled on the pressure with 2 brigades against 1 but its slow going with the woods. I had a unit destroyed early on and another forced into square by the Prussians Hussars. But this square manfully held onto until last turn with some superb dice rolls with lots of sixes in combat and decent rallying (its a game of skill I tell ya !) tying up several Prussian units and keeping them away from central objective.

I had placed a wood in front of the objective again (seems a no brainer) and this too stymied Prussian progress.

At games end the central objective was exposed but still French whilst the town was firmly secured and indeed 'Carnage' was marginally in French favour.

Le Duc seemed to enjoy the game and rules especially as he professes not to be offay enough with Napoleonic period to see major flaws or issues but just appreciated the fast and decisive nature of the game but with enough decision points to make for an interesting and fun game. His Blog post reveals his thoughts on rules

Time for something other than Napoleonics next methinks................. 

Prussians advance with some annoying skirmisher deployed

French infantry advances to delay Prussians as cavalry prepare to engage on right

Initial Cavalry clash is indecisive (note Chasseurs have obtained a Huzzah marker from destruction of Russian infantry unit)

Prussians putting pressure my left and Grenadiers advance in centre

French firm on ridge as their cavalry have routed their Prussian equivalents

French delaying on left but suffering for it

With Prussian cavalry gone French are able to counterattack off the ridge against Russian squares and the Grenadiers

Heroic French square holds fast on left

It eventually succumbed to massed Prussian volleys after being weakened by charges from Hussars but it was just enough to protect the adjacent objective.

Lasalle 2 - 'Breaking the Omelette' scenario again, French vs Russians

Another game of Lasalle 2 at Stephens today playing scenario 4 which we had tried as initial outing with rules via Zoom last year (and which I recently played solo).

Stephen took French Guard attacking against my Russians (exact same as in solo game).

His army was essentially same as mine but with no Old Guard artillery and an extra unit of Guard Cavalry.

Russians massively out skirmished so Initiative was always (bar first turn) with French.

Stephen choose 'Energetic' command trait to see how that worked and I stuck with 'Steadfast' for Russians.

I placed a wood again in front of the central objective defended by the lowly Jager (essentially Conscript class) with two Infantry brigades defending the ridge and town with Hussar brigade in support.

French rushed forward their brigade of Guard Cavalry supported by Young Guard and Old Guard and this forced Russians into squares which were then prime targets for French guns and muskets.

I brought my Hussars into play forcing Old Guard into square but found the Guard Cavalry too tough to crack (the fact I failed to roll above 2 in any combat with them was not helpful).

Whilst Russians in this scenario do not care about losses as much as objectives they were soon mounting up and French deployed several 'Voltigeur' stands to further annoy the Russians.

On turn 7 (of 8) the Old Guard took the town after their heavy artillery decimated its garrison (4 disorders out of 5 hits !) and this along with 'Carnage' gave them Victory (they were poised to take central objective as well)

Of course my General fell wounded as Stephen rolled the required 1 when needed.

We both feel there are several abstractions in rules and agree its a fairly broad brush approach to the period lacking in several 'chrome' aspects but again it was a fun game that played slickly allowing us to complete the game in a single session, not always possible with other sets.

Are they the 'best' Napoleonic rules out (and wont replace FOB or GDA for me), but they are great for a game based around the set scenarios with a points based force, minimal preparation and playable in reasonable time frame with low rules overhead which is a big plus for us overall.

Russian Jager defend central objective (the cart)

Russian defenders of the ridge and town

Young Guard brigades advancing with Guard cavalry (Old Guard to the right)

Young Guard brigade pushes through woods (this proved fruitless in the end)

Those damn 'Voltigeurs' being deployed to annoy and harass

Young Guard on French right redeploying from woods

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Wavre with Shako II (and believe it or not a rare WIN !!!!!)

Another game using Shako II rules today at Stephens with the published Wavre scenario.

I of course used my Prussians to defend against Stephens French.

The scenario has rather complicated terrain with bonuses for Prussians defending the river Dyle crossings in the town sectors and lots of marshland all along both banks of the river, and differing levels of possible French victory.

We both realised that our respective mounted units were essentially superfluous as just no place to operate (pretty tough to effectively deploy and use artillery as well).

That said Stephen did get one unit of French Hussars across the bridge near Limal which had to stay in column on a road, but managed to destroy a unit of Landwehr before dying itself.

French need to push across bridge at Limal (which is very weakly defended by a single unit of Infantry and a Skirmish stand) on their left flank whilst attacking the tough Prussian positions at Bierge and Wavre.

The defenders of Bierge managed to thwart 5 separate assaults by staggering back the attacking French columns but on their 6th attempt the volleys failed and French then managed to take the town sector.

By this time a massive French force was bearing down on the flank of my central force at Bierge and after a brave stand they eventually broke. 

However this had taken 10 (of the scheduled 12) turns to achieve and as French had ignored garrison at Limal until too late they had insufficient time to capture this town thereby denying themselves even a marginal victory (taking Bierge and Limal) so Prussians triumphant (yee hah !!!).

A tough task for the French this one but Prussians somewhat lucky at Bierge as had it fallen earlier things may have been very different.

Fun game with Shako today without the head-scratching we had in some recent games, we will of course not play it again for ages and forget what we decided re any issues :-)

Congestion at Wavre on Prussian left

French forming up to assault Bierge in Prussian center

The isolated defenders at Limal on Prussian right, as French prepare to seize the bridge

French Dragoons redeploying (fruitlessly as it transpired)

Prussian guns firing (to little effect) on French side of Wavre

Central Prussian command deploys to meet oncoming French

French Hussars lead the way along the road through marshy area

French piling up along road and marshes to threaten Prussians around Bierge

Prussian light cavalry try to help but realise they cannot (not allowed to enter marsh)

Overview of action at Bierge and Limal 

Wavre scenario map (note each square is 8") with marsh extending 8" either side of river along its length. Town sectors on river contain bridges and have enhanced defences.