Thursday 24 November 2016

Napoleonic batrep - The Battle of Pampilhosa - Portugal 1810

On what may well be our last game of the year (boo....hisss!) some of Posties Rejects met in at Reject HQ to play our first game in quite a while, (its all my fault? Don't ask?) Postie got the rarely seen British Napoleonic's out for a little bash in the Peninsular. This was a fictional battle set just after the Battle of Bussaco, in 1810 a French loss.
After their famous victory Wellington decided to retreat back to the Torres Vedras Lines, and in a change to history Junot has followed them and managed to hook around the allied forces and get behind them resulting in a harried defence with the troops at hand both British and Portuguese. Maj-Gen Cole the Allied commander aware of the French force chose the best defensible terrain, he can find and waits for the French.
You can see Lee's report of the game, here!
Order of Battle
French c/o General Junot (Lee)
  1st Division - c/o Clausel
     1st Brigade - Monard
        4/19th, 4/25th, 4/28th, 4/34th + Medium Gun Battery
     2nd Brigade - Tavein
        4/15th Legare, 4/46th, 4/75th + Light Gun Battery
     3rd Brigade - Godart
        22nd Line (4)
  2nd Division - c/o Solgnae (Ray)
      1st Brigade - Gratien
         15th (3) & 86th (3) + Medium Gun Battery
      2nd Brigade Tomieres
         65th (4), Irlandais Rgt (1), Regt de Prusse (1)
   Cavalry Division c/o Seinte-Croix
      1st Brigade
         1st Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons
      2nd Brigade
         4th Dragoons, 9th Dragoons
      3rd Bridage
         14th Dragoons, 26th Dragoons + Horse Artillery Battery
      4th (Reserve) Brigade - Ornans
         15th Dragoons, 25th Dragoons

British - c/o Maj-Gen Cole (Ian)
    4th Division - Maj-Gen Cole
       1st Brigade - Campbell
          2/7th, 1/11th, 2/53rd, 5/69th (1 Company) + 1 Medium Gun Battery
       2nd Brigade - Kemmis 
          2/27th, 1/40th, 1/97th, 5/60th (1 Comp)
       3rd Brigade - Collin (Portuguese)
          11th (2), 23rd (2) + Light Gun Battery
    5th Division - Gen Leith (John)
       1st Brigade - Barnes
          3/1st, 1/9th, 2/38th + Light Gun Battery
       2nd Brigade - Spry (Portuguese)
          3rd (2), 15th (2), Tomar Militia
       3rd Brigade - Eben (Portuguese)
          8th (2), Loyal Lusitanian Legion (3)
    Cavalry Division (Surj)
       1st Brigade - De Grey
          3rd Dragoon Guards, 4th Dragoons
       2nd Brigade - Slade
          1st Dragoons, 14th Light Dragoons
       3rd Brigade - Anson
          16th Light Dragoons, 1st Hussars KGL + Horse Artillery Battery

The French plan was simple, attack the Allied right flank in force and hold the centre and hopefully hold our left where both sides had most of their Horse.

Our left of the battlefield
It was pretty open?

The Allied centre was very strong. 3 units of British line and an artillery piece.
Trouble was there was lots of rough ground at the bottom of the hill, which would disordered any
formed unit that passed through it. So it would kinda funnel our attack, which obviously
wouldn't be good??

On our left were 4 regt of Dragoons and a Horse artillery.

Warning Dodgy photo alert!!
This is 1 of many blurry pics taken that day??
I moved, unlimbered an fired my Horse Artillery....
1 x D6 needing a 6
Bang a 6! I scored a hit with the first shot of the game, knocking a figure from Ian's artillery who were about to fire on my Dragoons, it fell back disordered!

Here come the boys!!

Blurry pic 2
T'was the first outing for the regt  Irlandais and regt de Prusse

Surj was being very cagey with his Cavalry. He did have Hussars and some Light Dragoons.
And didn't want to tackle our Dragoons, which I can understand, but after all its all on the dice??

In the foreground is Ian's poor artillery piece that'll be heading back soon, in the morale phase.
He also started to come off the hill with some of the Brits.

We had some off board Dragoons, we could choose where they entered but not when.
Lee threw a 5, which meant they came on at the end of our first turn, which worked great for us.
And Not for the Allies!!

A broad pic of the mid left of the field.
Surj moved slowly forward with his Horse, while I jockeyed into position, I wasn't going forward....they could come to me.

Centre right, my troops on the left are just trying to stop the Brits from moving
to their left and help out the Portuguese on the other hill.
John very wisely moved the Lusitania Legion, down into the fields to harray Lee's
advancing columns.

Just to the right of the pic above, our plan was to attack the Portuguese flank on
the hill, Lee's troops on the road were our main battering ram, although we had to battle through
the Lusitania Legion and their attached artillery.

Dead in the centre...
It does look a great defensive doesn't it?

Helicopter view

Blurry pic 3
The Brits in the centre, start to move left to squeeze in another line unit,
They also start to move the Portuguese reserve troops off the hill in the top left of the pic.
So I moved forward with some troops and also went into line with others, to hopefully stop them moving more troops over.

Very Blurry pic 5
Lee charged the Lusitanian skirmishers that were in the field, they very wisely retreated.
While he moved the rest of his columns up into charge range.

And charge is what he did, apart from the column next to the field??
Last turn the Tit moved it right up to the edge of the hedge (ala Fran stylie)
Which meant any move forward would mean he'd be disordered.
1 column charged....the 1st & 2nd Batt 3rd Portuguese Line both fled!

Lee positioned  his 2 columns to hit the Tomar Militia and the 1st 15th on the flank.

We pushed our 2 Dragoon units up the centre of the field.
All looks good...

And good it was.....for us anyway.
Lee charged across his lines, all John had to do was throw 4 or below on a D6
he then threw 5,6,5,6,5,6.
Which meant one by one the entire Portuguese Division retired of the hill disorganized!!
Surj worked it out to be a 3 million/1 chance!

So this is how it ended that turn?
There's one Portuguese unit left on the hill, but even that one is disorganized.
And we have a lone column following up on its initial charge on the far hill.

A view from the Portuguese lines..
In utter disarray the Allies threw in the towel, much to Surj's disgust!

A baptism of fire for the Tomar Militia's first ever outing.
They only threw one dice the whole game, that resulted in them fleeing!

Our plan worked to the T, there were no hiccups and we only had a few minor changes along the way, which makes a change!! I was surprised that Surj didn't attack with his Horse, I know we had the Heavier Horse, but he could very well have swung the battle back in their hands. If it was me I'd have attacked, he must have known we weren't going to attack on on left, it just didn't make any sense?? But then again, we are playing with little lead figures aren't we?????

Thursday 17 November 2016

Donnybrook - Warbases Water Cart

Another wagon for my Donnybrook lunacy....
Sold at Warbases as a Water Cart, for £4!
I much prefer to believe this is full of Beer to quench the thirst of the people
 of Donnybrook land!
The barrel isn't fixed in place and can be removed..............pint anyone??

Friday 11 November 2016

Lest We Forget - Arthur Dryden

I hadn't really planned a post today, but I was given this info yesterday about my Great-Great Uncle Arthur. I knew he died during WWI and his name is on one of Gravesend's many War Memorial's, but I knew no information about him at all.
I was chatting with a work colleague Debbie, who gave me a book that her husband Andrew was giving away, in was a collection of WWI soldiers dairy entries. Debbie then mentioned her husband also raises money and restores war memorials in the Gravesend area. I explained that I had two relatives on a memorial at Windmill Hill in Gravesend, giving the names Dryden and mistakenly Hopson (after speaking to my Dad it should have been Dadson).
Anyway Debbie came back the next day with a booklet that Andrew had written and published himself about the sinking of the SS Minnehaha on 7th Sept 1917. In the booklet was the above fantastic!!
Thanks Debbie & Andrew

Image result for war memorial windmill hill gravesend

Windmill Hill Memorial, Gravesend.

'God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!'

Friday 4 November 2016

Donnybrook - Warbases Peasant Cart 1

The fourth of my newish Warbases Wagons, this is sold as Peasant Cart 1, and is
 only £3, which is mental if you ask me!!
Once again its a fairly generic wagon, which can be used for loads of periods.
Riding the wagon is a Foundry wagoneer, wish they sold this chap separately??
Come on Martin, lets have some civvy drivers for your wagons!!