Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Sunday 19 September 2021

A fine tale of daring do of smut filled innuendo. Sharp Practice 2.

 The campaign had so far been mixed for the French forces in 1809, after the set back at Talavera in July of that year it had taken Marshal Massena time to reduce the border fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida and now in July of 1810 he was advancing to crush Wellington's puny army in Portugal. This army had however despaired and supplies were beginning to be hard to find. The dammed English had destroyed everything before running back to Lisbon to jump onto their boats and sail home. There were rumours of a few fortifications which had been built outside the city but who takes notice of the Portuguese peasants, this campaign would be a walkover!

To secure the right flank of the French all bridges even over small streams were ordered to be destroyed, it was Captain Rene's task to supervise the destruction of the stone bride over the Torro stream near the hovel of the same name, there was no need for haste so Rene and his command made camp as dusk fell just down the road from the bridge near the monastery of San Juan. The work would be done next morning.

The bridge and village of Torro. French to the left of photo and British to the right.

The French deployment point.

French Forces:

Three groups of Grenadiers, Cpt Rene level 3, Sgt Le Clerc level 1.

Two groups of skirmishers lead by Lt Alfonse and Lt Dubois both level 2

One group of Engineers lead by Sgt Cackand (tells you everything) level 1.

One group of Dragoons (mounted and dismounted versions) lead by Sgt Artois level 1.

Captain Humphry Scott-Mainwaring was personally tasked by Major General Rowland Hill, commander of the 2nd Division with the defence of the village of Torro but particularly entrusted with the job of "making sure that that poxy little bridge don't get blown up, what". Mainwaring had 'fagged' for Hill in King's school in Chester when he was a sprog so he knew the task had to be done well or else it would be the cane again, eh!

The British deployment point.

British forces:

Three groups of line infantry,  Cptn Mainwaring level 3, Lt Square level 2 and a trumpeter, Kenny Ball I think his name was. One group of light infantry , Sgt Wilson level 1. One group of British rifles corporal Jones level 1.

First out the bag as it were, the French dragoons, mounted and cantered up the road to dismount on the far (British) side of the bridge horse holder to the rear, a sneaky French trick as Mainwaring later described it.

About five minutes later, next turn actually, a group of French skirmishers with Lt Dubois came over the slight rise and down towards the stream. Then Huzzar! the British line infantry led (from the rear) by the man of the moment Captain Humphry Scott-Mainwaring cutting a fine figure in his green rifles jacket and britches his manly chest pumped with British pride come to give those damn Frenchie's a good kicking. Oh and some skirmisher chappies on either flank.

The six British light infantry accompanied by Sgt Wilson hopped the hedge into the orchard to engage the viperous French dragoons hated for their dastardly ways with Spanish ladies but envied for their kinky boots (God those must chaff). "That's the stile Wilson" Mainwaring shouted as three of the lights were promptly shot dead by the supposedly crappy French carbines. Sgt Artois danced a jig of delight in between firing off his pistol at the redcoats. (Three kills and two shock out of six die rolled, jeez!)

"Come on Frank, over the hedge" said Sgt Wilson, and that was pretty much this groups contribution to the day really. Half their men wiped out they were reduced to sniping away at the dragoons for the rest of the morning.

Not a great start for Mainwaring but at least the main formation of line infantry could now deploy near the bridge even swinging round slightly ready to fire a volley into those cursed dragoons. French skirmishers were by now pushing up towards and even over the Torro stream with even the engineers and their cart of powder heading towards the bridge. No sign of the Captain Rene and the Grenadiers though, the skirmishers couldn't do it all by themselves.

At last thirty minutes later Captain Rene and Sgt Le Clerc appeared at the head of the French Grenadiers, "Where have you been" asked Sgt Cackand as the troops marched past his engineers. "Always more coffee to be drunk and more senoritas to be admired" said Rene. Back at the French camp the shouts of "oh Rene" could be heard.

Everything began to happen at once, The engineers got up to the bridge unloading the powder but requiring a task total of 15 to complete the laying of the charges Sgt Cackhand lived up to his name and rolled a grand total of 3 with two dice on the first turn.

Delegating the job of holding off the advancing French Grenadiers to Lt Square Mainwaring split off one group of line infantry, took them round the other side of the bridge. "You can't blow a bridge if you ain't got no men to do it" was his justification for this somewhat risky move.

Now to the crux, the two remaining British line groups commanded by Lt Square pored controlled volley fire into the French Grenadiers screened by skirmishers driving those skirmishers back with a deal of shock inflicted on that group but with some magnificent die rolls and use of bonus flags Captain Rene not only forced his men over the stream but also reformed them into a much more suitable formation ready to charge into the now unloaded British.

During the ensuing fistycuffs Captain Rene and his fine upright French Grenadiers out killed their beefeating shopkeeping British foes (see what I did there!) by a magnificent seven kills to three, along with the shock inflicted this broke the British forcing them to flee to the rear.

Meanwhile on't far side of't bridge Captain Mainwaring was bawling at trumpeter Kenny Ball to blow his instrument and rally the bloody men, "What blow your instrument from here" said Kenny. "Spit man spit", Mainwaring recalled that form his public school days as well.

Sgt Cackhand rolling a very acceptable 9 took the bridge blowing total to 12, just 3 more needed but Mainwaring pushing Kenny's instrument to one side gave the order for his eight men to present and fire. First fire, controlled volley, three French engineers dead and a total of four shock, but look behind you!

Three more points to set the powder off to the bridge, Sgt Cackhand's moment had come, his chitty pulled from the bag this was the game winning roll of the dice - yep you know it, Cackhand by name, cackhand by nature. Double one, frackin double one, you couldn't write it except I just did.

Redemption was at had though as Captain Rene, the man of the moment not only pulled his chitty to reform and rally off shock, but then used four flags to gain another free turn crashing into the rear of Mainwaring's infantry thereby forcing them to withdraw 6 inches. They could not as they were now surrounded on all sides and therefore had to surrender. Game over.

Captain Rene retired with honour after his exploits and bought a café in France which his descendants run to this day.

Captain Mainwaring was exchanged in 1811, was ordered to present himself to Major General Hill whereupon he was sent to the corner of the room wearing a dunces hat, "Stupid boy".

Apologies to those few who don't get the references to Dad's Army and Allo Allo but given the age of most of the lads I know in the hobby it won't be many of you. If your bothered by the smut and innuendo, tough shit!


Monday 6 September 2021

Another addition. French 10mm Napoleonic

 Another short post as I have put this sort of thing on before really, but 10mm or not it's still a brigades worth (I think this makes about five for the French) plus another light infantry battalion and it's broken up skirmish elements:

I'm busy doing bases for some free standing buildings to 'tart' them up, as I pretty crap at terrain we'll see how that goes eh!