Monday, February 19, 2018

Along the Danube: 3mm Blücher

Back in February of 2016, I posted here about my first efforts at creating 3mm napoleonic brigades for use with Sam Mustafa’s Blücher rules. I set out to create the forces needed to run the introductory scenario featured on the Honour Website. 

It has taken much longer than I had initially thought, but this weekend I finally finished! The terrain table I used was also something I put together to run Blücher. I made it over the summer and haven’t had the chance to get a game on it until now. There are more board sections than shown here which allow for some more varied terrain. 

I set up the board as closely to the scenario map as I could within the limitations of the terrain I had. I threw some roads on mine as decorations but they didn’t serve any purpose game wise. There are a couple of other terrain bits that are on the table but were treated as open ground for the purpose of the game. Only the river, forests, three major hills, and fields in the upper right corner of the scenario map were treated as such in the tabletop. 


This was a solo run through as I wanted to nail down the rules. It wouldn’t have been practical to line up an opponent anyhow since I had to squeeze in a few turns when I could over a busy weekend. I haven’t done many proper battle reports but I did my best to document the flow of the battle. Missed a phase here or there I’m sure but the narrative should come through alright.

For those unfamiliar with Blücher, it is aimed at fighting large scale engagements. In the book, Sam describes his recommended scale as:
  • 1infantry unit = 2-3 thousand men (4-6 battalions)
  • 1 cavalry unit = 1-2 thousand men (6-12 squadrons)
  • 1 artillery unit = 18-24 guns (2-4 batteries)

The forces were as follows:

1st corps: 4x infantry, 1x hussars, 1x foot artillery 
2nd corps: 4x infantry, 1x hussars, 1x foot artillery
3rd corps: 4x infantry, 1x hussars, 1x foot artillery
Reserve Cavalry corps: 2x cuirassier, 2x dragoons, 1x hussars, 1x horse artillery 

1st corps: 6x infantry, 2x foot artillery 
2nd corps: 6x infantry, 2x foot artillery
3rd corps: 2x cuirassier, 2x hussars, 2x grenadiers 

The two objectives depicted on the table above are special objectives that start controlled by the Austrians. The French win the game if they end any turn controlling both of them.

The Austrians placed their objective near the special objective in the fields in the northwest corner of the board. The French placed theirs in the southeast corner behind a wood.
The Austrians deploy their first corps covering the left objective and the second on the right. The hussars guard the right flank of the army while the grenadiers reinforce the right. The cuirassier are stationed between the two corps to exploit any opportunities. 
The French place a corps on their right flank with plans to hook around the forest and make a run at northwest objective. The other two infantry corps are stationed opposite the Austrian position on the hills with a strong cavalry force to their left. Cuirassier and dragoon’s form the mobile reserve in the center. 

View down the French lines

Austrian cuirassier ready to exploit French weaknesses

 The French begin their attack by moving around the wood on the right. Their main force advances toward the hills while the cavalry on the left move into the woods hoping to flank the Austrian lines. 

Austrians respond by reinforcing the right flank of their line with infantry while foot artillery and cuirassier fill the middle. On the left of their lines they move to meet the advancing French leaving an infantry reserve behind the bend in the river. 

The French left advances up the hill and through the woods while the vanguard enters skirmish range on the right. 

The Austrians plug the gap between the hussars and infantry on the left of their line while the infantry on the hill skirmish fire at the advancing French and prepare their lines to receive the assault. In the center, the infantry reserve begins to advance. On the Austrian left, the infantry shakes out into a line in order to block the French corps. Prepared infantry are marked with bolt action order dice. 

The French charge hits home on the Austrian held hill but they are beaten back all across. One unit impetuously charges on the right flack but is similarly stymied. 

The French are beaten back across the entire line

Then raked by musketry from the stationary Austrians 

The front unit of the right flank has taken a serious beating from fire and combat 

The Austrian cuirassier spring into action against the depleted infantry of the French first line, breaking one unit  and forcing another to retreat. 

The French advance has been stymied and the Austrian cuirassier are threatening to get around the end of the French lines and roll the flank.

The French respond quickly to the threat posed by the Austrian cavalry. The units already in position open fire at close range with musket volleys and canister. Meanwhile, the French reserves spring into action with the horse artillery moving up to contribute its own fire while a cuirassier and dragoons gallop towards the Austrian horsemen. 

The French cavalry, finally emerging from the woods, charge the Austrians’ right flank

The cavalry charge meets with mixed results, pushing back a unit of Austrian Hussars on the flank and breaking a unit of infantry, but otherwise failing to penetrate the Austrian lines. This action is mirrored by yet another unsuccessful attack by the French units on the right flank. 

Austrian muskets rattle down the lines as they attempt to weaken the French before the next assault

The French cavalry in the center move up in the wake of the Austrian cuirassier’s retreat. On the right flank the infantry advance across the river to engage more Austrian units

The Austrian lines erupt in smoke as volleys of musket fire strike back at the exhausted French. The infantry reserve in the center make their way across the river to threaten the French rear.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Commission Updates

Looks like it’s been almost a year since I last posted here... hopefully I’ll do better this year. Since I last posted, I’ve finished off a few more commissions. Unfortunately the amount of commission work I’ve been doing means I haven’t had much time to work on my own stuff. I have however been able to put in some work on my 3mm Napoleonic project, meaning that the long awaited goal of being able to run a game of Blücher is finally within reach. I just have to finish off a few more French infantry bases and a couple bases of Austrian hussars. 

As far as commissions go, I finished off the 28mm DAK I showed you guys last time.  That was a rather large job consisting of two full infantry platoons plus an hmg, mortar, and AT gun for each platoon, plus the tanks I had already done. Unfortunately I lost my cell phone a while back so I lost the pictures of the rest of the infantry I painted. They all looked pretty much like the guys in the first batch so no big loss I suppose. Maybe one of these days I could get my customer to sent me some pictures of the completed force. I do have a couple of pictures of the last few guys I did as I painted them some time later than the bulk of the job and thus after I lost all of my photos.

The next job I did was a 28mm Canadian platoon. These were the warlord figures included in the British army box. I must say, they were a significant change from working on the Perry minis I had been painting from the DAK job. They were very different to assemble and painted in a completely different way. The faces did seem to have a bit more character which was fun to bring out in the Painting. For the Canadians I painted: 5x 10 man squads, command section, 6 pounder, 25 pounder, light mortar team, hmg team, 2x snipers, plus a few other random NCOs, Bren teams and whatnot. Unfortunately these also fell victim to the phone loss disaster so the only pictures I have are a few pieces I completed after I got my new phone.

The next job I finished up was the 8th army force to go up against the DAK I painted before. This commission consisted of two full infantry platoons plus a mortar, HMG, and 6 pounder for each. Finally I have photos of the whole force:

The last thing I finished was the vehicles to go with the desert rats above. These included a grant, 4x crusaders, and 3x trucks. The customer picked the camouflage patterns. The grant is a pattern used at El Alamein and the crusaders are in the Caunter scheme. While I’m not sure caunter would have been used on crusaders like this, it did turn out looking badass so I supposed it works. 

Lastly, I painted up a few bits of 40k stuff I had lying around to sell on eBay. 

I think that gets me pretty much caught up as far as commissions go. I did get some of my own stuff done which I’ll post up here soon. I’m hoping to finish up my 3mm Blücher Painting and move on to getting some of my terrain ideas fleshed out for it. 

Right now I’m working on a big batch of 28mm late War German armor. It’s nearing completion so it should be up here soon.