Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Napoleonic Scenario: Borodino, 1812

This is a scenario for my Empires at War rules but can easily be adapted for other rule sets.  This is a large scale game that scales the forces down to something a large 28mm Napoleonic collection can handle.  I also provide two versions - one that includes the fighting around Utitsa (Poniatowski's V Corps) and one that removes that part of the battle.  One could argue that the action around Utitsa isn't all that important to represent in the battle and that it is better to focus on the fighting for the "great redoubt" and the fleches.

The other benefit to removing the Utitsa part of the battle is you remove a large chunk of the non-French troops that fought in the battle - making it a little easier to achieve the forces necessary for the battle.  For the rest of the French force, it is really only difficult to not represent the Wurttemburg units - but I plan on using my Bavarian units to represent them (close enough).

The other consideration is the French guard.  They didn't take part in the battle, although there are opinions that they should have been sent it to secure a decisive victory.  I've included them as a reserve in the French OOB --- but once again, they are not necessary for achieving the forces necessary to play this scenario and frankly throw the forces involved a little over the top for the French side.  But, it is an option.


Below you will find the table layout and starting positions for all forces involved.

The table size is 20 feet by 6 feet if playing the full scenario.  If playing without the Utitsa section, the table is 16 feet by 6 feet.  Each small square on the map represents a 1 foot by 1 foot section.

Stream:  The stream is fordable at all points - counting as difficult terrain.

Victory Points:  Standard VPs apply, with the following additions:
  • Raevsky Redoubt
    +25 points for the French if in control of the Great Redoubt at the end of the game.  +10 points for the Russians if in control of the Great Redoubt at the end of the game.  If contested, +5 points for the French.
  • Fleches
    For each of the three small redoubts on the Fleches.  5 points for each held by the Russians at games end.  +10 points for each held by the French at games end.
  • Utitsa
    +15 points to the side in control of the town at games end.


Army Command:  Kutuzov

1st West Army (Bennigsen)

Raevsky Redoubt
2 x Foot Artillery (Very Large)
(Combined from IV, V, VI, and VII corps)

II Corps (Baggovut)
4 x Musketeer
1 x Jager
1 x Foot Artillery

IV Corps (Tolstoy)
2 x Musketeer
1 x Jager
1 x Grenadier

V Corps (Constantine)
3 x Musketeer
1 x Jager
1 x Grenadier

VI Corps (Dokhturov)
3 x Musketeer
1 x Jager

I Cavalry Corps (Uvarov)
1 x Hussar
1 x Cossack

II Cavalry Corps (Korff)
1 x Dragoons
1 x Hussar
1 x Mounted Jager
1 x Horse Artillery

III Cavalry Corps (Korff)
1 x Uhlans
1 x Mounted Jagers

2nd West Army (Bagration)

VII Corps (Raevski)
3 x Musketeer
1 x Jager

VIII Corps (Borozdin)
3 x Grenadier
2 x Musketeer
1 x Jager
1 x Foot Artillery

IV Cavalry Corps (Sievers)
1 x Dragoons
1 x Uhlans
2 x Cuirassiers
1 x Horse Artillery

III Corps (Tuchkov)
3 x Grenadier

The grenadiers from III corps were detached to reinforce the fleches.  These units are held in reserve and can enter the game on turn 4+ via the designated table edge behind the fleches.

If playing with the larger scope including Utitsa:

III Corps (Tuchkov)
2 x Musketeer
1 x Jager
1 x Opolchenie
1 x Cossack
1 x Foot Artillery


Army Command:  Napoleon

I Corps (Davout)
12 x Line/Light Infantry
1 x Foot Artillery
1 x Chasseur a Cheval

III Corps (Ney)
7 x Line/Light Infantry
1 x Foot Artillery
2 x Wurttemburg Line Infantry
1 x Wurttemburg Light Infantry (Small)
1 x Wurttemburg Chevauxleger

For wargaming practicality, Bavarian's could be substituted for Wurttemburg units if your collection has Bavarian's but no Wurttemburg units.  Roughly speaking, the uniforms had several similarities.

IV Corps (Eugene)
8 x Line/Light Infantry
1 x Foot Artillery
1 x Bavarian Chevauxleger

VIII Corps (Junot)
5 x Line/Light Infantry
1 x Foot Artillery

I Cavalry Corps (Nansouty)
1 x Hussar
1 x Lancer
1 x Dutchy of Warsaw Uhlans
3 x Cuirassier
1 x Horse Artillery

II Cavalry Corps (Montbrun)
1 x Hussar
1 x Chasseur a Cheval
1 x Lancer
2 x Cuirassier
1 x Carabinier
1 x Horse Artillery

III Cavalry Corps (Grouchy)
3 x Dragoons
1 x Horse Artillery

IV Cavalry Corps (Latour-Maubourg)
1 x Zastrow Cuirassiers
1 x Saxon Guard du Corps

The heavy cavalry from IV corps was detached to support a renewed attack on the Raevksy Redoubt.  This detachment is held in reserve and can enter with VII corps on turn 3+ in the same area (between the Reavsky Redoubt and the Fleches).

Guard formations are optional and if used, held in reserve (can enter start of Turn 4 onward at any point along the French side table edge)

Imperial Guard (Mortier)
1 x Old Guard Grenadier (Large)
1 x Old Guard Chasseurs a Pied (Large)
2 x Young Guard (Small)
2 x Vistula Legion (Dutchy of Warsaw)
1 x Old Guard Foot Artillery (Large)

Guard Cavalry (Bessieres)
1 x Grenadier a Cheval
1 x Empress Dragoons
1 x Guard Lancers
1 x Guard Chasseur a Cheval
1 x Les Mamelukes
1 x Gendarme d' Elite
1 x Guard Horse Artillery

If playing with the larger scope including Utitsa:

V Corps (Poniatowski)
4 x Dutchy of Warsaw Line Infantry
1 x Dutchy of Warsaw Foot Artillery
1 x Dutchy of Warsaw Chasseur a Cheval 

IV Cavalry Corps (Latour-Maubourg)
1 x Dutchy of Warsaw Uhlans

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

General Update - The Summer of Basing

I've been busy this summer.  I have a backlog of painted figures that need basing so I've hunkered down and started "The Summer of Basing" --- although hopefully it doesn't take me that long ...

I'm currently basing ~1,750 figures spanning AWI British and Americans, and Napoleonic's spanning French, Russians, and Austrians.

I have most of the units on bases at this point ... still finishing up a few for this "wave" of basing (2 x French Line infantry at 36 figures each, and a Russian Grenadier unit at 36 figures).

You can see most of them arrayed together on my bar top below.

From closest in the picture to farthest - the first 3 "rows" are AWI --- which represents about 1/3rd of my AWI collection --- 2/3rds needs basing straight after this batch.

Next is French Napoleonic - 4 units of light infantry and 4 units of line infantry.  I have 2 more line infantry to base.  Behind the infantry (for the French row, and behind the Austrian row) is French cavalry, a unit of Lancers, 2 units of Dragoons, Hussars and Carabiniers.

The Austrian row has 5 new "large" (48 figure) German line units, with 1 regular (36 figure) German line unit and 1 Grenz unit.  I have 8 more Austrian infantry units to base at 36 figures each.

The last two rows are my Russians.  12 x Musketeer units (36 each), generals, 2 artillery batteries (6 guns each), Dragoons and Cuirassiers.  Basing a Grenadier unit currently to add to this pile.

Above you can see a closer look at the AWI units ...

Above you can see a closer look at the French Napoleonic units ...

Above you can see a closer look at the Austrian Napoleonic units ...

Above you can see a closer look at the 1st part of the Russian Napoleonic units ...

Above you can see a closer look at the 2nd part of the Russian Napoleonic units ...

Above you can see a closer look at the Russian High Command ... excellent set by Perry Miniatures.

Very soon I move on to getting sand on the bases, static grass, tufts, etc.

I'll have both AWI Breeds Hill (Bunker Hill) and Guilford Courthouse on the game table in September - looking forward to those games.  My Wagram scenario is hot on the heels of that, with Borodino being ready in the new year if all goes to plan.  Borodino is a very large game ... will need ~8 players per side ... so hoping that can be run at a convention after COVID finally passes ... but we'll see ...

With that I'll wish you all health and happiness during these troubled times.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Blood and Plunder - First Game & Impressions

A somewhat spontaneous game of Blood and Plunder happened today.

Dan Kerrick was to come by to pick up some stuff from my place.  He had some time on his hands and I had been speaking with Roy Scaife at the same time who was also otherwise not engaged.  The result, I pulled out some Blood and Plunder stuff and dove right into my first game.

I was able to quickly make a small island
settlement in which to fight over ...
I quickly pulled together some terrain.  Buildings I have from Crescent Root Studio, the mat we've used for the Battle of Scariff, and the associated palm trees, etc.  Scatter terrain is also from Crescent Root Studio.

Arrrrgh!  Here be plunder!
(Coins used to mark activated units)

I must count myself remiss - in that I've had the miniatures ready to go for this game for well over a year but have not actually played a game!  Shame.  Shame.  Shame ... march me through the city naked for my insolence!

Before I dig into a few thoughts on the same ... some close up pictures for you all ...

Now that you've seen some eye candy (more to come) ... a few thoughts.

This game is awesome.

We had a blast.  From knowing nothing, we played through our first game - 100 point lists each (the start armies each for England, Spain and France) - from start to finish, in 3 hours.  The rules are extremely well written and laid out ... additionally they are at the exact level of complexity (in that they are not complex, but offer a lot of strategic play options and are not overly dumbed down in any way).

After the first turn it was auto pilot ... even the special rules are easy to remember.  We moved along at a great pace.  Note that we only played a land battle and not a sea battle.  In reading the ship rules, that does add a whole extra layer of stuff in the game.  I do look forward to that though!

Multi-player works.

The activation system moves along.  Our first game was a 3 player game.  Many skirmish systems I've played would fall apart quickly when there are more than 2 distinct sides.  This moved along swimmingly!

It left me wanting more ... a lot more.

You know it's good when you are ordering stuff in the middle of still playing the game ... right?!  Yup ... that exactly what I did ... I ordered additional buildings from Crescent Root Studio ... and more stuff from Firelock Games.

I want to fill out my existing factions more - and finish the factions I have already from the No Peace Beyond the Line Kickstarter.  Oooo ...and ships ... yes!

If you haven't looked at or played this game ... I say take a look - really.

Now for some in game pictures and such from my lovely phone camera ...

I look forward to more here ... much more.  I have the models, ships and such ... it is just a matter of getting more painted/done ... and this game provided some good motivation.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

General Update - End of June

Summer is here!  I hope you are all staying safe and healthy - not only physically healthy, but mentally healthy!  As usual, I have several projects underway, but admittedly my progress has slowed with the arrival of summer.  I have had a number of things around the house to get done that has detracted from my hobby time.

The largest hit to that time has been my water heater.  It finally died after springing a leak.  It destroyed part of my garage floor.  I had the water heater replaced with a tank-less option (highly recommended!) and now I need to replace the floor in the garage (overdue as well, so no big deal --- will knock that out this weekend).

My AWI project moves along nicely.  I'll have Breed's (Bunker) Hill ready for September gaming, and Guilford Courthouse before the end of the year.  I had some existing units already and have finally got those based up (pictures below).  8 units below, but I actually have 12 American units completed painting.  The first wave of British are also due by the end of this week.

You can see some hulls for my 1:600 scale Napoleonic ships in the back left of the picture above --- more of those coming as well.  The British ships (~26) for Trafalgar are all completed.

I continue to love GMB flags - they are top notch and I use them whenever I can - the golden standard!

Roy Scaife has taken on WW2 naval for our group - doing this at 1:1200 scale (normally this is 1:2400 scale, so this large size) ... ships are all painted and just in need of basing.

I did finish up my Uruk-hai painting for that large pike block ...

Diverting from miniatures ...

The other detractor from hobby time - but at least related - has been my family diving head first into what I would call "more advanced" boardgames.  Two boardgames that have been at the top of the popularity list for the family is Root (just an AWESOME game) and Everdell.  We've played all of the expansions for both games, even doing the "massive" Everdell game, playing with all expansions at once.

I even hosted a couple of "casino nights" which the family/kids loved (yes, a small amount of money was involved) ...

Diverting massively from miniatures ...

I'm fortunate to have a nice backyard (at least for California standards).  I decided to host some outdoor movie nights for the family - which is actually fairly easy to accomplish.  I purchased a large outdoor screen from Amazon along with an HD projector --- all this for <$400 which is not bad at all considering the screen is 14 feet wide and the movie is in HD quality at that size!

I watched LOTR: Return of the King --- which was EPIC on such a large screen!  This is a great activity to do with the family.

I even built a raised garden and planted some vegetables ... picture below is older, the veggies are coming in nicely now.

I also managed to refinish my dinning room table which came out really nice.

Ok, enough of the non-gaming/non-miniatures stuff ... just sharing to show some things I've been doing to keep myself busy in these crazy times.  I hope you are all finding ways to make yourself happy/keep sane in what seems like a never ends cycle of bad global events.  I'm also working on some major updates to my ACW and Napoleonic rules based on many games/play testing and results --- finally homing in on what can be a "finally done" set of rules.  With that also comes my AWI rules.

Onward and upward folks!  Stay tuned for more!