Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The King is Dead... and so is his dice rolling!

The Rejects returned to refight Jonathan's Battle of Bassignana, 1745.  Find the first encounter here.

The sides remained the same, Lee and Steve as the Gallispans. Me, being joined by Ray, commanding the defending Piedmontese.

Jon will no doubt do a thorough and impartial report. But let me cut to the chase. The Piedmontese were even more quickly put to the sword than in the first battle. Only Ray on right flank was able to halt the tide. Meanwhile, the king (me) was overwhelmed by Lee's masses and by my own incredibly poor (understatement) dice rolling.

By the end of the game both the king and my dice were deceased! The d10 will be given a Viking funeral... trust me, incineration is too good an end for them.  No dicing Valhalla will grant them entry.

Not many screen shots I'm afraid.  The brevity of this report represents an inverse relationship to the size of the humble pie I had to consume during this and our first game of Bassignana.

The initial deployment.

Our plan was to, as much as possible, deny the Gallispan's space by contesting their river crossing at the bank.  Alas, an inability to get all the necessary units out of reserve slowed this process.

The Gallispans were clearly concentrating their attacks on the flanks.  The one against our right as a pinning operation to stop much needed troops redeploying to the weaker Piedmontese left.

Lee's Spanish pushing out from the river bank and opening the King's lines (such as they existed - one cavalry, one infantry and a light infantry unit).  Meanwhile, Ray gamely and ably resists Steve's French on our right and keeps him there.

The Spanish sweep through the King's command.  The king is killed, and the pontoon bridge is now open to them.  With certain victory now assured, the Piedmontese concede defeat.

Ray did well with his cavalry and his guard and grenadier units to hold the French tide on the right.  However, I cannot tell you how many ones and twos I rolled.  It was certainly a "special" evening for me.  But I must not take away the credit due to Lee and Steve for playing an excellent game, and using their advantages to great effect.  Kudos to you gentlemen.

Well done to Jonathan for superb umpiring and being a genial host.

My only comfort is that the more I play, the more my dice should at least tend towards the average.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Enjoying the Day at Broadside, 2024

The Rejects gathered en masse in Gillingham to attend the Broadside wargames show hosted superbly by the Milton Hundred Wargames Club, and to support and assist Ray's demonstration game of the Battle of Croix de Bouquet.  An engagement from the Haitian Revolution, 1792.

An unusually large contingent of red shorted Rejects on parade prior to the doors opening to the public.  I was obviously behind the camera.

This is not an in-depth account of the battle or the show.  Just a few thoughts at the most.  Others can and will do a better survey of the event than I ever could.

The next few photos show the game.

Ray's excellent town.

The rebels coming out to confront the French troops.

Lovely painted figures by Ray.  They certainly look very motivated.

The French line await the onslaught with a great deal of discipline.

Whilst Ray assembled the information, Reject Lee did a great job in presenting the material for display.  Lee was also did sterling work chatting to the public and presenting the game.

We all had opportunities to wander around the other games and trade stands.  I'll just post a couple of things that caught my eye.

First up was a game from Shepway Wargamers, Dornier Down.

I liked this.  The modelling was really good and was worthy of many return visits.  What I didn't capture was the large scale Hurricane flying above the table.

The next jaw dropping game was from Retired Wargamers Reloaded, featuring the struggle to keep control of the crossings of the Orne at Pegasus Bridge.

The last one that I will mention is a participation game from Maidstone Wargames Club.

Based on rules from a war comic published in 1977, this was a novel way of replicating aerial conflict.  I saw this game earlier in the year at Cavalier at Tonbridge.  I played it and loved it.  I think that the groups recreation of the scenery is absolutely top draw, and the way they have integrated the holding of the planes with the holes in each grid square was simple but clever.

Broadside may not be the biggest show, but it is friendly and family oriented.  I don't believe I have seen so many young families at a wargaming event.  It was heartening to see and, I think, gave the show an energy and vibe that makes it a little special.

Amongst those who seemed to attract great interest from families and especially the young children were these gentlemen of the 79th Cameron Highlanders.  They did a great job sharing their knowledge of weapons and the tools of 19th century military surgery to young and old.

The 79th Cameron Highlanders

In truth, there were lots of wonderfully produced games and interest to be seen.  Well done to Milton Hundred Club.  

I can't wait for next year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Battle of Bassignana 1745 AAR - Face to Face with Better Generals

With Jonathan at Palouse Wargaming Journal hosting another of his wonderfully conceived remote games, I happily took on the role of the defending Piedmontese in this battle.

Rejects Lee and Steve commanded the attacking Gallispan army.

For a full background to this game I will refer you to Jonathan's post Bassignana-1745.

All the screen shots are taken from my side of the table and the account from my view.  I would suggest a visit to Jonathan's blog for a better and fuller account.

The starting depositions.  All units are on reserve orders ready to spring to life at advantageous moments!  My light infantry unit are currently hidden from view in the woods by the river on the left.

The Gallispans have advanced.  Meanwhile I have started to redeploy my dragoons from right to left.  Alas, due to a failure to get one out of reserve they have not moved as far as I had hoped.

The Franco-Spanish begin crossing the River Tanaro.  At this point I spring my ambush with the light infantry; firing into the two columns on my far left.  At the same time, the Piedmontese cavalry bound forward to dispatch another infantry in column.  This probably represents the high point of my game.

The light infantry's musketry disperses one enemy unit.  However, weight of numbers overwhelms their position in the woods.  Alas, the cavalry are also destroyed by artillery fire.  The Gallispans have now established a nice infantry line on my left.

With the Gallispan commanders moving their units carefully, they are able to nullify any advantages from my holding units in reserve.  They quickly take Rivarone from the guarding militia unit.

A mistake, amongst a number of them.  I have split the dragoons trying to leave one in reserve to aid the defence of Bassignana whilst the other supports the units on the hill.

With much better tactical awareness, the Franco-Spanish commanders isolate Bassignana and spring forward with their horse - mauling one dragoon unit and destroying another that was foolishly sent to help. The conflict in the centre continues, but is really now of little consequence to the game.

The last dragoon is destroyed and the enemy horse is crossing the river in force on the right.

The Gallispan cavalry have reached the pontoon bridge after my roll to bring on reinforcements failed.

Bassignana is assaulted.  The King and what's left of his infantry are ejected.

After one last desperate attempt to recapture Bassignana ending in abject failure and with other commanders either dead or their brigades broken, further resistance is futile.  So, the field is conceded to the gallant Franco-Spanish army.

Final Words
I really enjoyed the game and the challenge.  So, credit to Jonathan for his planning.

Any plan I had quickly unravelled in the face of two commanders who handled their troops extremely well while I made a number of mistakes. Kudos to Lee and Steve.

I would certainly play this game again... but differently!