Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Scenario 5 Rear Guard (1)

For a brief moment, this small corner of northwestern Europe seems calm and peaceful. (My motley collection of buildings makes it unclear exactly which corner. A distinctly Italianate railway station, some oddly Russian huts, a very English looking cottage and, of course, a farmhouse that is forever Belgium. These days the quality of terrain you see at shows and online is infinitely superior, with people going to extremes to reproduce the precise architecture of the particular battle or theatre they are recreating. I can’t even get my basing to match the terrain tiles.)

But the year is 1944, and remnants of a defeated army are clogging the roads as they hurry towards the remaining bridges. Shortly afterwards, a hastily assembled kampfgruppe takes up position to act as rearguard and shield the retreat. For not far off is the enemy's light armour, seeking to turn this retreat into a rout.

The WWII armies are the first I have built entirely myself, from scratch, for this project. I started back in July and am feeling quite pleased with myself, with over 80 figures and 25 vehicles completed. For someone as klutzy as this hound, the PSC kits are a joy to put together, and I even survived the more fiddly Italeri and Caesar sets with (what’s left of) my sanity intact.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Scenario 7 Rear Slope

With Scenario 6 played just under the 1 year mark, it seemed like a good idea to make use of renewed familiarity with the rules, and the fact that the German forces for Scenario 5 were still barely half complete, to get Scenario 7 on the table. With the (6mm) score level at one game apiece, it was time to have the Prussians defend for a change. In this scenario they are supposed to take advantage of a reverse slope to conceal part of their forces from the French. Always tricky for the solo gamer, but MdE includes a combat modifier for fighting troops that were not previously visible, and I suspect a generous interpretation of this, plus my own incompetence, should help us through.

So it is that we go back to earlier in 1813, long before Lebasque’s daring maritime escape, to the maneuvering that preceded the major clashes. The twin towns of Nordcoggondorf and Sudcoggondorf sit astride a major north-south road. They are, in turn, dominated by a large hill. Whoever holds the hill, controls the road, and so it was that General Lebasque was tasked with driving the Prussians from the heights to allow the French free passage. After the depredations of the Russian campaign, the French force is unsurprisingly ‘raw’, while the Prussians are a more mixed bag. Both generals, new to their commands, are ‘plodding’. (Thanks again to the MdE random force generator for being judgemental about my abilities.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Scenario 6 Rear Guard (2)

Having successfully seized the river crossing at Dreibrücke, the French General Lebasque finally had an opportunity to escape his Prussian pursuers. Faced with the options of a long overland march to rejoin Davout and then take part in further fighting across Europe, or a sea voyage home and Christmas 1813 with the family, Lebasque chose the watery option and turned his remaining forces towards the North Sea coast. All he had to do was find a harbour with enough ships in port, persuade the captains to take his troops on board and sail to France, and do all this while holding off any Prussian attempts to interfere.

The first and second of these were achieved with the judicious application of money looted on the way through Germany and the more profligate application of the bayonet to the recalcitrant members of the local populace and seafaring community. Now it was time to get the men aboard ship before the Prussians caught up with him.

Which is where we rejoin the story.