Sunday, 24 June 2018

A Fork in the Road - Part 2

Into action
Prince Blucher immediately ordered his crack cavalry regiments to advance....

Blucher: Charge und slaughter zem all, meine kinder!
 ...prompting Davout's guns to come into action.

Davout: This is going to be easier than I thought!
The Garde du Corps suffered dreadful losses as they tried to cross the ford.

Blucher: Verdammt!, So ein Mist! Sound ze recall!
As Blucher recalled his shattered squadrons, Davout's Franco-Saxon centre launched themselves towards the town....

Davout: Forward lads! We'll have them on the run in no time....
….and were in turn met by a hail of Prussian cannon balls.

Blucher: Zat's more like it!
Although firing at extreme range, the volume of fire rapidly began to take a terrible toll on the advancing Saxons.

Colonel #1: They've killed Count Pajol!
Colonel #2: The bastards!
On Blucher's right, however, a sudden Danish light cavalry strike threatened the destruction of the Swedish hussars.

Swedes: That's the last time we order a Danish!
French and Danish cavalry, supported by their dashing horse gunners, swarmed onto the hills.

Blucher: the Danes are dominating, damn them!
Crisis on the Right

Blucher counter attacked with the Swedish cuirassiers, but they were sent packing by their indomitable Danish opponents almost immediately.

Cuirassiers: Run away!
Blucher: Zere is somezink rotten in the 
state of Sweden, I am zinking!
Only the Swedish infantry now stood in the way of total disaster. Heavily outnumbered, raked by canon fire and surrounded by a swirl of hostile squadrons, the collapse of Blucher's right seemed only moments away...

Swedes: Valhalla here we come!
….but the Swedes were tougher than they looked. The Danes watched in horror as their hitherto unstoppable offensive began to crumble. Even the Swedish hussars fought back, bringing the Danish light cavalry to a standstill.

Meanwhile the Swedish infantry decimated the  French chasseurs for daring to come within musket range.

It was enough. Blucher's left and centre marched to the attack just as the enemy in front of them were beginning to wilt under the uncannily accurate long-range fire of the Prussian gunners.

The sacrifice of the Prussian Garde du Corps had also not been in vain. Davout's gunners were distracted just long enough for the Prussian main attack to close. A mighty cheer rang out from the Prussian ranks.

Prussian infantry: Hurrah! Ve didn't like zose silly vhite cuirassiers anyvay!
Meanwhile, Danish morale plummeted as their cavalry reeled back in confusion. Even the horse gunners were sent scurrying back to their lines after a feint by the Prussian dragoons.

Blucher: Zat's right boys - just vave zose swords about a bit!
The Prussian centre closed in for the kill. The Saxons formed line but it was clear that they'd been seriously weakened by the Prussian bombardment.

But it was on the Prussian left that the real victory was won. The Lutzowers, enraged by their losses to the French artillery during the advance, charged and overran the French guns which had been tormenting them. The rest of the PEF also charged into the faltering French line. The Prussian cavalry surged forward in anticipation of the pursuit. As the French cavalry of the Guard prepared to sell their lives, Davout sounded the retreat. The Emperor would have to fight his way to Berlin alone.

And that, I'm very sorry to say, is when we ran out of time. I had to hit the road if I was to have any chance of reaching my sister's house before dark. LG, as always, had arranged the most superb show. He had also umpired with aplomb and treated us to the most splendid lunch besides. My opponent, Matt B, could not have been a more perfect gentleman and he would have beaten me handsomely but for my outrageous good fortune with the dice. He was also spectacularly generous - so expect to see a lot more French, Prussian and Brunswick Hinton Hunts when I finally get round to painting them.

Gents, I can't really repay either you except to say thank you. I had the most wonderful time.

More grand Hinton Hunt spectaculars will follow in future posts, as indeed, I hope, will the Guard Chasseurs. I may need to chain Wellington Girl to the radiator first, however, as her ever growing social life seems to be taking up just about all of my time at the moment. What can I do? She's got me wrapped around her little finger.


Sunday, 10 June 2018

A Fork in the Road - Part 1

There hasn't been a huge amount of painting going on around here, so it's definitely time for Part 1 of the Perambulations of the Prussian Expeditionary Force.

While visiting the UK my plan was to see as many friends and family as I could and to cram in as much wargaming as possible while I was about it. The result was a trip that took me from the South coast of England to Scotland and back again.

With the PEF safely collected from sister number one, the first leg involved setting off westwards towards sister number two. Almost exactly half way, as luck would have it, lay a fork in the road which took me to the house of Mr Lewis Gunner and what must surely be one of the world's most spectacular collections of Hinton Hunts.

Von Lützow according to WM meets von Lützow according to LG,
just one  of LG's innumerable brilliant command conversions.

The situation was as follows: Marshal Davout, anxious to join the Emperor's army marching on Berlin, has sallied forth from Hamburg with his Saxon and Danish allies. Meeting them at a vital road junction, however, was a Prusso-Swedish force under Blucher which was determined to bar the way. Commanding the French was Matt B, while I took charge of the Prussians as Marshal Blucher. LG, Muskets & Marshals in hand, acted as umpire.

Davout's mighty Franco-Saxo-Danish army arrayed for battle

Well I just had to be the Prussians. My mission was hold the road junction.
Davout himself, strange to say, had been unavoidably detained (LG couldn't find him!), but his well-disciplined troops readied for battle nonetheless.

Davout's plan, by the looks of it, was to conduct a converging attack against the Prussian left and centre in an effort to seize the road junction.

The formidable French right. I really didn't like the look of all that guard cavalry

Davout's centre with yet more French and a couple of Saxon battalions.

Davout's Danes on the left. I'm ashamed to say that I completely failed to get any 
decent shots of these fabulous Hinton Hunt conversions.

The Danish cavalry on the Franch far left. These were conversions of 
British light dragoons if I remember correctly.
Blucher's plan was to foil Davout's attack be means of a massive assault launched from the Prussian left. Although this left him rather weak on his right flank, Blucher hoped that all the hills on that side of the battlefield would slow down Davout long enough for this main assault to develop.

The Leib Hussars, Garde du Corps and uhlans manaouvre to pounce onto the French right.
It didn't quite work out that way...…

The Prussian left. Prusso-Swedish assault columns, led by the PEF.

The Prussian artillery massed around the town. Blucher's plan was
 to blast to smithereens anything that came too close.

A mixed Prusso-Swedish division held the centre. The dragoons were to play a critical role.

The Prussian right - with yet more Lutzowers!

Swedish cavalry defend the far right flank. We'd deal with those Danes in no time
…..or so I thought.

To be continued.....


Sunday, 3 June 2018

A Vintage Viceroy

It's been more than two weeks, I'm ashamed to say, since I promised to post my first battle report about the Prussian Expeditionary Force, and it's still not ready. The main reason I haven't done it is that I've been far too busy painting. There's nothing like photo editing, it seems, to drive one back to the painting table.

Presented below is what I've been up to. He is a vintage Hinton Hunt FN 352: Eugène de Beauharnais, uniformed as a Colonel of the Chasseurs a Cheval, on horse FN 11.

The regiment he will command, of course, is to be the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard. It was high time, I thought, that the Essex Hussar ceased his photobombing and got a proper job; and besides, the Emperor need's a regiment with at least a ghost of chance of defeating the Leib Hussars.

The only Chasseur I've got to show so far is the trumpeter, who is a converted Der Kriegspieler from set # 47: Guard Chasseurs a Cheval.

He's a little more My Little Pony-ish than I'd intended, but I decided to  keep him as he is because he's actually not too far off the pastel shade of pink depicted in the famous Martinet print.

The rest of the regiment is going to take a while, so the next post will definitely be about the PEF!


Essex Hussar: Gadzooks!