An assortment of 28mm Napoleonic Command Figures…mostly Front Rank…..
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Latest 28mm Front Rank figure off my painting table. Meet General Devereux, hero of France!
Fresh off the painting table – 28mm Front Rank Brunswick Hussar Regiment and the French 4ème Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval.
I finally finished a Front Rank 28mm French Legere Infantry unit that I have been working on for several weeks. The Holidays have slowed my painting progress down a bit and I think I am ready for a break. I plan to use these figs for both Sharp Practice and Lasalle. The figs are all Front Ranks and are individually mounted on 1″ Litko 3mm bases. I use custom made Litko Skirmish Trays for Sharp Practice (Groups of 12 figs) and 2″ Litko 3mm Sabots with 4 figs to a base when playing Lasalle. I get more bang for the buck that way. I took a look at numerous uniform sources and painted the figs up to be more of a generic light infantry unit vs. a specific regiment.
“No Room at the Inn”
Lasalle Game 2
After rethinking our table width and tweaking our “No Room at the Inn” scenario a bit, the old grognards of the “West Texas Wargamers Association” gathered in my garage to have another “go” at the Lasalle rules using my 28mm peninsular collection of troops. We set up the game on a 10’x5’ table and the 5’ width seemed about right for my 2” square sabots that we are using as standard basing for the system.
The rules, basing and scenario worked perfectly and it would be one of the more enjoyable games that I have had in miniature gaming in awhile. We played 17 turns in about 5 hours, which, given our newness to the rules was not unreasonable. Jim Grifford and Faron Bell (me) ran the British-Portuguese side, while Mike McGrail took on the role of Lorell (French Division CO). I took the Portuguese, a couple of battalions of British Line infantry and a regiment of Brit Hussars on the Right. Jim took the British Left and had mostly Line troops, a regiment of Brunswick Hussars and the 95th Rifles. McGrail’s French Allied force was made up of a mix of Conscripts, Veteran line and Vistula Legion Infantry supported by a Dragoon & Chasseur Regiment.
The game was set up as a meeting engagement and all troops entered the board in march column. The victory conditions were centered around 5 on board objectives worth 1 VP each. There were two ways to win: (1) The opposing side fails army morale first or (2) failing that, control more victory objectives than your opponent when the game ends.
Given that the VP’s are mostly in the center to center-left (French center-right) of the map board, I was given the task of trying to tie up as many of the French troops as possible while refusing our right flank. This strategy worked well at first, but began to fall apart later in the game.
Open moves saw both sides jockeying for position and moving towards the hills and town squares in the board center. As the game unfolded, I took the Church square as Jim assaulted the Inn square. We secured both built up areas and managed to take the two hills as well. The Brunswick Hussars moved across the river and spent much of the game in a grand march around the bridge and into the French right flank.
Meanwhile, Mike’s French and Vistula Legion Poles threatened our center-right and right flanks. I attempted to keep my shaky Portuguese and outnumbered Cavalry out of harms way, while demonstrating against the French left. This worked well until later in the game as Mike began to turn my flank. My Line battalion that was deployed in the church square repulsed no less than 3 assaults by a conscript & Vistula Legion battalion. All was holding together for us well into the middle part of the game. Meanwhile, Jim’s British Line troops were pressing the French right (our left) very hard.
Things began to fall apart for me as my Hussars grew weary of retrograde movement and decided to stand against the French Dragoons but were easily routed. Mike’s Chasseurs assaulted a Limbered RHA battery on the hill to my right but were driven back (1st of two such incidents where the RHA battery defeated the Chasseurs). The 18th Portuguese Line formed square (3 DISR) and held for the entire game against repeated cavalry charges and fire from a French Battery. The Vistula Legion, however, broke my center-right section and penetrated into my flank and rear.
Meanwhile, Jim was doing basically the same thing to the French right flank. He managed to swing his Brunswick Hussars around into the French flank and also a line unit in march column blew through a hole in the French center-right and penetrated deep into Mike’s posterior. The game was shaping up to a be a race towards whose army morale would fail first as both sides hovered dangerously near their break points.
The game was afoot when, on the 4th charge, the Vistula Legion & conscript battalions finally broke my line battalion in the church square and threatened my center. This pushed us over the edge and the Brit-Portuguese failed morale on turn 17.
Very close run game, as we were already into bonus turn 3 and the French would have had to test morale on their turn.
After today’s game, we all agreed that we genuinely liked the Lasalle system and really didn’t see anything occur that we had a problem or concern with. The rules worked great and played beautifully. I was especially proud that my scenario worked well with the system and seemed to be well balanced. The 2” mounting does require a big table with a 5’ depth or width. You want 30-32 BW’s of table width to make the game play as it should. I think that was some of our problem in the first run through of the game.
More 28’s are on the painting table and we are looking forward to another game in a month or two.
“No Room at the Inn” was set up as a playtest scenario for our first foray into Lasalle. The scenario featured about a dozen units per side and was set in the Peninsula, circa 1809. Mike McGrail and Faron Bell played the French, while Tom McBrayer & Jim Gifford played the Brits. It was good to get the guys together and play, though we experienced mixed feelings as far as the game was concerned.
The scenario was custom made to fit on my dinning room table (7.5’ x 3.5’) and to feature the 28mm troops that I had painted up and ready to go. “No Room at the Inn” is basically a meeting engagement between a British-Portuguese Division vs. a French-Polish (Vistula Legion) Division. The scenario equated roughly to a core group + support element per side. Both sides were set up along the full length of each table edge in attack column. There were 5 objectives (each worth a VP) for the scenario: 2 Hills, 2 Built Up Areas (Church & Inn) and a bridge (whereby the 1st player to exit a battalion across won a VP). At games end the side with the most VP’s won. The French had a slight advantage in position, while the British had a slight advantage in overall quality.
The game began with a general advance on both sides towards the center line of the board and toward the objectives. The British moved a Horse Artillery Battery on top on the Hill on their right and advanced their single Hussar regiment deep on their right flank, just across the board centerline. The French countered by charging their single dragoon cavalry regiment into the limbered gun battery. The British Hussars countercharged and broke the dragoon unit. The French and British advanced along the center and left flank (Br-Left, Fr- Right) and began to jockey for position to take the town squares and hill on the Br Left.
The British Hussars, free of any threat of enemy cavalry, charged a battery of French 12# guns and overran the battery with little effort. This placed the Hussar Regiment deep in the French Flank and posing a grave tactical problem to him (me!) in how to deal with an enemy cavalry on the flank/rear, a Horse battery deployed on the hill and firing on the Vistula Legion’s Flank and a fresh Portuguese Brigade moving up.
Both sides continued to march on the two central town squares. The French were in a strong position as one of the conscript battalions began the game deployed in the “Inn” built up area (town square).
Both sides advanced. The British took the hill to their left (Fr Right) and deployed their foot battery on top. The French medium foot battery issued fire and caused a DISR or two.
The game began to unravel for the French as the Hussar regiment spent a couple of turns recovering (it had a DISR of 3) and then wheeled around to face the French Rear. A Vistula Legion Battalion to the far left attempted to break the Portuguese line but was handily repulsed. Meanwhile, a second Vistula Legion battalion faced off against the Hussar regiment but as outmaneuvered and unable to bring fire upon it. The 3rd Legion battalion managed to take the town square (Church) and deploy. Unfortunately, an attack by a Portuguese Cacadore and British Line Battalion broke the deployed VL Battalion and the British managed to take the Church square. This placed them in control of 3 of 4 map objectives. By games end the French left flank was in total disarray as the Hussar regiment managed to countercharge a Vistula Legion battalion attempting to assault the Portuguese line and break it. This left a single VL battalion to hold the French left and it was enveloped and about to be overrun by combined arms.
The church square was carried by the Brits as mentioned. The Inn town square was attacked by a single Brit line battalion which was repulsed. Nearby, a second Brit line battalion attempted to close with a French conscript unit but was also repulsed and the broken by a counterattack. This would be the only British unit routed for the battle.
Both sides formed solid lines and were issuing fire at games end. The Brits were in control of the hill but were threatened due to the French conscript line unit breaking the British Line battalion. Both sides on this flank were largely undamaged with the exception of the broken Brit battalion.
We called the game on turn 10 and awarded an overwhelming victory to the British-Portuguese side.
Summary & assessment of Lasalle:
Feelings were mixed. Given the wild results and situation on the French left, it was hard to tell exactly what happened and why. My poor Vistula Legion Brigade (mixed brigade with 3 VL Battalions, a French dragoon regiment and a 12# Reserve battery) was total destroyed without doing any significant damage to the Brit-Portuguese. The dice results for the 3 major engagements on the French left were totally in the favor of the Brits. It was hard to tell if I badly mishandled my troops or I was beaten by the dice. (1) The initial cavalry action: My dragoons had a two dice advantage and were broken by the Hussar conutercharge (2) My Vistula Legion attack on the Portuguese line unit also had a two dice advantage and was repulsed (probably not surprising). (3) The VL Battalion unit, deployed, holding the town (church) was broken by the Brit-Portuguese assault – again I enjoyed a 2 or 3 dice advantage. I flat out rolled badly all day. Some of our mixed feelings were probably a result of the scenario design. We had no real reserves as everything was deployed and lined up to attack at game start. This was done primarily to get us into action quickly for learning purposes.
Overall, I think everyone had a good time. We discussed the pros and cons after the game and came up with these points:
- Game flowed well
- Interactive: Kept the players involved. Little turn angst.
- Potential Fast Play (First game went slow because I was the only one that knew the rules – but we quickly realized the potential for a fast moving game)
- The game seemed to be very luck driven w/ wild results. Scratching our heads on this. Possibly a fluke or just the way the game was set up. Still thinking on this.
- Artillery seemed ineffective, with none of the batteries causing significant damage
- The game system seems to minimize the differences between the troops. Everything seemed a bit “vanilla” to us. (Could be my choice/availability in troops & my scenario set up)
We agreed that another go at the game was in order before we could make any real judgments.
Pictures from the Game:
Had the day off and spent it building artillery for Lasalle. Pictured is one of the batteries I did up today, a French 8# battery mounted on 2″ Litko stands. All figs & models are 28mm Front Rank. Of course, I can also use the guns & crew for Sharp Practice, though 1 or 2 artillery pieces is about the max for the size games we typically play.