Monday, November 17, 2014

Fere Champenoise, 1814, AAR

My friend, Jerry, and I recently played another 814 Napoleonic game using Volley and Bayonet. I found the scenario at The Free Napoleonics Scenarios site
It's a small scenario, but Volley and Bayonet handled it well as a two player game.

This was the classic situation; an all cavalry command attacks an enemy comprised mainly of infantry. Can the cavalry possibly win?

Well if half the infantry are conscripts, and the rules model the effects of the rain correctly...

Jerry took the Allies, all cavalry. I commanded the French, two depleted "corps," with two small cavalry divisions.

There is a long ravine which is marked by lichen. Each turn the first player rolls for rain. The effects of rain are:
-All movement is halved
-The ravine becomes disordering terrain
-All fire casualties receive a saving throw 

The Allied Cavalry advances

The French

The Allies surround and destroy a French division that appeared on the northern edge of the table

The crippling flank attack

Cossacks on the flank

It was a hard fought game. Almost half of the turns had rain. That slowed down my withdrawal and at one point I made a mistake; I stacked my units in the middle directly behind a cavalry screen. If Jerry could rout the cavalry, they would rout down the line spreading chaos.
Surely he wouldn't see my predicament.

Of course he saw it. He attacked and in two turns destroyed half of my army--the good half. His Cossacks once again attacked my disordered and routed units. The last three games in which the Cossacks have been on the table have seen them destroy French units.

My Conscripts fell back into the town. As bad as things were, Jerry still needed to take the town to win and time was running out.

On the last turn of the game, Jerry destroyed my last units and advanced in the town.

Great fun.
Last stand of the French

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Remember, Veteran's Day 2014

One hundred years; it's almost incomprehensible to me. It's been a century since the first year of the Great War, and I'm around to see it.
This Veterans' Day I remember my grandfather, Allan Hert, Sr; a veteran of the US Army. The flag presented to my grandmother at his funeral hangs in a case behind my chair. 100 years ago he was 15. Three years later, in 1917, he was in the army and the US was in the war.
I remember him. He was tall, and quiet, and kind to his grandchildren. He was working as the Superintendent of the Avoca State Fish Hatchery when he died of heart disease. My younger brother and I spent many weekends with our grandparents in the early '60's.

The State of Indiana built what Frank Lloyd Wright called , "The ugliest public building in America," the World War Memorial in Indianapolis. I stood in front of his and his cousin's name there.

In a family full of veterans, Allan Hert, Sr, is my favorite WW I veteran.