Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Old Guard foot & mighty Guard Grand Battery.


Two Old Guard regiments and Guard Grand Battery.

These two forty strong regiments will head up my new Imperial Guard. The Regiments don't need an introduction I hope but the miniatures may. These are the Elite Miniatures Collectors Range in a suitably heroic and statuesque 30mm. I have four Middle Guard also by Elite which will be upgraded in time to the Collectors Range too. Painting is by Tony Laughton, nearly finished basing them, flags by GMB.

Sister regiments on the march.
So why this range? Firstly I really like the figures, yes they are somewhat old fashioned, a little gorky or goofy but that appeals in a weird way to me! They seem a little more "Imperial" than the Warlord or Perry ones who are in greatcoats - no good to me - I want full dress please. Front Rank do some lovely models but I found their OG a bit wooden. Foundry do a lovely range but they're mere children beside modern 28's. Even the ordinary Elite range didn't inspire but these did and that's all that counts. In future I might add Italian and Dutch Guards too. 

Below are some shots of the above supporting my Old Guard Grand Battery comprising four batteries, 2 foot & 2 horse; 14 pieces in total! 

Crews painted by Barry Hill, guns by Blue Turkey except the right hand battery which is by Pete Morbey of Elite Minis. 

I still need to dry brush the bases & touch up some travel damage. 

FIRE ALL WEAPONS!

"Witness the power of this fully operational battle station!"
A different Emperor in a galaxy far, far away.

Another post from me, is that three this month? Maybe I'm getting back into this? We have started a new game, a big game. It's a fictitious encounter set in 1812 on the road to Borodino, the pre game maneuvering has been done, deployment set, fiendish plans arrived at and we have played the first turn or two. I'll try do an initial post within the next week. Hope you enjoy these new additions and get to see them on the table top soon.

Best wishes for the coming weekend,

Jeremy  

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Heavy Metal Ecstasy - an update from the terrace. (And caption crude contest!)

You were promised more posts and here is the first plus a clue as to what comes next in my very crude caption contest right at the bottom. If you don't like contemporary Napoleonic pornography don't scroll to last image as it may offend some readers.
 
New French artillery minus one horse battery which I forgot about! 

Last Christmas I bought a pile of 28mm French batteries from Elite Miniatures in their excellent Juletide deal. The guns went to Alan Tuckey the crews to Barry Hill along with lots of other bits. They are all back & nearly finished. The bases need a dry brush and the crews a touch up here & there after the long journey by post. They are near enough done to share now. In addition there are two horse batteries painted by Pete Morbey of Elite Miniatures, one of line, one of Guard. The line battery isn't shown as "numptey boy" here forgot them...  "dum-di-dum, toodles". Anyway that's 25 new shiny guns for the French army. We needed some Old Guard artillery and I am selling two older batteries, one Front Rank one Perry and replacing them with these Elite Minis which I vastly prefer.
        
Line foot battery in full dress.

Same again.

Line foot battery in campaign dress.

Guard horse battery with 6lb guns.

Same again but painted by Pete Morbey this time.

Busy gunners. Love the officer directing fire - very dynamic.
Barry Hill did the crews, Alan Tuckey the guns.

Pete Morbey's battery again.

Two 12lb Old Guard foot batteries.
"My beautiful daughters."
N. Bonaparte.  

Crews busy loading.
Overhead shots.

Two Guard Horse artillery batteries. The top one is by Pete Morbey of Elite Miniatures.
I might muddy the wheels on the other batteries and highlight the metal work too - dunno yet. 

Two Old Guard 12lb foot batteries. One battery is loading the other firing.
These should dish out some pain!

Two line foot batteries, one in campaign dress another in full dress, I suspect one has 6lb guns the other 8lb pieces.

The whole lot minus that elusive horse battery.
Impressive, even if I say so myself.
A hint at my next post and a caption competition.

Crude & vulgar image follows.

Look away now if you feel the need too... 


"La Garde recule?"

So that wraps up this update. Please feel free to comment, the painters & Marauders always appreciate it. Once dry brushed these new toys will make their presence felt on the table top.

Catch up soon, best wishes,

Jeremy    



Sunday, 11 June 2017

Dresden 1813 - Conclusion


This post concludes the Dresden game which I first posted some months ago. I've lost my "posting mojo" hence the delay. We have played every week since but the desire to share has waned a little plus work/family has been pretty hectic. The Summer might see more.  

I have a heap of new toys to share with you and will do once fully based and worthy of your inspection. In short the massive Christmas order from Elite Miniatures has been painted plus a few more beside plus a few interesting bits from ebay & some painted by Peter Morbey of Elite himself.
  
The Battle concludes.

Crisis on the French right & centre...
 
Here Austrian foot drive back Italians with supporting charges by two regiments of cuirassiers who broke through...  

To the right of the above shot more Austrians relentlessly increase the pressure with further cavalry support and batteries. 

Elements of an Austrian Advance Guard Brigade including jaegers, grenz, & hussars 

Six Russian Guard & one Prussian Guard battalion fall on Bavarians supported by Westphalians. 

An outlying village and lynch pin of the French right falls to Austrians.
Note Westphalian Guards screen left.

Middle Guard quick marching from Dresden to prop up the failing French right.
Retreaters mill about impeding their progress.
That caisson is dashing to resupply a batter which ran low on ammo at a crucial time, as always.  

French "top brass" observe the critical situation from high up on the city walls. In safety.
I love that roof scape. 
The struggle on the French left

French heavy cavalry charge en masse and clear the Russians from this sector buying some time for Ney to reorder his Young Guardsmen and sort out another attack to recapture the Grosse Garten.
Then more Russians arrived...

Fighting rages in & around the gardens...

The Bavarian position looks perilous, Russian Guards to the front & now Prussians on the flank. 

Bavarians lining the breastwork of their redoubt.
Dresden looms in the distance.

Russian Guard Cuirassiers arrive with a horse battery - Perfect.
Great command vignette.

Russian Guardsmen & Austrians plough into the Bavarian & Westphalian lines.

Hanging on grimly.

Russian Guards - not sure which regiment.

Russian 6lb battery deploys to bombard those French heavies we saw earlier. This is one of Tony's epic vignettes.
The cart brings up stale bread but will return with casualties no doubt.  
ies
Sheer numbers may just prevail for the Allies at the ornamental gardens. 

"There seems to a twig stuck in your spokes old chap!"

They score!
Lead Prussian & Russian Grenadier battalions storm and capture the Grosse Garten.  


The French left is in chaos with troops intermixed in tight confines under constant fire from two 6 gun batteries.


Finish Guard Jaeger - one of the junior Russian Guard Regiments.
These are Warlord plastics with Front Rank command waving very pretty GMB flags.
Painted by Barry Hill for me, based by Chris & I.  

A panoramic sweep across the field of battle showing the depth and width of the battlefield, 14'6 x 14'. 

A similar shot... 

and another.

At this point the French threw in the towel conceding defeat. 
The Austrians were rampant. Well handled & numerous combined attacks with great support. 
The Russian Guard looked powerful but never fully exerted their full power & potential.
The Russians on the French left performed poorly but were numerous enough to outlast Ney.
The Russo Prussian attack on the Grosse Garten was well handled. They took & retook it twice.
The Prussians elsewhere had little or no impact being very slow to deploy.

The French and their allies held on bravely. Most formations stood their ground until the end despite some frightful loses. In some respects this was a problem because fresh formations struggled to insert themselves into the line. Cavalry formations especially blocked the route of march or unformed others as they milled about. This prevented the Guard from even firing a shot, drawing a sabre or deploying a cannon. The French launched only one major counter attack, that of the heavy cavalry. This repulsed the first Russian line but never exploited it.    

The General d'Armee rules in a beta test format held up very well. These have now been published in a final set which are even more streamlined and playable; truly an excellent set.  

This was a wonderful game to play, infact we did so twice with the same result twice! We are presently playing the test game in the rule book, a fragment of Bautzen, it's tight!  

I hope to post a bit more in future, possibly shorter update style material as these "slug fest" write-ups are very time consuming to write.

Best wishes,

Jeremy

          







Sunday, 26 March 2017

Dresden 1813 - the table, deployment & a few moves.

It's been a while since my last post but we have not been idle. In short we played a Dresden inspired game which whilst fun went a bit wrong from deployment onwards. Basically there was not enough width for the French to deploy in and the allies started to close to the French lines, we had a great game but not a great interpretation of Dresden 1813. Chris realized that simply by rotating the table top scenery by 90 degrees our problem would be solved so we did it all over again. In game one we three played both sides, it worked out just fine. Wearing two hats whilst somewhat schizophrenic made for a great way to play. For "Take 2" French Tony was back from a bout of illness just in time to take control of the vast French army, Russian Tony commanded the Russians, Chris the Austrians & I handled the Prussians.      

The walled fortress city of Dresden with French forces drawn up to repel the three massing Allied armies.   
This game saw the first outing of our new game mat from www.tinywargames.co.uk  This beast of a thing measures 14'6 x 10'6 and is "grass green". It seems to be good quality material & is a little more modern than our green felt clothes used on one back board or the GW grass mats on the other. I'll leave it up to you which you prefer. For me, I need to work out how to photograph it as it looks a bit murky on film which it really isn't in real life, possibly a different digital filter. It also looks much greener from above if you look down on it, so if you're using your 6' x 4' mat it'll look green, look across the 14' span it looks less verdant.    

The Russians arriving in witless masses ready to assault the Grosser Garten on the left.
Way off in the distance on the hill & by the stream the Prussians are arriving.    

The French were given two redoubts to place as they wished, these could either shelter batteries or infantry. Tony put one beside the Grosser Garten, a series of walled formal gardens someway outside the city limits which formed a solid bastion and anchor in the French line. The other he aggressively shoved up front & middle.

This is the Grosse Garten model used at the Wargames Holiday Centre.
Picture used without permission.  
It's mighty fine & a brilliant representative of the real thing. It's also very big, we simply don't have the space to use this kind of thing & frankly I couldn't be bothered to build it, although... As you will see ours was a smaller affair; still high walled with a few pretty trees & monuments. It was manned by elements of Ney's Young Guard. 


Russian Cuirassier brigade & a couple of infantry brigades lead the attack on the French left with more behind off table.
The scenario was supplied by Gonsalvo of Blunders on the Danube fame. Like all such things it's a compromise solution to create a "game" of a real battle, he makes some tweaks here and there, we're very happy with the resulting scenario. Hopefully the link below works...  

http://blundersonthedanube.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/battle-of-dresden-day-2-august-22-1813.html


Prussians arrive in dark dense masses. These are a mix of Line, reservists & LDW.
These are moving up so batteries are limbered, note attached LDW light cavalry, skirmishers out front.  

More Prussians on the left, this time a slightly smaller formation.
Up on the hill top is the Prussian Corps reserve 12lb battery deployed & ready to bombard the Frenchies.
Behind the hill is the infantry of the Grand Duke Constantine's Allied Life Guard in reserve.

Here we see more Allied reserves. Russian Guard foot battery, a mighty 6 gun 12lb affair.
Behind is the Austrian reserve, Nostitz Cuirassiers & Grenadiers.

Looking across the French centre & the French right.
This is a tough nut to crack with plenty of support at hand & more coming on as they march to Dresden. 

The Austrian Army here is the biggest of the three Allied armies present.
Here they are moving up, batteries limbered. Those blank hex bases are about to be replaced with skirmishing jaegers who are presently being based up having arrived late from China!!!

Blimey, more Austrians move up towards the waiting French batteries & skirmish screens.

Yet more Austrians.
Up on the heights the Corps reserve battery & Divisional battery are deployed to start softening up Dresden's defenders.  

The view across the French lines from the Austrian positions in the picture above. 

The French massing in front of Dresden. A few outlying villages & farms form local anchor points alongside the redoubts.

French cavalry stand about in reserve, here we see, Pajol's lights, 2 x 32 dragoons, some Saxon lights & the Young Guard lights miles away supporting Ney's Young Guard (Poles) facing the Russians.   

The Emperor & retinue outside Dresden, civilians scuttle for shelter in the massive walls from the countryside.
Note that we now use movement trays for all infantry battalions in column, these are custom made by Warbases to hold either 32, 36 or 48 models. We must have bought about 200 so not cheap but they speed up play no end & protect the models.      

A peek inside the murky walls of  Dresden. It was a major magazine & base of operations vital to Napoleon in Germany. 

Similar shot, different angle, the Emperor has ventured outside the city gates to conduct the battle.
Some poor sods takes a stray shot to the head - bottom right - Aaaaargh!
Initial moves.

Austrians nose forward, jaegers up front, covering fire from the batteries.

An Italian brigade rushes out to take the village crossing point only to find the other boys in white are already there.
Skirmishers trade shots.

Elements of the Austrian Advance Guard push onwards.
Here jaeger in line precede Grenzers & Hussars.
Mothers comfort frightened children in the farmyard. 

Marching off the table edge like lemmings.
The truth is that no matter how big your table there will always be an "edge"! 

The Prussians were frustratingly slow to start.
Allied command difficulties impacted quite well.

Confession time...
I hadn't based my new French batteries in time so these are Prussian guns. Secondly the empty movement tray should be holding the Westphalian Guards, also part based.  

Westphalians alongside Bavarians with Neopolitans, Portuguese & Milanese behind, Poles in the distance.
We need more vanilla French. 

French on table reserves sit usefully in the centre.

Orderly formations await the Austrian hammer-blow.  

French Dragoons, Perry plastics with Front Rank general. Saxon horse battery attached.

Go on then, how many nationalities in this one?
And who?

French skirmishers move along the forest line where someone has been hard at work turning trees into planks.  

Duka with the Novgorod & Starodub Cuirassiers.
This is a truly cursed formation, really it is. 

six battalions of Russian Guards & one token Prussian Life Guard battalion under Grand Duke Constantine.

Game on
Latour Maubourg leads the French heavy cavalry reserve Corps out of Dresden to counter the Russian attacks
around the Grosse Garten.

Here we see the Russian attacks on the Grosse Garten, the first assault was repelled but goes in again.
Duka's heavies are supporting but take a pounding from three batteries, in response they charge but retire to reform after a hail storm of canister fire  which inflicted horrendous casualties.   

The same scene from behind the Prussian attack as it approaches the Grosse Garten which is held by Young Guard from Ney.
To the left of the Prussians the Russian Grenadiers with limbered battery prepare their assault.

The puffs of smoke turned out really well here.


Elsewhere Austrian columns arrive in increasing numbers, here with dragoons in support.
Fire fights erupt along the river banks. The Italian attack on this village/crossing point pictured earlier has been repulsed and the Austrians have established a bridgehead from which to launch a serious assault. 

A similar scene from a different angle. 

Young Guard with artillery support facing the Russians - actually Poles & French guns.
Apologies for the yukky scrap of paper.


The Russians assaulting the Grosse Garten break & retreat, their flight eventually takes them off the table.   


Fuzzy shot of Russian Grenadiers & Prussians splash through the stream to charge the high walls of the Grosse Garten. 
This part of the Austrian attack was slow to start and took some stick from French batteries across the river in punishment. 


 Interlude

The above action unfolded about 5-6 turns over two gaming sessions. The pictures taken of the Russian attack we pretty poor due to the lighting in that part of Marauder HQ so we got hold of two more lights and some new bulbs for a few others which were weak or dead! Hopefully your "Marauder Experience" will now be better lit at least!

What follows brings us up to date as the Battle of Dresden intensifies...    

Tony & Chris having  a light bulb moment.
My role in all things practical is purely as a spectator or mocked for my obvious ineptitude - I have other strengths... 
 Back to action 

This action saw Latour lead his four regiments of Cuirsassiers into the charge. The resulting action obliterated Duka's already weary formation & drive the survivors from the field.  

Meanwhile the Grosse Garten was stormed by the Pavlovski Grenadiers & 1st East Prussian IR.
The Pavlovski's took possession driving the other Young Guard battalions out of the area and the redoubt!!!    
The Prussian brigade which assaulted the Grosse Garden.
Here we see three line, three reservists & three LDW battalions. Their attached battery & cavalry are to the rear.  

Prussians cross the stream to assault another redoubt, this time held by Bavarians under Freidricks.
Note: in the background The Life Guard Infantry are moving up to pass through the Prussian battery, the attack is about to get very much more serious...

Bavarians await the onslaught, their battery has been destroyed.
In the back ground a caisson dashed along with fresh powder & shot while Saxon light horse wait in reserve - classic stuff! 

Part of Ney's YG, he needs to mount a credible counter attack to recapture the Grosse Garten PDQ!
Here French dragoons are sent to plug a whole on the French right before the Austrians can fully exploit it
rolling up the flank. They need to charge from fresh but are already taking hits from distant Austrian artillery. 



This is the "hole" the above French dragoons need to plug - the threat is obvious & perilous. 

Screen left - the Middle Guard exit Dresden to help hold the line.
The French rear lines need careful marshaling to avoid congestion - not so easy. 

Jaegers losing a firefight with their French counterparts.
The Austrians are still arriving and in better order than the reserves.    

Middle Guard double pace "to the sound of the guns".
To my shame I have not finished basin these and owe two of them flags!

Another shot of the Austrian advance against the river line. 


Austrian dragoons in reserve.

Grenzers move up as part of the Advance Guard.

Stipsics Hussars support jaeger forming a firing line.

Here Hungarian Grenadiers, Grenzers & the Hessen-Homberg Hussars & light battery march on as part of the
2nd Advance Guard brigade as they pass a cute farmyard scene.
The rules in use were General d'Armee (beta version). These give a dynamic game especially on this scale, the emphasis is on command decisions, the impact of morale and combined arms. For me the look & feel of thing delivers what I want for big games. I think I speak for all we Marauders when I say that General d'Armee is now our preferred big battle set, we will return to General d'Brigade for smaller games in the Peninsular for instance.

When they will be released I have failed to ascertain, any input gratefully received.    

More massed Austrian batteries.
These are the ones who dealt the advancing French dragoons a bloody nose!  
That is where we're up. We are very much in the middle phase of this one which is still building. Both sides have been dealt some body blows, both are committing reserves & I need to get basing some toys, we'll need them!

I hope this "scratches an itch" for some of you, I'll try to post more frequently, we're still here doing the Marauder "thing" be assured of that. We are still amassing more models too so things can only get bigger.

Please feel free to comment and pop back to see how this one pans out. Best wishes,

Jeremy