Saturday, June 29, 2013

Borodino 2012 - Russian Documentary

I found this gem while doing a little digging on the net for an image of the battlefield of Borodino for the previous post. It's an English language piece for the Russian RT network presented by a likeable chap by the name of James Brown (no, not THAT James Brown!).

He takes us through the whole event, talking to all sorts, from camp followers to the Great Man himself! It also features a couple of Englishmen from the XV Hussars of which there is a squadron here in Victoria (see the link in the sidebar).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Borodino Battlefield - WIP

Borodino battlefield in progress in the glamorous surrounds of Tim's shed

Above is the battlefield that Tim is making for our big Borodino game that is scheduled for the first weekend in January 2014. The view is north to south roughly in the area outlined in the following map with Borodino township being the larger brown square in the middle distance, near the intersection of the streams.

The rough dimensions of Tim's project with the direction of the POV of the photo indicated by the arrow.

Most of the work has been done by Tim himself, with help along the way from various other members. I think you'll all agree he's doing a sterling job!

The modular tiles are made from polystyrene covered with a layer of plaster or putty or something similar and then covering it in flock.

PS. Don't forget the Great Book Giveaway! If you haven't entered, it's still not too late. See the previous post for details.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Milestone Celebrations and Giving Back!

Hip, Hip, Huzzah! 

This blog is celebrating...

...passing the 100,000 mark...

...450 posts...

...and 180 followers!

Monsieur le Rosbif & Johnny Frog has had a rush of milestones to celebrate all at once! Thanks again to all my followers and all those who regularly take time to leave comments. It is much appreciated.

To celebrate and share the love I am offering my followers the chance to win 4 books from my personal library. All are military histories (what else?) and all have relevance to the theme of the blog (Napoleonic military history), with 2 devoted purely to that theme.

Click the images to read a review of each.

If you'd like to go into the draw there a couple of simple rules:

  1. You have to be a follower of this blog
  2. You have to leave a comment on this post stating which book you're interested in (you can nominate all if you want to!)
  3. The draw will happen on Saturday 6th of July 12pm AEST (+10 GMT)
  4. The judge's ruling is final!
Best of luck and thank you all, again, for your continued support!

(Feel free to spread the word, too!)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A New Barracks for Rosbif's Regiments

Mrs. R. had a day off work recently and spent part of it doing what she likes best, cruising the local op shops (opportunity shops, or charity thrift shops as some of you may know them). She came across this piece of mid-twentieth century interior design (not at all an authentic piece of shit) and thought it would be the perfect thing for me to store and display my soldiers.

I think you'll agree unlike the prat in the video, she got a bargain!

The cabinet with my complete collection

Anglo-Iberian infantry on the top shelf

Franco-Allied infantry on the middle shelf

Cavalry and artillery of both sides on the bottom shelf, plus various odds and ends like bullock carts and pack animals.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Boney Brou-ha-ha

Napoleon's still causing trouble, nearly 200 years after his loss at Waterloo saw him exit stage right!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Viva Pepe Botellas! #2

Here's the 4th battalion of the Joseph Napoleon Regiment ready for IV Corps. Again, they are HaT figures from set 8095, with a few head modifications. The grenadier is actually from the French grenadier expansion set 8166, with a shako head replacement.

I cut the plumes off the elites, leaving them with cords and pom-poms only. The officer has been given a shako head to replace the original bicorne, and the middle figure in the back row has also had a head replacement.

The 1st battalion featured in an earlier post here

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Russian Quagmire

I've been a little lax in updating the blog of late, sorry about that, so I'll do something about that with a battle report of the game at the club two Fridays ago!

It was going to be a larger game with 3 French players (myself, Darren W and John R.) against 2 Russians (Pete E. and Garry) with 3000 points of forces total. John was going to take command of the French forces in a Corps Command role with the plan being that I'd hold Pete, while Darren attacked Garry. John was to command the cavalry forces. With Jenko and Robin late arrivals, they took the light and heavy cavalry, respectively, and John graciously took an observer role after issuing early orders.

So the plan was for me to support Darren's attack by holding Pete, while Jenko and Robin acted opportunistically on the flanks. Somebody didn't tell the Russians this as Darren's advance was stopped in it's tracks by a cheeky charge by Cossacks against his infantry line. We worked out that if Darren had stood and fired, the damage done would probably have made the Cossacks turn tail and flee before making contact as their morale rating is fairly rubbish. Instead, Darren tried to do what all infantry do in the face of charging cavalry; form square. 

"All well and good. What's the problem?" I hear you ask. 

The problem was that Darren failed to form square and was hit by the Cossacks in a disorganised, unformed state! The Cossacks ploughed through the first battalion and into those following behind. After the Cossacks were eventually seen off (not before scattering a whole brigade!), poor Darren didn't have time to gather his wits or pause for breath, because Garry followed up with an infantry brigade to keep the pressure on!

On my flank, Jenko had skirmished a regiment of hussars to move forward the maximum distance, while threatening Pete's cavalry from within the woods. Meanwhile he brought up his other 2 regiments and artillery to protect my flank. I made a steady advance between the central village and the woods and hill where Jenko lurked. Pete's 12lbers made me think twice about a frontal assault, but when he advanced in support of Garry's advance I thought I had an opportunity for some offensive action.

I organised my right hand brigade for a charge in the next turn, thinking that I was outside Pete's charge arc and that my artillery would be enough of a disincentive if I wasn't. I was wrong on both counts! He had a valid charge line that took him across the face of my artillery and weathered the supporting fire, crashing into the brigade and scattering all four battalions. I had plenty in reserve, though could see them off in the next turn, but my chance for glory had been snuffed out!

In a death-or-glory, 11pm charge, Pete threw the rest of his division at my infantry, which met his charge mid way in an inconclusive contest. Jenko had finally overcome Pete's cavalry, so his infantry had to either attack or assume defensive formations against cavalry, then accept the consequences as I moved my infantry up.

In the end, there were too many players and too many troops on the table to get a conclusive end to the game, especially as Garry and Darren's combat took up so much of the game. Garry is a deuced clever tactician, but does take his time in coming to his decisions! It was a clear victory for the Russians on that flank, while the game was still in the balance on my side of the table, though Jenko's clever use of his cavalry had given us the ascendancy in a very slow game.

It was another instructive game, though, and food for thought as we prepare for Borodino.

My brave boys start off in chequer-board fashion

Darren masses his infantry close to the central woods, while Robin masses his heavy cavalry on the right flank

Garry's Russians

Jenko's light cavalry

Robin's heavies

Joseph Napoleon Regiment on début!

My division advance over the hill

Jenko cunningly skirmishes one of his regiments 

Pete's Slavic hordes

Garry's pesky Cossacks on début

Another of his new units; Lithunian lancers

Jenko pushes his skirmished hussars into the woods to threaten Pete's flank

My view directly ahead at Pete's Russians

Darren goes boldly forth

Then things turn to cr@p! The Cossacks charge and his infantry get caught flat footed.

One battalion is road kill, bow for the rest!

I took some pretty pictures of his troops while waiting for the combat to be resolved (and so I didn't have to watch the anguish in Darren's face!)

Insert incidental music here: Dum-de-dum, do-do-doo!

Garry follows up with the infantry!
The view from Pete's angle: Cossacks and infantry carving up  Darren's command

Meanwhile Pete's hordes wait contentedly

My troops start copping casualties from the 12lber batteries ahead.

Jenko threatens from the wood, pinning Pete's cavalry's attention.


Joseph Napoleon battalion in closed column

I start massing my battalions ready for some action to take the pressure off Darren

Meanwhile, Darren attempts to rally his battered command.

His troops are facing the right way, but with so many disorders, can he hold?

Jenko and Pete come to blows. Pete's quality cavalry overcome Jenko's also-rans.
It's not a crushing defeat, though. My infantry still have their flanks covered, and Jenko has more cavalry in reserve.

Pete advances two battalions in support of Garry's advance. My time has come?

If my charge could succeed, I'd be in Garry's flank, forcing him to ease off on Darren.

Garry charges on into Darren's disordered battalions, sending them running  (see bottom right)

Robin's cuirrassiers advance through the woods to put the brakes on Garry's advance.

Pete charges my brigade as it was setting up for its own charge.
Here we go John: What I should have done is advance the Italians in front of the guns to protect the open flank!


Crash! One down, two to go!

They halt, having done their damage, thwarted my plans and  stopped the threat.

But now they're isolated and at my mercy!

Jenko's hussars have succeeded in seeing off Pete's hussars, threatening his infantry

I now have the box seat: his isolated brigade remains vulnerable and now his main body is threatened by Jenko's cavalry

Pete charges and I meet him in an inconclusive counter-charge to end the game.

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