Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Battling in the Peninsula with "Blucher"

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to play yet another game of Blucher, this time with Brian using his magnificent 1/72 plastic Napoleonic French, British and Portuguese troops!  To be quite honest, Brian and his collection were the entire inspiration behind me creating a hex mat and playing CCN, so naturally I jumped at the chance to play Blucher with him and his troops.

French I Corps on my left facing a hill.
While my inadequate mastery of the rules was in full force (as was my usual dependency on Ken for his rules comprehension) I do believe a fun and satisfying battle was completed in less than 4 hours, which is saying something considering the French had 4 Corps on the table and the British had 5 Divisions on the table!

We rolled for sides.  I got the French and immediately began setting up my huge army with a similar strategy from the previous Blucher game with Ken.  I would maintain a generous and intact reserve and use them to reinforce success with my Corps.

French Brigades march to glory!

Attack stepping off!  Doesn't that have a real Napoleonic LOOK to it?!?!?
 Brian had good ground to make a stand in the center and on his left, but on the right, a hill and a hand full of His Majesty's troops were all that stood in the way of a sweeping end run around the Anglo-Portuguese!

Fighting against the Portuguese!  Brian had the good sense to place them in a town, and surround by British!

 My attack on the left started out aggressively and the French marched up to the very muzzle of the British guns, and carried a British battery position!  As Brian moved his infantry into position, I soon learned that my skirmisher "advantage" that helped me out against the Austrians was of no use against redcoats, who also enjoyed the same advantages..Eventually my French III Corps was whittled away as attack after attack broke itself against Brian's British.

I got lucky on this attack and carried the position - but at what price!?

The battle in the center degenerated into a protracted firefight.
 Brian's release of the Guards all but sealed off any hope of a breakthrough with the attacking forces, and III Corps' attack was slowly called off.
Meanwhile my economy of force mission fails to make any appreciable gains.  Brian's french troops are in that town to their front.  I did marvel that this would make an excellent "Black Powder" or other low level tactical game - a French infantry and cavalry brigade, complete with supporting artillery trying to carry a bridge position defended by Brits!

Another reserve.  More to defend the hill if the British have anything up their sleeve!

This hill which I had casually brushed aside during setup really held firm under repeated assaults!

Brian soundly defeated the III Corps' attacks against his flank.

Adding insult to injury, the British finish off a retreating French Brigade (which was a perfect use of light cavalry I might add - charging in when a unit has had it).

I released my reserve (2 Dragoon Brigades thundering their way to the British right!) It was at that time I decided to probe in the center and advance the right against a water crossing and town held by more British.  Luckily for me, and in the interests of humanity, my forces reached their breakpoint after more skirmishing with Brian's defenders effectively ending the game.  We never did get to witness the attack of those Dragoons, but I don't believe they would have achieved a breakthrough.  And even if they did, there were no good infantry close by to exploit!

The glorious French reserve - too late to do anything!

French Dragoons - the French broke before they would be able to charge home.

While there were some slight questions that I believe Ken could have answered without even looking them up, this game was much fun.  As I've said before, I believe Blucher does a solid job of placing you in the Commander in Chief's shoes and you find yourself making decisions that a battlefield commander should be making.

And once again, Brian's terrific figures and bases have inspired me to create some of my own bases, albeit for Blucher but probably usable with Volley and Bayonet, CCN, or other rules set utilizing Brigades sized stands.

In other news, another batch of Bavarians just received their basecoat!  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Great report and great lookng game!

    1. Thanks Ken we missed you there! Must play again soon.

  2. Nice report, your units are fantastic!

    1. Thank you Phil. The units are not mine they belong to a friend and were painted as part of a joint larger project.

      I try to never pass up an opportunity to game with their figures!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Kurtus! All i did was move troops snap pics and blog about it. 1/72 does make for a nice looking table i think. Too late for me to go back though.

  4. I'm a big fan of 1/72 and those look great. I hate it when basing and figures almost in dioramas presented like this, make me want to rip my figures off my existing bases and re-base. Great pics :)

    And 1/72 is perfect for Blucher.