Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Armageddon... or the Battle of Camsix, part 1...

Not with a bang or a whimper, I think that DG and I have reached what may well be the denouement of our long fought campaign - you may remember that he and started this in March last year, in fact the first post was on March 4th so we have been (mostly!) enjoying this for exactly 15 months now! For those mad enough to want to read it, or interested enough (!), the full campaign diary can be found over on my Campaign Diary blog (link to the left)

Anywhoo, the point has now been reached in the campaign where having manoeuvred long enough, DG's numerical force has decided to take on my smaller, but dug in, force in order to meet the campaign winning criteria.

As mentioned previously, we are using Battle Chronicler to document moves between the two armies - to echo Jeff's comment on the last post this doesn't replace for me the beauty and joy of placing little metal men on a well laid out wargame table, but it is extremely useful when it comes to playing a game across the ether...

So... the battlefield is as follows - with Camsix in the left upper quadrant. All slopes are gentle, the river is impassable over its entire length with the exception of the bridge. The grid is 2' square - Battle Chronicler however allows you to zoom in, and at the zoomed in view I'm using a 1" grid to allow accurate measurement of movement...(as usual - clicking on any of the pictures will give a far better/bigger view)

With regards to the timing of the battle - one interesting side effect of campaigning is that a campaign often throws you a curve ball that a simple set-up game doesn't. In this particular case the curve ball is the fact that the battle is starting at 11PM in game time. DG and I have agreed therefore, that we need a couple of additional rules - specifically, all visibility is limited to 12", if you can't see what you want to fire at, you can't fire at all. If a target is visible, then units an fire but we have added an additional -1 firing modification.

US Forces are as follows:

I can't be precise on the strength points (fog of war and a long campaign!) but the British have the following strength - those shaded green are present on the battlefield.. some of the others (cavalry and light infantry) are close and will arrive in the upper left quadrant - I've left a battalion of Light Infantry there to watch my back!

In the deployment phase the units are then laid out as follows to conform with their last positions on the campaign map... DG's better at doing this than I am, so I usually go with his version of the file rather than mine!

Some interesting tactical decisions (or "curve balls") to have to deal with for both of us...

  • You'll notice that there are some brown oblongs in front of the American units (NY Infantry, the Bourbonnais, and the Artillery) - these represent trench works that I've had my infantry building while I watched the British advance...
  • When night fell I had pushed forward my best "listening" units to ensure I didn't get surprised - which explains why the two cavalry units, and a regiment of lights have been surrounded by DG! In his words "ok, I'll take the bait" but they were never intended as that, honest DG....

...so, on to move 1.

Move 1

First requirement for me is to get my advance guard out of it, and back to the main lines - accordingly working on the principle that attack is the best form of defence, I launch charges with my light infantry at his unit of Rangers to my front (I2), and with Lauzun's at the other unit of Rangers (I3) - see following.

A desultory volley by IR2 is not enough to stop my Militia, so both of DG's units test to stand... IR3 fail (light infantry, charged in the rear, by cavalry - not good odds), IR2 stand and in the ensuing melee I defeat him by a single point - first blood to me as IR2 and 3 both take casualties, with IR2 retiring shaken, and IR3 routing (literally) for the hills - see following:

Time for DG's move - and not surprisingly he reacted very quickly to my attacks with an attack of his own by his cavalry against the American cavalry who had just crossed the hedge line (4DG):

(Couple of points - note the ruler which is to scale and shows the fine level of detail you can get in Battle Chronicler - I also added some components, one of which is the smoke marker in front of MM3 to denote that they have fired, plus obligatory "rout" and "shaken" markers)

Unfortunately my own cavalry, constrained by the hedge, are unable to turn and fire themselves, and the volley by my lights (MM3) is not sufficient to stop the British cavalry from charging so the charge crunches home.

In the subsequent melee test my brave boys dice to see if they stand, and do! Unfortunately their sword arms were not up to their grit however, and in the ensuing melee were severely bested - 2 strength points lost, and sent off in rout...... ah well, lots of time to go yet.

Stay tuned for turn 2.....


By way of a response to the comments left in my last post...

I thought I'd had my first ever spam in the last post - I thought I must surely have arrived... but then I discovered that the Napoleonic blog did actually exist & had some interesting content.. (Rafa - if you're reading this, do you know this group? http://vivelempereur.blogspot.com/)

Jeff - you Linux users have to accept some cost to your decision not to feed the mighty "Microsoft empire", but I would suggest that the following might give you the best of both worlds???


Keith - the link to Wine will also work for Mac's - in your case not being able to run Windows programs is the cost you pay for having an elegant computer system way beyond the means of most of the rest of us to afford...

Lastly, I think it behoves me to reiterate, Battle Chronicler will never replace the presence of little metal men on a well laid out table top for me, but when your wargaming buddy lives 200 miles away, then it gives a pretty good replacement....!


Sailing - took the day off work last Friday (the weather forecast for the weekend was not good) and went sailing for the day - in the footsteps of Slocum and Chichester this was done single handed, and I had some of the windiest conditions to date to play in. Lovely days sailing, but bit cold and grey when compared to the last time... come on summer, make your mind up!!

The recently bought mackerel spoon was deployed, and although it looks pretty has so far only caught sea weed!!

Distance: 4 miles (36 miles year to date)
Wind: Moderate (Force 3 gusting 4 - perhaps 5?)


  1. There is an old saying about selling fishing lures . . . the most important thing for the lure to catch is the fisherman.

    -- Jeff

  2. Oh . . . and thank you for those links. I haven't had a chance to try and work my way through them yet -- but I've got them bookmarked.

    -- Jeff