Napoleonic, WSS & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday 22 June 2023

WSS: Eichenfeld - noch einmal

 As agreed last week, JBM and I reconvened 2 nights after our Zoom-based test game, and replayed it. We swapped armies, and intended to try to look at some situations we hadn't seen on the first game. Otherwise the scenario was exactly the same, as set out in my previous blog post.

In our previous game, the defending side had stayed well clear of the bombarding Austrian batteries in the centre. One immediate change in Take Two was the Bavarians came steaming up the middle, to attempt to capture those batteries, which got the chance of just one shot at the town walls (as instructed), but missed. How can you miss a wall...?

The Bavarians also made an excellent job of bringing on their reserves quickly, as you can see in the right foreground. The Austrians struggled for cards suitable for doing the same with their reserves, so they spent the evening chasing the game from this point. [This sounds like a whinge, but it's true, honest. All right, it's a whinge]

By the time the Austrian extras started to arrive, their central batteries were not looking very clever at all

A cavalry engagement developed on the Bavarian left; the Austrians started quite well here, but that didn't last long

Here the formidable Bavarian Leibgrenadieren have overrun one of the two fortified batteries, and are about to overwhelm the other. Note Feldmarschal Arco and his staff gallivanting on the top of the earthwork - my Imperial generals would never have behaved like this...

More ex-Eric Knowles veterans - these are the Bavarian Leib zu Pferd, over on their left. The trees are also veterans, of course, but they come from Hutchie's model railway circa 1960

Having destroyed the artillery, the Leibgrenadieren fell back behind the (French) Boismorel Grenadiers (that's the crimson unit in the woods) to get their breath back

The Bavarians had their left pretty secure now...

...and the Austrians, their reserves finally in a position to do something useful, counter-attacked against the Grenadiers in the centre; here you see one battalion of the IR Baden-Baden (dark blue) and one of the IR Gschwind (white) moving up into action...

...but that went badly as well - both battalions were broken and promptly disappeared. At this point the Bavarians had 1 Victory Point for still having their walls intact, 1 for having taken the artillery positions on the hill, and 6 more for having eliminated enemy units, so had won convincingly by 8-2. Well done, JBM!

Here's a general view at the end

After a very quiet period, I've suddenly been involved in 4 games in short order: one mighty ACW battle - a 5-hander ACW Zoom game hosted by (the mighty) Jon Freitag, these two WSS games in quick succession with JBM, also via Zoom, and on Tuesday this week I drove up north to Schloß Goya for a C&CN miniatures game - specifically Day 1 of Aspern-Essling. All the most excellent fun, so that has done a great deal for my general enthusiasm!

Thanks to everyone involved - a fine couple of weeks.

Friday 16 June 2023

WSS: The Guns of Eichenfeld 1703

 Another Zoom-based test game for my Corporal John rules, with very welcome support and enthusiasm from the Jolly Broom Man - his help and participation are greatly appreciated! Unusually for a test game, everything went very well, and it was a lot of fun. Thanks again JBM.

For starters, here are the scenario notes, courtesy of my guest general.

The Guns of Eichenfeld – Bavaria, 1703


The Austrians have assembled a force to storm the market town of Eichenfeld, and from a dug-in position on a low rise two batteries of cannon have begun to bombard the medieval walls from beyond the range of any reply. The Bavarians have belatedly sent a couple of brigades to defend the town and they are now assembling outside it. Austrians have first turn. 4 Command Cards and 2 Combat Cards for each army.


The first to amass 7 victory points is the winner. Victory points are awarded in the normal way, plus the following bonuses:

The Austrians gain 1 VP for knocking a hole in the town walls with their cannon.
If no enemy unit is within 2 hexes, the Austrian guns may fire during normal combat at the wall, with 1 die each. For this task, a FLAG roll will be a hit; if a hit is scored, add 2D6 to the accumulated damage to the wall. When the damage eventually reaches 21 the town’s defences have been breached and the VP is awarded.


There is no initial cannonade in this scenario.

The Bavarians gain one temporary VP while the town’s defences remain unbroken and one temporary VP for occupying either of the two emplacements on the hill.

Austrian Forces: (FML Hermann-Otto, Graf Limburg-Styrum)

1st Brigade (Limburg-Styrum)

2 artillery batteries

2 bns IR Baden-Baden

Aufseß Dragoons


2ndBrigade (GM Franz-Michael, Graf von Wirksten)

2 bns IR Gschwind

1 bn IR Alt-Salm*

2 bns IR Thürheim


3rdBrigade (FM Norbert, Herzog von Schlick)

Kürassieren Alt-Hanover*

Kürassieren Cusani

Kürassieren Gronsfeld

Hay’s Scots Dragoons (seconded)


Set up:

1st Brigade - 2 cannon in emplacements. Others anywhere within 1st 4 rows
3rd Brigade starts deployed anywhere on the 2nd row.
2nd Brigade arrives on turn 2 in column along any road from the north.

Bavarian forces: (FM Johann-Baptist, Graf von Arco)


1st Brigade (GM Artur von Weichel)

Kürassieren Arco

Kürassieren Weichel

Leibgarde zu Pferd*

Dragoner Monasterol

Dragoner Santini


2nd Brigade (Arco)

1 bn Grenadieren Boismorel

1 bn Leibgrenadieren*

1 bn IR Maffei

1 bn IR Spilberg

1 artillery battery


3rd Brigade (GML Alessandro de Maffei)

2 bns IR Kurprinz

1 bn IR Tattenbach

1 artillery battery

Set up:

1st Brigade. Anywhere on first row
2nd Brigade. Anywhere on first row
3rd Brigade. Arrives in column on south road on turn 2


* Units marked with an asterisk in the OOB are elites


Austrian guns in position in their emplacements - presumably dug the night before; it was impossible to threaten them - maybe a howitzer might have helped, but the Bavarians were thinking in terms of maybe sending some cavalry round the rear...

General view of the field, from the north-east corner, Austrians attacking from the right of our picture. At this stage both armies were trying to get their late arrivals into position, but meanwhile the cannons had already blown a hole in the old stone wall, so you can see a VP counter in place to record this

 The Austrian Aufseß Dragoons (Frankischer Kreis) are installed in a little village not far from the walls

Bavarians struggling for suitable cards to bring on their 3rd Brigade, on their left

Austrians start to bring up their cavalry, on the left flank

Gronsfeld Cuirassiers - this is one of the ex-Eric Knowles units - these boys must have been fighting this war off and on for 50 years

Bavarian reserve troops get a friendly card to hurry them into the attack

General view - both armies developing their attacks (though not in the centre - the Bavarians had no particular appetite to take on the gun batteries!) - still no-one has been injured, as evidenced by the lack of VPs on the table edge

The Bavarians appeared to have an advantage in cavalry, but things started to go wrong for them quickly; here General Weichel tries to encourage the Arco Cuirassier regiment, who are not enjoying their day

At the village, the Bavarians are putting on some pressure

Fighting on the flanks has the Bavarians 4-3 in the lead at this point

Marshal Limburg-Styrum brings up a battalion of the Baden-Baden regiment through the woods

So by this stage the Bavarians are looking rather battered on their right flank...

...and are making heavy weather of the infantry struggle on their left

The infantry scrap remained undecided, but, over on the right, the Bavarian Weichel cuirassiers failed a Rally Check, and the Austrians had won 7-5 - a close thing, indeed. The Elector will be furious, and will have to get some insurance quotes for getting that wall repaired

Monday 12 June 2023

A Load of Old Bullocks

 I've done very little painting for some months now. Apart from painting sabots with a 3/4-inch brush, a lot of stuff has been on hold, mostly because I have been having trouble with blepharitis again. Nothing dramatic, just a mild inflammation of my eyes which causes them to tear up and is a nuisance when I'm trying to read - or paint toy soldiers, as it happens. 

I've been getting some treatment for the old mince-pies, which includes heating up a bag of plastic pellets in the microwave and applying some unpleasant ointment, and it does seem to be improving. So on Saturday I did a very simple touch-up-and-varnish job on some Spanish muleteers which came my way via eBay. It's a very small start, but it is a start!

The only reason this is worthy of a photo at all is that the carts here have been painted and waiting 12 years for their drivers - you know it's never wise to rush these things. I have a reasonable number of such carts already complete, not to mention a handsome string of mules, quite happy to serve either side in the Peninsular War logistics department, so it's another small step for a man (or something).

The carts are Minifigs, I think, the oxen are Minifigs and Jacklex, and the "new" old drivers are Hinton Hunt. 

 Time to get back to the WSS lead pile, I think.

Sunday 4 June 2023

Hooptedoodle #442 - From the "Roughs" Bucket

 While he was working with ideas for cartoons for my rules booklet recently, my artist friend PaK, for a laugh, did a quick sketch of me - that's moi, MSFoy - as a miniature officer from the WSS.

It finished up in the bin, of course, but I thought it might amuse a few of my friends, so I rescued it; note my trademark baseball cap worn on top of the wig. I'm not usually as cheerful as this, so the game must be going well.