Friday, 28 October 2016

The Crossroads Motel part 2 - an HoW AAR

As planned, Dave and I were able to meet up for our follow on game based upon last week's scenario. However events on the work front prevented me from doing the pre-game prep that I'd had planned, so instead we pretty much came up with similar opposing forces when we met, with slight differences between the two. From memory the French had slightly more infantry whilst the British stronger on the artillery front.
Scenario details
With both sides having been unable to secure the crossraods last game, this was a fairly standard battle, with both sides lined up and ready for battle as dawn broke.
Random reinforcements
I did however have time to throw in a bit of randomness to the scenario, which took the form of the following:
  • Each side to randomly draw a marker that shows the Turn upon which their reinforcements arrive.
  • Each side to randomly draw three markers from a pile which will show what sort of units these are to be. These to be kept face down until the Turn upon which they are due to arrive, when they can be looked at. The player can then position them upon either of their roads entry points or if an independent unit, any where along their baseline.
To speed things along, both sides deployed 15cm in from their base edges. The French suprisingly rolled for 'Dependable' commanders right across the board, whilst the British were once again saddled with a 'Dithering' commander on their right flank.
Boths sides deployed for action.
Both sides broadly had three Brigades with cavalry support on either flank.

Turn 1
Both sides got off to a good start, with a broad advance and both forces, by-and-large, maintaining a linear front.

The French gain a slight advantage as they edge closer to the crossroads and the motel.
Both sides have a Brigade that fails to advance on their respective right flanks.

Turn 2
A very similar Turn once again as both sides push forward.

The French gain the edge of the town.
The French look to be in a good position.

Turn 3
The British reinforcements arrived this Turn, in the form of 2 x Line Infantry and 1 x Dragoon Cavalry. Both sides shake out into Line and a French 'Admirable' roll sees them move into the town.

A very Linear looking battlefield.
Both sides deploy their Brigades into Line, but with no units in a second line.
The French check into the motel with their baggage.

Turn 4
It was now time for the French to receive their reinforcements, which took the form of 1 x Hussars Cavalry, 1 x Line Infantry and 1 x Light Infantry. As the French left flank advanced, the British pushed forward in the centre whilst the French lined the town. Both sides then opened fore in the centre, causing some hits on the opposition.

The French left flank strung out to try and out flank the British right.
The British line up ready to threaten the French in the town.
The French artillery deployed and already coming under fire.

Turn 5
The French have a Turn of 'va va voom' as their Light Infantry move into the woods and their left flank advances a double move, with their cavalry charging into their British counterparts. The French come of the worst as a unit of Line Infantry is destroyed in the town and the cavalry is defeated by the British.

The French left flank advances agressively to threaten the British right flnak.
Action all across the French left flank.
In the centre the French are under pressure, but still in a good position.
On the right flank, the cavalry admire each others uniforms as the British left flank advances.

Turn 6
With both sides already engaged more or less across the whole front, there was some careful movement by both sides where possible. The French managed to win the Fire Initiative, causing the British to lose two units to their one. However the French Hussars proved to be no match for the British Dragoons.

The battle starts to fragments as both sides take casualties.
Holes start to appear along the French left flank.
The French firmly esconced in the town prove to be a formidable challenge to the British.

Turn 7
As both sides had suffered casualties and fall backs the previous Turn, where possible both tried to dress their ranks.

The battlefiled well and truly fragmented.
The British Dragoons reform to pose a threat to the French rear.
The British right flank slightly refused given the French possibly being in a position to turn it.
The French right flank firmly anchored on the town.
The British centre has more or less broken and the French Light Infantry are ready to exploit the gap.

Once gain time defeated us as the battle was nicely poised. However we both agreed that with the French having lost all of their cavalry units, they would be forced to fall back to protect their lines-of-communication, despite holding the town.

Post Game Thoughts
Despite not being able to finish the game, it was one full of action and as always was enjoyable. So some thoughts on the game:
  • The French cavalry are rubbish. Simples. I should have held them back but rashly charged them in when really I didn't need to. I should have waited until my Infantry had created an opening that they could possibly exploit. Lesson hopefully learnt...
  • The French gaining the town first allowed them to put up a good fight in the centre. With Light Infantry support in the woods this made for a pretty impregnable position.
  • The French had unusually good commanders (all dependable) and managed to get lots of double moves, which put the British on the back foot a bit. They also managed to get the fire intiative in some crucial Turns which certainly made a difference.
  • I liked the way the random reinforcements worked and may use this in future games, but it may need tweaking a bit dependent upon the scenario.

We now have a break for a few weeks due to a variety of reasons, but hopefully when we next meet we can finish of this 'series' of games with a fighting withdrawl by the French. After that I think some Nappies action beckons...


  1. Thanks Steve, 'Dithering' commanders and the variable moves, has me reaching for these rules, which I will read (properly!) today (Saturday).

    I have also taken note of your basing (10mm units on 40mm frontages?), I take it that works fine with these rules.

    Looking forward to whatever you do with the Napoleonics.

    1. Well it will come as no suprise that I rate these rules very highly! The best way to start is with the first scenario in the book and then you work your way through them, thus adding in detail etc each time.

      As for the basing, 80mm is the recommended frontage for 10mm, so two 'standard' 40mm bases and you're there. Of course you can make the frontage larger and simply use the closest one. As an example, a recent game saw us using the 20mm scale rules as they fitted the frontage we were using.

      On the Napoleonics front, hopefully this will kick off in November at some point, most likely with dave's 20mm figures. Rules wise maybe Black Powder, but yet to be decided.

  2. Nice report Steve. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the French Cavalry, I been reading lots at the moment about various cavalry forces, I am begining to think I need to rethink much of my approach to cavalry in general, the hammer blow they are not and in many rule sets are more of a threat or at best used for mopping up rather than sweeping all before them....

    1. Hi Stu,
      yep cavalry are often best used as a threat, protecting LoC, artillery etc rather than going head-to-head with infantry. Unsuprisingly they don't do well against the latter.

      The following book is very enlightening about cavalry actions (or complete lack of) during the 2nd Schleswig-Holstein War and the wars of 1866 and 1870-1871:

      Well worth reading as it shows cavalry in a completely different light to that of the Napoleonic era. I can imagine his experiences were similar to those during the SYW.

  3. Hi there
    I have shared your blog post on 10mm Wargaming Facebook Page ( and 10mm Wargaming Facbook Group (

    Take care