This game was organised by the GdB Site chaps, (Post Title is Linked) and was held over the 31 Oct-1st Nov 09 weekend, at the Officer's Mess, Wellington barracks, London. A fine venue for a game, and myself & Hairy Dave trotted down there for it. At a conservative guess, there were 10,000 15mm figures on the table, which was around 30ft by 6ft (I think), and around 20 players. It was good to meet up with some old friends, as well as make new ones, and a happy time was had by all. We drove down South on the Friday, and after experiencing Southern traffic on the M11, we parked the car at Mr Brown's Woodford residence, had coffee, and were grateful for a lift to the Station from Gary. We tubed it into London, and were happy to find that our Hotel, St Ermin's, was literally 2 minutes walk from St James Tube Stn, what a bonus!
After booking in, a bit of dinner was had, and very nice it was too, but I hadn't realised that it was a "Nouvelle Cuisine" place.. so whilst it was good, there weren't much of it! Try as we might, we were unable to locate a pie shop.. so a few pubs followed, and the Hotel Bar was open till late... and after that, I don't remember..
Saturday morning, and we were up and at 'em, a good breakfast was had, and Wellington Barracks was only a 5 minute walk from the Hotel. Couldn't have been better placed really. This is what we saw in those 5 minutes..perhaps they knew we were coming..
We were shown upstairs to the Mess, and what a place it was. It had an uncompromisingly Military, Patriotic, Royalist, Traditionalist, and strictly no nonsense accepted, tolerated or displayed, sort of atmosphere to it. Wonderful!
God Bless Her!
Old relics, pictures and history filled nearly every space.
To the game...We had the Austrian Reserve Cavalry, four Regts of Kuirassier, two of Chevuleger, one of Dragoons and three Batteries. This made for a relatively easy but enjoyable game for us... shoot with the guns and charge with the cavalry, in between smoke breaks, and not too much of the mechanics and chart gazing that goes with having a Corps command. We did our best to wiggle whilst throwing our dice, hoping it would help. I don't think it did, but at least it gave other players a chuckle, as did our "Dance of The Utmost Happiness", conducted upon good dice rolling. Some general shots of the table...
Most of the figures were AB, and I have to say, of a high painting standard. These were part of our Command.
After a bit of mooching about, we deployed a close order battery to our left, and sent the chaps in for a ruck. There was a fair bit of hacking and slashing, and toing and froing, but eventually we routed off a couple of Saxon Cavalry Regts, and retired another, along with a battery. We realised that we were facing the Saxon Guard units.. and they hurt a fair bit, causing a number of casualties that we could not replace, whereas the French simply replaced theirs from this Reserve table.
Gaming finished about 6pm, and then we were off for pub grub, pies and liquid refreshments. It was really good to have a beer with decent folk, put faces to names, and generally yabber on about gaming, blogging, life in general and so on...our last pub was directly opposite Big Ben, which had a lot of Wow! factor for us Northerners, being more used to quieter places.
(Bryce, Martin & Mathew..good to meet up! Hope your livers have recovered..especially that Bryce bloke...)
Here's one of our best behaved moments, in front of Buckingham Palace..I'm glad to see that these photos prove that it was in fact a blurry night, and that it wasn't just my eyesight being wonky at the time.
The other gent there is Bryce, by the way, pleasant gamer, good painter and all round decent chap. Our worst behaved moments were not recorded. :-) When the pubs shut, the Hotel Bar was open till late, and my memory is again a bit hazy.. I do remember there being a Boddington's pump on the bar..
Sunday, and (amazingly) we were still able to get up, and after another fine breakfast, we packed our bags, and made our way to the Mess. The streets were strangely quiet, the silence broken only by our own personal breaking of wind and whimpering. Well, we aren't getting any younger, and the beer seems to be getting stronger. The game was afoot again, and one of our three Brigades had to be sent to our right flank, to offer support against masses of Cuirassier Regts. This was our Light Brigade, but with artillery support, managed to break a French square.
Our two Kuirassier Brigades were slowly whittled down, by superior numbers, and after putting up a really good show, decided to leave the table, following Brigade Morale check failures. Hey ho, we did our job of holding up that part of the French attack, and drew some of their reserves our way, thus allowing the main Austrian effort an easier ride. In all, it was a marvelous game, the terrain was good but practical, and it was a joy just to be part of it.
Around 4pm, it was all over, and it was decided to be a draw, which was far better than the historical result of an overwhelming French victory, so well done to us Austrians I say!After a swift pie munching session, it was onto the tube, coffee with the Browns, and a drive back up North, getting back just in time for beer at The Forge. Larverly stuff.
My thanks to the GdB team for the game, and to the Browns for the parking and facilities. There will be a fair few more pictures, over the next few days, on the GdB site Gallery page (see Wargames Links).