Monday, April 28, 2014

Little Wars and Borodino

I attended Little Wars Friday and Saturday this year. The show looked great with lots of attendees, many really great looking games, and the usual solid vendor area support.

I ran my Borodino game on Friday night (5pm - 9pm) and Saturday (10am - 2pm).

Friday night's game was fully attended (6 players + 1 last minute add-in). The battle started in the south between the Russians and the Poles near Utitza. The French player was very aggressive and pushed the Russians back with heavy losses.
They then opened fire with the grand battery on the fleches, and launched a large-scale infantry assault in the center led by Davout.

The French attack quickly overran the first two fleches, but the Russians immediately counter-attacked and re-took them. The French then fed in more troops and drove the Russians back out. The casualties mounted, especially for the Russians. It started looking like the French players were going to break the Russian army quickly.

The Grand Redoubt (Reavsky)

The only unit on the table that I painted and based from scratch.

The Russians then launched a massive counter-attack capped by a 'Glorious Charge' card. The two units that charged were Dragoons and Cuirassier. They drove back the remaining infantry and over-ran the entire Grand Battery. This startled the French players, who thought that they were going to cruise to an easy victory. After a few more turns, the French were able to win, but the final score was 14 Russian units eliminated (14 needed for the win), and 11 French units eliminated (out of 13 needed).  Very close game and fun. All players seemed to have had a good time.

The game on Saturday was both similar and very different from Fridays. The French team started out by inflicting many casualties on the Russians and opened up a huge lead that looked insurmountable. However, the fighting raged on both flanks instead of the center. The Cossacks led by Uvarov in the North charged across the stream just West of Borodino and were violently repulsed. In the South, the battle swayed back and forth around the Utitza mound, but the Russians took the lion-share of the losses.  By the time that the action died down and the two sides separated from each other to regroup, the French only needed to inflict 2 more unit losses on the Russians to win, and the Russians still needed to inflict 10.
Then things started to turn around:
An artillery dual began in the center with the Russians getting the best of it. Their guns were nestled safely in the fleches and on the high ground behind them while the French Grand Battery was in the open.
The French commander decided that it was time to launch his attack up the middle to finish the battle. The stream running in front of the fleches slowed the advance down just enough to allow the Russian artillery to rake the French ranks and break up the orderly formation.
The French pressed on, sensing that the Russians were bled white and on the verge of collapse. In truth, however, the Russians were ready and waiting with a powerful counter-attack. As the French attack flowed around the fleches in an attempt to close with the Russians, the Russians met them with a powerful combined-arms attack that drove the French back and crushed their will to continue the fight. The Russians had pulled off a miracle comeback and won the battle!

Figures are Perry, Front Rank, and Foundry

Russians by the esteemed Scott MacPhee
French: Mostly Fernando, some by Paxx88 and Artmaster Studios, and a few by me
French Allies: Paxx88, Artmaster Studios, Roger Murrow

Basing: Scott MacPhee, Paul Niemeyer, me

Assistant game judge: Paul Niemeyer (Thanks Paul!)

Here are a few of the highlights from Friday's games (My phone ran out of power on Saturday before I could snap some more...The Alamo and Omaha Beach games were unbelievable!):

Little Wars was fun as always. I am so thankful that there is a show like this so close to home.


  1. Glenn! Your Borodino game really looks cool!

  2. The Command and Colors Napoleonic table and units look totally awesome!

    all the best,

  3. Thanks guys! I decided last week that I'm going to Historicon for the first time this year. I registered my game for noon on Saturday. I'll be running Leipzig there instead of Borodino. I finally have enough troops to do it!
    Russians, Austrians, Prussians, French, French Allies... oh my! All I need now is a couple of units of Swedes, which I think I can pull together in three months.

  4. Looks fantastic, Glenn! Great to hear both sides had a blast in both games.

    When I used to play Napoleonics, this was always our big, sprawling convention game at the University of Maine at Orono. Great fodder for a tabletop game

  5. Looks pretty great! so your doing 18mm peninsula next. Will look forward to them!

  6. That's just fantastic! I am endeavoring to do the very same thing with my Nappys - C&C style. It's going to take me a while, but your report serves as wonderful inspiration!

  7. Glenn,

    Game looks great, and sounds like it played out well, too. I'm guessing these are Front Rank figures by the look of them. Look forward to meeting you there. If for any reason you don't finish the Swedes, I have about 200 of them, although old Minifigs, and I' be happy to bring aything you need.

  8. Thanks Gonsalvo. I actually just ordered the Swedes from Eagle Miniatures. Should have them done in time.
    My Russians are Foundry and Perry. the French are Perry and Front Rank.