Panzerschreck Design Studio

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Archive for the ‘Napoleonics’ Category

An alternative take on the battlefield

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, January 7

A bit of a bonus to make up for the fact I missed updating over the weekend. Especial thanks to Wayne T for being so kind as to provide these photos so quickly. Makes it easy to update really when all the hard work of resizing and stuff is done for you. Not too much commentary on these as I’ve pretty much exhausted my memory of actual game events .

Brit Arty 

Along the line 

The centre 

Kelly's Brits 


The Reserve 

The Heavy Boys 

The Other side of the Hill 

A few more photos tomorrow (if work permits).

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If you go down to the woods today…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, January 3

Firstly an acknowledgement: A lot of teddy bears died to bring this game to your monitor – let’s have a moment of silence for their souls…

Right! That’s enough mawkish sentimentality, let’s get back to the serious business at hand – Killing the French!

When we left our brave boys last, they were facing up to a right rogering from the cuirassiers. Unfortunately any hope of forming square in an orderly fashion soon disappeared under the combined effects of first a moderately successful charge by one cuirassier brigade which caused a base removal, followed up by a cannonade of grape at close range from the accompanying Horse Artillery which disordered the square just in time for the heavy mob to sweep down and destroy the brave Portuguese.

but first another look at what poor old Kelly was about to have in his face:

The French Right Advances 



The French Roll into the British 

New Toys! 

John P sends the first assault column into the staunch Brits while Wayne T demonstrates that his camera is wayyy better than mine and he doesn’t have shaky hands. Notable also for proof that Battlefront staff have other interests than Flames of War 🙂

Is it wrong of me to note that I still don’t think there are enough figures on the table? But then again I’m not the one who has to paint the things 🙂

Evan follows up with his division (Kelly tries to act nonchalant): 

Need more Infantry! 

Evan A of Battlefront gets into the rhythm of pulverising the British Left while poor old Kelly can’t bear to watch (or more that he was by now dazzled by the myriad of photoflashes going off left right and centre).

My Big Moment 

Who says we're too defensive? Cop This! 

The first assault devolves into an inconclusive firefight between two brigades while my rightmost brigade manoeuvres into position to take down the Frenchy attack from the flank – Victory while fleeting was mine!

An overview of my area 


Here you can see the two Columns d’assault going in against my solitary brigade – thankfully it was inconclusive initially, and the Croats were about to be shown the error of their corpse robbing ways.

Kelly gets a shock 

Bloody Hussars 

The very first charge of the French hussars on the British line caught them napping (they came from a fold in the ground and the British brigade was caught before they’d formed square – the carnage was spectacular) but they were unable to stay out of the reach of the British cavalry reserve who were desperate for some glory  of their own. This was where the French were able to write down the British nicely although at some cost to themselves.

This picture is notable for showing that Kelly does actually finish basing his troops occasionally and when he does they’re ver’ nice indeed.

All hands to the pumps, we’re leaking like a sieve! 


This is just before everything turns to custard. The Portuguese in square on the right are about to get annihilated by the cavalry, and the only units left in good order are one brigade of Cavalry and lo and behold the valiant Spanish (safely ensconced on a nice ridge but still a little close to the ravening horde). Not an inspiring moment in the annals of British feats of arms. At least I didn’t break the rules with my incompetence: I tend to feel that there’s little use in asking me to playtest and expect historical results as a result – I’m a bit of a muppet as a tabletop commander so I’m really only useful in proofing and defining parameters.

More pics tomorrow and then something a bit different and closer to the original purpose of this blog. Enjoy!

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“Nous Marchons Vers Londres” – and other sad songs

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, January 2

Just a very quick update with more photos. The gist of the game really was that the first few turns were marked by the way the French under the revised Initiative system were able to mass for an attack much more quickly than heretofore and how the British reaction was all that kept them in the game. Once battle was joined the natural friction generated by the combat results was enough to slow down the French for a couple of turns but then the cumulative effect of attrition and the vagaries of chance made it a quite stunning victory for the French.

These rules are coming along nicely now, they’re certainly fast play even with 5 players involved and there’s little chance of people sitting around waiting for their turn because of the interactive phasing of movement.

Marching On the Goal 

My rightmost brigade advances on the not as valuable as thought objective (a fruit burst lolly). This unit was one that did some serious destruction, causing the elimination of one brigade through a flanking attack and demoralising another so effectively that it scattered upon receiving some long range but effective cannonades.

Brits out of Season 

My Division prepares to take the Onslaught 

The Portuguese have formed square (too early as it turns out) and the centre gapes open covered by the highlanders and Heavy Cavalry – while the Foreign Rubbish of Croatian Corpse-Molesters  and Dull as Ditchwater Swiss prepare to fall on my right in a thunderclap (although with the Croatians, I think it’s more that they intend to pass on the clap)

Here they Come! 

Elsewhere on the British Left… 

The corresponding situation faced by Kelly – his Rifle Brigade (out of picture to the left) have already besmirched their reputation and routed after a less than convincing attempt to give some Frenchies what for.

They seem a tad keen 

Just a final note on my commentary – because we were playtesting, there was more discussion on fine-tuning stuff and seeing what the mechanics allowed and rewarded than considered gameplay. Also we’re a fairly social bunch so the conversation was very much less than serious. It’s always good to catch up with these guys over a game like this.

It’s striking that I’ve played more playtest games of Napoleonics now almost than I have of Flames of War in it’s published form – not an indictment of the rules, I very much find them to my taste, but more a reflection that I prefer to take my time with FoW and also I’ve primarily limited myself to playing at the NZGT,  Panzerschreck VI and VII in the last three years.

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“Who’ll stop the Cavalry?”

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, January 1

More pics from the game

The British Line

The French Right Wing

The Anvil

The British Right (My Lot)

In the Line

The French Left

More French

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Another set of Napoleonic eye candy

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, December 31

Another weekend, another play-test game. Played on the same terrain (we couldn’t be arsed doing a new table and it still looked okay) but with bigger forces and a revised initiative system (a bit of fine-tuning that worked really well).

Along for the game was Battlefront staffer and former club president/editor/driving force Wayne T. As per usual it was very much a social gathering but we managed to play the game to a 7 turn conclusion within 3.5 hours – not back for this bunch of gossip mongers. With five of us, the game was always going to be a tad longer than a two player game (my rule of thumb is that each multiple of two players adds 25% to the overall playing time) but it really did flow. Wayne had his new Nikon Dsomething DSLR there which took some nice photos compared to my puny efforts, and they should appear here later once Wayne mails me the CD of images.

So here are some photos:

I had a somewhat mixed command – two infantry division of threebrigades (1 Portugese, 4 British ( 2 Highlanders), and 1 Spanish – the latter carefully situated on the ridge to the rear ) and a Cavalry Brigade with attached Horse Artillery.

Cuirassier Cannon-fodder

My troops are in the foreground: from L to R: Spanish, Highlanders, Brits, then the front line is Artillery, Portugese, Artillery, British Line and out of picture Highlanders. Facing my troops are three French Cavalry brigades, Cuirassiers, Carabiniers and more Cuirassiers, with the evil Foreign division (The Corpse-robbing Croats and Humourless Swiss at the extreme right of shot)

Not only did I have to face the pesky Cuirassiers et al, The Garde were in Reserve and could easily be brought up to force the issue:

Oh Crap

Here’s what it looks like for the Spanish – Hopefully the Spanish wouldn’t have to get any closer to the action:

Spanish Ridge

More photos to come over the new year’s Day break as I reconstruct my notes to match the photos.


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A small diversion away from the path

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, December 25

Over the last couple of months I’ve been suborned into helping out with the playtesting of some Napoleonics rules. No hardship really, just as with Flames of War I’ve played more games during the playtest process than I’m likely to with the finished product.

I’m not a huge fan of napoleonics, or should that be I’m not a big fan of buying, assembling and painting a napoleonic army. I’m happy to play a napoleonic game if the rules are fast, there’s actual movemnt and impact on the table and it doesn’t feel like the rules author is overly-enamoured of his own cleverness (This is why Piquet will never feature again in my gaming experience).

Here’s some eye candy of the latest game – La Belle France versus Perfidious Albion – the French were hamstrung by a combination of very poor initiative activations rolls which coupled with the objectives being effectively under British Control from move 3, and even the arrival of the Corpse-Robber Division Reserve of Croatians and Swiss was not enough to save the day.

Figures are 95% AB, with a smattering of Eureka and Old Glory. Painted By Evan and Kelly from the Duellists- more of Evan’s Napoleonics work in the next post. Kelly’s writing the rules while Evan seems to be churning out French and Russian Units at a prodigious rate – must be a nice change from sculpting Tanks, Artillery and Infantry for Battlefront.

AB Minis


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