Last weekend I paid a visit to Eureka miniatures and purchased some AB Figures Napoleonics for a skirmish campaign.
As I had a few units in my OOB, I decided to start painting the units one at a time, and whilst doing that, I would perform what some regard as heresy and play a game with unpainted miniatures! Gasp! Oh the Horror!
Regardless of what others think on unpainted miniatures (and, not, that isn't an invitation to pass judgement via a comment to this post), I decided to play the first game of the campaign.
The campaign is set n early 1814 when France was 'copping it a bit' from all sides (well, maybe three out of the four sides anyway).
The rules being used are Nordic Weasel Games "FiveCore 3rd edition" with some modifications for the Napoleonic period.
The British have just landed in the Netherlands and must meet up with allied troops before pushing on to Antwerp, and then on to Paris.
For the first game, elements of the 95th Rifles are scouting ahead of the main force to determine what French troops are around.
The Set up:
The British had the option of setting up in either A or B, as marked on the map above.
The French were placed as blinds in areas 1, 2 and the 3 that was the opposite to where the British started.
The French force was unknown, and one of the blinds would be an actual enemy, the other two were shadows messing with the riflemen's heightened senses.
This was a semi co-op game, in as much as I was the referee for the game.
The British began their patrol on the right hand flank of the area, with some of them skirting the forest along a small hedge, with the others moving forward to investigate the farm house.
Half of the detachment on the left cross over the hedge to check out the area on their left flank.
It is just as well they did, as a patrol of dismounted French Dragoons was lurking near by.
The other half of the riflemen move closer to the farm house.
Three of the Riflemen fire at the Dragoons, dropping one and causing a second to flee.
The French fire back, knocking one Riflemand to the ground and causing a bit of panic in another. The Paniced Rifleman jumps back over the hedge to settle his nerves.
The next British action sees some reloading and a Rifleman take aim at a Dragoon, who panics and retreats in to the forest.
The Rifleman take advantage of a 'dash' move and jump the hedge between them and the Dragoons intending to close with them after firing a volley in to the Frenchmen.
One Dragood is dispatched with a quick stab from a sword bayonet.
The Dragoon officer is shot, even whilst trying to rally his troops who have fled in to the forest when faces with superior numbers.
(Note, this took a couple of activations).
Deciding they have had enough, the remaining French Dragoods beat a hasty retreat, leaving the British victors of this skirmish.
The Riflemen have joined up with the remainder of the Battalion and are currently paying a visit to the Quarter Master, who is giving them some nice green uniforms.
This game was played on a 60cm x 60cm terrain tile.
For small unit vs unit skirmishes I found this to be perfect; there was enough room to manoeuvre, and it was small enough that it forced the engagment, meaning the game didn't drag on too long.
For larger games with multiple units per side, I would play in a bigger area.
Between cups of tea and chatting, the game took roughly two hours to play.
The Dragoon force was only seven men, compared to the 14 men in the Rifle detachment, but only six of the Riflemen were involved in the actual battle.
The remaining Riflemen fell back towards their jump off point so as to not be exposed during the battle, and kind of just lurked there for the remainder of the game.
The rules are very easy to pick up on, and the only time I had to check the rules was to see if troops next to the hedge could actually take their shots.
Given the muskets/rifles needed to be reloaded, not a lot of reaction fire took place - this may have changed with different scenery, and if the remainder of the riflemen joined the battle.
I really love this game - it is easy, a lot of fun, the game play creates a story for the game as you play, making it excellent for a narrative.