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Action Log

14 Apr 2015 12:25 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Maida, BBB with pcitures" to "Maida, BBB with pictures"

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vtsaogames14 Apr 2015 11:42 a.m. PST

Last Thursday the Corlears Hook Fencibles played a game of the battle of Maida. We've used this battle over the years to try out new rules because it is so rare a small, even battle. The rules used, Bloody Big Battles are really designed for grand tactical fights where each base represents 1,000 to 2,500 troops or 24 60 guns. We've played scenarios where the ratio was 500 troops or 12 guns and it worked quite well. I decided to stretch it really far with this scenario, each base being 125 troops or 4 guns. It worked well enough using the exact same rules.

Rick played the French General Reynier, I was British general Stuart and Bill commanded the British left flank. Oman was wrong the French came on in column and smashed through the British line. We suspect Rick of having made a compact with the devil. His dice were smoking. Perhaps he'd handed out a brandy ration to the troops just before the battle. They were up for it. We had a variety of luck, some good, some bad. It wasn't enough.


The French moved towards their right and exposed the left flank of the 1st Legere. I sent the Light Infantry against them and poured in a stiff volley into their flank, bringing down troops and causing disruption. The Legere rallied and attacked the Light infantry, helped by a battalion of the 42nd Line. My defensive volley missed and the lights were sent off with heavy losses, spent.

The 78th and 81st Foot went in and got into a tussle with the French.


On the left, the 27th was up against three battalions. This would rapidly become a problem.


The 81st was driven back with loss and Stuart was forced to hide in a rabbit-hole. Many jokes were made about this. Meanwhile the man-handled guns were over-run by the French. The Corsican Rangers moved slowly once because I forgot them, and then getting miserable movement rolls.


Here is where the artillery used to reside.


Our grenadiers came up on our left. Rick now began to roll a heap of 11's and 12's. each time one of his units would go low on ammunition but our troops were dropping like autumn leaves. His horse artillery got such a hit on our left flank guns, damaging them and silencing them.


The troops opposite the 27th all became low on ammo, savaging the 27th. Then they charged and routed them. One unit exploited and over-ran the silenced guns. We could have quit then but…


We opted for cold steel. The 58th charged…


And drove the Poles before us. Reynier now dropped into a rabbit-hole.


The 1st Legere routed de Watteville's little force; Stuart headed for a rabbit-hole but was unable to get in, as Reynier had beaten him to it. The Corsican Rangers, late to the ball, fell on the Voltigeurs from behind. The French escaped.


Here we see the 58th at high tide. The Voltigeurs will rally and fall on their flank. The French will roll a 6 while our boys will roll a 1. We considered breaking Rick's thumbs.

Meanwhile the 3 battalions that broke our left center rallied from distruption. Some refilled their cartridge boxes.


The grenadiers on our left drove back but did not break their French opponents.


The Voltigeurs lowered the boom on the 58th and we called it a day.


I assume that half the missing troops are casualties and the other half are "helping the wounded to the rear". Going by that, the losses were almost 440 for the French (of 6,000) and almost 1,400 British (of 5,000), along with all of the guns. The 20th Foot came up in time to cover our withdrawal. It was a stomping but we had fun. The game took 2 hours 30 minutes, in part because with 3 players we can't resolve two things at the same time. Also, we had a wildly active game with almost every unit engaged every turn.

MarescialloDiCampo14 Apr 2015 11:57 a.m. PST

Great scenario! Love the battle pics. What map did you use for set-up? and the battlefield?

vtsaogames14 Apr 2015 12:14 p.m. PST

I used the map from Hopton's Battle of Maida.
One online source said the British were on a low ridge. Hopton didn't mention it and it seemed to have no tactical significance so I left it out.

JonFreitag14 Apr 2015 12:27 p.m. PST

Maida is a favorite of mine too and I often use it as a test of rules just as you.

Nice looking game!

DontFearDareaper Fezian14 Apr 2015 12:28 p.m. PST

Great Battle report. Good to know BBB's scale is so versatile. This opens up tons of possibilities beyond the conflicts covered in the scenario book. Did you give any of the units devastating volley?


Who asked this joker14 Apr 2015 12:47 p.m. PST

Good to see the French actually win something over the English…in good style no doubt!

Another great report Vincent!

vtsaogames14 Apr 2015 1:35 p.m. PST

Thank you gents.

Dave, I gave the Light Infantry, the grenadiers and the 20th Foot devastating volleys. I figured the others were just seeing combat for the first time.

The 20th just showed up in time to see the army break, so they didn't fire a shot.

In any case, the French dice got hot mid game and just wouldn't quit. Even Rick (French CO) was mentioning it.

Edit: thanks to the Editor(s) for fixing the spelling error in the title.

ChrisBBB14 Apr 2015 2:13 p.m. PST

Very cool. Those Low Ammo markers tell a story alright.

Clearly using BBB for Maida worked well as a game. Did it feel suitably Napoleonic for your crew's tastes?


Bloody Big BATTLES!

vtsaogames14 Apr 2015 3:27 p.m. PST

Yes. We have more ACW to do and plan on getting back to Franco-Prussian, but I told the guys I'm planning on doing Waterloo at 500 troops/12 guns per base scale. Rick is enthusiastic. I have Dutch-Belgians and Brunswickers, but will have to use some Austrians to bulk up Wellington's army…

Oh yeah, I forgot: sometime during the fight the French chasseurs charged one of our units (the 78th?) in the flank. The 78th rolled well and got a tie. Each lost a base and rolled again. Another tie and the chasseurs broke. But the 78th was done after that.

Sho Boki Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2015 6:45 a.m. PST

I like the basing. The best for napoleonics.

ChrisBBB15 Apr 2015 5:24 p.m. PST

Waterloo would be awesome. 500 men/base, not 1,000? That's a big game.


vtsaogames15 Apr 2015 6:00 p.m. PST

Yes, it's a big game. I'm planning to do it on June 18, the 200th anniversary. I'm working on a 6 X 4 foot canvas mat of Waterloo.

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