Thursday, 23 November 2017

Black Powder - Napoleonic Game

Steve Clarke and I managed to get together today and fight another Black Powder game - this time Napoleonic rather than AWI.

This was at my Billericay War Rooms using some of my collection. Steve had the British force, me the French.

Start positions, British on the left

View along the French lines from the right wing.

The French got the initiative and started to cross the river

Artillery can only cross by means of the bridge, foot and horse cross at half speed.

Opening shots - French horse artillery on the left wing

and over on the right too

The British commander has sent forward a Brunswick horse battery to reply 

A French brigade hurries to cross the bridge

as a Bavarian brigade moves forward too.

On the French right flank, another brigade moves swiftly to the front

supported by a brigade of cuirassiers

The Bavarian brigade focusses on the British centre.

To their left, French troops have crossed the river

as others follow up.

The French horse battery on the left has been hit twice and been disordered - pretty good shooting by the enemy artillery !


In particular, the Brunswickers.

A Portuguese brigade hurries forward towards the farm buildings

but the French have got there first

In the centre, the Bavarian columns advance to attack the British lines

Not to be outdone, the French brigade on the far right also charges to attack the enemy lines

A fierce tussle ensues.

The British light cavalry brigade crosses the river to threaten the French guns

and their heavy dragoons join the attack

The French attack on the right has faltered and failed - retreat and brigade broken !

The steady British infantry sent them reeling back in confusion.

Next, the cuirassiers try their luck

Its action everywhere now - on the French left a light cavalry unit has been sent forward to stop the British cavalry hitting the gunners.

Both sides recoil with casualties and disorder - but the guns are safe for now.

The cuirassiers bounce off the British line

The British cavalry gird themselves for another charge

A Nassauer unit by-passes the farm as their Polish colleagues emerge from the farm buildings

In the centre, the Bavarians hurl themselves against the enemy

a British infantry unit breaks.

as the cuirassiers now target enemy guns

The Portuguese brigade and Nassau/Polish brigade fight it out

Now another French brigade has put together a charge against a British line

and they destroy the British in hand to hand combat

The Portuguese need to win to shore up the line

but their left flank is now dangerously exposed

Two French brigades have effectively taken the centre of the battlefield, splitting the British forces in two.

For now, they are disorganised but their brigade commanders are trying to rally them for another attack

The British cavalry come forward again as the French cavalry try to hold this flank

Forwards !

The Bavarians have now turned and hit a British unit in flank

they are broken and this brigade is now isolated and broken.

At this point, the British concede as they only have the Portuguese left apart from the heavily engaged cavalry which is not making any headway against the French left flank.

This was a closely fought engagement with many twists and turns along the way. The French "Pas de Charge" attack columns were very aggressive and eventually overcame the dogged British "steady" defenders.

Today's photos are a bit disappointing in the main - poor winter lighting didn't help but hopefully you still get the flavour of the battle. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Siege of Masada

Yet more pics from our recent Med cruise - this time a shore cruise in Israel.
En route to the Dead Sea, we stopped Masada to see where the Romans had attacked the Jews defending their mountain top fortress.

Easier than for the Romans, we queued to get the cable car to the top !

Definitely too far to climb in this heat and we only had a few hours.



Up at the top, signage was clear and much evidence of professional archeology work completed and still under way 

The views across this desert wasteland are incredible



This is how the Jews were able to hold out for so long - under ground water cisterns








This is a view of Herod's three tiered palace which would have had all the latest luxuries at the time.

and here's the famous ramp erected by the Romans to attack the Jewish stronghold





Perhaps a clearer view of the ramp

Jewish slaves were forced to construct this, knowing the outcome for their compatriots above

Below, the outlines of the Roam camps can still seen






Looking straight down the ramp 







Herod even had Roman style mosaic floors up here on the top of the mountain



Its only when you are atop the mountain, you realise how extensive the fortress is and what a large area it covers




Having had a good look around, back to the cable car and the drive to the Dead Sea

and back to the ship at Haifa for a sundowner !

Marvellous !

The following day, we were back on shore to go and see Jerusalem - but that is another story.