Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Rank and File

Thursday night turned out to largely dominated by black powder (the propellant, not the rules). We had two 28mm games (Napoleonic and American Civil War), a 15mm Seven Years War game and, the outlier, a 1/200th naval game.

 The Napoleonic game was a test run for some rules picked up at Partizan earlier this year - Rank and File by Crusader publishing. We had a force of British infantry (commanded by your correspondent) with a medium gun defending a line of hills against a larger force of French infantry with two guns.

The thin red line
The French came on in column (as ever) and attempted to break the battalion on the left flank by weight of numbers. However, the first column was stopped by a volley and the second was bloodily repulsed in a melee (charging uphill not helping the French cause). Both French columns on this side then retired to lick their wounds.

In the centre, the French sought to bring their two field guns to bear, however their gunners were having a bad day and failed to hit much of anything throughout the battle. Having failed to break the left, the French commandant (aka Colin) tried to maneuver his  force, concentrating his units on the right instead.

Meanwhile the British got a bit carried away and decided to come down off the hills to have a pop at the Frogs.  This was perhaps unwise, and they started to take more casualties. Things heated up on the right, with one British battalion retiring and a second getting involved in close range fire with two more French columns, who they handily beat back, and managed to seriously wound the French commander to boot. In the centre the British line moved up and poured fire onto the largely ineffectual French guns crew, wiping them out in two rounds.

French gunners about to be mown down 
At this point the French had taken over 50% casualties and they decided to retire as their force morale was about to break.

Overall it was a fast and fun game - the R&F rules clearly lend themselves to an uncomplicated and quick flowing game; we picked the basics up very quickly. There are a wide range of optional extras that can be incorporated which may add greater flavour to the game - but importantly it felt accurate, with stout British infantry throwing back the French hordes.

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