Monday, 11 April 2016

Bloody Big Battles Bash Day 2016

I had the pleasure of playing Bloody Big Battles all day long on Sunday 10th April 2016 at Wolvercote village Hall near Oxford. The day was organised by the Chris Pringle, author of BBB, and The Oxford Wargames Society

There was a excellent selection of battles on offer

  • Balaclava, Crimean War 1854
  • Montebello, Second Italian War of Independence 1859
  • Solferino, Second Italian War of Independence 1859
  • Bull Run, American Civil War 1861
  • Wilderness, American Civil War 1864
  • Dybbol & Als,  Second Schleswig War 1864
  • Langensalza, Austro-Prussian War 1866
  • Koniggratz, Austro-Prussian War 1866
  • Loire campaign, Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871 
  • Laing’s Nek, First Boer War 1881
  • First El Teb, British Sudan Campaign 1884

I took a load of photos but, no doubt due to my excitement at playing BBB, most suffered from "Shaky Hand" so I apologise if some of the  tables aren't shown

First some of the tables either read for action or being setup

Dybbol & Als,  Second Schleswig War 1864
First El Teb, British Sudan Campaign 1884
I think this is the Loire campaign, Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871 - I really should have taken notes
Laing’s Nek, First Boer War 1881

In my first game, Balaclava, I took the part of the Russians against Maurice's British, French and Turks. This is an excellent scenario by Malcolm McDowall that gives both sides plenty of options and with only 6 turns means you can't hang around
The Russian army at game start - the figures are 2mm Irregular Miniatures which look very effective.
At the top of the photo are the French positions and beneath Maurice's hand are the British Heavy and Light Brigades
The Russians storm the Causeway Heights as the British move up the Heavy and Light Brigades and the 93rd to counter the attack
The French view of the battle
After destroying the Light Brigade and the 93rd the Russians advance towards Balaclava. Meanwhile the British Heavy Brigade charges along the Causeway heights destroying anything in their path
The positions at the end of the game. The Russians are threatening Balaclava but the British Royal Marines save the day for the Allies by recapturing the hill north of Kadikoi. 

The game is therefore declared a draw. Once again it's a great scenario to play with plenty of options for both sides. I'm now looking at investing in this period - 2mm is way too small for my eyesight - so maybe in 6mm but probably 10mm 

Meanwhile on some of the other tables...

A couple of shots from First El Teb, British Sudan Campaign 1884. A lovely looking game played in 6mm. This one is on my todo list.

Solferino, Second Italian War of Independence 1859
One of the battles from the Loire campaign, Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871

For my second game I had been lined up to play the Prussian left flank at Koniggratz, Austro-Prussian War 1866. I had studied the forces and the map and had formulated a plan to overrun the Austrians on our left flank.

Imagine my surprise therefore when I suddenly found myself in charge of the Prussian right flank!
My Prussians didn't hang about and got straight into the attack against the Saxons. To my cost I found that this was a big mistake as my Divisions were shot to bits by the Saxons.
The Observation Balloon's view of the Austrian lines early in the battle
Prussians commanded by Chris apply pressure to the Austrian centre and right wing.
The Prussian 2nd Army arrives on the Austrian right wing.
I finally get my act together after getting 2nd Corps destroyed and prepare to assault the Saxons
The Prussian centre pushes into the Austrian centre / right flank dogleg
The Prussian 2nd Army prepares to engage the Austrian right wing
The Saxon Corps sits firmly in it's rifle pits
The Prussians push into the Austrian centre
Another failed Prussian assault against the Saxons

The Austrian left flank
The Austrian right flank
Finally I push the Saxons out of their trenches. If I can capture the village occupied by the Austrian cavalry the day is ours!
End of turn 9 and the battle is over. I failed to get the village so once again a draw.

Another excellent game this time put on by Haim and Simon. Great looking terrain and armies. If only I had had a plan at the start. I thought the Saxons would be as flaky as the Austrians and would be a walkover. Instead they probably saved the day for the Austrians.

Thanks to all for an excellent day's gaming - I look forward to the next BBB Bash