Monday, 20 June 2022

Gin Time

 Rob and Stuart took over the Gin Pit again this Sunday for another Black Powder Napoleonic game with added British battalions. There were two games this time for the eight of us who turned up, both were based on Waterloo, one involved the defence of Hougoumont and the other the defence of Plancenoit and Frischermont.

I was with Stuart at Hougoumont and opposite us was Julian and Ed, the French got a free opening barrage which did not trouble us much at all, as now seems the norm for these games the Frenchies put all their eggs in one basket and sent the Guard in against the left flank of the farm complex, just where I was, while a couple of battalions watched the French left opposite Stuart with his unreliable Hanoverians. As I looked at the mass ranks of the Guard bearing down on me I decided to commit our reserves at once, a brigade of Brunswickers and one of British.

French grand battery.

Usual suspects and George 2 (behind red shirt)


 Stuart's Hanoverians proved unreliable and he was taking a long time to get them to move forward. My thin ranks took some punishment from the French massed batteries (eight) before their own troops masked their targets, which was just as well as my casualties were steadily climbing. Then a well prepared assault hit my line, desperate fighting occurred and I lost one battalion which fled the field, another fell back out of harms way, things looked dicey. As the smoke cleared my line had held albeit it just, the reserves now plugged the gaps and the dying continued. Meanwhile around the chateau Ed's French had cleared the woods to the front of the buildings and had managed to rout the foot guards behind the main wall, this suprised me as I expected more from the Guards, the French were now in the courtyard.

French Guard hit my line.

Massed French columns again way out to the left.

My troops ready to contest the courtyard.

 A quick look to my left and I could make out another huge French assault going in on Frischermont against Rob's defenders, while the Allied troops around Plancenoit watched and waited.

Back on my table a see saw struggle for the courtyard was going on and the French managed to assault the main chateau until one of my reserve battalions also entered the courtyard to give succour to the defenders. Stuart had now called on our reserve cavalry to enter the fray, the French did the same and charge and countercharges now covered the right flank, from where I was standing I think both sides fought themselves to a standstill with the French not having any further reserves to give that final push to break through.

Plancenoit is all quiet.

Allied cavalry near Plancenoit.

Frischermont and it is all over.

 Meanwhile I had sent the Guard packing and they fell back, I reorganised my line and decided to stay where I was rather than advance. A fluke of the rules caused a blunder which saw the French guns advance and take up a position in front of the shaken Guard, the rain of shot and shell now began to take its toll on the morale of my brigades and several battalions fell back, the rest I moved back to try and open the range. It was accepted by the guys on the left flank table that after some very desperate fighting Frischermont might indeed fall but Plancenoit would be safe. With the French at Hougoumont fought out and with only a tenuous hold on the courtyard we too decided it was all over.

Again a great day from Rob and Stuart and a great effort to turn the Gin Pit into two different parts of Waterloo. Thanks to all who made it a good day. I seemed to get more photos from the opposite table.

Fran who has the Warlord 'Epic' 12 mm ACW is putting on a game tomorrow night using one of my scenarios as a base for his game. I am a committed Johnny Reb man and have been for thirty years but I know Fran has tweaked Black Powder quite a bit for his games, this will be my first time to take part.

I have not done a lot of painting over the last week, my arm has now got a lot better but I have still not overdone it although I have finished the horses, I will move on the riders and a two man LMG team this week but again, slowly. I also have two French flags to draw up for the unit, nothing fancy just two bog standard French banners.

I am going to be closing a bit sooner now as the PO have declared I will be wound up on 6th September and not my preferred date of 30th. No argument here.


  1. Your victory run rolls on, a titanic looking set to there. You don't seem disappointed about the early PO closure πŸ™‚

    1. I shouldn't tempt the fates Phil. It means a month's less wages, such as they are, but I have no problem with it :)

  2. Two tables? How was adjudication between the two handled and was one person refereeing both tables? Looks like a good time for all. Repelling the Guard? Good for you!

    1. They were two separate games Jonathan being at the extreme ends of the battlefield. In the Gin Pit we are all referees!

  3. Two splendid games on view there! Good luck with the impending retirement too! Don't forget the invite to game in GHQ when you can fit a visit in to your busy post retirement schedule.

    1. Thanks David, looking forward to it. And as for GHQ, one day.

  4. Splendid looking games! Definitely “in the grand manner” as they say. Plus you squeaked a win πŸ˜‰

  5. Sounds like a close game, and glad to hear you are mending. Is the closing seasonal, or permanent?

    1. The French had a hard time and thankfully on my table did not use their artillery well. The closure is permanent at last.