Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Spot of FIBUA!

Warlord Games Plastic 1812 Russians - 2nd Bn First Smolensk Regt.
Today some of the 'Gong posse and I got together (ain't flex time a wonderful thing!) for a Napoleonic bash, the main purpose of which being to introduce Bryan to Black Powder rules. Bryan is a dab hand at Hail Caesar, BP's stablemate, but is something of a Napoleonic newbie, so I wanted to put together an interesting and fluid scenario for him...The second motive was to show off my latest painting efforts, the recently released Warlord Games 1812 Russians. 

A third object of the game was to test BP's approach to fighting in built up areas, which back in the day used to be known as FIBUA, although its probably called something different now...

So it is Spring 1813, and the Coalition of Russians and Prussians are attempting to find and fix the French, and vice versa. Overall the Coalition have a slight edge in both Infantry and Cavalry, but across the table width two smaller forces meet equidistant from the village of Kleinbierdorf, while much larger forces are approaching along the narrow table edges (these two forces don't get to join in until move 3). Thus the aim was to have a series of occupations and assaults on the village as more forces arrived to join in the stoush...
Relieved Calpe Prussian gunners relax a little as their Minifigs Russian main forces shows up in the nick of time
As far as national characteristics goes, for 1813 the French were limited on cavalry, and the young conscipt infantry would be unreliable in line. The Prussians had similar characteristics, and again both shared excellent leadership values for their commanders, averaging about 8.
Doug's Prussian Bde - Calpes augmented by the 2 Warlord Games Russian Bns
The Russians, however, had poor leadership values, averaging 7, some rising to 8 when giving Attack orders. To my great surprise however, Mark managed to overcome this disadvantage to move his masses swiftly to the aid of the Prussians in the village. Clearly the Russian staff had gone easy on the vodka the previous eve - the advantages of playing mid-week! In order to reflect the Russian Infantry’s legendary toughness and ability to absorb casualties, we tried John’s idea of giving them a +2 bonus when taking a Break test.

Horny handed sons of Holy Russia's soil - Well 'Ard!

As the game progressed, Doug’s Prussian smaller detachment on the table width beat its French opposite force across the table to reach and occupy the village, and easily beat off my early and uncoordinated attempts to evict him.
It would take a coordinated approach by Bryan, John, and James to mount an assault of the village with a real chance of success. Black Powder gives troops defending a built up area a +3 Combat results advantage, as well as the usual cover and morale bonuses, so it was clear that for an attack to succeed, an assaulting Bn would need to have all three possible supports in place, not an easy thing to achieve while losing casualties and order to constant canister and musketry fire! Nevertheless, at the very last move, #9, the French team managed it - so would the assault succeed?

No, despite a fierce fight the French failed to fight their way into the village, and Mark and Doug won the game.

So I succeeded in showing off my Warlord Russians, and the lads all made suitably appreciative noises! As far as testing BP's FIBUA characteristics, not as open to sweeping attacks and counter attacks as I had hoped, but this is probably more down to inexperienced tactics than the rules themselves, Bryan and John were confident that an attack on two axes would have done the trick. As for whether Bryan was impressed with the rules, we shall have to wait and see, but I think we all had a lot of fun....


  1. Great report and photos. The Russians look very nice.

  2. Very nice figures and battle.

  3. Very impressive! I do like the Russian Grenadiers.

    Cheers, Simon