Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Book Sale

I am busy having a bit of a clear-out around the house, in preparation for some upcoming house and job changes, so I' m selling off some of my stuff.  I've been doing the books first, so let me know if there is anything you fancy amongst this lot.  Everything should be very reasonably priced and I'll send anywhere in the world, charging postage at cost (Look here for postage prices: link from the UK).

I'm selling the following Napoleonic books:

Napoleon's Invasion of Russia (George Nafziger): £7 GBP
Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars (Cassin-Scott): £5 GBP
Napoleon 1814 (Andrew Uffindell): £7.50 GBP
1809 Thunder on the Danube vol:1 Abensberg (John Gill): £20 GBP
1809 Thunder on the Danube vol:2 Fall of Vienna & Battle of Aspern (John Gill): £10 GBP
1809 Thunder on the Danube vol:3 Wagram and Znaim (John Gill): £20 GBP
1815 The Waterloo Campaign vol:1 (Peter Hofschroer): £10 GBP
1815 The Waterloo Campaign vol:1 (Peter Hofschroer): £5 GBP
The French Imperial Army 1813-14 and Waterloo (Richard K Riehn): £2.50 GBP
Napoleon's Polish Gamble (Summerville): £5 GBP
Swords Around a Throne (Elting): £5 GBP
Napoleon's Grande Armee of 1813 (Bowden): £20 GBP
Napoleonic Artillery (Dawson, Dawson, Summerfield): £7.50 GBP
Campaigns of Napoleon (Chandler): £25 GBP
Wellington's Mongrel Regiment: A History of the Chasseurs Britanniques (Nichols): £4 GBP
Hanoverian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (Peter Hofschroer): £7 GBP:50

A couple of C15 - C17 items:

The English Civil War (Peter Young & Richard Holmes): £7.50 GBP
The Condottieri (Trease): £3 GBP
Henry VIII's Army (Cornish) (Osprey): £5 GBP

Some WW2 volumes:

German Anti-Partisan Warfare 1939-1945 (Heaton): £12.50 GBP
Crusade in Europe (Eisenhower): £3 GBP
Military Effectiveness Vol 3 The Second World War (Millett & Murray): £5 GBP
18 Platoon (Jary): £15 GBP

& Some WW2 air warfare things:

Mustang Aces of the Ninth & Fifteenth Air Forces & the RAF : £3 GBP
Bf109 Aces of the Russian Front: £3 GBP
Jagdgeschwader 2 ‘Richtofen': £3 GBP
Bf 109F/G/K Aces of the Western Front: £3 GBP
Typhoon and Tempest Aces of World War 2: £3 GBP

 and more generally:
Defeat in the West 1943-45 (Mike Spick): £3 GBP
Luftwaffe (Alfred Price): £3 GBP
Air War Over Russia (Andrew Brookes): £3 GBP
The Rise and Fall of the German Air Force 1933-1945: £3 GBP
The Nuremberg Raid (Martin Middlebrook): £3 GBP
Desert Air Force At War (Bowyer & Shores): £5 GBP

I'm always up for a trade instead if that works better for you. At the moment I'm looking for Baccus 6mm ECW, WotR and Napoleonics (but all their ranges considered), GHQ moderns, boardgames covering Caesar's invasion of Gaul and Britain and baseball (!) boardgames.

Let me know here or e-mail j*w*h*07*14@*y*a*h*o*o* (minus asterixes!) if you are interested.

Summary of Forces - end of October 1808

Summary of Forces - end of October 1808


VIII Corps (Lisbon) - Junot (being returned to France after upcoming Convention of Cintra):
16000 Infantry, 2000 Cavalry, 42 Guns

II Corps (Palencia) - Bessieres
36000 Infantry, 3000 Cavalry, 60 Guns

Burgos Garrison: 2000

Army of Spain (Santander) - Joseph Napoleon
6000 Infantry, 2000 Cavalry, 12 Guns

I Corps (Miranda) - Victor
13000 Infantry, 4000 Cavalry, 42 Guns

Lapisse's Division (Vitoria) - 8000 Infantry, 6 Guns

IV Corps (Burgos) - Lefebvre
14000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 36 Guns

San Sebastian Garrison: 2000

Pamplona Garrison: 2000

Tudela Garrison: 1000

Zaragoza Garrison: 4000

Bayonne Garrison: 3000

II Corps (south of Valladolid) - Moncey
24000 Infantry, 5000 Cavalry, 96 Guns

VII Corps (Olot) - Duhesme
6000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 6 Guns

Lechi (Rosas)
3000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 6 Guns

Reille (Gerona)
5000 Infantry, 6 Guns

Figueras Garrison: 3000

Barcelona Garrison: 2000


Army of Andalusia (north of Ocana) - Castanos
32000 Infantry, 3000 Cavalry, 48 Guns

O'Donoju (south of Andujar)
1000 Cavalry

 IV Army (Seville) - Elio
14000 Infantry, , 1000 Cavalry, 6 Guns

Seville Garrison: 4000 Infantry

Cadiz Garrison: 6000

Malaga Garrison: 2000

Huelva Garrison: 3000

waiting west of Granada: 5000 Infantry

Granada Garrison: 3000 Infantry, 2000 Cavalry

Army of the Centre (Seville) - Cuesta
11000 Infantry, 3000 Cavalry, 18 Guns

Ciudad Rodrigo Garrison: 1000

Army of Galicia (Palencia) - Mahy
15000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 66 Guns

Acevedo (south of Gijon)
8000 Infantry, 6 Guns

Astorga Garrison: 6000

Villafranca Garrison: 4000

La Coruna Garrison: 2000

Vigo Garrison: 3000

Army of Valencia (Segovia) - Cervellon
20000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 54 Guns

Valencia Garrison: 1000

Cartagena Garrison: 4000

Murcia Garrison: 2000

Army of Catalonia (west of Barcelona) - Palacio
5000 Infantry, 12 Guns

Hostalrich Garrison: 2000

Tarragona Garrison: 1000

Tortosa Garrison: 2000

Rosas Garrison: 3000

Gerona Garrison: 3000


Gibraltar Garrison: 6000 Infantry

British Army (Coria) - Moore
36000 Infantry, 3000 Cavalry, 60 Guns

Wilson's LL Legion (west of Coria) - 3000 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 6 Guns

Ferguson (Lisbon) - 3000 Infantry, 6 Guns

Peninsular Campaign Summary - October 1808

Peninsular Campaign Summary - October 1808

Andalusia and New Castile:

Castanos and Cervellon continued their desultory pursuit of Moncey.  Moncey briefly considered making a stand to defend the capital but the odds against him simply looked too heavy to be worth the risk and he has retreated North through the mountains towards Valladolid to come within range of support from Bessieres' II Corps.  Spanish supply and co-ordination difficulties hampered the pursuit and by the end of the month, only Cervellon's forces had managed to cross the mountains in pursuit, Castanos' army still remaining to the southwest of Madrid.  Cuesta's Army of the Centre and Elio's Fourth Army are now both in the area of Seville, incorporating its large garrisons into their combat divisions to form a strategic reserve for the Spanish forces.

Leon and Castile:

Bessieres finally managed to inflict a sizeable defeat upon Mahy's Army of Galicia, which then retreated precipitately upon its base at Astorga.  Joseph, in a surprisingly bold move, also managed to re-take Santander from Acevedo's Asturian Division and inflict some serious casualties onto that force.  The first sizeable French reinforcements from the Grande Armee - Lefebvre's IV Corps and Victor's I Corps, arrived at Bayonne and have marched south to the area around Burgos.


Remained quiet.


More manoeuvring - Palacio has managed to reinforce Gerona whilst the blockade was lifted, and this means that the Spanish can hope for it to last out until 1809.  However, Duhesme inflicted two defeats upon Jacome's division, which has now been reduced to about 20% of its initial strength* and Palacio has been forced to end the blockade of Barcelona and retreat towards Tarragona, as his forces are now just too weak, even when combined, to be reasonably sure of surviving an attack by a single French division.


Cervellon has merely followed up Moncey as the latter general has retreated to a position on the North bank of the Tagus.  The French garrison of Madrid, in attempting to maintain the flow of supplies to the region has pretty much devastated the local area.  It will be interesting to see if this hurts the Allied or Imperial cause more during the winter months...


Quiet.  Gen Moore has continued his march to support the Spanish and has now entered Spain near Badajoz.

Game Notes:

Another quieter month, and although the Spanish have occupied Madrid - and thus able to establish the Cortes, hopefully increasing the ease of co-operation between Spanish armies, and successfully increased the garrisons of Hostalrich and Gerona, operations everywhere else have seemed to favour the French.  Bessieres and Joseph seem to have esablished a degree of superiority in Leon and Moncey has avoided being defeated by superior Spanish forces, so now that the French have five or so Corps in the Burgos - Palencia - Valladolid area, they are well placed to resume their offensive from a better position than their historical prototypes.

*I didn't play out this battle as it wasclear that the French were going to win in short order.  Normally these rules lead to quite bloodless battles, but the correlation of forces and commanders, plus a good French die roll, led to Jacome's division losing 75% of its remaining troops whilst trying to escape!

Campaign Battle 10: Storming of Astillero

Storming of Astillero, Late October 1808

General Situation: Joseph Napoleon, in at least nominal command of the French Army of Spain, noted that Acevedo's division of Mahy's Army of Galicia, after its successful taking of Santander earlier in the month, was exposed and unsupported.  Resolving to strike a quick blow against this formation, Joseph and the divisions of Imperial and Royal guards, showing surprising speed, approached Santander.  Acevedo, not wanting to be trapped in the town, fought a delaying action to the South, without much hope that his recruits would stand for long before the Imperial veterans.

The Forces:

Imperial Forces:
Army of Spain (CinC Joseph, advised by Jourdan - Competent)
Dorsenne's Division: 3000 Imperial Guardsmen, 1000 Imperial Guard Light Cavalry, 6 Guns
Saligny's Division: 3000 Royal Guardsmen, 1000 Royal Guard, Light Cavalry, 6 Guns
Totals: 6000 Infantry, 2000 Cavalry, 12 Guns

Spanish Forces:
Acevedo's Division of the Army of Galicia (CinC Gen Acevedo - Competent)
Acevedo's Division: 9000 Infantry, 6 Guns

Initial Deployment:

Deployment, viewed from the South.  French are nearest,with the Imperial Guards to the left and Royal Guards to the right.  The Spaniards are ranged across the heights, with their right flank anchored by the two battalions in the village.

The First Blow:

The French struck on their left first: a textbook assault on the village.  One of the Spanish light infantry units - their best in this battle - was defending it, supported by a battalion of conscripts.  The guardsmen resisted their inclination to assault until the Imperial artillery took effect, at which moment the French took the village at bayonet point and routed the Spanish defenders.  The French Guard Light Cavalry are outflanking the Spanish left in the background.
The Second Blow:

Joseph's Guards advancing on the right.  The infantry never got to grips with their opponents, but the cavalry of the Royal Guard charged straight in.  Two-thirds of the Spanish conscripts facing them were routed, but the battalion on the extreme Spanish left (right of shot) faced down the attack with great coolness and stopped a couple of squadrons with their volley fire.  However, the Spanish brigade commander lost confidence and ordered a retreat anyway.

Same position, seen from behind the repulsed cavalry of the Royal Guard.  The victorious cavalry is on the lower slopes of the hill, the retreating Spanish infantry on the far side. At this point Acevede, with both of his flanks turned, ordered a general retreat and successfully disengaged his remaining units without further loss.

Result: The Spanish lost just over 2,000 men as a result of this action, divided roughly evenly between dead and wounded, prisoners and conscripts deserting in the immediate aftermath.  French losses were around 300, split between the Imperial Guard infantry (Fusiliers-Chasseurs) and the cavalry of the Royal Guard.  Acevedo withdrew to the West and once again the Imperials were left in control of Santander.

Game Notes: Another small battle, with the result never in too much doubt, as veteran-elite infantry take some stopping by raw conscripts in the Polemos rules.  I do wonder if in fact the Polemos rules - and many others - exaggerate the importance of morale and training compared to the dynamics of individual situations.  It is difficult to be sure, however.  Regardless, the main Spanish hope was that Joseph would do something stupid.  Athough the cavalry attack was bold the odds still favoured them, and the Imperial Guard infantry attack on the village was a textbook example of infantry and artillery co-operation to prise defenders out of a strongpoint.