Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Vales of Lyndhurst: Combat at Clydesdale 1

Overview at beginning of the action, viewer facing west.
London is several miles to the north.
To begin with, I have made a couple of modifications to my previous two postings on the Vales of Lyndhurst topic.  The main one is that the first reference in each comprises a link to the original series, something I intended but forgot during the writing.  At the moment I am also considering starting up a new blog devoted to VoL.  This may depend on the level of interest.  I've made a couple of other minor, cosmetic emendments.

Looking westward along the Royalist line

The first combat in the continued narrative was as much a play-test of a hastily cobbled together fast play game system, based on the grid war games concepts I have been absorbing over the last nearly two years.  The armies were as follows:

Royalist Army:

General Sir Leopold Anders 6SP
2 Footguard Foot Battalions
   @ 5SP = 10SP
8 Fusilier and Foot Battalions
   @4SP =  32SP
2 'Light' Foot Battalions
   @3SP = 6SP
2 Dragoon Guards Regiments
   @5SP = 10SP
2 Heavy Gun Companies
   @3SP = 6SP
2 Medium Gun Companies
   @2SP = 4SP

Number of Units: 19  Median: 10
Units activated per turn:
Die Rolls: 1-2 = 9 units; 3-4 = 10 units; 5-6 = 11 units.
Total strength = 74SP;  Army Exhaustion point = -25SP

Franco-Confederate Army:

Looking westward along the Confederate line

Confederate Corps:

Major-General the Duke of Kent 6SP
6 Foot Battalions
   @ 4SP = 24SP
1 'Light' Battalion
   @ 3SP = 3SP
2 Dragoon Regiments
   @ 4SP = 8SP
1 Medium Gun Company
   @ 2SP = 2SP

Number of Units: 11  Median: 6
Units activated per turn:
Die Rolls:
   1-2 = 5 units; 3-4 = 6 units; 5-6 = 7 units.
Total strength =43SP; 
   Army Exhaustion point = -15SP

French Corps:

Chevalier de Busset 6SP
10 Foot Battalions
   @ 4SP = 40SP
2 Dragoon Regiments
   @ 4SP = 8SP
3 Medium Gun Companies
   @ 2SP = 6SP

Number of Units: 16  Median: 8
Units activated per turn:
Die Rolls: 1-2 = 7 units; 3-4 = 8 units; 5-6 = 9 units.
Total strength = 60SP;  Army Exhaustion point = -20SP
Looking northeastward from behind the French command.
The Chevalier and the Duke seem to be conferring...

Points to note:
1.  The two Franco-Confederate Army commands have been pointed up separately with each contingent dicing separately for unit allocation. 

2. The addition of the 6 SP for the second commander might be seen to confer upon the Allies that much of an edge.  That was not apparent in this first battle.  Possibly this was due to the very slight qualitative edge enjoyed by the Royalists, with two each of Footguards and Horseguards units and the two heavy batteries.

3.  Exhaustion was applied to the Allied commands separately.  If and when one command fell to its 'exhaustion point', the other was still permitted to carry out attacking moves.  The battle was to end when (a) all three commands reached their exhaustion point or (b) one side having reached its exhaustion point, the other chose to break off the action.

4.  The initiative dice rolls were Royalist versus Allies collectively.  It might have been interesting to roll per command, but a bit more cumbersome.

It having been pointed out to me that 8-figure foot units would have looked better - a fair comment - any future battles are likely to feature a different collection of kit, namely, my mid-18th Century Imagi-Nations armies, with smaller plastic figures.  I simply don't have enough 'Marlburian' figures at the moment. The grey-coats are likely to become white-coats!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Vales of Lyndhurst - To be continued?

Battle of Clydesdale

The Franco-Confederate Army, commanded jointly by Chevalier Busset and the Duke of Kent, was met on their northward push for London, by a hastily gathered Royalist Army commanded by Sir Leopold Anders, brother of the Lord of Lyndhurst.  Here is was hoped that Sir Leopold could administer a check to the Confederates, buying enough time hastily to march northward to meet the other Confederate march that was menacing London from the north.

At this point I won't go into the actual fighting, but rather mention certain administrative aspects of continuing this campaign.  In transferring Barry's original concept using map battles, I have elected to make the transfer to grid war games, using my 48" x 52" table, as pictured.  The original I sketched onto a roughly hand drawn grid of off-set squares, which was in turn sketched a little more carefully onto a preprinted hex grid the same dimensional array as my table. I keep blank copies of this grid on file in this machine.  I can print them, or add details using Microsoft 'Paint' as I find convenient.  The small map in the right is the result.

Now, a rule set was wanting.  So I made one up, a 'Lonely Brain Cell' set, for these battles.  Borrowed heavily from the Bob Cordery concepts, with a little bit of Memoir '44 thrown in and a die rolling system I suggested maybe eighteen months or so back, I wanted something quick that produced a plausible looking battle.

What follows is really just a sketch.  I hope to refine it later.

Working Rules for Vales of Lyndhurst Battles.


Cavalry and infantry, henceforth called Horse and Foot, comprise battalions and regiments of 4 figures.
Artillery, henceforth called 'Guns' comprise companies of 1 gun and 2 figures.
Strength Points (SP):
Standard SPs for Horse and Foot is 4SP.
    +1 For Elite or Crack units
    -1  For Militia, Irregular or Light units
Standard SP for artillery is 2SP
    +1 For 'heavy' (12pr) cannon
Standard SP for Army command is 6SP


Horse and Foot may form
Line - 1 rank of 4 figures
Column - 2 ranks of 2 figures
Guns may be deployed, limbered or in the process of deploying or limbering.


Standard movement is 2 grid areas in good going.
In any kind of rough going, fording rivers, passing through woods, enclosures, built up areas, this is reduced to 1 hex only.
Units entering rough going, river hexes, BUAs, enclosed fields etc end their moves at once, except as follows.
Foot in column marching along a road may add 1 hex to its movement provided at least two of the three moved are on the same road, and the remaining one is on the same road or good going.
Foot in column, moving along a road for their entire move, ignore all other terrain constraints.

Standard movement is 4 hexes in good going.
In any kind of rough going, fording rivers, passing through woods, enclosures, built up areas, this is reduced to 1 hex only.
Units entering rough going, river hexes, BUAs, enclosed fields etc end their moves at once, except as follows.
Horse in column marching along a road may add 1 hex to its movement provided at least four of the five allowed are on the same road, and the remaining one is on the same road or good going.
Horse in column, moving along a road ignore all other terrain constraints whilst they remain on the road.

To move, Guns must be limbered.
Limbered Guns (except galloper guns) move 1 hex in good going, and may travel 2 hexes along a road.  Galloper guns can travel 1 extra hex.
Guns my cross rivers and streams only at bridges and fords practicable to vehicles.
Guns may not enter woods or marshes or river hexes except by a road or track that is practicable to vehicles.
Guns require a whole move to limber up or to deploy (unlimber).


Only artillery are able to carry out distant shooting.   The scale of this rule set is such that all other combats, shooting or hand to hand, take place between adversaries in adjacent grid areas.
In all combats, units roll as many combat dice for effect as their current SP, modified by terrain effects. 
All close combats are competitive, both sides rolling and determining hits.  A unit may attack one unit only; the defender rolls against all attacking units.  Units that remain in contact at the end of any given player's turn continue automatically to battle in the subsequent turns that they remain in contact.
A unit whose combat dice allocation is reduced by such modifications, still gets to roll 1 combat die.
The results of the combat dice rolls are assessed as follows:

  • 1 = target Guns lose 1SP
  • 2 = target Horse may choose to retreat 2 hexes OR lose 1SP
  • 3 = target Horse lose 1SP and may choose to retreat 2 hexes
  • 4 = target Foot may choose to retreat 1 hex or lose 1SP
  • 5 = target Foot lose 1SP and may choose to retreat 1 hex
  • 6 = target Foot lose 1SP and may choose to retreat 1 hex

    Hits are cumulative, including 'retreat' results.  A foot unit that receives two '4' hits may choose to retreat 2 hexes, lose 2SP or lose 1SP and retreat 1 hex.
Retreating units encountering friend to their rear, may pass through them to carry out their retreat.  A foot unit may also do so, provided the destination grid area immediately behind is clear, effectively retreating 2 hexes instead of 1.  This is the only time a Foot unit may retreat 2 hexes on the basis of 1 '4' hit.

Combat dice are modified by terrain, whether occupied by the target unit, or sometimes that occupied by the unit being diced for.
Combat Dice = Current SP modified as follows, or 1 whichever is the greater.

Reduce Combat Dice by 2 if:
  • Horse in, or battling against enemy in, woods, enclosed fields, built up areas
  • Horse battling against Foot or Horse that are uphill

Reduce Combat Dice by 1 if:
  • Foot (except Light)  fighting target in wood, enclosed fields, built up areas, hamlets or farms, or uphill
  • Unit is in a river hex, against enemy not in a river hex (i.e. when attempting a defended crossing).  This applies to any river hex, crossable by bridge or ford, or not.

    Modifications are cumulative up to a maximum of 2.
    Remember, if the modified Combat Dice comes to less than 1, it is taken as 1


Heavy Cannon (12pr):  Short range = 3 hexes; long range = 6 hexes
Medium Cannon (6-9pr): Short range = 2 hexes; long range = 4 hexes
Light Cannon (3-4pr 'galloper guns'): Short range = 2 hexes; long range = 4 hexes
At short range Guns' Combat Dice is DOUBLE their SP unless they are involved in close combat
(I am conscious that this isn't quite right, as enemy Foot and Horse can close to close combat without being shot at by grapeshot, but not sure yet how to fix it - even whether it needs fixing.  I am considering allowing one round of 'reserved' fire by defending units, but that will make attacks very difficult.)
For initiating moves, determining the battle outcomes and so forth, I used Bob Cordery's Portable Wargames system.  ....

Next posting will outline the composition of the armies, strength points and any other details that come to mind.  After that will come the narrative of the battle.
To be continued.
If anyone has comments or suggestions to make to the above, they may be used to modify this posting.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


During the course of enforced (hem, hem) idleness over the last week or so, to allow my eye to recover from surgery,  my thoughts cast themselves back to the blog narrative of a friend - The Vales of Lyndhurst.   After several years been in indifferent health, Barry Taylor seemed for a year or two to be recovering something of his old energy.  But when his health turned again in mid 2013, his vast conception had to be dropped.  He never had the chance to pick it up again, and passed away in October of that year.

Barry's final battle map superimposed upon my grid war games version

The Vales of Lyndhurst was a narrative in the Game of Thrones style, a power struggle that, though it involved the throne of Great Britain, of England in particular, was more a struggle between those who would reunify the realm, and those who enjoyed the profits of aristocratic anarchy.  The Interregnum lasting some eighty years since the execution - some called it regicide - of Charles Stuart, a search  by an aristocratic faction that longed to restore some rule of law into the realm, had unearthed a plausible candidate for the vacant throne.  No mere collateral descendant, the direct lineage, though faint, was unmistakable.  The one question, the issue of legitimacy - the subject of the inquiry was a bastard - the anxious searchers were disinclined to examine.  Upon this person, James III as he would be styled, centred the hopes of the faction who onlynow dared to call themselves - if as yet only in whispers - Royalists.

Great Britain had in those 'lost' eighty years descended into a chaos of rival aristocrats, especially the large landed magnates, all of whom these days styled themselves 'Duke' - with more than questionable legitimacy.  The nation itself had shrunk in stature.  Parliament had become more theoretical than effectual, national executive government having atrophied since the death of the first Cromwell.

The Royalists' hopes to mature their plans in secret were to be disappointed. Sir Edward Anders, Lord of Lyndhurst had formally adopted James to 'lend verisimilitude to the imposture of James Schiller/ Anders as a non-Royal, if not a commoner, withal'. Even so, the leader of a rival such faction, the ambitious and acquisitive Duke of Kent, whose own intelligence network spread well into the major Continental nations, even unto the Vatican itself, got wind of the Royalist plot.  Perhaps secretly harbouring a preference to be addressed as 'Your Royal Highness' rather than merely 'Your Grace', he would brook no rival for power, no change to the present structureless structure of British governance.  Not, that is to say, until he himself was in a position to impose his own strictures and structures.

The result was later called the Second Civil War, though such was the way of England for last eight decades, it could scarce be said that the Civil War begun by the Great Rebellion of 1642 were yet ceased.  The boy king, James III, proved a popular monarch, the approval of the City of London all the more enthusiastic for his betrothal to the well-known and well-regarded Lady Margaret Hackett, the daughter of the Duke of Essex. Several magnates, whether moved by the same desire for order as the Master of Lyndhurst, or simply observing the direction of the political gusts, fell in behind the Royalist faction.  Taking their cue from the powerful and strong-willed Duke of Kent, others preferred the licence offered by the status quo, or simply rejected the legitimacy of the 'Bastard King'.

Several combats and battles had yielded very little result, tactically or strategically.  Generally on the offensive, and driving towards London, the Confederates, as they styled themselves - there was no question that this faction had anything to do with upholding Parliament - had received a number of costly checks.  Such results rather encouraged the outnumbered Royalists, but there was no doubt that such negative, defensive, successes could in no way advance their cause.  They were merely 'holding the line'.  Until the Royalists could gather their power, potentially greater than their adversaries', 'holding the line' was about as much as they could hope for.

For their part, the Confederates got in a powerful blow by enlisting the aid of the King of France, who sent forth a sizable contingent of horse, foot and guns to augment the already considerable forces of Kent himself.  The aghast Royalists knew at once that at a stroke - a master stroke - Kent had eclipsed Royalist strength.  Thus began a determined drive upon London from south and north, with the Royalist forces outnumbered.  The Commander of the main Royalist Army, Major-General Lord Leopold .Adair set forth to intercept the French-Ducal Army.  The rival forces clashed just south of the small settlement of Clydesdale.
The battle lines drawn.  The Royalists are seriously

It was at this point, with the battle lines drawn, that the narrative was interrupted, never to be resumed.  Shortly after Barry died, I was asked by one or two other bloggers whether maybe I could take up the story.  Although the idea appealed - it seemed a pity to leave it hanging - this I was reluctant to do at the time.  It was not just the commitment (always problematic with me), but more a sense that maybe it would be a disservice to Barry's memory, at least so soon.  And, frankly, I simply felt I could not have done justice to Barry's conception.

Five years later, how now do I feel about it?  I still feel that my own imagination and commitment could scarcely match Barry's in a narrative like this (if it did, I'd be a novelist).  But it seemed to me that the campaign for London might at least be told to a conclusion. Just by way of a fifth-year requiem for its author.

Such an undertaking will once more see a change, unfortunately, in how battles are to be presented. I never did discover how Barry produced his maps and fought the battles.  Methought, how about a grid-formatted action - a marriage, perhaps of the war games concepts of two such disparate innovators as Bob Cordery and Robert Louis Stevenson?  Grid War Games, and 4-figure infantry battalions and cavalry regiments.

Some of the troops from which the contending armies
will be drawn.  The Regimental command elements will
probably stand as Brigade commands.

There will be nothing 'British' looking about these armies.  The red coated 'New Model Army' national army went the way of just about all national institutions after 1660.  Not even the St George Cross of England will be much in evidence!  For the figures to be used will be Continental, the Imperialist Army of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Summarised Orders of Battle for Clydesdale:


2 Footguard Battalions
6 Foot and Fusilier Battalions
2 Light Battalions
2 Dragoon Guards Regiments
2 'Heavy' Artillery Companies
2 'Medium' Artillery Companies
Totals: 40 Foot, 8 Horse, 8 Gunners - 56 figures.

The Duke of Kent's Greencoats.  Beside them, a few
French Greycoats, and behind them a Brigade of
Royalist Bluecoats.


10 French Line Infantry Battalions
6 Ducal Foot Battalions
1 Ducal Light Battalion
2 French Dragoon Regiments
2 Ducal Dragoon Regiments
3 French 'Medium' Artillery Companies
1 Ducal 'Medium' Artillery Company.
Totals: 68 Foot, 16 Horse, 8 Gunners - 92 figures. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Plastic Soldier/ Airfix hybrid SdKfz263 command
or comms armoured car.
Recently my war game buddy 'Jacko' got himself a pack of German 8-rad armoured cars from 'Plastic Soldier'.  Three to a box, variety of types to build (SdKfz 231, 232, 233 and 263 command vehicle - seems like a good buy.

Several Airfix SdKfz234/4 armoured cars in various states
(one with a scratch conversion), and the spare paerts
from Plastic  Soldier sprues.
Having built his three SdKfz 231s, he has still on the sprue the tasty looking alternatives - lacking the lower hull, chassis and wheels.  Now, I have had in my inventory several old Airfix SdKfz 234/4s that I had discovered weren't what you would call 'historically accurate'.  But when 'Jacko' showed me  his models it seemed to me it might be possible to marry up the Plastic Soldier upper hulls with an Airfix bottom half/  That the one was 1:72 scale, the other 1:76, might have given pause, but  the scales were not a problem.
Completed; waiting it paint job.   It's raining and blowing a
howling southerly outside, straight off Antarctica, so that
will have to wait.
What you see here is the product of that effort.  Turns out that a fairish amount of haggling of the Airfix kit was needed, and a rough-as-guts job I made of it too.  The top half had some placement lugs (?) trimmed back.  The result left ugly gaps in the centre half of the hull sides that I patched up with greenstuff.  The pictures indicate some further trimming will be required to tidy that up.
Add caption
The trick with an untidy bodge is to add detail,  So this command armoured car received its radio aerials, side bars and whatever that contraption is hanging off the front.  Once I've trimmed up the greenstuff packing, and given the thing an overall paint, I reckon I'll be happy enough with this chappy.  Of the other four Airfix armoured cars, one you will see was my attempt to convert one into a SdKfw231 in about 1990.  This one I might five an aerial for a SdKfz232.  The green one I'll probably keep in its unhistorical glory, a third will fetch up as a SdKfz233, and the last will be cannibalised for parts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

One Hour Napoleonics

 Last Tuesday evening, Paul 'Jacko' Jackson was around for our irregular war games evenings.  Like last time, we played a couple of One Hour Wargames, but this time, using some of my Napoleonic figures.  The traditional foes faced off: I had the french; 'Jacko' had the British.   Our first scenario was from Neil Thomas's book, based on the Battle of Ceresole (1544).
 The draw for composition of our respective armies were:


  • 4 Infantry units each 20 figures
  • 1 skirmisher unit (Rifles) with 12 figures - faster moving than line foot, but less effective shooting.-2        on combat dice.
  • 1 Artillery unit with 4 figures and a gun - long range but less effective shooting -2 on combat dice 


  • 4 Infantry units each 24 figures
  • 1 skirmisher unit (carabiniers, chasseurs and voltigeurs) with 12 figures
  • 1 cavalry unit (hussars) with 12 figures - no shooting but very effective at close quarters +2 on                  combat dice.

The slight numerical difference between the respective infantry units was ignored.
The objective was simply to drive the enemy from the field.   The British went first.
The British got the better of the first clashes.  The artillery came into action against the French infantry swarming over their hill, and after a momentary hesitation the latter pushed forward to accept the first volleys from the British rifles and muskets.  Once settled into their work, however, the French musketeers gave much the better account of themselves. 
 Meanwhile, the left flank redcoat unit elected to accept the cavalry charge in their column formation, rather than form square.  Good though their shooting was, the hussars exacted a heavy penalty.  To explain: all units had 15 strength points (SP) that could be lost to enemy firepower or Cavalry close assaults.  Rather than have three dice making the SP status, we used one at a time, but colour coded.  My units began with a white SP marker, went to red and finished with blue.  The British began with blue, went to red and then white, the reverse of the French,  This worked reasonably well, as I had only a limited number of red dice.  In the above picture, the hussars are down to 10SP, the British foot, down to 7SP.
 A second charge saw off that British unit, but its shooting between charges, reduced the hussars to 5SP.  Nevertheless, up the flank of the hill they rode, striking a foot unit before it had had a chance top react.  Striking the flank, but fighting uphill, the hussars inflicted a certain amount of damage (3SP, by the look) and then slid back down the slope.
 Meanwhile a stationary musketry duel had been taking place between the respective infantry units,  One French unit eventually broke, but the British rifles almost immediately afterward also found the action too hot for their liking.  Gradually the French got the upper hand, and, with the disintegration of the British right flank, felt able to close up against the British-held hill.  Gradually edging the British from it, still with four units in action (one of them still with 15SP against a rather battered  British battalion, and a diminished battery, the French were able to claim a great and glorious victory.
 After a brief discussion about how we felt the thing went, we tried a second scenario.  This was the 'Encounter' action, each side beginning with one unit on the table, with the remaining 5 entering, one at a time, according to a die roll.  Each turn (including the first) there was a 50-50 chance of a unit arriving.
 Instead of having the same composition, we again rolled for our armies.  This what we got.


  • 3 infantry units
  • 1 skirmisher unit
  • 2 cavalry units.


  • 3 infantry units 
  • 2 skirmisher units
  • 1 artillery unit

Eyeing the two British cavalry units (Dragoons and Light Dragoons), I could not say I was very chuffed with what Fate has doled out to me.  Maybe luck would come on my side with the reinforcements?

 Well, it did - and then again it didn't.  We both started with a skirmisher unit - obviously forage parties looking for their next meal  'Jacko' got the first reinforcement, but gradually I caught up, and then for a brief moment had the superior numbers.  If it could last, maybe I could force that central, dominating hill and make a fight of it.  No such luck. Meanwhile, I had advanced my guns too far, whereat they came under musketry fire.  Though the resulting duel ought to have been a losing proposition for the artillery - minus 2 on the dice for shooting, and the infantry got the first shot in, to boot - the artillery did very well.  But they were not quite able to finish off their adversaries before disaster supervened.

The contest for the hill hanging in the balance for a time, British reinforcements tipped the balance their way.  A French foot unit broke, along with the skirmishers not long afterward,  The light dragoons swept over the hill and rode into the French guns.  Finally they turned to face the last enemy unit still in action, apart from a skirmish unit hovering around the British left rear.  The brave French foot saw off the British horse, but, faced with three times their numbers poised to descend upon them 'like wolves upon the fold', they didn't survive long. 
It was a decisive British victory.  It was clear the sole remaining unit - the late-arriving skirmishers - could never hope to match it against three British line infantry, two of which so far  had hardly seen any enemy to shoot at.  We called the battle right there.

 So: what did we think of One Hour Wargames for Napoleonics?  I don't reckon on their being my go-to rule st, frankly.  For may own games I still prefer my own 'each-24-figure-unit-is-a-regiment' level Corsican Ogre, and my army level Big Engagements for Small Tables (BE4ST) Napoleonics.  For one thing, there wasn't the Napoleonic 'feel'.  During the first game there was a prolonged period of static firefight in which neither side could really manoeuvre, but both clawed at each other until the gouges got deep enough to cause a break.  At that, it had more the feel of a Seven Years' War action - within the historical period of that particular rule set - but lacked something that would have identified the thing as distinctively Napoleonic.  It was not helped by our using the skirmishing units more as fast-moving irregular infantry, and in rather odd ways (it seemed to me) at that.
Where Paul and I quite like the 1HW concept for a quick WW2 game, we might use a different rule set, or maybe a 'chrome-added' 1HW Napoleonic set for future evening pick-up games.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Marking time...

First action, trapped Russians attempting
to break out of encirclement
 Last Tuesday, 'Jacko' came round for an afternoon's war gaming.  The Operation Crusader project on hold until I can read my notes again, we decided on a series of One Hour War Games from the Neil Thomas book.

All the games were set on the Russian Front, featuring the Italians ('Jacko's' kit) on the Axis side.  The first game featured a small Russian force (my fellows) , having been stranded by the rapid advance of the Italian Army, attempting to break out.  The Italians began with an infantry company on the ridge ready to hold up the Soviets - 3 infantry and one light tank company.  Hastening down from the north was a second Italian company and an anti-tank unit (appearing at move 3), and, finally, in pursuit from behind the Russians a medium tank company and two more infantry companies (appearing at move 6).

Unfortunately we forgot the move OR fire rule for the first couple of turns, which led to the quick demise of the single blocking infantry company.  Racing onwards, the Soviets brought the second blocking force into action and eliminated it before the pursuing column could intervene effectively.  Although I lost one infantry unit, one other, together with the tanks, broke through and escaped. The chances of the fourth unit getting away remained problematical, but the victory conditions having been fulfilled, we counted it a Soviet victory.

Scene of second action.  The upside-down dice holders
indicate location of the fords - Forest Ford and East Ford
The second game also pitted four Russian units against six Italian.  This time, it was the Italians, reeling from some defeat, hoping to push through a reinforced 'partisan' roadblock to escape.  The Russians had two irregular partisan companies, one in the woods on the far side of the river, ready to cover the road or the east ford as circumstances suggested,  the other in the town.  Behind the centre woods, the Russians placed an anti-tank gun unit, and a mortar company sat on the ridge to the rear.

Early action as the Italians try to force a passage through
the town.
The Italians attacked with 3 infantry companies, a tank company, and a couple of infantry guns (counting as 'mortars' ) .  Their main effort - tanks, two infantry companies, supported by battalion guns - was launched straight up the road and into the village.  The Russians hastily brought their anti-tank weapons across to cover the bridge crossing, which, of course, left the east ford entirely undefended.

The upshot was that the lead infantry company got shot up so badly, it ceased to function as an organised body of troops.  The tanks ran the gauntlet into the town and out the other end, where they were ambushed by the anti-tank guns, which had, betimes, moved their position to a point south-east of the town, covering the exit.  In the resulting duel, the tanks were reduced to a handful, but it cost the Russians their whole battery.  Meanwhile, the flanking Italian column - one infantry company accompanied by a battery of infantry guns, had crossed the east ford, and swung right across the front of the Russian mortars.  Though Italians were to take some incoming from the mortars, they were able to effect their escape, along with the surviving armour, and the remainder of the road column.

I ought to have totted up the losses in SP.  The Russians lost their anti-tank guns, but the remaining units were still in action - or at least capable of it - at the end.  But the Italians had made off to the south with five out of six units still under command.

Final action: 'Fortified defence'  - based loosely,
Mr Thomas tells us, on Fontenoy.
The final action was probably the most fun.  It was the 'Fortified Defence' scenario.  I had played it before as a Ruberia-Azuria (late 18th Century) action, about a year or so ago.  This time we tried it as a WW2 action.  The Italians were defending, with 3 infantry companies, a tank company and two infantry gun batteries, occupying two towns and a large wood.  The first wave of the Russian attack comprised four infantry, one anti-tank and one mortar companies.
As it turned out, the Italian artillery were to be battle winners - at least to begin with.  The scenario called for the attackers, once during the action, to 'refit' - which amounted to abandoning the six units in action. and bringing in the whole six units afresh.
Nr 1 Coy reduced to about half strength already!
It was needful.  Right from the start, things went badly for the assailants.  Nr3 Infantry Coy was reduced, in a single turn, from 15 to 1 SP.  The Italian artillery set a standard right then they were to maintain for the entire action.  Nr1 Company also took a hard knock to begin with.

The first wave was enough to wipe out the garrison of Zapadnyygorod, but no more, by which time the Russians were so weakened by losses, that this success could not be exploited.  I elected to bring on the second wave, just as the last of the first wave evaporated away.
Yep! That is just 1 sp remaining of the 15 Nr3 Coy
began with.
Rather than bring on the same six units, I rolled again to see what I could bring this time to the action.  Two tanks, one anti-tank and three infantry companies.  At this point, the Italian company that had been occupying the woods, was scurrying across the Russian front to reoccupy Zapadnyygorod.  That left Nr4 Russian Infantry, on the right, with no one to attack.  But the Russian medium and light tank companies, and the anti-tank were soon engaged in a brief and brisk confrontation with the Italian tanks, which had taken some loss in the earlier action.  In effect the Italian armour was outnumbered four to one, and its resistance was commensurately short.
The second Russian wave goes in.
Turning their attention to Zapadnyygorod town, the Russian infantry soon shovelled the remnants of the renewed garrison out of the place.  But the defenders, well supported by their artillery, exacted a heavy toll.  Then we turned out attention to the second town: Tsentrgrad.  For quite some time henceforth, I didn't rate our chances, so heavy were our losses (I seem to recall the Italian artillery shooting four sixes in a row, which , even if you dock a couple the time for shooting at tanks, quickly knocks a large hole in your battle strength.

But all the Russians had to do to win was to wipe out the town garrison, and send in a surviving infantry unit of their own and the battle was won.  So it proved, though it was a near run thing.  The Russians has won!
The Italians might be in trouble - the infantry hurrying to the
unoccupied town; the Italian armour facing formidable odds.
I admit that the fate of the first wave I felt certain would be shared by the second.  As it transpired, that was very nearly the case.  The Italians fought to the finish - not one of their units surviving intact - 90 Strength Points destroyed.  But there was precious little left of the Russians: 90 SP gone from the first wave and eighty from the second!

Personal news from the glazzy front:  had eyes looked at and a battery of tests on Monday last.  Booked in for cataract removal on Wednesday 17, a week and a half hence!  I am very pleased that the wait will have been so short, even 'going private'.