The scene in the drawing room shortly after Capability Savage's arrival
I was lying prostrate in my sick bed yesterday when I was roused into an approximation of life by loud roistering and an intense stench of linaseed, lamp blacking and turps. I made my way downstairs to find Capability Savage in occupation in the drawing room.
He was in fine fettle and despite the presence of a confused looking German hedge fund manager (CS seemed to be trying to sell him my mantel piece), an unmarried Thai lady and a small dog, had not managed to cause too much damage unsupervised. Greeting me in typically hearty fashion, he dispatched the German (without the mantle piece) and the Thai lady (with the dog), and produced a bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer mixed with orange squash.
This he pronounced, "An excellent vintage. I'm thinking of laying down a case or two for my nephews majority," and offered me some, but I demurred. Reason, piety and a desire to return to good health setting me against it.
We talked long and played the Czarnowo scenario from the new Russian book.
The field of battle
Czarnowo is a straight up attacker defender sort of affair. The Prussians have been beaten at Jena-Auerstadt and the French are now advancing through the Polish mud to deliver the kicking that will end at Freidland. The Russian army were retreating and Napoleon characteristically enough was determined to strike them a blow. Ostermann-Tolstoy (one of those Tolstoys) was equally determined to hold his position.
The game was a close one and had a number of interesting victory conditions. The French gained points for emptying the Russian redoubts (of which there were three). The Russian gained a point so long as they held the eponymous burg of Czarnowo on the left. Either side could get another point by holding both the bridges over the Wkra on the right.
I've found generally that this sort of game, that is one that has victory conditions like that, demand a great deal of close attention. It's very easy to lose focus and get sucked into a fight with no purpose while your opponent is manoeuvring to advantage.
The French sledgehammer advances on the Russian right
Savage threw his infantry forward on my right in typically aggressive fashion. I was hoping to push on my left where I had numerical and cavalry superiority, but his constant attacks meant that I didn't have the opportunity to do. It was a close game. Savage weakened my centre, while I hammered his left.
Heroes of the Day
In the end, the game was decided in the centre. I managed to get my Heavy Cuirassiers into the fight, smashing the French lights that had taken the redoubt. The game ended seven - three, but I think Savage had some bad die rolls and was too eager to go into square. I managed to put him into square with Cossack cavalry, which was awfully obliging of him. This cut down on his cards in hand and left the squares vulnerable to Russian guns.
I think Savage had had some Domestos that disagreed with him - but he perked right up after he found the Dishwasher tablets. He was still smiling when he was taken away in the ambulance.
Also, I saw one of these on the Internet.
I want one. Though I'm not sure where one finds 1/72 scale oxen.