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Shadow of the Eagles at Partizan 2021

Sunday 10th October saw the re-scheduled Partizan 2021 wargames show opening its doors at the Newark Showground. I was fortunate enough to have friends in high places (a.k.a. Dave Ryan of Caliver Books and Partizan Press), so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to showcase Shadow of the Eagles right in front of the Caliver Books stand, in a prominent position near the entrances to the hall.

It has to be said that our game was rather overshadowed by the big (and I mean huge) games being demonstrated elsewhere in the hall. I went with a simple 6' x 4' table, and French versus Russians in 1812. Roy Boss had lent me some of his wonderful collection of 20mm Hinton Hunt figures, which were much admired on the day. Thank you so much Roy. The scenario was The Attack on the Shevardino Redoubt, which I found ready-made in volume 1 of Dave Brown's scenario books which he and others wrote to support the General de Brigade rules.

The only significant change I had to make was to reduce game length from the 25 turns Dave suggested - a game of 'Shadow' would never last that long! My target was 12 moves, but in fact the game was concluded in 8 turns, using the normal victory conditions from the rulebook. The redoubt was made a major objective, with a value of 3 units. The map I was working with is shown below. I would recommend any Napoleonic gamer to get hold of some or all of this series of books for the interesting and very do-able historical scenarios they contain.

The attacking French ended up with 24 units, whilst the Russians had 19 units. It seemed like a tough assignment for the Russians, but the two test games had given one victory each to the two nations, so the scenario seemed pretty well balanced.

On the day, three players took the French side (myself, Paul and Roland), whilst two (Steve and Jon) took the Russian side. Victory was with the French, although predictably it was Paul's control of the French left which decided things, whilst my head-on assaults against the redoubt had only limited success.

The game was full of action and rather intense at times, with some crazy close combats involving units piling in from all sides. The good news is that the rules coped well - at least as far as I was concerned!

The French advance begins. The village of Doronino is in the foreground

Shevardino village is soon under intense pressure from Paul's forces.

The village falls and the French left surges forward.

A French battalion gains a toehold in the redoubt. They were thrown out the next turn.

The Russian artillery pounds the attacking French 57th Line.

It's nearly all over. The Russian right is steadily retreating.

The Russian centre under Jon were aggressive to the end.

A final big close combat to resolve before the game ended.

For those who would like a rather more detailed account of the action, see Steve's Wargaming Addict blog, which also contains an excellent overview of the show with some nice photos. I was told by Dave that attendance was estimated to be the best ever, with at least 1,000 gamers having come through the doors. A great tribute to the organisers.

And finally, a word from our sponsor:

"Never leave home without your copy!"

Thanks again to Dave and my four compadres. I enjoyed every minute.

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