Thursday, 29 March 2018

Game 61 : Bratislava 1805

This was a "what if" game. It assumes that Austerlitz did not happen and that the Allies are still advancing towards Vienna on the northern bank of the Danube, the French on the southern bank and working to generate a position to cross, block, then defeat the Allied army.
The game was designed by Bob, a regular attendee of these soirees!

Again I will just post some action pics with some information  to give a feel for the overall action.
The French have crossed one Corps sized formation over the river to block the Allied armies manoeuvring. The rest of the army starts to cross the Danube at 8 crossing points.

Bob also had "random events" generated from a table of events and a die roll. These fell into two rough categories. The first would impact on command and control of a specific character, Bernadotte on the French side and The Allied CinC on the other. The result would be some limited local disruption that lasted a turn.

The other events were weather related, ice flows destroying bridges to the Danube flooding, with details of the affects of any such happening.


Davout leads the crossing and is the initial blocking force. It has a Division of infantry and a Division  of cavalry, heavy dragoons. The infantry, especially with formed volleys in line, carries the day. They repulsed six charges by Russian cavalry to successfully exploit "the block" and halt, then drive back the Russians. There was a cavalry action on the far left of the French line, Davout's flank, where the Dragoon Division emerged the victor.


Next to Davout, Soult is attempting to move three Divisions across the Danube. Two would eventually cross, the third would eventually be hampered by all the bridges being destroyed by ice floes. However, as the weight of Soult pressed on the Allied line, now hinged as it was fighting on two fronts, the Allied line would eventually cave in.


Allied columns, further down the order of march, attempting to get to grips with the French to alleviate the pressure on the head of the army's column.


One of Bernadotte's Divisions attacking Austrians who must turn to fight. Both armies are now strung out along the battlefield.


The French manage to make space for part of the reserve cavalry. Cuirassiers pour through this gap. The fight against the Cossacks would be somewhat one sided!! The Cuirassiers then launch repeated attcks against Allied squares. The squares would hold, but it did stop the Allied army from further manoeuvring and helped isolate the head of the Allied army against Davout.



One of Bernadotte's Divisions managed to cross with only two light battalions before the ice swept away the bridge and stopped the remaining eight battalions crossing. These two light battalions would fight for nearly the entire game, in isolation, against a Russian Division of about fifteen battalions. Even outnumbered this heavily, they resisted all attacks until literally running out of men!! They also delayed an Austrian Division that was forced into line next to the Russian Division.
All these actions denuded the Armies column head of receiving reinforcements ina  timely fashion.


Another French Cuirassier Division advances, en masse, to charge the Allied centre, the infantry now in square. They would repulse the charges, but the French, Davout especially, had now crushed the Allied forces to their front and would now advance to roll up the Allied line.

The French claim victory!! A great game, everyone blamed Bob when something went wrong through the random events!!! Quite right!!!!!!!

Bob has not been put off and already has some ideas for another game. Graham is also putting together his ideas for a game. Its all good fun!


I've added the casualty table for comment. It also roughly gives the OB for both sides. Remember that anything approaching 30% really means combat ineffective.

French Formations
Losses %
Austro-Russian Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
IV Corps Soult
 
 
 
Adv Gde Bagration
 
 
 
St Hilaire
5
-
0
Kamensky
17
-
19
Vandamme
6
-
21
Engelhardt
35
-
65
LeGrand
15
-
50
Wittgenstein
-
41
21
Margaron
-
20
-
 
 
 
 
Corps Artillery
-
-
10
Buxhowden
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kienmayer
19
21
0
III Corps Davout
 
 
 
Dokturov
5
-
0
Friant
4
0
13
Denisov
-
6
-
Bourcier
-
14
29
Corps Artillery
-
-
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Duroc
1
-
-
Kolowrat
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jurczik
17
-
0
I Corps Bernadotte
 
 
 
Berg
14
-
29
Raffiniere
36
-
0
Corps Artillery
-
-
0
Drouet
25
-
0
 
 
 
 
Kellerman
20
-
0
Liechtenstein
 
 
 
Corps Artilley
-
-
41
Essen
-
28
23
 
 
 
 
Hohenhoe
-
0
0
Cavalry Reserve Murat
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nansouty
-
37
0
 
 
 
 
D’Hautpol
-
15
17
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
The usual pic of "rogue's gallery". As an aside, a spider has just squeezed inside the keyboard as I type.  Just as well I nearly finished! Next game is a Peninsular game, the first playtest with British troops. The actual Brits haven't arrived yet, recruits should start arriving from June onwards. I'm basing the battle on Albuera. You'll have to wait and see what the report brings!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Game 60 : Dreden 1813

 
This was the Battle of Dresden, 1813. It took place in a local hotel as this was the "annual" "supagame"that I organise. There were 23 players and the battle lasted for a week. To say we used a lot of figures would be an understatement! I thought I would introduce this battle with some pics of the logistics involved in setting up the game. The terrain takes a solid day to set up and the figures take a full morning to deploy on table.

 

Above shows the tables being set up. They are trestle tables supplied by a local company. The battlefield had three main tables, each 6' by 32.5'. There was a fourth, smaller add on, 6' by 10' in size.


This shows the transport system for the figures. They are all made by my neighbour, who is considerably skilled and resourceful.


The tables are covered with a carpet in a single piece. The carpet is stapled onto the tables. The result is a uniform look and an extremely stable playing surface, as the tables, quite wobbly individually, are like solid 32.5' long solid tables.

I've adopted the same approach for the battle pictures. Some pics to wet the appetite and minimal explanation as the "each pic speaks a thousand words".
The battle itself was after the Armistice in 1813. Dresden was a major supply depot and centre of ops for the French and the Allies were keen to capture it after Austria had entered the campaign. In short the Allies blew it. They arrived in front of the city, dithered when it was weak and then Napoleon turned up with the main army.


The pic above shows the depth of the battlefield. We had plenty of space for the gamers but did run into the inevitable wargaming problem when fighting over the table gaps.


An Austrian Corps advancing in the centre. It gives a feel of the "mass effect" that is generated in this scale.


The above is the Grossgarten, it is a pivotal feature in the Allied line and was taken by the French to split the Allied forces in two. It is enormous!!

This is included simply to show the most beautiful woman in the world in the background. Anne, my wife, makes all these games possible. Without her enthusiasm, to add to mine, and a lot of time helping organise and given she has no interest in playing, I certainly believe I am the luckiest guy in the world. Enough embarrassment for now!!!!


This pic shows the battlefield depth. Nothing but troops visible as you go into the distance. My aim doing the blog this way is to demonstrate what can be done in this smaller scale, using larger units. These large battles will hopefully find themselves in print and published and I hope to be able to make this happen some time next year.

Next up it is back to the Situation room and a Napoleonic battle designed by one of the gamers who regularly attends. It is called "Bratislava" and is based on a scenario where the Austerlitz did not happen as the Allies were not duped into attacking and that the battle occurs later on that winter.

After Bratislava it is likely to be the first Peninsular playtest to see how the games play with British troops as they are organised as companies in two ranks. The British troops themselves will arrive later this year, so I will Hungarians pretending! Why Hungarians, because when deployed in line they will be the same length as a standard British btn. For anyone keen to understand the relevance, Hungarians are 180 men based in 6 companies, each one a 3 rank line. This gives a frontage of 60 men. For guidance, standard French are 36 man frontage. Brit btns will be 120 men in 10 companies, based in 2 rank lines. So the frontage is 60.

Its still all go in the eight year of this project!!! Enjoy.


 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Game 59 : Lutzen 1813

This game is arguably one of the best games we have played at the Situation Room. I will leave people to look up Lutzen, but in short, The Allies surprise a French Corps that is in danger of being overrun and the French pour reinforcements to the battlefield.
The battle goes backwards and forwards. One village withheld five assaults before being forced to yield ground. We used a timing system for each turn, nominally 20 minutes and fought 32 turns for nearly the entire day.

This time I am going to just post some pictures to show the action rather than describe it. If anyone wants any information on a particular pic, then I will rack my brain to try and remember what the action was about. Enjoy the pics.







We fought this battle over the best part of a full week. It engaged everyone all of the time and is memorable that foe all the fighting we did, we never got a result!! Both armies still held the field and at nightfall we all decided that the game was a draw but that the Allies had done marginally better. Both sides came close to crucial breakthroughs, but these were always thwarted.

 
The usual rogue's gallery. We had two other players, but they left earlier in the week.
The next battle is going to be Napoleonic, but I don't know yet. It will be either a "what if" scenario designed by one of the gamers or will be a first stab at a Peninsular battle. The Brits bring unique challenges with different basing as they have 2 deep lines per company and play testing will need to identify any potential wrinkles that may need ironing out.
Keep a look out! 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Game 58 : Shevardino

Well it is back to Napoleonics. I wanted a smallish game with a different challenge and so selected Shevardino, the day before Borodino.
Its a good game as it pitches a Corps from each side on a front that is too large for either to comfortably control and cover.
The French are based on the infantry 3 Divisions from Davout's Corps plus a Polish Division from Poniatowski. Cavalry support is provided by Davout's Light Cavalry Division and the Light Cavalry Divisions from 1st & 2nd Reserve Cavalry Corps.
The Russians are based on Borodzin's Corps, reinforced with a Jaeger Division. Sievers Cavalry Corps, less the Light Cavalry Division, is also in support.


This is the view from the left of the French line. The redoubt, in the centre of the battlefield, is in the centre of the pic. The village is Shevardino itself and, if you imagine, the Smolensk New road is off to the left on the other side of the Kolotcha stream.


The Poles and one of Davout's Divisions attacked Shevardino. This was initially held by the Russian attached Jaegers supported by the Grenadier Division. This forced the French to contest the centre with cavalry. Here you see a brave, or ignominious, charge against Russian 12pdrs. Remove one Cavalry Regiment off the table!!


Here you see the rationale for the Cavalry charge. The French are advancing against the Redoubt directly. This has the affect of pinning the Russians in the centre as the French are really trying to advance both flanks as the main attack.


Shevardino hots up. The Poles would march straight into the attack. The Russian Jaegers were to get mauled badly and driven back and forced to retire to attempt to save the Division.


The French now have control of Shevardino. The Russians have committed the Grenadier Division which has managed to get a tenuous hold on the rear part of the village. Grenadier losses are high.


The French infantry in the centre are retiring to reform after their attack was blunted by the Russian defenders. The Russians have the converged Grenadier Division in the centre and this fights the French to a standstill.


The Russians themselves are thankful for the respite as although intact, losses have been heavy. They are in no fit condition to resume fighting until they manage a period of time in reserve.


The Russian left flank faired better. Here, the Russians had an Infantry Division with a Cuirassier Division in support. The Cuirassiers managed to run amok some French light cavalry and then ride down some infantry to stall the French advance. Here you see the Cuirassiers making their way back to their own lines and relative safety.

French Formations
Losses %
Russian Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
III Corps Davout
 
 
 
Borodzin
 
 
 
Friant
9
-
3
Neveroski
19
-
0
Compans
16
-
19
Voronsov
29
-
3
Morand
16
-
0
Mecklenberg
34
-
-
Krasinksi (attached)
11
-
9
Jaegers (attached)
48
-
19
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cavalry Nansouty
 
 
 
Sievers
 
 
 
Girardin
-
59
38
Duka
-
19
25
Pajol
-
42
33
Panchulidzev I
-
9
-
Bruyere
-
65
0
Emanuel
-
0
-

The above table shows the forces involved and the losses taken. The net result was fairly historical. The French advance, from their left, could not really be stopped but in the other places progress was limited. The Russians still held but would have to withdraw as their right flank was totally compromised.


Here we all are. And it wasn't even that cold!!! Next game up is Lutzen.