Wagram 1809 – Part 2

Dearest brother Francis, 

The 6th July will forever live in the memory of your great Holy Roman Empire for your Haupft Armee have defeated the Corsican invader on the fields of the Marchfeldt. Over 2 days your brave army have for the second time defeated the armies of France. Though outnumbered, the brave men of your Empire,  led by your brothers, Ludwig and John along with your other commanders were truely magnificent leading men again and again into battle. Our losses have been great, but Europe now knows Napoleon and his armies can be beaten and are sure to rise up against him at last!

The winds of change turn on Napoleon

I will make no apologies, but this report is going to be a wee bit biased, I was Archduke Charles(and Ludwig) after all and as happens in such a large game, I did lose track of what was happening a tad.

My plan for the Austrians was fairly straight forward. On day 1(saturday) we were to hold the line and inflict as many casualties on the French as possible, particularly targeting their artillery as I felt by eliminating as many batteries as possible whilst preserving our artillery, we could then move troops from the Russbach Heights on day 2 combined with the arrival of Archduke John on our left flank and Wiessenwolf on our right flank to take the attack to the French.

So the initial orders for most of the commanders was to hold the line, use your artillery and where possible eliminate smaller French formations. Kolowrat was ordered to advance and take Breitenlee to his front as fast a possible and deny it to the French. This would then provide an anchor for the southern flank. Klenau was to advance , sweep away the small French force to his front and then turn and attack around Breitenlee the flank of the French forces fighting for Aderklaa.

These orders lasted…hmm…nope…didn’t even make to end of turn 1!

The first action of the day was for Massena to give orders for Ct Cyr’s exposed bttns who had charged straight through the village, chased out the defenders and then found themselves under fire from 3 sides! They decided to rally back.

St Cyr’s exposed bttns on the wrong side of Aderklaa. French elan taken just a wee bit to far!

 

The Austrians then gave their forces orders….Kolowrat ordered his divisions to advance on Breitenlee…they decided not to follow that order….Klenau went charging across the open fields to his front….he was going so fast he went right past Brietenlee and the exposed flank of Massena and headed for the small division of Boudet between Aspern and Essling. Idiot.

Elsewhere the Austrians held the line, Lichtenstein made preparations to attack Aderklaa, a critical part of the line that the Austrians had lost.

I positioned Charles on the Russbach plateau as he started the game with the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers in tow along with a landwher bttn, moving them to support Rosenberg. Ludwig was behind Bellegarde’s corps.

One concept I had adopted for the game was to marry players up to match commands and game rolls that suited their individual styles of play. The French right of Montbrun and Davout were aggressive players, Oudinot and Eugene steadier players, Massena plays like Rommel(there is only attack!), Marmont is aggressive and Napoleon likes his guard so I did not expect it to be wasted. The Austrians were similar, Nordman/John would be aggressive(exactly what I wanted), Rosenberg vastly experienced using Austrians and I expected to hold the critical flank, Hohenzollern would hold the plateau for ever, Bellegarde was steady, Lichtenstein was aggressive, Kolowrat normally was an aggressive player…his dice deserted him and Klenau was perfect for his role(he was just to perfect in the end!). As for me, give me cavalry and ‘Follow Me’ orders and am a happy man….couldn’t wait for day 2 when would be in thick of it as Bellegarde!

I will report on the battle by sectors.

Davout/Montbruns attack on Markgrafneusiedl.

Village of Markgrafneusiedl with Davout/Montbrun arrayed opposite Rosenberg/Nordman.

Davout prepares to attack. The stream was fordable downstream by artillery. Note the large elite bttns.

Montbrun crosses the Russbach with Nordman to his front.

View from the Tower(an Alan Hollows creation) in Rosenbergs defensive position on the Russbach Heights behind Markgrafneusiedl.

Davout crosses stream and assaults village. Artillery moving to open ground on flank and Arrighi’s Cuirassiers in reserve to right rear.

Grouchys Dragoons moving to attack Nordmans flank. Montvrun behind has sustained casualties, Morand can be seen advancing in centre. Note the darkened patch to the front of the Dragoons….a present from a stupid 40k gamer who leaned over table holding a coffee…and spilt it. We should be thankful the neanderthal missed figures.

French pushing past village and heading up to Tower. Lots of casualties are being inflicted but large units on both sides along with Elite French meant a lot more grinding down was to occur.

The sun comes out on Davouts attack. Left unit shaken, has 4 casualty counters on it.

Rosenberg powered by Coke Zero leans on table with Hohenzollern( saturday version)in background.

French flank. Grouchy was outstanding, from Austrian perspective. He failed countless orders, through blunders and generally kept his 3 Dragoon regts sitting around. Truely awesome!!

What is he thinking?

The village is still holding on!

French high water. They have taken the village but Morand’s division has broken, Grouchy still won’t move and is now taking artillery and musketry fire, John has arrived on the table edge and is preparing to roll down the now open flank.

And so ended the battle on the French right flank. Rosenberg and Nordman held off Davout and Montbrun long enough for Archduke John to make an appearance and start to roll up the French flank. The French were not helped by coming out on the wrong side of most cavalry combats and then Grouchy’s Dragoons refusing to obey any orders.

The neighbouring conflict was for the Russbach Heights…..that will be part 3.

 

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Wagram 1809 – more than just a refight! Part 1

On the weekend of August 5 – 6 2017 the Garage Gamers and friends staged over 2 days a refight of the Battle of Wagram at the Wellington Warlords(our local club) annual convention, Call to Arms. The infinitely  insane Mr Paul Weakley made terrain boards for the battlefield(a separate article will follow on them). A month earlier we had staged a practice game on a club day at Warlords all be it on a smaller table as some of the terrain boards were not quite ready as well as some of the Austrian units.

On the French side Russ repised his role as Napoleon with the able assistance of Brian Smaller(Montbrun), Rhys Jones(Davout), Paul Weakley(Oudinot), Alan Hollows(Eugene), John Hutton(Massena) and Graeme Henderson(Marmont). Russ also parceled out commands to various players as the game progressed.

The Austrians were myself(Terry) as  Arch DukeCharles(and Bellegarde on sunday)with Steve Thompson(Nordman/Arch Duke John), Paul Goldstone(Rosenberg), Peter Haldezos(Hohenzollern – saturday), Ray Hutchinson(Hohenzollern – sunday), Keith Gates(Bellegarde – saturday), Daniel Jones(Lichtenstein), Brian Trott(Kollowrat) and Mark Conroy(Klenau).

Why Wagram? This battle is one that has always fascinated me as a possible ‘What if?’ scenario.

  • What if Archduke John had actually marched to the sound of the guns and arrived hours earlier?
  • What if some of Reuss’s corps was committed to the Austrian southern flank?
  • What if the Austrian Commanders showed a bit more aggression?
  • and the biggie…what would a group of veteran wargamer’s do!

The table played on was 24 foot long on its Northern edge and 6 foot deep. On the western edge it would extend 18 foot and on the south 12 foot so the table looked like an inverted J. Additionally the French reserves would be on a small table separate from the main table, and a small extension was made to allow for the cavalry battle north and west of Markgrafneusiedl.

The battle would commence at approximately 10.30am on Day 2.

Battle of Wagram, second day at 10.30am

The armies of both sides had been scaled down to match the space they would cover on the battlefield.

The French commands are as follows:

Napoleon CR10(Russ) – Dorsenne, Curial, Lauriston,Walthier, Nansouty, Von Wrede and Dupas

  • Dorsenne CR8 –  2 Old Guard btts
  • Curial CR8 – 3 Young Guard bttns
  • Lauriston CR9 – 3 Guard foot batteries, 1 Guard Horse battery
  • Walthier CR7 – (Guard cavalry) Chasseurs a Cheval, Empress Dragoons, Grenadiers a Cheval and Polish Chevaulegers
  • Nansouty CR7 – 2 Carabinier regts, 2 Cuirassier regts, horse battery
  • Von Wrede CR8(Bavarians) – 4 bttns, 1 light cavalry,battery
  • Dupas CR8 – 2 bttns, 2 Saxon bttns

Davout CR10(Rhys) – Friant, Gudin, Puthod and Arrighi

  • Friant CR9 – 5 large bttns, 2 batteries
  • Gudin CR8 – 5 large bttns, battery
  • Puthod CR8 – 4 unreliable bttns, battery
  • Arrighi CR8 –  2 Cuirassier regts

Montbrun CR9(Brian S) – Montbrun, Grouchy and Morand

  • Montbrun CR9 – 3 light cavalry, horse battery and large bttn
  • Grouchy CR8 – 3 Dragoon regts
  • Morand CR9 – 3 large bttns, battery

Oudinot CR8(Paul W) -Tharreau, Frere, Grandjean and Colbert

  • Tharreau CR8 – 6 bttns, 2 batteries
  • Frere CR8 – 5 bttns, battery
  • Grandjean CR8 – 5 Elite bttns, battery
  • Colbert CR8 – 2 light cavalry

Eugene(Alan) CR8 – Brousier, McDonald, Grenier, Durutte, Pachtod and Sahuc

  • Brousier CR8 – 3 bttns
  • McDonald CR8 – 4 bttns, battery
  • Grenier CR8 – 4 bttns, battery
  • Durutte CR8 – 4 bttns, battery
  • Pachtod CR8 – 3 bttns, battery
  • Sahuc CR8 – 2 light cavalry

Massena(John) CR9 – St Cyr, Molitor, Boudet, Legrand, Lasalle and St Sulpice

  • St Cyr CR9 – 3 large bttns*, 2 Hessian Bttns, battery.   *2 started on 3 wounds
  • Molitor CR8 – 4 bttns, battery
  • Boudet CR8 – 3 bttns
  • Legrand CR8 – 2 bttns ,2 Baden bttns, battery
  • Lasalle CR9 – 3 light cavalry, horse battery
  • St Sulpice CR8 – 2 Cuirassiers

Marmont(Graeme) CR8 – Claperede and Clauzel

  • Claperede CR8 – 3 bttns
  • Clauzel CR8 – 3 bttns

There were special rules for the troops directly under Napoleons command on the reserve table. On turn 1 Russ could order 2 commands onto the main table. There after each odd turn Russ could order another and towards end of game the remaining 2 were ordered on. On the the second turn after the order, ie order on turn 1 on turn 3 command arrives on main table. Russ could chose to command the command himself, or hand command over to one of his players.

Both Walthier and Nansouty put in petulant performances on the day after Besseries was wounded so they are reduced to CR7 with a -1 on charge orders.

The Austrian commands were as follows:

Arch Duke Charles CR8 and Arch Duke LudwigCR8(Terry)

Nordman CR8(Steve) – Vecsey, von Frelich and Nostitz

  • Vecsey(CR8) -bttn Grenz, regt light cav and cav battery
  • von Frelich(CR8) – bttn Jager, 2 regt light cav
  • Nostitz(CR8) – regt Dragoons, 2 regt light cav

Rosenberg CR8(Paul G) – Hohenlohe, Rohan and Radetzky

  • Hohenlohe CR7 – 4 large bttns, bttn landwehr and battery
  • Rohan CR7 – 2 large bttns, 2 elite bttns, 2 bttns landwehr and 2 batteries
  • Radetzky CR9 – 2 bttns, bttn landwehr , 1 light cavalry and battery

Hohenzollern CR7(Pete on saturday and Ray on sunday) – Brady, Ulm and Siegenthal

  • Brady CR8 – 5 large bttns, 2 landwehr and 2 batteries
  • Ulm CR7 – 5 large bttns, 2 landwher and 2 batteries
  • Siegenthal CR8 – bttn Jager, bttn landwher and light cav

Bellegarde CR7(Keith on saturday and Terry on sunday) – Fresnel and Dedovich

  • Fresnel CR7 – 4 large bttns, Jager bttn, regt light cavalry, 2 batteries
  • Dedovich CR8 – 5 large bttns, 2 batteries

Kolowrat CR7(Brian T) – St Julian and Vukassovich

  • St Julian CR7 – 3 large bttns, 1 bttn and 2 batteries
  • Vukassovich Cr8 – 2 large bttns, Jager bttn, landwher bttn, regt Uhlans and 2 batteries

Klenau CR8(Mark) – Hohenfeld, Kottulinsky and Vincent

  • Hohenfeld CR7 – 2 bttns, Landwehr bttn , battery
  • Kottulinsky CR7 – 2 large bttns, 2 bttns, Landweht bttn, battery
  • Vincent CR7 – Grenz bttn, Landwehr bttn, 2 light cavalry, cav battery

Leichtenstein CR8(Daniel) – Schwarzenberg, Hessen Homburg, D’Aspre and Prochaska

  • Schwarzenberg CR8 – regt Dragoons, 2 regts light cavalry
  • Hessen-Homburg CR7 – 3 regts Cuirassiers, cav battery
  • D’Aspre CR8 – 4 regts Grenadiers, battery
  • Prochaska CR8 – 4 regts Grenadiers, battery

From V Corps – Weissenwolf CR8  -3 bttns, Grenz Bttn, Landwehr bttn, regt Uhlans and battery

Archduke John CR7(Steve) – Jellacic, Frimont and Collerodo

  • Jellacic CR7 – 2 bttns, Grenz bttn, battery
  • Frimont CR8 – Grenz bttn, regt Dragoons, regt light cavalry
  • Colloredo CR7 – Grenadier bttn, 2 bttns, Grenz bttn and regt light cavalry

The Austrians had a special rule a special rule for ‘Follow Me’ orders. To represent commanders grabbing units and rushing them around the battlefield in support or to combat, they get a +1 on any ‘Follow me’ order. In addition Archdukes Charles and Ludwig can do a ‘Follow me’ order on any 2 units within 12 inches with a +2 modifier. These units can only move and cannot end the move in combat. The standard +1 for an order into combat still applies.

The Austrians had 2 off table forces which would hopefully arrive on day 2. Weissenwolf from V Corps would approach from the west and Arch John and the Army of Italy would approach from the east.

Below are some pictures of the set up at the start of turn 1.

French right flank with commands of Montbrun, Grouchy and Morand facing Austrians of Nordman.

Village of Deutsch-Wagram on western edge of Russbach Heights looking to Aderklaa . French across stream are Eugene and Massena , Austrians Bellegarde and Lichtenstein.

The combatants in the background! Table shows how great the Russbach Heights looked. French from right to left are Davout, Oudinot and Eugene in distance. Austrians are Nordman, Rosenberg, Hohenzollern and Bellegarde in distance.

The force in centre around Aderklaa. Massena holds it but St Cyr has pushed to far and Liechtenstein is about to punish them.

Oudinot facing the Russbach Heights with Hohenzollern awaiting him on the ridge line.

View from Rosenberg’s command post at the French hordes approaching!

Kolowrat’s corps opposite southern part of Massena’s corps.

Massena and Eugene massed opposite Bellegarde around Aderklaa.

The French right flank juggernaut that is Davout’s corps along with Oudinot opposite Rosenberg defending the lowest point of the escarpment of the Russbach Heights.

Klenau on the southern flank rushing for Boudet’s small isolated division of Massena’s corps. This flank had wide open spaces.

Here ends part 1 of the battle as the players are poised for turn 1.

Part 2 to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wagram 2017 – a practice game

Over the past few years the group has organised some BIG games like the Leipzig and Waterloo weekend games with 50+ gamers from around NZ at times joining in.

This year is a more modest event where 10-12 will be refighting the Battle of Wagram 1809. This particular part of the Napoleonic Wars is my personal favourite and one I have pondered for many a year.

Over the past 4 months we have been refighting various parts of the battlefield as we played around with the rules, the terrain, refined the sizes of the commands etc.

The game we played this time was based around Day 2 of the battle, 6th July 1809 and where Massena has completed his march across the Austrian front and is ready to face the corps of Kollowrat and Klenau. The time is roughly 1-2pm in the afternoon.

In the test games we have been recreating the battle as it occurred, however when we game the refight it will be different. I have always been fascinated by the idea of not punishing the Austrians by playing their commanders as they were but allowing, to a certain extent, to allow we as wargamers to be, well, US! And the ‘What if’ of Archduke John making the battlefield, and allowing the Austrians to draw upon Reuss’s 5th Corps and make it a fight to the death. So for this game I randomised one of Reuss’s divisions arriving late in the day.

The map below is from John H Gill 1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume 3: Wagram and Zaim. The section we would game was from Sussen-brunn to just north of Aspern.

The Austrians were set up as below with Klenau(PaulG) at the far end and Ray(Kollowrat) the near end.

The French set up had Alan(Lasalle/Marulaz and Legrand) at the top, PaulW(Massena, Molitor, Saint Cyr and St Sulspice) in the centre and Keith with McDonald in the near end. PaulW had the 4 batteries from massed batteries.

Turn 1 and the French use a ‘Follow me’ order for to cavalry charge Austrian battery that PaulG had placed in advance of his line.

It seemed such a good idea, a second follow me was made!

However Lasalle was having an off day, the battery saved all 6 hits!

And 3rd Corps waits….. 

McDonald advances, the Austrian Uhlans spent the entire game doing…nothing…they would not charge!   

Klenau’s grenze formed square as French cavalry were hanging around…so the French columns came in.

Below Klenau has infantry blundering forward as the French close in.

Below Kollowrat had blundered off table, marched back on and advanced, only to suffer extreme casualties and only 1 of 4 units remained!

Kollowrat’s remaining Korps forces attack to assist Klenau’s flank.


The French grand battery maintains a no move area for the Austrians.

Not a happy sight, Austrian Hussars attacking a French line unit, and then getting Cuirassiers up their rear.

To the north the Austrian Uhlans are still refusing to move, and there is no one else left!

And that was game called as the Austrians, that remained would have been retiring and the Reuss division that should have arrived Goldie kept failing to get ordered onto the table! Both PaulG and Ray had blunders which removed units from the table, and failed orders to get units to move or charge where as the French were much agreeable to their orders. It was a major influence on the result coupled with the Austrian reserves failing to arrive.

The Battle for the Wheatfield, Gettysburg Day 2

Following on from the Battle for the Peach Orchard, we gamed the neighbouring wheatfield as well. This game was played in the Garage.

A map of the set up is below.

The Union players were Alan and PaulG while Russ and Terry would be Rebs.

The battle is an engagement where the Union has 3 small brigades on table, 2 Reb brigades attack onto the table and then reinforcements for both sides arrive at differing times.

Paul had the brigade of Swietzer(3 regts), Alan had Tilton (Command rating 7 cautious with 2 regts) and de Trobriand(3 regts and a battery at north edge of wheatfield) at the set up stage. On turn one Paul gets Cross and 3 regts, on turn 2 Alan gets Kelly and the Irish with 2 regts, Paul gets Zook and 3 regts. On turn 3 Alan gets Brooke and 3 regts. All arrive on northern edge of wheatfield.

Russ had Anderson(Command rating 9 , 4 large regts) arriving on the southern edge and Terry with Kershaw(CR9, 3 large regts , Elite) arriving on western edge on turn 1.On turn 2 on southern edge Russ gets Semmes with 4 regts, elite. Then on turn 5 Terry gets Wofford(Aggressive) with 5 elite Georgian regts following in nbehind Kershaw.

Below is the initial set up with Sweitzer/Tilton brigades in the woods. Tilton is in the salient. Poor sods.

Kershaw’s brigade advances on. Large units get an extra shooting dice,2 extra combat dice plus 1 extra stamina.

Anderson advances on.

This is what Kershaws attack would have looked like to Sweitzers men as the Rebs moved through the open ground towards them.

And here are Kerhaws men giving it to Tilton. I decided better to gang up on the facing regt rather than move into the crossfire beyond. Paul responded by moving one of Sweitzers regts to fill the gap between Tilton and de Trobriand.

Semmes brigade arrives on southern edge. This was Russ’s second brigade and the link to Anderson so we could begin to roll back the Union until turn 5 when Wofford will roll in from the west.

The Union reinforcements looked like this as they queue up to enter the wheatfield.

Anderson holding the line as the blue coats flood the wheatfield!

Zook has some friends!! Thankfully the Union brigades did not quite follow their orders and some rushed up….meaning could not fire before Anderson got a shot at them……so bit disjointed an attack. And Anderson has 4 large regts so thats 16 shooting dice a turn against stamina 3 Union regts so a few good southern volleys and the blue bellies will be in trouble.

Semmes advances towards Tilton/de Trobiand

Over in the west Union shooting has halted Kershaw’s disordered regts. In standard Black Powder, Elite units roll on a 4+ at the start of their turn to recover from disorder. In ACW supplement, that is a 6+ and I just wasn’t throwing any of those. But being large units I was dishing out some firepower and Tilton now had 1 whupped unit. If you fail a break test from shooting you are deemed whupped so u must withdraw and stay 12 inches away from the enemy and are permanently shaken.

The Union brigades march across the wheatfield. In the foreground is a whupped unit retiring.

Just testing some new toys below. LED smoke lights that flicker.

AWESOME.

Paul has moved a regt from Sweitzer to assist Tilton in the salient. As Wofford was due on it should make my race for the wheatfield easier. With Semmes moving up to link with Anderson we should be able to roll back the smaller, weakened Union brigades.

It wasn’t all going to plan, Semmes Blunders and retires!

Anderson holding the road/wall line and the 2 regts of crazy Irish can be seen in centre left heading for the woods to support Sweitzer. The blunder by Semmes leaves Anderson a bit exposed longer than anticipated but these are hardy southern boys! But Anderson is doing enough shooting damage.

Wofford moved up to support an advance regt of Kershaw’s while Kershaw is rallying the unit behind.

Pauls east most brigade would just not follow orders and advance on Anderson’s open flank!

Semmes has recovered and here he comes! The firefight in the Salient was continuing but the Union were in poor shape.

And Semmes gets charge in on a flank, they won the combat but the staunch blue bellies stood. Next Reb turn another unit went in. That did it. The shaken/whupped Union units are pulling back in the woods.

In the west Wofford/Kershaw have shot up the Union and only the newly arrived Irish brigade was not in retreat. The Irish are armed with smoothbores(shorter range) so the super intelligent rebs are sitting out of range and just…shooting!

The mess that are the Union brigades as Kershaw/Wofford and Semmes roll them back.

And the end game….Semmes has moved up and linked with Anderson, Wofford can be seen on Semmes flank and the Union are on the run.

Anderson watches the retreating Union brigades.

 

The SOUTH shall RISE AGAIN!!

 

Gettysburg : Peach Orchard 2 July 1863

Recently Russ, Alan, Goldie and I ventured out to the Hutt Club to have an ACW game. Goldie picked the scenario so it was a refight of Gettysburg Day 2 where the Rebels were attacking from Seminary Ridge towards Cemetary Ridge. The rules of choice as ever are ‘Black Powder’ with the addition of the ‘Glory, Hallelujah’ supplement.

On the Confederate side Russ would have the brigades of Barksdale, Wilcox and Wofford. Alan would have the brigades of Posey, Wright and Lang. They also have reserve batteries under Porter. Barksdales Mississippians had the following special rules: Morale 3, Stamina 4, Rebel Yell(reroll 1 miss in H to H on turn charge, Uppity(ignore reluctance to charge and add +1 to charge, and may use initiative to charge). They are elite so roll to remove disorder on  6 at start of turn. Command ratings were Barksdale and Porter 9, Posey 7 and the rest 8.

On the Union side Goldie(Handcock) would have the brigades of Harrow, Hall and Smyth with Webb off table. Terry(me) had the privilege of not only being Sickles, but having the brigades of Graham, Brewster and Carr. Additionally I had 3 batteries under McGilvery which I could attempt to order onto the battlefield and another brigade under Willard which was freshly raised. Command ratings were Handcock and McGilvery 9, Sickles, Carr, Brewster and Graham 7, the rest 8.

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Starting set up as above. Top centre are Sickles 3 brigades of  Graham/Brewster and Carr lined up 2 deep on fence line of Emmitsburg Rd. Graham is the top brigade in the Peach Orchard. Opposite them in the woods are Barksdale/Wilcox with Wofford off table behind Barksdale. On the centre right is Langs brigade around Spangler Farm. The .Union force in the centre is Harrow with Hall and Smyth back on the ridge. Bottom right are part of Posey’s brigade. Wright is off table.

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View from Rebel side with Wilcox on left and Barksdale on the right. Our batteries are normally 2 gun batteries but we are short on guns(didn’t help I left box of them on Garage Table) so made them 1 gun batteries but tried to leave space as if were 2 bases. Opposite them are my 3 brigades from left to right of Carr/Brewster/Graham.

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Shot down table a a turn on……Rebs are advancing on fence line. Alan had some trouble getting his brigades going but got there.

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At this point I have to admit to throwing an amazing number of 5’s and 6’s in my first few turns of shooting. Barksdale brigade are like facing French Imperial Guard…they just keep coming….. having superior  morale and stamina makes them hard to hurt…and the Elite reroll on a 6 rather than 4+ was a blessing! We rated the fence as a -1 to hit from small arms fire.

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Being super troops Russ sent several in….you will note my lovely Zouaves have 6 casualty counters, but with the aid of 3 supports and double 6’s on the morale test from the combat , I survived. Am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I beat them in the next round of combat and they popped. You will see 3 casualties on the unit beside them……Russ all day was doing lots of damage with his guns where as mine were not so good.

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In centre Alan has a unit up on Rogers Farm. More coming into shot.

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A look down table from Alans position. Pauls(Goldie) reinforcement brigade of Webb can be seen moving up from behind the ridge. I am reaching across and moving my reserve brigade of Willard. McGilvray had managed to bring 1 reserve battery on. On the far top of screen is my unit of Berdans sharpshooters who had moved from behind Brewsters brigade to the open flank of Grahams brigade. I took this as a suicide mission with aim of drawing the fire of the 2 batteries out there from shooting at my line. Graham and Brewsters brigades have backed away from the fence line and with Barksdales brigade a bit worse for wear my aim of getting them out of medium/close artillery range and hopefully rally some morle back on some of the units.

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Here are the sharpshooters….much to my glee Russ sent a unit of Barksdales brigade hunting them as well…woohoo!!

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Russ has a shaken unit up against fenceline…..I have backed off my centre(1 whupped unit) with aim of rallying damaged units in second line. With commanders all 7’s needed keep them outside 12 inches enemy to not reduce them to 6’s. I was rolling 8’s….consistently. Wilcox can be seen advancing on road.

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Here is Alans troops lined up for the race to Cemetery Ridge.

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In centre Lang’s small brigade is in trouble. Paul has a unit heading into flank.

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A shot down lines…..far to many casualty counters and darn hard to rally any off. I decided to sacrifice my guns as speed bumps hold up Russ troops while tried to rally brigades. In background is McGilvrey frantically trying to bring those reserve guns on.

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Alan was taking the pictures so we have more shots of Russ v me. The top Reb unit against the fence is straight off my painting table…38th Virginia!

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I got all carried away and sent some units to try get Wilcox in the flank….these chaps then decided to be unsporting and interfere.

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Carr’s Union brigade still in place with the reinforcements of Willard rushing into the gap…..aim….scare Russ and shoot up the guns and also provide block to rally units behind from Brewster and Grahams brigades. Silly sods forgot to load their guns.

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Paul makes an impressive line against Alan’s Rebs. Alan does have a few guns at close range which is bound to hurt.

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Russ charges in again. Unusual site of a unit in attack column. Formed this way to make it through the gap.

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Shot down table……Alan still not over fenceline, Paul holding centre in advanced position, I have pushed more of Carr’s brigade across road and rest holding on. Far top the unit of Russ’s that was chasing my sharpshooters has beaten them and now turned back to main combat. Thankfully one of the reserve batteries had marched on ready to hold them off. By a miracle had rallied 2 of the shaken units to reduce risk of Graham/Brewster breaking.

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The end game. Rebels had reached high water mark and been held or pushed back. We called it time as hall was wanting to close but the day belonged to the Union(I am not biased…honest!).

Alan downloaded the photos for me and he left the picture below.

The start of his Carthaginian Army.

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An Update!

A small update.

Since the Aspern game we have had several games  where we are working through the new Black Powder ACW supplement ‘Glory,Hallelujah’. I have run 2 games based on scenarios from the book with some pictures from the ‘Bartletts Farm 1863’ scenario below. The rules have worked rather well and the games have the feel of an ACW period game. There have however been some discussions post last game around some issues which we are working through. These for us are number of guns represented on the table,we have used 1 gun per battery until now but are moving to 2 guns and 3 guns for the Union 6 guns batteries. There are also concerns around the difficulty in getting units to charge into battle but the more you read the more you understand battles were mainly firefights rather than mass hand to hand combats.

ACW1 a

 

ACW2 a

ACW3a

 

ACW4a

You may have noticed we try to have appropriate terrain in our games so ACW requires lots of trees and fences of varying types. The other night Paul G and Keith came round and we started a production line of fences. First offering in early stage picture is below. I have a Foundry ACW rulebook called ‘From Bull Run to Gettysburg’ which is just awesome with step by step instructions on how to make all types of  fences and even has tent templates.

Fences

2 types ACW fences under construction.The MDF is cut to 10cm long and 2.5cm wide. Plan is to undercoat brown,do some dry brushing,add flock,tufts etc.

 

And finally there are some pictures from an ancient game Brian Trott and I played last week using the ‘Hail Caesar’rules. Brian fielded his EIR v my Macedonians. My EIR are being rebased from WAB to ‘Hail Caesar’ so it is the unfinished and damaged from to many house moves Macedonians that were used. We fielded small armies to get a feel for the game. Standard sizes battles are fought between somewhere around 400 point armies.Brian fielded 270 points,I had 180. And yes I lost as Brian cleared both flanks of my Phalanx. Was fun and look forward more games. After loss consulted army list and identified what need to add to Macedonians to get to 400 points and also allow some variation in the army. So took advantage of Warlord Games buy 3 pay for 2 deal and ordered 3 boxes Companion cavalry. I have also assembled and undercoated a Warlord Games box 32 Macedonian Phalanx to give me a 3rd block. From Victrix I have I have added a unit of Hypastists and a box 56 skirmishers.These were ordered from Caliver as cheaper and no postage paid. Direct from Victrix I have ordered the decals.

Ancients 2a

Part of Brian’s EIR army. Back in early 2000’s we got similar forces,Craig painted and based them for PK for us. I am rebasing mine to similar sized bases.

 

Ancients 4a

Phalanx grinds on against legionnaires. Phalanx destroyed one unit but the Romans eliminated the flank supports.

 

Next week I have a game against friend Craig who is building a Greek army. It won’t be battle ready but we will use my troops and get handle of the rules.

Til next time.

Terry

 

 

 

 

Aspern-Essling refight

On Saturday 21st May 2016 a group of 7 Garage Gamers met for a refight of the Battle of Aspern-Essling which was a 2 day battle fought on 21-22 May 1809 between the Army of Napoleon and the Habsburg(Austrian) Army.

The game was played at our local club, the Wellington Warlords. The battlefield was to be 20 foot long and 6 foot wide with a further table 12 foot long and 3 foot wide where some Austrian formations including the reserve would start the battle. All formations were scaled down and it was of course a 28mm figure battle.

The French forces were:

  • Napoleon : Command Rating 9(CR9). The game is lost if Napoleon dies.
  • Napoleon commanded Curial(CR8) 4 Young Guard, rated reliable, Elite 4+ and HtoH7.
  • Oudinot: (CR8) commanded 2 Divisions, Tharreau and Claparede both (CR8) with 5 Bttns and 1 battery of conscripts each, rated unreliable.
  • Lannes (CR9) commanded 3 Divisions, St Hilaire(CR9) with 7 Veteran Bttns rated as Elite 4+ and Reliable. Boudet(CR8) with 5 Bttns , 1 battery and Lasalle(CR9 and +1 to Follow Me order) with 2 light cavalry rated reliable.
  • Massena(CR8) with the divisions of Legrand(CR8) 5 Bttns and battery, St Cyr(CR8) 6 Bttns(2 Hessiasn being Elite 4+) plus battery, Molitor (CR8) 5 Bttns ,each with 1 stamina casualty and a battery, Marulaz(CR8) with 2 light cavalry, reliable.
  • Bessieres(CR8) with the Cuirassier divisions of Nansouty, St Sulpice and d’Espagne  each of 2 Cuirassier regiments were all rated CR8.

The French commanders were :

  • John:Napoleon and Massena
  • Brian: Oudinot
  • PaulW: Lannes
  • Bessieres was subordinate to Lannes and all 3 players received 1 Cuirassier Division.

The Austrian forces were:

  • Archduke Charles(CR7) with +1 rally.
  • Hiller(CR7) with Nordman(CR7) advance guard with 2 light cavalry, 1 Dragoon, 2 light infantry and battery and Vincent(CR7) with 4 infantry and a battery.
  • Bellegarde(CR7) with Fresnel(CR7) advance guard with 2 light cavalry, 1 light infantry, 1 infantry, 1 battery and  the divisions of Vogelsang(CR7),  Ulm(CR7) and Nostitz(CR7) each of 4 infantry and 1 battery.
  • Hohenzollern(CR7) with Mayer(CR7) advance guard with 1 light cavalry, 1 light infanty, 1 infantry, 1 battery, Brady(CR7) 4 infantry, 1 battery, and Weber(CR7) 6 infantry and 1 battery.
  • Rosenberg (CR8) with Klenau(CR7) 1 Uhlan, 1 Hussar, 1 Grenz, 1 battery , Dedovich(CR7) 6 infantry, 1 battery , Rohan(CR7) 2 light cavalry, 1 Grenz, 1 battery and Hohenlohe(CR7) with 4 infantry and 1 battery.
  • Lichenstein(CR7) with Homburg(CR7), Keinmayer(CR7) with 2 Kurassier each , Lindenau(CR7), D’Aspre(CR7) with 4 Grenadiers each. The reserve had 1 battery.

The Austrian commanders were:

  • Ray: Hiller and Ulm from Bellegarde
  • PaulG: Bellegarde less Ulm and Hohenzollern
  • Pete: Rosenberg
  • Terry: Charles and Lichenstein

The Austrian line battalions were large so they had 8 combat dice, 4 shots and stamina of 4. The also could form battalion masse meaning they countered as being in column, but if charged by cavalry they stood and took it rather than be required to try and form square.

We were playing day 2 from roughly 7am. By this time the French have thrown the Austrians out of the villages in some disorder. So the game commenced on a French turn with the French in control of both villages and the Austrian commands of Hiller and Rosenberg in a state of disorder so they would not be able to move forward in their turns.

a Set Up Main Table 1

Main table at set up. Rosenberg facing Essling. Humans are from left to right, Ray,Pete , John and PaulG. The village in the foreground is Essling which comprises 3 defensive zones. One being the famous grainary which for game purposes contains 1 bttn of French infantry who can fire 1 shot per down out of 3 sides. It cannot be harmed by shooting and it cannot be attacked. On the French baseline behind it the Danube makes a slight appearance and it cannot be be forded or crossed! A road then runs down the table to Aspern. French units to the south(French baseline side) are deemed to be unclear targets to Austrian artillery fire. Aspern also has 3 defensive zones and the church is treated as the same as the villages 2 zones. South of the village is the wooded/swampy area known as Germeinde au.

b Set Up Reserve Table 1

Austrian reserve table.

The game started with a French turn.

The French had Molitor in the Gemeinde Au,Legrand in Aspern and Boudet in Essling. The reminder of their forces between the villages.

St Cyr’s division on the right flank of Aspern advanced towards the Austrians, Claparedes conscripts then blundered and charged forward into the Austrians! Tharreau kept his conscripts back after seeing this. St Hiliare then advances on their right flank to fill the gap in the Austrian lines with the support of Lasalle.

g Brian blunders into a charge!

Austrians reply by Bellegarde advancing on Aspern, Hohenzollern wheels to attack French advance. Around Essling Dedovich turns his battalions to face the French troops moving through the gap in the Austrian lines.

h Lasalle on the charge!

Lasalle send Hussars into Dedovichs guns, destroys them then sweeping advances into a battalion which had failed to turn and face them. Austrian CR7’s even with the +1 for being in masse still not enough get all to pass orderes.

f The French centre!

View from French reserves, Young Guard and massed Cuirassiers.

j Hohenzollern responds to Claparede's blunder and St Cyr's advance

PaulG wheels Hohenzollern to meet advances of St Cyr and the charge of Claparedes conscripts. Paul has units in combat.

k Bellegarde advances on Aspern

Bellegarde advances on Aspern.

m Dedovitch facing St Hiliare and Lasalle, now thats a testing situation!

In centre St Hilaire wheels to face Dedovich supported by Lasalle.

n Hiller on Austrian right charges into Molitors battered troops

Hiller charges into the Gemeinde au to get at Molitors weakened troops.

p French heavies decide to come and play!

Lasalle and 2 Cuirassier Divisions flanked by Claparede and St Hilaire advance into the gap in the Austrian lines.

q French Centre

The bulge in the French lines as they advance through the gap in the Austrian lines.

r Klenau moves to centre

In the Austrian rear Klenau on orders from Charles  moves towards the Austrian centre. Bellegarde detached Ulm’s division for the same purpose but after blunders, and failed orders they never made it past Aspern!

s Hiller attacked Molitor while Bambi watches from the woods!

Hiller sends more troops in against Molitor!

t Lasalle charges flanking guns

Hohenzollern had a battery enfilading the Cuirassiers in the centre so naturally Lassale grabbed a Hussar unit and with a ‘Follow Me!’off they went, unfortunately they suffered 3 casualties and failed their break test and failed to charge home but retired.

u Heavies Time!

The French Cuirassiers charge into the Austrian Kuirassiers who counter charge!

v Hmmm Somethings missing.......

A hint who won the combats…who is missing from this picture!

w When will they learn!

A further French Cuirassier unit now got charged to the front by Kuirassiers and in the flank by Dragoons. They lost the combat but were not destroyed.

x Rosenberg going in

Between the Danube and Essling Rosenberg advances to slug it out with Boudet.

y Dedovich tries get past pesky grainary

North of Essling Dedovich keeps getting slowed by disordering fire from the grainary. In centre can be seen Klenaus troops arriving along with artillery from reserve and Kuirassiers taking on more of Lasalles command.

z Bellegarde takes Aspern Church

Success! Aspern Church has fallen to Bellegarde.

z1 Austrian Cavalry on move

Austrian cavalry advance into the centre of the main table. The French are looking light on troops.

z1a who gave John those cavalry

Who gave John Cuirassiers?  Austrian Infantry masse do not form square but stand and take a cavalry charge. They have a stamina of 4.The left hand unit has 6 wounds showing. That is not good.

z1b PaulG's feeling the pressure!

PaulG’s face says it all.

z1d Massena surrounded by cavalry

View from Massena position. Austrian lines are thinning out nicely he will be thinking.

z1e Young Guard head off towards Essling!

Rosenbergs advance on Essling has the french Young Guard commited exactly where the Austrians want them,away from the centre!

z1f Dedovich charges into Essling gardens

Dedovich launches attack on Essling gardens.

z1g Molitor has enough

Further success for Hiller, Molitors command has fled the battlefield.

z1h Reserves fromboth sides committed to centre

Oops, first tharreau used to plug cente, the French Cuirassiers rally and advance but now the Young Guard get a triple move and rush north of the road. At this stage Terry(me) handed over my commands to Russ who had been playing in a Jutland refight which had just finished.

z1i Where to start!

You would think Austrian Grenadiers would go through French conscripts like a hot knife through butter. You would wouldn’t you. But being surrounded by poncy Young Guard and Cuirassiers they fought like veterans!

z1j The gap appears

Until poof,it was all to much and a decent hole was in the French centre.

z1k The End!

The day was done and the French still held Essling and Aspern was being contested. The divisions of Lasalle, Molitor, Claparede, St Hilaire and St Cyr were gone.

For the Austrians the main loss is Hohenzollerns corps where he faced the French centre. There were 3 intact divisions moving around Aspern to the centre and most of the Austrian cavalry was still combat ready.

Thats this report for now!(am sure to make some changes when ladz alert me to errors!)

Cheers

Terry