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.

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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.

 

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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

 

Somewhere north of Waterloo

Had a game last week where premise was its post Waterloo, French won it and Allies have scattered. A French mixed force is holding a position with other units arriving in support. Some Allied commands are wanting revenge…….

The forces are:

French:

Paul Goldstone – holds central village with a Division of 2 Brigades of 4 Bttns infantry each and 1 battery. His 3 commanders must be 2 rated 7 and 1 rated 8.

Russ – brings a supporting force on Pauls right – of 2 Brigades of 4 Bttns Young Guard Infantry with 1 battery. In support are 2 Large Guard Cavalry Regts, the Chasseurs and the Grenadiers.

Terry – on Pauls left at some stage French cavalry brigades would arrive. Before I could bring some on in turn 2 we had visitors. John Hutton was in town for a course so Hairy Phil bought him out. So I handed command to John. He bought on a brigade of 2 Hussar Regts. Then 2 Cuirrasier and then 2 Lancers.

On the Allied side we had:

Rhys with a full Prussian Brigade of 9 Infantry and 2 cavalry and 2 batteries. They were tasked with taking the village.

Paul Weakley – On Rhys left and opposite Russ was a mixed force of 3 Brigades. Namely 3 KGL Cavalry, 5 Hanoverian foot and 4 KGL foot plus supporting artillery.

Alan was on Rhys right and commanded a British cavalry force comprised of 1 brigade of 3 Hussars/Light Dragoons an then the Union Brigade of 3 Dragoons. Al forgot to bring on the horse artillery!

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Central French position PaulG has a brigade either side of the road with battery on road. The hedge counts as unclear target and 6 inch penalty to cross. The small buildings are just there for aesthetics. The Church and Farmhouse on other side of road are both defensive zones where 1 Bttn can take refuge.

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Russ commands to the right of the central village.The 2 Brigades of 4 Bttns each in front, the battery in between and the Heavies of the Guard in reserve.

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Alans British light cavalry brigade out for revenge! In background in the centre is Rhys right hand brigade which failed to move.

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The Prussians in the centre where left brigade advanced and right brigade failed. In background can be seen PaulW Germans!

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As if to prove a point Prussians charging the hedge line. This Bttn had one charge to its right which took some damage from closing fire and failed morale test and withdrew.

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The Allied left where the Germans are in the 2 farmhouses and the Young Guard look to be flowing around their left flank!

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The left hand Young Guard brigade advances into gap between central village and flank farmhouses. Prussians have some disordered units on left while on right they are closing in on hedge line.

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Prussian masses approach hedge line while in background a swirling cavalry engagement was going on. PaulG has a Bttn facing out into the melee giving fire support!

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Cavalry combats are quite brutal affairs. Disorders and casualties quickly accumulate and it becomes a race to reorder, remove casualties and get units back into combat. The British are a challenge to face and play. The re roll misses and must charge on if win makes them have the effect of causing more casualties than you expect and the out of control charge if they win. It does mean that the quickly are exhausted and end up disordered or shaken but are  a lot of fun.

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A close up of Alans heavies!(Front Rank miniatures of course…all heavy cavalry needs to be Metal Front Rank. I reckon deserve a +1 at least extra in combat)

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The Prussians are gaining the advantage. At rear of village are PaulG’s dearly departed. Rhys eventually took this position.

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I must admit I can’t recall Russ ever playing a defensive Nap game! Here he is still pressing forward!

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And Goldie has bought into this idea as well….what is he doing in front of the hedge. He was meant to hold the village!!

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Hey, Goldie……these guys are marching the wrong way! You have units in front of hedge, and now marching out the back road……I sense a firing squad in your future! So Pauls left brigade is gone berger and the right one has advanced out of the village. I seem to recall the aim was for the French TO HOLD THE VILLAGE.

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And on the Allied left flank the Germans are pushing through the surviving Young Guard. Paul had not only stopped Russ flowing around the flank but was rolling him back up the flank in the end.

This concluded the game. Rhys was pushing into the Village in the centre right and holding PaulG/Russ push on its left. PaulW was pushing his Germans forward on the left and on the Allied right the cavalry of both sides had fought each other to a standstill.

So an Allied Victory is declared.

 

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And here is the Garages Guard. The Big Boy on the right is my Caesar. The wee lass on the left is his sister Jasmine who we met at a big breed walk around the Wellington Waterfront. Caesar likes to make regular checks on us while we are gaming in the garage! He is a Leonberger and is 2 years 4 months old and still has to gain a bit of weight but will end up between 75 and 80kg in time. His tail can be lethal to near the table!

Addendum

The following are the observations of the Commander of the French Imperial Guard Cavalry Baron Russ de Bri

  • The Gods rode down in a single charge 2 of Paul W’s battalions that had come out of the village. In both cases there was a French infantry unit also in the charge.
  • Cavalry in the front, infantry in the flank in the initial charge and the Gods hit the flank of the second infantry that had been charged by French infantry during a sweeping advance charge.
  • The Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard charged a shaken Hussar unit that had routed the Guards artillery and only drove them off taking 3 casualties themselves. Stamina 4 so not shaken(stamina 4 so not shaken). They spent rest of game rallying.
  • And a Blunder on a morale rally( thats a roll of 2 dice with 6’s) caused the Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard to advance and stand in front of an artillery battery and line of infantry.. They were shot up but passed the rally test. In their next turn they used the light cavalry training to fall back disordered and spent more time rallying.

Final observations on the French Plans……by Baron Russ

  • No clear objective
  • No plan
  • Half arsed , unsupported, uncoordinated effort moving forward
  • Defeated piecemeal as should have been

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game 1 for 2016!

I got a call from John Hutton over Xmas to say he was bringing a visiting American friend with his son(who is also John’s Godson) down to Wellington from Auckland on January 5th to see the ANZAC exhibitions and he inquired if they might be able to play a game(it was that or I jumped in and suggested it, never can recall details). So a game from 1pm was booked in and John emailed the group and not surprising everyone, even those working said they would be round.

So John decided he wanted an ACW game so I set the table up with Alan’s assistance as for the Battle of Glendale. However with the paucity of Rebel troops at our disposal I decided to have them defending and the Union attacking, or rather than was my plan which of course lasted all the way until turn 1!

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The hall of Infamy for the game are above, from left to right is Paul G, John Hutton, Silas son of Ivan and Godson of John, Alan, Ivan father of Silas, Russ and Paul W. Paul G was working and arrived for turn 2.

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The Rebels were to defend the right hand side of the river. At the far end is a road exiting where reinforcements might arrive so the stream crossing and road needed to be held. Paul W had 2 infantry brigades, 2 cavalry regts and 2 batteries to hold this end. In the centre Ivan had a 2 brigades infantry and 2 batteries of 24 pounders in position. What had not told them was they only had 3 rounds of ammo for these 2 batteries. On the near end Russ had a large brigade of 5 regts and on turn 2 a further brigade would arrive. They would be elite. Russ had 2 batteries.

On the Union side Alan was at the far end with 1 brigade of infantry. Silas was in the centre with 2 brigades of infantry and John was at the near end with 2 brigades of infantry one of which was advanced over the stream and was starting in the woods.

 

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Silas has moved both his brigades up into a field so 8 regts are in one big mass! Risky. Johns troops are moving up to cover their right flank.

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Paul has arrived from work, he in the loud shirt while I am feeling the stress, already opened a rather nice wine to sip whilst resting in the sun.

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Johns front brigade has rushed forward allowing Russ to get a regt onto his flank…….its not going to be pretty. And it wasn’t. For some reason I have not taken any decent shots of this part battlefield. But Johns advancing Union troops discovered an abandoned rebel battery which they used against the Rebs. But all to no avail and Russ had Johns brigades destroyed by the end of the battle.

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Russ’s second brigade is on the table and rushing forward to fill gap to Ivans forces which are holding Silas’s mass of Union troops in the field.

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Paul W using cavalry to try and take advantage of the gap between Silas in centre and Alan on the Union left flank. At this stage Paul marches a brigade in beside Alan and moves forward to close the gap. Paul W was trying to get the cavalry in a position to charge the Union artillery that was galloping onto the battlefield but just could not do it!

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Left hand side above is Paul G first brigade with one of the 2 batteries I let the Union have the turn before. Alan got the other 1. The brigade of 5 Union regts on the right I offered to John as Union CinC to arrive anywhere on their edge. John chose to commit them here with Paul G getting allocated them. The were unreliable meaning needed to beat command roll to move. I had thought these reserves would be committed on the other side of Silas and pushed through between Ivan and Russ where would have had a straight run towards the church(objective) but alas were committed here.

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Above shows action on the left and centre. In woods can be seen Union and Rebel flags as they fight it out to hold stream line and take or hold the road. The Rebel batteries in prepared positions can be seen on the ridge line. Ivan has still not fired his 24 pounders! Pauls front brigade is crossing the stream. In the fields Ivan moved a regt around into Silas flank and started shooting up down the line. Russ was aggressively pushing forward to hold Johns 2nd brigade as well. Units were starting to be destroyed or fall back.

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Action in the fields! Action in the fences/fields slows you down as imposed 6 inch penalty for crossing the fences and 6 inch visibility in the fields.

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Top left can be seen Alans troops in woods, behind then some Union cavalry are arriving. Because Alan never got to threaten cutting off the road, there was no reserves rushing in from the corner to assist the Rebels, plus they did not need them in the end! In the centre Paul Gs left brigade is rushing through the corn towards the batteries. The Unreliable brigade can be seen at the stream and in the foreground are the remains of Ivans central brigade which performed rather well..

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Alans cavalry advancing towards the stream with Paul Gs infantry in distance advancing up the ridgeline. They had been refusing to move and 2 units units dismounted skirmishing cavalry with sharps would have come in handy!

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I like flag shots!

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And the game draws to a close.

I blame the wine because I missed taking a picture of Russ’s whipping of Johns troops(sorry John!). Russ was in a position to roll up the Union line from the woods.

In the centre Silas’s Union troops were no longer in a position to push forward thanks to Silas and Ivan pretty much taking each other out.

On the centre left Paul G had 2 basically intact brigades but there was no time left for them to achieve the objective and there were enough Rebel units around to keep them at bay until Russ came stomping down the rear.

Further over Alan and Paul W had spent the day in the woods and stream keeping each other busy and both still had their cavalry intact.

So a victory to the Confederates and I hope Ivan and Silas enjoyed their game!

Below is a picture of a Kea at Mt Hutt ski field doing what they do, destroy the trim on cars(it copied over from camera so though may as well use it)

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Until next time.

Terry