Friday, 29 May 2009

Battle of Plauen

Things have been moving at a decent pace since I last posted a blog entry. Last week we got the first moves of the campaign done and this resulted in a clash between Erics' Austro Prussians and Nicks' French south west of Plauen. Both had advanced from their start points, Eric in Dresden and Nick in Chemnitz but Nick had caught Eric with his formation split and had managed to insert his whole corps between Erics divided forces. This gave Nick an excellent opportunity to engage a sizeable portion of Erics' force at a numerical advantage. The picture above shows the French "team" prior to starting the battle. As you can see we're using both tables for this game though what might look like snow capped mountains in the distance are in fact new terrain boards under construction. More about them in a later post.
Nick had at his immediate disposal thirty battalions, four foot batteries and forty eight skirmishers divided between four divisions one of which also had two squadrons of lancers. Opposing this Eric could only field a six battalion Prussian division, a six battalion Austrian division with a regiment of Cuirassier attached and three Prussian heavy cavalry regiments. To add to Erics woes he was also aware that Nick would be receiving reinforcements in the shape of a cavalry division before he himself could hope to see any aid arrive. Obviously this was going to be a defensive battle for the Austrians.
Eric deployed his forces with the Austrians on the right, their elite three gun 12lb'er battery had an excellent field of fire and the big forty eight man units were able to cover the area by deploying into line. The Prussians were posted on the left and tasked with securing the village to their front whilst the cavalry were held back in support of the centre. Nick had two divisions in the centre with two more coming on table in their rear. Above are the Austrian "team" strangely enough looking decidedly happier than their counterparts considering the situation. I suppose there's always more pressure in attacking, when you're defending a lot of the time you're waiting for the other guy to make the mistakes.
This final shot shows the initial deployment on the main table. Understandably considering their sparse numbers the Austrians have reduced the area they have to cover by ignoring the wooded areas at each end of the table. What is surprising is that the French with their numerical advantage have done the same. This means that they will be fighting on the same frontage as a numerically inferior enemy. So how will it all turn out? Well we're up to turn nine from a maximum of twenty four at the moment but rather than give a running commentary I've decided to wait until the end of the battle and present a round up from the viewpoint of both commanders.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Line Vs Line

If you've been reading the comments on the British 4000pt army thread you'll be aware that there's been some discussion about 30 man British battalions fire-fighting French 36 man battalions. So I decided to go through it using average dice scores for both firing and morale. The results were interesting (well, to me they were) and possibly more historically accurate than I would have supposed. I'd better start out by saying that this is for ITGM rules and a general idea of the infantry firing procedure used is needed for any of this to make sense.
I started with the premise that a French battalion had deployed into line outside of long range and then moved into long range to commence firing. This puts them at an initial disadvantage as they fire second and have a -4 modifier for having moved. The British line gets a +4 for first volley and fire as 38 men. All casualties are halved at long range.
Using a 7 for firing and a 10 for morale both battalions slug it out for six rounds of firing until the French finally go into the third bracket and retreat. Simple enough you may think but I had been alternatively rounding up then down on the half casualties. When I did the exercise again rounding the half casualties down then up both units went into the third bracket on the same turn. For the morale I'd just been using a 10 + unit class (3) for each unit, no generals no support etc. Minuses were enemy in 12 inches and casualties this period.
Of course it's unlikely that this situation would occur but it does give an idea of how two battalions would have fared firing long range volleys at each other for about 2 and a half to three hours. I think historically one or both would have attempted to close the distance. Most of the accounts I've read have the French closing to about 50 yards in column and then having a lot of trouble getting their troops to line out. By the way if you try this method, that is, advancing to effective range in column, lining out and then fire-fighting you will get murdered. If you've got that close in column you're much better off charging and hoping for the best.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Calpe Prussians

I picked these Calpe Prussian infantry up at a bring and buy some time ago and they've been sitting in a box patiently waiting for me to get around to painting them ever since. I had intended to get the whole battalion finished by now but as we all know only too well, the road to wargames heaven is littered with good intentions. I don't normally make a point of showing off the stuff I've painted on the blog, it smacks of egotism and to be honest I'm just not as good at it as most of the guys who produce figures for the garage. So why have I done it this time you ask? Well to be honest I've been sort of bowled over by just how good Peter Fitzgeralds figures are and more to the point how much easier they are to paint.In addition to all of this Peter produces a quite bewildering variety of poses. His figures are meticulously researched and much of this is published on his website (link at the bottom of the page).
Enough of the fanboy stuff as Chris would call it. This Wednesday should see the end of our current game, personally I think it's likely to end with more of a whisper than a bang but it's been good fun. It's also proved that as long as we don't overdo the forces we can play up the length of the table as well as across it. Of course this should mean that the first moves of the campaign might get under way which we're all looking forward to. I'll try and get an image of the map we're using on to the blog at some stage which should make things a little easier to understand, and I'll also post the rules that we've decided on. What I might also do is try and get the individual commanders to do a little piece on the battles which occur though to be honest they're about as apathetic a bunch of ***** as you could wish to meet, so we'll have to wait and see on that idea.
Finally here's the link to Calpe Miniatures:
http://www.calpeminiatures.co.uk/

Saturday, 9 May 2009

British 4000 point Army

Noel has challenged me to create a British army using the same rules we are for the campaign. So 4000 points, light troops cost 1 point extra (we are using the rules in the ItGM rulebook where light troops become disordered in woods less often than line, but are otherwise treated similarly).

The British are an interesting change from the Austrians I'll be using in the campaign. Smaller units, better firing (British line fire as veterans). If we go historically they should have plenty of skirmishers and fewer cavalry compared to other Allied armies.

For 4000 points I should be able to get four infantry divisions and a cavalry division, even with more expensive troops. So what I want is three standard divisions that can either hold a sector for long enough for the battle to be won elsewhere, or support the main attack which will be done by the fourth assault division.

Standard Infantry Division
General @50pts
1 * 36 1st Class Light @118pts
5 * 30 1st Class Line @350pts
18 Skirmishers (12M, 6R) @90pts
1 * 3 9pdr Line Bty @135pts

Total 743pts - three of them makes 2229pts, plenty of points left for the expensive stuff.

The assault division needs to be made up of larger units that can soak up damage and still operate, so I'll use 40 man battalions, which means the Guard and Highlanders.

Assault Division
General @50pts
1 * 40 Guard @200pts
2 * 40 Elite @320pts
3 * 40 1st Class Line @270pts
18 Skirmishers (18M) @90pts
1 * 3 9pdr Elite Bty @180pts (since there are guard I can have an elite battery which will make up for the small number of guns)

That's 1110 pts (a lot!) for a total so far of 3339. Now for some Cavalry

Cavalry Division
General @50pts
Staff Officer @27pts
2 * 24 Light Line @240pts
1 * 24 Guard Heavy @216pts (makes up for the lack of British Cuirassier)
1 * 3 9pdr Elite Horse Bty @225pts (all British horse batteries are elite and the 9pdrs make an interesting change from 6pdrs in the other armies)

That's 758pts, for a total of 4097 which is too much! Blast. The British light cavalry can be used in squadrons of 4, so two together would be an eight, that's pretty flexible. 2 * 16 Line Light @160 pts takes me down to 4017. The assault divison doesn't need so many skirmishers so 12 skirmishers @60 pts takes it down to 3987. I would have liked to have individualised the line divisions by adding a Portuguese brigade to one and some KGL light cavalry to another, but I'd have to sacrifice the guard/elites out my assault division which would weaken its impact.

Cavalry light, but heavy on the firepower. Handled well this will cause horrible casulaties to any French army it faces and that Assault division will really hurt.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Teugn-Hausen 2

Snappy title eh? Bet you didn't see that coming. Last night was a continuation of our game loosely based on the battle of Teugn-Hausen (or Thaun as the French named it). It's so loosely based that ours takes place three years earlier than the original. Oddly enough with only five of us present we still only managed to get through about five or six turns. Normally the number of players available is roughly equivalent to the amount of time frittered away in idle waffle. When last we left you the allies were attacking up the length of the table towards a large wooded area held by the French. The French had sneakily introduced a fresh division on the left flank directly behind the Austrian main assault. Not looking good for the Austrians you might think, but then you would not be taking into account Justin's almost God like ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Our first picture shows the two advanced battalions in the foreground (Wurtemburg 32's) having approached too close to the Austrians without sufficient support.
We're using a system of dice throwing to determine a units class once it has to take a morale test for this game, the French, being Davouts excellent corps score as follows 1-3 2nd class, 4-6 1st class, 7-10 veteran. The allies being oafish farm rejects use 1-3 militia, 4-6 2nd class and 7-10 1st class. So there's a considerable class advantage for the French.
The Austrians charge in and despite Nick rolling for three out of four of them as militia take the defensive fire and slam into the Wurtemburgers (1 Vet and 1 first class) From that moment on it's a matter of numbers, the Austrians win the first round of melee but unluckily don't do enough to break the Wurtemburg morale. Both sides reinforce, the French with three fresh battalions, the Austrians with just one. It looks a little dodgy for the Austrians after the reinforcers fight but then the original troops add their bit and the French lose the second round as well. It's all too much for the brave sons of liberty and throwing women and small children behind them they quit the field. It was an interesting little scrap while it lasted but the outcome was somewhat inevitable as long as the dice Gods didn't get up to their tricks.
Elsewhere on the battlefield there was little to report, the Allies have finally released their artillery and the Russians have continued to advance in a ponderous fashion towards the French positon though showing little desire to get stuck in. The Austrians having dealt with the threat to their rear are now attempting to once again shake out and begin their assault on the French left, though with a now depleted force. In all honesty I'm not sure if there's a great deal of life left in the game now as I don't really see the allies being able to take the woods from the more numerous and better trained French. If this were a campaign game and I were the allies I'd withdraw to lick my wounds, but only time will tell.
Speaking of which, we've now got an excellent map for the forthcoming campaign and we'll probably be starting the initial moves on completion of the Teugn-Hausen battle.
No game next week as I have to travel to London for a week to have my head filled with lots of technical nonsense that I'll have forgotten a week later, so probably no blog update either though I'm working on that.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Listomania

I thought it might be an idea to follow Chris's example and come up with my own 4000 point Corps. However not wishing to be accused of trying to influence any of the campaign players I've decided on a Spanish Corps. I'll list it first and then go through my reasons for choosing it. To be honest I wouldn't want to take on a 4000pt army from any other nation with it but you can't make a silk purse from a sows ear (or something like that).

Corps Commander Free

Infantry Division x 4

Div Commander 50
8 x 32 1st class line 512
12 x Skirmisher 60
8lb Ft Bty (3 Guns + 1 How) 175

Cost of 1 Div 797

Total Inf Div cost 3188

Reserve 12lb Bty 190

Cavalry Division

Div Commander 50
2 x 32 Lt Cav 256
2 x 32 Hvy Cav 320

Total Cavalry cost 626

Total 4004

Now the hard part. How to justify my choice? Firstly the infantry divisions, anything less than first class line will run at the first casualty due to the fact that Spanish infantry only throw 2 x D6 for morale. Anything above that would probably be a waste of points for the same reason. As they are they can both manouvre, and fire effectively. I went for 8 battalions as this makes it possible to rotate units that are starting to get a bit shakey and there's the added advantage of more troops being able to reinforce a melee. The Artillery is all 8lb because lets face it you're not going to be doing too much attacking with these lads and the extra range will come in useful when trying to wear down enemy assault divisions. Given that the opponents will almost always be French 36 man battalions the extra plus for 6+ ranks would also be a boon. The 12 skirmishers speak for themselves though I'd primarily use them to protect the infantry from enemy skirmishers rather than use them offensively.
The cavalry was easier to decide on especially with the number of points I had left. I took the liberty of paying for them all as Militia which meant -1 to the figure cost. They're always classed as militia and manouvre and fight as such so I think that's probably fair. Two heavy and two light regiments plus a Cavalry Commander is about all I think I'd want, they're not much use to be honest but with four regiments you would have the option of parcelling them out, one or two per infantry division or keeping them together for shock effect (no really). The other option was to put all of the cavalry in Infantry divisions and have two Staff officers instead of a commander, but though it would have kept me under the 4000pt mark I didn't like the idea.
Finally there's the 12lb foot battery, again it helps to keep the enemy at arms length though like the rest of the artillery, pretty useless at counter battery fire due to the -1 on the to hit table that they are all inflicted with. In my defense I would point out that I did my list as a table but Blogger doesn't like tabs and has removed them all, so everything is cramped up. Please feel free to comment on the Corps I'm sure there are things that I've missed, though as far as I know there are no Spanish horse batteries.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Teugn-Hausen

The battle of Taugn-hausen was fought in 1806 between the Austrians under the Archduke Charles and the French commanded by Marshall Davout. Basically the Austrians were attempting to cut off and destroy Davout's corps while it was isolated but things didn't go according to plan. We're currently playing a game loosely based on the actual battle with an Austro-Russian force (not enough Austrian figures) attempting to force issue. This first photo shows the Allied artillery sitting as it did during the battle just outside Hausen waiting for the French to come out and be killed. Hmm.. not bloody likely. On the Allied left an Austrian avant-garde division has been pushed up into the wooded area held by the French but has received a bloody repulse and is now streaming backthrough its supports causing all sorts of confusion.
On the left, the Allies have just released this rather large Russian division which is advancing to test its mettle in the woods against the French lines. If you know ITGM well enough you'll know how difficult this is going to be for them! To make matters worse for the Allies a fresh French division has just arrive on table behind the Austrian left flank. The Allies should have noticed something was wrong when a screen of French skirmishers appeared, but Nick for some reason imagined they were Russians and didn't question their arrival.
It hasn't been all plain sailing for the French, the Westfalian Guard Grenadier have had an ignominious first outing. After defeating an Austrian line battalion in melee they were charged while reforming by Austrian light cavalry and are now routing off table. Still, the French position is holding well and the Allies have a hard task on their hands. Historically the Allies ended up being defeated in the woods, being unable to bring their superior artillery to bear and this was further compounded by Charles' unwillingness to release his grenadiers. The battle was over by 2:00pm and Davout was able to link up with the rest of the army. Watch this space for more updates.