Saturday, 25 April 2009

More Thoughts on the Campaign

We seem to be coming to an agreement on what it is we want from our campaign and another evening of discussion plus a flurry of emails has left us with the following rough outline. Firstly it's a strictly non historical clash of three corps per side, each of 4000 points using the points listed in the ITGM rules. We've placed very little restriction on what each individual commander can choose as this is meant to be a preliminary campaign in order to allow us to decide what we want to keep and what will have to go. The only real restriction on troop selection is the number and type of troops available for use. For instance the French in particular are desperately short of cavalry and though this should be remedied by July each French commander is restricted to a maximum of two heavy cavalry and three light cavalry regiments.
The 4000 point limit should allow for a force of three to four divisions plus artillery and a decent cavalry arm. This will probably be expanded to 5000 points in any future campaign but should be ample for now. In an attempt to keep the whole thing as simple as possible we've decided against having any of the frills that we originally thought of. For instance there'll be no new units and no class improvement for units which perform well. Each corps will be able to replace losses from battles based on the number of towns and villages it controls, something like ten points for a city and five for a town. These points can then be spent in the same way as the original 4000 points with no stockpiling allowed. This should provide some entertainment as corps from the same side vie for supply points.
Finally just a quick update on what we're up to at the moment, Justin came up with a scenario loosely based on the battle of Teugn Hausen which we kicked off on thursday night. French versus Austrians and Russians but this time we're playing along the length of one of the tables. This should see us through until we have our first campaign battle and I'll post some photos in the next update.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Planning Session

There was no game last night, instead we spent most of the evening working out a set of campaign rules that we liked the sound of. What we came up with might be of interest so I'll try and outline what was decided. The first point to make is that it is not a historically accurate campaign. It is designed to generate battles between the main protagonists as well as adding an element of rivalry between commanders on the same side. The whole thing will be played out on a map of our own design with movement on roads only.
Each army will consist of three, four thousand point Corps using the ITGM points system. With the Allies being predominantly Austrian, Russian and Prussian respectively. This allows for about four divisions of infantry and a cavalry division per Corps though there are no laid down minimums or requisite troop types for any force other than a minimum of five battalions per infantry division.
Supply and casualty replacement will be based on the number of supply points owned by individual players. Each town or city on the map will furnish a set number of supply points which the owner can use to buy replacement troops for his own command. This ought to lead to some interesting developments as players compete for the available resources. In order to minimize the obligatory disagreements we've decided to nominate two people to act as umpires and they will be responsible for setting up the battlefields and resolving disputes. The umpires will still get to play but won't have commands of their own.
Anyway enough of all that for the time being, it's time for a quick word about the photos. The first one is of a Calpe Landwehr uhlan, one of twelve that I picked up on e-bay some time ago. I really like the facial expression on this particular figure. Lovely painting helped by Peter Fitzgeralds excellent sculpting. Next in line are two very nice ADC/Command figures painted by Justin Davey. Justin couldn't make it last night but he sent along these figures and the three Austrians in the final photo. Justins painting is always of a very high standard but I think these are actually the best figures he's produced to date. If I remember correctly they're Front Rank castings.
Well that's it for now, I'm looking forward to getting the campaign started and will continue to post any battle reports here on the Blog.

Friday, 10 April 2009

The Last Act

The game finally ended last night with as usual both sides having their own interpretation of the outcome. We were all agreed that it was an Allied victory but there was quite strong disagreement about whether the French would have been able to withdraw with much of their forces intact. Things started quite well for the Allies, Steve's Austrians finally took the village on the French left, effectively finishing any resistance on that flank and on the left Justin's' Russians were slowly pushing the remaining French out of the walled enclosure. However I let the side down with a failed Prussian attack in the centre. Despite a numerical and class advantage I could only manage to roll snake eyes for my melee dice followed by a total of six with three dice for my morale. Predictably the Prussian assault was short lived.
Fortunately for me the French left wing also collapsed around this time with units streaming back towards safety. At one stage there were seven separate routs taking place and if you play using ITGM rules you'll know how that can lead to whole divisions taking flight. This effectively ended the game, the French had no choice now but to withdraw with as much of their force in one piece as possible. In my opinion this would have been difficult, the routing left wing was already beginning to pin the centre which itself now had only one effective division and there was little space for the French to use their cavalry advantage. In addition more routs would have been generated possibly causing the centre to collapse. Admittedly the allies had little cavalry to take advantage of the situation but I think it's safe to say there would have been dancing in the streets of Vienna and Moscow, though Berlin might have remained discretely silent.
At the end of the day the little lads all go back on their storage trays before being put on the shelves to await their next outing, the only casualties being a bruised ego or two. The game did however get us thinking more seriously about running a campaign as opposed to one off battles. We've tried campaigns in the past with varying degrees of success but I think all of us agree that some method of linking our battles and their knock on effects is what we need to be aiming at. We've set a provisional date of mid July to get something up and running which will tie in with our return from a weekend at the WHC in Scarborough. This should give us plenty of time to leave it to the last minute before deciding anything. Either way it will all be recorded here with pictures in glorious colour.
Finally as no one tried to guess where I got the title for my last post, the answer is, David Chandlers "Campaigns of Napoleon" the chapter dealing with the 1809 campaign.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Hapsburgs Resurgent

I suppose it's one of the great attractions of wargaming that you never know what blind chance, or even the enemy might do to affect the outcome. We continued our current game last night with the Allies under heavy presuure in the centre and with little success on either flank. At the end of the evening the result still remains in the balance. The Austrians on the right have finally completed their three point turn and are now forcing the issue with the French left. This has come at a cost, the Austrian Grenadier division has been badly mauled and is currently routing from the field. However the remaining two line divisions look like breaking through and the French command will have to consider whether they can afford to continue advancing in the centre with their flank in such a dangerous state.
On the Allied left, the warriors of Holy Russia with the help of some Prussian firepower have succeeded in ejecting the Young Guard division from the walled enclosure. The youngsters held on doggedly at first and even managed a counter attack but Russian numbers told in the end and what's left of the Young Guard are now streaming back towards their own lines. This of course raises yet another flank problem for the French. Both flanks are now either compromised or in danger of becoming so. The French have boldly pushed three of their five divisions through the centre supported by all of their cavalry but this has left them in danger of being cut off. At least one division will need to be diverted to stem the advance of the Russians while the ability of the remaining two to take the Prussian centre remains in doubt due to losses already incurred.
In fact the Prussians are now squaring up to deliver a counter attack of their own. To be fair this has largely been made possible by the terrible morale dice that Eric has been throwing for the French centre. The Prussian infantry are now in a postition to charge down off their ridge into the partially stalled French lead division. However this is a risky option as there are no more Prussian reserves and it would probably be better for the Prussians to hold out and await the Austrian and Russian pincers to close. Next week should see the end of this particular game, though I was pretty confident it would all be over last night. Whatever the outcome it'll be posted here.
Finally, brownie points if you know where I nicked the title for this blog entry.