Sunday, 20 September 2009

Another Week in Scarborough

I've just returned from my second trip to Scarborugh this year, I still have one more trip scheduled in December. This time I arrive armed with more than a few photographs of the occasion.

However, first things first as they say so a quick mention of Andy's battle is in order. When I last reported we were at turn 12 with the French attemting to break the allied centre and left while holding on their own left. If you take the time to read the comments from other blog readers you may remember that the ever astute Chris made the following observation,

"if they take their time, strip away the Prussian artillery and then punch in with a concentrated attack with the quality kit. If they rush in though, hoping a couple of guard btns will swing it, they will get mullahed",

and how right he was. The small French divisions attempted a frontal assault without first pereparing the way and by turn 15 it was all over bar the shouting.
To be honest I was hoping that the two commanders might have had their battle reports in by now but you know how it is, I go away for a week and they start taking liberties. I will of course whip them into shape and should have the reports in time for the next blog entry.

So back to our week at the WHC. Everytime I go there I have the very best intentions of logging the battles and writing a full report on each one, but as usual I became too involved in the games and now only have a patchy recollection of what actually happened.
Fortunately this time I remembered to bring back a copy of the briefing notes and the army lists for both sides. The week was split into three one day battles followed by a two day Leipzig type battle in which the results of the previous three battles would have a carry on effect. For instance in the first battle the French were up against the army of Silesia. A decisive French victory would have resulted in the army of Poland not turning up for the final battle and 50% of French conscripts being promoted to line. A marginal victory would just have meant 50% of the army of Poland not turning up. For the Allies a marginal result would have promoted 50% of Landwehr to line status and a decisive victory would have the same effect with the added advantage of one French formation being unavailable to fight the army of Bohemia.

As you would expect the forces we were using were large, though I thought the reduction in the size of gun batteries worked really well. I'm not going to list all of the figures used (unless someone particularly wants me to) but as an example here is the orbat for the army of Silesia:

Sacken - 10 x 32 Inf
1 x 32 Light Cav
2 x 6pdr Bty (4 guns)
Langeron - 12 x 32 Inf
1 x 32 Light Cav
2 x 6pdr Bty (4guns)
York - 3 x 40 Inf 10 x 32 Inf 6 x 32 Landwehr
6pdr Bty, howitzer Bty, 12pdr Bty, Horse Bty (each 3 guns)
2 x 24 Light Cav
Korff - 2 x 32 Light Cav 1 x 32 Dragoon 1 x 32 Cuirassier, 2 x 30 Cossacks
Horse Bty (3 guns)

In addittion we also attached

Wittgenstein - 13 x 32 Inf
2 x 32 Light Cav 1 x 32 Dragoon
2 x 6pdr Bty (4 guns)
Kleist - 2 x 40 Inf 8 x 32 Inf 6 x 32 Landwehr
6pdr Bty, Howitzer Bty, 12pdr Bty, Horse Bty (each 3 guns)
2 x 24 Light Cav
Galitzin - 1 x 32 Gd Light Cav 1 x 32 Gd Dragoon 1 x 32 Gd Cuirassier 2 x 32 Cuirassier
Gd Horse Bty (3 guns)

I believe that the French eventually got the final win by not being defeated in the last battle. Prior to that the first battle had been a draw followed by a marginal win for the allies in the second and a marginal win for the French in the third. What is more important of course is that we all had a really good time. I've been going to the WHC for years now and this was definitely one of the best weeks I've had there.
So that's it for now, hopefully we'll all be able to enjoy the commanders reports from our last battle in the garage in the next update.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The Final Battle.

Last night saw the beginning of the end for our tester campaign. Andy's French took on Neil's Prusso-Russo formation on the terrain shown to the left and we actually got through eleven turns despite having to do the initial planning and set up. Andy is attacking and therefore got first choice of terrain. He opted for the northern edge which is the let hand side of the photo. I've detailed Neil's force before so here's the French orbat:

1st Div
2 x 36 Guard
2 x 36 Elite
2 x 36 1st Class
12 Skirmishers
4 gun 12pdr Foot Bty (elite)

2nd Div
1 x 36 Vet
2 x 36 1st Class
2 x 36 2nd Class
1 x 36 Militia
12 Skirmishers
4 gun 8pdr Foot Bty

3rd Div
1 x 36 Vet
1 x 32 1st Class
2 x 36 2nd Class
2 x 36 Militia
12 Skirmishers
4 gun 12pdr Foot Bty

4th Div
3 x 32 1st Class
3 x 32 2nd Class
12 Skirmishers
4 gun 8pdr Foot Bty

Cavalry Div
2 x 24 Lt Cav
2 x 32 Hvy cav
3 gun 6pdr Horse Bty (Elite)

As you can see Andy has gone for a balanced approach to his divisions, though my personal view is that six battalions isn't really enough per division especially when attacking using ITGM rules. That said when you have two guard and two elite battalions in one of them they are a bit meatier.
We'll be following the same format as before, with the battle reports coming from the two commanders once the game is over. Though it may be interesting in future games to get interim reports on the blog.

This tester campaign has been really useful as a precursor to our next effort. It will be slightly more complex and we've changed a lot of the detail, but it will still be based on seperate commands operating to achieve a common goal. One of the main things that we've learned is that it's much better to allow the umpire to have a degree of omnipotence in the campaign rather than trying to write rules for every eventuality. The umpire will make decisions such as where and when reserves can arrive and at what point a battle has run its course.
Next week the game continues on our more usual thursday night and the following day I'm off once again to Scarborough for a week at the wargames holiday centre, so it's unlikely that I'll get an update done of the battle before I return. However Dom and I are going to try to get a couple of river boards made between now and then and if we're succesful I'll hopefully be able to make a post about that.