Friday, 21 May 2010

The Battle of Schweinfurt

We've just started a new campaign here at the garage.  One which is primarily designed to throw up fun and interesting battles.  To set the scene both the Allies and the French have three seperate armies each of which the individual commanders are allowed to breakdown into a number of corps using a list of available troops.  The average army is about thirty to forty battalions strong with attached cavalry and artillery.  The area we're using is Northern Germany primarily because I was lucky enough to find this beautiful map on TMP, created by Malcolm Mccallum using the CC3 map making software.  Malcolm was kind enough to allow me to use the map for the campaign for which I'm extremely grateful.
Malcolm's Northern Germany map with the initial deployment areas added. His others can be found at this link:
Movement is on roads only, at the rate of about twenty miles a day though formations need to rest periodically or lose troops due to straggling.  The basic idea is that by occupying the majority of towns in a given area, that area comes under control.  The side which gains control of two thirds of the map is deemed the winner.  Not very historical I grant you but the idea as stated at the beginning of this piece is to generate battles and that aim was achieved almost immediately.  In the South an Austro-Russian army heading West from Ansbach has run into the French army of the Danube advancing from Wurtzburg at the small town of Schweinfurt.  Or to be more accurate elements of each army have clashed there.

The Battlefield of Schweinfurt looking from the Northeast.  The town is in the centre with the road to Wurtzburg leading off in the distance.

Staying true to the wargamer ethic both commanders on being informed of enemy troops to their front gave the order to advance and engage.  Fortunately for both of them the opposing forces were roughly even but had one of them been in strength then the other would probably have received a severe drubbing.  Each side is fielding an infantry corps supported in the case of the French by a strong cavalry corps.  Due to the numbers involved being relatively small I decided to increase the infantry and foot artillery by fifty per cent and fight the battle on one table.

Schweinfurt from the North defended by the Austrians and Russians of Weissenwolfs Corps

The Allies having arrived slightly earlier than the French gained control of the town and set up a defence facing westwards towards the Wurtzburg road where Eric had already deployed an infantry division.  They were however surprised to discover that Andy, having delayed his deployment for two turns now began arriving on table from the South.  This required some quick thinking from the Allies and a redeployment of some of the infantry.

The French assault on Schweinfurt gets under way.

Things were beginning to look difficult for the Allies, if the the French could co-ordinate their two seperate assaults they would have nearly double the numbers of the defenders and should be able to take Schweinfurt  before the Allies had the chance to deploy the rest of the corps.  Much would depend on the ability of the Allied cavalry to delay one or both of the French assaults.

We got as far as turn eight of the projected twenty four turns last night and it's been a bloody clash to say the least.  I'll post a report of how the battle is progressing during the weekend so stay tuned.


Rafael Pardo said...

I love these massed troops.

Chris Cornwell said...

I see some rather nice new buildings!

Stryker said...

Hi Noel - do any of those buildings house a small ball-bearing factory? Only joking! Looks like another great game.


Noel said...

Hi Ian, it appears I may have unintentionally misled a few people with the title of the battle. To my shame I had to google Schweinfurt to discover that it was a target in WW2. Then again it's never been my period :)