Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Neustadt, a solo 5mm Napoleonic battle.

Over the past few evenings I have conducted a solo Napoleonic game using my venerable 5mm Mini Figs blocks and a great set of rules that our group used to play with, known colloquially by us as the Flinch Point rules. Now these figures haven't seen the light of day for at least thirty years so I decided they well overdue an airing. Although my forces are organised for 1815, they fit the bill.

The terrain is all home made including the buildings which have been constructed out the old standby, cereal packet card and are based on the buildings in a painting of the Battle of Friedland by the contemporary French artist Simeon Fort..

I'll bet some people haven't seen these for a long time and others may have never seen them!

Bit of background:-

It is 1813 and the French armies are advancing through Prussia towards the crucial town of Hanover. A single Corps d’Armée commanded by Lieutenant-General Compte Reille has been ordered to take and retain the small market-town of Neustadt to deny the enemy the use of the area, especially the valley between the high ground to the south-west of the town. Earlier in the campaign, the Emperor re-assigned Foy’s division but has hinted that it may be in the area to act as reinforcements.
Already occupying the town and the surrounding area are troops from General von Zietan’s I Armeekorps. His orders from Feldmarschal von Blücher are to hold the town until the remaining two brigades of the Armeekorps can arrive. This is estimated to be sometime in the early afternoon.
The battle is opened at 06:00 by the French artillery.

Order of Battle
Prussia
France
Commander: General von Zietan, OC I Armeekorps
3rd Brigade, General von Jagow
7th, 29th IR’s and 3rd Westphalian Landwehr IR
7th Silesian Artillery Battery [ 8 guns]
4th Brigade, General von Henkel
19th IR and 4th Westphalian Landwehr IR
Silesian Shützen Battalion
8th Brandenburg Art Btty [ 8 guns]
Attached cavalry
II Armeekorps Reserve
5th Brigade, General von Sohr
3rd and 5th Hussars, 5th Kurmark Landwehr Cav Regt

All infantry regiments are 3 battalions and all cavalry regiments are of 4 squadrons unless specified otherwise.

Total of 16 battalions, 12 squadrons and 16 guns.

Commander: Lt Gen Baron Reille, OC II Corps d’Armée
5th Division, Lt Gen Count Bachelu
1st Brigade, 61st Line and 2nd Light [ 4 battalions]
2nd Brigade, 72nd and 108th Line [ 5 battalions]
1 artillery battery [ 8 guns]
7th Division, Lt Gen Girard
1st Brigade, 82nd Line and 11th Light [ 3 battalions]
2nd Brigade, 40th Line and 12th Light [ 5 battalions]
1 artillery battery [ 8 guns]
2nd Cavalry Division, Lt Gen Baron Pire
1st Cavalry Brigade, 1st and 6th Chasseurs-a-cheval
2nd cavalry Brigade, 5th and 6th Lancers
1 Horse artillery battery [ 8 guns]

Total of 17 battalions, 16 squadrons and 24 guns.



Wargame map for the Battle of Neustadt, 1813

Map Details
Prussian formations are in black or black/red and the French are blue or blue/red.
Dark brown areas are the hills, all of which count as high ground. The large hill at lower left has a pass through the middle and this is the only section that can be negotiated, the hills either side are impassable. The hill in the centre of the Prussian lines is wooded as is the hill on the French right flank. There is a wood in between the two hills of the French centre and right. The remainder of the battlefield is open ground.


The Game

Prussian infantry battalion (I/29) in line

French regiment in columns advance towards Neustadt

Prussian set up

French set up

The town of Neustadt


Girard’s first, and unsuccessful, attack on the town is set in motion. 

The French attack on the right flank gets underway. Four battalions supported by Bachelu’s artillery firing canister; the Prussian I/19 flinches under the fire.


The French continue to press on their right flank and now break the I/19 leaving only the III battalion which begins to retire. This means the whole Prussian left is now in complete disorder. All three battalions of the 12 Light charge into the town of Neustadt, forcing the defenders to back away from the barricades and deeper into the town. There is now no chance of the Prussians holding the position so Zietan orders a general retreat covered by Sohr’s cavalry brigade.
The French declined to pursue the Prussians as Reille decided he had achieved his orders and captured the town.

Casualty Returns
Prussia
France
Commander: General von Zietan, OC I Armeekorps
3rd Brigade, General von Jagow
7th Line [-], [-], [-]
29th Line [ 26], [-], [-]
3rd Westphalian Landwehr [10], [-], [12]
7th Silesian Artillery Battery (8 guns) [-]
4th Brigade, General von Henkel
19th Line [34], [94], [-]
4th Westphalian Landwehr IR [6], [-], [-]
Silesian Shutzen Battalion [-]
8th Brandenburg Art Btty (8 guns) [-]
Attached cavalry
II Armeekorps Reserve
5th Brigade, General von Sohr
3rd Hussars [-]
5th Hussars [-]
5th Kurmark Landwehr [-]

Total casualties: 182 officers and men.
Commander: Lt Gen Baron Reille, OC II Corps d’Armée
5th Division, Lt Gen Count Bachelu
1st Brigade,
61st Line [-], [102]
2nd Light [136], [92]
2nd Brigade,
72nd Line [50], [60]
108th Line [-], [-], [26]
1 artillery battery (8 guns) [36], [Destroyed]
7th Division, Lt Gen Girard
1st Brigade,
82nd Line [44], [120]
11th Light [56]
2nd Brigade,
40th Line [54], [12]
12th Light [12], [12], [12]
1 artillery battery (8 guns) [-]
2nd Cavalry Division, Lt Gen Baron Pire
1st Cavalry Brigade,
1st Chasseurs-a-cheval [-]
6th Chasseurs-a-cheval [-]
2nd cavalry Brigade,  
5th Lancers [-]
6th Lancers [-]
1 horse artillery battery [ 8 guns] [-]

Total casualties: 772 officers and men.


For simplicity, all infantry battalions begin the battle with 800 officers and men, all cavalry regiments are 600 sabres and all artillery batteries are 100 officers and men. In all cases of infantry regiments, casualties have been recorded in square brackets as per battalion running in sequence starting with the first. 



A note on the rules. The different coloured stickers are used to show the state of a unit. The yellow and blue alternate each move to show outstanding Flinch Points  and are removed at the end of the following move. The green represent more serious disorder i.e. rallying after a melee and are also removed at the end of the following move provided the unit does nothing. The red show the current moral and physical state of the unit by using casualties as a benchmark. There are three states, Engaged, Committed and Exhausted each showing progressively higher casualties; these remain with the unit until the end of the game.

5 comments:

Robert De Angelis said...

I love the look of the old blocks. It was this and my less wealthy condition back in the early 80's that led me to build armies of haircurlers and matchsticks. They both have that feel of 18th century paintings with their toby jug lines of infantry and cavalry

Subedai said...

I remember reading the original articles about hair curler armies and checking out my mother's to see if they would do. I believe I was thinking mass 7YW at the time. I baulked at checking the different types in Boots (he, he). It never came to anything. I also remember thinking how innovative and clever he idea was.

Robert De Angelis said...

I first saw the idea in a wargamers news letter when Andy Callan was just a lad. Then it was matchsticks.prior to the article he wrote in the glossy mag, he presented a game with curlers at the first or second WD convention. That's when I was hooked. My wife was very understanding and she did the boots bit for me. She was very succesful. I still have a carrier bag full of both types of appropriate curlers. Those curlers satisfied my needs for ACW and 7 years war troops. Only the basing has changed overtime. heheheheh

Ray Rousell said...

An excellent looking game, hopefully I'll be in touch soon about that game I promised you.

Subedai said...

#Robert. I do like the way you've painted those MDF Naps. Very similar to mine only separate figs.
#Ray. Thanks. I'm looking forward to it.