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
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
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.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Putting my money where my mouth is: Part Deux.

In the last post I said I would post some pics of my opposition armies. Well, here they are.

First up are the Khwarizmians (they double up as Sassanids if there is a Roman amy in the area). Like the 6mm Mongols from teh previous post I don't have any game pics as yet but I'm thinking about it. Watch this space!
Also, I would like to say that the bases of these -and the Mongols- have been repainted to match my boards and they look a lot better for it! Both armies are at least 25 years old.

I also have Khwazmians and Polish in 10mm: Mongols on the left, Khwarzmians on the right. The Khwarizmians are still very much a WIP -only 99 cavalry and 30 infantry painted so far. All Irregular but I have some Pendraken infantry in the painting queue.

 Some of the units from the ongoing Polish army. I have 183 infantry and 80 cavalry painted with another 30 cavalry and 60 infantry to go. All Pendraken.

There are no 15mm opposition armies but as the Mongols aren't painted yet that isn't a problem.

Moving on to 25/28mm. I have two armies, one of Poles and the other of Russians, both culled from a number of manufacturers.

 The complete Polish army with Duke Henry of Silesia in the centre of the line with his yellow caparisoned steed and eagle standard. This was a set up in the back garden last year, hence the decent lighting.

 The Poles in action at the Alumwell Show in 2007.

Part of the Russian Army, the druzina cavalry screened by some polovtsi. The buildings on the left are home made by me.

Russian levy infantry under attack from Mongol HC. Again taken at the Alumwell Show.

I couldn't close the post without a picture of Chinggis Khan's favourite command hound, Snoopy Khan. (My daughter found him for me way back when.)

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Putting my money where my mouth is.

I thought it was about time that I actually showed you some of the Mongols that I am forever pontificating about.
Firstly in 6mm -all Irregular Miniatures. (Picture taken from an earlier post on the blog.)

Now in 10mm. Most of these are Irregular from wwwaaayyy back and I've not long finished the last of the light cavalry for the second tumen. This is a picture of a single tumen in battle order with the HC at the fore to start with. The LC would soon move through or around them in sequence to bombard the enemy. When the commander deemed the time was right he would send in the HC while the LC continued to harass the flanks and rear of the enemy. At the rear of the formation  is the tuman-u-noyan next to the base of remounts. (The commander and his retinue are from Magister Militum...I think). I have two tumat made by Irregular; this one is at almost full strength of nine units while the other is smaller with only six units of LC and 2 of HC. The third -and still under construction is by Pendraken and will consist of four units of LC and two of HC. In the future I will get some LC to round it off a little more.

This second pic shows the LC on the move. The front centre two units have opened out into a line to pin the enemy frontally while the two flanking units move around the flanks. The remainder of the LC move up to support either manoeuvre. The HC are now at the rear of the formation but are ready to move in any direction.

My 15mm Mongols -by a number of manufacturers- are under a repaint order and a total of 28 out of 130 or so of them have been finished.

In 25/28mm again a number of manufacturers are represented including Irregular, Curteys, First Corps and Warrior to name but a few. Below is a selection. 

Next time I will post some pictures of the opposition armies.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

There it was, gone.

There goes 2014. As far as wargaming life in general it went with more than a whimper than a bang.
 In the intervening three months since my last post I have painted some more figures -mostly 6mm. At Broadside in June I brought some figures from Adler and I managed to paint 2 regiments of SYW Prussian infantry plus attached artillery and a regiment of Kuirassiers and very nice little chaps they are as well. I'm trying -on and off- to build up at least two armies which at the moment are Prussian and Austrian. In total they added another 206 figures meaning that I managed to put some paint on 692 with the remainder being 10mm.
  In November I had an extremely quiet month wargaming wise as I joined a group called NaNoWriMo which stands for the National November Write Month. The basic idea is to see if you can write a 50,000 word first draft of a book in the month of November, breaking it down meant 1,666 words per day. I managed to get about 90% of the novel completed and passed the target on 29th November. Since then I have written another 9,000 words on it but the first draft is still not quite complete.
  I also joined the 6mm Napoleonic Wargaming forum and have been reasonably active on there.

  While on the forum I happened to mention my Mini Figs 5mm Napoleonic armies made up of blocks of figures and that got the old tangential thought processes working. Since then I have written up the old set of rules we used back in the 1970's known as the Flinch Point Rules, written by a friend of mine, sadly no longer with us, Matt Love. He wrote the basic mechanisms of the rules which have since been copied by a number of modern rule writers while the rest of us playtested and added our thoughts and ideas. With this in mind I intended to have a solo game but then came up against a problem. All my buildings had been lost in the pulling down of the Circle Community Centre in Brum. Undeterred, I dug out a book I have which has a fantastic picture of the Battle of Fieidland by the contemporary artist Simeon Fort in it. Using that as my guide, I am making some buildings with the traditional beam and infill construction method. I have a 120 x 120 base completed and another 15 buildings at various stages on the production line. Hopefully, some pics and maybe an AAR will follow.
   Some good news to end the year on. The Irons managed to end 2014 in the top half of the table. COYI!
   So really, that is about it. 2014 was a quiet year but hopefully 2015 will be different, we will see.