Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Guest blogger (5): Wachau, 16th October 1813

Phil, our good e-friend and dedicated solo wargamer recently finished another game based on a battle of the bicentennial years, this time staging an excellent re-fight of the combat around Wachau on the first day of Leipzig. He has kindly sent me photos and a report of the game to post here.

Step 1: Painting – lots of Austrians.

Step 2: Research – hmm – None of these maps are the same! Hard to fit everything on, so ground scale is compressed and movement reduced accordingly.

Step 3: The armies form up.

Klenau’s Austrian IV Corps form the Allied left.

Platov’s Cossacks.

Poniatowski’s Poles march from Connewitz to Markkleeberg to stem the tide.

Guard cavalry.

Young Guard move to the French centre.

Step 4: To battle!

Klenau moves to occupy Seiferstshain, with Zieten(?) on his left.

Allied centre – Gortchakov emerges from Grossposna to begin his advance on  Liebertwolkwitz

Wachau, Russian artillery begin bombardment supported by Cossacks and hussars

Kleist’s Prussians move up on the left.

Another view of same.

8am; Austrian II Corps advanced troops move up on the west side of the Fliese they make slow progress owing to the marshy ground...

9am; Young Guard move to defend Liebertwolkwitz & Augerau is moved towards Markkleeberg to support the Poles.

Platov’s Cossacks plunge into the woods in the east.

10 am; Macdonald's XI Corps also move up. The dice are favouring the French with casualties more heavy as a result of the shorter movement.

View Of French left/centre.

11 am; The fight for Markkleeberg begins. The Poles throw back allied attacks while in the centre the French of V Corps take heavy casualties. Russian Grenadiers arrive.

General view of Eastern flank.

12 am; Austrian cavalry attack.

Clouds of Cossacks (shaky pictures!).

Klenau finally attacks Holzhausen.

1pm: the battle surges back and forth with counter attacks from the Young Guard met by Russian light cavalry near Wachau. Lauriston clashes with the Prussians.

The remnants of V Corps prove that frontally assaulting artillery is a bad idea under any rule system and break, fleeing to the rear....

The maps were contradictory but I probably started the allies too far back hence their poor performance at this point compared to the historic situation.

2pm: Allied reinforcements (including Russian/Prussian Guard arrive).

Wachau remains firmly in French hands!  – (this is a good example of game not following historical precedent).

Heavy Polish casualties at Markkleeberg but they stay in control (allied units too far back to take the ground).

3pm – Young Guard spearhead French counter attack in the centre, Cuirassiers and Guard Cav sweep forward...

4pm - The Russians try their luck at Markkleeberg supported by a cavalry attack on Augerau’s depleted command.

Despite the allied reinforcements allowing the offensive to be renewed they fail to make head way.

5pm The remaining Poles move up under Poniatowski’s direction and cavalry battle breaks out around Wachau (Berg Lancers= Esci figures on HaT horses).

(Oops beware the Hun in the sun!).

French counter attack deep into the allied side of the board while the Cossacks are driven off by French light troops on the West side (not pictured).

General view of East side – note fibre wadding smoke to help keep track of who has fired!

6pm The Poles evacuate Markkleeberg to counter the threat from the Austrians moving up on their right which allows the Russians to take the village. By now allied artillery fire means that Wachau is also empty of defenders but these are the only Allied gains.

The French retain the upper hand around Liebertwolkwitz but are not really in a position to consolidate. 
Vast Austrian reinforcements pour in over the Fliese mean allied victory in this sector is inevitable but overall it is probably draw (with the French having remained on top throughout really) just like the real thing. I blame the General(s).


Another top report of a fabulous game, thanks Phil!!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Gå På (2): Figure Review Mars Swedish Infantry

I'm a bit excited, I have just finished my first units of Swedes for the Great Northern War.

Gå På! I particularly like these two pike figures from the Mars set (pikes made using wire)

As I mentioned in my review of the Gå På rules, the Great Northern War has been a period of interest to me every since my father introduced me to it c/- Almedingen’s Lion of the North. It's only now, with the combination of my wargaming renaissance, thanks to combining with Mark and Julian to form our little group of like-minded wargamig amigos, plus the availability (since the late 1990s) of lovely 1/72nd figures for the period from Zvezda, Strelets and Mars that I am ready to make it a wargaming reality.

So, whilst the principal game that we are preparing for at present is the bicentennial of Waterloo, I am allowing myself to slip in a unit or two of troops for the Great Northern War along with my Napoleonic French, so as to contribute to our developing capacity in this period.

My first Swedish units painted for the Great Northern War: Närke-Värmlands (left) and Södermanlands (right).

The first figures that I decided to paint were Mars Swedish Infantry. While they did not impress our friends at Plastic Soldier Review (PSR)* I knew immediately that I saw the pictures on-line that they'd be the sort of figures that I would like to paint.

* I encourage anyone interested in a full review of the set to visit Plastic Soldier Review.

My roughly painted flags don't bear too-close scrutiny!

The reasons that the reviewer on PSR puts forward for being less than-impressed with these figures—'rough' mould, the nature of the poses and generally large build of the figures—are the aspects that attract me to them. (That's one of the many marvellous things about PSR. The aspects that lead the reviewer to form his opinion are clearly given, so It matters not whether one agrees or disagrees as the review and accompanying photos make it easy to form one's own decision). I thought that they'd look great when painted, even by a painter such as me who is average, at best.

The uniform details came from the descriptions and pictures in volume 1 of Höglund and Sallnäs' marvellous two-volume uniform books of this period. I painted the Närke-Värmlands regiment (above) with the red stockings that they wore from around 1704.

The Södermanlands regiment are sporting the white stockings that they wore from around 1702. The standing pikemen is a simple conversion of a wounded figure which I think worked quite well.

Our 'standard' unit size for the 18th Century is 12 figures of infantry, although units of larger size can easily be fielded, especially with the Gå På rules. I have one more full unit to paint using these Mars figures, so plan to paint them as the Västerbottens regiment.

Uniform source
Höglund, L-E and Sallnäs, Å (2006) The Great Northern War 1700 - 1721 - Volume 1 - Colours and Uniformes. Acedia Press, Karlstad. 142 pp.