Sunday, 9 December 2012

Old Leipzig Town: Wargaming Leipzig 2013 (2)

Last week, the ‘three amigos of the ANF gathered together for the last time for 2012 to discuss some town planning. The topic of our musings: representing the town of Leipzig in our bicentennial game.

We had a number of town plans including two from supplied the ‘library’ of Julian’s long-time wargaming friend Tim and another from Pigeard’s wonderful book “Leipzig : La bataille des Nations (16-19 octobre 1813)” which I have acquired recently, plus descriptions from Pigeard, Petre (still one of the best on the subject) and Lieven. In the  old chestnut of ‘realism’ vs practicality we leant strongly towards the latter, as we usually do, thus rapidly and painlessly agreed on our approach.

We have opted for a stylised version covering 400 x 400 mm^2 on the table, which will be 800 m x 800 m once scaled. This is about right for the area occupied by the old city and will give a suitably impressive BUA on the tabletop, while still being practicable.

Town plan for Leipzig showing sections of old wall (dark brown outline), roads (shaded brown), gates (denoted by the openings), two churches (denoted by crosses), university (bottom RH corner) and the Börse (centre RH side).

As with all of our villages, towns and cities, Leipzig will be constructed on 100 x 100 mm^2 squares, thus affording flexibility and transferability for future games. These 16 squares provide sufficient area for some distinct features and buildings such as two churches, a university, the Börse, the Rathaus, the town square, some large buildings, terraced buildings and smaller buildings, plus sections of the dilapidated old wall and the four roads in with their key gates.

It's now over to our architect and builder-in-chief, Julian “Wren”, who will manage the design and construction. No doubt he will take our simple plan and produce the same wonderful results that he did with the Borodino church, the Chernostrov Monastery and Maloyaroslavets town—which will make its debut in our re-run of that game in early 2013.

Julian's excellent Maloyaroslavets town (not shown in place, but merely placed on the table)
Not letting any grass grow under his feat, Julian has sent us a photo, taken from his overseas solo "sweat-shop", showing some of the early stages of construction. One marvellous aspect of this is the top quality materials that Julian utilises. His works of art are all produced from recycled boxes—boxes that formerly contained dog biscuits being a preferred material! I look forward to posting updates as the construction progresses.

Construction of the Rathaus, fresh from Julian's overseas solo "sweat-shop"
Meanwhile, painting the necessary troops is continuing...

Sources mentioned above

  • Lieven, D (2009) Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace. Penguin Books, London, England. 618 pp.
  • Petre, FL (1974) Napoleon's Last Campaign in Germany, 1813. First Published 1912. Arms and Armour Press, London, UK. 403 pp.
  • Pigeard, A (2009) Leipzig : La bataille des Nations (16-19 octobre 1813). Napoleon 1er Editions, St Cloud, France. 82 pp.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Phil. We can always rely on your supportive comments; and thirst for more! :-)

      Rest assured, our man "Wren" is working on more as I type this!

  2. I am also waiting to see more.
    You could consider the Croebern site for more alternatives:

    1. Thanks Rafa. I/we became aware of the wonderful Croebern/Möckern dioramas thanks to previous posts on your blog.

      I note that you too are constructing; and most creative stuff too. Check it out Julian (and anyone else reading this):

  3. Hi James - it sounds like a lot of fun planning the terrain for a game like this, will you have enough space to feature the bridge over the Elster river?


    1. You are dead right Ian, it is great to plan each stage and slowly bring the whole thing to fruition; at least that is how it was with Eylau and Borodino. These blogs serve as a great reminder to us of what we did and hopefully may even be of interest to others. We certainly get heaps of inspiration from looking at those of others!

      The Elster is represented by the thin blue line down the LHS of the plan. The bridge that was blown on 18th October 1813 was actually a causeway over the river and marshland between Leipzig and Lindenau and began at the edge/outside of the city per se. We plan to custom-build one. It will come from the large road at the top LH corner of Leipzig.