1813 BLOODY BIG BATTLES PART DEUX!

Image

We met again at the end of November for another “Bloody Big Battles” Napoleonic game, once again, we set it in Germany in 1813 but somewhat later in the year. Once again, we had Austrians and Russians facing off against the French. The Allies had:

ALLIED ARMY

All Russian Infantry are  Stoic.

ALLIED ARMY

1st Army of the West   Barclay de Tolly

II Corps Baggavout
4

4

1

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

Heavy Foot

4th Div Prince Eugene of Wurttemburg

17th Div Alsufev

III Corps Tuckkov I
6

5

1

1

T S

V A

Light Foot

Heavy Foot

3rd Div Konovnitzin

1st Gren Div Strogonoff

IV Corps Ostermann-Tolstoi
5

3

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

11th Div Olsoufieff

23rd Div Bakmetieff I

VI Corps Docturov
4

4

1

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

Heavy Foot

7th Div Kapsevitch

24th Div Lichatcheff

I Cavalry Corps Uvarov
3 V M  
III Cavalry Corps Kreutz
3 M  
2 Horse Artillery Batteries  
Cossacks Platov
3

3

Lt Ir

Lt Ir

 

Austrians – Schwarzenburg

All Austrians are Passive.

I Corps Colloredo
6

6

1

1

T S

T

Heavy Foot

Light Foot

 
II Corps Merveldt
6

6

1

T S

T

Light Foot

 
III Corps Gyulai
6

1

T S

Light Foot

 

 

IV Corps Klenau
6

1

T S

Heavy Foot

 
Austrian Cuirassiers Nostitz
3 V H  
Austrian Cavalry
3 T M  
Austrian Cavalry
3 T Lt  

And the French had:

Imperial Guard Mortier                                                                 Arrives overnight.
4

5

4

1

2

V A DV

V A

V M A

Veteran Horse Artillery Battery

Veteran Heavy Foot Batteries

(OG) Curial

(YG) Roguet

Cavalry Bessieres

 

I Corps Davout                                                                               Arrives overnight.
4

5

5

1

1

V S A

V S A

T S

Medium Foot Battery

Heavy Foot Battery

1st Division Morand

2nd Div Friant

3rd Div Gerard

 

II Corps Marmont                                                                          Arrives overnight.
4

4

1

T S

T S

Heavy Foot Battery

 
III Corps Ney
5

4

1

1

T S

T S

Medium Foot Battery

Heavy Foot Battery

10th Div Ledru

11th Div Razout + 25th Div Scheler (Wurt)

IV Corps Eugene
3

4

4

1

T

T S

T S

Medium Foot Battery

IT Royal Guard Pino

13 Div Delzons

14 Div Broussier

V Corps (Poles) Poniatowski
4

3

1

T S A

T S A

Medium Foot Battery

16th Div Zayonchek

17th Div Kniaziewicz

VIII Corps (Westphalian) Junot
6

1

T S F

Medium Foot Battery

23rd Div Tharreau + 24th Div Ochs
Murat
1 Horse Artillery Battery  
II Cavalry Corps Montbrun                                                                Arrives overnight.
4 V H  
III Cavalry Corps Grouchy
3 V Lt  
IV Cavalry Corps Latour-Maubourg
4 V H Poles, Westphalians and Saxons

The plan was to play 6 turns, break for a night interval, and then play 6 more turns. The Allies didn’t know about the French reinforcements until the start of Turn 6, so they had some quick thinking to do! The French, of course, knew about them all along!

The table looked like:

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

With the French on the left of the first picture and the right of the second.

The Allies diced to come on – anything but a 1/2 and they were on the table on Turn 1 and able to deploy up to the woods starting on the left of the second picture, running in a rough line across to the far table edge through the next two woods.

The French were all on table and deployed up to the road running across the table in the second of the pictures above with their line continuing through the two woods to the table edge. Poniatowski took the left holding the near village and the wood behind. Ney was left centre holding the next village along to the wood. Then came Eugene across to the hill on the right , which was held by Junot. III Cavalry Corps covered the extreme right and IV Cavalry Corps was in reserve behind Ney.

Both Allied commanders managed to throw low – no Allies on the table on Turn 1! However, they went first that turn and began to advance. Broadly speaking, they split into three groups. The Austrians were on their extreme right and were positioned to turn the French left flank with the village held by the Poles their first objective. Over on their left, one group of Russians was aiming to turn the French right flank by advancing across the stream and onto Junot’s flank. The other group of Russians was aimed directly at Eugene!

Over the course of the next 6 turns, the Austrians first flanked and cleared the most forward village held by the Poles, destroying the division holding it. More Austrians swung very wide and were clearly intent on a deep envelopment of the French left, although they made slow progress. Over on the French right, the situation was not dissimilar, with the Russians on that flank making good speed towards the stream with a view to turning Junot’s flank, whilst Eugene was being pressed to his front.

On Turn 6 the Allies learnt of the approaching French reinforcements, which gave them pause for thought that Turn. We then went into the night interval. This allowed the Allies to move forward, with those that had lagged behind closing up. Poniatowski also used the opportunity to trade more space for time and withdrew to a new line hinged on the village held by Ney and heading back to the table edge. He was joined by Marmont, who formed a new line along the road. Davout and the Guard came on behind Eugene, or at least some of them did! Poor rolls meant they were less coherent than would have been ideal and some did not make it on (we made the reinforcements roll as normal and then they could move a full move/half move/not at all onto the table dependant on the result). Murat brought the cavalry and horse artillery over on the right, even further across than Junot, whose cavalry support had been lost battling Russian cavalry on the first day.

With the scene set for the next day, we cracked on! The Austrians continued to make progress and got cavalry right around behind the French left, forcing the French cavalry to face off against them. Things then began to go Poniatowski’s way. His cavalry threw back the Austrian cavalry and his infantry counter attacked into the flank of the Austrian infantry that was closing on the rear of the French cavalry. The close combat went the way of the French and an Austrian division was sent tumbling to the rear.

Over on the French right flank, the Russians adopted a defensive posture and successfully destroyed the Guard cavalry, which had come too far forward in march column!

The main action was in the centre. Eugene threw his troops forward as Davout and the Young Guard approached as quickly as the movement dice would allow. The Old Guard were predictably slow moving and ended up being diverted to help Poniatowski as there was no chance of them reaching the scene of the action in time. However, Eugene’s troops crashed forward, losing men to the Russians as they approached, but doing damage of their own. Assaults were mounted and halted or thrown back. Russian cavalry also threw themselves into the fray, holding back another French division.

And then we had to call it a day. There should have been two more turns, but the need for some to leave early meant we called it as was. We concluded that the Austrians had been halted, but that they were well placed to mount a further attack in due course, probably after using the night to sort themselves out. Poniatowski was reasonably placed, but had run out of space to trade for time and would have had to have held his current position, which we felt would have been difficult. The Russians on the French right/Allied left were relatively unscathed and not under any pressure, they could act as they wished. In the centre, we felt weight of French numbers would have told in due course, but probably not in the remaining two turns. We therefore concluded that the Allied centre would have suffered damage, but that they would probably have been able to hold on until nightfall and withdraw during darkness. This would probably have prompted the Austrians to withdraw as well, leaving the French in possession of the field, but without the victory they had sought. Neither side managed a knockout blow and both commanders would have rued the missed opportunity as both sides lived to fight another day.

And here are some pictures of the action:

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

Monty the Desert Rat

 

1813 BLOODY BIG BATTLES

Image

We met at the Club yesterday for another run out with “Bloody Big Battles” and the amendments for the Napoleonic period. The game was set in 1813 with the French on the back foot in Germany. In accordance with agreed strategy, the Allies are avoiding Napoleon and focusing on his Marshals and this time it was Ney’s turn! Ney has been somewhat ‘enthusiastic’ and got himself exposed with the Allies converging. He has the following under his command:

II Corps Marmont
4

4

1

T S

T S

Heavy Foot Battery

 
III Corps Ney
5

4

1

1

T S

T S

Medium Foot Battery

Heavy Foot Battery

10th Div Ledru

11th Div Razout + 25th Div Scheler (Wurt)

IV Corps Eugene
3

4

4

2

T

T S

T S

Medium Foot Batteries

IT Royal Guard Pino

13 Div Delzons

14 Div Broussier

V Corps (Poles) Poniatowski
4

3

1

T S A

T S A

Medium Foot Battery

16th Div Zayonchek

17th Div Kniaziewicz

VIII Corps (Westphalian) Junot
6

1

T S F

Medium Foot Battery

23rd Div Tharreau + 24th Div Ochs
II Cavalry Corps Montbrun
4 H F  
III Cavalry Corps Grouchy
3 Lt F

So, not too bad. Some useful artillery and plenty of Generals (the ones in bold are on table and count)!

On the Allied side, a combined Austrian (under Schwarzenburg) and Russian (under Barclay de Tolly) force is converging, with the following (all Austrians were Passive and all Russian infantry was Stoic); Russians listed first and Austrians second:

I Corps Gorchakov
4

4

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

 
II Corps Wurttemburg
4

4

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

 
III Corps Raevski
4

4

1

V A

T S

Light Foot

Gren Div
V Corps Yermolov
4

4

1

V A

V A

Heavy Foot

Gd Div

Gren Div

I Cavalry Corps Gollitzin
3 V M  
II Cavalry Corps
3 M
I Corps Colloredo
6

6

1

T S

T

Light Foot

 
II Corps Merveldt
6

6

1

T S

T

Light Foot

 
III Corps Gyulai
6

1

T S

Light Foot

 

 

IV Corps Klenau
6

1

T S

Light Foot

 
Austrian Cuirassiers Nostitz
3 V H  
Austrian Cavalry
3 T M

The table was as follows:

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

with the French on the side with the 2 roads exiting centrally as shown on the right of the picture immediately above (apologies for some of the photos – a bright day with the shutters on the Hall windows open meant a patchwork of bright and dark areas on the table). The French were on table from the start, the Allies were split into 3 commands and diced with a 5/6 meaning that they were on table at the start, a 3/4 meant they would arrive on Turn 1 and a 1/2 would see them coming on in Turn 2. The game was scheduled to last 8 turns.

The objective was all about the French Army. The Allies aim was to crush it, Ney’s aim was to check the Allied advance to allow him to break clean and withdraw through the night unmolested. As umpire, this is where I fell a little short of the mark. The French CinC got the idea that all he had to do was keep pulling back and get off the table until I pointed out that that would not check the Allies and that they would still be hot on his heels. He took the point well, but I think he might have played things a little differently had he realised quite what he had to do.

Anyway, off we went. The French deployed pretty much across the table, spreading themselves thinly and with no reserve. They also deployed well forward, although I believe this was to force the Allies to deploy early and then slip away. The Allies could come on anywhere along their own table edge and basically up to the half way point on both flanks.

Allied movement dice rolling started badly and stayed that way. All 3 commanders threw consistently poor dice, which was a shame and did mean that the scenario didn’t go as well as hoped. That’s another point for me – the scenario needed to account more for such poor dice rolling. So, start of Turn 1 and not a single Allied soldier on the Table! And the only ones to arrive were one command of Russians over on the far right (I’ll do everything from a French perspective). Even then, they were slow with quite a few units not moving or only getting a half move.

Turn 2 did see the rest of the Allies arrive, but with not much more haste. The Austrians came on centre and centre left but the left hand (from the French side) Corps did very little. Some accurate artillery fire from the French (Marmont and Eugene) silenced the Austrian batteries and disrupted the infantry. Passive and with no General, they really didn’t get across the Start Line all day.

In the centre the Austrians did better, the presence of Schwarzenburg making all the difference. However, their artillery was sent packing by the Polish gunners and the advance was slow and ponderous. An attempt to drive their cavalry into the right flank of Eugene’s Corps was shot to pieces by the Poles (amazing what a double 6 can do!!) and the advancing infantry had to recover from several disrupts before being able to charge the village held by the Poles. However, accurate fire from the village stopped them in their tracks, killed a number of Austrians and disrupted the leading units. At this stage and with night falling, Poniatowski felt he had done enough and ordered the withdrawal. The guns and one division fell back, but the second division was slow (half move) and was vulnerable to being caught.

Over on the right, Ney’s Corps extended from the Poles further right and then Junot’s Westphalians held the extreme right. The Russians moved better (not passive) and managed to get some cavalry around the French flank and across the stream. The French cavalry threw them back, but the infantry following up caught them from 2 sides and shot them to pieces. The Westphalians then bounced the Russian Guards and Russian Cavalry. Trying to pull away, Russian fire gave a halt, disrupted result and so their planned withdrawal stopped, leaving them really quite exposed as night fell. Of course, Ney’s Corps was there to assist…….oh……. no it wasn’t! The left hand Division was gone – shot to pieces – and the right hand Division was in a poor state – low on ammo and disrupted, almost spent and with hordes of Russians closing, I ruled they would not have made it away.

So, the scores on the doors! Marmont, Eugene, half of the Poles and one French cavalry corps would have made good their escape, Ney’s corps and one cavalry corps were lost, the Westphalians had little chance of breaking clear and it was touch and go for the rest of the Poles. About 50% gone. We concluded Ney’s chat with the Emperor would be both interesting and lacking in coffee and biscuits! But we also felt the Allies would be disappointed. So much more should have been possible but they just couldn’t get it together. The story of much of 1813, in reality, and a real tribute to the command and control in BBB, allowing such to be represented so well and so easily.

Another area of post game discussion was the Allied plan. Clearly when you all throw poor dice, then that’s going to be an issue, but the intent had been to hit the French line in several places at the same time. We debated whether this is really an option with troops with such poor maneuverability. We discussed whether the Allies should have simply pushed forward and then, if necessary, paused rather than trying to get everyone from the start line to the objective simultaneously. We also wondered if they should have made more use of march column – that +1 can really make a difference and, on roads, much ground can be covered quite quickly. Yes, there is risk, but the Allies had the numbers to take losses, what they didn’t have was time.

The other subject is one that has been a constant theme for us. The attackers just don’t seem to be able to get their artillery into action. It moves up limbered, is therefore a prime target, gets hit, gets silenced and goes back. Repeat. Repeat. The exception this time was the Russians, whose guns’ approach was better covered by their infantry, which combined with the French redeployments, including of their artillery, to allow Russian guns to get into decent range (12″ and less) and they were the ones that really hurt Ney’s Corps. We continue to debate this issue – I feel that their approach has to be covered – let cavalry or infantry take the heat until the guns are in the right place and deployed. Harsh, but the guns are real killers in the later Napoleonic age and they are needed. I also felt that this deprived the Allies of the chance to disrupt the French infantry and complicate the withdrawal process. Withdrawing in the face of the enemy is hard, doing it under fire even more so. I wonder if the French would have become more fragmented and vulnerable had they been disrupted by artillery fire much earlier?

Anyway, some piccies of the action:

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

Monty the Desert Rat.

 

SITREP 008

Image

Hello again!! Time for another update from Monty HQ. First up some 10mm Napoleonic Russians:

DSC01750DSC01747 DSC01748 DSC01749  DSC01751 DSC01752 DSC01753 DSC01754 DSC01755 DSC01756

Then some generic Middle East armour:

DSC01714 DSC01715 DSC01717 DSC01716 DSC01718 DSC01719 DSC01720 DSC01721 DSC01722 DSC01723 DSC01724 DSC01725 DSC01726

and finally some Post Apoc bits and pieces:

DSC01728 DSC01729 DSC01730 DSC01731 DSC01732 DSC01733 DSC01734 DSC01735 DSC01736 DSC01737 DSC01738 DSC01739 DSC01740 DSC01742 DSC01743 DSC01741 DSC01744 DSC01745 DSC01746

Back soon!

 

Monty the Desert Rat

SITREP 005

Image

I know I’ve been a bit quiet of late, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been busy here at Monty HQ. Quite the contrary and I now have quite a few photos to tantalise!!

First up we have more mats, starting with Papua New Guinea, including coastline:

DSC01436 DSC01439 DSC01438 DSC01437

And then we have Crete:

DSC01476 DSC01480 DSC01479 DSC01478 DSC01477

Going to the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, we have some 28mm Germans all ready for winter:

DSC01442 DSC01441 DSC01440 DSC01452 DSC01451 DSC01449 DSC01448 DSC01447 DSC01446 DSC01444 DSC01443

And staying with WW2, we have some 1/300 scale US and German aircraft:

DSC01461 DSC01460 DSC01459 DSC01458 DSC01457 DSC01456 DSC01455 DSC01454

And, in parallel, I’ve been developing an extendable flight stand, which I hope to have available for sale soon:

DSC01463 DSC01462

We have more Sci Fi tanks:

DSC01465 DSC01464 DSC01467 DSC01466

and, finally, some 15mm Napoleonics:

DSC01473 DSC01472 DSC01471 DSC01470 DSC01475 DSC01474

 

Monty the Desert Rat