Friday, 30 September 2011

The end of the campaign year 1805

On Friday we met to carry on with the campaign in Alicante, Marshal von Miguel joined the campaign taking up the vacant position of Prussia with his Austrian Army. Unfortunately Tzar Toni could not make it but he left some standing orders for his Allies to follow.

After losing the Battle of Waterloo Prince Jose of the Low countries retreated to Dusseldorf and Archduke Javi with his Austrian advanced and began to lay siege. With Autumn coming and the chance of his line of communication being cut off by the passes being snowbound, he brought up his transport ships and anchored them off the coast near Ulm.

Prince Jose retreated from Dusseldorf to Quatre Bras. Archduke Javi then assaulted Dusseldorf and was successful.

Meanwhile The Prussians under Marshal Miguel sallied out of Breslau to attack the Russians but the Russians retreated back to their newly conquered city of Danzig. The allies sent a messages to Tsar Toni (rang him up on his mobile) and his orders were to attack and it was the turn of the Prussians to retreat back to their city. This time the Prussians carried on retreating

on towards their capital Berlin. The Russians quickly besieged Breslau and on their first turn, just before the onset of winter they assaulted and took it.

In the western area of Europe, the British took the city of Limoges but with French blocking their path to Reims they stayed in the safety of the city. As Autumn turned to winter the French Army retreated to the city of Reims to its winter billets.

This ended the Campaign year of 1805, Russia has the most territory gaining 2 cities, although Prussia still has his full army intact. Austria has a foothold in the Low countries and Britain a foothold in France.

The points at the moment are as follows

France 5

Low Countries 0

Spain(Britain) 18

Austria 18

Prussia 0

Russia 12

For the next campaign I am doing a few changes as the game evolves, first is each army can be split into 1 to 3 corps which only the player knows the strength, to make this easier I am putting a few more roads on the map. I am also making a rule for scouting the corps when they are on adjacent areas. Also we have decided to the campaign movements by Email and then meet to fight the actual battles. After the battle we can get the campaign map out and complete some more moves.

As always will keep you posted


Monday, 26 September 2011

Waterloo 1805


Last Friday night as part of the Lasalle Campaign we played our second battle. The Austrians having crossed the Alps and meeting up with their allies, moved into the low countries of Holland and Belgian (Dutch). The Dutch having already retreating along their lines of communications from the Russians, who had successfully invaded Prussia, now confronted the Austrians.

View of the Campaign Map from the Russian and Austrian side.

The Dutch (French) Force of Conquest Infantry Division and Cuirassiers Brigade arrive on the east side of the battlefield.

The Austrian Avante Garde Division with Hussar Brigade arrive advancing along the southern narrow edge of the table.

The Allied French Support appears but due to losses in the Battle of Nivelle, it contains only one Chasseur unit but Emperor Phil with lucky dice throwing has sent his best cavalry General Murat.

Both armies begin to deploy, the Dutch and French extend their lines across the length of the battlefield whilst the Austrian Hussars move at full pelt in an attempt to get around the Dutch Allied right flank.

The British and Russian Allied reserves arrive on the board at the same time.

On the Dutch far left flank, Uhlan lancers prepare to charge a Dutch foot artillery battery.

The Austrian Hussars begin to circle around the Dutch Right flank.

The Dutch Cuirassiers are blocked from charging by an infantry unit that takes the full brunt of the hussar charge. Just in time the French Chasseurs and their herioc general appears on the flank.

The French Chasseurs ignoring the Austrian hussars threatening their front , charge into the flank of the hussars who in turn were charging the poor Dutch Infantry and rout the hussars, but in the process their general is tragically wounded and sadly (for me, that is) will not take any more part in the battle.

The French and Hussar cavalry watch helplessly as the other Austrian Hussar unit rides over the infantry who could not form square in time and rout.

The Dutch allied cavalry seeking vengance charge the other two Austrian hussar units.

Meanwhile on the other side of the Dutch flank the Austrian uhlans charged the foot battery. The Artillery held firm and fired canister and the Austrian although taking a lot of casualties charged home but were forced to retreat after the artillery men put up stiff resistance. The cavalry fell back a short distance and the artillery reloaded their cannons with cannister ready to finish off the cavalry. But all of a sudden an artillery bombard hit them on the flank and forcing them to limber.

The Dutch Allied cavalry on the right flank again charge the Austrians.

The hussars are pushed back, but the Russian cuirassiers begin to go around the flank.

The Dutch center is being slowly pushed back by the Austrian Infantry with help from their British allies.

After routing two Austrian hussar units, the French Chasseurs are surrounded by enemy cavalry and are finally routed.

With the French Chasseurs gone and the Dutch cuirassiers floundering, the Dutch right flank is wide open.

The Dutch center was putting up a stiff resistance, and then with Jose, Prince of The Low Countries throwing 3 or 4 "ones" in a row, his line collapsed. The Dutch Army had reached its his Army breakpoint. The army retreated of the field with the Austrian allied Cavalry hot in pursuit

View of the campaign area after the battle. The Russians a still laying siege the Austrians at Breslau. The Dutch Army have retreated to reform at Dusseldorf.

The scores for the Players after two Battles is as follows

France 5

Low Countries 0

Spain(Britain) 15

Austria 15

Prussia 0

Russia 9

After the Battle the French chasseurs managed to rally and return in glory to their main army in France.

Unfortunately we didnt have time to play any more campaign turns but hopefully we should be able to finish of the 1805 campaign season this Friday at the club. Will keep you posted.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Lasalle Campaign

Lasalle Campaign

Where did those 8 weeks of holidays go to? I have been dabbling a bit with ancient wargaming after I had a Painted Roman army for my birthday. But the main project that has kept myself busy for the last few weeks was organising a campaign system to play Lasalle games with.

My original idea was to organise a tournament with a simple campaign system that can be played in a day. In hindsight this seemed a little ambitious as the Lasalle battles can last around 3 hours each, although in the last few weeks I have found a couple of systems that might have worked on the excellent TMP message board.

However at the time I remembered the simple campaign system in the back of Phil Barkers DBA system and made a variation of this to use in a Napoleonic form. The major change was to make the map 3D to make it more interesting to play after being influenced by a couple of games I used to play "Campaign" and "Mighty Empires" , I settled on a stylistic map of Europe with 6 countries, France, Spain, Austria, Russia, Prussia and the lowcountries of Holland and Belgian. Each country had two cities and one capital with battlefields copied directly from Lasalle interspersed between them all connected by roads , in the middle I built the mountains to represent the Alps and there is a sea route if needed surrounding the dry land.

Okay, this was not a direct representation of Europe, but I was designing it for a tournament where no player would have an advantage. Worried about the problems of not enough time to play it in one day I also designed a quick way to play Lasalle battles using just the unit cards which turned out to be quite a good game in its self. We had a quick playtest 3 weeks ago just to familarise some of the players with the rules and it was pretty successful with a couple of minor changes to the rules.

We held our first meeting last Sunday, there were five of us. The sixth unfortunately could not make it, so his country (Prussia) became independent. The idea is to keep the campaign running so if all the players agree on a time of the next meeting and then 1 player drops out then his country becomes independent until he returns, If a player leaves the campaign then his place can be taken by a new player.

The forces were as follows:

Phil France French Infantry Div Conquest + Light Cavalry
Jose Low Countries French Infantry Div Conquest + Cuirassier
Kiefer Spain British Light Div + Light Cavalry
Javi Austria Austrian Avante Garde + Hussars
Toni Russia Russian Infantry Division Conquest + Cuirassier

1805 The First Coalition

The first action was to setup alliances which became pretty historical. France and the Low countries became allies and so did Austria and Britain, Russia decided to sit on the fence and be neutral.

The first few weeks of spring saw Russia and the Low countries attacking Prussia. Unfortunately for Jose "the Prince of Orange", the Austrian Army was inside the city of Breslau making the siege a more tougher proposition.

Czar Toni had better luck invading East Prussia and after a month of bombarding the old city walls he assaulted and captured the city of Danzig

The Austrian Army of Archduke Javi marched over the Alps to threaten the South of Prussia.

In the West of Europe , Emperor Phil of France marched south to attack Spain and to threaten the city of Zaragoza. Keifer the Duke of Valverde had three choices to stay put in Zaragoza, to retreat or to advance and meet the French in open combat, He decided on the latter and so the first battle of the campaign was fought at Nivelles.

The Battle of Nivelles Spring 1805

To include all the players, Czar Toni had to decide who to make an alliance with, he chose Britain and Austria forming the first coalition. The aim of the campaign is always to include all players present when playing so all allied countries send their brigade support to help in the battle. The allied supports come on as reserves but they only have to dice with 1D6 instead of 2D6´s so the players are participating in the battle more rapidly.

The British deployed first defending their objective on their right flank with their cavalry brigade on the left flank. The French deployed into three brigade 2 infantry brigades in the centre and their left flank with the light cavalry facing the British Cavalry.

The French lines advanced towards the British and all the allies threw their dice. Czar Toni Cuirassier arrived early on the British right flank .

Encouraged by this support the Duke of Valverde charges with his cavalry and moves his centre up to meet the French advance.

Whilst the cavalry are occupied in combat, Archduke Javi´s Hussar brigade arrives to reinforce them. Now Emperor Phil is on the back foot and is seriously outnumbered, where is that Prince of Orange?

The French centre brigade is advancing but the are taking a lot of casualties from the British artillery.

At last the Cuirassiers arive on the French right flank, but are they too late?

The French Light cavalry are victorious they rout two british cavalry units and their horse artillery win in close combat with another British cavalry unit. Over the hill the Austrian Hussars are charging before the French can reform.

The British infantry start to push back the French centre

The French cavalry manage to reform and start to threaten the Austrian flank, with their reinforcements advancing as fast as they can to the battle.

In the centre a caçador unit turns the French infantry brigade´s flank.

Its not going to well on the French right flank as well, having already losing an infantry unit to heavy artillery fire. The French infantry brigade retreats for cover behind a hill, the Russian cuirassiers are hot on their trail.

The Austrian hussars charge the cuirassiers and the French chasseurs countercharge into the flank. To see who chooses the first combat the Emperor throws a 2, but the Duke´s throw is worse a 1, so the Emperor has first choice. He chooses the countercharge and against the odds he fails, the triumphant Austrian hussars now charge the Cuirassiers and Prince Jose of Orange also throws badly and his unit is destroyed. I feel this was the main turning point of the battle.

The triumph Hussars charge down the hill to attack the remaining Cuirassier unit

In the centre the French are holding out but are having to retreat due to increased pressure.

The Austrian hussars charge the cuirassiers and their artilley support.

On the French left Flank they have lost another infantry unit that were caught in line.

In the centre the British Elite unit charge the French with devastating results.

The French army is broken, Prince jose´s cuirassiers have been routed and the Hussars press on to attack the fleeing French artillery.

The last French unit acting as rearguard is cut down by the last remaining British cavalry unit, just as the Emperor for the third time throws to see if his army totally breaks, which finally it does.

The British and their allies pursue the fleeing French during the night, when the French Army finally reforms in the city of Limoges they count their losses 5 infantry units, 3 cavalry units and 1 artillery unit. Also Prince Jose of Orange has lost a cuirassier unit.

Meanwhile in Prussia the Russians have advanced onto the besieged city of Breslau. Due to the Low countries Army not having its support because it is fighting at the Battle of Nivelles. The Prince of Orange decides to lift the siege and retreat back on his lines of communications.

The Czar Toni begins to besiege Breslau.

The British advance and start to besiege Limoge while the weakened French looks on.

Prince Jose of Orange now has a problem, Archduke javi seeing that the low countries and France are weak changes direction through the Alps and invades the Low countries. Prince Jose moves his troops to meet him and they confront each other on the field of Waterloo.

Prestige points are given to how well the players have fought in the battle and taking of territory, the score at the moment is

France 3

Low Countries 0

Spain(Britain) 11

Austria 7

Prussia 0

Russia 6

This was a very enjoyable first attempt at the full campaign, there were a few suggestions made and the main one is about having up to 3 seperate armies or corps for each player which can have mixed force from the total army list. The number of units in each corp will be secret until the armies meet or have been scouted. The only problem I can see with this is sending allied supports to other players battle. How do we choose which units to send and how many etc?.

The suggestion to end the battle when one side has reached 50% casualties is a good one as well to make the battles quicker.

Hopefully on Friday we shall fight the Battle of Waterloo 1805 and carry on with the rest of 1805 campaign year. I will keep you posted on the blog.