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.
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.
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 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
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?.