Friday, 27 June 2008

Quick catch-up

Back again!

Just a round-up of progress over the last week or so.

Last week at the club we tried out the Gensbruck scenario again. It worked out as a sort of draw, with the French just about holding their grouns but being close to their breakpoint by the end.

I then tweaked the rules again, to speed up combat and create a few more casualties. I think they are just about there now, but need a bit of fine tuning. I've divided infantry into two types: massed (most) and linear (british, early prussians, etc) who vary slightly in the game; linear having an advantage when receiving attackers and massed being able to count a base in contact to the rear as support (if unshaken and facing the same way).

This week we played a scenario based on part of Wagram, around the villages of Aderklaa and Deutsch-Wagram. The french attacked with 2 french corps, the Saxon corps, a heavy cavalry division, a light cavalry division and the Imperial Guard. The Austrians defended with 2 line corps, a reserve of grenadiers and heavy cavalry and a division of reserve light cavalry. The scenario kicked off at 7am game time and we got to 2pm by the time we needed to pack up (about two and a half hours real time). The new combat rules worked well. I played the French and dithered a bit when I should really have used my infantry as more of a battering ram. The Saxons under Bernadotte were suitably inactive.
I created arule on the fly allowing Archduke Charles to grab the reserve corps commander by the short & curlies to get his formation moving.
In the end, daring Austrian counterattacks and a lack of aggression kept the French at bay for 7 hours!

I have taken a week off painting, but last night I cracked on again with those pesky French Cuirassiers!


Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Gensbruck - aftermath

So, how did it all pan out?

Sadly for the Austrians they were unable to maintain their momentum. The arrival of the bavarians forced II Korps to about-face half of its strength and fighing on two fronts meant that it becmae fixed in place. Davout's artillery managed to break up I Korps sufficiently to keep it from making a decisive attack in the centre. The Autrian reserve, whilst powerful, was under the command of a cuation officer of the old school and steadfastly held position around Gensbruck rather than lending support to the hard-pressed I Korps. Evenbtually the French heavy cavalry worked its way arounf the Austrian left flank and delivered a devastating charge, sweeping away the Avant-garde and thretening the flank of I Korps. At this point, Arch duke Charles ordered his forces to fall-back.

Davout's III corps have been badly mauled, but the Austrians again missed the opportunity of delivering a decisive blow against the French.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Gensbruck 11am

This is the situation in the battle at 11:15 in the morning.

A demonstration by the Austrian Avant Garde pinned Davout's right on the hill, while I and II Korps advance on the French centre and left respectively. Unusually the Austrians managed to win the initiative on two of the five turns played so far, allowing them to catch the French on the hop to some extent. The avant garde got battered as they went without orders for much of the morning, owing to Archduke Charles's need to get II Korps moving.

Davout has been forced to pull his entire corps back onto the hill, to establish a stronger defensive position and await his reinforcements.

The Austrian Reserve Korps has just arrived on the table and is slowly advancing towards the action. The initial orders for the Austrians have now run out, so the cautious natures of some of their officers will begin to feature. So far they have done well, but will it prove to be enough? Davout's reinforcements are just 45 minutes away!

Losses so far are a grenzer brigade and avant-guard general for the Austrians and a French infantry brigade and artillery battery from Davout's force.

En Avant!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Gensbruck picture

D'oh. Owing to a cock-up by the staff officers down at the club I dodn't get a game in after all. No matter, I set up the scenario in my garage and managed to get a piccie before I lost the light completely. I also now get to watch the final of "The Apprentice" rather than having to catch it later on Sky+ !

So here are some tropps set out on a few of my home-made terrain tiles. All in all I think they look quite spiffy and I am very pleased with them. I'm still finishing off some that have bits of Danube flowing through them, but I nearly have all the board now done for Wagram. I'm just going to do a few extra ones with generic "big hills" on so that I can use them for a variety of other scenarios.



The Battle of Gensbruck

I'm just off down to the club to (hopefully) play the following scenario. It is a hypothetical battle set in the 1809 Danube campaingn, between the bavarian phase and the Aspern and Wagram phase. Commanders are rated for competence & command ability (first number) and command radius (second number, measured in base-widths). I'm experimenting with not limiting each commander to dividing thier force into a maximum number of "divisions", but letting the game mechanics create a balance between the flexibility of separating brigades for movement and the security of grouping them together for support in combat. Anyway, here we go (I'll report on how it turns out):

The Battle of Gensbruck

1st May 1809

Background (hypothetical)

Following the Battle of Eckmuhl (Eggmuhl) the bulk of the Austrian army had retreated eastwards towards Vienna along the north bank of the Danube. The movements of the Austrians were closely shadowed by Marshal Davout and his III Corps while the larger portion of the Grande Armee pushed along the southern bank in an effort to reach Vienna first.

On the evening of the 30th April, Davout had made camp around the village of Chomp, north of the town of Gensbruck. It was here that the Archduke Charles opted to counter-attack. A scratch force was assigned to an advance guard and these troops crossed the River Gens at Gensbruck under the cover of darkness, closely followed by I Korps. II Korps meanwhile marched by way of Dungolfing, some 6 miles upstream to outflank the French forces.

As the 1st May dawned, French scouts reported back to Davout that he had Austrian forces approaching from two directions. Quickly the “iron marshal” sent word of his plight to nearby forces, Wrede’s Bavarians who had marched on ahead of III Corps and Nansouty’s heavy cavalry division who had been following up in the rear. These forces would, however, take some time to reach the battlefield. In the meantime, III Corps would just have to hold on.

Scenario details

The scenario starts at 8am and finishes at 5pm. The weather is clear
Bridges may be crossed by a maximum of 4 units of any side in any single game turn

The battle is fought on a 6' x 4' table. Austrian commanders can ignore "cautious" status until their force contacts the enemy (attacked by or attacks enemy by skirmishing, bombardment or close combat), to reflect the issuing of pre-battle orders.

French Forces
(Break Point 4 units until 12 noon and BP 7 units once reinforced)

III Corps - Davout (1/8) Set up at start within 12” of Chomp
9 x Veteran French Infantry SK2
1 x Trained French Light Cavalry
3 x Foot Artillery

Bavarian Div - Wrede (2/4) Arrive at 12 noon along road east of Dungolfing
2 x Veteran Bavarian Infantry SK2
1 x Trained Bavarian Light Cavalry
1 x Foot Artillery

H.Cav Div - Nansouty (2/4) Arrive at 12 noon along road north of Chomp
3 x Elite French Heavy Cavalry

Austrian Forces
(Break Point 8 units)

Avant-garde – Nordmann (2/4 Aggressive) Set-up within 12” of Gensbruck
2 x Trained Austrian Infantry SK2 [grenzers]
2 x Elite Austrian Light Cavalry [hussars]
1 x Cavalry Artillery

I Korps – Bellegarde (3/6) Set-up within 12” of Gensbruck, south of the Avant-garde
6 x Trained Austrian Infantry SK1
2 x Foot Artillery

II Korps – Hohenzollern (3/6 Cautious) Set-up within 12” of Dungolfing
1 x Veteran Austrian Infantry SK2 [Jagers]
1 x Veteran Austrian Light Cavalry [Chevauxlegers]
6 x Trained Austrian Infantry SK1
2 x Foot Artillery

Reserve Korps – Leichtenstein (2/6 Cautious) Arrive at 10am along road south of Gensbruck
3 x Elite Austrian Infantry SK1 [grenadiers]
2 x Elite Austrian Heavy Cavalry [cuirassiers]
1 x Cavalry Artillery

Sunday, 8 June 2008

IX Corps (Saxons)

Hurrah! All of my Saxons completed in under 2 weeks!

Corps commander (Bernadotte) and reserve artillery:

Garde grenadiers, line grenadiers and schutzen (light infantry) in a combined brigade:

A brigade of grenadiers with schutzen in front:

Cavalry brigade of cuirassiers in front and chevauxlegers behind:
Second cavalry brigade with Garde cavalry in front and a rear rank of chevauxleger and hussars (2 shots of the same base):

3 Line infantry brigades, still in their 18th Century-style uniforms and linear formations:

...and something I prepared earlier, a French brigade that I had painted up (but not based) just before Partizan

So now the much maligned Saxon infantry and their superb cavalry can take to the field to restore their reputation (if Bernadotte actually gets them there)


Thursday, 5 June 2008

My little place in the country

This was my bargain at the car boot sale last Bank Holiday. Admittiedly it looked a bit different then, being an ivory coloured, fairy-tale concoction.

The model was put onto a larger card base (it is cast onto a sort of plinth), the edges built up with polyfilla and the basework completed with sand and fence-paint to match my terrain boards. The castle itself was sprayed chocolate brown then drybrushed with a stone-colured paint all over. The walls were washed with a brown/black/pva mix and the roof with a grey/green/pva mix. Total time under an hour (apart from drying time).

Go on, how much do you reckon I paid for it...?

£2. Told you it was a bargain!
Back to those Saxons...

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Saxons nearly there

Only 20 grenadiers and 4 schutzen to go...

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Saxon Progress

Over the half-term week I have been progressing with the Saxon corps of Napoleon's army of 1809. I am using Prussian napoleonic figures from Baccus for most of the Saxons, so much of the painting in the following picture has been completed since last Sunday (as usual, figures are from Baccus):

..the exceptions being the French infantry and the officers lurking at the back of the shot. In total there are 12 officers, 42 cavalry, 196 infantry and 2 guns with 8 crew shown above.

To complete the corps I have three units of 20 grenadiers and a unit of lieb-guard grenadiers (24 figs) [all austrian grenadier figures] on the table at the moment, along with 12 schutzen (prussian skirmisher figures). Hopefully these will get done this week and I can base up the corps next weekend. I must then stop procrastibating over the French cuirassiers :-)

Painting the Saxon infantry has reminded me just how much quicker it is to paint troops in white uniforms!