Saturday, 28 January 2012

Plans for Jan/Feb

Hi all

The Battle of Neustadt will be fought as a game on Wednesday at the Newark Irregulars. Anyone who can make it along is welcome. Kick off should be by 7.30.

This has meant spending time today (and tomorrow) making sure units are correctly labelled for the battle. One day I'll make some more permenant labels, but this is complicated by the armies changing structure during the 1809 campaign - divisions swapping between corps, etc.

Next weekend I'll need to tidy up my 28mm Dark Age early Saxons for a game on the following weekend - as well as catching the start of the six-nations tournament.

Once THAT is out of the way I'll be turning back toward the Back of Beyond by doing some writing, scenario design, etc using my 28mm collection and adding to my miniatures with some Pendraken 10mm. First steps will be some painting of the new little chaps ane a re-read of Peter Hopkirk's "Like Hidden Fire". Hopefully I'll get this into a magazine article later in the year, probably on the Malleson Mission but possibly covering Dunsterforce or the 3rd Afghan War (or maybe touching on all 3!). Either way it'll feature lots of Wolesley Helmets and dust...

I'm not planning much else with any intensity for the rest of 2012; just chipping away at BoB and keeping tinkering with the 6mm naps in readiness for a push towards 2015 and the grand Waterloo bicentenniel.

I'll report back on the battle after Wednesday.


Friday, 20 January 2012

Neustadt Order of Battle

Approximate Order of Battle for Neustadt.
21st April 1809:


CinC: Archduke Charles

III Korps: Hohenzollern
8 Infantry
1 Mixed Brigade
1 Light Cavalry
2 Foot Artillery

IV Korps: Rosenberg
6 Infantry
1 Mixed Brigade
2 Light Cavalry
2 Foot Artillery

VI Korps: Hiller
4 Infantry
1 Mixed Brigade
2 Foot Artillery

Grenadiers: Leichtenstein
4 Grenadiers

Cavalry Reserve: Hessen-Homburg
4 Heavy Cavalry
3 Light Cavalry
1 Cavalry Artillery

Total: 18 INF, 4 GREN, 3 MIXED, 4 HC, 6 LC, 6 FOOT ART, 1 CAV ART


CinC: Emperor Napoleon

3rd Corps: Davout (inc 1st HC)
7 Infantry
3 Heavy Cavalry
1 Foot Artillery
1 Horse Artillery

2nd Corps: Lannes (inc 2nd HC)
7 Infantry
2 Heavy Cavalry
2 Light Cavalry
1 Foot Artillery
1 Horse Artillery

8th Corps: Vandamme
3 Infantry
2 Light Cavalry
1 Foot Artillery

4th Corps: Massena (inc 3rd HC)
12 Infantry
2 Heavy Cavalry
3 Light Cavalry
1 Foot Artillery
1 Horse Artillery

Initial Total:  17 INF, 5 HC, 4 LC, 3 FOOT ART, 2 HORSE ART

Reinforced Total: 29 INF, 7 HC, 7 LC, 4 FOOT ART, 3 HORSE ART

1809 Campaign, 21st April Battle of Neustadt

Here is a rough idea of the potential for battle around Neustadt. The Austrians have advanced III and IV Korps with the reserves (Grenadiers and Cavalry) behind both and IV Korps covering the left (southern) flank.

The French have brought up Davout's 3rd Corps (well, 3 divisions of it anyway), with Lannes's 2nd Corps to its right, supported by 8th Corps. Davout and Lannes each have a heavy cavalry division attached. Massena's 4th Corps is en route and will arrive at a point close to where 8th Corps deploys; along with a third heavy cavalry division.

The Durnbucher Forst dominates the centre of the battlefield, dividing it into two major zones of open terrain. The French infantry will find the forest less of an obstacle than the Austrians will, but it will still slow them down, particulalrly the less experienced conscripts.

This appears to present the Austrians with an opportunity to strike hard at Davout while holding off the rest of Napoleon's army. The arrangement of the road network and the river Abens means that 4th Corps will not easily be able to slip around the Austrian flank.

From a wargamer's viewpoint this looks like an interesting battle to play out on the table and could make a good game for the club meeting on Feb 1st...

Sunday, 15 January 2012

1809 Campaign: 21st April, 6pm

By 6pm on the 21st the situation is as shown on the map above. The Austrian I and II Korps have been frustratingly slow to march and the main body is in danger of being overwhelmed.

At this point, Archduke Charles is (I feel) overwhelmingly likely to order a withdrawal back towards reinforcements, however the French may not let him...

My next step is to work out a more detailed map of the combat area and then see how realisitic an Austrian withdrawal will be.

More soon...

1809 Campaign: 21st April orders

After a quiet day fo ordering up reinforcements and resting the more tired formations, both armies are now better prepared to renew hostilities.
The army will manouvre to fall upon the main body of the enemy in the vicinity of Vohberg, maintaining a strong right to defend against any assaults across the Danube.

III and IV Korps will form the vanguard of the attack, supported by VI Korps and the reserve grenadiers and cavalry.

V Korps will form the right-flank guard, covering the river crossings stretching west from Kelheim

I Korps is to advance with all possible speed to join the main body

II Korps is to act as a strategic reserve and should march upon Teugn-Hausen

The army is to reassert itself and will do so by both facing the enemy in the field and threatening his lines of supply and retreat.

4th Corps including 3rd HC will march initially to Mainburg before turing north to attack the enemy by way of Mainburg

3rd Corps (1st, 2nd and 3rd Infantry Divisions) will advance upon Neustadt. If the enemy are encountered as expected, the formation will hold its position in preparation for a general attack upon the arrival of reinforcements.

2nd Corps will follow behind 3rd Corps. If the enemy are encountered then 2nd Corps will form to the right of 3rd Corps to give battle. Opportunity for aggression should be sought.

8th Corps will march via Geisenfeld to act as a link between the moan body of 2nd/3rd Corps and the flanking march of 4th Corps.

7th Corps and the attached divisions will cross the Danube and re-form at Vohburg. The Heavy Cavalry divisions are to continue their march to support 2nd and 3rd Corps.

3rd Corps, 5th division is to act as rearguard for 7th Corps.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

1809 Campaign: 20th April Map

Map done sooner than expected.

I smell another battle soon.

NB: acting on the suggestion of St Hilaire, Lefebvre has left III/5 as a rearguard at Kelheim.

What has been interesting so far - compared to other campaigns I have fought in, is the way that manoevre is so dominated by logistical concerns (i.e. staying on the solid roads and only using the dotted ones if there is a safe [supplied] end point). This shows just what a gamble some flank attacks can be - especially if they fail.

1809 Campaign: orders for 20th April

Both sides now need to regroup and take stock after the momentous events of the past day.

The French orders are as follows:
  • Napoleon with 3rd and 8th Corps will hold at Vohberg and await  the arrival of 2nd Corps under Lannes & Oudinot
  • Soult with 4th Corps will leave a garrison at Pfaffenhofen and march, with 3rd HC div, to Geisenfeld to cover Napoleon's right flank
  • Lefebvre with his 7th Corps (Bavarians) plus the 4th and 5th Divisions of 3rd Corps, 1st and 2nd HC and the LC of 3rd Corps will move along the north bank of the Danube to Neustadt.

The Austrians:
  • I and II Korps will leave a garrison at Regensburg and march to Abbach, sending forward scouts to find IV Korps
  • IV Korps itself will hold at Teugn/Hausen
  • The main body of the army: III, V and VI Korps, Grenadier reserve and Cavalry reserve will hold in the vicinity of Abensburg.
The Austrians will be more likely to be able to collect some of their walking wounded and stragglers as they held the battlefield. This gives them something of an advantage. In some ways it would have been good to send the cavalry reserve in pursuit of Napoleon but the HC had tired themselves in their support of V and VI Korps and the LC were on the opposite flank of the battlefield. Anyway, they are Austrian and pursuit is something the other side do...

I'll work out the effect of all this and publish a new map either tonight or next weekend.


2011: That was the year that was

Hi all,

Well, 2011 is behind us. For me this feels like a good thing as the year had a few highlights but descended into something I am glad to see the back of. Christmas proved a welcome upswing and with the turn of the year I am optimistic that 2012 is there to be enjoyed.

On the wargaming front things have been quiet, but I am gradually feeling more motivated and the first things to tackle this year are to finish the 1809 campaign which I started in the Autumn (possibly to be repeated as a play by email version later in the year), to re-visit the WW1/Back of Beyond but using 10mm as well as 28mm figures and to update the new companion blog to paintingshed in which I review the issues of Wargames Illustrated from 20 years ago to see what inspiration they can still offer.

As a promising first highlight of 2012, my napoleonic "squares" rules have been put in print in issue 58 of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy and it is nice to see them looking all glossy with some of the great photos that Guy took during his visit to my garage.

I hope everyone out there had a great Christmas and New Year, look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible around the shows.