Saturday, August 24, 2019

Franco Prussian War Project Part Two

I finished painting the Prussian Army this week.   Items painted this week were 100+ jagers, 336 cavalry, 210 artillery men, 34 artillery pieces, 21 6 horse limber and gun teams, 37 generals and aides, and a few spares.   Additional work to do is printing and attaching flags and flocking the bases.  Next week I will be starting on the French.  The picture below is most of the figures deployed as the Prussian First Army in 1870 with the Guard Corps substituting for one of the infantry corps and one of the two cavalry divisions.   From left to right Guard Corps with two infantry divisions, corps artillery, and one cavalry division.  The other two corps are the standard Prussian infantry corps of two infantry divisions, two cavalry regiments, a jager battalion, and corps artillery.   The Cavalry division has two cuirassier regiments, four uhlan regiments, and one artillery battery.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

BlenHeim 1704 at the Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento meeting.

The MWS had their meeting on the weekend following the SBGC meeting and I again ran the battle of Blenheim.  The previous game can be found here.  Other games at the club meeting were Napoleonic naval using Form on the Admiral's Wake and DBA

The commanders on the Franco-Bavarian side were Leo as Tallard, Chris as Clerambaut, Aaron as Masim, and Greg M. as the Bavarian Elector.  On the Anglo-allied side Mike was Marlborough, Dave was Eugene, Greg was Charles Churchill and Rob was Cutts.  Both sides were allowed to position their individual units within the deployment areas of their commands.

On the eastern end of the battlefield the Bavarians east of Lutzingen advanced against Eugene's troops.  the cavalry battle there was to go back and forth with the Bavarians loosing the initial contact, but then pushing Eugene's horse back.  On the other side of the town Eugene's men overran the guns, but were eventually driven back by more Bavarian horse.  Eugene's forces would eventually become worn down.   They ended the battle keeping the Bavarians occupied and unable to aid the French.

At the other end of the battlefield the British assault against Blenheim had little success so their infantry pulled back out of musket range.  By holding position they kept the French in the town from pulling out to help in the center.

Masim's command held their position at Oberglau exchanging artillery fire with the allies.  He did send two cavalry brigades to try and help stem the advance of the allies to his right.

In the area between Blenheim and Oberglau the allies advanced engaging the French there.  The outcome of the engagements favored the allies, slowly forcing the French back.  Clerambaut committed his two cavalry brigades and the three infantry brigades to the fighting there instead of moving the infantry into Blenheim as happened historically.  One of the highlights of the fighting in the center was  the charge of one of the British cavalry brigades led by Lumley.  The charge threw back three French cavalry brigades in succession though the British were down to half strength at the end of it and Lumley had fallen early in the charge.

We were only able to complete eight of the twelve turns, but the situation was an obvious allied victory over the Franco-Bavarians as they would soon drive the French horse from the center and be able to sweep around to the rear of the Bavarians.   In addition to Lumley at least two French commanders also fell during the battle.  Five of the eight Franco-Bavarian gun batteries had been overrun and eliminated.    Blenheim had been surrounded and part of it had been set on fire from artillery fire.  Anglo allied casualties had been higher up to this point.
 Franco-Bavarian commanders from left to right Chris, Aaron, and Greg M.
 Mike in the white shirt, Chuck observing the deployment, and Chris
 Greg in front and Rob in the back
 The Bavarians advance against Eugene.
 The Anglo-allies advance against the French. Mike in white shirt and Chuck observing the game.
 Initial Anglo-allied charges are repulsed.  Town of Oberglau near bottom center of picture.
 Action near Blenheim
 Eugene's assault against the Bavarian right.
 Eugene's horse has driven the initial Bavarian attack to the east of Lutzingen back
 Leo watches as the Anglo-allies advane. Lumley's cavalry brigade has just finished smashing through the three French cavalry brigades just above the road going across the center of the picture.
Start of turn six.   The Anglo-allied horse and infantry are about to drive the French center back and swarm across the river.   Blenheim has just been set on fire.  The French artillery batteries have been eliminated.

The Danube was unfordable.   The Nabal river had marshy banks and could not be crossed by artillery except at bridges.  Rules used were Rank and File with modifications   Artillery ranges were cut in half and musket ranges were further reduced to one inch for close range and two inches for long range..  Units were brigades with each stand being a battalion of infantry and several squadrons of horse.   Each infantry brigade represented 2000 men, cavalry were 1000 men, and each artillery unit was 12 guns.  Ground scale was 100 yards to the inch and each turn was 30 minutes.   Cavalry and infantry could pass through each other provided neither was charging, being charged, or routing and one of the units was stationary for the turn.   Linear obstacles and formation changes took 1/4 move and separation distance for charges was one inch.

Forces are as follows.  The Franco-Bavarians had one veteran cavalry and one veteran infantry brigades in the brigades commanded by Tallard.   The were four veteran infantry brigades on the Anglo-Allied side.   Two of Lumley's cavalry brigades and all five of Wurtemburg-Neuenstad's cavalry brigades on the Anglo  side were the British and Danish cavalry which had a +1 die roll advantage against other cavalry.  L, M, and H under artillery are light, medium, and heavy smoothbore artillery.  There were 64 infantry figures and 24 cavalry per brigade.  (2,368 infantry, 888 cavalry).  All figures are from Heroics and Ros.  Both armies were almost equal in overall units with the Franco-Bavarians having one more artillery unit.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Franco-Prussian War project

I had previously done a bit of Franco-Prussian War gaming with They Died For Glory and Nach Paris.   Recently the South Bay Game Club had a game using Bruce Weigle's 1871 rules.  This inspired me to get my old figures out and see what I had.  Realizing that I didn't even have enough for two divisions on either  side I placed an order with Heroics and Ros to increase the French to 10 infantry and three to four cavalry divisions.   The Prussians would be increased to a full corps for the Bavarians and three "Prussian" corps along with two to three cavalry divisions.

My order arrived on Friday, August 9th.  The South Bay Game Club meeting was on the 10th.   On the 11th I got everything primed and started painting on Monday.  By Friday I had finished the Bavarian infantry and cavalry and all the Prussian infantry except for the Jagers.

I took a break from painting over the weekend to take care of other things and for the Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento's meeting.   Painting will resume this week with the Prussian Jagers, cavalry, and artillery on the schedule.   Total figures painted so far are 56 Bavarian artillerists and 9 guns, 11 Bavarian commanders, 300+ Bavarian infantry, 84 Bavarian cavalry, and about 1000 Prussian infantry.

The Bavarians.   Bavaria fielded two corps in 1870.  They were similar to the Prussian corps, but had more cavalry and artillery and replaced some line infantry with jagers.   The first corps had the two cuirassier regiments and the second corps had the two uhlan regiments.   I painted both so that either corps could be fielded.   Each corps had two infantry divisions, a cavalry brigade (cuirassier or uhlans with a light cavalry regiment), a jager battalion, and the corps artillery.  The wider stands represent two batteries and the narrower ones a single battery.  The divisions had a cavalry regiment, the divisional artillery, and two brigades of two regiments each with three battalions.  One battalion of each brigade was replaced with a jager battalion.  In the picture below the two infantry divisions are on the right, the cavalry brigade is at the bottom left with the uhlans below the cuirassiers, and the corps artillery and jager battalion in the upper left..  Generals are on circular bases.
  Prussian infantry.   I had intended to have 26 infantry regiments, but due to more extra figures per pack than I had anticipated I ended up with 29 regiments.   Each regiment has 48 figures.   Each infantry pack has 53 figures and some had an additional strip of 5 figures..
I still need to print flags and flock the bases.  The Prussian regiments in the left column have flags.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Blenheim 1704 at the South Bay Game Club

After finishing painting the Seven Years War and Marlborough figures I hosted the Battle of Blenheim 1704 at the South Bay Game Club using modified Rank and File rules.  The rules were altered so that each base represented about 500 infantry 250 cavalry, or 12 guns.   Artillery ranges were halved with musket ranges further reduced.   Movement rates remained the same.   Formation changes and linear obstacles cost 1/4 move instead of half.   Units could pass through each other provided neither was charging or being charged or routing and one of the units remained stationary.

Pete commanded the French, I was the Elector of Bavaria, and Dave was Clerambaut.   The Franco-Bavarian order of battle was as follows.
On the Anglo-Allied side Allen was Marlborough, Dough was his brother, and Robert was Eugene.

The Anglo-Allies were not as aggressive in the center as they were historically, while Pete's French were more so.  The cavalry battle in the center favored the French with Allen having a series of bad die rolls.   Doug's assault on Blenheim was a meat grinder with many drawn melees and brigades being reduced to ineffective strength.
 Allen (center) and Doug plan their attack
 Robert waiting for the attack to begin.
 Dave observing the opposing army from his position at Blenheim
 The French center
 The Bavarian left holding position
 Hoping to take advantage of Eugene's inactivity the Bavarians advance.
Dave, Pete and Me.
 Danish Cavalry (facing down) about to lose fights with French horse.
 British attack Blenheim
 Danish Cavalry falling back
 Eugene's cavalry pushing Bavarian foot back.
 Danish cavalry continues to be pushed back.
The French repulse the attacks on Blenheim

The final outcome was a victory for the Franco-Bavarians.  All figures are from Heroics and Ros. Buildings are all cardstock and are a mix of Paperterrain, Hard Cover, and others.

 Forces are as follows.  The Franco-Bavarians had one veteran cavalry and one veteran infantry brigades in the brigades commanded by Tallard.   The were four veteran infantry brigades on the Anglo-Allied side.   Two of Lumley's cavalry brigades and all five of Wurtemburg-Neuenstad's cavalry brigades on the Anglo  side were the British and Danish cavalry which had a +1 die roll advantage against other cavalry.  L, M, and H under artillery are light, medium, and heavy smoothbore artillery.  There were 64 infantry figures and 24 cavalry per brigade.  (2,368 infantry, 888 cavalry).  Both armies were almost equal in overall units with the Franco-Bavarians having one more artillery unit.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Rank and File Rules

Since the last post I have been painting more Seven Years Wars/Marlborough Heroics and Ros figures.   Several months back I got a good deal on some Marlborough range figures.   About half the cost of retail.   They have been sitting in the box waiting to be painted since then.

At the July Sacramento club meeting we played an Imaginations game of Rank and File.   Mike had purchased a lot of 20mm plastic lace wars figures and wanted to use them.  The battle was a rear guard action between the armies of the Principality of Itter and the Dukedom of Huntingdon.    I commanded the pursuing forces of the  Principality of Itter.   Aaron commanded two of the cavalry regiments on the right flank, while Hal had the third one and the grenadiers next to him.  My plan was to pin their center and attempt to move around their right flank with the four infantry battalions and light gun.  Hal was to keep their left center occupied and Aaron would smash through their left flank cavalry.

Hal on the right and Aaron in back.

The battle went pretty close to the plan.  Aaron ;hit their lead cavalry regiment with both of his regiments and the two-to-one odds saw the opposing cavalry loose half its strength.  Our advance on that flank bogged down for a while until the opposing commander pulled his remaining cavalry regiment back when the supporting infantry was driven back.   Aaron quickly crossed the stream and once again wiped out half of the other cavalry regiment.  

Aaron's cavalry slams into the enemy's lead regiment on the hill
The Huntingdon infantry takes up position behind the hedgerow.
My two lead battalions attempt to pin the enemy as the other two move towards the left.  

Mike took over for 'Hal when he had to leave early and drove the Huntingdon infantry that was supporting the enemy's left wing cavalry back.

My troops have driven the enemy back from the hedgerow.  Mike and Aaron are attempting to drive the opposing forces back from the stream.  

I had been keeping most of the opposing infantry and their light gun busy as I attempted to outflank them.   My initial advance on their center had met with mixed results.    I had driven them back and was later able to eliminate the gun crew, but each time I got close casualties would cause a morale check causing one of my infantry units to fall back.  They were able to recover and resume the advance, but were never able to launch a successful attack.

While one of my battalions from the second line continues to move through the woods to outflank the opposing infantry the other has formed up in on the left of the first line.  The other first line battalion is in road column and is moving to to help support the attack on our right after it had been forced back by a morale failure..   
Dave has countered my flanking move helping to weaken his center of one full strength battalion and one weak battalion facing my three infantry battalions and the light gun.  

Close to the end of the game.  Mike has driven back the supporting infantry and the opposing cavalry is falling back.  Aaron would soon launch his next cavalry charge which would leave the left flank too weak to stop him from sweeping into the rear and flank of their center.  

By the end of the game only one of their four infantry units was still in good shape.   The others had been worn down along with their cavalry.   The game was declared a tactical victory for our side as our opponents were too weak to block our advance.

I enjoyed the game and it inspired me to finish the rest of my lace wars figures so that I can do the Battle of Blenheim 1704 at the August club meeting.  I had originally planned on using the order of battle in the scenario from the Volley and Bayonet web page.   However, I had found two additional orders of battle.  One from Age of Honour and one on the internet at Blenheim 1704   These other two were fairly close to each other as far as commands and organization.   The one from Age of Honour has too many men on both sides if the scale for the scenario is used.  I decided to use the one from the website.

Comparing that to what I had already painted resulted in painting more infantry and cavalry.   Fortunately I still had enough left to paint.   Since my last blog post I have painted the 24 guns and crews that I had originally planned on, the fifty generals and aids, and 120 infantry.    The additional cavalry was another 144 figures to go with the other 100 that I had already painted.   Total forces needed for Blenheim are 46 generals and aides, 15 guns and crews, 1756 cavalry,  and  2,344 infantry.

I have modified the rank and file rules to reflect the size of this battle.   The rules as written usually have multiple stands per a battalion, but do mention altering the scales for larger engagements.   For this battle all artillery ranges will be halved.   musket fire will be one inch close range and two inches long range.   Movement rates were kept the same, but formation changes and crossing linear obstacles will only take one-fourth of a move instead of half.   The separation distance prior to completing a charge move is reduced from two inches to one inch.  All infantry stands will represent about a 500 man battalion, each cavalry stand will represent 250 men and horses, and artillery stands will represent 12 guns.   All cavalry and infantry units will consist of four stands.  Officers will represent the two army commanders each side had, wing commanders, and "division" commanders.