Monday, July 29, 2013

Solo Battle ends with a bang!

Dice make for interesting conclusions, especially in solo games.  In this instance, the French heavy battery rolled a double six when it fired upon a Russian half battery across the way at long range.  In General de Brigade, a double six necessitates looking at a different table: the result was two extra casualties upon the battery and it had to immediately limber up and retreat!  Well, this was quite fortuitous for the French as a significant portion of the Russian defensive works were now undefended.  A large Russian regiment that had been in reserve moved up to plug the hole, but two French battalions charged, passed their morale checks and forced the lone regiment to retreat.  A breakthrough had been achieved at long last.  A fresh French brigade was in place to exploit the success and the Russians were forced to abandon their town.  The French had sustained very heavy casualties, but they had captured a Russian horse battery and bested the Russian cavalry.  The day was theirs.

French lancers defeat Russian cuirassiers
After the half battery is forced back by a very luck role, two French battalions attack and defeat a Russian battalion
A final shot of the action.  With the French breakthrough and intense pressure upon the flanks, the Russian must retreat and concede the victory to the French.

Monday, July 22, 2013

First solo battle with Russians

I had a small General de Brigade battle with my new Russians.  They were behind earthworks defending a vital town.  A battery and a half plus two battalions of infantry were behind the earthworks, and three battalions of jagers, a horse battery and a regiment of hussars were defending a small village and wood to the left of the town.  A full division of French with significant numbers of light infantry attacked, supported by two French batteries.  One brigade used the cover of some woods to advance against the village, shielding itself from the 12 guns of the Russian horse battery until just before their assault.  The other brigade had to cross much more open ground to come to grips with the Czar's forces behind the trenches and suffered accordingly.  One legere battalion, deployed in line to be less of a target and led by its brigadier actually closed with the half battery before it and briefly captured a portion of the Russian works.  But the effort left them unformed and a swift counter-attack by two fresh Russian battalions quickly recaptured the lost ground and inflicted dreadful casualties upon the French battalion.  Elsewhere along the line, French battalions were forced to halt due to the terrible blasts of cannister and were literally blown apart in the open ground.  The lone success by the end of the battle was as the extreme right of the French attack.  Two line regiments in column charged a battalion of jagers defending a portion of the village and were successful in driving the infantrymen out and establishing themselves in the smoldering ruins left behind.

I felt the battle played out realistically.  The French artillery did little damage in its prepatory bombardment of the Russian batteries.  A heroic charge actually broke into the Russian defenses, but was quickly driven back by supports.
The French were able to disperse the Russian guns, but were quickly driven back by supporting infantry.

Two French battalions capture half of the village. It's 3rd battalion forms square to thwart a Russian cavalry charge.

From behind the Russian heavy battery.  Casualties here were extremely high for the French as can be imagined.

A nice shot from the cathedral spire.

Attacking the heavy battery without success.

Russian hussars are unable to close with the French square.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Russian Napoleonics

Here are some shots of the Russian corp I have painted up this summer based for General de Brigade.  There are two infantry divisions, five regiments of cavalry and four batteries.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Die Kriegskunst Wrap Up

Our epic concluded today in grand style.  It literally all came down to the last throw of the dice on the last turn of the game.  Here is a brief clip of how things stood at the beginning of the final day:Youtube link

Each side received one last brigade of reinforcements at the very beginning, but they didn't play much of a role except to raise morale.

The critical cavalry battle on the Prussian left had a lot of potential, but it soon became undone when the Hadik Hussars soundly defeated the Prussian Guard du Corp.  This changed the entire scope of the battle on this flank.
The Guard du Corp have been defeated, dashing Prussian hopes on this flank
Just to the right of this, two brigades of Prussian grenadiers fought ferociously to break into the town.  Enduring staggering losses, they eventually did obtain a toehold, but it was not enough to gain the objective.
Austrian infantry has finally been driven back from the church's wall

Where things stood at the end of the game
In the center, the Prussians managed to hold on to their main objective, but only by a thread.  Waldus's brigade had suffered 75% losses.  To the right of this fight, Hulsen's brigade fought itself out trying to defend an important bridge.  Reinforcements arrived and went on the offensive, but it was too little too late.  And then, from their left, thundered the remnants of an Austrian cavalry brigade that swept down upon two unsupported batteries.  In just one turn the Prussians lost both sides of the bridge and gave up 50 points to the Austrians.
Hanoverian reinforcements.

A remarkable cavalry charge at the very end of the game captures the bridge and 50 points for the Austrians
And then, at the other end of the table, the Prussians fought desperately to hold the hill.  Things had started off very well for them early in the week, but fortune turned against them when die rolls brought three Austrian brigades in on their side of the table.  Some Hanoverian cavalry fought hard to regain lost ground, but they were not able to intervene in the attack on the objective on the extreme Prussian right.  The first Austrian assault was barely defeated, by a single pip of the dice.  A second attack on the next (and final) turn gave both sides an even chance of victory.  The two players rattled their dice for what seemed like forever before they finally spilled onto the table: the Prussian player rolled snake-eyes and the Austrian a nine.  The Prussians were driven from the position and it was occupied by the white-clad Austrians.  50 more points went to the Austrian cause.
A desperate fight for the hill (Hanoverian cavalry can be seen entering in the top left of the photo)

The first Austrian attack is stopped by the narrowest of margins

The second attempt was successful and of vital importance
And so the week ended.  The kids were great.  The game kept them engaged the entire time.  It was one of the funnest games I have ever put on.  Thanks to everyone who participated, especially my two assistants, Michael and Brian.  Here are a couple of shots of the action.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Die Kriegskunst Game Day Three

Another exciting day at the wargaming class.  Each turn took a little longer as there was a lot going on.  To summarize, on the Prussian left both sides are gearing up for a huge battle for the Austrian town.  Prussian grenadiers have pushed across the open plain and will definitely hit the Austrian works in the next turn.  Prussian cavalry is swinging around the far flank in support.
Beginning of the day.  A whopper of a fight is brewing!

Prussian grenadiers steel themselves for the attack.
In the middle, Waldus's brigade has changed its orders and is retiring to the important town it was supposed to defend in the first place.  Toward the end of the day, Manstein's large brigade entered near the town.  But Austrian cavalry is making Waldus's withdrawal very difficult.

To the right of this, Hulsen's men are having a very hard time attacking the bridge that was their objective.  Austrian grenadiers are peppering their flank, and the Bavarians have gone on the offensive, forcing Hulsen to fight on two fronts.  His losses are mounting quickly.
Hulsen is clinging to his position.

A larger view of the situation on the Prussian right-center.
On the Prussian right, things looked very promising at the beginning of the day.  Fresh troops arrived on the first turn, the light cavalry had fought the Austrians to a standstill, and another brigade was advancing quickly toward its objective.  But the situation changed dramatically when two new Austrian brigades arrived on successive turns, forcing the Prussians to turn to the defensive.  This also put the village worth 50 points at risk.
Austrian grenadiers arrive first.

The next turn, this large infantry brigade deploys on the Prussian flank.

Von Luckner's brigade enters the field on the Prussian extreme right.
It was a fun day with lots of twists and turns.  I expect more of the same tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Die Kriegskunst Game Day Two

We were able to get in eight turns in three hours.  The fighting became much more intense on this day as the two forced slugged it out.  The Prussian cavalry had a rough time.  A brigade of cuirassiers dashed itself against an Austrian position of squares and cannon.  The fact that they charged over a bridge in a narrow column only added to the carnage.  Six attempts to change orders were all unsuccessful, so the gallant horsemen battered themselves to little effect.
A shot of the doomed Prussian cuirassiers.
Over on the Prussian right flank, Zieten's handsome hussars were stymied by a mixed brigade of Austrian horse.  Some German infantry also came up and added to the misery.
The Austrian horse has won the battle for the heights.
In the center, a young Prussian general could not resist the desire to go on the offensive.  Leaving a single battalion to garrison its most vital position, off he went to storm a hill.  To his chagrin, an entire brigade of Austrian veteran cavalry arrived at that very spot.  Tomorrow he will have his hands full trying to survive the onslaught.
The Austrian cavalry can just barely be seen at the top left of this photo.
On the Prussian left, the Austrians pulled back to regroup, allowing the Prussians a chance to build some much needed field works.  The arrival of Prussian reinforcement, a grenadier brigade and some more cuirassiers, were a huge boost to morale on this beleaguered flank.  But the Austrians also had a fresh brigade arrive here as well, so tomorrow should see some very serious fighting.
Austrian reinforcements moving into position to attack.
Prussians move out on the right flank to apply some pressure on the Austrian left.
Day three will see several more brigades arrive on both sides, though the time and place of their arrival will be determined by rolls of the dice.  At some point, over 2,500 figures will make their way to this table.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Die Kriegskunst Game

The battle got started today with Prussia and Hanover taking on Austria, France and Bavaria in a fictional game.  I have 16 players on a 12 by 4 table, most of whom are new to this game.  It will be up to the seasoned veterans to bring the rest along.
The table without figures.

An important Austrian village.

The other major Austrian village

The table from the other end.
Each player was allowed to choose a single brigade and place a card representing it on the table.  Once all the brigade cards had been positioned, they were replaced with the actual figures.  Both sides chose five infantry brigades and two cavalry brigades.  The Austrians wisely placed their two cavalry brigades on the flanks.  The Prussians chose to hold their flanks with infantry.  This proved to be a mistake.

Figures have now been added.

Another shot just before the first turn.
Orders were placed and the first turn began.  It became clear that the Austrians were going to be the more aggressive.  They sent out their two cavalry brigades to assault the forces confronting them.  On their right, this was Waldus's elite brigade.  They were caught in column and three of four battalions were completely destroyed.  On the other end of the table, the Austrians won two out of three cavalry meles just as our first day of action was drawing to a close.  Tomorrow will tell us whether or not the Austrian cavalry can complete the conquest of the flanks or not.
Austrian Hussars and Cuirassiers defeat a brigade of Prussian Hussars.
The Prussians will clearly need some reinforcements to be able to avoid a disaster.  Things should really get hot in the center when the two infantry forces come to grips with one another.  So far, everyone seems to be having a good time.  More reports will follow.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Last week of Camp VIP

We'll be ending my minature wargaming class with a bang this week.  At last count I'll have 14 students and two assistants participating in a whopper of a game.  The table is set up.  It is 4 feet by 12 feet.  Prussia and her Hanoverian allies will be trying to overpower Austria and her French cohorts.  I believe 24 Prussian and allied brigades will fight it out with 25 Austrian, French and Bavarian brigades.  Each player will start with one brigade.  Bringing on reinforcements and losing units will cost points while gaining objectives will gain points.  I'll be sure to post pictures throughout the week, so stay tuned.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Battles For Empire

This week we are playing the game Battles for Empire.  Our latest epic is in the Sudan.  An Egyptian garrison is under siege and a British column is on its way to try and relieve them.  Thousands of natives are rising up against them, arriving at intervals during the course of the game.  The kids have picked up the rules rather well and the game is moving right along.  Here are some photos.

the town under attack

Sudanese regulars attack with the natives

The relief column under attack