Monday, April 27, 2015

HAHGS 200th Anniversary Waterloo Campaign - The Scenario

Well, I've finally recovered enough from the hugely fun but also quite tiring day we had yesterday running this big event to start to post about it; there will doubtless be a number of posts over the next week or two.

We'll start with the background information; the briefing  for their army (only)was given to ALL of the French, Prussian, and Anglo Allied players several days before the event, once the commands were semi-finalized. In the event we had one player who had to cancel due to illness, and four (I think) same day walk ons; some 20 players in all, Because we had so many b[players, this allowed each arm,y to have a dedicated C-in-C with no direct troops to command. This is a very challenging position - extremely chaotic at first, and then calming down as the troops gradually get "stuck in" in combat. The players as listed were as planned as of Saturday; anyone who has a better handle on the final players, let me know and I'll uipdat the post.  I believe. including ones from as far away as New Jersey and New Hampshire. As a result, Greg and James were "promoted" to assistant GM's. For me at least, this was a very Good Thing, as it was a big help to have couriers top deliver the flurry of messages sent back and forth, help with tactical rules questions, and the table to table "teleportation" of troops. 


Mid June, 1815


Emperor Napoleon I:
You have escaped from exile on Elba less than 4 months ago, and regained the Imperial throne. In so doing, you've had to make compromises with both the Republican and Royalist factions, and have delayed re-instituting conscription for as long as possible. As a result, your army is smaller than you would like, but most of the men are veterans of previous campaigns.  The rank and file are almost universally loyal to you, as are the Corps commanders, but some other officers may be suspect in their devotion to your cause. The Congress of Vienna has been bickering about the apportionment of territories and such almost since your abdication last year, and this has created mistrust between many of the members of the coalition, even though they claim to have put their differences aside to dethrone you a second time.

You have decided to strike first at the nearest of the coalition forces - The Prussians under Feld Marschall Blucher, and the Anglo-Allied forces under the Duke of Wellington. Together they outnumber you by about 50%, although you believe the quality of your troops to be superior, on average.  In your own words "I'd rather fight a coalition than be part of one!" Wellington is known to be quite sensitive to his lines of communications with the Channel ports, which run through     . Any French troops exiting West from there  will require Wellington to  detail twice as many troops of his own to counter the threat. On the other hand, "Divide and Conqueror" is the essence of your "Strategy of the Central Position".

You have kept tight control on the borders and newspapers, and thus you believe that the timing and location of your initial attacks will have the advantage of surprise. As a result of your many sympathizers in Belgium, which was part of your Empire until last year, you have what you believe to be quite accurate information about the strength and disposition of the enemy forces:

Prussians:
I Korps (Ziethen) at or within 18" of Ligny
II Korps (Pirch I) at or within 12" of Namur
III Korps (Thielmann) at or within 12" of Ciney
IV Korps (von Bulow) at or within 12" of Liege

Anglo-Allied:
First Corps (Willem, Prince of Orange-Nassau) at or within 12"of Enghien
Cavalry Corps (Uxbridge) at or within 12" of Ninove
2nd Corps (Hill) at or within 12" of Ghent
Reserves (Wellington) at or within 12"of Brussels

Your own French troops are situated thus:

1st Corps (d'Erlon) at or within 12" and South of the river at Mauberge
2nd Corps (Reille) at or within 24"of Beaumont
3rd Corps (Vandamme) at or within 24" of Beaumont
4th Corps (Gerard) at Phillipeville, extending North to just South of the river at Laneffe.
6th Corps (Lobau) South of Beamont along the road running back to France
1st Cavalry Corps (Pajol) at or within 18" of Beaumont
2nd Cavalry Corps (Exelmans) at or within 12" of Phileppeville
3rd Cavalry Corps (Kellerman) at or within 12" of Phileppeville
4th Cavalry Corps (Milhaud) at or within 18" of Beaumont
Imperial Guard at or South of Beaumont

You start at Imperial Headquaters, at Beaumont. You may issue such orders as you chose to your Corps prior to the start of the game.  Vive l'Empereur!


French Players
Rob P. (Napoleon, C-in-C)   
Len A  (I Corps, D'Erlon)                                                                    
Mark M  (II Corps,Reille)                                                                    
Russ L  (III Corps, Vandamme)
Dan B  (IV Corps, Gerard)                                                                 
Andrew C (VI Corps, Lobau)
Mitch A (Imperial Guard, Drouot)
?????  (II Cavalry Corps Exelmans, IV Cavalry Corps Milhaud)
Chris B (I Cavalry Corps Pajol, III Cavalry Corps Kellerman)       


Feldmarschall Blucher:
You have hated France and all things French since your Fatherland was humbled by Napoleon at the battle of Jena in 1806, and the subsequent Treat of Tilsit. Your general idea of strategy is to find the enemy and fight them. Vorwarts!!! You know the French are assembling on  their border with Belgium, but their exact numbers location and readiness for action are unknown. General Zeithen reports seeing many campfires South of the river Sambre, however. You have been forbidden to cross the border into France... at least until the hated French attack across it themselves.

The Anglo-Allied forces have agreed  to cooperate with you under the independent command of the Duke of Wellington. Until recently, the Duke was representing the British at the Congress of Vienna. His positions there seemed contrary to Prussian interests, causing many of your fellow officers, including your own Chief of Staff, to view him with great suspicion. Regardless, as long as he fights the French, you feel you can work with him.

Your troops are deployed as follows:

I Korps (Ziethen) at or within 18" of Ligny
II Korps (Pirch I) at or within 12" of Namur
III Korps (Thielmann) at or within 12" of Ciney
IV Korps (von Bulow) at or within 12" of Liege

You start at Army Headquarters at Namur. You may issue such orders to I Korps as you see fit, to be effective as of the start of the game; all other Prussian troops start with "Defend" orders

The last known positions of the Anglo-Allied forces are:

First Corps (Willem, Prince of Orange-Nassau) at or within 12"of Enghien
Cavalry Corps (Uxbridge) at or within 12" of Ninove
2nd Corps (Hill) at or within 12" of Ghent
Reserves (Wellington) at or within 12"of Brussels


Prussian players:
Mark (Blucher, C-in-C )
Max S (1st Korps, Ziethen)
Scott M (2nd Korps, Pirch I)
Greg H (3rd Korps, Thielmann) (Promoted and replaced by..........)
Mike S (4th Korps, Bulow)



Duke of Wellington:

You have been appointed to command a polyglot host of British, King's German Legion, Dutch, Belgian, Nassau, Brunswick, and Hanoverian Troops. Many of the troops are untried, the Dutch and Belgians in particular having only recently been a part of Napoleon's empire. Even among your British troops, relatively few of them are Peninsular veterans, many of them having been sent to fight the Americans. Although you have defeated many of Napoleon's marshals in the Peninsula, you have never faced the Emperor himself. You know that he resents the tireless opposition to his rule fostered by your nation, and suspect that he would like nothing better than to crush your army if he can. Your line of communications to the North Sea ports is vulnerable, and you cannot afford to be cut off from it.  Should the French manage to exit troops down the roads from Mons to the North West, you will have to detach twice their numbers to protect your  line of communications.  

The Prussians are your allies, and you have agreed to cooperate with and support them. As a negotiator at the Congress of Vienna, you came to believe that the long term interests of Prussia and Britain were not well aligned, and as a result, many of the Prussian high command distrust you. Still, they have shared their dispositions with you as follows:

I Korps (Ziethen) at or within 18" of Ligny
II Korps (Pirch I) at or within 12" of Namur
III Korps (Thielmann) at or within 12" of Ciney
IV Korps (von Bulow) at or within 12" of Liege


Your own forces are deployed as follows:

First Corps (Willem, Prince of Orange-Nassau) at or within 12"of Enghien
Cavalry Corps (Uxbridge) at or within 12" of Ninove
2nd Corps (Hill) at or within 12" of Ghent
Reserves (Wellington) at or within 12"of Brussels

You start at Army Headquarters in Brussels.

All Anglo Allied forces start with "Defend" orders.

You know that the French are massing South of the border, but their exact numbers, location, plans and readiness for action are unknown. Finally, you and many of your senior officers have a Ball to attend, hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Richmond in Brussels, and it would not do to show any signs of unease, lest it foster pro-French sentiment among the populace. God Save the King!


Anglo-Allied players
Joe F (Wellington, C-in-C)
Marshal  (1st Corps, Orange)
Roger D (2nd Corps, Hill)
James S  (Cavalry Corps, Uxbridge)  (Promoted and run by....)
Jared F (Reserve Corps, Picton)  (replaced by John S)



Final Orders of Battle


French Army, Napoleon I  Genius

1st Corps, d'Erlon  Dashing
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Legere Veteran 6*
Hussars Elite 5
Chevau-Leger Lanciers Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6


2nd Corps, Reille  Charismatic
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Legere Veteran 6*
Legere Veteran 6*
Legere Veteran 6*
Legere Veteran 6*
Chasseurs a Cheval Veteran 6
Chevau-Leger Lanciers Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6

3rd Corps Vandamme  Charismatic
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Legere Veteran 6*
Regt Etranger Elite 5
Chasseurs a Cheval Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6

4th Corps, Gerard  Dashing
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Legere Veteran 6*
Hussars Elite 5
Dragoons Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6

6th Corps, Lobau  Dashing
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Ligne - Veteran 6
Legere Veteran 6*
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6

1st Cavalry Corps, Pajol  Dashing
Chevau-Leger Lanciers Veteran 6
Chevau-Leger Lanciers Veteran 6
Hussars Elite 5
6# Horse Artillery Elite 5

2nd Cavalry Corps, Exelmans  Reliable
Dragoons Veteran 6
Dragoons Veteran 6
Dragoons Veteran 6
Dragoons Veteran 6
6# Horse Artillery Elite 5

3rd Cavalry Corps, Kellerman  Charismatic
Carabinier Elite 5
Cuirassier Elite 5
Cuirassier Elite 5
Cuirassier Elite 5
6# Horse Artillery Elite 5

4th Cavalry Corps, Milahud  Dashing
Cuirassier Elite 5
Cuirassier Elite 5
Cuirassier Elite 5
Cuirassier Elite 5
6# Horse Artillery Elite 5

Imperial Guard, Mortier/Drouot  Dashing
Old Guard Grenadiers Guard 4
Old Guard Chasseurs Guard 4
Middle Guard Grenadiers Guard 4
Middle Guard Chasseurs Guard 4
Young Guard Tiraileurs Elite 5
Young Guard Voltigeurs Elite 5 
Sailors/Genie (1 base only) Guard 4 
Grenadiers a Cheval Guard 4
Empress Dragoons Guard 4
Gendarmes d' Elite (1 base only) Guard 4
Chasseurs a cheval de la Garde Guard 4
1st (Polish) Chevau-leger Lanciers Guard 4
2nd (Red) Chevau-Leger Lanciers Guard 4
12 # Old Guard FA Guard 4
12 # Old Guard FA Guard 4
12 # Old Guard FA Guard 4
6# Old Guard Horse Artillery Guard 4
6# Old Guard Horse Artillery Guard 4
Young Guard 6# FA Elite 5
Young Guard 6# FA Elite 5
6# Horse Artillery Elite 5

*  Legere units deployed in or attacking into (but not firing into) woods or structures count as being 1 Morale level better for all purposes (thus elite, 6) while and only while such terrain.


Anglo-Allied Army,Wellington  Genius

1st Corps, Prince Willem of Orange  Dashing
British Guard Infantry Elite 5
British Guard Infantry Elite 5
British Line Veteran 6
KGL Rifles Elite 5
Hanoverian Lts/Jager Seasoned 7
Hanoverian Line Conscript 8
Dutch Jagers Seasoned 7
Dutch Line Conscript 8
Dutch Militia Militia 9
Dutch Militia Militia 9
Dutch Militia Militia 9
Nassau Line Seasoned 7
Nassau Line Seasoned 7
British 9# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
KGL 9# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
Dutch 6# Foot Artillery Seasoned 7
Dutch 6# Horse Artillery Seasoned 7

2nd Corps Hill  Charismatic
British Highland LI Elite 5
British Fusiliers Elite 5
British Line Veteran 6
British Line Veteran 6
KGL Line Veteran 6
British Rifle Elite 5
Hanoverian Line Conscript 8
Hanoverian Landwehr Militia 9
Hanoverian Landwehr Militia 9
Dutch Light Seasoned 7
Dutch Line Conscript 8
Dutch Line Conscript 8
Dutch Militia Militia 9
6# RHA Elite 5
British 9# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Dutch Foot Artillery Seasoned 7

Cavalry Corps Uxbridge  Charismatic
Horse Guards Guard 4
Life Guards Guard 4
2 Scott's Greys Elite 5
British Light Dragoons/Hussars Veteran 6
British Light Dragoons/Hussars Veteran 6
British Light Dragoons/Hussars Veteran 6
British Light Dragoons/Hussars Veteran 6
British Light Dragoons/Hussars Veteran 6
British Light Dragoons/Hussars Veteran 6
KGL Light Dragoons/Hussars Elite 5
KGL Light Dragoons/Hussars Elite 5
Hanoverian Hussars Seasoned 7
Hanoverian Hussars Seasoned 7
Belgian Carabiniers (HC) Seasoned 7
Belgian Carabiniers (HC) Seasoned 7
Dutch Light Cavalry Seasoned 7
Dutch Light Cavalry Seasoned 7
Brunswick Light Cavalry Veteran 6
9# British RHA Elite 5
9# British RHA Elite 5
6# Dutch HA Seasoned 7 

Reserves, Picton  Charismatic
Highlander Infantry Elite 5
Highlander Infantry Elite 5
British Line Veteran 6
British Line Veteran 6
Hanoverian Landwehr Militia 9
Hanoverian Landwehr Militia 9
Hanoverian Landwehr Militia 9
Brunswick Infantry Seasoned 7
Brunswick Infantry Seasoned 7
Brunswick Infantry Seasoned 7
Nassau Infantry Seasoned 7
Nassau Infantry Seasoned 7
6# RHA Elite 5
6# RHA Elite 5 
9# British Foot Artillery Veteran 6
9# British Foot Artillery Veteran 6
Brunswick 6# Foot Artillery Seasoned 7


Prussian Army, Marshal Blucher  Charismatic

1st Corps Ziethen  Dashing
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Hussar Elite 5
Dragoon Veteran 6
Uhlans Veteran 6
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
12# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
12# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6

2nd Corps Pirch I  Dashing
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Ex Lutzow Freikorps Veteran 6
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Prussian Landwehr Militia 9
Dragoon Veteran 6
Dragoon Veteran 6 
Hussar Elite 5
Hussar Elite 5
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
12# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6

3rd Corps Thielmann  Dashing
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Uhlans Veteran 6
Uhlans Veteran 6
Dragoon Veteran 6
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
12# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6

4th Corps Von Bulow  Dashing
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Line Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Reserve Veteran 6
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Prussian Landwehr Conscript 8
Uhlans Veteran 6
Hussar Elite 5
Hussar Elite 5
Dragoon Veteran 6
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
Landwehr Cavalry Seasoned 7
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
6# Horse Artillery Veteran 6
12# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
12# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 6
6# Foot Artillery Veteran 7


The Maps and Tables

Each of the eleven tables set up at the Portal had a small map with it (see below) showing the layout, with all of the towns labeled, all the road exits labeled as to where they head towards, and the direction of "North" on that table. The tables were set up in no particular relationship to the other tables, and the direction that is North was different from table to table. One large square is 1 foot on the tabletop. Thick orange lines are primary roads, thin magenta lines are secondary roads. Dark blue rivers are unfordable, Bridges exist wherever a road crosses a river; these may\ NOT be destroyed in the course of the game.  Light blue rivers are fordable (rough Terrain). All woods are Rough Terrain as well (fire from or at units in woods only allowed at the edge (within 1") of woods. Hills are Broken terrain. The size of a grey square indicates City (3 buildings on tabletop), Town (2 buildings), or Village (1 building, most common).
















Here again is the map from the board game, "Napoleon".  The table maps above were adapted from this, already somewhat abstracted format, and then further manipulated to meet the requirements of the multi-table format. . The players each had a slightly cropped version of the map for reference; in addition, Jam,es had 3 large size (18 x 24") versions printed off at a local office supply store for about $2 each =- a copy went to each army C-in-C to assist them with their command duties. 



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

HAHGS Waterloo 200th Anniversary event - Players and Commands

The Hartford Area Historical Gaming Society Waterloo 200th Anniversary "Campaign in a Day" event is now less than a week away! It will be held at The Portal gaming space of The Time Machine Hobby shop in Manchester, CT this Sunday, April 26th, from 10 AM to 5 PM. The painting of the very few last troops needed for the event will be done in the next few days. The full OOB's as originally proposed will be used.  The layouts for the eleven 4 by 6 foot wargames tables that will represent the Theater of War on the border between France and Belgium are done, as is the umpire's Master Map that links them all together. The initial situation reports to be provided to each of the three armies French, Anglo-Allied, and Prussian, have been written and are ready to go out once the commands are set. Joe, Greg, and I will be bringing the 25mm troops for the event, and, along with James, providing and setting up the terrain on the individual tables.





Our final task is to distribute the players to the three armies involved, and then the various individual commands. In addition, one player from each of the three armies will need to act as the C-in-C for that side - Napoleon, Wellington, or Blucher. Ordinarily they will also command the reserves, although it is now possible that one or more of the three the C-in-C's might just focus on their command duties - it is really quite challenging to act as both a Corps commander, having to maneuver your troops strategically and then fight tactical actions, while trying to keep track of both friendly and enemy forces, as well as issue them effective and appropriate Orders, prod them for reports and updates, etc!

To facilitate the process, I have created the following grid, which I will update as new data comes in, and finalize after the event on Sunday. Players in italics are interested but as yet still unconfirmed:




Name
1st Choice
2nd Choice
3rd Choice
C-in-C?
Command
James S
Anglo-Allied
French
Prussian
last resort
Uxbridge
Greg H
Prussian
Anglo-Allied
French

Thielmann
Joe F
Anglo-Allied
Orange, Nosey?


maybe
Wellington
Roger D
any


no
Hill
Russ L
any


no
Vandamme
Mitch A
French
Anglo-Allied
Prussian
maybe
Drouot
Scott M
Prussian
? Pirch I
French
?D’Erlon
Anglo-Allied
maybe
Pirch I
Mark
Prussian
French
Anglo Allied
willing
Blucher
Andrew C
French
Prussian
Anglo-Allied
no
Lobau
Mike S




Bulow
Rob P
French
Prussian
Anglo-Allied
willing
Napoleon
Jared F




Picton
Marshall C
Anglo-Allied
French
Prussian
no
Orange
Len A
French (Ney)
Anglo-Allied
Prussian
?
D’Erlon
Mark M
French
(Ney)
Anglo-Allied
Uxbridge
Prussian
maybe
Reille
Max S
Prussian


?
Ziethen
Dan B
any



Gerard
Chris B
any



Pajol
Kellerman
Willie B




Exelmans
Milhaud
Hunter W
Anglo-Allied
French
Prussian
no
SCRATCH


Regardless, it should be a memorable and hugely fun day!  Now to finish painting the few figures of Marins de la Garde that I need to round out the French OOB...

Peter