Saturday, February 25, 2012

Austrian Napoleonic Dragoons and Chevaulegers


The Austrian Cavalry was reorganized in 1798. After the reorganization, there were 12 regiments of Cuirassiers, 15 units of Light Dragoons (merging the Dragoons and Chevau-Legers temporarily), 12 regiments of Hussars, 2 regiments of Uhlans, and a (short lived) Mounted Jager corps (Jaeger zu Pferd) formed formed from former Freikorps units. Further reorganization took place in 1802, resulting in the splitting of the Light Dragoons back into separate regiments of six Chevaulegers (also spelled "Chevauxleger") and  six Dragoons (the 7th Chevauleger regiment was not formed until 1814, and was raised from territories regained in Italy). In 1805, theoretical organization of the cavalry units was eight squadrons in all regiments, with about 130 men per squadron in the heavy regiments (inlcuding the Dragoons), and 150 men per squadron in the light regiments (including the Chevaulegers). After the reforms of Archduke Charles that followed the 1805 Austerlitz campaign, roughly the same squadron strengths were retained, but the heavy regiments were reduced to six squadrons each. Each individual regiment was named for its Inhaber. As with the infantry, these names thus changed as the unit’s “proprietor” shifted over the years. 


These are the three Chevauleger regiments in my Austrian army; it's hard to tell, but each regkiment's facing color is actually a different shade of red!



Here are the three Dragoon regiments in my Austrian Army; once again each regiment has a different facing color, all dark shades so they don't "pop" out at you.


The pre-1798 coats were white for the Dragoons and dark green for the Chevauxlegers, while the Light Dragoon coats were to all be dark green. Needless to say, old uniforms were often allowed to wear out before they were replaced, so these changes were never fully implemented. Then in 1802, the renewed split should have resulted in a return to white coats for the Dragoons and dark green for the Dragoons. However, by 1805 an official order directed that some of the Chevauleger regiments wear dark green coats and others white, as listed below. That should at least have left the button color to distinguish the two arms, yellow for the Chevaulegers, and white for the Dragoons. However, as can be seen below, even that distinction was not consistent. In all honesty, one must wonder what on earth the Austrian authorities were thinking when they determined these things... certainly not us wargamers. How inconsiderate of them! :-)



Austrian Dragoons, 1802-1815
Number
Name
Facings
Coat
Buttons
1
Erzherzog Johan
Black
White
White
2
Furst Hohenlohe
Dark Blue
White
White
3
Baron Knesvich
Dark Red
White
White
4
Baron Levenehr
Bright Red
White
White
5
Ferdinand
Dark Green
White
White
6
Graf Riesch
Light Blue
White
White


In this close up, the dark blue facings of  Dragoon Regiment (DR) #2 are much more readily visible; it is labeled with the name of its later Inhaber, the Kronprinz von Bayern.


Here is DR #5, with its green facings. The standard is the white Leibfahne.


Finally, this is DR #1, again here bearing the name of it's later Inhaber, Rosenburg. Note the black (facing colored) lace decoration on the bandolier of the standard bearer. According to the Osprey, this should have a casing decorated with 2 lines of wavy lace in the facing color, and metallic thread in the button color, which in this case would be silver. The Cuirasier regiments definitely seemed to use these accessories, and the Dragoons probably did.  as well.


A rear view of the three Dragoon regiments; all are of course old Minifigs, painted 30 years ago. No shading, just block painting. A little detailing to bring out the (white) belting is probably in order... some day!


A final, side view of the Dragoons. The red saddle cloths with yellow/black edging were common to all Austrian Cavalry of this era. Grey trousers were often worn in place of the full dress white ones.


Austrian Chevau-Legers, 1802 - 1815
Number
Name
Facings
Coat
Buttons
1
Kaiser Franz
Dark Red
Dk Green
Yellow
2
Hohenzollern
Bright Red
Dk Green
White
3
Graf O’Reilly
Bright Red
White
Yellow
4
Baron Vincent
Dark Blue
Dk Green
Yellow
5
Klenau
Light Blue
White
Yellow
6
Furst Rosenburg
Dark Red
White
Yellow
7
Graf Nostitz*
Crimson
Dk Green
White
earlier it seems that CR #2 had dark green facings, and CR #6 black facings, while CR #4 later became dark red... just to make everything clear as mud!  
* CR #7 wasn't raised until very late in the era, as noted in the introduction above.



A somewhat blurry picture of Chevauleger Regiment (CR) #1, Kaiser Franz. Note the red crest on the helmet of the Trumpeter, common to all of the Austrian "German" cavalry (the trumpeters in the Hussars and Uhlans had red plumes). 


This is CR #4, Vincent. I have given the standard bearer, here carrying the yellow Ordinarfahne, lace decoration on his bandolier (which should perhaps be mixed with gold thread - see the discussion under the Dragoons above).  In actual fact, it is likely that, like the light cavalry of most other nations, flags were not carried in the field by the Chevaulegers. 


The final regiment is CR #7, Nostitz. I readily confess that I chose this unit for its crimson facings and green coats. To me, the idea of Austrian Chevaulegers in *white* coats is just, well... unnatural! Of course, Joe has a unit of Sash and Saber Austrian Chevaulegers (#5) in white coats with light blue facings, and I must say they look very dapper indeed!


Rear view of my three Chevauleger units, once again vintage Minifigs, no shading or finesse to the painting except the hand painted flags!. 


A final lateral view of the the regiments; you can almost see that one is faced in a bright, scarlet red, one in medium red, and one in dark crimson... maybe!  At least the horse colors make it easy to differentiate the three units!

Here is a final shot of all six units, 48 figures in all, waiting to thunder out across the Bavarian countryside at the start of the 1809 campaign on the Danube.

I hope this article has made the rather confusing subject of these two rather similar looking members of the Austrian mounted arm a bit clearer. Despite the similarities, they were generally used differently. The Chevaulegers were almost always found in the Advanced Guard Divisions of the various Army Corps, while the dragoons were often found concentrated with the Cuirassiers in the Reserve Corps. Of course, aside from the Cuirass, these didn't look all that different from the Dragoons, either... but that is a subject for another post!

The Austrian cavalry was generally highly regarded on a regimental basis, but was often employed in penny packets that prevented them from achieving their full potential on the battlefield. It was good to get back to some material on die Ã–sterreicher after all those Ruskis... although we aren't done with them yet, either. Still... go Kaiserlicks!


Peter

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Starfleet Wars: Terran Ships, Part 2

This post covers the larger ships and fighters of the Terran Starfleet. Once again these ships were painted by my long time friend, Paul. Originally produced by Superior Models, they are now once again available as the Galactic Knights range. As noted previously, the Terran ships are strongly suggestive of the forces of The Empire, from a certain well known movie that came out around the same time!


This is a pair of Terran Formidable class Galactic Battle Cruiesers (GB). These ships are unique among the Battlecruisers of the five factions in that they carry a substantial number of attack craft (fighters).  The "flight decks" are painted dark grey.


Once again, each ship in the class is distinguished from its sister ships by its "facing color", here red or blue.


Here are the stats for these Formidable class Galactic Battlecruisers (GB):

Power    Max Beam    Max Shield   CIDS Factor    Attack Craft    PW Factor  PW reloads
    90             8                     8                52%                 15                2                  10


These two Terran GB's are preparing to enter hyperspace momentarily, it looks like!


Next up is this Terran Invincible class Galactic Dreadnought (GD), a powerful ship indeed! As is usual for Terran designs, almost all the turrets face forward.


The ships carries just a small handful of fighters to act as scouts; it's design is mostly aimed at maximizing the power of its beams and shields!


Here are the stats from "Starfleet Wars" for the Terran Invincible class Galactic Dreadnought (GD):

Power    Max Beam    Max Shield   CIDS Factor    Attack Craft    PW Factor  PW reloads
   240             14                 14                76%                  4                2                  10


A final view of this epitome of Terran Space-Naval might as it patrols the starlanes...


Lately the Terran Star Navy has introduced an upgunned 2-decker Galactic Dreadnought, the Valiant  class GD. It seems like these ships were intermediate between the original GD's and the Super Galactic Dreadnoughts


This model was listed in May, 1982; the ships went out of production for an extended time shortly thereafter, and I am unaware of any official Starfleet War stats for this ship; if anyone has stats for these 2 decker Victory class GD's (and their Carnivoran counterparts), I'd greatly appreciate hearing about it!


The "two decker" design is certainly cool; only the Carnivorans also got a 2-decker model; the Entomalians, Avarians, and Aquarians evidently never did. Here's a speculative proposal for stats for this ship, representing roughly a 25% increase in Power units from its predecessor:
Power    Max Beam    Max Shield   CIDS Factor    Attack Craft    PW Factor  PW reloads
   300             15                 15                78%                  4                2                  10


Now that's what I call *thrusters*;   does the design suggest a detachable "Battle Bridge" to anyone?


This is a Terran Constellation class Galactic Attack Carrier (GAC). Its design  is optimized for maximum carriage of attack craft (fighters) through space.


Heavy relaince upon fighter tactics, with both the numerous GAC's *and* the GB's being able to launch and recover fighters is the other cornerstone of Terran space naval tactics. 


Here are the stats for this Constellation class Galactic Attack Carrier (GAC):


Power
    Max Beam    Max Shield   CIDS Factor    Attack Craft    PW Factor  PW reloads
   120            4                   7                60%                   40                  2                 6



A final view of this Terran  GAC, showing the "flight deck" in detail. No other faction's Carrier can hold as many attack craft as this one!

Although Paul didn't have any in his collection, there is a Terran Galactic Transport (GTP) in the Starfleet Wars line, the Havoc class. Here are the stats for it:


Power    Max Beam    Max Shield   CIDS Factor    Attack Craft    PW Factor  PW reloads
   21              1                  1                12%                  none                1                 2


Also missing from Paul's collection is a Terran Super Galactoic Dreadnought, the Victory class SGD. Its stats are as follow:


Power    Max Beam    Max Shield   CIDS Factor    Attack Craft    PW Factor  PW reloads
   480             21*             21*              100%                30                 6                30
*plus "Additional Offensive Factor" of 7, or "Additional Defensive  Factor" of 7 (see discussion of rules for Super Galactic Dreadnought under the Avarian Starfleet posts. The Chancellor of The Chancellor Campaign is just such a powerhouse ship!


Paul's collection also doesn't include any Terran CAPTACS (Captive Towed Tactical Missiles). Hmm, I may yet have to buy a few ships to bring the Terrans up to speed. Now,  on to the fighters!


These are Terran Meteor light fighters; the resemblance to X-wings seems immediately apparent!


Red and Blue squadrons deployed on the patrol, ready to scout or attack the enemy as needed.


Like all fighters in the Starfleet Wars rules, they can be configured in several different ways depending upon their intended mission.


The squadrons head back to their carrier for resupply following a long and  mission. To paraphase the words of General Lasalle, "A fighter pilot is a poltroon if he isn't dead by 30!"


These are Terran Comet heavy fighters; here Red, Blue, Yellow and Green squadrons prepare their deadly particle weapons for launch.


To me, these attack craft are reminiscent of the Colonial Vipers of the original Battlestar Galatica series. Where are Starbuck and Apollo when you need them?


"Long range sensors detecting Cylons at maximum scanning range; get ready to meet some Tin Cans!"  

By the way, there are Full Thrust conversions for all the ships of the Starfleet Wars factions on Star Ranger's site here, andsome at  Indy's site here



This concludes the posts on the Terran Starfleet from the Starfleet Wars (Galactic Knights) range. The next set of Starfleet Wars posts will cover my large Carnivoran Starfleet.

Peter

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Battle of Abensburg: April 20th, 1809

The opening of the 1809 campaign saw much of the burden of the early fighting fall upon the Bavarians, who were deployed in three Doivisions, with supporting Cavalry. The battle of Abensburg was the immediate result of Napoleon's long awaiting arrival in the theater of war, and the orders he issued to accomplish the re-unification of his army. This battle was fought on the tabletop last year, with Barry commanding the Whitecoats, while Mark Carlson and I had the French/Bavarians.

A stylized map of the Battlefield (from the "1809: Blunders on the Danube" scenario book, and adapted from those in John H. Gill's works) will help to understand the action as it unfolds.



Bavarian troops issuing out of Abensburg attack the opposing Austrians around Offenstetten. 


The initial Bavarian assaults have failed, with 2 units routed and another forced back. 


The advance of Marshal Lannes' ad hoc French Corps upon Bachl (left upper corner of pic) is making the Austrian position at Offenstetten untenable. To the right, Austrian defenders opposite Biburg. 


However, the second Bavarian attack upon Offenstetten is even less successful than the first, and the death of the Bavarian brigade commander (roll of "1" on a D20!) throws his entire command into Disorder - note the liberal application of pigs, chickens, and other barnyard inhabitants!


Overview of the situation; Sappers have almost completed a pontoon bridge over the Abens near Siegenburg, while the allied attack from Biburg is pushing back the Kaiserlicks, and Lannes (Mark, in his first battle) is pushing the Austrians back rather convincingly near Bachl.


A somewhat different view, looking from the rooftops of Abensburg (nearest at bottom edge) out towards Rohr (top of the picture). The broken terrain has the French and their Confederation of the Rhine allies advancing along four different routes. (I have used Hessians, Wurttemburgers and Badeners for some commands as I don't have that many Bavarians, and at least all except the Hessians wear some kind of crested helmet!)


Austrian reinforcements arrive, lead by General Hiller, who has been marching all day, albeit rather slowly, from the vicinity of  Landshut.


The view from the Austrian positions near Pfaffenhausen.


Hessians and Badeners on the attack from the Biburg crossing.


Bavarian Dragoons, French Legere, and French Cuirassiers fighting the Austrians near Bachl. The Ram looks on (another "Out of Command" marker), and observes that things are going baaaaa-dly for the Kaiserlicks!


Vive L' Empereur! French Cuirassiers charging Hungarians in line. 



With predictable results! The French have taken Bachl!



The French have now turned the Austrian's flank at Rohr as well.


The Austrian Hussars launch a bold charge of their own, attempting to buy time for their footslogger comrades to withdraw and consolidate their position! It is too little, too late, though, and across all the axes of the Franco-Bavarian advance, the Austrians are in full retreat. Hiller cannot join up with the main army under Erzherzog Karl, and instead retreats back towards Landshut. 

This was an interesting action to play out on the tabletop; at times the game played more like a Grand Tactical action, which was good because that was the feel I was looking for with this scenario, and playing it out on the table helped me understand this phase of the campaign better. When referring to the map, recall that Thann is the vicinity where Davout's battle of Teugen-Hausen took place (indeed, in French sources it is often referred to as the battle of Thann).

Peter