Friday, December 4, 2015

Semiwitz, 1813 - Battle Report

We had a great time with my "Semi-witz"scenario (very loosely inspired by the forces, terrain, and situation surrounding the Battle of Dennewitz, September 1813) this past Sunday. The scenario and the initial set up were covered in prior posts. We wound up having six players - James took Winzingerode's Russians, Jared took Tauntzein's Prussians, "Czar" Barry had Bernadotte's "precious" Swedes for the Allies, and for the "French" side it was myself with Reynier's Saxons and Italians (the white coat boys - no Austrians in sight this day), Greg with Betrand's Wurttemburgers and Poles, and Roger with Oudinot's Bavarians, Badeners, and Hessians. The Allies won the first initiative roll big - by 8 pips IIRC, and opted to act first. Both sides had mediocre leaders, and an Poor Sequence Deck for the Allies, and an Abysmal one for the French!

In the Center, one of Jared's enormous Prussian "Brigades" (6 infantry 2 Cavalry, 2 batteries) rolled up a "Triple Magic Move", and the initial results are seen here. The Prussian Guns softened up Greg's Wurttemburgers, and Jared's two Dragoon regiments galloped across the table with abandon, striking a battery and a Jager unit in skirmish order.  Both targets would be at a severe disadvantage in melee, but had an excellent chance to blast the impudent Cavalry men all the way back to Berlin before that. 

The results of the action are seen above; Greg's boys both tanked their rolls, doing little damage, and the momentum of the Prussian horsemen trampled the battery, and punished the Jagers, who withdrew after the first round of melee. The Prussian infantry followed up in close support.  This would make it difficult for the surviving Wurttemburg infantry to punish the rash Prussian charge... assuming they got the chance!

On the Allied Far Right, Barry rolled a double move with one of his infantry Divisions and the Cavalry. Being weaker in artillery than his opposition (where are those masses of Russian guns when you need them?), he opted to move forward aggressively against the opposing Bavarians of Oudinot  (Roger). In the foreground is the Baden contingent of Roger's command. 

Over on the Allied Left, James rolled 2 segments with one of his Commands, and one with another, and also went on the advance after a fairly successful bombardment of my Saxon and Italian batteries (note the markers). 

In the Center, those darned Prussian Dragoons used a MELEE card to charge again, as seen above. This time they plowed  into 2 units of Wurttemburg Line Infantry in attack column. Once again, the Infantry';s fire alone had a fair chance to stop the charge, and their odds even in melee weren't too bad. 

After the melees, one infantry unit was completely eliminated, and another forced back; Greg's Dice continued to produce a remarkable array of "1's"!

The Allies turned another MOVE card, and the Prussian infantry advanced to consolidate the gains won by their Dragoons, whilst the later (wisely) pulled back to rally and reform.  A large gap is developing in the "French" right center, exposing my Italians to unwanted attention!

This time even James rolls at least Double moves, and his Russians close on my outnumbered defenders. The French have a powerful Infantry and cavalry Division as reinforcements, but there has been no sign of them to date!

In the Allied Right Center, the Prussians and Poles (represented by Vistula Legion troops)  glare at one another while their artillery batteries exchange shots. 

On the Allied Far Right, the Swedes and Bavarians exchange volleys, both suffering minor losses. 

Back on the Allied Left, James has made an aggressive move to bring up a Horse Artillery battery, backed by a Jager regiment in line and some Musketeers in column. With my left flank already exposed by the crumbling of the Wurttemburgers, this could make my position very precarious if it continues unchecked!

With the Allied impetus run finally over, the French start on their own run of 8 impetus points. Hopefully we can take advantage of the somewhat exposed position of some of the Allied Divisions. The Saxon infantry of my command are, frankly, pretty much crap, but their cavalry contingent is outstanding. I use them to counter punch, over running the Horse battery and mauling the Jagers. The Russian regiment in Square dissuades the Saxon horsemen from any further adventures, however. 

The Italian Division of my command adjusts its facing to stave off the Russo-Prussian threat. Where the heck ate the French Reserves, monsieur? 

In the center, the Wurttemburgers continue their impressive display of complete ineptitude. unable to inflict meaning full losses on even the D4 defense die type Landwehr. The newly painted Wurzburg Infantry Regt (3rd Regiment, Rheinbund) gets to "see the elephant" (not the same one that a drunken Blucher believed impregnated him in a dream, I imagine)... and misses it, too!

"Down where the Wuirzburger Flows", wax cylinder recording from 1899, played on a 1904 Columbia Grammophone.
"The Rhine may be fine, but a cold stein for mine, down where the Wurzburger flows!"

On the Allied Far Right, the action is getting as stale as 2 week old Lussekatt. 
"Your mother makes lousy Lingonberry Preserves!"
"Yeah, well your father has the worst weiner...  or is that the weiner wust?  Uhf, da!"

My gallant Saxon Hussars and Chevaulegers have pulled back, and their front is now covered by the von Egidy Jagers. Note the Saxon Royal Footguards making a rare cameo appearance on the battlefield at the lower left. 

"Vive l' Empereur, the Reserves c'est arive!"
Morand's Division of French veterans tries to both shore up the disintegrating Wurttemburgers, and also attack the Prussian grand battery. 

The cavalry have arrived... in the form of Arrighi's small cavalry Corps of Chasseurs, Hussars, and Dragoons. They come up behind the Hessians, also hoping to threaten the Allied right center.

Russians and Prussians threaten Destruction... oh my!
This is a lot for the Italian contingent in the left side of my Corps to handle!

Canister and musket balls gradually batter my Italians, while their own shots all seem to go wide of the mark. *Memo to Eugene - give these guys more gunpowder to practice with, capice?

Almost all of my infantry have lost UI (Note "rock" markers). The newly painted Guardia di Onore are in their first tabletop outing, just awaiting a "Magic Move" to charge something! It never came.

Jared's Prussians are now plaguing me - a unit with 3 UI lost is always a tempting target for a charge!
With an Abysmal sequence deck, something I have seldom had to contend with (Barry has no sympathy for me here, I know, LOL), there are only a mere two LEADERSHIP cards in our deck. With my command melting like so much fresh mozzarella in the mid day Roman summer sun, I really need some big results when the card is finally turned.  

Bah, both my Divisional generals accomplish next to nothing, and I won't likely get another chance to rally my boys before our stock of Morale points runs out, making it even more difficult to get them firmed up again. The Corps commander, Reynier, tries his hand. Even with his better Leadership rating, he can do little to raise the flagging spirits of his troops. By so doing, he will now have a very small; (5%) chance of being hit when the next ARMY MORALE card comes up for our side.  

His Prussian Dragoons still rallying, Jared throws a swarm of Silesian Landwehr cavalry at a steady Wurttemburg unit in column. The infantry should be able to win this one. 

But no!  The "Rotten Burgers" tank their roll yet again and are obliterated. The Silesians, though, fall out of command and into some disorder as they "pursue". Thank heaven for small favors!

Oh wait, here's the ARMY MORALE card!

Yep, 'ol Reynier rolls a "1" on a D20 and bites the Prussian dust, throwing his entire Corps Out of Command, just as they are beset by a tidal wave of Prussians and Russians. 
*Perhaps this wouldn't have been the worst ending to a quite distinguished military career for the Swiss-born general. In actual fact, he commanded the Saxons again a few months later at Leipzig, where they deserted to the allies and he was captured. Although exchanged for an allied general, he died of illness and injuries a few weeks later. His name is inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe. 

The Wurttemburg and GD Warsaw Cavalry try to stabilize the situation in the Allied left center, attempting to mob the Landwehr cav.

The Prussians and Russians continue to close the noose on the increasingly isolated Italo-Saxon Corps, ex-Reynier. 

James Limbers his powerful Russian grand battery in the hopes of moving forwards to canister range!

The Swedish and Bavarian infantry continue to exchange tit for tat.

 The Hessian Chevau-Lagers, the only troops on the table not belonging to me, end a long game of Cat and Mouse with the Swedish cavalry at the farthest Allied right and near their baseline... badly. Note the Swedish routers about to leave the table. The game was remarkable for almost NO routed troops rallying in the course of the game, on either side. 

The cursed Prussian Dragoons, having spent several hours rally for their third charge of the game.
*Note to Barry's famously under performing Russian Dragoons - this it is is how it is done, friend!

The press of numbers on Reynier's former Corps is almost overwhelming, and with everyone battered and out of command, it is only a matter of time before the entire formation dissolves in a mass of fugitives. 

Things are no better to my left, where Prussian infantry and 5 Prussian cavalry regiments have seized control of the gap between me and Bertrand (Greg). 

There are still Polish and Wurttemburg cavalry to oppose them, but they have had little success against Tauntzien's (Jared) men today!

Morand's fresh Frenchmen attempt an assault on the Prussian Artillery - and are devastated by its precise and deadly fire!

View from the French far left. Roger feels very comfortable commanding Bavarian troops - many hears ago, he did the *entire* Bavarian army of 1814, in Minifigs, then the top of the line figures. He tells me the Perry Bavarians are really nice, and so he's been adding still more new units using them!
The Hessian Chevaulegers came about as a result of having more Bavarian Cavalry than he needed due to a miscalculation. Their later uniform was similar, so, viola - a paint conversion!

In the Allied right center, the Hessian infantry covers Arrhigis's attempt to come to grips with the opposing Swedes. 

A view from the Allied Right - near ground are the Swedish Lif Cuirassiers and the Swedish Heavy Dragoons. 

A view from behind the Swedes of the Allied Right Center. At this juncture, the Allies turned a MELEE card. With the French at 1 Morale point vs 20 for the allies, and the resulting charges being almost certain to vaporize what was left of my Corps, the French players conceded. 

View form behind the relatively un-engaged Prussian 1st Brigade, with the equally un-engaged Poles opposite. 

The Prussians occupying the gap in the Allied lefty center. With their third attempt to capture Berlin repulsed. the "French"try to extricate themselves from the battle. The Emperor will not
 be amused!

View from behind Jame;s Russians. Even the Saxon Royal Guards have routed,  along with most of the Italians.  Overall, a convincing Allied victory! 

All six of us had a great time with this game. There was abundant good humor (and bad jokes), camaraderie, and re-hydration with the Sprite that Greg graciously brought along to the game. All in all, a near perfect day of wargames fun... the kind that makes you want to play again next week. There isn't much more that one can ask of our hobby!  Good gaming to you all...



  1. Looks great, intense...and bloody, I understand your desires of 're-hydration'! And glad to see this beautiful Italian army, that was my first Nap army...many years ago...great batrep!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. My Italians are favorites of mine as well, and they have seen much table top time since they were painted many years ago - all "new" Minifigs French castings, except of course the brand new Guardia di Ononore, featured last month on the blog.

  2. Massive, massive game, Peter, and a great spectacle. Gaining and maintaining the initiative, the Prussian (and Russian) forces seemed unstoppable. Really enjoyed your BatRep and the many excellent photos of your HUGE Napoleonic collection. I bet that was a fun day only to be bettered by a victory perhaps? I, too, like the white-coated Italians and was rooting for them to persevere.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Jon - we certainly did! It also gave some of the guys a chance to get out of their boxes and stretch their legs on the tabletop - such as the Swedes and the hapless Wurttemburgers!

  3. Quite a game. Tis good everyone had fun. Pretty table, as always. Maybe Barry can send his Russian Dragoon figures on a 'cultural mission' with the new Prussian ally.

    1. Yep, a cultural exchange mission might do Barry's Russian Dragoons some good. They (being large Front Rank figures) always complain about their opponents being too small and thus hard to reach with their swords... or at least that's what they tell Barry!

  4. A very entertaining report. It really is great to see such a variety of nations represented in the one game, and I have always had a soft spot for Napoleonic Swedes.

    1. Thanks Lawrence; it was a veritable Smorgasbord of the Nations!

  5. A fantastic looking game as always. I am a fan of the Italians as well.

  6. Thanks, Tim. I could certainly picture you at the head of those Prussian Dragoons!

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mark - we really enjoyed it as well!
      How are you doing with getting back in the hobby saddle after your move?

    2. Cheers Peter, and things are getting organised, about to start again on the hobby in next couple of weeks! :)

  8. Great looking game and thoroughly enjoyed by the players it seems - the essence of wargaming. Best wishes, Jeremy

    1. Thanks, Jeremy.
      I agree completely - that's what we're aiming for with all preparation - an attractive game that is fun for the players, hopefully with an accompanying narrative.

  9. Another P.G. spectator game report.... fun reading. Your Italians did well... but need better friends or stray Austrians to work on.

    M aka WR in California.

    1. Thanks, Michael. IO think the green coats of the Russians they were facing may have confused them! :-)

    2. Just Italians in "reversed color" coats.....somewhat...
      :-) M

  10. Great AAR and so many units in action !

    1. Thanks, Garry, and glad you enjoyed reading it!