Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Wagons are all pack arrived at Lancaster!

    The drive to Lancaster took about an hour longer than anticipated due to a couple of construction areas along the route; about 5 hours. Figuring out where to park and how to check into the convention  hotel was a bit confusing at first, but should be easy next time. The new East tower of the hotel is up and running, at least partially if not completely, so there seemed to be some rooms to spare at the Marriott. The venue, like any new site, was a bit confusing to navigate at first, but it all works. There is no question it is a nicer site than the Host or Fredericksburg. There are plenty of places to eat within 100 yards or less. The use of the hotel luggage carts made unloading from the garage connected to the hotel fairly painless. I am still unsure how you would unload if you were a GM not staying at the hotel. We have Tim’s first game set up already and ready to kick off at 2:00.

I added a pair of Old Glory (Blue Moon) 28 mm one horse Carts to my collection.

 I bought these a couple of years ago with the  planned Tyrol Wagon Train scenario in mind

As with the other Blue Moon 28 mm wagons I have done, the detail on these is great.

They painted up quickly, really just needing block paining, a wash or two, and then the final black "Magic Wash"

A flat bed cart.

Hauling a load of lumber and other supplies.

A keg of nails.... or perhaps some suitable libations?!

Heading on down the Manheim pike to Lancasterr!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

2nd Battle of Berg Isel, May 29 1809: Scenario and play test for Historicon

After the Franco-Prussian game Saturday, we shifted countries and eras to play test my revised scenario for this battle, with changes inspired by the version Michael Hofer developed for his scenario book, "Blood along the Danube, 1809". I used Badeners as stand ins for half of the Bavarians (I was already using almost all that I own) , and I used Landwehr and Freiwilliger as stand ins for the Tyroleans of Reisenfells command,  and substituted Spechbacher for Teimer, and moved Teimer to the other side of the table (a map reading error). With those caveats, here we go:\

Second Battle of Berg Isel: May 29, 1809

Table Size: 6 x 10 feet

Troop Scale: 1 Infantry unit = 600 men, 1 Cavalry unit = 300 men, 1 Artillery = 6 guns.

Background: After retaking the Tyrol, believing the rebellion largely crushed, Wrede's Division was withdrawn, ultimately to fight at Wagram a little over a month hence. This left just Deroy and his 3rd Bavarian Division, with assorted attachments, to hold the Rebellious province. It would not prove enough. On May 25th, an attack was launched on the outskirts of Innsbruck by some 6,000 Tyrolean insurgents supported by 1200 Austrians. Their attack was repulsed, and the combat terminated by a heavy rainstorm. However, 4 days later, the numbers of insurgents in the area having swelled to 12,000, the Tyrolians attacked again with their main force at Berg Isel, while additional detachments seized the bridges over the Inn at Volders and Zirl.

Map: Mount Isel and the foothills of the Alps are wooded Class III mountainous terrain; they are impassable to Artillery (except the Tirolese wooden guns) and cavalry. However, all Tirolese (but NOT the Austrians) treat these as Class II terrain for movement.
The River Inn is unfordable, while the River Sill is a Class II stream. The buildings of Innsbruck, part of which is shown on the map, are Class II. The Abbey and Schloss have been fortified by the Bavarians and are Class III Terrain.

Scenario Rules:
Tyrolean Scutzen represent partisans armed primarily with firearms and largely lacking bayonets, etc. They will count as armed with Rifles, however! They must be deployed in Skirmish order or Line formations only, and are DOWN 1 additional in Melee. They have only 2 UI per unit.
Tyrolean Landsturm represent peasants armed with polearms and spears and a few antiquated firearms. They must be deployed in Attack Column or Line and are Up 2 additional in Melee, but Down 1 for fire. In addition, they suffer no penalty for being charged by Cavalry frontally. They have only 3 UI per unit.
Tyrolean Wooden Gun moves like Tyrolean infantry (including in Class III Terrain), but must “limber” and “unlimber, and reloads on the Artillery Firepower cards. It has but 1 UI.
Andreas Hoffer, an Innkeeper by trade and the heart and soul of the Tyrolean revolt is UP 2 on his LD when attempting to rally any Tyrolean troops.
Joachim Haspinger, a charismatic red-bearded Capuchin priest, Makes any unit he is attached 2 Up 2 in melee; however, if he has been engaged in a melee since the last Army Morale Card, he will roll a D12 instead of a D20 for being hit.
If any of the four buildings of Innsbruck proper are occupied by enemy troops, the Bavarians lose 1 Morale Point for each such building, for as long as the building remains controlled by the enemy.

Deployment: As shown on the map.

Speckbacher: Roll a D6: On 2nd MOVE card, enters on a 1, 3rd MOVE card 1,2,3,4, 4th MOVE card – automatic
Teimer: Roll a D6: On 4th MOVE card, enters on a 1, 5th MOVE card 1,2,3,4, 6th MOVE card – automatic

Victory Conditions: The game ends after the 9th Austrian MOVE card is played and acted upon (nightfall). If the Austrians have un dispuited control of Berg Isel, or the Tirolese control any of the 4 buildings of Innsbruck, AND their opponent fails Army Morale, they score a Major Victory. Otherwise, if the enemy fails Army Morale without accomplishing the above results, it is a Minor Victory. Any other result is a draw.

Austrians: No C-in-C, use LD 8 for initiative purposes.
Sequence Deck: Abysmal
23 Infantry, 1 Cavalry, 2 Artillery; Army Morale Points: 28

GM Ignaz Freiherr von Buol-Barenburg LD 8, CR 16”
2 Austrian Line DD 6, CD 10
1 Austrian Jager DD8, CD 12
6lb Foot Battery DD6, CD 12
1 Squadron Chevau-Leger DD6, CD 10
(only 1 Unit Integrity)

Andreas Hoffer LD 8*, CR 20”
3 Tyrolean Schutzen* DD 4, CD 10
2 Tyrolean Landsturm* DD 4 CD 8
1 Wooden Gun* DD 4, CD 8

Joachim Haspinger LD 10*, CR 20”
3 Tyrolean Schutzen* DD 4, CD 10
2 Tyrolean Landsturm* DD 4 CD 8

Joseph Speckbacher LD 12, CR 24”
3 Tyrolean Schutzen* DD 4, CD 10
2 Tyrolean Landsturm* DD 4 CD 8

Martin Teimer, LD 8, CR 16”
2 Austrian Volunteers DD 4, CD 10
3 Austrian Landwehr DD 4, CD 8

3rd Bavarian Division, GL Bernard Erasmus von Deroy
LD 10, CR 20”
Sequence Deck: Average
10 Infantry, 2 Cavalry, 3 Artillery 15 Morale
12lb Foot Battery DD 6, CD 12

GM Justus von Siebein LD 10, CR 20”
1 Baden Jager DD 8, CD 12
4 Baden Line DD 6, CD 10
6 lb Foot Battery DD 6, CD 10

GM Vincenti LD 10, CR 20”
1 Bavarian Light DD 8, CD 12
4 Bavarian Line DD 6, CD 10
6 lb Foot Battery DD 6, CD 10
GM Seydewitz LD 10, CR 20”
Baden Dragoons (3 UI) DD6, CD 10
Bavarian Chevaulegers (2 UI) DD6, CD 10

After the play test, I am going to move the set up for the Bavarians back 3" so that they start outside the Class II terrain. 

Early in the game - Innsbruck to the right, Berg Isel in the center. 

A view from the opposite end of the table.

Tyrolean Rebels under  Hofer swarming through the rough terrain. 

The Bavarians (Badeners used  as stand ins for half of the Bavarians) are surprisingly aggressive in taking the battle to the Rebels!

More action on the other side of Berg Isel.

Artillery deployed to make the most of limited fields of fire in the center.  Bavarian General Vincenti is hit on Berg Isel. 

Speckbacher;'s command enters on a Triple Move!

Not long afterwards,  Teimer's command enters from the opposite direction  on a Double Move. Elsewhere, Hofer goes down with a wound as well!

Speckbacher's men continue to advance with alacrity... as both sides reach zero Army Morale Points simultaneously!

Speckbacher's Shutzen threaten the rear of Von Siebein's troops. 

   This game was hugely fun, as usual thanls in no small measure to the players themselves. In the end, however, it was the Bavarians who prevailed, the Rebels withdrawing into the alps and safety. Historically, after fending off Tyrolean attacks all day, Deroy and his command slipped away under cover of darkness, abandoning Innsbruck, where they had become increasingly isolated.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Student Gaming; Historicon Franco-Prussian War Playtest Game

   Yesterday we had a great day of gaming, hosted by Jared at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY, where Jared teaches history (and runs a game club).  Attending were Jared, myself, Ed from Nebraska, who is doing an internship in New Hampshire, and drove three hours drom there to meet me in Bridgewater, from whence I drove us another hour to the school, and three of Jared's students and Game Club members. The first game on the agenda for the day was a Franco-Prussian battle using Field of Battle, 2nd edition rules.

    One of Jared's students had done a senior project focusing on the Franco Prussian War, and he and Jared will be giving a presentation at the Historicon War College on Saturday at 10 AM. I will let Mr. Fishman speak more about it:

“Each year, Hackley seniors are asked to complete a culminating project, usually lasting about 4 weeks or so.  When the project is over, they are then asked to go in front a panel of Hackley teachers to complete a final presentation.  They must also choose a mentor teacher (me) who will guide them through the process.

In Dillon’s case, he chose to create a gaming project centered around the Franco-Prussian War for use in Hackley’s game club for years to come. He had a hand in all decisions, including scale, figure manufacturer, rules, etc.  Dillon researched the period, helped paint figures, rated units, thought about and designed the scenario, and assisted in playtesting.

Finally, and this is a real testament to who Dillon is as a person (and a huge nod to the benefits of this hobby and the kind of motivation it creates), despite having already graduated, he is devoting a huge chunk of his summer to playtesting, culminating in our game at Historicon.  We will then, together, run the game for Hackley students in July.  

If you’re at Historicon and want to see the project on action, our seminar is on Saturday morning and the game itself is at 3 pm.”

Here are the relevant event listings from the Historicon PEL:

“Historical Gaming in the School Classroom: A How to Guide from both the Teacher and Student Perspective” Speaker: Jared Fishman Location: Conestoga Room Description: Since 2008, the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY has been a model and leader in terms of historical gaming both inside and outside the classroom. This seminar will focus on how the game club started, why it is valuable, and more importantly, the benefits of other schools adopting a similar model. Teacher Jared Fishman and student Dillon Schaevitz will share their experiences and run a game based around the Franco-Prussian War later in the day.

S15:327 Pickelhaube and Kepi- A Franco-Prussian War Clash Saturday, 3:00 PM, 4 hrs, Players: 5, Location: Commonwealth: CW-13 GM: Jared Fishman Sponsor: None, Prize: None Period: 19th Century, Scale: 10mm, Rules: Field of Battle 2 Description: The time is September, 1870, with two of the great European powers clashing to see who is the new needle mover on the continent. Will the Prussian advantage in artillery rule the day, or will the French elan and fighting spirit be able to carry the day? Rules are Brent Oman's card based Field of Battle, with scenario designed by members of Hackley School Game Club.

    With Jared furiously painting 10 mm Franco-Prussian French and Prussian troops in the days and weeks preceding, the game kicked off a little after 11 AM.  I played the left Flank Prussian Division, Ed the center Division, and one of the students played the Prussian Right Flank Division and Prussian Cavalry. Two other students played the French defenders, whilst Jared acted as GM.

A ways into the game, following some effective Prussian (right) bombardment of the French defenses (left), taking advantage of their numerous and better artillery. My command is safely under cover in the woods, making use of same to approach the French defenses whilst minimizing casualties from the superior French small arms fire.

A closer view; the French are defending a ridge line and village, with many of the front units "dug in".  Once again, that's my Division's infantry in the woods, with my artillery and a supporting infantry unit nearby.

Empty French trenches, and a "routed with no UI " French unit that formerly occupied them!

Jared explains some fine points of the rules, while Ed listens attentively, this being his first game with the Field of Battle rules. 

Close up of the French defenders, as casualties mount from the fire of the Prussian Krupp guns.  

Another French unit is driven back from their hasty trenches. 

     Not long after this, my Division made use of a "triple Magic Move" to launch an all out assault on the three right hand French defenders. My skirmishing Jagers proved hard to hit, but their return fire was very effective, driving the French from another of their forward trenches. My other two attacks were repulsed, as expected, but then my additional troops moved to the attack, and things went poorly for the French from there. Not long thereafter we called the game, as we had learned what we set out to. The rules gave very historically plausible results, but as a game, the numbers and  power of the Prussian artillery was too great for the French to have a reasonable chance of prevailing. The group discussed a number ideas to address this without detracting overly from the historical realities, and at least one more playtest is anticipated before the game next week.

    I would add that the fighting was very hot... not just on the tabletop, but in the game room itself, the school's air conditioning understandably being off for  energy savings on a summer Saturday when there were no students in attendance. It reminded me of my own gaming back in High School, which mostly took place in the un-insulated attic of my parent's house - broiling hot in summer, literally freezing cold in winter. Then as now, we were having such a good time that the climatic conditions were only a minor distraction from the fun and tabletop action!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Badeners that go BOOM! - Foot and Horse Artillery

In 1804, the Army of Baden included 2 Foot batteries, rather logically designated as batteries number 1 and battery number 2.  A Horse Artillery battery was raised in late 1806, and became the new battery number 1, with the foot batteries now being designated as numbers 2 and three; a third foot battery, designated as battery number 4, was added in 1808. 

Until 1806, the carriages were painted yellow ocher with black fittings (rather like the Austrian ordinance), but thereafter the carriages became dark grey with black metal fittings.

The Foot artillery wore dark blue jackets with black facings and brass buttons, and red turnbacks. Until 1806, the button holes were decorated with yellow lace, but thereafter they were left plain. 

The breeches were supposed to be white for parade and grey for campaign, with dark blue overalls with a red stripe down the outside seam introduced in 1811. In Spain, like everyone else, brown pants made of local cloth would be common as well. 

So, of course, I just painted mine with worn dark blue trousers!  :-) These are Murawski figures (and guns)  once again. 

I use 3 crew figures per gun (OK, four for 12 lbers), and 8 figures for my cavalry units. Murawski come with 8 artillery crew per pack and 3 Cavalry per pack.

So, what to do with the extras?  Why make a section of Horse Artillery, of course!

The horse artillery wore essentially the same uniform as the Foot did, except with white plumes on the Raupenhelm. I couldn't be bothered with adding plumes, so I just gave most of them white pants so that they would stand out. 

For some reason, my Murawski order had SIX Baden Dragoon trumpeters in it (but no extra horses, darn!). So, the mounted figure is a trumpeter, and a nice uniform he has, too! 

Anyone needing a spare Baden Dragoon trumpeter rider (or 4...), please feel free to contact me...

The officer, like all Badener officers, wears the silver sash interwoven with gold and red threads. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Huzzah for the Red, White, and (Bavarian) Blue!

I needed a few more Bavarian leaders for my Tyrol games, and thus added some figures to my Front Rank order a year or so ago.

 I believe the bare headed figure is Carl Philipp Josef von Wrede. 

During the Tyrolian revolt of 1809, the Tirolese nick named him "The Angel of Death".

Wrede was created a Prince of the Kingdom of Bavaria, and Field Marshal in the Bavarian Army in 1814, by which time he was of course fighting against Napoleon instead of with him. 

Another Bavarian officer,  perhaps Deroy? the aiguillette suggests an aide, though. We'll let him be Deroy, though.  Deroy fought at Eggmuhl in 1809, and then in the Tyrol, where he was the commander of the Bavarians at the 2nd Battle of Berg Isel. 

He looks rather contemplative! Perhaps he is considering the decision to slip away from Innsbruck under cover of darkness after the stalemate battle of Berg Isel? 

Deroy was probably second only to Wrede in prominence in the Bavarian army.

He was a veteran of many of the conflicts that Bavaria was engaged in, starting with the Seven Years War.

Bernard Erasmus von Deroy was wounded in the abdomen at the 1st Battle of Polotsk in Russia, and yet continued to lead his troops during the battle; he died of complications of his wound a few days later, on August 23, 1812.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Casualties of War: ECW, Part3

A final group of 15 more casualty figures,. to be used as hit ("Disorder") markers when playing "For King and Parliament" 

Lots of variety in the Old Glory figures... as usual!

Two weeks from now, I will already be in Lancaster, at the convention hotel! 

To do in the ensuing 2 weeks are:

A Baden Foot battery and Horse Battery section
A Baden Limber w/ team
Baden officers
Bavarian officers
and a couple of carts. 

Oh, and finishing my Alpine buildings. All are in the advanced stages, so they should be done on time and ready for the four games I am running this year.  Add a playtest of the Berg Isel revised scenario combined with a playtest of Jared and Dillon's 10mm Francio Prussian War scenario 10 days hence, and there"s still plenty on the schedule between now and then!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Baden Dragoons

I have long waited for a manufacturer to do the Baden (Light) Dragoons in 28 mm, and Murawski finally obliged last year.The regiment was originally raised as Dragoons circa 1803 - 1804, but was soon converted to light cavalry, or Light Dragoons. The official title of the regiment remained "Dragoner" (Dragoons) throughout the era, however. The regiment had a theoretical strength of a little over 500 men, in 4 squadrons. A second regiment was raised in 1813, and a 5th and 6th (depot) squadron was added to both regiments in 1814.

Here is the regiment in all of its Azure glory. Although, perhaps regrettably, sculpted in Campaign Dress, I have painted them in their full dress uniforms.

For the coats, I used Delta Ceramcoat "Azure Blue", washed with Delta Ceramcoat "Opaque Blue", a medium dark blue hue.

The officers had silver epaulettes, azure blue saddle cloths with silver borders, and the silver interwoven with gold and red sash common to all Badener officers, and wore white breeches.

The trumpeters wore essentially the same uniform as the troopers, but with red plumes, and in dress uniform, had red, white, and  yellow lace on the lapels and cuffs. The trumpet cords were either plain red, or red mixed with yellow, as shown here. Trumpeters also had black sheepskins on their saddles instead of the white used by the rest of the regiment.

The Regiment in Line

Just a bit of the officer's shabraque can be seen. 

Note the encumbrances of troops on campaign hanging from the saddles. 

Charge!  The Baden Dragoons fought at Ebelsberg, Aspern, Wagram, and Znaim in 1809.

    Throughout the era the jackets of the regiment(s) were Azure blue in color. The headgear was a black bicorn with a white pom pom until 1806, when a black leather Raupenhelm, reminiscent of the Bavarian version,  with white metal decorations was adopted.

Baden Dragoons, Coat details
1803 - 1808
Azure, left only
White buttonhole lace
on cuffs and lapels
1809 - 1810
Azure piped
White aigrettes, ?
1804 - 1809
1811 - 1813
Azure piped
1813 - 1815
Azure piped
White aigrettes Rgt #1
Yellow aigrettes Rgt #2

Baden Dragoons, Breeches
1803 - 1804
1805 - 1806
Light grey, brown leather inserts piped scarlet
1808 - 1813
Azure blue w/ double scarlet stripe down seam, black leather inserts
1814 -1815
Dark grey w/ brown leather inserts and cuffs

(The above information is all condensed from "The Army of the Grand Duchy of Baden, 1806 - 1814", by W. J. Rawkins, the only decent source on the army of Baden in English that I am aware of)