Monday, July 31, 2023

Battle of Wachau, October 16, 1813 at Historicon.


Terrain Map

Deployment Map

Overview of the starting positions looking South from Wachau; the game was once played once again in the Independence (HMGS Next Gen) room.

Slightly different view

Allies get the first MOVE...
We had a lot of experienced players, but also some inexperienced ones. 

Sebastiani's cavlry Corps (3 units) entrs on a triple MOVE!

MacDonald makes an early arrival on the French Left, and the Imperial Guard cavalry moves out early and fast!

Larger overview from around the same time. 

Long time Piquet/FoB friends Jim Mauro and Chris Velas; I finished setting the table up around 5:45 PM, and Jim and I shared a great rooftop dinner at a nearby restaurant during the ensuing hour.

Midgame overview; very heavy fighting in the center!

Close up of the Center and Allied Left; Meerveldt threatens the French right, but understandably lacks enthusiasm for an attack across the bridge into the Old Guard!

The combined Russian and Prussian Guards make a timely entry!

Russian Infantry and Grenadiers press the attack in the center. 

Guard cavalry after it struck two Russian Musketeer units in the flank!

Not too long after that, we called the game at about 11 PM; the edge was certainly to the French, who had lost about 25% of their Morale points vs 50% for the Allies, but the outcome was far from certain. As in the playtest, the French suffered much of their losses from their Artillery arm. Many of the players stayed after the game to help pack up the troops and terrain' as always, that was a huge help! It may be a month or two before the troops all get sorted out back to their usual boxes back home here, though. That's usually pretty par for the course; after a great Historicon, I'm usually wargamed out for several weeks to a month or so thereafter!

How about the FoB3 rules vs Battle Command?  All in all, I think about the same speed of play with this many players. The increased options are good, but if a couple of commands are heavily engaged and the others aren't, that may indeed slow play down more, especially if the engaged players are indecisive or inexperienced.  FoB3 is a bit easier for new players to grasp, because, with a few exceptions, you can only do what the cards allow. I think both sets are roughly equal, just different twists on the same key concepts. I'm happy to play either. I am already thinking about what to do next year. .. definitely smaller! Just remind me about that going forwards when I forget! :-)

Next year, in Lancaster!  Meanwhile, there will be several more Historicon 2023 posts to come!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

A Passage to India - Alexander vs Porus, May 326 BC, with To the Strongest!

I ran my big To the Strongest! game at Historicon Friday at 2 PM and again at 7 PM. The games were played in the HMGS Next Gen room, the Independence Room on the 2nd floor. Great lighting, but fairly out of the way. 

Handing out the ammunition dials...

Part of the Indian Center; they had a ton of Longbows, and some supporting Javelinmen. Most of the Longbows were raw. 

Close up of part of an Infantry command, with their General. Indian figures are a mix of old Minifigs, Old Glory, and New Line Designs

Macedonian commanders discuss tactics before the game. 

Another view of the set up.

Although cheap and not very durable (Raw Longbows save on a 9+), the longbowmen proved decidedly resilient, whereas the Macedonian phalangites just couldn't seem to hit them, and when they did, the Indians often pulled 9's and 10's for their saves. With far more units, this soon lead to difficulties with the phlanxes being flanked. The Indians fired a ton of missiles, the vast majority of which missed or were saved, but even a single hit on a phalanx really weakens it.

Both armies advance.

The first arrows and javelins seek their targets.

View of the Indian Left; who will seize the hill first?

Detail of the fight on the Indian right flank.

Quite a crowd, with everyone getting into the action!

Still a lot of Victory medals left for both sides at this point.

Although most of the Indian cavalry was pretty poor (mostly raw), the combination of numbers, plus support from the excellent deep supported veteran Elephants and the chariots saw the Indians gain the upper hand on the flanks. 

View of the Center, mid game. The Indians eventually managed a respectable victory. 


The 2nd game was slated to run at 7; usually TTS! games last about three hours; this one went the full 4 hours, so by the time I set up everything again, it was almost 7 PM; Dinner that day was a can of regular Coke (no worries, some weight loss would be a good thing!)

The evening game had more veteran players, so it moved along very swiftly. 

Push of Pike!

Ken Baggaley's command included the Indian Elephants and Chariots on their right, and he made especially good use of his Chariot units, here seen charging into the flank of a hapless Phalanx!

View of the right flank Cavalry battle. The Indians secured a convincing win here, and this time in the usual 3 hours. Alexander shouldn't have crossed the Indus!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

2nd Quarter 2023 Statistics

Well, it's almost the end of the month, so time to get this up! I've been quiet for a short while due to preparing for, attending, and recovering from Historicon. You cna expect a slew of posts after this one!  :-)


April 2023
 Wurttemberg Foot Artillery (12 figures, 4 guns) 120 points, Wurttemberg Horse Artillery (6 figures) 40 points, Audley Foot Knights (12) 60 points
=  220 points

May 2023
Wurttemberg Leib Chevaulegers (8)80 points, Warwick Household troops (12) 60 points, Wurttemberg Jagers zu Pferd #3 (8) 80 points, Household Troops Edward IV (12) 60 points.
= 280  points

June 2023
 Tunstall Archers (12) 60 points, Audley Archers (12) 60 points, Grey Archers (12) 60 points, Wars of the Roses Artillery (24 crew) 120 points, Macedonian "Orange" Phalanx (24) 120 points, Macedonian Generals (3) 15 points.
= 435 points

2nd Quarter Total:  935  points 


April 2023
HAVOC registration, hotel, gas, and meals $200

May 2023

June 2023
Pete's Flags $38.12

2nd Quarter Total:   $ 238.12


April 2023
HAVOC - ran Napoleonic Peninsular game with Valor and Fortitude, played in Mark Morin's Combat Patrol Aztec game, ran Hydaspes (India vs Alexander) with TTS! 

May 2023
Towton 1461 with Test of Resolve x 2, Whyteladyes Lane (ECW - FK&P)

June 2023
Wachau 1813 playtest with Battle Command

2nd Quarter Total:  7 games

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Duchy of Warsaw Horse Artillery

The first unit of Horse Artillery in the army of the Duchy of Warsaw was raised in 1809, and paid for by a wealthy Polish nobleman; by 1810, there were 4 such companies. 

The earlier uniform had Czapskas for headgear, but by 1810, it was replaced by dark brown fur colpacks for all but the first company, who retained the Czapska until 1812. 

The original uniform also had black lapels piped red, but by 1810 it was being replaced by the habit Kinsky, which had none. 

Both uniforms had black collars, cuffs, and turnbacks, all piped in red. 

The pants were dark green with a wide black stripe, piped red. 

Red aigrettes were worn on the right shoulder.

Brass scale epaulettes with red fringes were worn on the shoulders. 

Several uniforms are known for trumpeters; the one depicted has a white fur colpack with a green bag piped yellow, a white jacket with black facings piped red, and red pants with gold stripes. 

Officers had black fur colpacks with a green bag, piped gold, and gold stripes on the seams of the pants. 

These figures and guns are by Murawski miniatures, sculpted by Paul Hicks.  Polish artillery used the same olive drab color for their gun carriages, equipment, caissons, limbers, etc.,  as the French. 

Monday, July 10, 2023

Battle of Wachau Playtest, Part 5

Schwarzenberg's first Card is LEADFERSIP; he rolls options to choose MELEE or MOVE as alternatives for the entire army. Leadership won't help him much; he needs to inflict damage on the enemy. Similalrly, only a few units are in a position to use MELEE, and none of them have big advantages. Thus, MOVE it is! Regardless, because MOVE was a possible option, all Allied Routers must move first. It turns out there are TEN of them; one exits the table. 

Movement but the Cuirassiers cannot initiate melee!

Situation after the Austrian Reserve Corp's movement.

A single, plain move for Meerveldt as well. Nothing exciting to do. 

Kleist has a number of outed units, and only top infantry regiments otherwise. The Reserve unit that recently rallied moves back towards the fighting.

The Guard Infantry roll up a single move. The last remaining guardsmen enter the table. 

Overview of Allied Left Center after that. 

Guard Heavy cavalry Division ge3ts a single move; units adjust their positions. The Giard Light cavalry get a double magic move, and also move into better positions. 

Overview after both Cavalry moves.

Light cavalry Division gets a Double magic move. 

Desperate for some decisive results, both units charge. each takes losses from defensive fire; in the case of the mounted Jagers, it is enough to stop the charge (won even roll). The Uhlans press on. 

The defending (Young Guard) Infantry prevails. 

Eugeme gets a single magic move; One regiment moves back to finally give the Russian 12 lbers a fuield of fire, while a Russian column charges, and forces back the Legere with losses.  

Klenau gets a single move; only the battered Uhlans remain on the table and not in rout; they pull back some. 

The second Allied Card is ARTILLERY FIRE; Schwarzenberg rolls up many other options, but artillery is the one area the Allies still hold an advantage. 

A Austrian batteries converge fire on a fresh Old Guard regiment; it suffers 4 UI loss and disperses. A ragged cheer goes up from the ranks of the whitecoats!

A third Austrian battery fires without effect. 

The Prussian Horse batery of the cavalry reserve, newly in position, shoots at some French Cuirassiers; their first shot fails to have much impact, but the second routs the armored horsemen with heavy losses. Things are looking up!

Two Russian batteries converge fire on a Cuirassier regiment with limited effect. 

Newly unasked, a Russian 12 lber battery fires at the Young Guard battery ion the hill. Successive shots by the same unit are not additive, but the damage is still severe, and the battery is "Silenced". 

The next initiative is rolled for, and The French win

The first card is TACTICAL ADVANTAGE. It is saved.

The second card is LULL; the French thwart the Allied attempt to steal the initiative, but, with their 2 cards played, it passes to the Allies regardless. No free card for them, however!

The first Allied card is MELLE; the option is to use MOVE instead for the entire army. With only a very few units that could benefit from Melee, MOVE is chosen. 

Hohenlohe and the Reserve roll a plain double move, no immediate. 

Situation after the MOVE; the Cuirassiers have forded the Elster, and some infantry is starting to ford it as well. Uh-oh!

Meerveldt gets a single move, and makes minor adjustments with it. 

Kleist also gets a single move, and brings up a recently Rallied regiment in support of the gun line. 

The Footguards get a simple double move and also advance. 

The Guard heavy cavalry Division gets triple magic move!

They cannot resist the urge to charge! In the first round the Chebalier Guards are routed by some upstart French Dragoons, whilst the Russian Cuirassiers gain an edge on their French counterparts. 

In the second round the Frenchmen are foprced back with heavy losses. 

Tyhe Line Light cavalry Division gets a single magic move, using it to maneuver.

The Guard Light cavalry gets a double magic move, and all three units charge the enemy!

The Guard Hussars rout a column of Young Guard with heavy losses, becoming Disordered in the process. The charge of the Prussian Guard du Corps is repulsed with losses.  

The Russian Line Corps repositions its few remaining units

The Grenadier Division gets a Triple Magic Move. 

One regiment charges up the hill. over running the silenced Young Guard battery, and continuing on into a loaded French Line regiment. 

They are on the receiving end of a crushing volley delivered at point blank range, and the Grenadiers rout!

Klenau gets a single MOVe; while routers continue to stream for the rear everywhere, the sole unit remaining in good order, the battered Uhlans, pulls back. 

The second Allied card is... ARMY MORALE! Being long out of Morale points, the Allies must roll. Schwarzenberg fails the test big time, and the Allied army withdraws, defeated.

Total French Morale points lost at the end of the game = 36 out of 64; the Allies lost all 72 of theirs. The overall picture is perhaps worse than that - the number of routed and destroyed Allied unit was huge compared to the French The Corps of Kleist and Klenau were all but destroyed, and the Russian Corps of Eugen lost more than half its units. Would it have been enough to knock Austria out of the coalition; probably not. It might have lead the other approaching Allied Corps to revert to their previous strategy of avoiding conflict directly with the troops of the Emperor for a while longer.