Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tsar Alexander decides

Decision made
The Allied staff were set into frantic activity, Tsar Alexander had made a decision late in the morning of September 11, 1813 (fictional).  The Russian Reserve, Guards and Grenadiers would be committed to the support of Blucher's positions in the north around Lubben.  Now all forces were mustered into action to make this decision complete.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Strategic Dilemma ... what would Alexander, Tsar of Russia, do?

The Campaign has reached a critical moment, FZM Schwarzenberg is nowhere to be seen in the Allied Grand Headquarters.  General staff are edgy as Tsar Alexander and Emperor Francis are demanding situation reports and appear poised to issue orders for the Army Reserves, Grenadiers and Guards.

Would you, as Alexander, prepare a large force to meet the French threat in the north at Lubben, where Blucher has been preparing defenses for a few days and reports repeated cavalry attacks?


Would you, as Alexander, secure your flank against the French forces moving from the south, having crossed the Elbe and known to be commanded by Marshal Macdonald?


Would you, as Alexander, move to 'shore up' the Allied lines in the center, between the Army of Silesia and Army of Bohemia to maintain communications and be ready to respond where the French may attack?


Would you, as Alexander, Tsar of Russia, have some other option ... ?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Battle of Wildberg

MurdockS MarauderS have played out the pursuit battle of Wildberg, you can read the AAR here.

Count Pahlen III leads two brigades of Hussars to cut off the French retreat
Barclay de Tolly's forces conducted a forced march and caught up with the 36th Division south of Meissen.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Cavalry Clash northwest of Lubben

Desperate for information about French troop movements GdK Blucher ordered a massive cavalry sweep into the roads north west of Lubben south of the river Spree.

Russian Chasseur a Cheval
The summary of the battle from Jim:

In a nutshell, a French ambush worked well but they were spotted in hilly and wooded terrain in time to avoid utter surprise.  The french jumped the two Russian CàC units but only sawed off the skirmish, no killed units on either side.  Neither the french nor the Russian units rallied promptly, allowing the Cossacks time to worry their way around the French flank.  The french backed off while trying to recover units (1 of 3 in effective command and in order).  With units finally recovered, a second melee was initiated with the Russians coming off the worst but not losing anyone.  They were then able to move to the edge of the board while the French, heavily outnumbered, did not get an opportunity to land another strong blow without overpowering counter attack. The kicker however was the French never really got their first attack in as hoped, and it could/ought to have gained 3 or more kills.
view of Jim's table just as the trap was sprung!

10th September 1813 has been a busy day for both sides with fights on both the north and south of a line of troops from Lubben to Dresden.  Map details go out soon now for the orders of the 11th ...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Battle of Meisen Bridge

Austrians forming a rear-guard
The Austrian 4th Army Abtielung 1st Division was facing the French II Corps 4th Division at a crossing of the Elbe east of Meisen.  The French had been building up defenses since the 28th of August, now here on the 10th of September the Austrians were ordered to attack.  2nd Division was forced marching up with the
Abtielung (Corps) artillery to support the assault.

1st Division was mostly Hussars with some Cheveauxleger and Grenzer battalions along with a 6lb Horse battery.  Facing them behind their two weeks worth of fortifications at the bridge were 3 battalions of Leger and 9 of Line foot along with 2 12lb Foot batteries under Dubreton's command.

Due to the need for the forced marching 2nd Division to come up the battle could not start until 15h00.  The Cheveauxleger set up a screen while the Grenzers and horse batteries got into position to rush the bridge and fire on the French on the far bank, while the 2nd Division arrived and moved up the three heavy batteries that were the 4th Army Abtielung reserve.  This took some three hours to accomplish under French artillery fire, the 1st Division suffered some 35% casualties during this phase, scoring negligible hits on the French.

By 18h00 the main assault was under way, with the Austrian Foot batteries pounding into the French defenses and all-out assaults began with the Grenzers.  The first hour saw 10% casualties on the Fernch and 30% on the Austrians, with the Grenzers all but wiped out.

Undaunted the second wave went in at 19h00, over the next three hours successive battalions of Austrian foot stormed the bridge, again only 10% casualties were suffered by the French; while a whopping 50% were suffered by the Austrian attackers.  Faced with withering losses Austrian Wing Commander
Generalmajor Baron Trapp called off any further assaults and by 22h00 on 10th September 1813 the attacks on the eastern bridge of Meisen was over, the Austrians were in full retreat to Furstenwalde.

Battle was 'simulated' using GURPS Mass Combat system and the troop strength sheets combat system.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Skirmish series for Alexandria Hussars

Alexandria Hussar Badge
The Alexandria Hussars have been tasked to keep French from learning about the dispositions of General der Kavallerie Blücher army now in the Lubben area.

They are also tasked with penetrating the French cavalry patrols and learning all they can about the French troops in the regions west of the city.

An epic skirmish series now begins!

Skirmish Results, updated as games are completed:
Uniform of the Alexandria Hussars
Game 1: French WIN
Game 2: Russian WIN
Game 3: French WIN
Game 4: Russian WIN
Game 5: Russian WIN
Game 6: French WIN
Game 7: French WIN

Game 6 synopsis: Extremely narrow french victory.  The pretty much wrecked part fo the Russ. hussars at the start.  The Russians mounted a fierce counter charge and nearly knocked the French out (remarkable coming from way behind) but came up short.  Someone’s morale has to fail first, it was the Russians.

Once again the FRENCH WIN a skirmish series, pushed to seven games where a lowly French trooper takes out a Russian lieutenant, to end and win match seven!

now the French gain valuable information about the Russians in Lubben, while Blucher must decide what his course of action will be with less information about French movements...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

September 7 & 8, 1813 - Battle of Loschwitz

An allied army of Russians and Austrians face off against a determined French force to defend the Elbe River near Dresden.

Day 1 After Action Report

Day 2 After Action Report

Now the commands are receiving updates for the September 9th move.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Skirmish series returns

While it may seem that not much is going on in the Campaign of Nations, many forces have been moving in the past few weeks.  Indeed we have done a number of days in the campaign, much faster turnaround time on the turns that in the past year.

Don Guard Cossacks
This time the moves have resulted in another contest of reconnaissance, thus we shall have another skirmish series.

Yet again the Cossacks have the task of brushing aside French light cavalry, only this time there are no lancers to deal with ...

Game 1: FRENCH win in round three, having lost 1/4 of their patrol a sudden counter-charge sent off the Cossacks
Game 2: RUSSIAN win in round five, a long drawn out affair with troopers scattered everywhere
Game 3: FRENCH win, again following a loss of 1/4 in the first round, by round four the Cossacks had been overcome.

Allied cavalry, though numerous cannot seem to break the French lines when the information is critical ...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Action West of Gersdorf

Fabulous miniatures from Jim's collection took to the field for this action, played on a tabletop in Quebec, Canada
Casualites are : Allies: 5 Cs French : 2 Westph. Chasseurs à C., 1 Westphal. Hu.

The game was pretty much a draw which ended when the French side failed its 50% morale roll and so surrendered the field. The Russians were in no better shape at that point but passed theirs. I used the Div. morale rules for the small forces and set up following James' recommendations.

The french guns destroyed 4 Cs units with canister. They were less effective at range (the horse guns were out of their canister range). The Russians used a pincer movement. One pincer maneuvered through a small wood to hide from guns but this offered only temporary comfort as they were attacked right away by a hussar unit upon clearing the forest, losing a CS unit. This did siphon off the attention of half the french cav and allowed an overloaded attack on the Russian left to close, using the leading unfortunate CS units to shelter the rest by drawing the canister fire. The survivors closed and 2 and 3 on one melees ensued. A CàC unit broke a cossack easily and was recalled rather than doing a breakthrough. The Russian DR unit broke the two Westphalian CàC units, the second on a breakthrough.

The horse guns got out of trouble but the Heavy gun had to stick it out. They broke two CS units with canister and damaged another (one horse gun was now screened). A new round of melees with the remaining "live" CS units (not broken or blown) resulted in the destruction of the remaining Westphalian CàC unit through a 3 on 1 attack. The morale rolls ensued. The MR3 Sappers formed square and were accordingly left alone by the filthy cossacks.

The Russians were saved because the french arty did not succeed in killing one unit per turn early on and having closed quickly, they were able to simply throw more dice in massed attacks. The Dragoon unit was able to go in untouched and made the difference by having the advantage in two separate combats, they broke the two Westphal. Chasseur units. The 3rd Westphal hussar unit was beaten by a massed attack and a another massed attack by the Cossacks was lost, but they survived as dice difference was 2 and the damage by shared amongst 2 participants.

Full AFTER ACTION REPORT link will be attached once the AAR is posted.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The twin battles of Luckau have been completed and the After Action Report is available HERE with MurdocK's MarauderS

Players will be having updated maps in the next day to continue the campaign action here with 3 Sept 1813 (fictional) in the Campaign of Nations.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Luckau engagements active

Marshal Oudinot is facing attack on three fronts in the Luckau region.

Campaign action for 2 Sept 1813 (fictional) is in progress, expect news over the next week on the tabletop results.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Marienberg III

IV Coprs Commander General Bertrand
A third major engagement has come about in the Bohemian mountain pass of Merienberg.

Read the After Action Report here on Murdock'S MarauderS

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Major Battles on the horizon and a critical skirmish series

Cavalry Skirmish
With the 1 September 1813 turn now in progress there are two major battles, one minor one and another cavalry skirmish series to take to the tabletop in the next 10 days.

This time the cavalry are from Prussia and Russia, mixes of Landwher, Cossacks and Hussars.

Tabletop game players from the UK, Spain and USA will take on the action.

The minor battle will be handled by our Australian contingent and the Canadian crew at MurdocK's MarauderS will take on at least one of the major battles.

Watch for results in the next week!

Large Battle near Luckau = French withdraw.

Large Battle in Marienberg = Narrow Allied victory, French retreat.

Cossacks engage in south-west = French drive off Cossacks.

Skirmish Series:
Game 1: Allied Victory, with Russians doing the heavy lifting. Allies 1 : French 0
Game 2: Allied Vctory, with Brandenburg Uhlans leading the way.  Allies 2 : French 0
Game 3: French Victory, convincing.  Allies 2 : French 1
Game 4: French Victory, very close.  Allies 2 : French 2
Game 5: French Victory minor tactical victory - including a turncoat squadron! Allies 2 : French 3
Game 6: French Victory, decisive!  French WIN SKIRMISH SERIES 4 games to 2 for Allies.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

More of the 'second' cavalry skirmish series

Over the December period a skirmish series of games was called for to determine whom would have the 'upper hand' in penetrating the cavalry screens - and thus gain vital campaign information ...

This After Action Report from The Avon Napoleonic Fellowship, tells the tale of one of these recent skirmishes.

Orders have come in following these skirmishes ... armies are on the move!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Skirmish Series Hussar vs. Chasseur

The current move happened to fall over the busy holiday season, with only the data collection of the probing cavalry to happen ... this called for another skirmish series.

The first set was between Russian and French Hussars.  The French won handily.

The second series were run by players on opposite sides of the globe, one in Australia and the other in the United Kingdom.

The first game report came back; the result: a Russian victory.
The second game report came back; 
The scenario I ran involved 60 men a side, literally running into each other in a small valley.

It was a straight forward cavalry melee with both sides needing to chase the opposition away without getting too badly mauled.

Experimenting with an adaption of SCRUD I rolled the dice for each opposing squad of 10 troopers.

Troopers suffered wounds depending on the difference between the two sides' dice. An accumulation of minor wounds or a severe wound would render that trooper unable to continue.

There was always a chance that a kill could happen.

Arguably each roll of the dice took up 2 minutes of combat. 

With that premise the whole action took just short of 90 minutes.

The Russians eventually retreated having suffered 11 dead, including their officer, as well as 18 walking wounded (5 severe / critical). 

The French had 3 dead and 16 wounded (non severe / critical).

A particular sequence of results would require that side to take a test and to retreat / fall back if the test was failed.

The Russians failed that test and turned tail and ran: fortunately for the French did not pursue.

This left the contest at a tie, 1 game each.  I was able to get the UK player to run one more game.

The result came back;
"The landscape was slightly undulating, bordered by a small stream and marshy ground to the north.

The opposing troops approached each other cautiously, jockeying for an advantage fighting breaking out all across the front lines.

However casualties on both sides were few and far between as neither side could exploit any advantage over the other.

After 2 hours of engagement both commanders ordered their troops to pull back and re-group.

Nightfall approached with neither side trying to attack again.

Both sides pulled back to their own lines, under cover of darkness, and reported the engagement to their respective commanding officers."
 I had hoped for a clear victory, best 2 of three situation ... so I would have to 're-roll' one last throw to see what little information could be gleaned or protected.

The French win the narrowest of results in the skirmish series.

 Now the Allies are denied information for the next day's move ...