Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dessau for Lasalle. The final terrain

This time there are only small differences between the schematic table map and the final look of the table map.
Below you can see the Scenario map and three pictures showing the table from different points of view.

Next time, the battle!

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

150,000 visitors!

Today, this blog has reached the 150,000 visitors!
We started in April 16, 2007, reaching the first 50,000 in July 13, 2010 and the 100,000 in May 29, 2012.

He (or she) come from Italy. Now for the 200,000!

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Saturday, 11 October 2014

New rules for Napoleon's Battles (NB4)

The editors of the 4th edition of Napoleon's Battles Marechal edition (NB4) are giving in their official site NAPOLEON'S BATTLES Marechal Edition, some clues about the main modifications of the new edition. See below a summary

Marechal Edition Abstract
"In this new fourth edition, the order in which the rules are presented has been changed.
The rules are now introduced following directly the Turn Sequence, both in the Standard and Optional sections. The paragraph numeration has been mostly removed to adapt the rulebook to a less formal environment.
Moreover, a number of rule changes have been included, some of them regarding the Standard Rules and thus the basic mechanics of the game, and others listed as Optional Rules for players seeking a better degree of simulation, although adding some complexity to the game."

Measuring or not measuring, that's the question
Measurements can be taken freely at any moment

Moving and deploying in built-up áreas (BUAs)
The rules about movement and deployment in BUAs will be clarified and complemented with those for firing, combat and morale related to BUAs

New Firing procedure at Built-up areas
The authors make a series of considerations about the need of changing the rule of fire against BUAs. In their current state (NB3 and less), is too easy to rout or disperse an enemy unit garrisoning a BUA, only by fire (infantry fire inclusive!), as the authors show in a small statistical study.
This is in disagreement with history, where BUAs were usually the object of fierce hand-to-hand combats, before the enemy was routed. The need of a modification, was also supported by the late Bob Coggins himself, and the authors seem to propose one: "To fix this problem, we have changed the firing procedure for built-up areas, and after testing various solutions, we have chosen the one that, combined with a slight change of the combat procedure related to built-up areas, almost gives the attacker no chances of dislodging a deployed unit without an assault".
The authors do not reveal the actual new rule, so we must wait until the rules were released!

Watch this space!

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Dessau for Lasalle. The rules for the scenario

Dessau synagogue over the Mulde River (early 20th century)
(1) The basic duration of the game is 24 turns (3 hours). Seven dice, or six if near of an Objective (see p.67 of e-Lasalle) are used, instead five, to test Army Moral. Bonus Turns are allowed rolling 2D6 (p. 66 of the e-Lasalle book)
(2) The French are the attackers and the first side.

Deployment and Reinforcements
Prussian units
Muller’s rearguard is deployed in A2-B2; Kohl’s main body is at B4. Schoon’s cavalry enters in column of march formation in Turn 2nd at D3-D4 (60%-40%). Kroos’s Reserve enter in column of march formation in turn 2nd (30%), 4th (60%) or 6th (100%), at D3-D4 (40%-60%).
The Merkel’s reinforcements may enter in D4
French units
Beurmann’s advance guard is deployed in B1-C1. Each brigade of the 9th Division enter in turn 3rd (30%), 5th (60%) or 7th (100%), at B1-D3 (80%-20%).
The reinforcements may enter in: 8th division: D3-D4 (60%/40%); 6th Light Cavalry division: D3-D4 (40%-60%)
All reinforcements follow the Lasalle arrival rules (p. 91).

Optional rule: Irregular cavalry (Cossacks)
1) Irregular cavalry units may charge enemy units standing in 'limbered' or 'march column' formation in open terrain.
2) Irregular cavalry units must to pass a 'Discipline' test to initiate the charge in open terrain.
3) If routed in 'decisive combat', the irregular cavalry unit is immediately broken.

Optional rule: Capturing the baggage
- The wagon moves as if it were a foot artillery unit, always limbered.
- The wagon neither fires nor can charge the enemy. It has only one formation: limber. It does not block line of sight or fire. It may not be fired upon.
- Friendly units may move through it, as they move through a limbered artillery unit.
- Any enemy unit - regular or irregular - may charge the wagon, as long as that unit is eligible to charge (it is in a formation that permits it to charge, it is facing the right way, etc.)
- In its reaction phase, the wagon may attempt a Fall Back, as if it were a foot artillery limber. It succeeds on a roll of 4+, but if attacked by enemy cavalry, it must re-roll a success, even if within 1BW of friendly infantry.
- If it fails to fall back, then the wagon is automatically captured in the ensuing combat. Combat must be “resolved” against it, as if against any other unit, but the resolution consists simply of removing the wagon, advancing the enemy unit(s) that captured it 2BW, and awarding the captured Objective to the enemy.
- Any enemy unit that contacted the wagon suffers 1DISR, unless that would break it. (The men are dispersed, plundering the loot.) The unit must then take a discipline test. If it fails, it is marked in some way, showing that it is disordered and still plundering.
- A unit that is still plundering is considered “Out of Command” for the entirety of its side’s next turn.

Victory conditions
The Prussian aim is to retreat their artillery and baggage train through A4 (Dessau) or B5 (Rosslau) before the end of the game without breaking. The French aim is the opposite. The A4 and B5 road-ends are Objectives for the game (See p. 67 and 91 of rule-book).

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Dessau for Lasalle. The forces

The Nafziger's Orders of Battle Collection has been used for the OOB's. The French were taken from list 1813JJW "French III, IV, XI Army Corps & I and II Cavalry Corps Early October 1813" and the Prussians from the 1813JJX "Tauentzen's Forces by Zerbst 13 October 1813". Some units were not used, to acommodate a feasible number of units on the tablegame. As in the case of the combat of Thiessen, the names of some Prussian officers are fictitious (again, can you find these?)

French Army
Army Morale: 41,5; Morale break point: 14
15 Battalions/4 Regiments/3,5 Batteries

General Joseph Souham
C-i-C III Corps Souham (+1/-) 
23rd Light Cavalry Brigade Beurmann (+1/-)
10e Hussar Regiment R/E/Pu
Baden Dragoon Regiment S/A/Pu
3/2e Legere IR R/A/SK1
3/4e Legere IR R/A/SK1
9th Division Delmas (-/*)
1st Brigade Anthing (-/-)
2e Prov. Legere IR R/A/SK1
3/43e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
4/43e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
1/136e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
2/136e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
2nd Brigade Bergez (-/-)
1/138e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
2/138e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
3/138e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
1/145e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
2/145e Ligne IR R/A/SK1
2/9e Foot Artillery Foot 3Guns/M/1Hw
11/9e Foot Artillery Foot 3Guns/M/1Hw

8th Division Brayer (-1/-)
1st Brigade Esteve (-/¶)
2/6e Legere IR R/A/SK1
3/6e Legere IR R/A/SK1
3/40e Ligen IR R/A/SK1
10/2e Foot Artillery Foot 3Guns/M/1Hw
6th Light Cavalry Division Forunier (+1/¶)
15th Light Cavalry Brigade Mouriez (+1/-)
2e Hussar Regiment R/E/Pu
12e Hussar Regiment R/A/Pu
1/2 Horse Battery Horse 2Guns/M/

Prussian Army
Army Morale: 36,5; Morale break point: 12
13 Battalions/3 Regiments/3,5 battteries/2 Cossacks
General Leopold Wilhelm von Dobschütz
C-i-C 4th Brigade Dobschutz (-/-)

Rearguard Muller (+1/-)
3/3rd Reserve IR R/A/SK2
3/5st Kurmark LwIR U/A/SK1
1st Kurkmark LWr Cavalry S/A
Karpov #2 Cossack R S/I/Pu
Ulianov #2 Cossack R S/I/Pu
1/2 Horse Battery #11 Horse 2Guns/M/

Main body Kohl (-1/*)
1/1st Kurmark LwIR U/A/SK1
2/1st Kurmark LwIR U/A/SK1
1/5st Kurmark LwIR U/A/SK1
1/3rd Reserve IR R/A/SK2
2/3rd Reserve IR R/A/SK2
Reserve Kroos (-/-)
1/8th Reserve IR R/A/SK2
2/8th Reserve IR R/A/SK2
3/8th Reserve IR R/A/SK2
6 pr Foot Battery #17 Foot 3Guns/M/1Hw
6 pr Foot Battery #27 Foot 3Guns/M/1Hw
2 Baggage train units
Cavalry Schoon (+1/-)
7th Kurkmark LWr Cavalry S/A
2nd E.Prussia Lwr Cavalry S/A

Detachment Merkel (-/*)
1/4th E.Prussian IR R/E/SK2
2/4th E.Prussian IR R/E/SK2
Fus/4th E.Prussian IR R/E/SK2
6 pr Foot Battery #6 Foot 3Guns/M/1Hw

Next thing, the Scenario rules

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Dessau for Lasalle. The map

The combat of Dessau was fought in the same general area that the combat of Thiessen, i.e. near the Elbe River, but this time on the southern bank and near its confluence with the Mulde River and the twon of Dessau.
A visit to the GeoGREIF site, a map repository of the German Univesity of Greifswald, and a search for Dessau provided for several  maps, located on the MTBL sub-repositories (4140 4139-4239-4240). The subsequent downloading and assembling with Photoshop, provided a map, dated from ca. 1906:

Map of the area (ca. 1910)
The combat took place in the area around Polnitz and Jonitz, where was located the bridge over the Mulde River leading to the town of Dessau. The narrative found in Nafziger and Fabry, allows to locate the focal points of the combat, shown in the following map:

Zoom of the map with main points of the narrative
At last, the final tablemap was drawn with PowerPoint:

The Mulde R. is impassable except by the bridge at Dessau. Woods and streams are rough terrain for cavalry and infantry and impassable for artillery except by roads or bridges, respectively. Each built-up area may contain one infantry unit

Next, the troops. Watch this space!

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Friday, 3 October 2014

Dessau. The next Lasalle project

As the storm is hovering over Leipzig, Napoleon has lost some precious days trying to catch the Army of Silesia at Duben (See the Duben Scenario) but Blucher has eluded him and after crossing the Mulde river (a tributary of the Elbe) has joined forces under the overall command of Bernadotte. This last, forced by the fierce Prussian general, has sent reluctantly his forces southwards heading to Leipzig, while Napoleon, with inaccurate information, is advancing northwards, only to find the weak Tauentzien's Landwehr Corps, covering the Mulde and the Elbe rivers and protecting the road to Berlin.
Napoleon ordered Ney to take Dessau and its bridges over the Elbe. The Delmas's 9th Division and the 23th Light Cavalry brigade (both from the Souham's III Corps) were sent towards the town. The French advance guard, light cavalry and some light infantry battalions, found the Cossack screen and the Prussian infantry of the 4th Brigade near Dessau (See map). After a hard fight, the French broke the weak Prussian defensive line and Tauentzien's force retired northwards. Ney do not followed him and returned in haste towards Leipzig, only to be routed along the Grande Armee at Mockern and Leipzig.

Blue arrows: French advance. Green arrows: Prussian retreat
This Lasalle Scenario is based on that combat.

- G. Clément “Campagne de 1813”. Paris 1904.
- G. Fabry ”Journal des operations du III & V Corps en 1813“. Paris, 1902
- F. Nafziger. “Napoleon at Leipzig: The Battle of Nations 1813”. The Emperor Press, Chicago, 1996
- F. Nafziger. Orders of Battle Collection. Combined Arms Research Library

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The combat of Thiessen (and V)

The situation is stabilized with a small Imperial advantage, although the Prussians hold a considerable force in reserve.

The Imperial left flank is secured by Thiessen and the forest in Italian hands
In the center, two Prussian battalions become isolated under the Imperial artillery and surrounded by hostile cavalry
The Imperial right flank is also anchored in Eupen and protected by a small stream from the Prussian Landwehr
However, the Prussians have reached the Morale level, but fail the subsequent Morale test! The Prussians had a small advantage, 9 vs. 6, in pursuing cavalry so the battle finishes with a French Marginal Victory. Both sides had similar casualties: 46 bases and 4 guns for the Prussians and 41 bases and 4 guns for the French. The Prussian 5th Brigade and the Wurttemberg 38th Divisions were severely mauled.
This result is similar to the real combat, where the Prussians retired from the battlefield without Imperial interference.

The next thing will be the combat of Dessau.
Watch this space!

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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The combat of Thiessen (IV)

The battle continues, with the Prussians consolidating their flanks

However, the southern side of Thiessen is retaken by the Italians that secure that flank for the Imperial forces.
In the other flank, the 2/1 Wurttemberg IR is broken by the combined Prussian attack of the 1/2nd Reserve IR and W. Prussia Uhlans ...
... forcing the Wurttemberg cavalry brigade to deploy in order to close the gap...
... but the East Prussian Uhlans rout and break the 3rd Wurttemberg Light Horse Regiment...
... while the 1/2nd Reserve is broken by the 1/1 Wurttemberg IR and the 2/8e Legere ...
The French artillery tries to halt the Prussian infantry, whereas the depleted and tired Prussian Uhlans fall back towards the Allied rearguard ...
... and the only remaining Wurttemberg line infantry battalion starts the counter-attack, supported by the full Blair's brigade

Both flanks in Imperial hands and the Wurttemberger-French infantry advancing in the right flank, the Prussian attack is losing impulse. With both sides near the exhaustion level, the victory will fall on the side with more available reserves.
Watch this space!

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