Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Breaking news. Skirmish at Dubben

A bloody skirmish took place this morning on the outskirts of the village of Herrnhut near Dubben. A patrol from the Soumy Hussars, under the command of lieutenant Novikov, surprised and completely routed a French patrol, formed by men of several hussar regiments, under the lieutenant Lasserre (from 5e. Hussards). Both squads were scouting in front of their respective armies, seeking for information.
According to local sources, the French were ravaging the farm of the local lutheran pastor, protected by a weak sentinel line posted in a near stream. The Russians approached under the cover of the wood and took the unprepared French by surprise, overwhelming the sentinels and crossing the stream. After sounding the alarm, the French tried to stop the Russians, but the superior fencing ability and weaponry of these lasts, tipped the scales in their favor.
Special mention must be given to the fact that some Russians hussars were armed with lances, and precisely the private Smolensk was who used his lance to seriously injure the Lieutenant Lasserre, ending the fight.

The French hussars nonchlantly at rest in the farm and cabin
The Russians cross the stream attacking the lone sentinel over the small bridge
The French trumpeter is attacked by two Russians at the large bridge
A lone lance-armed Russian hussars fighting against three enemies
The private Smolensk using his lance to wound the lieutenant Lasserre
The remaining French are taken to captivity
For the peace of mind of the young ladies at Paris and Leipzig, the wound of Lieutenant Lasserre does not seem particularly serious, and the handsome French officer is recovering in Russian hands, waiting for the next prisoner exchange.
For Murdock and friends: Allies 1 - French 0!

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Monday, 18 August 2014

A Song of Drums and Shakos Interlude. Skirmish at Dubben

Murdock (from Murdock's Marauders fame) is playing a Napoleonic campaign game set during the Campaign of Leipzig, that you can follow on his blog (see the previous link) and also at the Campaign of Nations blog.
A peculiarity of this campaign is that, occasionally, the Game Master asks for collaboration to non-participiant players, to play skirmish games to simulate outpost affaires between opposing cavalry screens, as a way to acquire information prior to a battle. I have participated once in such effort (see this link) and I was forced to decline his invitation in another occasion, due to job. However, Murdock still trust me! and has asked me again, along other wargamers.
This time, the skirmish will simulate the clash between the Russian Alexandria Hussars and the 2nd Italian Chasseurs a Cheval regiments, near Dubben in Saxony. Both sides are seeking for information about the composition and strength of the enemy forece facing them. However, Murdock has allow me to change the involved units: Soumy hussars vs. a mixed patrol of French hussars in a new Song of Drums and Shakos Scenario:

The Probing Patrol (September, 1813)
Historical background
Somewhere in Saxony, the French and Russian light cavalry units are scouting the terrain between both armies, trying to gather information about the whereabouts and composition of the enemy.
The Russian Generalmajor Tschaplitz has sent a patrol of the Soumy Hussars Regiment*, under the Lieutenant Novikov, to scout towards Lubben seeking for information about the identity and numbers of the French facing him. Near the main road, lies a small farm with a cabin log in the banks of a small stream. There is activity near the farm: a mixed patrol of French Hussars* (1e., 3e. and 5e. Hussards) under the Lieutenant Lasserre from the 5e. Hussards, has arrived in search of provisions.
This is a Scenario for Song of Drums and Shakos from Ganesha Games
* This skirmish game was played in the context of the Murdorck’s Campaign of Nations The “real units” involved were the Russian Alexandria Hussars and the Italian 2nd Principe Real Reggimento de Cacciatori a Cavallo


The stream and drainage ditch are broken terrain, fordable for mounted men. Wooded areas, out of the roads, are also broken terrain.

Engaged Forces
Russians (Soumy Hussars).1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Trumpeter, 4 lance-armed and 5 carbine-armed Privates. 12 men 604 points
French (1e., 3e. and 5e. Hussards).1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Trumpeter, 10 Privates. 13 men 620 points

Russians. Must deploy at the East (right) side of the game-table behind the line of woods.
French. Roll 1D4 for the number of vedettes deployed and covering the approaches. The lieutenant, the trumpeter and 1D4 are dismounted near the house. The NCO and 1D6 are dismounted near the cabin. The remaining men (if any) are behind the cabin and house. Only the sentinels are mounted.

Victory conditions
Both sides have the same objective: to deny the enemy any information, so the winner will be the side remaining on the battlefield. No Morale checks are allowed.

I must finish the game before wednesday!

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

The combat of Pitschenberg (and V)

The Pitschenberg is now in French hands, and the attack continues

The French are attacking along all the Allied line
The combined attack of the 5e Hussards and the 2/152e Ligne Regiment breaks the Fus/1st East Prussia IR...
... whereas, in the centre, the 4/6 Legere IR took in flank the 2/14th Silesian Landwehr IR, breaking it.
The French cavalry is trying to outflank the Allied left flank...
... while all the Allied line is falling back, facing the French in good order...
... and evacuating  Spittel under the cover of the cavalry
A general view of the Allied orderly withdrawal
In terms of Lasalle, the final result was a Drawn Battle after 27 turns.
The Prussians reached their morale break point (losses greater tan one third of their forcé) in the Turn 22, but they passed the mandatory morale tests in the Turns 22, 24 and 26, and they were not broken when the game ended after 3 bonus Turns.
However, the Allied losses reached a total of 23 points (7 battalions, 2 regiments, 2 Cossack sotnias and 3 batteries)  whereas the French had 14 points (6 battalions, 1 regiment and 1 battery). If the French superiority in pursuing cavalry (15 vs. 9 points) is also taken in account, the final result can be more accurately considered a French Victory..
In the real world, the Allies retired in front of the French offensive and the cat-and-mouse game between Napoleon and Bluecher continued.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The combat of Pitschenberg (IV)

Despite having been rejected in the first instance, the French return to the attack with renewed vigor.

The Prussian line fires on the approaching French
Only to be rejected initially in the left flank: the W. Prussian Dragoons wins over the 5e Hussars that falls back...
...while the E. Prussia Grenadiers, taken in flank, also reject the 9e Hussars
However, atop the hill the Prussian artillery is taken by surprise and crushed...
The french have reached the Summit of the Pitschenberg...
... clearing it form Prussians, when the 3/112e breaks the 2/12th Reserve IR
The 4/6e Légêre charges downhill and breaks the 2/Brandenburg IR, opening a hole in the center of the Prussian line!...
... and the French cavalry threatens to outflank the Allied line by the left
The situation has changed dramatically
To be continued....

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

The combat of Pitschenberg (III)

The combat of Pitschenberg continues, and the French forces prepare to assault the Allied line on the Pitschenberg hill

The French forces are approaching towards the Allied defensive line
The Leib Grenadier battalion rejects the 4/2 Legere Italian IR
The 3/6e Légère Regiment is repelled by the 2/14th Silesian Landwehr Regiment deployed in line
The 7/6th Légêre is also routed by the Prussian 1/14th Silesian Landweh Regiment
In the right Allied flank, the 10th Silesian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment routs the Neapolitan Chasseurs á Chèval....
.... whereas the Russian Alexandria Huassars make the same thing with the Italian Chasseurs a Chèval Regiment
The Leib Grenadier battalion breaks the 4/2e Légêre Italian Regiment...
... and the Fusiliers/12th Reserve IR also breaks the 1/112e Ligne Régiment

The Allies have routed the first French assault!
However, the battle continues. Watch this space...

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Monday, 11 August 2014

The combat of Pistchenberg (II)

After the fall of Breintendorf, the Allies are retiring beyond the stream, towards their main line on the Pitschenberg heights.

The scarce remains of the Von Katzeler's advance guard, cross the stream under the cover of the Cossacks...
... closely pursued by the French light cavalry.
The main Allied is under the French fire, while their right flank cavalry tries to delay the inminent assault.
The Russian Marioupul hussars are broken by the combined attacj of the Italian light cavalry brigade... 
...while the Prussian reinforcements (elelments of the 8th Brigade) have arrived behind the Allied line
With both wings secured, the Allies are waiting for the frontal French assault.

To be continued ...

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

The combat of Pitschenberg (I)

The Von Katzeler's Prussian advance-guard is fighting around Breintendorf, buying time for their comrades.

The Italian 4/2e Legere has catched up the Prussian Jagers  against the stream, while retiring form Breintendorf, and has broken them
Their comrades from the 3/2e Italian Legere are surprised in cattack column, and are broken by the Prussian Hussars 
The Italian horse battery is taken on flank by the Brandeburg Uhlans and is also broken
The Italian infantry battalionsform square, to resist the triomphant Prussian cavalry
But the help is coming fast: the French reinforcements arrive in rear of the Prussians
Meanwhile, in the center, the French are approaching the Hiller's command on the Pitschenberg

Von Katzeler is on the verge to be cut from the rest of the Allies.
To be continued!

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Pitschenberg on way

The battle of Pitschenberg has started!
You can see below the initial deployment of the Allied and French forces.

The Prussian advance-guard in the foreground, whereas the Hiller command is on the Pitschenberg and the Russian cavalry is depoloyed in the background
The French forces, with the infantry facing the Prussian advance-guard. The Italian cavalry is the far left flank
A view form behibd of the Prussian advance-guard near Breitendorf
The first movement saw a very lucky salvo of the Italian 3/1st Horse Artillery battery, that broke the Prussian Horse Battery#2!

Watch this space!

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bob Coggins has passed away

From a post in the Napoleon's Battles Yahoo forum

"This is just a brief note to make all the members aware that Robert Coggins, the co-creator, with Craig Taylor, of Napoleon’s Battles passed away this afternoon. He had been ill for several years and this past Wednesday he suffered a stroke as he was preparing to go to Historicon. The stroke precipitated a fall sometime on Thursday evening or early Friday morning and he was admitted to the hospital on Friday afternoon. He passed away at Union Memorial Hospital today, Monday July 21, 2014, in the late afternoon. He is survived by his brother, Richard. The funeral arrangements are not complete at this time. His brother will be making all the arrangements."

Living at the two opposite shores of the Atlantic ocean, I do not personally met Bob Coggins. However, I had with him some rich discussions about some points of the Napoleon's Battles rule-set. With his death, both creators of Napoleon's Battles rule-set are now passed away

It is a sad day and also a great loss to the world of wargaming. He will be missed.
Requiescat in Pace

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