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Author Topic: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 now with French Provisional Dragoon Regiment  (Read 9352 times)

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 Making Random Event Cards
« Reply #75 on: August 06, 2023, 05:51:24 AM »
As mentioned in a previous blog post I finally got my new Napoleonic Project on to the table for a Solo game. I wanted to use Neil Thomasís 1 hour wargames specifically the Horse and Musket version of the rules. These rules give small and simple games you wonít be using them to re-fight Leipzig or Waterloo and if you want an in depth recreation of Napoleonic battles youíll need to look elsewhere. For me though the simplicity, old school feel and and speed of these rules were attractive especially when playing solo.

Having said that I couldnít resist the urge to tinker with the rules in particular I wanted to play with some command and control ideas to make solo play a little more unpredictable. As mentioned in my previous blog post I took on the rule authorís idea of adding random event cards to spice up solo play but for this first battle I also added what can be best described as a DBX command and control system. The rules for which are below

Each army has a command stand. The command stand has no combat value and canít be attacked or attack. The command stand has a move of 12″ and can use a road bonus. The command stand moves at the end of an armyís turn after all other units have performed any actions.
at the start of each turn the command stand rolls a d6 to see how many command pips it has that turn.
If a natural one is rolled for command pips a random event card is triggered pulled from the deck and played straight away before any other actions.
Command pips can be used to move units. Units within 12″ of the command stand require one pip to move. Units beyond 12″ require two pips to move. A command stand can also use command pips to rally one unit per turn, that is within 6″ of the command stand, each pip spent removing one hit from the unit.
Next up I needed a scenario the One Hour Wargames book actually comes with 30 scenarios but for this battle I was inspired by a paragraph in John H. Gillís With Eagles to Glory. Gill writes about a small incident along the Bohemian and Eastern Bavarian border in June 1809 when a number of small Austrian (mostly Landwehr) raiding parties crossed the border and raided the area around the towns of Zwiesel and Regen the Bavarians sent a depot battalion and local militia to the area to drive off the raiders. After a bit of skirmishing the Austrianís fell back into Bohemia. Taking this incident as inspiration I upped the size of the forces from a few companies to a couple of small brigades and came up with the following scenario.

June 1809 the Duke of Brunswick has lead a mixed Brigade of Austrian and Brunswick units over the Bohemian border into Bavaria raiding the area between the towns of Zwiesel and Regen. Having split his brigade up, to raid further afield, the Duke receives news that the Bavarians have cobbled together several infantry battalions and a battery of Artillery and are moving to intercept his forces. The Duke occupies Zwiesel with a battalion of Brunswick infantry, his Black Hussars and a detachment of Tabor Landwehr and sends orders for the rest of the brigade to re-unite on his position. The Bavarians, surprisingly rapid, march catches the Duke still waiting for the rest of his command to join him leaving him no choice but to hold Zwiesel and hope the rest of his command marches to the sound of the guns.

The two sides were as follows

Bavarians

3 battalions of infantry (4th and 8th infantry)

2 skirmishers (5th light battalion)

1 Artillery Battery

Austrian/Brunswick

1 battalion infantry (Brunswick)

3 battalions of Infantry (Tabor Landwehr, Prague Landwehr, IR 10)

1 Skirmisher (Tabor Landwehr)

1 cavalry (Brunswick Hussars)

The Bavarians started the game with their whole force. While the Duke of Brunswick started with only the Brunswick battalion, Brunswick Hussars and Skirmishers. The Dukeís other three battalions would only arrive later in the game their arrival being determined by a dice roll on a d6 (6 on turn one, 5 on turn two and so on until a 2+ from turn five onwards). Reinforcements would arrive by one of three roads determined by a d6 1-2 southern road (by the manor house) 3-4 eastern road (through the town) or the Northern road (between the river and fields). Below are a few pictures of the set up I managed to cobble together from my available scenery (which is something else I need to work on at some point).













Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 Making Random Event Cards
« Reply #76 on: August 06, 2023, 05:53:41 AM »
The game lasted nine turns rather than give a dice by dice blow Iíll give the highlights of the battle

Turn 1-2. The first two turns were mostly about the Bavarians trying to get up the road to the bridge. The Bavarian Artillery were quite active in these early turns firing on the first turn at the Brunswick infantry in the town though not causing much damage. On the second turn a natural 1 on the Bavarian commander dice saw a random event in which the Bavarian artillery received ďThe battle is lostĒ card and retreated from their hill top position. Turn 2 also saw the Bavarian skirmishers reach and secure the bridge. The Austrians were even less active holding their positions in turn one. In turn 2 IR10 arrived by the northern road. The Austrians also rolled a natural one in turn two triggering a random event on the Hussars of the ďColonel is DeadĒ resulting from them moving directly towards the enemy looking for revenge they werenít close enough to charge but they were now nicely exposed. The Austrian skirmishers fired on the Bavarian skirmishers at the bridge to little effect.

Turn 3-4 saw the action hot up two decent command rolls of 5 allowed the Bavarian commander to push one unit of skirmishers beyond the bridge towards the manor house while the infantry battalions started to cross the bridge. The artillery returned to the fray by setting back up on the hill. The Bavarians mostly manoeuvring to form a battle line meant only the Artillery and skirmishers were firing and they concentrated their fire on the exposed Brunswick hussars starting to whittle them down with minor damage. The Austrians had a stoke of luck when all their remaining reinforcements turned up in turn 3 both battalions arriving by the southern road. two good command rolls for the Austrians allowed them to manoeuvre their reinforcements into a battle line along side the Brunswick battalion that left the town and advanced towards the bridge. The Hussars launched an attack on the Bavarian skirmishers heading towards the manor house.

Turn 5-7 The height of the battle and the Bavarianís luck deserted them the Bavarian commander roll to ones in a row for his command dice. This resulted in a Random event card of ďThe heavens have openedĒ in turn 5 this downpour would half both sides moving and shooting during turn 6. To make matters worse a second random event card saw one of the Bavarian battalions discover a hidden drainage ditch stopped them moving through turn 6. The Austrian commander enjoyed much higher command rolls which allowed him to destroy the lead Bavarian battalion at the bridge under fire from three Austrian battalions and push forward his battalions as a unified battle line. Bringing his whole battle line to bear on a second Bavarian battalion on turn 7 that was destroyed in the ensuing firefight. The Brunswick hussars destroyed the Bavarian skirmishers near the manor house but in turn were finally dealt with by a combination of skirmisher fire, artillery and fire from the southern most Bavarian battalion. The Bavarian commander tried to concentrate his fire on the Austrian regular battalion during this phase of the battle inflicting a large number of hits.

Turn 8-9 The death throes of the Bavarians. The Bavarian commander finished the last two turns with command rolls of six but having lost two out of his three infantry battalions and half his skirmishers there was little he could do he poured most of those command pipis into rallying his remaining infantry battalion and concentrated all his fire on the Austrian regular battalion that was already badly beaten destroying it in turn 8. That still left the last Bavarian battalion facing three Austrian battalions and after using turn 8 to manoeuvre his three battalions into position in turn 9 he unleashed them of the last Bavarian battalion in an uneven firefight that saw the Bavarian battalion melt away. With only his Artillery and some Skirmishers left against three infantry battalions and a unit of skirmishers the Bavarian general conceded the field leaving the Austrians victorious.















It was a fun game, the rules worked well, and I felt the DBX command and control plugged in seamlessly as did the random event cards. After six months of painting it was really nice to put these miniatures on a table and roll dice with them. On the game side I made the rookie mistake of putting the river and bridge in which really hampered the Bavarians from bringing their early numbers advantage to bare. I was also a bit generous with the Austrian reinforcement rolls meaning all the Austrian reserves were on the table by the time the Bavarians arrived. That was coupled with the Bavarians getting some awful command rolls just as the two armies clashed making this whole game an uphill struggle for the Bavarians. Not including setting up the table the whole game took me an hour and twenty minutes to play (including taking notes, photos and a mid game cup of tea) which is just what I was looking for. In fact the game time meant after lunch I was able to fight a 2nd battle that day the AAR for which I will save for another post.

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 First Battle of Zwiesel 1809 AAR
« Reply #77 on: August 15, 2023, 06:15:34 AM »
This was my second Napoleonic battle using Neil Thomasís One Hour Wargames (OHW) rules. The Forces and the scenario were the same as the first battle but I made some changes to try and give the Bavarians a better chance. First I re-jigged the terrain removing the river and bridge hopeful giving the Bavarians more room to manoeuvre. Second I changed the reinforcements roll for the Austrians I used the same dice rolls as the first battle but didnít allow a roll on the first turn (so on turn 2 units would arrive on a 6 and so on) in an effort to avoid a repeat of the first battle were all the Austrian reinforcements turned up very early in the game. For this second battle I also wanted to try a different command and control system from the DBX system I used in the first game. Instead this time I used a card deck system.

The rules for the card deck were very simple. Each side started with a number of cards equal to the number of units it has in play at the start of the battle . So in this battle three cards for the Austrians and six for the Bavarians. During the course of the battle the number of cards in the deck will change a new card being added, to the deck, for any units that arrive as reinforcements and a card being removed for any unit that has been destroyed. In addition in any scenario where there is a clear attacker vs defender (like this battle) the attacking side will receive one extra card to represent their greater initiative on the offensive. If playing a historical scenario you could also add an extra card to the deck if a historical general was particularly good on the day. The final card in the deck was the Random event card.

Now instead of each side taking it in turns in a ugo-igo system both sides share a single turn. The cards are pulled from the deck one at a time and the side whose card is drawn can activate (move, shoot or melee) one unit once both sides have activated all their units the turn is over. If the random event card is pulled a second card is drawn from the deck, to see which side the event affects, and then a random event card is pulled from the random event card deck just like the first battle (in hindsight there was an issue with random events but Iíll return to that later). at the end of the turn the deck is cleared up by adding or removing any cards for reinforcements or destroyed units and then shuffling the deck.

Below is a picture of the initial set up as you can see no river this time the patches of scrub are just for visual effect and had no impact on the game Also unlike the previous battle no command stands, which is more in keeping with the original One Hour Wargames rules, because in the card system they have no use.




Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 First Battle of Zwiesel 1809 AAR
« Reply #78 on: August 15, 2023, 06:22:04 AM »
This game flew along and actually lasted a turn less (eight in all) than the previous battle. The whole game taking 54 minutes not including set up and tidying up the dinning room table afterwards. Below is a quick rundown of the key events.

Turn 1-2 was mostly the moving up of the Bavarians to the crossroads while their artillery tried to soften up the Brunswick battalion in Zwiesel town. An early Random event saw the Austrian skirmishers take 4 hits from friendly fire.







Turn 3-4 Turn 3 saw one Bavarian battalion head towards Zwiesel, ready to engage the Brunswickers there, they were helped out massively when the Brunswick battalion in Zwiesel pulled a random event card of ďThe Colonel is DeadĒ and left the safety of the town to promptly advance on the lead Bavarian battalion desperate to exact revenge for their dead officer. Turn 3 also saw the Brunswick Hussars manoeuvre onto the flank of the leading Bavarian battalion and the Austrian regulars arrive by the southern road. Turn 4 found the officer of the Bavarian artillery was a drunk (another random event) which put them out of action for two turns as the manoeuvred up and down the hill. Meanwhile the Austrian and Bavarian skirmishers on the northern flank took pots shots at each other to little effect. In the centre the lead Bavarian battalion was destroyed by a combination of firing from the Brunswick infantry and a flank charge from the Brunswick hussars. the rest of the Bavarians managed to form a solid battle line. The Austrian regulars occupied the manor house.











Turn 5-6 Turn five saw the arrival of the remaining Austrian Landwehr battalions from the Northern road which now meant the Bavarians were heavily outnumbered. The Austrians spent turn five and six mostly trying to bring their infantry battalions into a battle line while under fire from the Bavarians. The hussars spent turn five manoeuvring into position to launch a charge on turn six. One Bavarian battalion found itself without orders due to a random event card but the impact was mitigated by the fact they enmey was right in front of them to be fired at.









Turn 7 Ė 8 with the Austrians greater numbers the writing was on the wall for the Bavarians. Although they managed to destroy the Brunswick infantry battalion they lost both of the remaining infantry battalions the Brunswick hussars delivering the coup de gr‚ce with a charge into the flank of the final Bavarian battalion. One unit of Bavarian skirmishers was destroyed in an uneven firefight with the Austrian regulars occupying the manor house and with that the Bavarians called it a day.







Despite the changes the Bavarians lost the 2nd battle much like the first. looking at the two games I think one of the reasons is not all units are created equal under the rules. Infantry battalions are king and are the real battle winners while cavalry can be devastating under the right circumstances. Meanwhile artillery and skirmishers are useful auxiliaries, that have their uses, but donít hit as hard as the infantry and cavalry. In this particular scenario the Austrian side had more harder hitting units (4 infantry battalions and a cavalry regiment) and thanks to being the defenders didnít have to work to hard to assemble them into battle line. The Bavarians on the other hand found it harder to move up the battlefield organise a battle line and bring their three infantry battalions to bear in a meaningful way. Mean while the Bavarian skirmishers and artillery struggled to whittle down the Austrian units strength enough before the main battle lines engaged. Noticeably once the Bavarians lost their first battalion the battle would quickly go down hill as the Austrian infantry battalions ganged up on the lesser number of Bavarian battalions in one sided firefights. I suspect if I re-fought the battle a third time with the Bavarians as the defender they would stand a better chance using their skirmishers to slow down the Austrian advance and give their artillery more time to work on the Austrian infantry also occupying the town and manor house would have given the Bavarian infantry far greater staying power even if outnumbered.

For this second game in particular the command and control card system worked well turns moved along at a brisk pace and as a solo player it brought in far more unpredictability than the DBX system. If a side could get 2-3 cards in a row it could really give them the initiative to change the course of the battle. The adding and removing of cards due to reinforcements and losses worked well. In this game I saw the Bavarians have the initiative for early parts of the game but slowly lose it as losses mounted and the Austrian reinforcements showed up. The one thing that didnít work quite so well was the addition of a random event card to the deck. Firstly it pretty much guaranteed a random event every turn unless the random event card was in the bottom two cards of the deck along with the Bavarian spare card for being the attacker. Second because the card could be drawn at anytime during the turn (rather than at the beginning of the turn in the DBX system) it could find itself being played on units that had already taken a go that turn which didnít quite sit right. My choices here are either to only randomly dice for units that havenít yet had a go that turn or play the random event as first thing that side does on the next turn.

Iím not sure where the project goes from here rule wise I very much enjoyed the OHW rules I think they worked perfectly for what I wanted of the two Command and control systems I tried out I think the DBX style one has the more potential. I have a few more tweaks and house rules Iíd like to try out to give the horse and musket rules a more Napoleonic feel especially in regards to infantry formations, infantry and melee and assaults on built up areas. On the broader project front I need to give my scenery a shot in the arm especially I need to get some trees/woodlands sorted. Miniatures wise I now feel the need to add some allied French to the Bavarians especially some dragoons. As two provisional French dragoon regiments operated with some Bavarian infantry and artillery in the build up to the battle of Gefrees. This seems like a good way to add more power to my Bavarian forces (who are already way over strength for the 1809 Bohemian theatre) while still being quite historical. for the Austrians I already have another Landwehr battalion on the painting table but I probably need to bulk up their skirmishers and add some artillery.

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 Second Battle of Zwiesel 1809 AAR
« Reply #79 on: August 31, 2023, 05:14:32 AM »
Not the most exciting of posts, and the more eagle eyed may have spotted them in my recent battle reports, but a little while back I finished up these skirmishing Landwehr made from the plastic Victrix Austrian Landwehr set. Most of the miniatures in the Victrix set are in march attack poses but a few on each sprue have separate arms allowing you to create firing poses sadly there is no kneeling miniature in the Victrix set as I do like a kneeling skirmisher. The NCO pointing is actually a spare Perry miniatures from their Austrian infantry set.

When I started this project and was looking at the various armies I was confused to find that the Austrians only had a single Jager company and seemingly no other skirmishers. This had a lot to do with my limited understanding of Napoleonic warfare and seeing that Austrian units didnít have light companies, like the French or British, I assumed they had no skirmishing ability built into their battalions until I found out that in Prussia and Austria the 3rd rank men were extensively used as skirmishers and often were detached from their companies. On top of that I also found out that every Landwehr battalion was also expected to form a special section (I havenít been able to track down how many men comprised this section) of snipers (Scharf-schŁtzen) supposedly armed with rifle but in reality armed with what was available. So it seemed reasonable to paint up some Landwehr skirmishing to increase the number of skirmishers available to my Austrian forces.










Online CapnJim

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 now with skirmishing Landwehr
« Reply #80 on: September 02, 2023, 04:16:46 PM »
A.  Nice battle reports.  Even if the Bavarians went 0-2...

B.  Can you combine the 2 C&C systems?  Issue cards as you did in the 2nd fight, but also add a card for each leader?  When the leader's car comes up, he may issue an order to a unit (maybe 2 units depending on a die roll...) to give it an extra activation as well as move about the field...

C.  You could also keep the Random event card in the deck, but make 2 blank Random Event Cards so that there is the possibility of nothing notable happening in a turn...

D.  Letters B and C are just suggestions, hopefully helpful ones...... :D     

E. I like those Austrian skirmishers.  Well done!
"Remember - Incoming Fire Has the Right-of-Way"

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 now with skirmishing Landwehr
« Reply #81 on: September 07, 2023, 04:42:37 AM »
A.  Nice battle reports.  Even if the Bavarians went 0-2...

B.  Can you combine the 2 C&C systems?  Issue cards as you did in the 2nd fight, but also add a card for each leader?  When the leader's car comes up, he may issue an order to a unit (maybe 2 units depending on a die roll...) to give it an extra activation as well as move about the field...

C.  You could also keep the Random event card in the deck, but make 2 blank Random Event Cards so that there is the possibility of nothing notable happening in a turn...

D.  Letters B and C are just suggestions, hopefully helpful ones...... :D     

E. I like those Austrian skirmishers.  Well done!

thanks yes plenty of options for command and control to play with but in my next games (when I can find some time) I'm hoping to try out some formation house rules to give a more Napoleonic column, line and square feel.

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon goes Napoleonic for 2023 now with skirmishing Landwehr
« Reply #82 on: September 07, 2023, 04:46:12 AM »
Continuing my Bohemia 1809 project Iíve painted up this French Provisional Dragoon regiment. Napoleon tried to increase his dragoon numbers by joining the 4th (depot) Squadrons of the existing French dragoon regiments in to Provisional regiments consisting of 4 squadrons. Two of these regiments, the ended up in the Bohemian area of operations under the commanded of GD Jean Delaroche in 1809 and went on to to fight at the battle of Gefrees making them a must have for my project.

The two provisional regiments were the 1st (squadrons of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dragoons) and the 5th (squadrons of the 18th,19th,20th and 21st Dragoons) in theory these regiments were 1000 men strong but in practice the two regiments number about 1200 between them. These two regimentís linked up with a scratch force of Bavarian artillery and infantry before joining up with GD Junot and his French infantry Division to go on and fight at the battle of Gefrees.

I naively thought French dragoon uniforms were pretty simple but turns out there was a lot of differences between regimentís, of the same colour facings, with regards to pockets, cuffs, collars etc than Iíd realized. Iíve tried to paint each base as a different squadron which makes the 4th squadron of the 18th really stand out as the only squadron in the 5th provisional regiment who wore dark pink facings the others all wore yellow facings in different configurations. Miniatures are 28mm from Victrix fiddly to put together but nice miniatures. These dragoons could be fielded alongside my painted Bavarians, with historical justification, giving them some badly needed cavalry next time they face off with my Austrians.


















Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Looking good mate! 👍
Home of the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/

Offline Diablo Jon

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Offline Ray Rivers

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Nice thread!  :-*

The dragoons are inspiring! Well done.

Online CapnJim

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Holy crap, those Dragoons look great!  :D

Offline peachey_c

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Ace dragoons 8)

Offline Warboss Nick

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The dragoons look lovely! Makes me want to add some Victrix dragoons, but I still have some Perrys to paint first.

Offline Diablo Jon

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Thanks for the nice comments chaps 👍

 

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