Thursday, 23 June 2016

Bohemian Blitzkrieg: The Battle of Aussig. Deployments and initial moves.

Last night Peter and Graham turned up at the usual time of 8.45pm. We had a brief discussion of the campaign thus far and then got down to dicing for unit qualities, dealing out army characterisation cards and sketching deployment maps.

Peter deployed his Prussians largely in the norther sector of the table with only a cavalry force south of the stream screening his flank.
Graham deployed his Austrians, which outnumber the Prussians 3:2, rather more equally but also with the bulk of his troops north of the stream. 

Graham decided to post a strong cavalry reserve behind his centre. It's funny how a campaign game, with the possibility of post battle pursuit can change the way players think about things.
The Prussians kick things off with a general advance onto the large plateau that dominates most of the table in the northern sector.   

The Prussians score an early success when their heavy battery catches the Austrian heavy battery limbered. It is dispatched; its gunners rally and return to their guns; it is dispatched again.
At the top of the slopes the Prussians stall. The Austrians begin an attack of their own. 

In the top right hand corner of this shot you can see Graham's cavalry is beginning to move towards the northern flank.
South of the stream the Austrians advance infantry and guns and the Prussians begin a move into the open expanses of the southern sector.

The Austrian guns open up and a regiment of Prussian cuirassier is sent packing.
A fierce fire-fight is taking place on the low plateau. 

The Prussians, harassed by effective skirmish fire from Austrian Grenzers have chased them off with some nicely timed bayonet charges.
South of the stream the Prussian cavalry has moved out wide, partly to get away from the Austrian guns.

The Austrian cavalry has moved to cover the flank of their infantry.
 Around the village, the Austrians are launching an assault with their grenadiers. Taking the open village section first might prove decisive - the Prussians have thus far failed to turn the correct card to enter it, even though they have been next to it from the start of the game.

To be continued.......

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Bohemian Blitzkrieg: The Battle of Aussig (Campaign turn 2).

At the end of turn two there is a contact. Lorraine with 37 Strength Points and Moritz with 24 Strength Points are facing each other at Aussig. I will now outline how, for those unfamiliar with the campaign system, the Pre -Battle Manoeuvre process.

At this point I must introduce you to a campaign rule change added to suit my own perversity as an umpire. Before the pre-battle manoeuvre process is begun two D6 are rolled. If the result is an odd double (1s, 3s and 5s) the armies stumble into each other or one army is 'ambushed' and an encounter battle must ensue with neither side having the option to  withdraw. I will call this the 'Blunder Phase'.

Blunder Phase: Dice result 4/4: There is no blunder and both sides are given the option to withdraw. Neither chooses to do so. The fight is on!

Both sides now commence pre-battle manoeuvres. Both commanders roll for initiative:

Lorraine rolls a 1 +2 (campaign initiative rating) +1 (familiar ground) = 4
Moritz rolls a 5 +3 (campaign initiative rating) = 8

Moritz has won the initiative. Six random battlefields are generated (D100 rolls) and Peter (Prussian) must choose three from the following: 27, 41, 50, 86, 89, 90. He chooses 27, 41, 86.

I (umpire) roll a D3 to determine battlefield will be fought on. The result is a 1 so it will be the first battlefield on the list: Battlefield 27.

Peter chooses to deploy on the south side and to fight if pressed. Graham (Lorraine) refuses battle and so the pre-battle manoeuvre sequence moves onto round two.

Both sides roll for initiative again: 

Lorraine rolls a 5 +2 +1 = 8
Prussia rolls a 3 +3 +1 (won last round) = 7

Graham wins the second round roll:

Graham has the choice of the following randomly generated battlefields: 13, 16, 38, 40, 57, 96. Graham chooses 16, 57, 96. I roll a D3 and roll a 2 for battlefield 57. 

Graham chooses to deploy on the eastern side of the field and to fight if pressed. Peter chooses to fight. Battle is joined!

This is an image of battlefield 57 as published in Campaigns And Battles From the Age Of Reason by Todd Kershner and Dale Wood and reproduced here with Todd's kind permission.

I'm a massive fan of the system used to generate battlefields in this rule set. Cross referencing the number rolled on D100 to the correct page of maps indicates which battlefield should be used - the number is on the centre line and the battlefield is the squares to either side of the number.

In the book, each square is 6cm by 6cm which makes laying out the terrain on my table (12 x 6) very easy indeed, up to a point.

Rule note: The players have been told that the maps only give an impression of the ground. The players will not know its exact nature until they see the ground in the flesh on game night.

Due to the constraints of the terrain I possess I can only go so far in my representation of any of the maps, though some will be easier than others. For this battle I was able to do the hills, stream and villages with reasonable accuracy but I was a little short of road. If we were playing Age of Reason rules to fight the battles this would be something of a problem as road exit points and junctions are important objectives in that set of rules. As we are using amended Piquet, they are not so important so a fudge here shouldn't effect the game.


Prussian: Moritz with 24 Strength Points.

2 regiments of cuirassier.
2 regiments of dragoons.

2 combined grenadier units (representing 4 battalions).
6 regiments of musketeers (representing 12 battalions).
1 regiment of fusiliers (representing 2 battalions).
1 regiment of garrison troops (representing 2 battalions).

1 battery of 2 heavy guns.
1 battery of 1 medium gun.

Austrian: Lorraine with 37 Strength Points.

4 regiments of cuirassier.
2 regiments of dragoons.
2 regiments of hussars.

1 combined grenadier unit (representing 2 battalions).
11 regiments of musketeers (representing 22 battalions).
1 regiment of hungarian musketeeers (representing 2 battalions).
3 battalions of Grenzers.

1 battery of 2 heavy guns.
2 batteries of 2 medium guns.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Bohemian Blitzkrieg. Austrian phase, Turn 2.

Austrian move phase, turn 2 moves:

Arenberg arrives at Welwarn then to Budin
Macquire to Rumburg and then back to Gabel 

Note: Macquire has raided the Prussian supply route at Rumburg and Frederick has been put out of supply (red pin).

Bohemian Blitzkrieg. Prussian phase, turn 2

Prussian move phase, turn 2 moves:

Frederick, from Rumburg, with 39SP to Konigstein, Karbitz, Linay
Schwerin, from Arnau, with 42 SP to Koniginhof, Soor, Staudenz
Moritz, newly arriving at Komatau, with 24 SP to Aussig
Prince Henry, from Nullendorf, with 10 SP to Pirna, Dresden, Balsewitz

Bohemian Blitzkrieg. Austrian phase, turn 1.

The Austrian move phase, turn 1 moves:

Browne from Budin to Lobositz then Aussig
Konigseck from Reichenber to Liebenau then Hirschberg
Serbelloni from Koniggratz to Chlum then Horitz

There were no changes to the campaign roster sheet.

Bohemian Blitzkrieg Campaign: Prussian phase, turn 1.

Prussian orders are in and have been acted on.

Prince Henry, from Dresden, with 10 SP to Prina then Nollendorf
Frederick, from Dresden, with39 SP to Balsewitz, Schluckenau, Rumburg
Schwerin, from Ladeshut, with 42SP to Treutenau, Koniginhof, Arnau
Bevern stays in Zittau

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bohemian Blitzkrieg Campaign. The set up.

(EDIT: Please ignore the previous version of this post. Due to something equating to a complete cock-up, we will restart the campaign from scratch).

We are about to start our Bohemian Blitzkrieg campaign. This campaign is the campaign that features in Campaigns and Battles From The Age of Reason by Tod Kershner and Dale Wood. It is with Tod's kind permission that I am able to post images of the map and, in writing up the campaign as it unfolds, some of the scenario notes and rule stuff.  

"In the April of 1757 Frederick of Prussia’s second great campaign of the Seven Years War began as four massive columns of dark blue troops entered the Austrian-held province of Bohemia from the strategic heartlands of Silesia and Saxony.

In a lightening movement, the Prussians concentrated at Prague and fought one of the bloodiest battles of the war that ended in a costly victory for Frederick. Prussian losses were slightly higher than the Austrians and the irreplaceable general Schwerin was killed by a blast of cannister. The Austrians payed dearly, as well, with the loss of von Browne, hero of Lobositz, also mortally wounded leading a bayonet charge.

In June the Prussians fought again, but this time their opponent was Marshal Daun and a vastly superior army at Kolin. The ‘Great King’ launched a doomed frontal attack on the white-coats’ strong position and was decisively defeated in a blood-soaked and demoralising repulse.

Through June and July the Prussians lingered in Bohemia but the initiative had passed to the Austrians and by August events in north-western Germany compelled Frederick to vacate the province and deal with the growing threat posed by the French and Reichs Army.

Frederick would return and avenge his first major defeat with his crowning masterpiece of Leuthen but that, as they say, is another story……………….."

Where possible we will be fighting the campaign exactly as written but, because we will be doing the map moves by email, and because we will be using our house amended Piquet rules to fight the table-top battles, I have had to make some alterations to the campaign rules so that it will work. Where rule changes have an effect on the way the campaign is played and unfolds I will detail the changes as they are applied.

The Map
The Map is a scanned and enlarged copy of the map as it appears in the book except that I've added some colour coding. Pink dots are rough terrain. Names highlighted in yellow are supply base dots.

Blue map pins are Prussian, yellow ones are Austrian. The larger map pins show the name of the force commander, the commanders rank (top) and initiative rating (bottom). The small pins the last side to occupy /pass through the dot and indicate 'possession': in effect they show possible routes of supply.

The Starting Positions
Graham: Austrian
Browne at Budin with 37 SPs.
Konigseck at Reichenberg with 19 SPs.
Macquire at Gabel with 13 SPs.
Serbelloni at Koniggratz with 34 SPs.

Starting VPs - 59
Peter: Prussian
Frederick at Dresden with 49 SPs.
Bevern at Zittau with 25 SPs.
Schwerin at Landshut with 42 SPs.

Starting VPs - 14

The Campaign Roster Sheets 
To save on paperwork, and to keep everything in one place and organised, we will use my usual army campaign roster sheets.

RULE NOTE: In the campaign rules it says that players should choose each commander they wish to activate in turn, roll to see if he does, move him, then move onto the next commander. We are playing the map moves by email so, to speed play, each player will be sending orders for all commanders at the same time and I, as umpire, will roll to see if they activate, move them as ordered, and then report successful movements to both players. 

So that neither player is fully aware of the other's strategy I will only detail moves made; I will not detail any commander's failure to activate or any orders he has failed to carry out.

So there it is. Ready to go again. Good luck chaps.