Saturday 26 March 2022

The Battle for Figgins Farm 1863 @ Battlefields and Warriors

Tipping my hat to Norm’s Battlefield and Warriors blog he published a few weeks ago an ACW scenario the details of which can be found here I thought I would give the scenario a run out using my ACW collection and house rules.

Here is the scenario set up, two small advanced cavalry patrols are already on the table contesting the Farm. Both sides have two brigades which will enter at random locations. I used Norm’s updated option for  this following his test game which is slightly adapted from above. My rules based on bolt action required some minor amendments and as we have a time limited period to fight the battle I dropped the requirement for casualties to trigger brigade entry instead the first brigade of each side would enter turn one the second brigade on turn three. To be honest hits had already been caused at this stage anyway.
My setup translated from the scenario map, table is 6x4
Confederate cavalry commander Hollis already at the farm
Union Cavalry approaching the position from Crow Wood
The Union 1st brigade comes on in the centre of the battlefield allowing it to spread around the wheat field
Confederate 1st brigade similarly arrives in the centre they run forward towards the turnpike
Unfortunately a random event caused the Union raw recruits to immediately flee , not a good start 
Things are better in the centre where the cannon opens up effective fire against the advancing Rebels
Confederates have now formed up into line
The 2nd Brigades both arrive turn three, Union troops in the centre but the Rebels behind Figgin’s Farm itself
The Union general is now bringing superior number to bare on the Farm which is now being held by the dismounted Cavalry
Another random event causes the leading Union regiment to charge into the Farm under lots of circumstances this could have been disastrous but they are able after two turns to force their way into the building 
Once in though they are assaulted themselves and forced back out of the building
Although the Union army has numerical superiority they have that this stage gained many VP’s and the rebels are again in control of the Farm, at this point of the battle artillery on both sides is ineffective, but the Union generals push forward their reserves.
Finally the Union reserves are able to charge the cannon head on and on the left flank the Rebels have been forced back
Although the Rebels have the farm house they are now under pressure
We ended the game here a couple of Turns before the 12 turn game limit we had set. It was a tough fight but thenUnion forces are ahead with several Rebel units having been eliminated.

An interesting scenario, we felt the Union had the advantage from the start making their cavalry veterans made them really tough to chase away. I was also lucky to place the weakest Union  troops on the left where they had little combat. Nice as always to get the ACW collection on the table.

The weather has remained exceptional in the Uk so some more cycling on Friday 👍

Thanks for looking, KBO 


Wednesday 23 March 2022

Lehwaldt Infantry SYW and Tiger Tank

Progress seems to have been slow but I finally have something completed to share. Following the Hochkirch battle some enthusiasm to quickly finish my next Prussian regiment

The Lehwaldt Infantry not much to say about them Pendraken figures in rather smart 
Prussian blue uniforms
I managed to find the 15mm Tiger tank I had hidden in the dungeon, painted up in the same scheme as the other German armour.
A couple of purchases, a rare bargain off eBay some Halftracks for my Panzer Grenadiers, I need to look out for a few more
After the York show I had discussed getting a copy of the above book but couldn’t find a copy at a reasonable price. However a mate came across one at a very good price and a mint copy too. Looking forward to reading some of the detail.

Finally we have had crazy nice weather in the Lake District so we were out walking again
Looking south……
Looking east past Causey Pike
Yours truly and the boss

More to come soon thanks for looking😀

Sunday 20 March 2022

Battle of Hochkirch : Seven Years War 1758

In the campaigning season of 1758 Fredrick had gone on the offensive in Moravia with a view to advancing towards Vienna itself. He attempted to take the fortress of Olmutz but was unsuccessful having pulled back from the Austrians Fredrick moved north to fight the Russians at Zorndorf, with a strategic draw he again moved south to confront the Austrians in Saxony. Perhaps overconfident he didn’t believe his Generals who had warned him of a potential Austrian attack. Uncharacteristically Field Marshall Daun chose to attack perhaps encouraged by the significant numerical odds in his favour. The Austrians would be attacking the 30,000 Prussians with about 80,000 troops we’ll over 2 to 1.

Using Fredrick's own playbook the Austrians out flanked the Prussians who had camped/deployed in a gentle S shape between the villages of Hochkirch and Rodewitz. They had strengthened their position with two earthworks/entrenchments facing south from Hochkirch and East from Rodewitz.

Historically the battle was almost a complete disaster for Fredrick, the Austrians completely caught the Prussians napping (literally) killing many in their tents. Hochkirch which formed the right wing of the Prussian line saw the heaviest and bloodiest fighting. When this was eventually taken the remaining Prussian army was only saved by rearguard defensive actions. 
As always lots of maps on the internet if you look for them. They all vary somewhat, I have again used the OB from Frank Chadwick’s “Battles of the Seven Years War” highly recommended from me. The battlefield is broken by woods and a stream. The Prussian line of retreat if needed is to the North where other Prussian forces are camped.
The details above translate into the setup above. Pink cards represent additional Austrian Division which will come on randomly. Now to play such a one sided battle Prussians have 7 divisions the Austrians 10, does require a little fiddling to balance things out. Firstly the Prussians are already awake and in their positions. 6 of the Austrian Divisions are able to enter the battle immediately, the remaining 4 must dice to arrive. Key though to balance is the victory conditions, the Austrians must gain 7 VP’s gained either by breaking Prussian divisions or capturing the four villages to the west of the stream. Whilst we didn’t set a specific timescale our battle would be limited by tea time. Tipping my hat to historical events the Austrians if they capture Prussian cannons can turn them on the Prussians which they did successfully back in 1758.

and so to the action, obviously a fairly large battle so not a blow by blow account.

Prussians dug in south of Hochkirch
and the entrenchments close to Rodewitz
The Austrians assault all along the Prussian line but mare given a surprisingly bloody nose by the grenadiers holding the entrenchments, the Austrians stagger back
But there are more Austrians arriving through the village of Kohlwesa
The main assault towards Hochkirch, Gen Loudon advances but the main army halters with a failed activation roll
Austrians have the numbers but they must push to the entrenchments in the face of determined resistance
Prussian reserve cavalry holding the ground north of Rodewitz
The assault in front of Hochkirch hits home
But the Prussian grenadiers are a tough nut to crack
Gen Loudon’s Division has been beaten back, the failed activation early on mean the Austrian assault went in peacemeal, but the rest of the main army is now advancing
Eventually the entrenchments are over run and outflanked by cavalry, the remaining Prussians hold the village for one more turn but are then forced to pull back
General Buccow’s Cavalry Division arrives threatening to cut the Prussian lines of communication
The Austrians are piling on the pressure with a second Division now joining the assault at Rodewitz 
The view towards Hochkirch with the Austrians pressing all along a concentric line
Hochkirch almost taken and the Austrian main army is pushing past it to the east
To the north cavalry clash to protect the Prussian communication line open
Another assault towards Rodewitz but still the defenders hold
Hochkirch has finally fallen and Zieten’s Cavalry division held in reserve are now ordered forward to block the gaps
The Prussian reserve under General Wuerttemburg form up a defensive line in front of Pommritz
The Prussians are being forced back and pivoting to a right angle
Their reserve cavalry is still protecting the extreme northern flank
In the centre the Prussians are still fighting and any Austrians pushing too close are forced back
Finally the grenadiers holding the remaining entrenchments are ordered north partly to escape but also to clear the Austrian cavalry away
Cavalry clash outside Hochkirch but it is only a delaying action
More Austrian cavalry is starting to threaten from the west here they are chasing off Prussian Hussars who had been holding the gap by the wood
At this point we called the battle to a close
As to be expected the Austrians are holding the battlefield, they had already gained 4 victory points with another one very close. But this would only give them a minor tactical advantage and the remaining three points would cost them too much for a full victory, there are still enough Prussians left fighting and as the ground narrows they have a fairly strong defensive position.

Another very enjoyable SYW battle and a scenario and battle doing justice to the historical events. The Austrians failed a couple of key activations early on which meant their initial attacks went in piecemeal and were beaten back. Numbers counted in the end but Fredrick will still have an army and will be able to regroup.

Thanks for taking the time to pop by 👍