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Friday, January 13, 2012

NSWC Campaigns-1810


This campaign was being played in 25/28mm using WRG rules with a few modifications for simultaneous movement.

For the French, British and Portuguese armies the only forces involved are those owned by the players, as for the Spanish it is based on the forces available to the Spanish at the time with a little artistic licence. 

Don and Robert are providing the Spanish units. Any extra units painted by any player or for any player (painted by others) arrive in a reinforcement town and are then marched to their command.

We started the campaign as of 1 May 1810 with the French controlling Northern Spain and Central Spain (we have had to ignore Eastern Spain). The Anglo-Portuguese under Sir Arthur Wellesley (Lord Duero) control all of Portugal. The Spanish control Southern Spain and also have an Army in the North-West and have the fortresses of Cuidad Rodrigo and Badajoz.

The campaign opened with advances by the French Army of Spain South and West into Spanish controlled Spain. This has resulted in a battle at Talavera de la reina with a Anglo-Portuguese-Spanish army, the French lost the battle and had to retire. 

Meanwhile the French Army of Portugal advanced south from Valladolid towards Ciudad Rodrigo and clashed with the Anglo-Portuguese 1st and Reserve Corps just over a days march from Ciudad Rodrigo at the Battle of Sanchobueno, the British lost and withdrew one day, with the French following up.

The French forces of the King of Spain (Joseph) moved to get behind the Anglo-Spanish forces at Talavera.  Also others forces moved south from Toledo to halt and push south the Spanish Army of the South as it advanced north towards Madrid.  The French clashed with Spanish at the Battle of Herencia on the 7th May.

The French Army of Portugal advanced towards Cuidad Rodrigo following up its victory and attacked the Anglo-Portuguese forces again but did not gain the victory Massena so desired.  Neither side gained an advantage so both forces prepared for a second day of battle.

This all currently under review due to a central player pulling out of the campaign.
We are going to restart the campaign in 1812.  This is taking some time due to the ongoing illness of the Duke of Wellington, but we should start before 2012 has closed.

NSWC Campaigns-1809


This campaign was being played in 25mm using WRG rules with a few modifications for simultaneous movement.

For the French, British and Portuguese armies the only forces involved are those owned by the players, as for the Spanish it is based on the forces available to the Spanish at the time with a little artistic licence. Don McIntyre is at the moment providing the bulk of the Spanish units with a growing number coming from Robert Horspool (as I paint more of his Front Rank units so more will be his). Any extra units painted by any player or for any player arrive in a reinforcement town and are then marched to their command.

We started the campaign as of 1 May 1809 with the French controlling Northern Portugal, Northern Spain, and Central Spain (we have ignored Eastern Spain). The Anglo-Portuguese under Sir Arthur Wellesley controls all Portugal south of the Douro and the fortress of Almeida and Elvas. The Spanish control Southern Spain and also have an Army in the North-West and have the fortresses of Cuidad Rodrigo and Badajoz.

The campaign opened with an advance by the Anglo-Portuguese army against the French in Northern Portugal, this resulted in a number of small actions at Amarante 8th May 1809 (British Victory) and Villa Real 12 May 1809 (French Victory) and at least two major battles at Oporto 12 May 1809 (British Victory) and Vila de Ledra 17 May 1809 (French Victory). The result was that the French VII and VIII Corps of the Army of Portugal have been forced to leave Portugal, which allows the Anglo-Portuguese to move against the French forces laying siege to Cuidad Rodrigo.
Spanish Ferdinand VII Horse Grenadiers

Meanwhile the Spanish Army of Estremadura, with the support of the British 4th Division advanced on the French II Corps at Merida (French Victory) fighting a battle on the 15th May 1809. The Spanish Army of La Mancha advanced to Toledo in order to move onto Madrid however, this army was stopped by the French I Corps at Almonacid de Toledo on the 22nd May 1809 (French Victory). The Spanish Army of Galicia advanced from Leon towards Valladolid to cut the French main supply route, the French Army of the North concentrated and fought the Spanish at Medina de Rio Seco on the 25th May 1809 (French Victory).

On the 28th May 1809 the Army of Portugal managed to make one breech in the walls of Ciudad Rodrigo.  Marshal Massena decided to attempt a storming of the breech.  The storming was assigned to two brigades of the IV Corps with support of a third brigade and the corps field artillery plus two batteries of siege artillery.   After 4 hours of fighting the Spanish governor decided to withdraw from the main walls and then to leave Cuidad Rodrigo.  As the IV Corps only had one brigade left attempting to watch the remainder of the fortress walls, the Spanish managed to slip out of the fortress to the south on an unguarded road.  In the end the Army of Portugal had taken one of the two fortresses it needed to captured in order to invade Northern Portugal.

Sir Arthur Wellesley after hearing the besieging guns fall silent and then receive word that Ciudad Rodrigo had fallen decided to advance from Guarda to the lost fortress.  In the process of his advance the Anglo-Portuguese Reserve Corps under Beresford forced the French watching the Guarda road to withdraw beyond Ciudad Rodrigo (after placing a garrison in the town and quickly filling at least half of the trenches and battery positions and partly repairing the breech.  This French withdrawal from the Guarda road also forced the withdrawal of the forces watching the Almedia road or they could have been cut off by the English.

Marshal Massena assembled his army and advanced towards Sir Arthur.   This advance forced Sir Arthur to withdraw from Ciudad Rodrigo and take up a position at Fuentes d'Onoro.  Massena advanced to Fuentes d'Onoro and attacked the British on the 6th June 1809.  Two divisions of French cavalry and one and half divisions of infantry supported by most of the artillery attacked Fuentes d'Onoro which was being defended by the Light Division and with 7th Division in support to the right.   Three French cavalry divisions & one and half infantry divisions advanced on the British centre being held by Picton's 3rd Division, the British cavalry and Portuguese Loyal Lusitanian Legion, these forces where behind the ridge crest with only their artillery forward.  On the French right the Marshal sent one division of cavalry and the remaining one and half divisions on a small front against a Spanish division.   The Anglo-Portuguese-Spanish forces were beaten and forced to retreat towards Viseu.

Also on the 6th June General Hill with the 1st Corps gave battle to the French at Benevente and lost.  The 1st Corps moved south via Mirandela, Rinhovelo and Espinho to Almeida, attacking the French beseiging the fortress on the 19th June.  This battle resulted in another defeat for General Hill with the loss of almost all his corps artillery.  The 1st Corps retreated to Pinhao and rested.   The 1st Corps adavnced towwards Almeida again on the 24th June and arrived on the 27th June finding the French had failed to take the fortress and had been forced to retreat by the advances of Sir Arthur and the Reserve Corps.  The Reserve Corps caught the French in its withdrawal from Almeida at Aldea del Obispo inflicting some loss upon the French.
Sir Arthur withdraw his forces south via Aldeia Vicosa, Pornos de Algodres and Sao Miguel do Outeiro to Bussaco arriving on the evening of the 9th June.   Sir Arthur had his forces take up defensive positions on the 10th June to give battle to Marshal Massena again.  However, the French did not show apart from light cavalry. The Anglo-Portuguese army waited at Bussaco until the morning of the 14th June 1809 at which point Sir Arthur decided to advance again towards Fuentes d'Orono arriving on the afternoon of the 17th June and finding the French ready for battle.   One the 19th June Sir Arthur attacked the French at Fuentes d'Orono for the second time and this time he was blessed with victory.

The campaign moved onto 1810.

NSWC Campaigns-1807

1807 East Prussian-Polish Campaign

This campaign started off at the historical point of June 4 1807.  On this date the Russo-Prussian forces started their offensive (one day early in the north due to a communication not reaching the Prussian commander in time).   We have set the ratio of figures to troops for battles as 1 to 75 for infantry, 1 to 40 for cavalry and 1 gun to every 2 battalions or cavalry regiments fielded for a battle.  We are using our modified WRG rule set (modified for simultaneous movement instead of alternate bound) to govern the battlefield games.

Prussian Lieutenant General Anton-Wilheim L'Estocq's Russo-Prussian Corps attacked first on the 4th June 1807 at Braunsberg and Spanden, both places held by the French I Corps.  
The Prussian force numbered, 17,760 troops, when it attacked the French at  Braunsberg (Maréchal Victor had 16,560 troops). 
The attack was vigorous but resulted in a defeat for General L'Estocq with the loss of 6,995 men (1,475 captured) and Marshal Victor loosing 2,295 troops.   The Prussian Corps retreated for two days to the town of Brandenburg.  
Meanwhile the Russian component of L'Estocq's corps under the command of Major-General Kaminskoi (10,320 troops) attacked French General de Division Rivaud (2nd Division of I Corps plus the corps cavalry under Tilly-9,120 troops) at Spanden on the same day.   This was a Russian victory, with the French loosing 3,130 troops (783 captured) and Kaminskoi loosing 3,325 troops.  General Rivaud retreated to Muhlhausen on the Prussian Holland-Braunsberg road.

This allowed General Kaminskoi to advance to Prussian-Holland but this advance did not happen until he was ordered directly by Marshal Beningsen and was given the support of the Russian 6th Guard Division.

Meanwhile on the 5th June 1807, further south the Russians attacked at Lomitten.  This attack was lead by Major-Général Ivan Semenovich Doctorov with 15,700 troops (loss of 700 troops) against French General de Division Legrand with his 3rd Division of Maréchal Soult's IV Corps and with General Guyot corps cavalry in support for a total of 12,030 troops. The result was a defeat for the French with the loss of 1,580 troops (395 captured).  General Legrand withdrew to just beyond IV Corps position at Leibstadt.  This placed Maréchal Ney's VI Corps at Guttstadt in a perilous position.  The main Russian forces advanced from Heilsberg  and Seefeld towards Guttstadt.  Ney decided to withdraw and attempt to link up with Soult at Leibstadt.

Also on the 5th June General Maréchal Davout's III Corps (20,820 troops) was attacked by Major-General Bagration with 25,680 troops at Allenstein.  Maréchal Davout was protecting the right flank of the French forces.  Bagration's attacked faltered and was driven back to Passenheim for the loss of 4,905 (1,226 captured) to Davout's loss of 3,750.

In the centre the main Russian forces joined up at Guttstadt and followed a retreating Ney to Leibstadt.  Marshal Beningsen decided to attack the combined French corps of Soult and Ney on the 7th June.  Marshal Beningsen had under command 2nd Column-General Sacken , 4th Column-General Gortchakow  and 1st Column-General Dochtorow for a total of 80,630 troops.  Maréchal's Soult, Ney and Murat (he had joined them with the Reserve Cavalry) had 49,000 troops.  The battle was a loss for the French  with 2,735 (684 captured) troops lost against the Russian loss of 4,980 troops.  

The French though only withdraw 4 miles to the village of Reichertswalde and turned to give battle again to the Russians.  There were just 37,930 Russians enagaged against 56,375 French troops.  Reichertswalde was a different matter as Napoleon, who was approaching Leibstadt from Georgenthal decided to march to the sound of the guns, leaving the road just 4 miles from Leibstadt (where the Russian 1st Column was waiting for him) and crossed the 2 miles to reach the right flank of the French position at Reichertswalde with his Imperial Guard and a division of Spanish (this force came from Italy and is not the La Romana division that went to garrison the Baltic coast).  The battle resulted in a defeat for the Russians and more glory for Ney as his corps took the brunt of the Russian attack.  The loss of 7,160 Russian troops (1,790 captured) against 5,200 French.

Even though the French were victorious at Reichertswalde the Russians had cut their supply line at Prussian-Holland.  The IV and VI Corps plus the Reserve Cavalry had to retreat to reopen their supply line, the Imperial Guard and Spanish Division also withdraw to support these forces.  Upon arrival at Prussian-Holland Napoleon sent IV Corps straight into the attack.  Soult pressed home his attack on the Russian centre and left while the Imperial Guard moved against the Russian right.   There were continuos Russian counter-attacks against Maréchal Soult and Murat.   Maréchal Ney's VI Corps remained in reserve behind the Spanish Division.  In the end the French were again victorious but the Imperial Guard and Spanish Division had to return to Leibstadt to clear their supply line of more Russian forces.

The Battle of Prussian-Holland involved 26,965 Russians (17,000 Imperial Guard) and their losses where 2,350 (588 captured) and there were 52,255 French (10,000 Imperial Guard) and they lost 3,860 troops.  The French had a 2:1 advantage but it did take most the day for that advantage to take effect.  Maréchal Ney's VI Corps and the Spanish cavalry did not arrive at all on the field of battle.

The Russian forces at Prussian-Holland retreated to Mehlsack (Imperial Guard 6th Column) and Guttstadt (Russian Div from the Prussian corps).  Meanwhile Beningsen 2nd & 4th Columns moved towards Wormditt. The French I, IV, VI Corps plus some Reserve Cavalry advanced from Prussian-Holland through Spanden towards Mehlsack.  The VI Corps stopped at Mehlsack to observe the Russian 6th Guard Column at Peterswalde where it had withdrawn too at the approach of the three French Corps.
In the northern sector the Prussian's advanced again (after calling in some reserve forces) towards Braunsberg.  When General L'Estocq arrived opposite Braunsberg (12 June) he discovered that the French I Corps had moved south leaving the town unoccupied.  General L'Estocq crossed the river and occupied Braunsberg, on the 13th June and ordered his sappers to remove the French defence works that faced east.  A couple days later the French VIII Corps (Mortier-20,130) arrived from Elbing and attacked General L'Estocq (25,200) forcing him and his troops out of Braunsberg.  The French VIII Corps lost 5,400 men and the Prussian's retreated to Gallou to rest and reform his shattered regiments.

On the same day as Braunsberg the Russian 7th Column attacked the Poles at Neigenburg.  This Polish force was beaten and forced to retreat to Hohenstein.  Next the 7th Column advanced towards Graudenz to relieve the Prussian garrison.
The French I and IV Corps plus some of the cavalry reserve under Murat (47,550) moved south from Mehlsack towards Wormditt. at the same time the Russian 2nd and 4th Columns (53,225) moved north towards Wormditt.  These movements resulted in the two day battle (16-18 June) at Wormditt. which in the end was another French victory (loss 7,290) , forcing the Russians (loss 19,160 [4,190 captured]) to retreat towards Heilsberg.  The French then moved from Wormditt. to Prussian-Eylau and cut the Russian 2nd & 4th Columns main supply line.  The Russians had the intention of not stopping at Heilsberg after Wormditt and continue to Eylau, so the French did not force a retreat on the Russians from Heilsberg as they had hoped but brought the Russians to Eylau earlier that the French would have expected them if the Russians had stopped at Heilsberg.

On the 22nd June the Russian 7th Column attacked the French forces at Graudenz.  The attacked was unsuccessful and the Russians withdraw, leaving General Royuer to continue his blockade of Graudenz.

On this same day the Battle of Prussian-Eylau started with the French I & IV Corps being attacked by the Russian 2nd and 4th Columns.  This was a hard fought action but the French had to withdraw a few miles when the Russian Army of Moravia arrived from the east which exposed the French left flank and rear.  The Russians moved forward and went into the attack again on the 23rd June.

The second day was every bit has hard fought as the first day.  In the end even with the Reserve Cavalry and Imperial Guard the battle drew to a close with no clear victor.  Napoleon ordered a withdrawal down the two approach roads (to Wormditt. and to Heilsberg) so his corps could rest and refit. Some reserve regiments were moving from Elbing to join Napoleon.

The last action of the campaign (as it turned out) was the Battle of Heiligenbeil fought on the 28th June 1807 with the British Expeditionary Force (30,840) of Lt General William Schaw, Lord Cathcart (this force had landed at Pillau) and the Prussian Corps of Lieutenant General Anton-Wilheim L'Estocq (25,200) for a total of 56,040 against the French VIII Corps of Maréchal Adolphe Mortier (17,315), the Spanish El norte de la División of General Pedro Caro y Sureda, Marques de la Romana (15,360) and the Dutch Korps of General van Kattendijke (15,480) for a total of 48,155.

The Anglo-Prussian forces attacked the Franco-Spanish-Dutch forces in a most vigorous manner.  The Anglo-Prussian commanders knew they had to beat the French and force them to withdraw or else the French would be in a position to invest Konigsberg within a few days and that would be the end for the remaining Prussian forces and probably the embarkation of the British Force and the Russians suing for peace.

The Anglo-Prussian's concentrated their attack against the Spanish and all but destroyed the El norte de la División (losses of 11,565).  But casualties were not light for the VIII Corps (losses 8,255) and the Dutch Korps (losses 6,245) for a total loss of 26,065.  The British lost 10,150 and the Prussian's 5,665 for a total of 15,815.  Such losses speak of the desperate nature of the combat for both sides.  The French had to retreat beyond Braunsberg to Elbing (a main French supply hub) where there was another two French Divisions as well as two divisions at Prussian Holland which could be called to resist and Anglo-Prussian attack on Elbing.

The Anglo-Prussian advance against Elbing now threatened all the French forces.  Napoleon faced allied forces behind his left and right flanks and with the Russian Army of Moravia having joined the Russian 1st Army of Poland plus the arrival of a rebel Austrian Corps at Prussian Eylau to the Emperors' front Bonaparte decided to ask for peace with the allies which meant the loss of the newly created Duchy of Warzaw but only East Prussia and Prussian Poland free of the French.  As for the British, their forces went on to attack Copenhagen and destroy the Danish fleet.

This war is over, for now.

NSWC Campaigns-1805

1805 Austerlitz Campaign

This campaign is being played in 25mm using WRG rules with a few modifications for simultaneous movement. The campaign started off at an historical point in October 1805. We have a variable ratio of troops to figures depending on the number of troops involved in a battle and number of players.

So far we have seen a cautious advance by his imperial highness the Emperor Napoleon into Bavaria. The French and Bavarian cavalry are probing for the Austrian forces under General Major Karl Leiberich von Mack and Archduke Ferdinand which are withdrawing before the French advance, there has been no actions as of and including October13th in Bavaria.
As for the Russians all we know at this time is that they are still advancing towards Bohemia and Bavaria. When will they arrive not even the Austrians know when that will be. General Major Karl Leiberich von Mack hopes it will be soon as the Austrian forces in Bavaria maybe out-numbered and the arrival of the Russians may address the imbalance.

In Italy it has been a different story, the French Army of Italy (VIII and IX Corps) made more aggressive moves against the forces of Archduke Charles (4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Columns), this resulted in a battle at Padua between 30,000 French vs 50,000 Austrians on the 14th October.

The Battle of Padua was a victory for the Austrians forcing the French VIII Corps to retreat towards Legango and its bridge with the Austrian 5th and 8th Columns in close pursuit.  The 5th and 8th Columns attacked the French VIII Corps on the 15th October while the French attempted to cross the river.  The Battle of Legango was another Austrian victory.
Austrian Right at Padua

Austrian Centre advancing

Austrians advancing

Meanwhile, while the battle took place at Padua the French IX Corps at Vicenza moved south to support the VIII Corps. As the French IX Corps withdrew from Vicenza the Austrian 4th Column crossed the bridge and reoccupied Vicenza, this placed the Austrian 4th Column behind the French IX Corps.

Once the French Army of Italy commander released what had happened at Vicenza he ordered the IX Corps north to Verona on the 15th October and thus did not directly support the VIII Corps. 

The Austrian 4th & 6th Columns (this column joined the battle as the day wore on) attacked the French IX Corps at Verona on the 16th October while the French try to withdraw back across the Adige River.  The Battle of Verona was a French success in that it stopped the Austrians crossing the Adige River on the 17th October allowing the IX Corps to get a day ahead of the Austrians and more in a position to help VIII Corps to the south.

The two armies ready and waiting

French defending


Cuirassiers vs Cuirassiers (some Fronk Rank Russians acting as Austrians against some Perry plastic Westphalians acting as French)
While the French VIII and IX Corps sort to extract themselves from a sticky situation in Northern Italy.  The French III Corps ran into the Russians in Bohemia at Klattau on the 26th October.  This was a surprise for the French as they were not expecting the Russians so far West and behind the Army of Germany's left flank.  The main part of the Army of Germany was pursuing the main Austrian army under Mack as it retreated Eastwards drawing the Emperor on as he sort a big battle to crush the Austrian army in Germany before the Russians could help.

The Battle of Klattau was a Russian victory and the French III Corps withdrew Westwards.
French Guard infantry taking a Russian battery

French Guard advancing

Russians defending

French infantry advancing

This campaign ended when Napoleon moved to Italy in his retirement, pity that.