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Saturday, May 10, 2014

1806 Neapolitan Campaign

1806 Neapolitan Campaign

On 9 February 1806, Marshal Masséna as commander of the French Army of Italy (well Joseph Bonaparte was nominal commander, the pattern is set here that would later happen in Spain) invaded the Kingdom of Naples.

King Ferdinand IV of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies had promised to be neutral during the war of the Third Coalition, thus securing Napoleon’s southern flank and his Italian Kingdom.
During the campaign in Germany Napoleon learned of the British and Russians landing troops in the Neapolitan kingdom, thus breaking the kingdoms neutrality (even though Ferdinand confused his blamelessness).

So we start our campaign at this point with the French making the first move on the 9th February 1806 (winter).

The French have three corps I, II and IV Corps (with French and Italian troops) of the Army of Italy with two I & IV in Rome and II Corps in Ancona (however because Ancona does not appear on the map we are using this corps will start at Fermo on the 11th February).

As for the Allies there is the Neapolitan Army (they favour building prepared positions like the Russians) both it’s regulars and militia and well as the British and Russians, there has also been added an Austrian Division (the commander has not received the news of the signing of the Treaty of Pressburg on the 26th December and does not believe the French when they sent the news), so he will fight, for now.

The British and Neapolitans start at Fondi on the west coast (the main theater) on the road from Rome via Terracina via Capua to Naples.

The Russians and Neapolitans are at Pescara on the east coast, with the Austrians with Russian support at Aquila.

The Allies seek to keep the French from over running the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies both the mainland part (Kingdom of Naples) and island part (Kingdom of Sicily).

The French of course want all of both kingdoms as the new Kingdom of Naples for Joseph Bonaparte as King.

The French objectives are on the west coast as follows:

Gaeta Fortress, either capture or blockade.
And the destruction of the Allied forces.

The French objectives are on the east coast as follows:

And the destruction of the Allied forces.

The Allied objectives are to hold the above mention French objectives and the halting and or destruction of the French forces and as a consequence being a threat to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

The rules we are using for this campaign are Blackpowder.
The average size infantry units will be 16-24 (4-6 bases) figures
Small is under 16 (4) and Large over 24 (6) figures.
The average cavalry units will be 9-18 figures.
Small is under 9 and Large is over 18 figures.
Batteries are under BP a single gun & crew.
What we will have is 1 gun & crew represent 6 gun batteries
2 guns & crew represent 8 gun batteries
3 guns & crew represent sent 12 & 14 gun batteries.

There will be Victory Points (VP) for battle field objectives as well as for units removed from the field by shooting or hand-to-hand but not for shaken units.
The event cards will also be used.

There are only two players doing the map moves
French  - Robert
Allied    - Steve M

Infantry move at 10 miles per day max
Cavalry move at 20 miles per day max
Couriers move at 40 miles per day max
 These movement rates will be halved in bad weather.

While French units will be represent by French figures
Italian units by Italian where we can and Westphalian to make up when needed.
British units by British figures.
Russian units by Russian figures.
Austrian units by Austrian figures.
Neapolitan units by Spanish & Austrian figures (as this army modeled it’s uniforms after Austria and Spain).

This campaign should not be over long.

The first battle took place at the club on the 18th May 2014.
Campaign time 15th February 1806.


There have four battles so far with the French winning the first three battles and tactical draw on the fourth.
The next game will take place at Salerno for the February 2015 game day.

Battle of Fondi

Battle of Santi

Austrian infantry charging French Grenadiers on the Allied right flank

Battle of Pescara

Friday, March 14, 2014

NSWC 1812 Peninsula Campaign

The Peninsula 1812

Well it is now very close to getting this campaign going (March 2014), the guys seem keen to start our Duke of Wellington is writing orders and I hope the French and Spanish commanders are preparing their orders as well.

The troops involved are all those owned by the players when the campaign starts as well as any new formations during the campaign (these new ones will start at their respective headquarters.

I will be the Umpire and my growing Westphalian Corps is in the campaign plus some Brunswick Hussars and some Portuguese infantry, my pontoon train will become Westphalian (this will be a shock to the Allied commander).

See below.

The Peninsula Campaign 1812

The Earl of Wellington (Wellesley) started 1812 with the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo on January 19-20 1812 (unfortunately the army sacked the city).

Wellington then retired to Fuente Guinaldo and stayed until March. 

At the beginning of March 1812 Wellington moved quickly against Badajoz with 25,000 troops, the fortress was defended by General Philippon and 5,000 men (French, Germans and Spaniards).  The Anglo-Portuguese army crossed the Guadiana River on the 14th March.  Operations against Badajoz started on the 17th March, Generals Hill, Graham and Villemur were out entertaining and dancing with d’Erlon and Soult, leaving Wellington in peace to take Badajoz.  The city was stormed on the 6th April after which followed at least a day of rampage by the half crazed survivors of the attacking forces.

Soult’s advance for the relief of Badajoz was too late.  Wellington now controlled all the fortress (Spanish and Portuguese) covering the main invasion routes into Portugal from Spain and vis-à-vis, this also secured Wellington’s supply lines.

Now Wellington could advance into Spain and take on the Army of Portugal on his (Wellington) own terms in French territory, the war had changed, now, no matter what happened the Anglo-Portuguese-Spanish forces could win out or so it seemed.This is where we will start our campaign from 1st May 1812.The Duke of Wellington with his Anglo-Portuguese Army, supported by some Spanish divisions (Morillo and Penne Villemur - 1st Army) vs. Marmont (the Spanish General Mendizbal giving problems) with the Army of Portugal and Soult’s Army of the South (which is tied down opposite Cadiz and keeping the Spanish (Ballesteros 2nd Army) out of Sevilla, so this army may or may not have too much of a role but is an interesting distraction for both).  The King of Spain, Joseph and the Army of the Centre have their problems with Empecinado to the south (calling this 4th Army).It has been agreed that the troops involved within this campaign are those that are owned and supplied (painted) by the participating players (Austrians will also act as Spanish if needed). Any units painted or purchased painted after the start of the campaign will be placed in the HQ of the nominated army.  These (new) units can only march to join their respective army and or corps once there is a minimum sized brigade (of type) assembled (if the HQ is evacuated because of enemy presence etc, these units can be moved if required).
Paul B -           King of Spain and C-in-C – At Madrid
Roy     -           French Army of the Centre- HQ Madrid
Robert            -           French Army of Portugal-HQ Valladolid
Michael-         French Army of the South-HQ Sevilla
Don     -           British C-in-C Anglo-Portuguese Army & Spanish Armies-HQ Almeida
Jason  -           British General Hill-HQ Badajoz
Paul C            -           British General Graham-HQ 
Andrew-         Spanish 1st Army attached to Wellington-HQ
David  -           Spanish 4th Army, in the Centre-HQ Chinchilla
Bryan -           Spanish 2nd Army, in the South-HQ Cordova
From Oman’s History of the Peninsula War, general map in Volume One.
Please have printed in A3 colour and laminated.
Formation Sizes
Tabletop Rules
This may not be to the satisfaction of everyone but there are a number of views on which are the best rules, and that will not change, we have to agree to disagree here.  My compromise is using two sets of rules one everyone is familiar with and the other will become familiar or more familiar (depending how much you have played them already) with over time, but given the more limited scope of this campaign rule set number two may not be used that often.
There will be objectives on the tabletop there will also be event cards some good some not so good this depends on which side you are on at the time the card is played.
1)                  WRG for up too about a corps size force (with the required NSWC amendments).
2)                  Blackpowder for multiple corps (on at least one side) size forces, possibly with some amendments.
3)                  The troops will use the WRG point system.
4)                  We will included a force break point system where by the number of dead and routing units starts to get to high the commander will have to throw a die to see if his force breaks (this will mean that all routing units can not be rallied and more difficult for the remainder of the army to not rout).
5)                  There will be a 50% rule whereby when a unit reaches less than 50% of it’s starting strength (at beginning of the battle) it is unsteady and will rout if it fails any morale test.
6)                  For battlefield victory conditions where there is the ABP (Army Break Point-this does not mean the army will rout it will be harder for formations to stand) the ABP is also based upon the overall morale rating of the formation (easier to reach ABP for Raw than Veteran formations. The battlefield objective will have a points value system, this will help determine victor and defeated. I say help in establishing winner and loser as there may be a situation where side ‘A’ has lost more, troops than side ‘B’ but could still be the victor because they achieved their battlefield goal which maybe physical on the field as well as tactical within the campaign.
7)                  Battlefield commanders will write a general order for the game, objective/s etc. This order cannot be to general in aspect.
8)                  All Line troops will start off as Raw/Green, All Guard troops (Except French Old Guard and British Guard) will start off as Veteran, the French Old Guard and British Guard will start as Elite. WRG rules do not prohibit Unsteady/Raw troops from charging but NSWC amendments do (a unit must be steady/rallied to initiate a charge) but for this campaign all troops that are classed as Raw because they are yet to have an experience defining battle can charge (but remember they are Raw).
9)                  The Raw troops will fight 1 action as Raw and become trained from the 2nd action, then the trained become Veteran from their 4th action (the Umpire, see CMG, will let you know). Spanish will add one action, so 2nd becomes 3rd (this does not include the Spanish 1st Army under British direct control).
10)              The Veteran Guard will fight 2 actions as Veteran and become Elite from the 3rd action (for Spanish see above). The Elite (French Old Guard and British Guard) fight 2 actions as elite and then become Elite Veteran from the 3rd action.
11)              The Umpire will produce the Orbats and email them to the players.
12)              All Orders after the first General Orders (issued by the C-in-C’s) will be emailed to the Umpire as an attached Word document (examples will be sent). The Umpire will then send to the receiver player at the appropriate campaign date.
This is the list of formations and their respective HQs’
On the Map.
Dark red roads are the main roads can support a corps size force all the time, multiple corps for about 4-6 days.
Green dot roads are the secondary, can support a reinforced division all the time and a corps for about 4 – 6 days.
Main Rivers are in Dark Blue, secondary rivers are black and treated as streams on tabletop.
Rivers can only be crossed by bridge where a road crosses the river.
Capital cities in Red and Towns are marked.
Guns: A couple of players are already moving to having their guns glued on bases with the crew also glued to the base, it is therefore decided that all guns have 4 crew with no less than two crew figures glued on a gun base (players can still use four figures per gun), die to be used to indicate crew losses and to save having dice against each gun a gun base is removed once 4 crew have been lost to the battery/company (this will also apply to those players that do not have guns and crew glued to the base). If the battery routs we turn the guns (this to see if the guns are captured or not by the end of the day) around and all crew are assumed to have routed off table.

An infantry brigade is 3-6 battalions
An infantry division is 2-3 brigades
A cavalry brigade is 2-3 regiments
A cavalry division is 2-3 brigades
A corps 2-3 infantry & 1-2 cavalry divisions (you may want to decrease infantry and increase cavalry, so you can mix it about, that is why the range)
An army, two or more corps, these can concentrate for no more than 4 days for supply reasons for the French and up to six days for Anglo-Portuguese in Portugal and 4 in Spain (Spanish stole from everyone).
A reinforced infantry division 2-3 infantry brigades & a cavalry brigade.

March Rates

20 miles a day for infantry and foot artillery (20mm on an A3 map)
30 miles a day for cavalry & horse artillery (30mm on an A3 map)
10 miles a day for transport & siege trains. (10mm on an A3 map)
Formations will be moved at the speed of the slowest unless stated otherwise.

Watch this space for updates. I do not tend to place new posts every-time I tend to up date the post when needed.