The Battle for Dolitz April 2019, was October 1813

Goldie’s birthday bash war-game has come and sadly gone. The good news is that Prince Poniatowski had some sketches drawn and left some notes of his battle …

Above: looking down the table very early on in the game with the Allied forces starting to appear on the table on the right. The birthday man Goldie himself is seated to the right with Garage Gaming Terry showing a distinct interest in something. Both were honorary Austrians for the day. Rob playing Murat in one of his less flamboyant uniforms can be seen making adjustments to some of the French to the left.

The three urban areas that can be seen are Dolitz (nearest), Dosen and Probstheyda (furthest away).

Poniatowski‘s Polish command can be seen in the foreground of the photo arrayed in accordance with Emperor Russ’s general instructions. Lining the edge of the swamp in skirmish order is a battalion of Poles (dressed in French issued uniforms!). Behind them in line is another Polish battalion – the 1/2nd Polish Infantry who were tasting battle for the first time. The artillery besides the village are the very recently completed 1st Saxon Foot battery (6pdr) “Dietrich” likewise participating in their first battle. The static grass etc had been added to their bases the night before the game. More to come on the battery later. Inside the village of Dolitz were two battalions of the Vistula Legion who don’t show up to their best in this photo! To the rear of Dolitz are two regiments of Polish Uhlans one of which is the 2nd regiment also seeing battle for the first time. So many new units. Would they follow the generally held old wargamers tale of new units breaking and routing at the first opportunity in their first game? Poniatowski certainly hoped not.

The scenario was loosely based on the  Leipzig: The Battle for Dolitz Napoleonic scenario from the Scenarios 6: Imperial Sunset book.

Above: a little after the prior photo. A menacing horde of Austrians seem intent on claiming Dolitz to enhance their property portfolio. The rest of the table contained additional hordes of Austrians, Prussians and Russians appearing to be likewise in the middle of a frothing property acquiring extravaganza.

Above: Prince Poniatowski managed to find the perfect command post for much of the battle. Nice and safe and as an accidental bonus fairly central to the whole of his command! Sadly the Austrians slow but inexorable acquisition of Dolitz made the nice safe command post much less so and a move to the open battlefield became necessary.

Above: the Austrian property magnates have concluded negotiations with a battalion of the Vistula Legion and taken possession of the far half of Dolitz. The expelled Vistula battalion can just be made out at the back of the far side of Dolitz. Not happy with half of Dolitz the Austrians have opened negotiations with the second Vistula battalion for the acquisition of the near half of Dolitz with one of the large Austrian battalions banging on the front door. These negotiations were to prove just as successful with the entirety of Dolitz soon to be part of the Austrian property portfolio. With the transfer of Dolitz to the Austrians looking highly likely the Polish lines have commenced a tactical withdrawal.

Did you know … the round “N” counters denote hits or casualties on a unit as did the square counters for the Austrian units. Most units could sustain three hits before becoming “Shaken”. The Polish infantry were deemed to be tough SoBs and were able to sustain four hits before becoming shaken as were the large Austrian battalions. The smaller rectangular counters denote that a unit is disordered. The independent Polish casualty figure was for decorative purposes only.

Sadly the sketch artist contracted dysentery and so not all the sketches that should have been available are. A quick reading of various regimental histories reveals that …

  • as recounted above both battalions of the Vistula Legion were evicted from Dolitz in a battered state. Yet one of them bravely charged back into Dolitz to support a French battalion charging in from the side. A vicious multi turn melee involving two battalions from each side ensued that turned out quite well for the by now embarrassingly voracious Austrian property magnates.
  • this left both Vistula battalions battered and outside Dolitz. In the last Allied turn a single battalion of Austrian grenadiers spurred on by their leader via a “Follow me” order stormed out of their brigade across seemingly kilometres of the table to melee one of the Vistula battalions. The Poles lost and fled the table. Their supporting Vistula battalion liked not what they observed at all and likewise fled. When the state of the rest of the infantry brigade was assessed – hint: like the fish in Fish & Chips it was  well battered – it was considered to have broken.
  • the cavalry brigade stayed on over watch protective duties. Particularly watching out for any Austrian cavalry shenanigans. Poniatowski had reasoned that any offensive cavalry action would pay limited returns. The swamp was impassable to the cavalry and the large Austrian battalions in the area were a challenging prospect even if they didn’t form square. And if they were forced into square there was no offensive capability in the Polish infantry to take advantage. Perhaps Poniatowski was wrong! With this in mind one of the uhlans regiments was sent off to support the Emperor Russ while the other remained on local overwatch duties to survive the battle without a scratch. The uhlans despatched to the Emperor Russ were not so fortunate … but were surely glorious in their demise.

Above: end of game. The battered but defiant 2 remaining battalions of the now broken Polish infantry brigade. The Saxon artillery battery is still plugging away … even scoring the occasional hit. The edge of the bases to the rear of the artillery belong to the surviving uhlan regiment still on protective duties.

Just like the real Battle of Leipzig in 1813 the Allies had managed to scrape a win across the table … … … by quite a large margin.

As for the new units:

  • the 1st battalion of the 2nd Polish Infantry Regiment received quite a pounding from Austrian artillery and musketry but had survived all Break Tests asked of it. The battalions was still on the table at the end although it was shaken and the brigade broken!
  • the Polish 2nd Uhlans were calmly standing their ground at the end of the game. Their brigade was still in good order, ie. was not broken. Although to be fair they had done nothing other than move about a little and no one had actually tried to harm them. But a regiment can only do what it is asked to do so an official  “well done chaps” to them.
  • the 1st Saxon Foot battery (6pdr) “Dietrich” had likewise survived the battle unscathed though they at least had come under enemy fire. An ugly rumour that the novice gunners ran in fear from the noise every time they fired their cannons was never actually proven and really Poniatowski should not be saying such things about his own troops! 🤣 They even managed to hit the Austrians intermittently.

So all up the new units had proved the old wargamers adage of new units running at the first opportunity to be wrong. At least this time around.

As The dear readers have possibly noticed Poniatowski’s sketch artist never did get to travel far from Poniatowski’s command. Fortunately Garage Gaming Terry is expected to provide an overall – if potentially biased as he was an honorary Austrian for the day! – view of the battle. If it’s not available yet it’s probably not far away.

The game was played during a Wellington Warlords club day using the Black Powder rules.

PS. Prince Poniatowski had the great honour of being played by von Peter himself in the battle!  😃

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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Polish Infantry appear at the front

As recently mentioned von Peter himself has been honoured with an invitation to play in Goldies Birthday Bash Game. It is believed the game will be based on a portion of The Battle of Leipzig 1813 and von Peter himself is to play the part of the Polish Prince Poniatowski. All that crimson in the uniform should go spiffingly well with von Peter’s varicose veins!!

So it is most fortuitous that von Peter himself has recently commenced his recreation of General de division Dombrowski’s independent 27th (Polish) Division of 1813. Admittedly the current roll call of Poles falls a little short of what is required for the game but each individual gamer’s forces will not be large and that gentlemanly Garage Gaming Terry will make up most of the shortfall … in exchange for the use of some Austrian grenadiers. Worringly there is a distinct possibility that this exchange may end up being none too clever as von Peter himself suspects that he may be seeing those same grenadiers up close and personal in the game. But what can one do?!  

The game will see the blooding of the 1st battalion of the 2nd Polish Infantry Regiment recently raised and itching for a fight. It seemed best to present them here before they are shot, bayoneted and sabred in the battle.

The mildly attentive of The dear readers may have noticed the strap of the horsey tack that goes over the horses snout has not been painted black. von Peter himself wishes he had noticed this before taking the photograph and uploading it to the web for the world to see! Easily rectified of course but who knows when – if ever – a replacement photograph will be created.

And what’s a battalion if it doesn’t have any supporting casualties? So here is a supporting casualty.

The figures are Front Rank Figurines. Pigments applied by Nigel Fun-nell. Figure selection, horse pigmentation and basing by von Peter himself. The flag is a GMB Designs product.

A Polish battery is required for Goldies Birthday Bash Game. von Peter himself has the figures for that Polish battery but they are currently firmly entrenched in the unpigmented pile of figures … ummm …. that are kept as a large strategic reserve! 😃 In the fullness of time Nigel Fun-nell – the pigmenter of things Polish to von Peter himself – will get these.

Also squirrelled away were some Calpe Miniatures Saxon foot artillerymen that needed pigmenting so a batteries worth were extracted from that unpigmented pile of figures and pigmenting commenced. Historically the Poles & Saxons had a shared relationship so von Peter himself has no qualms substituting a Saxon foot battery in for a Polish one. Miraculously it looks like the battery will be finished in time for the game. Admittedly there won’t be much time to spare but on present trending it should get there. A work in progress image has been deployed below by way of proof that the artillerymen at least are not just fragments of a fevered imagination. More pretty Saxons … but still in that manly way you understand.

Further details on the Saxon 6pdr foot battery in the future.

Todays top tip: all photographs are clickable for a larger and clearer view.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Varnishgate

The men of the Polish 2nd Uhlans have been sworn in to the Napoleonic Polish Army of von Peter’s himself. But not without incident.  😥

All was well until the penultimate stage of their formation – the varnishing stage. von Peter himself cannot recall ever having problems with varnish before but sadly this is no longer the case. A can of Army Painter “Anti-Shine” was procured and tested and all seemed well. A light spray was applied to the figures as the first of several planned layers … but it soon became evident that not all was well! 💀

On inspection the figures were revealed to be frosted! And what had been smooth surfaces now had a distinctly rough feel to them!! Bad words may have been uttered. This was a first Army Painter purchase and though it may not be the cans fault there will not be a big rush to acquire many more of their products. This is life and death “stuff” we are talking here after all!

Apparently one potential solution is to respray the varnish with the theory being that this will dissolve the applied varnish and all will hopefully dry correctly. von Peter himself was not brave enough to attempt this technique as his first remedy. It was discovered that rubbing a damp finger over the affected areas seemed to slowly remove the varnish or at least improve its looks. So rubbing has been undertaken though a close look at the picture below will reveal that more is required. As evidence see the dusty looks around the front legs of the leading elite uhlan’s horse and the white speckle marks on the neck of his fellow elite uhlan’s horse. A click on the image will reveal the flaws more clearly. More remedial work required.

It’s all a bit of a let down. Sob!

Close inspection of the image below may also reveal a horse without a rider. Uhlan Wolkonski has been delayed in his journey from the recruiting school to the front. He is expected imminently.

Front Rank Figurines figures, GMB Designs flag and pennons, men pigmented by Nigel Fun-nell, horses and basing by von Peter himself. Varnish supplied by Army Painter.

Above: General de brigade Krukowiecki watches the 2nd Uhlans pass through a Russian village.

“Zere iz somezing not quite right vith za men today. Zey seem to lack zeir normal lustre”

More fantasy Arabs

The son & heir has long since returned to Dunedin in preparation for another year of hard working study. At least that is his parents dream – the hard working bit! 😃 Of course there was no room in his luggage for any figures … and of course he wants to continue painting some and even play with them. So von Peter himself carefully packed up some paints and brushes and his Lord of the Rings Haradrim – minus the painted cavalry for which there was no room for such fragile sculpts – and sent them down.

Three of the figures packed and sent were painting in progress Haradrim Abrakhân Merchant Guards. These are big men of fearsome strength if von Peter himself has the fluff understood. They looked interesting so a quick photograph before they disappeared into the box was snapped and here it is …

 

von Peter himself has been invited to a Birthday Bash game in early April – thank you Goldie. The scenario is based on a portion of Leipzig 1813 and von Peter himself is to play the part the Polish Prince Poniatowski. As long as a swim is not required at the end of the game von Peter himself is happy enough with his allocated role. This is especially so as the Poles are currently getting some attention at Neu Schloss von Peter. It may even be that a few Poles will be available to be sourced locally for the game.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

The son & heir – world building

The son & heir has recently – yesterday – vacated Neu Schloss von Peter to return to Dunedin for some work to generate a little of that that all important commodity money in preparation for his 2019 year of study. During the most recent sojourn at Neu Schloss von Peter there was some hobby related activity. Some games were played with friend(s?) and we played a couple of Lord of the Rings games with the spoils spilt with a game apiece.

The son & heir also managed to waft paint brushes and various other modelling implements around while here. The Haradrim Raiders were built and painted as were a few other Haradrim figures which will be unveiled to the world once some photos have been snapped. A box worth of Haradrim warriors were built and the painting started though these are still a work in progress. Yes, fantasy arabs were the theme of the season.

One other hobby undertaking was undertaken. At the commencement of the PRIOR Christmas holiday season a sheet of mdf type board was purchased as The son & heir had urgings to make a terrain board. Over the duration of that holiday season the board was painted top, bottom and sides … and that was it! Apparently the paint needed to be really REALLY dry!

This Christmas holiday season saw further activity. The board was subtly rendered into smaller constituent pieces with the aid of a circular saw! One of these pieces was then plastered, painted, dry brushed with several colours and then static grass applied. The accompanying pictures detail the results.

FYI and FWIW the board is 60cm square. Click the images for larger and clearer views.

 

The logistics of war – Paints

Way back in November 2017 von Peter himself unleashed “WWI exhibition, paints and more“.

The first – and incidental! – update is that the The Great War Exhibition is now sadly permanently closed. von Peter himself had managed to visit the exhibition several times but really should have visited it one more time! A new section was added to the exhibition – The Quinn’s Post Trench Experience. From the official blurb …

Live moment to moment, as the ANZAC troops did in the trenches at Gallipoli, only a bomb’s throw away from the Turks. In this unique re-creation of Quinn’s Post, encounter the noise, the explosions, the stench, the confined environment those men had to deal with during the ferocious struggle between opposing forces. At times confronting, this will be an experience like no other!

von Peter himself has received several reports of the The Quinn’s Post Trench Experience and all were very positive. The son & heir even took a young lady friend along – admittedly a little weird 😀 – and they both enjoyed it. A miss for von Peter himself. Idiot!

The second and primary reason to revisit the old post is to re-examine the economics of New Zealand based von Peter himself sourcing most of paints from Black Hat Miniatures in the UK. To feed the brushes of von Peter himself and The son & heir a delivery of 17 pottles of Coat d’arms paints was received before Christmas. The associated – and inevitable bill 😢 – allowed for a little rudimentary mathematics …

  • the landed cost of an 18ml Coat d’arms pottle – NZD 6.16
  • when sourced from the local Games Workshop store a cheap 12ml pottle of Citadel paint would cost NZD 7.00 … and I would have to go out of my way to visit the shop to procure it … though if I mail ordered over NZD 100.00 worth from Games Workshop I would not be charged a delivery fee
  • when sourced from a local online distributer Mightyape that same 12ml pottle of Citadel paint would cost NZD 6.49 … but then I would need to pay postage on top.

von Peter himself may never get rich on his savings but it appears that a little planning ahead to keep a reserve supply of paints in stock still pays off for the bulk of von Peters paints.

Note that a comparison with Vallejo paints has not been undertaken due to a general idleness and because von Peter himself does not like their eye dropper bottles.

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Send for the 2nd Uhlans

It’s time to unveil the first three – six if you count the horses separately!  😎  – figures for the latest Napoleonic nation to be represented in the stables of von Peter himself. The impending arrival of the Poles of the Duchy of Warsaw has been foreshadowed for a little while and it has finally now begun.

Nap Polish General de brigade Krukowiecki 1

Above: General de brigade Krukowiecki spies out the ground for the following Polish forces

The more dedicated of The dear readers will be aware that the 28mm Napoleonics of von Peter himself are fashioned after the armies of the 1813 campaign. Post the Armistice of Plesswitz to be precise. Further as a dedicated follower of history the various national army contingents are generally collected to replicate actual orders of battle of the period. For the Poles this means the independent 27th (Polish) Division under the command of General de division Dombrowski from around the time of the Battle of Leipzig. A nice compact four battalions and 2 cavalry regiments …

27th (Polish) Division: General de division Dombrowski

  • Brigade: General de brigade Zoltowski
    • 1/2nd Polish Line Regiment
    • 2/2nd Polish Line Regiment
    • 1/4th Polish Line Regiment
    • 2/4th Polish Line Regiment
    • Foot battery
  • 18th Light Cavalry Brigade: General de brigade Krukowiecki
    • 2nd Polish Uhlan Regiment
    • 4th Polish Uhlan Regiment
    • 1st Polish Horse Battery

The 4th Uhlans are interesting in that they were originally the 4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment. In early 1813 they were converted into uhlans. It is the belief of von Peter himself that by Leipzig the unit would have transitioned into its uhlan style uniform. A uniform not quite the same as the usual uhlan uniform. The search for suitable figures continues … sporadically.

To set the Polish ball rolling von Peter himself presents General de brigade Krukowiecki, brave leader of the 18th Light Cavalry Brigade.

Nap Polish General de brigade Krukowiecki 2

Above: General de brigade Krukowiecki has summoned his Aide de Camp to deliver an order – the 2nd Uhlans are to be brought on to the field of battle. The requisitioned trumpeter of the 2nd Uhlans looks on.

The trumpeter of the 2nd Uhlans wears the regimental trumpeters uniform as documented from 1809. Perhaps it would not have survived into 1813 … but perhaps it did! With information a little scant on the ground von Peter himself has ordered that the 1809 uniforms be retrieved from the regimental stores. They’re just too pretty to leave to be eaten by the moths in the stores!  😎

The figures are sourced from Front Rank Figurines. The Poles are a later released line of figures from From Rank and to the eyes of von Peter himself these figures most comfortably sit alongside the Calpe Miniatures figures which are an ever growing proportion of the Napoleonic collection. They also match the other Front Rank figures in the Napoleonic collection!  😀

The chaps were pigmented by Nigel Fun-nell. Horses, choreography and basing by von Peter himself.

Next up will be the 2nd Uhlans. The figures are in hand but their steeds need further work, pennons need hoisting etc. It’s best not to rush these things you know!!

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

The son & heir – raider

It being summer holiday season and nearly Christmas The son & heir has returned from his digs in the student ghetto of Dunedin to remorselessly raid the fridge and other food repositories of Neu Schloss von Peter. This raiding mindset perhaps explains his desire to collect a force of Haradrim from the land of Harad. The more knowledgable of The dear readers will recognise the previous gobbledygook as being of Middle Earth and it’s tales as related in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and other books by J. R. R. Tolkien.

The collecting of the Haradrim – or as von Peter himself prefers the Fantasy Arabs – has commenced with some Haradrim Raiders. These are cavalry armed with either spear or bow.

Above: The Haradrim Raiders living up to their name have raided and torched a building. Being Fantasy Arabs in a fantasy world there is no need to justify desert peoples burning down log cabins better suited to much cold regions. Excellent!  😇

Click the image for an improved view.

The figures are from Games Workshop and as such do not come cheap. But The son & heir is no common or everyday fool. He has used gifted vouchers to get his Haradrim Raiders. His girlfriend – Lord have mercy upon her! 😊 – has supplied more figures as a birthday offering and Christmas will provide Haradrim Warriors as well as mounted & on foot versions of The Betrayer care of The son & heir’s much put upon parents. Truly an evilly raided force!!

von Peter himself is most thankful the The son & heir has been creative. Someone needs to be creative and von Peter himself has not recently been that someone. That is about to change with more than little help from Nigel Fun-nell who has added the sobriquet of “painter of items Napoleonic Polish for von Peter himself” to his name.

And finally the residents of Neu Schloss von Peter would like to sincerely wish all The dear readers a productive and Merry Christmas. Please ensure that you all keep safe.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

L ‘Hotel de Hercé – Mayenne, France

Here is something that may be of interest to The dear readers. Assuming that the The dear readers are not already aware! von Peter himself stumbled across this find and immediately the devious mind began churning scheming thoughts. Locally there are ongoing ruminations regarding a possible trip to Europe … and this is distinctly in Europe.

L ‘Hotel de Hercé in Mayenne, France is that “thing” of interest.

“So what?”  I hear The dear reader may scoff. “Another hotel in France. BORING!”

But consider this …

“Stay in one of our beautifully decorated 18thc panelled guest rooms.

Tour – Book guided day tours, or inclusive holidays & experience the beauty, history food & wine of Pays de Loire.

Relax – The two large 18thc salons, & garden are open to guests to relax read, play games, or socialize over a glass of wine.

Wargames – Guests can book tour plus wargame or, wargames holiday. Guided by your host Matt: for novice’s to experienced players.”

Please read that last sentence again. A wargames holiday! Please check …

And there’s more with historic tours of the area, shopping tours etc.​ It is not impossible that a wife might very plausibly find some of the non wargaming offerings in a picturesque spot in France to be of interest. Hmmm.

There is also a L ‘Hotel de Hercé facebook page for further information.

The hotel has a tag line “Stay – Tour – Relax – Wargame”. So the awkward question remains … why was von Peter himself not told?! And when might Fraulien von Peter herself be told?! Brew-ha-ha.

All photos “borrowed” from the good people of L ‘Hotel de Hercé. It is hoped hoped they don’t mind! The “Napoleonic Era” picture above snagged from a video,

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself