Hear ye, hear ye … Calpe October update

It was with the greatest of pleasures that von Peter himself spotted an update to the listings for the Saxons on the website of his favourite manufacturer Calpe Miniatures. And then on the following day joy of joys his pleasures were multiplied with the discovery of an update in the News section providing some information concerning the future of Calpe Miniatures. The world needs to know.

Saxon listings updates

  • New March Attack Saxon have been released. These have been re-sculpted due to damage to the original masters. There are quite a few figures spread across the various packs. The recreation of this part of the range must have been a somewhat galling exercise!
  • pack S51 – Four Saxon musketeers, prone casualties. These are the first prone Saxon casualties and von Peter himself will be needing several packs of them as they get used as casualty markers during games.

  • while not new listings many of the current listings have had their associated images updated with painted figures – front & back. If nothing else these provide a wonderful painting guide.
  • there are new images of painted units sprinkled through the figure listings and also repeated in the gallery. See the …. errr … “borrowed” image of the Grenadier Battalion Spiegel 1813 at the bottom of this post.

Above: additional painted images – front & back – have been added to Saxon listings

 

Calpe News

And then there was the new News item “October Update” which von Peter himself will fully recreate here for the education, entertainment and pure excitation of The dear readers

October Update

I have finally managed to finish the new march attack Saxon Musketeers as you can see from the updated website. I must admit that the multiple head variations – covered, uncovered and calfskin covers – make the Saxons a bit of a pain but the end result is worth it. I have been asked many times now why these new march-attack figures were necessary when the old SM codes were such nice figures. I’ll explain one last time. The original master mould for the SM codes was damaged by a defective vulcaniser (mould making machine), making new production moulds a tricky proposition. I decided some time ago that the best option was to remake the figures – and here they are! Hopefully I can now turn my back on this and move on with the Saxon range. The next set of releases will be the Saxon musketeer skirmish line or firing line figures. The ‘dressed dollies’ for these are complete and I hope to have the first pack of completed figures ready by the end of next week. I will not release these until the set is complete – probably before Christmas at some point. If things go well, I also hope to have some skirmishing Grenadiers and the light infantry firing line ready for release at that point. 

New to the website is the ‘Items For Sale’ section. Some of the items in this section will be painted battalions of my figures that I no longer require in my collection. Others are higher value items such as the SM moulds together with a variety of master moulds made for this set of figures.  At the time of writing, I am not sure what form this new section will take as it is still in the hands of my website designer.  The important thing is that it will be a new feature of the website. 

I am now in my 60s and quite keen to pass on some of the skills in the trade that I have acquired in the last 25 years. I am looking for figure designers who want to ‘learn the trade’ or update their skills.

Although my intention is to continue producing figures in metal, recent ‘experiments’ in digital design have convinced me that a tie in between traditional sculpting and digital sculpting is the way forward. I do not have the time to properly develop my digital sculpting skills – I recently found a large part of my day disappearing  (pleasurably but unproductively) while dabbling in this medium (zbrush). I need to find competent digital designers to work with to develop this side of the production process. Particularly the hard surface design work necessary for the production of guns and field equipment. I am fluent in Spanish and am reliably informed that over 60% of the world’s population have a working knowledge of either English or Spanish.  This gives me a fairly substantial catchment area for finding new sculptors, traditional or digital.

If you are a traditional figure sculptor or a digital figure designer send me an email to peter@calpeminiatures.co.uk  – in English or Spanish, and I’ll take it from there. Please don’t phone as I am frequently in my workshops where no phones are allowed. If you have absolutely no sculpting talent but know someone who does, please pass on the message!

Finally, thank you all for your continued support.

Peter

The news of the approaching firing line figures is great, especially of the light infantry for von Peter himself who has developed the habit of portraying his high infantry battalions as firing lines.

The revelations re digital sculpting will warrant keeping an eye on the happenings in that direction … though it is the end result that von Peter himself is really interested in. It is hoped that any digital sculpting will not remove the Calpiness of the end result. Then again perhaps digital sculpting may remove the problem of defective vulcanisers destroying masters and necessitating the resculpting of figures!

And finally such a shame that von Peter himself is so totally devoid of any sculpting talent and is so far from Harpenden in Hertfordshire. It seems that a trainee Calpe artisan he is not set to be!  👀

Above: Grenadier Battalion von Spiegel 1813 as painted within the walls of Calpe Towers. This unit is on the ‘to paint’ list for von Peter himself. There will be no comparison images ever presented on this here blog!!  😃  Click for a larger image.

 

It’s all too much excitement for a self confessed Calpe zealot.  😇

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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Valleyboy’s lament

Possibly because The family does not get up there very often The family still retains some friendships around the Tauranga area of New Zealand. With The son & heir due back at Neu Schloss von Peter for one of the seemingly incessant holiday breaks to his tertiary education the decision was taken to lumber him with responsibility for the dog and the house and flee to the supposedly sunny north** – in this case meaning Tauranga and surrounds – for a few days rest & relaxation. The question to be answered – could the friendships survive actual face to face meetings?  😇

** ‘supposedly’ because the weather in the home base of Wellington was better than that in Tauranga and surrounds during the visitation. Typical!

Many thanks to those who put us up by providing accomodation … or just put up with us! But those poor souls are of no interest to The dear readers here on a wargaming blog. We will be focussing on the re-aquaintence with one Kerry T – aka Valleyboy – and also Anthony M.

In which von Peter himself gets educated, well provisioned and generally spoilt at Valleyboys ranch

Some history: von Peter himself had made Kerry’s and Anthony’s acquaintance over the internet on some forum or other. Some years ago the North Island Wargames Convention was held in Tauranga. The Republic to Empire Napoleonic rules had not long been out and Kerry and Anthony – both living in/around Tauranga – were going to be hosting a two day game utilising said rules at said convention. Craig and von Peter himself travelled up from Wellington to take part in the game. Friendships were formed.

Kerry and his better half Nicki have built themselves a swanky home on a lifestyle block near Tauranga. Designed as a four bedroom house it is in actuality a three bedroom plus wargaming room house. Brilliant! It was to this room that von Peter himself was invited for a game come lesson of General d’Armee using a small portion of the in-house 15mm armies. Kerry favoured his guest by deploying a Prussian army for him to use while Kerry fielded French. The Prussian army was larger but contained some landwehr rated as recruits. In contrast the French fielded a smaller force but contained more veteran / elite units. Unfortunately we had to abandon the game with quite a bit of play still in it because dinner guests arrived. But von Peter himself enjoyed the game and Kerry had managed to impart quite a lot of information re the rules. Some images with accompanying commentary from the game …

Above: the table with the troops deployed. Brave freedom fighting later Napoleonic Prussians to the left. To the right are the troops of the would be continuing oppressors – the French. Note the reflection of the photographer in the large central picture on the back wall. Artistry at its finest!

Above: a couple of moves into the game. In the foreground the Prussian cavalry brigade of a kuirrassiere and a dragoon regiment are trying to get the jump on the hopefully outmatched French light cavalry brigade of a hussar and a chasseur a cheval regiment. The French have spotted this ploy and have activated their reserve heavy cavalry brigade of two cuirassier regiments which have made alarming progress to the scene thanks to the cunning use of ADCs to spur their forward march.

Above: a few turns in on the Prussian left. The Prussian battery deployed next to the hill in the distance have been distracted from causing pain and suffering on their opposites by the posturing of a French light cavalry brigade. Battalions have been rushed to shore up the artillery’s position and the reserve brigade of one uhlan regiment and one horse battery – to the left of the image – have been despatched in their general direction.

In the end the French cavalry felt it had to charge the guns in a now or never move. An interesting touch and go situation spiced up with a generous helpings of canister and supporting infantry fire had the cavalry failing to charge home. A pass for the rules. As an amusing finale to this action we then realised that the cavalry brigade was “Hesitant” and therefore the cavalry charge could not have taken place! Mine ever gracious host Kerry pronounced that the result should stand as a monument to some steadfast military actions from both sides.

Above: the scene on the Prussian right at the same time as the previous image. By one of those gruesome military coincidences the artillery of both sides lined up opposite one another … and then proceeded to target each other in a most sanguine manner. All very pleasing to the infantry in the area one imagines!  😃

Above: the centre of the battle lines. From the Prussian perspective the damaged building – damned French vandalism! – separates a brigade of four recruit classed landwehr battalions to the left and a regular brigade to the right. von Peter’s original cunning plan was to hold the landwehr back a little but during the course of the battle an opportunity seemed to arise where the brigade might be able to gang up on a single French battalion deployed in line. Nothing ventured nothing gained and in the interests of giving the rules a decent run through the landwehr were duly launched in the general direction of the French battalion. The canny Marshal Kerry divined the Prussian plan and prepared to launch a spoiling attack on the landwehr with some of his infantry. This image shows the situation before the action ‘went down’. The French battalion with the blue ‘1’ die behind it charged the landwehr battalion to it’s front. The landwehr’s musketry failed to halt the Frenchmen and they were pushed back taking the (rear) supporting landwehr battalion with them. This left just one landwehr battalion – with another in support – to charge the French battalion in line. You can just see the lead landwehr battalion besides the command stand on the left of the image. Sadly this depleted force proved insufficient to move the Frenchmen.

FYI the little numbers on display keyed the units to a printed order of battle which greatly aided any players … cough  cough von Peter himself … who may not have been familiar with the model army they commanded.

Above: The Prussian Silesian Cuirassier – Prussian unit of the day. They spent much of the game involved in charges, counter charges or melees. They saw off two light cavalry regiments and a French cuirassier regiment and were still in play – if a little battered – when the game was called. And all this despite von Peter himself playing them as regulars rather than the veterans they should have been for most of the game! D’oh!! The supporting dragoons in their brigade could only sit back and applaud!

Not that luck has much to do with it but Kerry is a truly lucky wargamer to have his dedicated wargames room. Included in the room is a cunningly designed wargames table that shrinks & expands as required and provides copious storage for armies and terrain. Also included is a glass display case for the flaunting of a small portion of Kerry’s impressive painting output. The images below hopefully give a flavour of the mighty fine toys historic replicas currently on display. More and better – d’oh! – images on Kerrys blog.

Above: an overview of the display case

Above: Seven Years War Prussians. What a sensible man that Kerry is!  😃

Above: a shelf of Napoleonic Poles underneath a shelf of Napoleonic French

von Peter himself mentioned the post game dinner for a reason. It was wonderful. Mrs Valleyboy – Nicki – produced a gourmet meal that was consumed with great enthusiasm by all present … as was the fine wine selection!  🥂  All present included the additional dinner guests Fraulien von Peter herself, Anthony from that first game all those years ago and his wife Karen. A great evening that has left the residents of Neu Schloss von Peter well and truly indebted.

Die Kriegskunst 2

“Die what?” I hear the less well travelled Dear reader exclaim. Die Kriegskunst are a set of rules based on the General de Brigade rules for gaming the (European hosted?) battles of the Seven Years War.

It appears that there is to be a Seven Years War version of General d’Armee by the author of  Die Kriegskunst – Angus Konstam.

From the beginnings of a game report

This week we were off to High Germany, for our first proper playtest of Die Kriegskunst 2, or Son of Kriegskunst, or whatever we’re going to call it. Essentially the rules are a modified version of Dave Brown’s General d’Armee, with a lot of the original Die Kriegskunst thrown into the pot.

The SYW figures of von Peter himself have lain dormant for a while now. Hmmm! Play testing is expected to run “well into next year”.

 

Perry Napoleonic Swedes

From the latest Perry Miniatures newsletter …

Alan has started work on the Swedish Napoleonic Army and these are the first greens.  He is concentrating on the 1808-9 period first but will cover earlier and later uniforms too.

From the viewpoint of von Peter himself the later uniforms sound like the favoured 1813  period will be covered for anyone who would like to raise some of Bernadotte’s Swedes for the Allied Army of the North. Not that Bernadotte ever really put them in harms way as he played his own longer game in 1813.

 

Garage Gaming Terry’s Wagram II update

The one time Archduke Charles has posted another missive on the Wagram II game imaginatively entitled Wagram 1809 – Part 2.

 

A Clash of Eagles

As to that Garage Gaming Terry – von Peter himself has within the last hour or two exchanged military goods with him. From von Peter himself to Garage Gaming Terry went a set each of Austrian and Russian dice from Dice of War. Coming back the other way was a copy of the recently released A Clash of Eagles from Warlord Games. The latter is the Black Powder supplement covering the 1812 campaign in Russian. Some of the The dear readers may have a passing familiarity with that campaign!  😃

I’s a reasonably hefty publication coming in at 200 pages. A quick flick reveals …

  • an overview off the campaign
  • overviews of the armies involved including many of the French ‘allies’ that provided components to the Grand Army
  • some new rules for Black Powder
  • six scenarios and ideas for pick-up games
  • army lists
  • Appendix 1: An overview ofNapoleonic warfare
  • Appendix 2: Bibliography
  • lots of wargames porn – pictures of gaming figures and units.

The author is Adrian McWalter. von Peter himself believes that the is is very same Adrian McWalter who authored the Napoleonic rule set Over the Hills and the Napoleonic skirmish rule set Forager. A man of many talents and activities our Adrian!  😃

von Peter himself looks forward to disagreeing with some of the content re nationality and unit ratings etc. von Peter himself always does find something to disagree with and this keeps him most happy and content!!  😇

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Snippets #6

The third post in a calendar month. An outstanding effort … even if von Peter says so himself.  😃

 

Trees

von Peter himself has ‘grown’ his first pack of 4Ground trees. For the record the pack was “4 Young Chestnut Trees”. Some lessons were learned along the way. Nothing major and mostly to do with the holes on the optional sabot base and the plastering around them. Hopefully the building of the  next packs will benefit from the  learnings.

The plastic branches are bendable so the shape of the tress can be modified. In this pack there were two larger trees of approximately 11.5cm and two smaller of approximately 9.5cm.

Above: three of the young chestnut trees in their sabot base and one individualist who is not.

 

Wagram II – the game that keeps giving

Archduke Charles – aka Garage Gaming Terry – has posted a couple items regarding the Wagram II game on his a Garage Gaming Terry blog with more planned. To date he has created …

There are more articles to come.

And then there were a couple more photographic recreations of the Wagram II game …

Above: This picture shows the extent of GdK von Peter himself Freidrich Hohenzollern’s Austrian II Army Corps. Oh … and the bodies in the background are the Saturday Wagram II crew. Motley covers it!  😃  Photo care of John H.

Above: a shameful scene from the Sunday. Two Saxon battalions in front of Austrian artillery – and the rest of the Austrian army! – being used as some sort of ablative armour for the ‘brave’ French troops wearing bear skins behind them. The 1/Prinz Maximilian Infantry Regiment – white flag with red border – appears to be formed in some sort of square arrangement while the 2/von Rechten Infantry Regiment – yellow flag – is in line. Yet more shoddy treatment of the Saxons by their French allies / overlords!  ⚠️  Photo care of John H.

 

Eagle dice

Yet more dice have arrived at Neu Schloss von Peter from the dice peddlers at Dice of War. The drip feed of national dice continues with eagles being the theme this time around. Austrian dice in yellow and Russian dice in green.

Bavarian and Polish dice are left to collect for the armies with barracks at Neu Schloss von Peter. The completist in von Peter himself is singing a rather fetching and compelling song. The completist is obviously a stark raving mad thing …. but von Peter himself is a grown man who plays with toy soldiers so don’t write off the chances of seeing pictures of Bavarian and Polish dice on this here blog. We loves getting pressies in the mail we do!!  😇

 

If von Peter himself can get the photography sorted there will be a “The Heroes of Wagram” or some such presentation upcoming. This will present the newly formed Austrian troops recruited for the Wagram games and perhaps some of the refurbished troops as well. But hopefully not next time. Next time von Peter himself will be reporting on an event he is very much looking forward to. Hopefully!

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Wagram II

Wagram II has come and gone. Gone several weekends ago in actuality. von Peter himself really should write up something about it!

Why Wagram II? Because Wagram I had been fought a few weeks prior. If this is news to The dear reader then details can be found here. Wagram II was enlarged in almost all respects over Wagram I …

  • Paul W had confirmed his particular brand of madness by expanding his custom terrain
  • more units had been added
  • the game was to be played over two days rather than just the one
  • more terrain and more units of course meant more players.

For the record Wagram II was played over the weekend of the 5 & 6 August 2017 at the Wellington Warlords annual Call to Arms convention in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wagram II may have been scheduled for two days but von Peter himself was scheduled for Day 1 – Saturday – only. von Peter himself would be reprising his GdK Freidrich Hohenzollern role as commander of the Austrian II Army Corps. It was fervently hoped that at the end of Day 1 there would still be a II Corps to hand over to Ray H who would take over on Day 2. Fortunately only a single battalion had been lost from II Corps by the time of the hand over. Admittedly some of the other units were a little battle worn … but this was war. What does one expect?!  😇

Above: the extension to the playing surface at the extreme right of the Austrian line. A burnt out Aspern at the near table edge and Essling at the far edge are on display. The scene before the battle commenced.

Above: The extreme left of the Austrian line shows more additional real estate in the environs of Markgrafneusiedl. This image from the end of day 1 – Saturday. The gentleman stooped over the table is Garage Gaming Terry who herded the cats to make the game an actuality. Most people had already left the convention for the day. Only a few fools left!  😃

Above: early action in the environs of Markgrafneusiedl. Grouchy – Brian S – commanded the troops at this extreme end of the French line and by all accounts his command rolls were the worst ever seen by the the surrounding players. Failed command rolls and blunders were to be Grouchy’s constant companion over the two days of the game. It is to Grouchy’s great personal credit that he suffered these continual disruptions to his plans with good humour and sangfroid. A fine example of gaming etiquette to us all.

And before any unfortunate rumours should start the stain / wet patch on the table between the opposing lines was a donation from a spectator who leaned over the tale with his cup of coffee!  ☕️  🚫

Some more pictures from the end of Day 1 …

Above: the French have finally claimed Markgrafneusiedl at the bottom left of the photo though the tower remains Austrian territory. The fall of Markgrafneusiedl has meant that  the adjoining French have begun their attacks over the stream.

Above: the central battlefield. One of the first actions in this sector was the powerful French cuirassier command blundering and disappearing off the back of the table … and not coming back until near the end of Day 1! Shame!!  😃  Rumours circulated around the Austrian command that many a French brigade had been chewed up and spat off the table in this sector.

Above: Aspern has just been reclaimed for France. The Austrians had made a lightening raid down the table to claim Aspern despite the off board French batteries from across the Danube. Napoleon released several formations including the Bavarians, cavalry and some guard artillery from his reserve to hold and then push back the brave Austrians. Not that Archduke Charles was as thrilled as one might expect. The charge down to Apsern had meant charging past the open flank of the main French line. A quick left turn and an even quicker piling into that open flank had been the Archduke’s plan! The joys and unpredictability of multi player gaming.  😃

Unfortunately this is where the photography ends. von Peter himself arrived near the end of Day 2 to see the final moves – and recover his figures! – but there was an almighty rush to pack away the figures, terrain and tables once the final dice had been rolled.

From the keen observations of von Peter himself throughout Day 1 the game had been a success on several levels …

  • the game had spurred on the painting output of several gamers
  • there seemed to be many gamers having fun playing the game and the related social intercourse
  • quite a few spectators spectated over the game. Some making multiple visits to keep abreast of the proceedings. Some were even lucky enough to engage in verbal dialogue with von Peter himself and they were universally complimentary in their comments.

As to the result … not that it really matters with the hobby being the winner etc etc etc. Once the points for brigades lost, commanders lost, terrain features lost and held had been totted up the Austrians were ahead by a whole 3 points. Given the scale of the game this was an amazingly close result and some would argue not without reason – and mostly with a French accent! – that it really was a draw. There are many reasons to agree with such a politically correct sentiment but we – the victorious Austrians – know differently!!  🏆  😃

Idiots corner – the latest rendition

So there was von Peter himself on the Saturday morning of the game all ready to travel from New Schloss von Peter to the field of battle. Those unbearable over reaching and overly smug French required a damned good kicking for the honour and glory of Austria. They were due! von Peter himself was planning to do his bit by (hopefully!) holding his portion of the line whilst other Austrian commanders garnered the glory by crushing their opponents … or at least not suffering too severely. It’s always good to have a plan!

Fraulien von Peter herself had most kindly “volunteered” to play the part of the Austrian Transport Corps and deliver von Peter himself, troops and assorted supplies to the venue. The carriage car was loaded and we were all set to leave on the big military adventure. But something didn’t quite feel right. von Peter himself set his sights on a quick final check inside New Schloss von Peter to make sure that nothing had been inadvertently overlooked. However upon trying to reenter New Schloss von Peter the evil and apparently French sympathising Keela – the local Irish Terrier of ever growing ill repute – managed to escape her incarceration and make a dash for freedom or at least the grounds of New Schloss von Peter. After much cursing and cajoling the errant still a puppy thing was finally restored to the prison that is the inside of New Schloss von Peter. Crucially no check had been made of the internals of New Schloss von Peter. (The Keela thing could now relax. Her job was complete. Surely that Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur would now be hers!)

“Have you quite finished and can we get going?” enquired the uppity transport driver Fraulien von Peter herself. She had many plans for her day once she had divested herself of her toy soldier playing spouse. A still muttering von Peter himself clambered into the carriage car and good time was made to the venue as we beat the worst of the traffic. A quick unloading of the contents of the carriage car and a much relieved Fraulien von Peter herself finally made her escape to her own day.

After some obligatory socialising – well you’ve got to really don’t you – the task of unpacking and setting up the troops began. This was going swimmingly with the usual associated banter until someone asked for von Peters Austrian dragoons that they were to command. Immediately von Peter himself had a good old fashioned heart stopping “Oh bugger!” moment. The tray of Austrian cavalry had not made it into the carriage car. The Austrians would be down a unit each of hussars and dragoons … and two units of kuirassiers!

On the plus side of the ledger the evil Keela had been outed as a French agent by her dastardly actions of distraction. On the minus side those four Austrian cavalry units were required to help see off the French and their minions.

In the end all was put to rights. The cavalry literally came riding to the rescue thanks to the good offices of transport driver Fraulien von Peter herself who wasted a further two hours of her finely tuned day on an extra return journey in an ever increasing morass of traffic to the venue. Not that she was totally happy about it. Not that you could blame her. A big thank you to the Austrian transport drivers who put in a battle saving performance on the day.

Now … where did that Keela get to? We have some business to discuss … again!!!  🐕  🚫

If any more pictures of Wagram II come to light they may get posted in the future. And there is an accumulation of bits and pieces that await dissemination that similarly await a future post. For now this is von Peter himself signing off.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Wagram

Perhaps The dear reader has heard of the Battle of WagramGarage Gaming Terry has and it has long been his dream to refight the battle with massed gaming pieces shaped and pigmented so as to present themselves as replicas of the men of that era.

For the less learned of the readership the Battle of Wagram was fought between Napoleon’s French and Allied Army and the Austrians under Archduke Charles over the two days of 5 & 6 July, 1809. On the second day of the battle fearing the deteriorating situation the Austrians withdrew their army.

To counteract the French (slight) superiority in numbers, their advantage in command and control and slight advantage in the quality of their units (on average) Garage Gaming Terry had devised some evil schemes to make the game a little more interesting. Chief amongst these was the probability that in the refight Archduke John would put in an appearance with some(?) of his troops to give that French Emperor another element in the battle to process and deal with. Likewise elements of the Austrian V Corps were likely to arrive in contradiction to the occurrences back in 1809.

Somewhere along the line one of the Garage Gamers – Paul W – announced that he would make custom terrain for the battle. This was of course quite crazy. The sheer size of the table, the long hours of thankless work, the cost of the materials, the storage and the transportation. The man’s obviously a certifiable lunatic but as the pictures show he delivered. A first for von Peter himself – playing on custom built terrain for the battle. Luxury.

Above: Paul W’s custom built terrain prior to being sullied by the presence of the two armies. Photo care of John H.

Once again von Peter himself was summoned forth to don the white and red – and black and gold and green plume and … … … – of an Austrian general’s uniform. GdK Freidrich Hohenzollern commander of the II Army Corps was the part to be played. Closer inspection of his command revealed …

  • an Advanced Guard Brigade lead by Siegenthal of
    • 8th Jäger battalion (which was promptly substituted with a battalion of Grenzer as von Peter himself has pigmented Grenzer but his jagers remain unpigmented)
    • a battalion of Archduke Charles Legion (Landwehr)
    • Vincent Chevaulagers (which were promptly substituted for by von Peter’s Hessen-Homburg Hussars)
  • an Infantry Division lead by FML Thomas Brady
    • 5 large line battalions
    • 2 landwehr battalions
    • 2 batteries
  • an Infantry Division lead by FML Josef Ulm
    • 5 large line battalions
    • 1 landwehr battalion
    • 2 batteries

Hohenzollern’s job – hold the escarpment behind the Russbach Stream and associated swampiness from the town of Wagram on the right flank to just past the village of Baumersdorf on the left flank where a junction was made with the Rosenberg’s IV Army Corps who were holding the village of Markgrafneusiedl against Davout. Ominously Oudinot’s troops could be seen across the stream opposite II Corps.

Scenes from before the storm

Some images taken just prior to the first shots being fired. The sharp eyed may notice the occasional Prussian battery or battalion. The needs of the game were vast and the local resources not quite up to those needs despite some valiant efforts with paint brushes.

Above: the join between the right wing of Rosenburg’s IV Corps – Paul G –  and Hohenzollerns’s II Corps – von Peter himself. As is his way von Peter himself has managed to deploy his troops and left a battery out of the line. That will be his pudgy hand rearranging the troops to make room for the second base to complete the battery. The one base battery – soon to be two! – marks the left most unit of the II Corps. Oudinots French in the distance. The building on the left is the tower on the outskirts of Markgrafneusiedl. The buildings by the pudgy hand represent the village of Baumersdorf. This was initially garrisoned by a battalion of Archduke Charles Legion (Landwehr) from the Advanced Guard. Photo care of John H.

Above: Perhaps more of Oudinot’s French – who can tell … they all look the same! 😇 Whatever their fit in the French Army’s orbit they are under the masterful command of Alan H. The buildings to the left represent Wagram. The Austrians across the stream on the escarpment from the battery on the road to the right are von Peter’s charges. There was a rule in place to keep clutter off the table. Some idiot has broken the rule. In the idiot’s defence the game has not yet started. Photo care of John H.

Above: Nansouty’s French Cuirassiers way around opposite the Austrian right flank. These were destined to cause a few challenges for the Austrian command. Photo care of John H.

Above: The extreme left of the Austrian line as the game commenced. The French of Davout (and Montbrun’s cavalry?) posture aggressively against Rosenburgs IV Corps. More of Davout’s troops through the tree line. The burning buildings are those of Markgrafneusiedl. Photo care of John H.

Above: immediately to the Austrian right of Wagram the table looked something like this. Wagram on the left of the picture and Aderklaa on the right. Keith G. held Wagram for the Austrians and most of the Austrians in shot are his to command. von Peter himself strongly suspects that some of the Austrians to the right may be part of Ray H’s Austrian command who were to attack Aderklaa in the game. The mass of French facing Wagram are the play things of Alan H while John H defends Aderklaa and hinterland.  Photo care of John H.

Above: Moving a bit further to the right of the Austrian deployment. That’s Wagram (again!)  upper left with Aderklaa to the right. Those Austrian grenadiers and heavy cavalry are part of Ray H’s command. Photo care of John H.

Above:  An expanded overview of the prior image. Ray H’s Austrian grenadiers and cavalry nicely on show. John H’s opposing French garrison the burning Aderklaa and the immediate supports don’t look up to the job of holding it … but the French had a cunning plan. The Austrian battalion partially in picture bottom right on the other side of the wall are possibly the beginnings of Brian T’s Austrian force. Top right are Russell B’s French being an assortment of guard, cuirassiers, infantry and cavalry. French bully boys to the last man … errr, figure.  😇  Photo care of John H.

Above: An overview looking down the Russbach Stream. Wagram is represented by the nearest set of buildings. Paul has perhaps eaten something that is a little too hot!  Photo care of John H.

Ready, set, let the killing and maiming begin

The clock was set to 10am, 6 July, 1809 – day two of the historic battle. Generals start your armies please.  😃

Though probably the least busy of the players – see why below – von Peter himself has a limited knowledge of the detailed events elsewhere on the table. He’s also idle. So there is not going to be a detailed blow by blow recapitulation of the game. Just a few photos of the general action and a few more focussing on the glory of Hohenzollern’s Austrian II Corps actions … remembering of course that von Peter himself was wearing Hohenzollern’s uniform for the day!  😇

So why was von Peter himself probably the least busy of the players? The French devised a cunning plan to give themselves an unexpected jump on, and an advantage over, the Austrians in the central sector around Aderklaa. Immediately the game started instead of attacking across the Russbach Stream as the history books dictated Oudinot sent the brigades of his second line towards the gap between Wagram and Aderklaa. So a quick quarter turn to the right and a “march” from them and they were departing Hohenzollern’s front.

“The cowards” and “read your history books” loudly proclaimed Hohenzollern to all that cared to listen while he silently thanked his lucky stars at this fortuitous turn of events. Hohenzollern’s finely tuned military brain creaked and complained as it calculated that he should sit still for a turn or two to ensure that those redeploying French troops had indeed left the scene before getting a little aggressive. Unfortunately at that same moment the Austrian suprissimo Archduke Charles – aka Garage Gaming Terry – rode past with some reinforcements for the soon to be hard pressed Rosenburg. Two quick instructions to poor Hohenzollern …

  1. I’m appropriating two of your battalions from your left to assist Rosenburg
  2. attack across the Russbach … now!

D’oh!

Not much later the interfering Archduke Ludwig appeared and made off with two more of Hohenzollern’s battalions from his right flank this time and headed off in the direction of Wagram with them. Double d’oh!

The few photos of the action …

Above: Brian T’s Austrians are attacking the village Breitenlee which is burning. John H’s defending French look to be outmatched … but there’s a lot more French coming down the pike. Garage Gaming Terry’s Austrians hold the extreme right of the Austrian line and there’s a whole bunch of hurt coming his way down that pike. Photo care of John H.

Above:  Davout takes big bites out of Rosenberg’s defensive position. Markgrafneusiedl may be burning but it’s now burning in French hands. Photo care of John H.

Above: Rosenburg – Paul G – feeling the pressure of a well organised attack from Davout. Better quality troops, better command and control and even the dice are making a mockery of the Austrian defensive position. This photo just had to be published as it captures Paul looking like a bewildered man truly suffering under the repeated hammer blows of the cruelly uncaring fates.  😃  The French on the right facing away from the main Austrian position have turned to face the ahistorically arriving Archduke John … who didn’t achieve much this time around either really. Photo care of John H.

Above: The beginnings of the glory of Hohenzollern. The Grenzer have crossed the Russbach Stream and the landwehr gather in a threatening manner. The round command stand at the bottom is Archduke Charles on his return trip to the centre having delivered reinforcements to Rosenberg The square command stand represents the heroic Hohenzollern himself. Photo care of vPh.

Above:  Action around Wagram. Continuing with their cunning plan the French do not attack Wagram itself put poor troops into the area to the right – from the Austrian perspective – of the village. The edge of this action can be seen on the right of this image. Photo care of John H.

Above: Hohenzollern’s Landwehr have stormed across the Russbach Stream and it’s bayonet – or pitchfork?!  😃 – time. The central landwehr battalion has pushed back it’s opponents and it’s neighbours are striving mightily. The whitecoated Austrians are proving to be not that keen to move down off the escarpment to assist their lesser trained comrades. Fuzzy picture care of vPh.

Above: the same scene as the prior image zoomed in and from the French perspective. The Grenzer in the upper right are attracting all sorts of fire and will soon be recovering back behind the buildings of Baumersdorf. Photo from vPh.

Above: Two battalions of landwehr still exist on the French side of the Russbach Stream … and finally here come some of the boys in white. Hurrah! Another fuzzy survivor from vPh’s photographic efforts.

Above:  End of game. Paul G acknowledges the efforts of Hohenzollern’s troops in crossing the Russbach Stream and securing a French free enclave. The Grenzer can be seen reorganising behind Baumersdorf. To the right a division or two of French line that same Russbach Stream. They failed their command roll to cross four turns in a row. Being in line rather than column wouldn’t have helped. And in the interest of full disclosure those two battalions of landwehr at the back of the table aren’t really there. They are rightly to be found recently appended to the casualty lists. Photo care of John H.

Above: Heroes of the Hapsburgs and all around fine upstanding fellows. Left to right Brian, Raymond, Keith, Garage Gaming Terry, von Peter himself, Paul G. Photo care of John H.

Above: Wannabe Napoleons. Left to right Russell, John, Alan, Daniel, Paul W. Photo care of John H.

But there’s more! In effect this one day game was the dress rehearsal to the real reenactment yet to be had. This will take place over the two days – 5 & 6 August 2017 – of the Call to Arms convention in Wellington, New Zealand. Paul W will be adding 3 more boards for the game; reinforcements will not be rushed in as quickly; and a few tweaks may be made. So if you’re in the vicinity please feel free to drop in for a look and a chat.

Idiots corner

von Peter himself is indebted to John H for providing much of the photographic images of the game. Many photos were taken by von Peter himself on the day but his camera settings were incorrectly set for posed, tripod mounted, delayed shutter, long exposure photography not the shaky hand held photography as practiced on the day. The totally predictable result – many blurred and unusable photographs. And as if that was not enough the lighting setting was not quite as it should have been either. What an idiot! Few of von Peter’s photographs escaped the cutting room floor. So a big thank you John for saving the day … … … even if you did masquerade as an evil Frenchman on the day!!  😃

BTW John’s grandfather’s adventures in WWI serving in the 15th Battery, New Zealand Field Artillery are presented on the blog Walk March, Diary of a New Zealand Artilleryman, 1917-1919. New entries are being released on the 100th anniversary of the original diary entry. von Peter himself has read through the blog to date and will keep an eye on the proceedings of Gunner Godfrey Lincoln Lee’s war.

Since we’re in Idiot’s corner … it is highly likely that von Peter himself has butchered some of the history, geography, players, game play or anything really. Should Garage Gaming Terry raise an alert to any of the larger faux pas then von Peter himself may fix it and note the changes.

And for those with an interest … the adjudicating rules were Black Powder with some minor local amendments. The game was hosted by the Wellington Warlords Wargaming Club during one of their regular club days on the 1st July 2017. And if anybody really cares a quick summing up of victory points adjudged the game an honourable draw. Of course the hobby was the real winner on the day!  👍

Don’t forget to click on the images for larger and clearer versions of the same.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Ongoing Austrian preparations for war

A quick photo of the latest output from the Napoleonic Austrian recruitment and refurbishment activities of von Peter himself. This most unusual rash of productivity is in preparation for the upcoming multiplayer battle with those dastardly French. Click on the image for a larger and clearer view.

Front and centre is a new 12 pounder battery. Something for those arrogant French to think about … … hopefully!

The command stand pictured is the CinC stand for von Peter’s Austrian forces and is finally available for use. The trooper in blue behind his betters is from the Stabs-Dragoner. They along with the dismounted Stabs-Infanterie constituted the Stabs-Truppen. Their duties included protection and escort details for the general headquarters & staff and acting as headquarters gendarmes in the field. An infantryman from a Grenz unit is disdainfully walking by at the back of the stand … not that he can be easily viewed here.

The three battalions of infantry are from the Reus-Plauen Infantry Regiment. They have been faithfully serving von Peter himself for literally decades. The poor devils! 😃 As a reward for their long service they have been presented with new flags from GMB Designs as the old ones were tired and faded. They’ve also had static grass and some tufts applied to their bases. Thankfully the figures themselves were still in good condition and so needed no work. The first battalion has the white flag; the second a yellow flag and a mounted officer; the third a yellow flag but no mounted officer.

All figures sourced from Front Rank Figurines and painted by Nigel Fun-nel – the official pigmenter of Napoleonic Austrians for von Peter himself. Horses, cannon by von Peter himself.

Finally watching on from the background is the latest  Napoleonic Civilian also from Front Rank Figurines. von Peter himself painted this  worthy for himself.

There are more preparations required for the impending Astro – French slugfest including but not limited to more Austrian units awaiting their long service refurbishment. von Peter himself should really get back to the painting desk as the game day approaches and he’d rather have everything complete without a last minute mad rush. More illustrative pictures of the new artillery battery and CinC stand may be issued in the future.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Horse and musket bits #2

As per the immediately prior post von Peter himself presents a few public service announcements for The dear readers betterment. And once again those announcements by themselves would be but a meagre offering. Therefore as padding von Peter himself has repeated his raid on the photographic archives to present two more images – albeit of the same scene – from the Seven Years War (SYW).

The SYW Austrian and Prussian armies of von Peter himself were perennially short of commanders. As a triage exercise before a demonstration game at the local Call to Arms convention von Peter himself knocked out an infantry command stand for the Prussians.

The mounted officer’s uniform is based on that of Infantry Regiment 42 – Markgraf Heinrich Fusilier Regiment. It’s not impossible that the officer on foot’s uniform is based on Infantry Regiment 19 – Markgraf Karl Infantry Regiment.

The faces have come out very smoothly. von Peter himself is left wondering what concoction he used for the effect. Unfortunately it’s a mystery that will never be revealed. D’oh!

The figures are the products of Front Rank Figurines, the tree / bush / shrub is from K&M Trees. The photos were snapped in August 2008 … just in case anybody cares. 😃

 

More video wizardry explaining General d’Armee

von Peter himself has stumbled across the YouTube channel A Dash of Élan – Wargaming. It contains many videos on various wargames rules and other wargames topics. Of particular interest is the General d’Armee set of videos. At the time of writing there are 16 videos ranging in duration from 1 minute 32 seconds through 58 minutes and 8 seconds.

Included is a three part Gd’A Game Play …

A THREE part series taking a look at me learning to play General d’Armee.
Covers TWO complete turns of me offering my observations, clarifications, and tips on playing these Napoleonic miniatures rules.

… which run through the rules as used during a game. Collectively the three videos run for around 2.5 hours. von Peter himself has viewed the first of the three and was sufficiently impressed to write/type about it here. Here’s the first of the three …

Some of the other videos may be excerpts from the three Gd’A Game Play videos and allow direct access to various segments off the rules, e.g the Command Phase.

 

General de Brigade scenario Book #7

von Peter himself was caught off guard to discover that a seventh Napoleonic scenario book – Shadows Over the Empire – for General de Brigade has been released.

OUT NOW! The latest in our range of Napoleonic Scenarios books, Volume 7 ‘Shadows Over The Empire’ includes 11 scenarios covering Kalisch, Mockern, Konigswartha, Weissig, Reichenbach, Goldberg, Blankenfelde, Gross-Beeren, Thiessen, Wartemburg and Lindenau.
All are designed for use with any Napoleonic set of rules, though recommended for General de Brigade.

Providing players with terrain maps, troop deployments, objectives and orders of battle – the scenarios can be played individually or in chronological order as per the real campaign.

Available from Caliver Books for £17.99 plus p&p.

Eleven more scenarios from von Peter’s preferred year of 1813. How could this be a bad thing? 😃

 

Impending

There is a game afoot. Quite a big game actually and von Peter himself is destined to be a confused and befuddled participant. Saxons, Bavarians and most importantly Austrians are to be provided from the local resources as the cost of entry. The gods of war have demanded that many Austrians be deployed so von Peter himself is making some meagre additions to his kaiserliks. Hopefully there will soon be some newly raised figures to show off. At least that’s the great hope.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself