Thursday, 24 November 2016

There must be something wrong with the Schlieffen Plan!

I couldn‘t resist and got the 6mm Guns Of August out and enlisted Campbell as the French General Joffre, while Mike played the Brits B.E.F. and the Belgians and I was rather uninspiring the German Moltke the Younger.

Firstly I started quite nicely getting Liege under my thumb, rather because only the tiny Belgian Cavalry was defending it than my valour. And attacked the French down in Lorraine and the Vosges inflicting heavy losses on the gauls.

But I hadn't counted on Campbells spirit of defense, he didn‘t needed the Plan 17 counter attack rule – he counter attacked anyway! And did so more successfully with lots of 6‘s which lead to a lot of "Defender exchange", i.e. he suffered a lot, but got eliminated as well. Which led to an rather unhistoric open warfare in the Alssac as the troops to close the gaps were missing!

Then I advanced on Antwerpen and got attacked by the rest of the Belgian Army, which failed and got anihilated. I advanced into the fortress and Belgium kapitulated!

Then the B.E.F. came as alway too late and stopped my advance across Lille, by rather foolishly charge with the cavalry between my lines -  in the end they invaded Netherland and fleed to Hamburg!! By that time it was December and I hadn't occupied Lille, so it was a draw!

The rules are worked quite nicely -  I still have a lot to paint, but I guess I'm half way through!!!
And the German High Sea Fleet had its 1st outing, but of course no Royal Navy in sight – still on its way with the Royal Mail!

The French defending Belfort

Verdun still far away

The French regionals defending the Lille–Reims line

The initial set-up

The complete Hochseeflotte at August 1914

The big right wing before Belgium

Liege just defended by a Belgian 1-1-4 Cavalry coprs

Gaps appear after the 1st month!

Attack and counter-attacks rip the front line apart!

After October the line starts to "entrech" itself (brown tokens)

at the end of the game ...

Friday, 18 November 2016

2nd Novara 6 June 1513

The Swiss, aaah, what are they when the do not move? Sitting ducks, Targets and Schiessbudenfiguren! We set them on their journey, the Reisigen! Run home, Reisläufer! Gloria Victoria, all for the French juchheirassa! Toblerone now with wider gaps!

The French Cavalry was played by Ken, who joined recently our Renaissance league, and aspiring defender of the Papal throne(s) for battles to come. For the French centre a very capable club mate stepped in, who's name I unforgivenly forgot, even as Jack shouted me his name 3 times!!! And myself as the German part with some Landsknechts. On the other side the usual victims of biblical sins and proportions, Angus, Jack and Donald defending Milan for the Swiss in their own ways and good intentions.

As the Ken was appointed CinC he gave the order of the day - no retreat, attack as fast as possible, en avant, lets out step the swift Swiss! So we advanced as quick as a cannonball on both flanks and we somehow did it, out shot and unsettled them before they could find their footing. Donald fought well, but too much tabletop embellishment hindered his advance ... all the while the bullets and shots were relentlessly flying ...  at the end one Swiss block was shaken in front of two medium imperial feldschlangen ...hmm ... , Ken had destroyed most of the Italian tin pride ... I for the record successfully formed a hedgehog blocking a another Swiss block while shooting at the other, ended Swiss hegemony in its begining.

All in all we had fun I guess, even if the retro-garde can't come out of their strategic lethargy .. maybe one day ...

I set up the 2nd Novara battle with a little bit of extras, the pike blocks were bigger for our standards, and the supports were a bit more numerous. We used Pike and Shotte with a bit of home grown spice.
The Figures were by me, Angus, Jack and of course Donald.



For the ones who want to know what really happened:
The French had been victorious at Ravenna the previous year. Nevertheless, the French under King Louis XII were driven out of the city of Milan the following month by the Holy League.

In 1513, the French army of 10,000 under Louis de la Trémoille was besieging the city of Novara, which was held by some of the Duke of Milan‘s Swiss mercenaries. It has been argued that the Swiss may have intended to annex  Milan to the Swiss. Novara, c. 40 kilometers west of Milan, was the second most important city of the Milanese duchy.

However, the French were surprised at their camp there on June 6 by a Swiss relief army of some 13,000 troops, who came to relieve their forces in the town. The German Landsknecht mercenaries of the French, pike-armed like the Swiss, were able to form up into heavy squares, and the French were able to deploy some of their artillery. Despite this, the Swiss onslaught, sweeping in from multiple directions due to forced marches which achieved encirclement of the French camp, took the French guns, pushed back the Landsknecht infantry regiments, and destroyed the Landsknecht squares. Caught off guard, the French heavy cavalry, their decisive arm, was unable to properly deploy, and played little role in the fight.

The battle was particularly bloody, with 5,000 casualties (other sources state up to 10,000) on the French side, and moderate losses for the Swiss pikemen, mostly suffered from the French artillery as the Swiss moved into the attack. 700 men were killed in three minutes by heavy artillery fire. Additionally, after the battle, the Swiss executed the hundreds of German mercenaries they had captured who had fought for the French. Having routed the French army, the Swiss were unable to launch a close pursuit because of their lack of cavalry, but several contingents of Swiss did follow the French withdrawal all the way to Dijon before the French paid them off to leave France. The Swiss captured 22 French guns with their carriages.

The French defeat forced Louis XII to withdraw from Milan and Italy in general, and led to the temporary restoration of Duke Maximilian Sforza, although he was widely regarded to be the puppet of his Swiss mercenaries and „allies“, who held real military power in Milan.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Howe could ye ever let that happen?

Newark, into the third week of November 1776 of our AWI 1776 Winter campaign

Sixteen Continental Army regiments under Gen. Washington were marching and surrounding a British outpost at the end of the Passaic river. The American commander in chief has chosen this little river town, because it controls the supply route up north into the Hackensack valley, where under Major Gen. Grant the bulk of the Crown forces are chasing Gen. Greene further and further away from the Hudson.

In the campaign game Jack (Gen. Washington) did a face-volte and counter-attacked this little 3 regiments strong garisson with all he could muster (with an "surprise attack" and a "delayed enemy" card(s), to become infamous). Little did he know, the commander of this outpost was Commander in chief Gen. Howe himself (played by Bart).

The odds were brutal, the timing couldn't be worse and a miss-understanding left General Howe stunned. Unable to get away timely and thus out-manouvered he ordered to fight to the last man and resigned himself to history with a last all-out charge. Only true gentlemen die with gesture and grand manner.

Who could foresee this was just a dark prelude for a bitter struggle to come. The irony is that the cream of the Continental army now lies in front of British stout regular brigades! But who is to jointly command them? The new British commander will be Gen. Clinton (played by Campbell) and Bart will be back as the aggressive Gen. Cornwallis with the command of the newly raised Dragoons ...

Will the Americans stay on, ready for a second Newark or can they sneak away a second time? Both sides lacking the forces or impetus they love to have, meanwhile other urgent issues might arise.

A truly epic and unfair struggle, for which of course I will take the sole responsibility.

1776, III week of November, Lieut.-Gen. Sir William Howe, R.I.P.
Soundtrack to the pictures/event:

For other point of views of this event:
Jack's blog:

The Garisson of Newark and the Enemy ready to leap to the attack
The Pennsylvanian's approaching
The 3rd NY Regiment re-emerged to avenge White Hills
The Rebel attack on the unobserved South 
True Gentlemen die with a last gesture. Howe's last attack 
The Battalion at the west defies the American onslaught ...
The second British Regiment is shot to pieces

The last minutes of the last regiment ... surrounded by Rebels
The map of Newark for further "good" use ...

Saturday, 5 November 2016

1914 Music for the masses and the arms race begins ...

The 6mm masses take shape -  I got probably enough to start test games for the 1914 scenario (of Guns of August). Today also the "possible" complete 1/6000 German Imperial fleet arrived, courtesy of Figurehead. I am not sure, I might base them on the same 10x50mm bases from Warbases, as a lot of the participants are old men with best intentions but lesser dexterity...

Two days ago I ordered the complete (possible) Austrian-Hungarian and Russian armies from Irregular Miniatures ...

I'm also re-thinking if I should do the uniform update for the western forces to the post 1916 for the British, French and German. Maybe just for the infantry, leaving out the artillery and Cavalry ...

Hm ... we'll see...

German Army of the West with the reserve in the foreground
The French Army with the reserve in the foreground
French guns and Cavalry (as Chasseurs a Chevaux)
The complete BEF and the possible reinforcements for 1914-15
More German regulars and the complete German Cavalry (as Uhlans)
The Germans guns, the reserve and the infamous siege artillery of Krupp and a A7V for later
The complete possible Belgian Army
Birds view of the masses 
The complete possible German Navy arrived today  
The complete German army of 1914 (line below) and the maximun possible reinforcements (top) 
The A3 turn map for a month will probably copy 200 of them ...

the cover design of my personal GOA rules (with amendments)