Monday, October 26, 2009

Cleaning out the boxes!

I've been cleaning out some boxes of hobby stuff and decided to put some items up for sale.

First out of the gate are some Renegade WWI French. There are 28 figures that include two officers, two NCOs and 24 riflemen. They are dressed in the early war red and blue. I'm offering these up here before I put them on eBay for anyone that's interested. If you're willing to shell out $140.00 CAD for these, we can definitely make a deal!

Second, is a smaller group of Renegade WWI Germans. There are eight riflemen in this group and two machine gun teams for a total of 12 figures. $60.00 CAD and these are yours!

I've already posted some 28mm Napoleonics on eBay:

8 x 28mm Old Glory Grenadiers a Cheval: eBay link here

8 x 28mm Old Glory Chasseurs a Cheval: eBay link here

8 x 28mm Old Glory 2nd (Dutch) Lancers: eBay link here

Contact me by email or leave a comment if you're interested. Those nearby can, of course, save the shipping fees. Otherwise, I'll ship at cost. I will also be at Fall In! in Gettysburg next week, if you'd like to pick them up there.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

1813 Campaign: Battle of Pilsen

Friday night at MIGS we played another campaign battle in our 1813 campaign, involving Le Grande Armee (sud) and the Army of Bohemia. Napoleon (Michael) had made an aggressive move across the Danube at Ratisbon, challenging Prince Schwarzenberg (Alex) to come out and fight. Rather than face the Emperor close to the river, Schwarzenberg had opted to fall back on the heavily fortified supply depot at Pilsen. Napoleon quickly followed up and attacked with the forces at hand. You can see the strategic map below. Pilsen is near the bottom right of the map. To give a general outlook on the strategic dispositions, the French armies cover the line of the River Saale in the north (although the Russians have breached this line near Aschersleben and Weimar) and have pushed on from the Danube near Ratisbon in the south toward Pilsen.

1813 Campaign: Strategic Map with battle locations.

Battle of Pilsen

Le Grande Armee (sud)
CinC: Emperor Napoleon

Garde Imperiale (Napoleon)
  • 1er Division (infantry)
  • 2e Division (infantry)
  • 3e Division (cavalry)
  • Artillerie
3e Corps D'Armee (GD Souham)
  • 11e Division (infantry)
  • 8e Division (infantry)
1er Corps de Cavalerie (GD Latour-Maubourg)
  • 1er Division (heavy cavalry)
  • 2e Division (heavy cavalry)

Infantry of 3e Corps d'Armee and dragoons of 1er Corps de Cavalerie.

Army of Bohemia
CinC: Prince Schwarzenberg

I ReserveKorps (GdK Hessen-Homburg)
  • 1st Division (grenadiers)
  • 2nd Division (hevay cavalry)
I ArmeeKorps (GdK Merveldt)
  • Light Division (infnstry/cavalry)
  • 1st Division (infantry)
  • 2nd Division (infantry)
IV (Russian) Cavalry Corps (GL Vasilchikov)
  • 1st Division (light cavalry)
  • 2nd Division (light cavalry)

Not only did the Austrian army enjoy numerical superiority, it was also ensconced behind a veritable cornucopia of earthworks. But all was not rosy and good for Schwarzenberg. More than half of his infantry was raw class and for the battle he was himself a d8 commander (the lowest of the low) and was using a poor card deck (next to the worst). Facing him was Napoleon on a great day (a d12+1 commander) using an excellent deck (the very best). Note: all rule references are to Field of Battle.

Battle of Pilsen: Opening Phase. The French launch their attack on Pilsen and the Austrians begin to move their massive left wing forward.

Napoleon was able to inspect the defences of Pilsen carefully and observe Schwarzenberg's dispositions. The Emperor chose to confine his deployment to a narrow frontage to maximize his assault potential (besides, he didn't have enough troops to cover the entire Austrian deployment). The river bisecting the table was a tremendous help as the Emperor based his right flank upon it and left the rest of the battlefield to the Austrians with the exception of one unit: 2e Division/1er Corps de Cavalerie was seriously understrength so it was sent on a wide sweeping movement toward the Austrian left flank. This was intended as no more than a demonstration designed to divert as many enemy troops as possible. In the event, it proved to be more than successful.
Battle of Pilsen: Second Phase. The French cavalry move to the Austrian left flank to begin wreaking havoc. The Pilsen garrison comes out to confront the French attack and the French guard artillery moves to the river line.

The French began the battle by moving on the outskirts of Pilsen near their left flank. The outlying buildings of the city and their attendant earthworks were manned primarily by the raw class infantry and artillery of the Austrian garrison. The French attack was slow and tentative at first but began to cause damage as the garrison and a neighbouring Austrian line division moved out to confront the attackers. This movement out of the fortified area was partly explained by the need to relieve some serious over-crowding. In the outskirts of the city, inside the earthworks, were deployed five batteries of artillery and 12 battalions of infantry (all within approx. 24" x 18").

On the Austrian left flank, a mass of cavalry and supporting infantry began to move forward with what looked like the intention of turning the French right flank. The Austrian defensive stance had quickly shown itself as only a springboard for an attack on the outnumbered French. Unfortunately, the quality of the Austrian commander and the card deck would make this a risky venture. Poor quality commanders with inefficient decks are best confined to simple, uncomplicated plans and large sweeping attacks using multiple component commands does not fall into this caetgory! The French, on the other hand, had a great commander with the a very efficient deck. This allowed Napoleon to send the single cavalry command out on its flanking move without any serious worry.

The Emperor had originally thought to deploy his guard artillery reserve against Pilsen and its earthworks but upon seeing this mass of horseflesh across the river he diverted the guns and had them deploy along the river. They smartly changed direction and soon began wreaking destruction among the tight-packed ranks of cavalry and infantry.

Imperial Guard artillery reserve deployed along the river's edge.

Meanwhile, the French cavalry sent out on its lonely flanking movement was making its presence felt. It was able to quickly move to the Austrian left flank (excellent deck v. poor deck began to make a difference here) and seriously damage the enemy infantry there. It was even able to get in amongst the mass of Austrian cavalry and cause more damage before it was itself overwhelmed by numbers. A small cavalry contingent had seriously slowed an enemy force many times its size. Although it was lost, it had served a valuable purpose. While it was annoying the Austrian attack force, the guard artillery reserve had unlimbered along the riverbank to unleash its own hell.

Battle of Pilsen: Third Phase. The Imperial Guard is unleashed upon the garrison of Pilsen.

In Pilsen, the French attack had begun to show results and it was at this moment, knowing that his right flank was secure, the Emperor moved forward Les Grognards of the Old Guard infantry and cavalry. The Old Guard Grenadiers and the cavalry division of the guard moved smartly across the field and flung themselves upon the hapless garrison of Pilsen. The raw garrison troops put up a stout but ultimately futile resistance. The guard was soon in possession of the town and it was clear to Schwarzenberg that his position was untenable. His army seemed to agree and when the next Army Morale card appeared, it promptly said adieu to the French and hustled away.

Old Guard infantry await the order to assault Pilsen.

The river that had shielded Napoelon's flank now worked to hamper severely any pursuit of the Austrian army. Of course, the masses of Austrian and Russian cavalry that had done little in the battle were available to cover any pursuit the French may have been able to mount. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the French who gained six National Will Points. That was dwarfed, however, by the 52 National Will Point lost by the Austrians (Pilsen had also been a supply depot for the Army of Bohemia). I ArmeeKorps suffered four destroyed units that are removed from the campaign order of battle. As well, the Allied force in the battle receives some serious negative modifiers for any future battle.

On then to Turn 9 and Napoleon's pursuit of the seriously crippled Austrian army. More to come!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

History is written by he who has the Blog!

"History is written by he who has the blog!" or so said I as I slunk away from another defeat at the hands of the dreaded Carlists. Vidal and I got together with Ray Martin last night for our second Carlist Wars game using Sharp Practice rules. After my inability to capture some shiny stuff from the church in our last game, we decided to continue with the scenario and see if my Isabellino forces could catch up with the retreating Carlist force and still get their hands on the loot.

The beginning of the scenario saw the Isabellino force, commanded by Teniente Coronel Alfredo Salazar del Pene Grande, trudging along northern Spanish tracks, following the trail of the retreating Carlists. Approaching a small farmstead, Salazar's leading scouts detected a number of Carlists blocking passage along the trail. Salazar, realizing that the main Carlist force could be located at the farm, began to deploy his forces to flush them out. Salazar's force had changed somewhat since his last encounter, in particular losing his Marines. This unit was commanded by Teniente Primero Domingo Gutierrez-Enfermo, a perfectly vile young officer, universally detested by his men (and fellow officers in the army). Gutierrez-Enfermo had been lightly wounded in the last battle and Salazar took the opportunity to leave his entire unit behind to guard the lines of communication. Luckily, Salazar had accepted the arrival of two new units to his force, one of infantry and a small cavalry contingent (although the usefulness of the latter would be tested in the close terrain of northern Spain).

Isabellino Force
CinC: Teniente Coronel Alfredo Salazar del Pene Grande
2IC: Capitan Cesar Herrara del Estomago

Grenaderos Provinciales de la Guardia
Volontarios de Aragon
Regimento de la Princesa
grenaderos (skirmish)
cazadores (sirmish)
artilleria (1 gun) - commanded by Sargento Primero Eduardo Baldomero
caballeria de linea

Regimento de la Princesa moving froward in column to confront the dastardly rebels!

On the Carlist side of the field stood Coronel del Capo, a thoroughly ugly man with a face like a pig. Although his looks were dreadful, his men were thankful for his military talents and attention to their welfare and would follow him anywhere. Del Capo commanded the rearguard of the Carlist force and was tasked with keeping at bay the pursuing government forces.

Carlist Force
CinC: Coronel del Capo
2IC: Capitan Don Juarez

Navarrese infantry
Navarrese infantry
Vizcayan infantry

In Sharpe Practice terms, the named officers were Big Men (characters of influence), giving the Isabellinos three and the Carlists two. While the Isabellinos seem at first glance to have had advantages in numbers of units and Big Men, in practice it was not to be. The closeness of the terrain and the fact that Salazar's forces began the scenario in column on the trail confronted by hidden Carlist forces severely limited their numerical advantages. As well, the Big Men of the Isabellino force, although greater in number than their Carlist counterparts, were hampered by circumstances. The best Big Man was the artillery sargento but he was confined to activating (influencing) only his own men in the artillery unit. The others, Salazar and Herrara, although able to influence any unit in the force were cut of a decidedly lesser cloth than their opponents.

As Salazar's column approached the farm, his lead skirmishers scouted ahead and discovered a substantial Carlist blocking force. The Isabellino infantry columns began trying to deploy to either side of the road while the artillery unlimbered on the road in support. Unfortunately, Carlist skirmishers, backed by formed infantry, hampered their efforts. Constant musket fire at the deploying Isabellino columns caused serious disorder forcing Salazar to bring forward his cavalry in an attempt to push the Carlist infantry back on their heels and give the infantry a chance to shake themselves out into some sort of order. As the cavalry approached the Carlist infantry, Salazar placed himself at their head in anticipation of charging forward. Just as Salazar had unsheathed his sword and was about to order the charge, a volley crashed out from the Carlist line and he slumped in his saddle momentarily before falling to the ground severely wounded. The horsemen, seeing their beloved commander felled, rushed forward to wreak their revenge only to realize that without their commander's guidance, their efforts were to no avail. Saddles were emptied and the cavalry fell back in confusion, trying to drag their wounded commander along.

Isabellino cavalry preparing to charge! Salazar can be seen in the backgound riding forward hard to take personal command of the pretty horsemen. We've substituted Perry Miniatures French Napoleonic mounted commanders until we can get the proper Carlist Wars versions painted.

Back on the road, Sargento Primero Baldomero of the artillery had had his men promptly and smartly unlimber their sole artillery piece in anticipation of supporting the infantry's attack on the Carlist lines. It was with chagrin and utter amazement that the sargento discovered that although his small force was amply supplied with ammunition, the rammers necessary for loading and cleaning the gun were missing. As the infantry and cavalry action was swirling about him, Baldomero roundly and colourfully berated his men (and himself) for such a stupid omission. He had no choice but to quickly re-limber the gun and move away impotently, without having fired a single round!

A Carlist infantry officer encouraging and congratulating his men after repulsing the Isabellino cavalry charge.

Lacking Salazar's overall direction, the government forces soon degenerated into a confused and impotent mass. Capitan Herrara tried mightily to restore some semblance of order but his lack of appreciation of Salazar's overall goals (the two did not get along and Salazar had confided little to his subordinate) and his general detestation by the men hampered his efforts. He was soon forced to pull back his scrambled force in the face of continued pressure and relinquish the field.

So, a second Carlist victory! We're starting to get a better grasp of the rules, although a few mistakes were made (but nothing serious). It's clear how influential the Big Men can be with these rules. An excellent commander such as del Capo, a level IV commander, can have far-reaching influence and effect. Losing one's commander can have a serious effect and will make me think more carefully about when and where I have Big Men take a personal, hands-on role. Thanks again to Vidal and Ray for a thoroughly enjoyable evening, especially the beer (thanks Ray!) from a little-known local brewery in Cambridge, Ontario:Grand River Brewing. How can you go wrong drinking Russian Gun Imperial Stout?

Monday, October 19, 2009


I spent an enjoyable few hours Saturday at MIGSCON XXX in Hamilton, Ontario. For those unfamiliar with this convention, check here. It's a small regional convention, organized by the Military Interests and Gaming Society in Hamilton. I've been an on and off member of the club for nigh on 25 years and the convention has always been a guaranteed outing. Rarely have I put on games over the years and probably even more rarely have I played in games. My modus operandi at conventions does not normally include game-mastering or playing. Something extraordinary needs to take place for either of those to occur: for the former, a spark of a new period or genre (Carlist Wars, for instance), a need for peer recognition (lessening as the years pass), or a persuasive argument (very rare); for the latter, a new set of rules I'm interested in, a game-master who intrigues me, or nothing else to do. Besides, participating in games takes away from socializing and shopping. As to the shopping, it was disappointing that Terry from North Bay Games & Hobbies didn't attend. He usually has the largest booth and the greatest selection of historical gaming items (and I normally spend at least $100 at his booth whether I intend it or not).

Despite Terry's absence, my congratulations to the convention organizers! The con looked busy and most games seemed to be fully-stocked with gamers. The games looked to cover a fairly broad range of periods, scales and genres (WWI aerial, ancients, WWII, Napoelonics, SYW, pulp, etc) and were of a moderate presentational quality on average. Some were rather nice but many were...well, not. To each his own but a green cloth with figures on it doesn't inspire me in the slightest (and yes, I'm self-aware enought to realize that they aren't doing it just for me). I'm as guilty as the next guy for doing this, but at a convention? Isn't the point to showcase something? Figures, terrain, rules? To be clear, however, some games can look quite good with a simple green sheet, well-painted and based figures, attractive terrain pieces and a congenial host (and there were some of these at MIGSCON). But, if I want green cloth with ho-hum figures and ho-hum terrain pieces placed on top, I can game at any number of other places. This is perhaps another reason I don't normally participate in games at a convention. Enough pontificating...

I have included some random photos from the convention below. They were shot with my Crackberry camera and are decidedly inferior but that was my only option.

Frank Kalik's 25mm Napoleonic skirmish game. I say 25mm (and not 28mm) because Franks' collection is made up of Minifig figures. Frank always puts on interesting games and is one of the gentlemen of the hobby.

Another shot of Frank's 25mm Napoleonic skirmish game.

28mm WWII by Kirk Doherty. Kirk is a mainstay at the local conventions. He also hosted a very nice 28mm Seven Years War game using Age of Reason rules.

28mm ACW by Mark Rutledge et al. The sculpted terrain boards were quite well done and only 4' x 8'. This is a good example of how a 28mm horse and musket game can be successfully staged on a table of limited depth.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Carlist Wars: Volontarios de Aragon

Another Carlist Wars units finished! This time the Volontarios de Aragon, a light infantry unit of the Isabellino army. I had originally planned to paint these figures as a militia unit from Madrid but was caught out by my apparent lack of attention to research detail. As professed here, I had meant to use the very cool emerald green flag for the Madrid Militia produced by Adolfo Ramos (see it here). Fortunately, I learned soon enough that the figures did not match the flag so I needed to find another unit that matched the figures that had already had the basic equipment colours blocked in (and one for which I already had a flag).

Volontarios de Aragon (figures by Perry Miniatures and flag by Adolfo Ramos)

I decided upon a light infantry unit because the figures had epaulettes and fortuitously I had a flag for one such unit (the Volontarios de Aragon). I was somewhat of a shame that I was using greatcoated figures for this unit since their green trousers and tunics would look quite striking uncovered. I was pleasantly surprised, however to find that, after completing the unit, the contrast between the grey greatcoats and the green trousers made up a little for the loss of the green tunics. The yellow epaulettes and pom-poms also helped to make the unit more colourful. Besides, using greatcoated figures significantly cuts down on the painting time and could probably be considered more "historical."

Volontarios de Aragon (figures by Perry Miniatures and flag by Adolfo Ramos)

I've also added a photo of the army I've painted to date. It includes the following:

Grenaderos Provinciales de la Guardia (12)
Marines (12)
Volontarios de Aragon (12)
Regimento de la Princesa (12)
grenaderos (skirmish) (12)
cazadores (sirmish) (12)
artilleria (4 + 1 gun)
caballeria de linea (6)

Isabellino army

A few more units for this army then on to some Carlists to boost Vidal's army. Next up, some Isabellino light cavalry and French Foreign Legion. I'd also like to add some characters for the skirmish battlefield. Vidal has already purchased the Perry figure sets with priests and civilians but I may get some for myself as well. One can never have enough armed priests!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Carlist Wars: Isabellino Line Cavalry

A new unit for my slowly growing Carlist Wars collection: this time, Isabellino line cavalry. Although cavalry played a relatively minor role in the conflict, I couldn't resist some of these yellow-coated dandies. You'd have not seen waves of heavy cavalry sweeping across a Carlist Wars battlefield but there was a fair selection of units and uniforms to choose from nonetheless. I chose to work on some of the more ubiquitous in the Isabellino army mainly because of the uniforms and the lances (although lancers are not my favourite models to work with).

Excerpt from The First Carlist War 1833-1840, A Military History & Uniform Guide (Conrad Cairns, 2009):

"The cavalry was always a fairly minor (or non-existent) part of a government force.... The nature of the ground over which most of the war was fought precluded the use of large mounted forces, as did the difficulty in finding sufficient re-mounts."

The [cavalry] arm only increased by two regiments (to a total of 18) during the war. However, there was a great improvement in effectiveness, starting, it must be admitted, from a very low base." (p.34)

Once again, these models are from the Perry Miniatures collection and, as usual, the sculpts are quite nice and the animation varied but not cartoonish; however, I do have a couple of reservations about these models. The horses have few variations (not a big issue) and these variations I find to be very much difficult to work with. The horses are lively and full of movement but many of the hooves are modeled off the base and connected by a thick stringer. While modeling the hooves off of the base lends some creditable movement and vivacity to the sculpts, it also makes for some ugly chunks of metal joining the hooves to the bases. You can see some of these in the photo below. On some of them I have removed the large chunk of metal and replaced with a more slender pin.

The nature of the horse sculpts requires (for me, anyway) either the removal of the connecting metal chunk and replacement, for strength and stability, or leaving it in place. The former can be time-consuming and fiddly (and doesn't always look better) and the latter is just plain ugly. Of course, I could just be making a mountain out of a mole hill (hey, maybe that's what they are!).

Another issue I have with the horses is the bases. They tend to be rather thin and easily bent (in contrast to a Front Rank base, for instance). While not a big problem, coupled with the hoof-to-base-metal-chunk-thingy, it takes these otherwise brilliant sculpts down a few notches.

Now, a confession of a mistake and thank goodness it's not too late to correct it. The next unit on the blocks for this collection is (or was, more accurately) a Madrid militia battalion. I was first inspired to model this unit because of the great emerald green flag in the Adolfo Ramos flag collection. I dutifully did my research, although it was a of a limited nature given the few resources available. I had in my lead pile enough infantry figures in greatcoat and epaulettes to create this unit and I had made a start on the painting when I happened to notice a submission on this very unit on the Carlist Wars Yahoo group. 'Great,' I thought, 'I can see how someone else has painted this unit and maybe take some pointers and inspiration.'

Well, to my mild shock I found the unit painted by Giles Allison to be completely different to my projected unit. I quickly realized the source of the differences. The emerald green flag that had so enamoured me was not for the Madrid militia but for the Batallon Provincial de Madrid (a provincial militia unit), and it said just that on the bottom of the flag sheet. The unit of Madrid militia that I had found in Conrad Cairn's book (see above) was not the same. Fortunately, I had chosen greatcoated figures for this unit and I had only blocked in the base colours when I realized my mistake. The figures are at a basic stage of painting that can allow a switch to another unit's uniform details. Now the question is, to what unit do I switch? The most obvious would be to make a second battalion of provincial guard (for the first, see here). The figures I've started match those in my first battalion and I have a flag for them. I'll have to continue with my research to see if I can find another alternative.

Lesson learned: read the damned text more carefully. Doh!

Monday, October 5, 2009

1813 Campaign: Battle of Aschersleben

It's been a while since my last post (life just seems to keep getting in the way). In the meanwhile, we've fought two battles from the campaign. In Turn 7 there was another battle between Le Grande Armee (sud) and von Bulow's II Prussian Corps. This followed on the heels of the Prussian loss at Bayreuth in Turn 6 (see here for a synopsis of the Battle of Bayreuth) whereupon von Bulow retreated his battered corps to the fortified town of Zwickau. The commander of the Army of Bohemia had ordered some serious fortifications to be built at Zwickau and as Bertrand, commanding 4e Corps d'Armee, moved to the environs of the town, he realized the proportions of the task before him. Facing him was von Bulow's Prussian corps (battered, yes...ineffective? hardly) and a sizeable garrison firmly entrenched behind 60" of earthworks (the maximum possible for any town/city in the campaign). The Army of Bohemia had indeed been busy! The tabletop game was duly set up and 2e Corps proceeded to dance around the Prussian entrenchments, attempting to find a weakness. Unfortunately, darkness descended and decided the battle as a draw. The French had fulfilled their orders from the Emperor by continuing to press von Bulow without inviting serious damage or casualties. Because the game was really just a matter of the French dancing around the outside of the Prussian defences, I'm not going to chronicle it here any further beyond offering the pictures below.

1) The Hesse-Darmstadt division (with Fronk Rank grenadiers in the foreground) probing the Prussian defences; 2) Part of the Allied garrison behind their earthworks; 3) The Allied garrison in Zwickau.

On to Turn 8, and some more serious movements and developments. The Army of the North has forced the retreat of Le Grande Armee (nord) back across the River Saale to Weimar. Bennigsen followed up this retrograde movement, gaining a solid brideghead on the western bank of the Saale in the process. There is defintely a battle pending here! (Weimar is just east of Erfurt and west of Naumburg)

Enlarge the map to see battle sites in the campaign to this point.

Meanwhile, to the north at Aschersleben, General-Leutnant Osten-Sacken has finally converged his Russian forces in the vicinity of Ascherseleben and is ready to attack the French forces there. It is at Ascheresleben where the first battle of Turn 8 occurrred. Osten-Sacken had been able to amass an impressive force near Ascherlesleben while the local French commander was scrambling to find enough troops to counter this dangerous Russian thrust across the river.

Army of the North
CinC: GL Osten-Sacken

IX Corps (GL Olsufiev)
  • 1st Division (infantry)
  • 2nd Division (infantry)

XI Corps (GL Osten-Sacken)
  • 1st Division (infantry)
  • 2nd Division (infantry)

I Cavalry Corps (GL Korff)
  • 1st Division (dragoons)
  • 2nd Division (light cavalry)
Le Grande Armee (nord)
CinC: GD "Bill" (long story, see below)
  • 10e Division (2e Corps)
  • Division de Cavalerie (2e Corps)
  • Division Lefol
  • Aschersleben Garrison
I should probabaly elaborate on the OBs at this point. The Russian order of battle is quite straightforward (as it usually is). Because Bennigsen is somewhere to the south, GL Osten-Sacken, as senior officer present, had assumed command of this wing of the army. The French OB is somewhat more haphazard. There were two elements of 2e Corps d'Armee present: 10e Division and the corps light cavalry division. Unfortunately, the Corps commander, General de Division Lauriston, was nowhere to be found. Equally unfortunate, the cavalry division of 2e Corps, although listed in the OB, was foraging in the area of Aschersleben when the Russians attacked and thus did not take part in the battle. Also in the area was a Division de Marche, commanded by GD Lefol. This formation had recently arrived at the front and was comprised of reinforcments destined for various formations in the army. The division's component marche formations had not yet been dispersed throughout the army. All of this was commanded by the (un-named) commander of 10e Division. He was dubbed "Bill" for lack of a "campaign" name (no need to ask why, even though there was nobody named Bill playing in the game). In lieu of specific orders, General "Bill" decided that his best option was to hold Achersleben as long as possible and extricate his force with the least amount of damage possible.

Battle of Aschersleben, Opening Phase.

Russian infantry of 15th Division, IX Corps moves forward to the attack.
(Old Glory figures from the collection of Steve Thomson)

The Russian commander received a "Flank Attack" card in his draws from the Battle Deck (see campaign rules here) and decided to exercise this option by placing I Cavalry Corps and IX Corps on the right flank. The French commander realized the overwhelming odds against him and chose to deploy around the few buildings in the outskirts of Ascheresleben. Immediately the battle began, the Russian cavalry on the right flank jumped forward to pin the French infantry until their Russian counterparts could move forward and engage. The French had deployed on the rear slopes of the long ridge, making the dangerous Russian artillery for the most part impotent (in fact, the Russian artillery on the right flank would not fire a single round in the entire battle). On the Russian left flank, XI Corps moved forward to pin the French right wing in place.

Battle of Aschersleben, Second Phase.

9th (infantry) Division, IX Corps and the dragoon division of I Cavalry Corps rush forward to engage the French-held ridgeline.
(Front Rank and Old Glory figures from the collection of Steve Thomson)

As the rest of the Russian army pinned the French garrison in the outskirts of Aschersleben and the French 10e Division along the ridgeline, the dragoon division rushed forward and quickly engaged the French infantry behind the ridge. Without cavalry support (and the divisional artillery pinned by the flanking Russian cavalry), the French infantry was quickly overrun. The mass of IX Corps and I Cavalry Corps then turned to face the town where XI Corps was hotly engaged with its garrison.

Battle of Aschersleben, Final Phase.

The Russian dragoons division of I Cavalry Corps after clearing the ridgeline of enemy infantry and looking for new targets.
(Front Rank figures from the collection of Steve Thomson)

Having done away with the French infantry on the right flank, the mass of the Russian army turned to face Aschersleben. Here, XI Corps had suffered a bloody nose at the hands of a determined and skillful French garrison. Unfortunately, the valiant defence of the town was in vain as the French commander ("Bill") decided that, having lost an entire infantry division on his left flank, it would be prudent to remove what was left of his force from the field.

The Army of the North achieved a Decisive Victory at Aschersleben and the Russians gain 6 National Will Points. More significantly, the Allies now have substantial forces across the river at two points and are poised to spread mayhem and chaos! The French lose 36 National Will Points for the loss and all the engaged divisions receive a "downgrade 2 units" modifier for the loss and a further "downgrade 2 units" modifier for the pursuit (the Russian cavalry outnumbered their French opponents 7:2).

We have one more battle to adjudicate in Turn 8, this time at Pilsen in the south. The Emperor has amassed his attack force (including the Imperial Guard) and Schwarzenberg has entrenched his army thoroughly. This battle will see 8 divisions v. 8 divisions and will be played on a 6' a 16' table!