Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Battle of LIGNY, 1815 AAR#1

Napoleonic Battle Scenario:

The Battle of Ligny/The assault on St. Amand – June 16, 1815
Von Zieten I versus Vandamme

Historical Perspective:

On 15 June Napoleon had crossed the Sambre at Charleroi and had pushed a wedge between Wellington and Blücher. His army was divided into three parts: on the left wing one corps and two cavalry divisions stood under the command of Marshal Ney, on the right wing two cavalry corps under Marshal Grouchy and in the centre three corps (including the Imperial Guard) and Milhaud's IV Cavalry Corps (cuirassiers) as a heavy cavalry reserve under the command of Napoleon. Napoleon's most important goal consisted of keeping the two opposing armies separated and striking each individually. For this purpose Ney would move against the Anglo-Allies on Quatre Bras and hold Wellington's forces there. At the same time the French III Corps under Vandamme and IV Corps under Gérard would attack the Prussians frontally on their line of defense between Wagnelée, St. Amand and Ligny, while Grouchy marched on Sombreffe. Girard's 7th Infantry Division, detached from Reille's II Corps, the bulk of which was at Quatre Bras, reinforced Vandamme. Napoleon wanted to advance in the centre of the
Prussian position at Fleurus and decide the battle with a final advance by the Old Guard. The plan of separation of opposing armies and defeat in detail was an old and favored stratagem of Napoleon's, dating back to his operations in Italy, and had been the deciding factor in his campaigns in Austria, and in his battles with the Fifth Coalition.

Blücher's troops consisted of the I Prussian Corps under Ziethen, the II Corps under Pirch I and the III Corps under Thielmann. The I Corps was located in the foremost position and had support from the II Corps located behind it - their task, the defense of the villages of Ligny, Brye, and St. Amand, while the III Corps formed the left wing and covered the routes of withdrawal towards Gembloux and Namur. Blücher and Wellington had to avoid being separated, and on the morning of the battle Wellington rode to a meeting with Blücher at the windmill of Brye and promised Blücher the support of at least one Anglo-Allied corps. Wellington then returned to Quatre Bras.

Napoleon delayed his attack until about 1430 when he heardbcannon fire coming from the direction of Quatre Bras, and concluded that his left flank was secure. This delay also gave Gérard's Corps more time to deploy as it had only recently arrived in Fleurus, and had an important role to play in Napoleon's plan of attack on Ligny. Both delays meant that there was less time to win a decisive victory.

Napoleon began the attack with a cannonade by the Guards artillery positioned around Fleurus. Shortly afterwards Vandamme's Corps, with Girard's Division attached on its left, attacked the hamlet of St. Amand La Haye. Elements of Steinmetz's Brigade, defending St. Amand, could not withstand the pressure of Lefol's Division and was forced to retreat. Shortly afterwards a counter attack by General Steinmetz with six additional battalions recaptured the hamlet. A renewed attack by Vandamme's troops led to a bitter fight in which the Prussians lost approximately 2,500 men and possession of both Saint-Amand and St. Amand La Haye.

With the loss of St. Amand and St. Amand La Haye, Blücher's right flank threatened to give way, so he ordered Pirch II's Brigade to retake St. Amand La Haye. Although Girard was mortally wounded [he died in Paris on 25 June of his wounds] the French held the hamlet, so Blücher ordered Tippelskirch to envelop the French with an attack by units of the II Corps on the left flank of the hamlet. French reinforcements, deployed in front of Wagnelée, attacking Tippelskirch's brigade as they marched out of the grain fields to get into position for their attack. The French counter-attack drove them back into the hamlet.

At about 1700 Vandamme sighted a large unidentified force advancing on Fleurus, which he incorrectly assumed to be enemy troops, these were in fact D’Erlon’s forces. The French needed to ascertain if these were friend of foe. And as the French hesitated, Blücher took the initiative ordering an attack on Vandamme’s position. Vandamme received support from Duhesme's Young Guard and the Prussians were thrown back to their original positions.

Blücher now received a message that Wellington was heavily engaged fighting Ney and, therefore, could on no account send support to Ligny. In order to force a decision Blücher decided to counter-attack Vandamme once more. First, he strengthened his exhausted forces in Ligny, and then he collected his last reserves and personally led an attack on St. Amand. The attack was initially successful and the Prussians managed to recapture St. Amand Le Hameau, but the attack faltered and they were counter-attacked by elements of the Guard west of St. Amand, which precipitated a disorderly retreat from St. Amand La Haye.

On the Prussian right, Zieten's I Corps retreated slowly with most of its artillery, leaving a
rearguard close to Brye to slow the French pursuit. The bulk of the rearguard held their
positions until about midnight, before following the rest of the retreating army. In fact, Zieten's I Corps rearguard units only left the battlefield in the early morning of 17 June, as the French were too exhausted to press their advantage.

French Army:

L'Armée du Nord (68,000 men) under the command of Emperor Napoleon I.
Old Guard Division GD Friant
Middle Guard Division, GD Morand
Young Guard Division, GD Duhesme
Heavy Cavalry Division, GD Guyot
* I Corps, commander: GD Drouet d'Erlon (Corps not engaged)
1st Division, GB Quiot
2nd Division, GD Donzelot
7th Infantry Division, GD Girard
8th Infantry Division, GD Lefol
10th Infantry Division, GD Habert
11th Infantry Division, GD Berthezène
3rd Cavalry Division, GD Domon
12th Infantry Division, GD Pécheux
13th Infantry Division, GD Vichery
14th Infantry Division, GD Hulot
Cavalry reserve, GD Jacquinot
20th Division, GD Jeanin
III Cavalry Corps, commander: GD Kellermann (at Quatre Bras, except:)
11th Division, GD l'Héritier
IV Cavalry Corps, commander: GD Milhaud
14th Cavalry Division Delort
By contrast, the Prussian Army was, at this point, in a sorry state. According to historian Peter Hofschröer "The armed forces fielded by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815 were in terms of quality of manpower, equipment, and coherence of organization probably the worst fielded by Prussia in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Prussian cavalry was reorganizing and converting the Freecorps and Legions into regular cavalry formations. The artillery was lacking guns and needed equipment and, in fact, guns and equipment continued to arrive from Prussia even as the battles were raging. No less than one third of the Prussian Infantry consisted of Landwehr (militia) and, unlike the Landwehr of 1813/1814, these were untrained. Hofschröer says that "they could be counted to go forward in disorder and retreat in chaos". To further compound the Prussians' problems, the Saxon and Rhinelander contingents were recent additions to the Prussian Army and were reluctant at best; in fact, the Saxons rebelled and were sent home before the French advanced, and many of the Rhinelanders would desert and head home during the battle.

Prussian Army:

Prussian Army (84,000 men), under the command of Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
Lieutenant-General (Chief of staff): August von Gneisenau
  • I Corps, commander: Lieutenant-General von Zieten
1st Brigade, Major-General von Steinmetz
2nd Brigade, Major-General Pirch II[4]
3rd Brigade, Major-General Jagow
4th Brigade major, general Henckel von Donnersmarck
Reserve Cavalry, Lieutenant-General von Röder
1st brigade, von Teskow
2nd brigade, von Lützow
Reserve artillery, von Lehmann
5th Brigade, Major-General von Tippelskirch
6th Brigade, Major-General von Krafft
7th Brigade, Major-General von Brause
8th Brigade, Major-General Bose
Reserve Cavalry Major-General of Cavalry, von Wahlen-Jürgass
1st brigade, von Thümen
2nd brigade, von Schulenburg
3rd brigade, von Sohr
Reserve artillery, von Röhl
9th brigade, von Borcke
10th Brigade, von Kämpffen
11th Brigade, von Luck
12th Brigade, von Stülpnagel
Reserve Cavalry Major-General Hobe
1st brigade, von der Marwitz
2nd brigade, von Lottum
Reserve artillery, von Mohnhaupt
Prussian preparations:

The Prussians were not caught napping and set up a series of artillery/cavalry outposts whereby the cavalry patrolled the front and raced back to the artillery which would fire cannon in a prearranged signal. In this way the thinly stretched 1st and 2nd Brigades were promptly alerted and began rapid assembly General Zieten's I Corps would begin a difficult delaying/ fighting/ withdrawal giving time for the Prussian Army to assemble. The post chain was a relay of towns, each set up as a fortified village. Each was commanded by a Prussian officer who made sure that the post kept enough horses, forage, and troops to move messages efficiently along. In addition these posts served as intelligence posts where surveillance would take place, stragglers would be collected up, and wandering civilians would be closely questioned. A post chain was set up all the way back to Blücher's command post so that the Headquarters was alerted from the first French deployment. General Steinmetz' 1st brigade of the I Corps had been very active in touring his outposts on 12 May, 17 May, 21 May, and 9 June. Out posting and intelligence collection were given proper weight.

Reports sent back to General Steinmetz indicated that an attack was seen as imminent as soon as 12 June. During the period of 12 June through to 14 June reports were sent by the I Corps brigade commanders and General Zieten himself to General Blücher and General Wellington. In addition communications were made with the Dutch cavalry adjoining I Corps position to the west. It is notable that General Steinmetz ordered his brigade to assemble for defense on the night of 13 June and General Pirch II on the morning of the 14th, so thick was French deployments to their front. The first French attacks were to take place on 15 June.


Converging towards battle:

On 15 June Napoleon had crossed the Sambre at Charleroi and had pushed a wedge between Wellington and Blücher. His army was divided into three parts: on the left wing one corps and two cavalry divisions stood under the command of Marshal Ney, on the right wing two cavalry corps under Marshal Grouchy and in the centre three corps (including the Imperial Guard) and Milhaud's IV Cavalry Corps (cuirassiers) as a heavy cavalry reserve under the command of Napoleon. Napoleon's most important goal consisted of keeping the two opposing armies separated and striking each individually. For this purpose Ney would move against the Anglo-Allies on Quatre Bras and hold Wellington's forces there. At the same time the French III Corps under Vandamme and IV Corps under Gérard would attack the Prussians frontally on their line of defense between Wagnelée, Saint-Amand and Ligny, while Grouchy marched on Sombreffe. Vandamme's corps was reinforced by Girard's 7th Infantry Division, detached from Reille's II Corps, the bulk of which was at Quatre Bras. Napoleon wanted to advance in the centre of the Prussian position at Fleurus and decide the battle with a final advance by the Old Guard. The plan of separation of opposing armies and defeat in detail was an old and favoured stratagem of Napoleon's, dating back to his operations in Italy, and had been the deciding factor in his campaigns in Austria, and in his battles with the Fifth Coalition.

Blücher's troops consisted of the I Prussian Corps under Ziethen, the II Corps under Pirch I[13] and the III Corps under Thielmann. The I Corps was located in the foremost row and had support from the II Corps standing behind it – the task, the defence of the villages of Ligny, Brye, and Saint-Amand, while the III Corps formed the left wing and the routes of withdrawal while defending Gembloux and Namur. Blücher and Wellington had to avoid above all being separated. Still in the morning of the battle Wellington rode to a meeting with Blücher at the windmill of Brye (or Bussy) and promised Blücher the support of at least one Anglo-Allied corps.

After the break for discussion with Blücher, Wellington left for Quatre Bras. In reaction to the troop movements of the French, II and III Corps began sending reinforcements to I Corps under General Ziethen. The Prussian front lines were too long for the troops available and were depending on the arrival of the IV Corps under Bülow advancing from Liège south west of the battlefield.

The Prussians now faced the French with 82,700 troops, with the French Army numbering around 60,800 available troops.

My starting position on the extreme Right Flank (Wagnalee)! #528 were my troops mistakingly placed on the board (French spies) and were taken off to return on turn Two!

The enemy survey's the battlefield and prepares to move.

The view of the assault from the French perspective. The terrain done by Nigel himself using (Yes, believe it, or not?) Teddy Bear fur. Nigel has truly mastered this medium. I love the flowing wheat field effect!

And the view from my initial battle positions. Let the game begin!

As the French have the initiative they will move first! The Green markers you see placed in the Built up Areas (BUA's) represent the different difficulty levels required in order to traverse the BUA's. They range from Light, to Medium and Heavy!

The Prussian center will have to move rapidly in order to stop the rapidly advancing French from aquiring the BUA's of St.Amand and St.Amand-Long-Prez/Ferme La Haye!

The initial Prusiann forces to stem the tide are in Skirmish order behind the hedge rows as the reserves move up.

A closer perspective from within the BUA.

And my troops positions in the Center in perspective to the first line of defense.

The enemy at first appears to be coming straight on. My hopes are they will do so, and when my troops come on board in turns two and three, unbeknownst to them, I'll just roll straight up their flank. That's my initial plan so far.

Now if you've read any of my previous posts I've already introduced you to my good friend Murphy. We'll he decides to rear his ugly head again and the French players decide to come right at me and to try and take the BUA of Wagnalee. There goes my initial plan. "Merde" from the jump!

You Bastards!

The French fear not and assault the whole main line defensive positions to try and basically overwhelm/overrun our positions. We're not so sure why our Commander and Chief (CinC) left some of our troops exposed like a finger in the middle? Maybe it was to say "FU" French you just try to overrun us!

My HOPE was that the actions in the Center and our Left Flank as well as the finger would divert the French attention from Wagnalee.

As well as this wooden farmhouse. Perhaps the French would hold this as it was a Prussian victory point!

But alas it was not to be and the French assaulted the lines everywhere.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Battle of LIGNY, 1815 C&GII's 20th Anniversary Game! AAR

And so it begins! This will probably be the most in depth AAR that I've published so far.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed participating in it!

Carnage&GloryII is an easy to learn and easy to play computer moderated rule system suitable for both the novice and experienced player. There are no complex charts or book-keeping and accounting required as Carnage&GloryII maintains all the relevant information regarding the status of the combat units and general officers within the system database. Complex concepts such as variable weather and ground conditions, heat exhaustion, ammunition usage, mental and physical fatigue and variable morale are easily accommodated by the system. By eliminating the emphasis on dice and charts typical of more traditional wargames, the sole focus of the game becomes the tactical movement and engagement of the forces under your command. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating wargame experience.

Development of the original Carnage and Glory DOS system version was begun in 1987, and the various systems have been commercially available since 1991. With the release of the new Windows version in 2001 the system has reached new heights of sophistication, playability and user friendliness.

Carnage&GloryII requires a Windows based computer running Windows operating system, a minimum of 10Mb hard disk space. Both Windows Vista and Windows 7 are supported by the system.

Carnage&GloryII is suitable for all figure and ground scales, with no requirement for rebasing of figures. This is possible because the system 'thinks' in terms of real men and real distances, not numbers of figures or distances measured in inches or millimeters.

Typical ground scales are 1" = 25 paces [1 mm = 1 pace] for 20 - 40 mm figures, and 1" = 50 paces [1 mm = 2 paces] for 6 - 18 mm figures. Alternatively, 1" = 100 paces can also be used with 6 mm figures and for the American Civil War and Franco-Prussian War, 3" = 100 paces [3 mm = 4 paces] for 20 - 40 mm figures.

Battle of Ligny
Part of the Waterloo Campaign
Battle of Ligny map.jpg
Map of the battle
Date16 June 1815
LocationLigny, present-day Belgium
ResultFrench victory
France French EmpireKingdom of Prussia Prussia
Commanders and leaders
Napoleon crop.jpg
Napoleon I
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.jpg
Gebhard von Blücher
Casualties and losses
6,950 – 8,500 dead or wounded[2]20,000 – 30,000 dead or wounded
27 cannons

On 13 March 1815, six days before Napoleon reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw; four days later, the United Kingdom, Russia, Austria, and Prussia bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule. Napoleon knew that, once his attempts at dissuading one or more of the Seventh Coalition Allies from invading France had failed, his only chance of remaining in power was to attack before the Coalition could put together an overwhelming force. If he could destroy the existing Coalition forces south of Brussels before they were reinforced, he might be able to drive the British back to the sea and knock the Prussians out of the war.

The Duke of Wellington expected Napoleon to try to envelop the Coalition armies, a manoeuvre that he had successfully used many times before, by moving through Mons to the south-west of Brussels. The roads to Mons were paved, which would have enabled a rapid flank march. This would have cut Wellington's communications with his base at Ostend, but would also have pushed his army closer to Blücher's. In fact, Napoleon planned instead to divide the two Coalition armies and defeat them separately, and he encouraged Wellington's misapprehension with false intelligence. Moving up to the frontier without alerting the Coalition, Napoleon divided his army into a left wing, commanded by Marshal Ney, a right wing commanded by Marshal Grouchy, and a reserve, which he commanded personally (although all three elements remained close enough to support one another). Crossing the frontier at Thuin near Charleroi before dawn on 15 June, the French rapidly over-ran Coalition outposts and secured Napoleon's favoured "central position" – at the junction between the area where Wellington's allied army was dispersed to his north-west, and Blücher's Prussian army to the north-east.

Only very late on the night of 15 June was Wellington certain that the Charleroi attack was the main French thrust, and he duly ordered his army to deploy near Nivelles and Quatre Bras. Early on the morning of 16 June, at the Duchess of Richmond's ball, on receiving a dispatch from the Prince of Orange, he was shocked by the speed of Napoleon's advance, and hastily sent his army in the direction of Quatre Bras, where the Prince of Orange, with the brigade of Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, was holding a tenuous position against the French left, commanded by Marshal Ney. Ney's orders were to secure the crossroads of Quatre Bras, so that if necessary, he could later swing east and reinforce Napoleon.

As Napoleon considered the concentrated Prussian army the greater threat, he moved against them first. Lieutenant-General Zieten's I Corps rearguard action on 15 June held up the French advance, giving Blücher the opportunity to concentrate his forces in the Sombreffe position, which had been selected earlier for its good defensive attributes.

Napoleon's original plan for 16 June was based on the assumption that the Coalition forces, who had been caught napping, would not attempt a risky forward concentration; and he intended therefore to push an advanced guard as far as Gembloux, for the purpose of feeling for and warding off Blücher. To assist this operation the reserve would move at first to Fleurus to reinforce Grouchy, should he need assistance in driving back Blücher's troops; but, once in possession of Sombreffe, Napoleon would swing the reserve westwards and join Ney, who, it was supposed, would have in the meantime mastered Quatre Bras.

In pursuance of this object Ney, to whom III Cavalry Corps (Kellermann) was now attached, was to mass at Quatre Bras and push an advanced guard 10 kilometres (6 miles) northward of that place, with a connecting division at Marbais to link him with Grouchy. The centre and left wing together would then make a night-march to Brussels. The Coalition forces would thus be irremediably sundered, and all that remained would be to destroy them in detail. Napoleon now awaited further information from his wing commanders at Charleroi, where he massed the VI Corps (Lobau), to save it, if possible, from a harassing countermarch, as it appeared likely that it would only be wanted for the march to Brussels. Ney spent the morning in massing his I and II corps, and in reconnoitring the enemy at Quatre Bras, who, as he was informed, had been reinforced. But up till noon he took no serious step to capture the cross-roads, which then lay at his mercy. Grouchy meantime reported from Fleurus that Prussians were coming up from Namur, but Napoleon does not appear to have attached much importance to this report. He was still at Charleroi when, between 09:00 and 10:00, further news reached him from the left that considerable hostile forces were visible at Quatre Bras. He at once wrote to Ney saying that these could only be some of Wellington's troops, and that Ney was to concentrate his force and crush what was in front of him, adding that he was to send all reports to Fleurus. Then, keeping Lobau provisionally at Charleroi, Napoleon hastened to Fleurus, arriving about 11:00.

C&GII 20th Anniversary Game, June 18, 2011, Norwalk, CT

NAP - Ligny, June 16, 1815 - The Attack on St. Amand: 28mm 9 AM [GM Nigel P. Marsh]

This past weekend I hosted a refight of the assault on St. Amand for fourteen friends and we had an excellent time!

The French players were lead by David Bonk [Vandamme], and included John
Manning, Dan Druckman [Dn.Lefol], Rob Walter [Dn.Berthezene], Paul Crouch [Dn.Habert], Guy Gormley and Guy Jr.,[Dn.Girard].

The Prussian players were lead by John Snead [Ziethen], and included Todd
Kauderer, Scott Monteith [Dn.Steimetz], Jon Davenport, Tom Ballou [Dn.Pirch II],Tom Cusa and Chris Maine [Dn.Tippelskirch].

The Battle weary Prussians & French victors. Can you tell who is who? (Smiles)

St.Amand – Assaulted by Dn.Lefol and defended by Bde.Steinmetz. The French
eventually captured both strong points [Church and wooden building defending bridge], also capturing virtually the entire strength of two Fusilier battalions and the attached Schutzen battalion. Steinmetz was wounded and captured himself in the village square outside of the church. The Prussians attempted to retake and relieve Steinmetz's isolated battalions within St.Amand by attacking across the bridge now defended by the French, but failed in each attempt, losing engineer officer Beyer to a severe wound as a consequence. The French committed fifteen battalions to the assault, the Prussians nine to the defense and counterattack.

St.Amand-Long-Prez/Ferme La Haye – Assaulted by Dn.Berthezene and Dn.Habert and defended by Bde.Pirch II. The French successfully captured both strong points south of the Ligny Brook, but were unable to press their advantage to capture the ferme La Haye beyond the brook. The defensive efforts of Bde.Pirch II resulted in the highest percentage casualties amongst any Prussian brigade, six of nine battalions amongst Pirch II's force being used up in their spirited defense. At one point Napoleon himself made an appearance with the gardens of St. Amand-Long-Prez in a successful effort to rally several French battalions – the cries of Vive L'Empereur can still be heard. The French committed twenty battalions to the assault, and the Prussians twelve to the defense.

Wagnelee – Assaulted by Dn.Girard and Bde.Tippelskirch. In advance of the Prussian arrival in this area, the French seized the initiative by advancing upon the village of Wagnelee and the bridge to its east, which was masked by a Prussian 12 pdr battery from Pirch I's corps reserve artillery. The opposing artillery engaged in counterbattery fire, with one French half battery losing a cannon and caisson, before being forced to retire. The Prussian infantry occupied the church luring the French to assault across the bridge. On their second attempt, led by GB Piat they were counterattacked by a Prussian Landwehr battalion who successfully pushed the French back from the bridge. The French committed eight battalions against nine Prussian battalions in this area.

Napoleon released one brigade of the Young Guard to assist in the assault on St. Amand detaching a second to observe a mystery force arriving from the west, whilst Blucher called up three battalions of Bde.Kraft to counterattack the French hold on St. Amand-Long-Prez, detaching a further six to observe the French redeployment to the west. But at this point it was clear that the Prussians were tiring and their morale sinking and Blucher took the only course open to him and ordered a withdrawal from their positions. The French were themselves exhausted by their efforts, and would need time to consolidate and form up ready to continue their assault. But with losses heavily against the Prussians Napoleon was in a position to claim a major victory.

I am really looking forward to reprise this very different engagement at H'con in a few weeks.

The initial setup was waiting for us upon arrival!

This was great as it allowed for the participants to get straight into the game!

The early arrivers survey the battlefield and soon to be Carnage & Glory.

The sides are given 30 minutes to survey their options and develop a plan.

Coming Soon, UNIFORMOLOGY 101!

I noticed that when I started this site I mentioned that one of my passions about this era was Uniformology, and though I consider myself a novice uniformologist (Gibernard) (a gibernard being a " uniformologue" to say one impassioned with military uniforms), I've been doing some research lately and have decided it's no good to keep all this information to myself. So, why not share it amongst the community.

We've had some discussions on the Yahoo group in the past on particular uniform issues, but have never quite broached how to attack this massive yet sometimes confusing subject? Especially when dealing with NAPOLEONIC'S. Since on this site I can only do so much due to it's physical limitations. Such as not post a massive amount of pictures. I've decided to use both the blog and the Yahoo group to they're respective full advantages. I look forward to your input! STAY TUNED....


PS: The LIGNY AAR is up next on the BLOG

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In celebration of Les Grognards 2 Yr Anniversary!

Wargaming in History

I recently found both of these videos on the internet and thought I'd share some Hobby history with you all!

Un gibernard de première classe


M Albert RIGONDAUD, peintre officiel des armées, fabrique des figurines de soldats qui reproduisent très fidèlement les costumes militaires. Il présente différents types de soldats qu'il peint en fonction de la période historique à laquelle ils font référence. C'est un passionné d'histoire qui veut apporter quelque chose aux générations qui le suivront. Il explique pourquoi il utilise des soldats de série en matière plastique de préférence aux figurines en plomb très difficiles à travailler, présente sa collection personnelle (soldats de Louis XV, gardes suisses, soldats de Louis XVI...) et la collection de SCHMIDT. Il raconte son travail de recherche dans les archives pour identifier les soldats. Il reproduit sur des planches documentaires les détails des uniformes militaires dont il est parvenu à retrouver la trace. Il explique comment il a obtenu le titre de "gibernard de première classe" (un gibernard étant un "uniformologue" c'est-à-dire un passionné d'uniformes militaires) et l'origine du terme.

Babelfish Translation (Not 100%);

Mr. Albert RIGONDAUD, official painter of the armies, manufactures figurines of soldiers who reproduce the military costumes very accurately. He presents various types of soldiers qu' he paints according to the historical period to which they refer. C' one is impassioned d' history which wants to bring something to the generations which will follow it. He explains why he preferably uses soldiers of series out of plastic to the lead figurines very difficult to work, presents his personal collection (soldiers of Louis XV, guards Swiss, soldiers of Louis XVI…) and the collection of SCHMIDT. He tells his research task in the files to identify the soldiers. He reproduces on documentary boards the details of the military uniforms of which he managed to find the trace. He explains how he obtained the title of " gibernard of first classe" (a gibernard being a " uniformologue" c' be-with-to say one impassioned d' military uniforms) and l' origin of the term.

Marcus Hinton at work and play

Marcus Hinton, military historian, carves model soldiers and his wife paints them - historically accurate to the last detail.

C/U of books with old fashioned drawings of soldiers. M/S of Marcus at work in a studio filled with military memorabilia: antique uniforms, guns and hats. C/U of Marcus inspecting a plumed hat. Extreme C/U of Marcus' hands as he carves a tiny soldier figure. C/U of Marcus swapping a chisel for another tool. Marcus is seen referring to contemporary prints of soldiers as he works. Pan along military artefacts on display. Marcus is seen breaking a figure of a mould. C/U of Marcus laying the figures on the table.

M/S of Mrs Hinton sitting at a table covered in paint pots and lead figures. Various shots of Mrs. H painting the figures. C/U of a drawing of a Scottish soldier. C/U of a figure in a kilt in Mrs. H.'s hands, she paints it to match the drawing. Various extreme C/Us of Scottish soldier figure alongside French, Viking and Norman soldiers. Mrs. H. is seen painting a tiny tableau showing a soldiers returning to his family from war. Top shot of a model of a fort under siege. Various extreme C/Us of soldiers on the siege model - appears to be from the Napoleonic era.

Various shots of Marcus and Mrs. H. (wearing an antique army jacket ) playing a table top battle game with the model soldiers. Various shots of Mrs. H and Marcus shifting their opposing armies of toy soldiers across the table.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prepping for Ligny, 1815!

So as I mentioned in a previous post Nigel Marsh the creator of the Napoleonic Rules system "Carnage & Glory II" has invited me to participate in the 20th anniversary game of the "Battle of Ligny, 1815" on June 18th in Norwalk, CT (See announcement).  I for one can't think of a better Father's Day present and so my significant other has graciously allowed me to partake in the festivities.  It wasn't a hard sell for her to say "YES" after attending the "Mumford & Son's" concert for her birthday present!  I'd like to say it was all part of my "Master Plan", which I suppose it was a bit, except it probably is more due to timing than anything else really.  If there's one thing I've learned in "Love and War" it's that you have to know when to "Pick & Choose your battles"!

The picture from Nigel's Yahoo Group! See link

Below is a copy of Nigel's invitation explaining all the details;

The ECONO Lodge has recently been refurbished!

Nigel has already posted some pictures of the battlefield;
St.Amand/St.Amand Long Prez

Ferme La Haye


St.Amand Aerial

Le Hameau/Wagnelee

Wagnelee Prussian Perspective

St.Amand/La Haye French perspective
St.Amand French Perspective

St.Amand French Perspective w/ some troops forming up!

St.Amand/La Haye Prussian Perspective

I'm seriously looking forward to this event as I'll be unable to attend HISTORICON this year!  This will be the first game that I've ever played Prussian forces in in over 30 yrs of wargaming. "Wish me Luck"

The game's main interface screen

Here is where "Carnage & Glory II rules can be purchased;

This is a very nice write up of the gaming system;

I have some comments on the rules for those who are unfamiliar with them.

I have recently been using "Carnage and Glory" computer moderated rules to resolve battles. I've tried many computer rules over the years and never found a set that was satisfying to play. However these are quite the opposite. Very fast and easy to use, yet they provide a very good game in which the computer keeps track of many things that could not be done in normal rules without slowing the game down. As a result the players can concentrate on the tactics and how the battle is run.

There is also a quite considerable 'fog of war' element that makes the game rather interesting. You may know you are hitting the other side and possibly hurting, but you cant be really sure how much you are hurting, nor can you be sure what effect it is having on the morale of the other side. Because of the multiple variables all sorts of things can happen. In one battle I had some really crappy units defending my Prussian left flank. They came under heavy attack by some rather good Swedish troops. One Prussian unit required the general to be attached to rally them. The result was that they held on and held on, repulsed three assaults on them, suffered enormous casualties and eventually retired in good order. (Because the computer remembers... their heroic action resulted in their morale grade has been improved for future games)
But the down side was that while the general was holding them in place he lost control of his other units and these fled! It also remembers troops that did badly, so one of my better Swedish units had dropped down a grade.

In campaign games the status of a unit can carry over from one battle to the next, so they can gain (or decline) in combat status and the number of troops remaining kept track of. Yet if wished you can add replacements. All up the rules work very well and I am very pleased with the games that result.

Rick and I are doing a game tonight that is part of 'The little war' (kleinerKrieg) in Germany during the seven years war. Russian units are raiding a Prussian town for forage and are being engaged by a Prussian force that was on its way to forage in the same town. Lots of cossacks and dubious light troops and volunteer 'friekorps' on both sides will make it interesting as the computer variations will handle all these varied troops easily, keep track of them, and through variations, produce some surprises as units react better or worse than expected.

Things taken into account are how tired the troops get doing various things, the effect of the weather on them, their morale, ammunition status, local leadership, over all leadership, cover, formation, casualties, capture of flags, engineering and so on. I've never seen a set of normal rules that could take into account so many variables without being painfully slow to use, whereas Carnage and Glory really rattles along.

Each unit you enter has a unique number that identifies them to the program. Although only one number is provided I found it easier to print out duplicates. That enabled me to put a number on the front and the back of the unit command base. That way it can almost certainly be seen easily and makes it quick to enter its id number into the computer during a game. The names of units are still applied in the listings, but the id number is vital in playing the game. So it retains the personal touch of unit names, but the number provides a convenient reference for the computer program.

It takes some time and patience to enter all one's units into the program in the first place, but you only have to do that once. If you paint up a new unit, you enter that on the end of the list so that the numbers of the others don't change. Even when entering the data it produces really individualized units through multiple choices of factors, or if preferred you can go for a randomrating. It is possible to have a unit that are excellent shots, yet terrible in hand to hand fighting. Conversely you can have one that loves the bayonet, but cant hit the side of a barn with musketry! Skirmishing or close order is handled well too.

Formation changes the unit is capable of making are part of the program, but you can find a crappy unit getting disordered while trying to do something and having to sort itself out.....or a really elite unit performing the same formation, change vary snappily and in less time than expected. Then again depending on the unit the command may decide not to do what you want and do something different.

Example:- in one battle I told a unit of crack Prussian grenadiers to go into square when charged by cavalry. Considering the short distance the cavalry had to charge the unit command elected not to do what I had said. Instead it remained in line and proceeded to blow the charging cavalry out of their saddles! But a less disciplined
unit did obey and got caught out of formation and in disorder when some cavalry
charged them.

When you open the program there are already many armies listed and entered up. This enables one to just rename them to suit ones own army if wished and get straight into a game. That certainly speeds up the entering of ones armies but after a while I found I enjoyed entering my armies myself and individualizing the units. Its kind of fun to do. I even used the Duffy book on the Prussian army of the seven years war, where the units are given the ratings Frederick the Great himself applied, based on how they had done in his various campaigns.

The generals also have considerable variation in their ability and one can model them on real life personalities. With generals I did much the same thing across various books, so the British general Lord George Sackville who was brave, but noted for his dithering at the battle of Minden is a good leader in actual combat but slow and unreliable when making wider decisions.

Von Seydlitz is a wonderful combat leader and very inspirational when rallying the cavalry, but not so good when making strategic decisions. Von Hacke is a great leader of units in a strategic sense, but when rallying broken troops or leading them in close combat has the inspirational effect of a squashed slug. So it goes on and its fun to have each officer so closely personalized, or if wished you can simply choose to randomize their ability. Many come already listed in the game depending on the era you choose.