Conquest of Europe – Summer 1792

Note: I am writing this with the limited facilities allowed on the iPad version of WordPress
The post will be allocated to the correct page on the site when I return to the full version.

This is an update to the campaign game played using the RISK game with added concepts from AXIS & ALLIES, to my own rules.

FRANCE began the summer of 1792 with a severe strategic imbalance. Normandy/Brittany was not garrisoned, although a fortress had been built. The majority of the armies were with General Murat in Languedoc/Provence.
Britain was threatening the Nord/Picardy area from Belgium where General Uxbridge had landed a mixed force.
With ¢210,000 in the coffers a new artillery brigade and four infantry brigades were raised.
General Murat hurried north to Picardy with one cavalry brigades to bolster the two infantry brigades there.
An infantry brigade from Paris was moved to the Normandy coast and an artillery brigade marched north to Lorraine/Burgundy.
To maximise income for more forces it was necessary to capture territory. The most likely prospect was Castile/Aragon, held by three British infantry brigades. Two cavalry and one infantry brigades crossed the pyrenees. It was a long shot as the odds were only 7:6 in favour of the French.
The first battle saw honours even with each side losing an infantry brigade, but when the French lost a cavalry brigade for no British loss in the second battle the remaining brigade withdrew to Languedoc/Provence.
The new recruits were posted to join Murat in Picardy. and ¢120,000 income was drawn from the 8 provinces and totality of France.

AUSTRIA had lost Galicia to the Russians in the spring and this was seriously affecting the economy. The neighbouring provinces of Hungary and Transylvania were weakly defended. Only one of these provinces could be reinforced in the summer campaign, so Transylvania was sacrificed in favour of a strong force in Hungary. Although the immediate thought was to create a large force of infantry for defence, it was considered that a mixed force for a counterattack on Galicia in 1793 should be raised. ¢240,000 was spent on three infantry, one artillery and one cavalry brigades.
General Bellegarde rode from Bavaria to Hungary to take charge, and one infantry brigade were sent from each of Bohemia and Austria.
At the same time Saxony was attacked from Bavaria by two cavalry and one infantry brigades. After two inconclusive battles the French were defeated and Austria claimed Saxony (drawing an Artillery card for the victory).
The new recruits were deployed in Hungary with General Bellegarde.
(A three card set of infantry/artillery/cavalry was exchanged for ¢100,000 and ¢80,000 income was gained for the 8 provinces occupied.

PRUSSIA was stretched thinly but not seriously threatened.
A risky but successful raid was mounted on the lone infantry brigade in Holland by one cavalry brigade from Hanover.
The main thrust was made from Wurtemberg/Westfalia against the French in Lorraine/Burgundy. General Pirch led a force of one brigade each of cavalry, infantry and artillery against the French Infantry and artillery force.
With the bonus for a mixed force and another bonus for the presence of Pirch it was a walkover.
Five new infantry brigades joined General Pirch in the newly captured province and Prussia drew a massive ¢250,000 in income from 11 Provinces, Prussian totality and a set of 3 mixed cards.

RUSSIA was now faced with a large force in Hungary but an easy victory in Transylvania. In the north their forces in Lithuania were balanced by the Prussians. A new fleet was commissioned at the cost of ¢120,000 with the plan of sailing troops to the weaker held coastal provinces of Prussia, or possibly the Scandinavian countries.
Three of the infantry brigades in Galicia moved into the fortress captured from the Austrians and two cavalry brigades attacked Transylvania. It was a hard fight with the Russians losing one cavalry brigade before the Austrian infantry brigade was defeated and the province taken.
Russia gained ¢140,000 in income.

GREAT BRITAIN was faced with a problem. There were strong forces in Belgium and in Southern England poised to strike at France but the fleets were abroad and no transport was available for General Hill’s force waiting on the south coast of the homeland.
The fleet off Andalusia sailed to Santander and that in Ostend was brought home.
General Uxbridge in Belgium had to content himself with sending a force to strike at Wurtemberg/Westfalia, now weakly held by the Prussians after their attack on Lorraine/Burgundy. The province was taken for the loss of one infantry brigade.
Britain’s taxes amounted to ¢160,000 for 9 provinces and the control of the United Kingdom and Iberia.

ITALY only had ¢80,000 available and so recruited two infantry brigades.
Unable to attack anywhere in strength, the fleet sailed from Piedmont/Tuscany to the east side of the Two Sicilies.
¢50,000 was received for the 5 provinces occupied and ¢20,000 for control of Italy.

By the end of the Summer France was in a poor position with the homeland invaded from the east and threatened from the north. Austria was losing ground to the east for which the German provinces captured were little compensation. Prussia was in the ascendant with the borders safe and France invaded but stretched thinly elsewhere. Russia was making excellent progress in the south and looking for opportunities in the north. Great Britain was consolidating and preparing for a strike from the sea in 1793 while Italy was holding her own but with little prospect for expansion.

Now winter approached and an end to the fighting for another year.

Five days of wargaming

Preparing myself for five days of Napoleonic Wargaming at the Wargames Holiday Centre . I am lucky enough to live about 15 minutes from the centre.
We will play a rolling series of battles set in Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Several of my Peninsular Campaign players will be there, as a result of the Donald Featherstone Tribute weekend in march 2014, and it appears we have a contingent from Austria joining us.

More toys ready for the table

I have just finished painting two light cavalry units for my generic Red Army and Blue Army.  They are painted in a toy soldier style, using only red, blue, white and black for uniforms, and a standard colour for horses within each regiment.

The models are from Irregular Miniatures’ 6mm range.  FN5 Polish Lancers if I remember well.

These photographs do not do them justice, taken with an iPhone because I have nothing better at the moment.

Red waits while Blue deploys two troops in scouting formation
Red waits while Blue deploys two troops in scouting formation
Blue cavalry scouting
Blue cavalry scouting
Red light cavalry in column of march
Red light cavalry in column of march

Footnote.  I know that in this scale you are supposed to skip the detail and concentrate on the mass, but I wish I had never taken up cavalry re-enacting.  I now feel compelled to paint almost every item of horse furniture where previously the reins would have been sufficient.  I use the Army Painter “Wargamer: Insane Detail” brush for much of this work, with a good light and a large magnifying glass.

And when deployed on the table know that the detail is there!

Wargaming on hold

6th November 2012
It is year 13 of the home redecoration 5 year plan, and time to completely refurbish the master bedroom. (Mistress bedroom would be more appropriate!).
This puts all wargaming activities on hold and means that painting must be restricted to items over 30mm tall. It also is the cause of a major upheaval in the household, as the room where everything without a home is stored must be emptied. This includes about half a ton of wargaming magazines and publications that need to be sorted, filtered and the lucky survivors found a new home.
Well, it is better than “cold turkey”. While “sorting out what to get rid of darling” I can look at other people’s games and get inspiration for when life returns to something like normal.

3rd December 2012
The decorating is finished and the furniture is being built. I did manage to get a wargame in while waiting for the furniture delivery. I played a game using my “Napoleonics on ASL boards” system. This game uses my collection of old Advanced Squad Leader boards and 13mm square plastic counters representing companies of line troops or platoons of skirmishers.

The mechanics are quite simple. Each hex is 20 paces across, a little less than half the stated size in Avalon Hill’s design, but more realistic given the layout of buildings and roads. The hardest part of the game, given that the terrain boards were intended for World War Two close combat, is keeping the regiment’s companies together in anything like a line. Perfect for some of the broken terrain encountered in Spain.
Firing is by company. Light companies and designated light battalions, rifles, etc. can split a company into three platoons to work in difficult terrain. Companies that take more than 6 hits are inverted and morale works on the basis of rolling more than the number of inverted tiles. After the morale check the inverted tiles are removed. Combat bonuses are given for formation, flanking and type of troops.
This is an absorbing game with minimal set-up time that can be fought to a conclusion in a couple of hours, with the advantage that the losing army can retreat to a new random board at the end of the battle, and the game can be continued on another occasion.