Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Battle of Salzwedel - Move 6

1300 to 1400

4 April 1813

Table at the start of Move 6

Prussians Move First

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 6

Bulow orders the first brigade to occupy the right hand section of Salzwedel

He also sends a second brigade to occupy the left hand section.

French Move Second

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 5

Poniatowski orders his artillery to fire on the enemy square.

The gunners score a hit, and the Prussians have to test their morale

The Prussians fail and are Shaken.

Poniatowski must prevent the enemy from taking possession of Salzwedel

He orders his lancer brigade to move forward towards the town

He then brings up the remainder of the corps, ready to dispute the town.

Rule Note

The Prussian infantry thought that they were out of range of the enemy artillery.

In fact they were just in range.

The Polish gunners rolled 2x6 and scored a hit.

The Prussian infantry then had to test morale

They failed and are Shaken

They will have to test morale again next turn

If they fail again they will rout and probably take the landwehr with them

This could easily lose the battle for the Prussians

Rule 7 covers artillery fire

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Battle of Salzwedel - Move 5

1200 to 1300

4 April 1813

Table at the start of Move 5

Prussians Move First

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 4

Bulow moves to Salzwedel to sort out his Shaken cavalry

He orders them to withdraw from the town and move out of range of the enemy cavalry.

He then orders his infantry to occupy the buildings in the right hand section of the town.

Finally he moves back within command range of his corps so that he can order his artillery to fire should the enemy advance.

When his cavalry test their morale they pass and become Disordered.

French Move Second

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 3

A very disappointing dice roll for command points.

Poniatowski orders his gunners to manhandle their guns closer to the enemy

He then leads the remainder of the corps towards the town. They are currently in column of march, and will have to deploy before they can attack.

Rule Note

The Prussian cavalry roll another 6 to test morale.

This time they have supports in the village and are more than 16” from the nearest enemy. This makes their total 8

Minus 2 for Shaken, another 2 for casualties and 1 for being out of command range leaves them with 3 – just enough to pass test.

They become Disordered, but will be fully formed at the end of the move.

Full details on testing Morale can be found in Rule 17

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Battle of Salzwedel - Move 4

1100 to 1200

4 April 1813

Table at the start of Move 4

French Move First

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 4

Winning the cavalry melee has given Poniatowski an initial advantage.

Poor command dice robs him of the opportunity to exploit it.

There is now no danger from enemy cavalry, so his leading infantry brigade forms column of attack and prepares to advance on Salzwedel.

His artillery move forward and unlimber to pin the enemy whilst the remainder of the corps deploys ready to advance.

Prussians Move Second

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 5

Bulow must regain the initiative before the enemy cavalry move forward to pin his infantry.

He orders his leading infantry brigade forward and then into the town.

His second brigade moves to the right to take up position between the town and his artillery.

His Shaken cavalry must test morale.

They fail to rally, but are fortunate not to rout.

Rule Note

Both sides can have multiple moves providing that there is no enemy nearer than 16”. This is how the leading Prussian infantry could move forward and enter the town.

The Shaken Prussian cavalry rolled a 6 on 1xD6. They added plus 1 for being in the town. However they lost 1 for no supports, 1 for no general within command range, 2 for casualties and 2 for being Shaken. This left them with Plus 1. If they had lost one more point they would have Routed.

Full details on testing Morale can be found in Rule 17

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Battle of Salzwedel - Move 3

1000 to 1100

4 April 1813

Table at the start of move 3

French Move First

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 5

Poniatowski is now within command range of his lancer brigade

He orders them to charge the enemy cavalry

Before the cavalry melee Poniatowski orders his leading brigade into square

The two cavalry brigades are well matched, and if the lancers lose the melee the infantry behind would be in real danger

The lancers win the melee and drive the Shaken enemy back into Salzwedel

Prussians Move Second

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 6

The defeat of his hussar brigade is a serious set back to Bulow.

He orders his corps to advance one more move in column of attack.

His leading infantry brigade form square outside of charge range of the enemy cavalry. The corps artillery advance and unlimber beside them.

The remainder of the corps remain in column of march, safe behind the guns and square.

Rule Note

Poniatowski took a considerable risk when he ordered his lancers to charge the enemy hussars. Both sides were equal in combat ability and the melee could have gone either way. He was lucky that he scored 9 with 2xD6. Had he scored less than 6 he would have lost.

Cavalry v Cavalry combat is covered in Rule 14.

The Battle of Salzwedel - Move 2

0900 to 1000

4 April 1813

Table at the start of Move 2

French Move First

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 5

Poniatowski orders his cavalry brigade to advance to charge distance from the enemy hussars in front of Salzwedel

He moves the remainder of his corps forward in column of march for two moves

Prussians Move Second

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 6

Bulow is concerned that his hussar brigade is out of command range, but he dare not leave the remainder of the corps stationary. He moves the corps forward three moves in column of march. However he swings the head of his column to the right towards the approaching enemy column.

His cavalry brigade is still out of command range.

Bulow swings the head of his column to the right towards the gap between Salzwedel and the hill.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Battle of Salzwedel - Move 1

0800 to 0900

4 April 1813

Table at the start of move 1

French Move First

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 4

With only four command points Poniatowski moves his corps forward in column of march (2x8” move) behind his cavalry screen.

He is now within command distance of the lancers and can issue orders to them

Prussians Move Second

Orders – Engage

Command Points – 5

The extra command point is of no use to Bulow, as it takes two points to move himself and his corps each move. He also moves his corps forward in column of march for two moves.

His cavalry are outside command distance, and to issue orders to them he would have to leave his corps stationary and move within 8” of the cavalry.

Poniatowski joins his cavalry screen

Rule Notes

Each commander rolls one average dice to decide how many orders he can issue. A Poor commander adds 1 and an Average commander 2. See Rule 3.

It normally takes one command point to move any brigade, but Corps Moves allow the whole brigade to move for two command points. See Rule 3.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Battle of Salzwedel - Set Up

Battle of Salzwedel

Start 0800

4 April 1813

Wargames Map

Campaign Background

General Poniatowski has been ordered to march south from Domnitz and take Salzwedel in order to secure his communications with the remainder of the French Army.

General Bulow is aware that Dominz is occupied by the enemy, but they have avoided his cavalry and he is confident that they will not attempt to interfere with his march on Salzwedel. His cavalry have already passed through the town and deployed on the Dominz road.

The battle starts at 0800 4 April 1813.

table at start of battle

Wargames Table

Salzwedel is the two section village at the bottom left

The road from right to left is from Ardensee to Bodentech

The road from top to bottom is from Domnitz to Kalbe

Bulow’s cavalry brigade is just north of the village on the Domnitz road

The remainder of the Prussian corps will enter on the Ardensee road on move 1

The French will enter on the Domnitz road on move 1

Both the French and Prussians will start the game on Engage orders

Prussian cavalry in front of Salzwedel

Game Notes

This the first game of the PBEM Hanover Campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to test play a new set of PBEM rules.

The aim of the battle is to test transfer from map to wargames table

Orders of battle can be found at Labels 02 and 03 on the right


Rule Note

The rules will be our standard wargames rules.

There have been no special amendments

They can be found at http://napoleonicwargamerules.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Campaign Diary 4 April 1813

The Battle of Salzwedel

General Poniatowski has been tasked to hold the fortified town of Domnitz on the river Elbe. This town is of great strategic importance as it commands the main road from Berlin to Hamburg.

The Prussian advance across the river Elbe to the south has left Poniatowski in real danger of being cut off from the rest of the French Army of the North. At midnight on 3 April he receives orders from Marshal Davout to strike south and take the town of Salzwedel.

As he prepares to march south General Poniatowski receives reports from his cavalry that Prussian cavalry have entered Salzwedel. Because the Polish cavalry are widely spread, his patrol at Salzwedel is unable to prevent the Prussians from taking control of the town.

Poniatowski orders his patrols west of the river at Lenzen to march through the night to concentrate his cavalry brigade just south of Domnitz, to cover his advance on Salzwedel.

At daybreak on 4 April XIII corps march south from Domnitz to take Salzwedel. They march on Engage orders, which means that they will skirmish and fire on any enemy they encounter.

General Bulow commands 3rd Prussian corps. During the past three days he has crossed the river Elbe unopposed and taken the fortified town of Stendel. On 3 April he marched west to Ardensee, and his cavalry brigade was sent to recce Salzwedel.

This corps is the right wing of the Prussian advance which has crossed the river Elbe and cut the lines of communication between the French corps at Domnitz and Magdeburg. Bulow is aware of the enemy garrison of Domnitz, but their cavalry have always withdrawn before his advance guard, and he is convinced that the French will hold Domnitz and the road to Hamburg, rather than move south and risk defeat in an open battle.

At midnight on 3 April Bulow receives orders to continue his march west and occupy Salzwedel. He will also march on Engage orders.

At first light on 4 April he leads his corps out of Ardensee on the road to Salzwedel.

The scene is set for an encounter battle at Salzwedel.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Campaign Diary 3 April 1813

This map shows the situation as known to both armies as at midnight 3 April 1813.

The Prussians have established themselves on the west bank of the river Elbe between Salzwedel and Bismark.

A third Prussian corps at Parey is pinning the French at Colbitz and threatening Magdeburg.

The northern French corps at Domnitz is in real danger of being cut off from the main French army. Their supply lines are not in danger as they can draw on Hamburg, which is off map top left.

The French Army headquarters has moved north to Ruhen to keep in touch with the northern corps. However they are within one day’s march of Prussian cavalry at Kalbe and in danger of being captured.

French reinforcements are arriving from Hanover, and are well concentrated to strike at the Prussian left flank.

The Prussians have seized the initiative and crossed the formidable river crossing unopposed. They must now decide whether to strike north or south, of risk moving through the mountains in the centre.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Campaign Diary 2 April 1813

This map shows the areas where both sides have come into contact.

The Prussians have arrived at the river Elbe and have secured two crossing points, one at Werben and a second at Stendel.

The campaign opened with two French corps on the river Elbe, one at Magdeburg and another at Dominz. The Prussian crossing at Werben has forced the French to abandon Magdeburg and move to Colbitz in an attempt to contain the Prussian bridge head.

French reinforcements are known to have left Hanover and be marching towards the Rhine.

At this early stage of the campaign the Prussians have achieved their first objective of crossing the river Elbe. They must now make the most of their temporary advantage to consolidate their hold on the western bank before the French reinforcements can arrive.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Campaign Diary 1 April 1813

This map shows the known location of corps on each side.

There are four corps per side, and obviously the location of most are not known to the enemy

The French are thinly spread along the river Elbe. They hold the town of Dominz to the north and the city of Magdeburg to the south. Their cavalry patrol the area around both locations, but there is a large area which is not covered.

The French reserves are known to be in the general area of Hanover, and Prussian agents have reported that large bodies of infantry are already marching east towards the river Elbe.

Prussian cavalry have secured the bridge at Parey and have been joined by the remainder of the corps. The French are aware of this, and cavalry from Magdeburg have arrived at Colbitz to contain the enemy cavalry.

The civilian authorities of both Stendel and Werben have advised Marshal Davout that all bridges over the river Elbe have been closed by enemy cavalry. They also report sightings of large Prussian columns moving towards the river.

By nightfall it is clear that the Prussians will reach the river line before sufficient French reinforcements can arrive to secure all of the bridges.