Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Battle of Hohenfriedburg : Silesia 4th June 1745.

 Maria Theresa the Empress of Austria had previously signed a peace treaty with the Prussian Monarch Frederick. This was so, that she could deal with French and Spanish attacks elsewhere on her territories.

In 1745 the Empress decided to renew hostilities with the Prussians. The Austrian Army in Bohemia was set in motion again, Eastward toward Silesia. The Empress was determined to regain the Province.

The command of the Austrian army was given to Prince Charles of Lorraine who, having nearly beaten the Prussians before was considered the most experienced. He was also a Brother-in-Law to the Empress bringing the stamp of Royalty to the position.

The early hours of the 4th June 1745 found King Frederick of Prussia atop a hill near the town of Striegau staring West, watching the Austrian army as it lumbered from the Bohemian Hills onto the undulating open ground across the river Striegau from where he stood.

Watching  the Austrian Army settle, the King decided on a surprise attack starting with the Austrian left. The attack went awry from the start.



In the first instance the Austrian line was longer than Frederick thought so the Prussian troops came against the line rather than around it. Secondly, in having to cross the Striegau, the Prussian troops came into battle piecemeal.

As the Saxon allies posted on the left of the Austrian Army came under attack this alerted the Austrian commanders and the Army was bought into position----.



The Austrian-Saxon Army.

Austria: 40,000 = 40 points.

1 General ( Prince Charles of Lorraine) @ 1 point.

1 General ( Berlichingen) @ 1 point.

3 stands of Light artillery @ 1point = 3 points.

2 stands of Grenadier infantry @ 4 points = 8 points.

6 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points= 18 points.

1 stand of Grenzer Skirmishers @ 1 point.

4 Stands of Cavalry @ 2 points = 8 points.

The Saxon Army;

1 General ( Johann Adolf 2nd, Duke of Sachsen Weissenfals) @ 1 point.

2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

1 stand of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points.

4 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.

2 stands of Cavalry @ 2 points.

--------------------------"------------------------

The Prussian Army;

42,000 Infantry ( including Artillery and Generals) = 42 points.

15,000 Cavalry = 15 points.

2,000 Hussar Light Cavalry @ 1 point = 2 points.

Comprising;

1 General-in-Chief ( King Frederick 2nd ) @ 3 points.

1 General ( Du Moulin) @ 1 point.

1 General (Nassau) @ 1 point.

2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points = 8 points.

7 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 21 points.

2 stands of Heavy Artillery @ 2 points = 4 points.

4 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 4 points.

1 stand of Cavalry ( Bayreuth Dragoons ) @ 3 points.

6 stands of Cavalry @ 2 points = 12 points.

2 stands of Light Hussars @ 1 point = 2 points.

Here are the Armies laid out;



 Special Rules;

● The Solo Game;

● The Prussian army will get the initiative point on every Game-Turn.

● The Prussian Army moves first on every Game-Turn.

● For the first four Game-Turns, each side will have a 12 sided die thrown for it. The result on each die shows the number of stands to be moved in each Army. This reflects the lack of organised movement within the opposing armies in the early stages of the battle.

● From Game-turns 5 to 8, all the stands can be moved in each army starting with the Prussian army first

● For the first 4 Game-Turns, each side has a 12 sided die thrown for them in the Firing phase of a game turn. The higher scoring side fires first. From Game- Turns 5 to 8, the Prussians fire first.

Here is a map of the battle;


The 2 Player game;

● The Prussian player has the initiative point for the entire game.

●For the first 4 Game-Turns. Each player throws a 12 sided die to see how many stands they can move. The Prussian player moves first.

● For Game-Turns 1 to 4, each side throws a 12 sided die to see who fires first within each Game-Turn. The higher score fires first.

● From Game-Turns 5 to 8 each side can move any stands that can be moved. The Prussian player moves first and fires first. All stands of both sides that are able to fire can do so.

● The Prussian player fires first on every Game-Turn.

● Order of combat is decided by the Prussian Player.

Well, that's it. The figures in the photos are a mix of Miniature Figurines and Peter Pig. The flags are hand painted on masking tape. The buildings are from Total Battles Miniatures. The river and roads are thin card. The round mdf bases are from Minibits.
The squares bases are cut from picture  mounting cardboard.









Saturday, 12 September 2020

Battle of Antietam 17th September 1862.



Having managed to take Harper's Ferry, General Lee was informed that his order 191 had been obtained by the Union high command. Lee quickly realised he needed to gather his scattered forces.

Daniel Harvey Hill,s Division had already held up the Union advance at Turners Gap. Now Lee, realising that his supply route could be compromised, put the army on the move  back to the Maryland border and into Virginia.

The Commander in Chief of the Union Army was George Brinton McClellan, " Little Mac" to the troops, with whom he was highly popular. As the Confederate army trudged West along the Boonsboro Tunpike, Generals Lee and Longstreet realised that they would have to turn and face the Union army or run the risk of being attacked while on the march.

Moving across a meandering waterway known  locally as Antietam Creek, Lee saw that the  local farmland with undulating ground and woodland would be an ideal location for a defensive battle. As the Confederate army took up positions East of Sharpsburg, there was an additional element of danger for Lee's Army.

 Further West beyond Sharpsburg was the Potomac River. There was only one crossing place. Should the Union Army win the day the Confederate Army would disintegrate 
trying to cross while retreating.

There was one person in the Union Army who could give the Confederates an edge in the coming battle. That was George McClellan himself. General McClellan was very cautious. He had seven Corps with which to overpower the Confederate Army but on the day, only four were used. Each Corps commander was left to conduct the battle in his own way, and none of the Union attacks were coordinated.

McClellan was great at logistics and did an excellent job of organising the Army of the Potomac but as events were to prove he could not command an army in battle.

It is of note that the men of Edwin Summers Corps were new recruits and on two occasions in the heat of the battle fired into the backs of their own men. 


Regardless of the colour of the uniform, the Generals and soldiers of both sides did not realise they would be unwitting participants in one of the bloodiest battles of the war so far.....

The Union Army;

C-in-C George McClennan. ( not present).

1st Corps; 8,500 = 8.5 points x 2 = 17 points.

1 General ( Joseph Hooker ) = 1 point.
6 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 12 points.
1 stand of skirmishes @ 2 points.
2 stands of Light Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

12th Corps; 7,500 = 7.5 points x 2 = 15 points.

1 General ( Joseph Mansfield ) = 1 point.
5 stands of 2nd class infantry @ 2 points = 10 points.
1 stand of skirmishes @ 2 points.
2 stands of Light Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.


2nd Corps; 10,500 = 10.5 points x 2 = 21 points.

1 General ( Edwin "Bull" Sumner ) = 1 point.
8 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 16 points.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery @ 2 points = 4 points.

9th Corps; 12,000 = 12 points x 2 = 24 points.

1 General ( Ambrose Burnside) = 1 point.
9 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 18 points.
1 stand of skirmishes @ 1 point.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery @ 2 points = 4 points.


The Confederate Army; 34,000 x 2= 68 points.

C-in-C Robert E. Lee (present) @ 3 points.

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson,s Corps; 9,500 = 9.5 points x 2= 19 points.

1 General (Jackson) @ 2 points.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery @ 2 points = 4 points.
3 stands of skirmish infantry @ 1 point = 3 points.
3 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.
1 stand of 1st class Line Infantry ( Hoods Texans) @ 3 points.

James Longstreets Corps;

General Longstreet @ 2 points.

Daniel Harvey Hill,s Division.4,500= 4.5 points x 2=9 points.

1 general (Hill) @ 1 point.
3 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.
2 stands of Light Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

David R. Jones Division. 5,000 =5 points x 2=10 points.

1 General (Jones) @ 1point.
4 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
1 stand of Light Horse Artillery @ 1 point.

1st reinforcement;

Lafayette McLaw,s Division. 3,000=3 points x 2=6 points.

1 General (McLaws) @ 1point.
2 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4 points.
1 stand of skirmish infantry @ 1 point.

Richard H. Anderson,s Division. 5,000 =5 points x 2 =10 points.

1 General (Anderson) @ 1point.
4 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
1 stand of Light Horse Artillery @ 1 point.

2nd reinforcement; 

Ambrose Powell Hill,s Light Division. 4,500=4.5 points x 2=9 points.

1 General (Hill) @ 1 point.
3 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.
1 stand of skirmish infantry @ 1 point.
1 stand of Light Horse Artillery @ 1 point.

Here is a view of the battlefield.



Here is a map of the battle;



 Notes on the battle;

Solo Play;

To keep the battle within eight turns, the following sequence is recommended;

1st  Game-Turn) Only the Union 1st Corp moves this Game Turn. The Confederate Daniel Harvey Hill only moves this Game Turn.  The Union army has the initiative and fires first. All stands of both sides can fire if in range. Use the fire rules for the 2 player game.

Game-Turn 2) The Union 1st and 12 Corps moves first only in this Game Turn. Jackson and Harvey Hill's Divisions only move this Game Turn moving second. The Union army has the initiative and can fire first. All stands of both sides can fire if in range.

Game-Turn 3) As in the previous Turn, the Union 1st and 12th Corp moves first only.
Jackson and Harvey Hills Divisions only move second. The Union army has the initiative and can fire first. All stands of both sides can fire if within range.

Game-Turn 4) The Union 1st, 12th and 2nd Corps can move on this game Turn. The Confederates Jackson, Harvey Hill, Jones, Mclaw and Anderson's Divisions move second The Union army has the initiative and fires first. All stands of both sides can fire if within range.

Game-Turn 5) The same order as Game Turn 4.

Game-Turn 6) Both sides have a die rolled for them to see which side gets the initiative and moves first. All the Union army can be moved as can the Confederate army. Both sides have a die rolled for them to see which side fires first. Use the fire and combat rules for the 2 player game.

Game-Turn 7) As game-Turn 6.

Game-Turn 8) As Game-Turn 7.

This finishes the Game. The side with the lower losses in Stands is the winner.

The system used here is a bit different from the normal solo rules. This is a big battle and using the above movement sequence ensures all the Stands come into play historically.



The Two Player game.

Game-Turn 1) Only the Union 1st Corp is moved this Game Turn and has the initiative. On the Confederate side only Daniel Harvey Hills Division can be moved. The normal Fire sequence takes place.
The Game is played as normal  from Game-Turn 2 onward.

The Confederate  Ambrose Powell Hills Division can only enter the game on Game-Turn 5.
However that does not stop you playing the battle out in your own style.

The Sunken Lane;
This is a Trench, and is covered by the rules for Trenches.

Nicodemus Hill.
Stands cannot be moved on or off Nicodemus Hill on the front face. The stands can only be moved via the squares adjacent to the West Wood.

Antietam Creek can only be crossed via the bridge.

Rail Fences ; These do not count as cover

Ranges of weapons;

All muskets are rifled ; 3 squares.
Artillery; most of the artillery at this battle were either Napoleons or 3inch rifled. Both  had the same range so all artillery is 4 squares.

Well, this is my interpretation of the battle. The figures are 15mm Peter Pig and Miniature Figurines. Most of the Generals are Peter Pig.

The flags are from Peter Pig. as are nearly all the buildings. The Dunker church is a Peter Pig building with a cocktail stick cross although I think the Company also has a church amongst its building range.

The split rail fence was made by MBM Scenery in 10mm.

Some of the hills were made by Brian at Essex Miniature, and some were home made especially Nicodemus Hill.

The roads, river and cornfield are of thin card.
The trees were from various manufactures.

Finally the bases are 40mm square cardboard mounting card. The round Command bases are 40mm mdf from Minibits.