Sunday, 18 July 2021

Battle of Camp Wildcat, Wilderness Road, Kentucky, October 21st 1861.

 This blog is my own interpretation of events. Any mistakes are my own.

In 1750 a Doctor Thomas Walker first tracked a route through the Appalachian Mountains. When he found the Cumberland Gap, he named it after the english Duke. An unknown frontiersman by the name of Daniel Boone explored the Gap and the Wilderness Road.

Over time this route became the main thoroughfare between Kentucky and South-West Virginia through the mountains. Therefore it became an area of conflict firstly between European settlers and Native Americans, then the Civil War.

At the northern end of the Gap was Kentucky which was a divided state and both sides were tussling for control. At the southern end, The Union wanted to protect their supporters in East Tennessee.. 

For the Confederate Government, they wished to protect the southern end of the Gap to stop Union access to South-Western Virginia and protect its supporters also in its immediate neighbour to the west, Tennessee. 

A Union force under the command of Albin F. Schoepe marched into the Northern end of the Gap and took up postions on both sides of the road, facing south,around Hoosiers Knob.

 From South-West Virginia, Brigadier General Felix Zollicoffer advanced his force north to drive out the Union troops.-----

Here is the map;

The Union Army; 3,650 [ 3.650 points x 5 = 18 points r/d ].

1 General [ Schoepe ] @ 1 point.

7th Kentucky infantry [ 600 ]. 1 stand of 2nd class Line  Inf @ 2 points.

17th Ohio infantry [850]. 2 stands of 2nd class Line Inf @ 2 points = 4 pts.

7th Kentucky Home Guard [ 600]. 2 stands of 3rd class Line Inf @ 1 point = 2 pts.

33rd Indiana infantry [ 700 ]. 4 stands of 3rd class Line Inf @ 1 point = 4 points.

14th Ohio infantry [ 300 ]. 1 stand of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points.

1st Ohio Artillery Battery [ 4 guns + 150 gunners ]. 1 stand of Light Artillery @ 1pt.

1st Kentucky Cavalry [ 450 ]. 1 stand of Line Cavalry 2 points.

Union Reinforcements;

General Schoepe wasn,t sure if he could hold his position with the troops he had. He sent urgent messages to his superiors for support. 

General Theophilius T. Gerrard was sent with more troops. In the event, they were not used but I have included them here for completeness.

2,400 [2.400 points x 5 = 12 points ].

1 General [ Gerrard ] @ 1 point.

38th Ohio infantry [ 800 ] 2 stands of 2nd class  Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4 points.

1st East Tennessee infantry [800 ]. 2 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 pts = 4 pts.

2nd East Tennessee infantry [800 ]. 3 stands of 3rd class Line Infantry @ 1 pt = 3 pts.

Confederate Army 4,644. [4.644 points x 5 = 23 points r/d ]

1 General [ Zollicoffer ] @ 1 point.

15th Mississippi infantry [850]. 2 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4 pts.

11th Tennessee infantry [880]. 2 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4 pts.

17th Tennessee infantry [914]. 2 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4 pts.

20th Tennessee infantry [880]. 2 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4 pts.

29th Tennessee infantry [700]. 2 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4pts.

Battery (A) Tennessee Artillery [ 4 guns + 150 gunners ]. 1 stand of Lt Artillery @ 1 pt.

2nd Tennessee Cavalry Battalion [300]. 1 stand @ 1 point.

Here are the figures laid out for battle;

Most of the information on this battle was obtained from the Camp Wildcat Battlefield Trust site. I managed to find out unit strengths at the start of the war but, i dont know how accurate they are.

The battle was played out on a 3 foot x 2 foot board. ( 90cm x 60cm ).

Much of the scenery was made up of cork tiles and Garden Kneeling Pads bought from Wikinsons for a pound each. These can be cut with a craft knife. The trees are from various manufacturers. The house is from Peter Pig.

The large mountain-like scenery pieces on the left of the board are rough cut pieces of polystyrene packaging on cardboard.

The figures are a mix of Peter Pig and Miniature Figurines. The flags are from Peter Pig. The bases are 40mm square picture framing cardboard. The round bases are 40mm mdf from Minibits.

A Note on Scenery:

I have bases of cardboard to mark out the extent of a wooded area. This allows the trees to be moved about, making it easier to move figures.

Figure stands can be moved up and down hills where they are stepped. if the hill is not stepped then stands of figures cannot be moved upon them.

As you can see in the next photo, figures can only be moved on the stepped part of the hill, not where the hill sections are sandwiched.

Playing the historical battle.

* This is a Regimental level game. Some regiments were dispersed at the start. Those Regiments coming onto the table with stands in adjacent squares will attempt to remain together even on the diagonal.

*  On the first two Game-Turns, the Confederates move first and fire first. The Confederates also get the Initiative Point.

* From the 3rd to the 8th Game-Turn, the Union player takes the Initiative Point although both sides throw a die to determine who starts the Game Turn [ and who wins any tied results].

All Infanty are treated as Line Infantry, therefore infantry  stands can only move through the face of a square, not diagonally. The same rule applies for mounted cavalry. 

Artillery and dismounted cavalrymen  can be moved in any direction at a two square movement rate.

* Victory conditions;

After eight Game Turns, the Winner will be the side loosing the least number of stands

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Battle of Hochstadt: 20th Sept 1703.

This is another battle from the War of the Spanish Succession. The Bavarian Wittalsbach family had always laid claim to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire, in opposition to the incumbant Hapsburgs.

This opposition put the Bavarian Kingdom firmly in the French camp, indeed the Monarchy prospered because of the subsidies. This alliance obviously made Bavaria a target for Imperial forces given its position close to the Hapsburg heartlands.

For the reasons stated above an Inperial Austrian army was marching toward the Danube.  Maximillian the 2nd, the Bavarian Elector saw a chance to trap the Austrians.

The main Bavarian army crossed the Danube  [ Ger: the Donau ] to the east, at Tapheim. A smaller Division of  French troops crossed over to the west, at Hockstadt.

When part of the Bavarian army is spotted at Tapheim the Austrian general Styrum ordered 3 cannon shots to be fired. This is a signal for the supply train to be moved west, away from what he believes is just a scouting /raiding force.

Unfortunately, this was also the signal for the smaller French Division to spring the trap. When this French force is spotted, the Austrian General Styrum thinks that this is the main Enemy army unaware of the real strength coming from the east.~~~~

Franco~Bavarian Army; approx 17,000

The Bavarian Army:

Maximillian 2nd  Emmanuel, Duke of Bavaria.

7,000 Infantry in 14 Battalions.
[ inc 28 Battalion Guns + 840 Gunners ]

1,800 Dragoon Cavalry in 12 Squadrons.
2,550 Cavalry in 17 Squadrons.
330 Hussars in 2 Squadrons.

1st French Division [with the Bavarians]

General Claude De Villars
1,200 Cavalry in 8 Squadrons.
4,000 Infantry in 8 Battalions
[ inc 16 battalion guns + 480 Gunners ]

The above equates to 17,000 =17pts x 2=34 points.

The Bavarians;

1 General [ Maximillian ] @ 1 point.
6 stands of Line Infantry [ inc Grenadiers] @ 2 points = 12 points.
2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.
2 stands of Dragoon Cavalry @ 2 points = 4 points.
2 stands of Heavy Cavalry @ 2 points = 4 points.
1 stand of Hussars Light Cavalry @ 1 point.

The French;

1 General [ De Villars ] @ 1 point.
2 stands of  Line Cavalry @ 1 point = 2 points.
3 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.
1 stand of Light Artillery @ 1 point.

The 2nd French Division ; 7,600

General , The Marquis Jean Louis D,Usson
1,800 Cavalry in 12 Squadrons.
200 Escort Cavalry in 1 Squadron.
5,600 Line Infantry in 10 Battalions,
 (Inc 20 Battalion Guns + 600 gunners).

This equates to 7,600 = 7.6 x 2 = 15points [ r/d ].

1 General [D,Usson] @ 1 point.
3 stands of Line Cavalry @ 1 point = 3 points.
1 stand of Light Artillery @ 1 point.
5 stands of Line Infantry [ inc Grenadiers] @ 2 points = 10 points.

The Austrian Imperial Army 16,000.

Austrian Count Hermann Otto of Limburg-Styrum.
 The Prussian Prince Leopold  of Anholt Dessau.

8,316 Austrian Infantry in 12 Battalions.
[inc 24 Battalion Guns + 816 gunners.]

5,280 Prussian  Infantry in 8 Battalions.
[inc 16 Battalion Guns + 480 gunners ]

1,800 Austrian Cavalry in 12 Squadrons.
600 Prussian Cavalry in 4 Squadrons.

The above equates to approx 16,000 = 16pts x 2 = 32 points.

1 Austrian General [ Styrum ] @ 1 point.
1 stand of Austrian Grenadiers @ 3 points.
6 stands of Austrian Line Infantry @ 2 points = 12 points.
2 Stand  of Austrian Light Artillery  @ 1 point = 2 points.
2 stands of Austrian Cavalry @ 2 points = 4 points.

1 General [Leopold ] @ 1 point.
1 stand of Prussian Grenadier Infantry @ 3 points.
2 stands of Prussian Line Infantry @ 2 points = 4 points.
1 stand of Prussian Light Artillery @ 1 point.
1 stand of Prussian Cavalry @  1point.

( At this time, Prussia was still  a sub-state of the Holy Roman Empire. Only when Frederick the 2nd became King in 1740 did Prussia start on the road toward independant Sovereignty).

Here are the armies laid out for battle;

In the above photo you can see a road exiting the board at the top edge [ which is "north "]. This is  the only road by which the Austrian army can leave the board. This is the road to Nordlingen.


* On the first two Game-Turns, the Austrian Amy MUST move toward the French force positioned on the hill.

* On Game-Turns 1 and 2, the Austrian Army gets the Initiative Point. 

* On Game-Turns 1 and 2 the Austrian Army moves first and fires first.

* At the start of  Game-Turns 3 to 8, both sides dice for the Initiative Point at the start of the Turn.

* From Game-Turn 3 onwards both the Bavarian and French forces can be moved. The Austrian army can be moved in any direction.

The Waggons;

* Both sides can move stands over the wagons if there is room on the "landing"side. 
* Neither side can fire through the Waggons but both sides can engage in combat from either side of a Waggon.

Troop Movements;

The only stands that can move in any direction are:
* All the Artillery [ 2 squares ]
* The Bavarian Hussars.


* Neither side can move into the trees on the "north" side of the board.

* The River Danube on the "southern" board edge cannot be entered, and can only be crossed via the bridge at Hochstadt.

* The River Nebel can be entered by Cavalry and Infantry, but stands must halt on entering. The stands can be moved out of the river during the Movement Phase of the next Game-Turn.

Here is a map of the battlefield;

Final Word;

When D,Ussons force appeared to the west, Styrum thought this was the main attack and had to get the army to "about face".By the time the main Bavarian army made an appearance, the Austrians were commited to the western end of the battlefield. Realising the dire situation his troops were in, Styrum had to get his army onto the only road available through the mountains to the north.

Victory Conditions;

* If the Austrians can get two wagons off the table by Game-Turn 8, it is a draw. 
* If both sides inflict the same number of casualties in stands by the end of Game-Turn 8, it is a draw.

* The French win if they cause more casualties in stands to the Austrian Army and capture or stop two Austrian waggons from leaving the board by the end of Game-Turn 8.

The Cavalry;
You may have noted that although I have used the terms “ Dragoon” and “Cavalry”, there is no difference in points value.

By the 18th century Dragoons  were being used as battlefield cavalry. The Cuirassiers or heavy cavalry sometimes did not bother with the cuirass and on campaign the horses lost condition.

Some Regiments even had to dismount some Squadrons because of the lack of remounts thereby reducing their effectiveness in the field.

Basically this meant that the lines between battlefield function blurred and any cavalry were used where they were needed.

Indeed the terms were only used as a form of “social standing “ within an army.
I include the terms for anyone wishing to paint the uniforms of the different types.

In the Rulebook, there is a points value for each  troop type in a stand alone points-based game, but when doing these historical battles I had to look at the actual function and numbers involved. That meant applying a different points value.

No rebasing is required, I just change the points value of the stand as dictated by the scenario.All the figures used were of the mid 18th century, the only difference between fact and fiction is the cut of the uniform.


The figures area mix of Miniature Figurines, Peter Pig and Essex.
The waggons are from Peter Pig.
The painted houses are from Total Battle Miniatures.
The village representations are scratchbuilt.
The buildings on the right side of the table are from Peter Pig.
Some of the hills are by Brian of Essex. Of the others, two are made of cork tile and one is made from part of a garden kneeling mat.

The trees are from various manufacturers.
The square bases are made from picture framing card. The round MDF bases are from Minibits. the river and roads are from thin card and two of the bridges are scratchbuilt.
The board is 3 feet x 2 feet ( 90cm x 60cm).