Monday, 27 April 2020

Battle of South Mountain; Maryland September 14th 1862

This battle came about as General Lee closed in on Harper's Ferry. He wanted to use the location as a base for further operations in Union held territory.

General Lee issued his General Order 191 detailing his plans to capture this Union base. Unfortunately a copy of this order was obtained by the Union Army.

The exact circumstances surrounding this incident have never been fully discovered, nonetheless, this opportunity to attack the Confederate army while it was dispersed was not to be missed.

The Union General Ambrose Burnside realised that he had the key to stopping Lee,s manoeuvres.

As the Union 1st and 9th Corps closed in, General Lee was informed of that his orders had been intercepted so made his dispositions accordingly.

Lee and his Generals realised that any Union forces would have to come through the passes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, specifically, Turner Gap and Fox,s Gap.

Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill,s Division was the nearest formation to the passes and so he was given the task of defending them so that the rest of the army could concentrate on Harper's Ferry.

On inspecting the ground General Hill realised the enormity of the task he had been given. In order to cover the passes he had to spread out his Division quite thinly to cover the ground North to South along the crest of the mountain.

Daniel Harvey Hill,s Confederate Division.
5 Brigades : 7,000 = 7 points x 2= 14 points.

General Daniel Harvey Hill @ 1 point.
General George Anderson @ 1 point.

10 stands of Line Infantry @ 1 point = 10 points. ( these can move as Skirmishers).
2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

I gave the infantry stands a value of 1 point as Hill's Division had to spread out to cover a lot of ground making the formations a bit weak.

During the battle Longstreets Division
did some hard marching in order to support
Hill. The Brigades from Longstreets Division
that made it came in piecemeal to Hills
position ;

11,000 = 11 points x 2 = 22 points.

4 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points each = 12 points.
3 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points each = 6 points.
2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

The Union Army.
Ambrose Burnside.
28,000 = 28 points x 2= 56 points.

General Alfred Pleasontons
Cavalry Corps.
3 stands of Cavalry @ 2 points = 6 pts.
( represented dismounted @ 1 point each).

Left Wing ; 9th Corp.
General Jesse L. Reno. @ 1 point.
General Jacob D. Cox @ 1 point.

9 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 18 points.
2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

General Pleasontons cavalry was sent in first
in skirmish order.

Reno,s Corps then moved forward on the left,
but the attack slowed and became fragmented
because of the broken terrain.

General Burnside eventually came up to
the battlefield and gave Hooker the orders to
attack the left flank of the Confederate position
to support Reno.

Right Wing ; 1st Corp.
General Joseph Hooker @ 1 point.

6 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 18 points.
3 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.
3 stands of Light Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 3 points.

Here is the map;

At the top of the map are the Confederate reinforcements.
From the start of the third Game-Turn and at the start of the Confederate  moving phase, a 6 sided die is thrown for each stand. On a roll of a 5 or 6 that stand can be moved forward into the Confederate battle line.

This is done on every Confederate movement

For the Union Army;

On the 1st Game Turn only Pleasontons
cavalry can move.

On the 2nd Game Turn, Pleasontons
cavalry and 9th  Corp.

On the 3rd Game Turn, all the Union
army can move.

All the Artillery have a range of 4 squares
due to the terrain limiting the gunners view.

Here is the table laid up ready for battle;

The view is from behind the Confederate position.
I have truncated the battlefield a bit i.e.,
Boonsboro is closer than it should be.

The Confederate reinforcements are those
stands behind the hills at the bottom of the picture.

There were some farms amongst the broken
terrain on South Mountain. The Confederate troops of Hill,s  Division took up position behind some stone walls so these are represented on the table. Shooting at a target behind these deduct 2 points from a firing die.

All muskets are 3 squares range.
Cavalry carbine are 2 squares.

 Brigades from Longstreets Division and the
Union 1st Corp did not come into the field until later in the day. I thought it would make for an easier set up if all the stands required were present on the board.

This engagement can be fought with the respective movements as detailed, or as a straight forward battle.

The battle is 8 GameTurns. The Union army
wins if they can  cause more casualties
to the Confederate army and/or drive them
off the ridge.

The Confederates win if they still hold the ridge in superior numbers of stands to that of the Union army at the end of the 8th Game Turn..

General Reno lost his life in this battle as did a number of Brigade commanders on both sides.

As before the table is 3 feet x 2 feet ( 90cm x  60cm ) and my own interpretation of events.

The figures are 15mm Peter Pig and Miniature Figurines. The flags are from Peter pig.
The Hills are from Essex Miniatures some years back. Trees from various sources. I think the walls were from Tiger Terrain.

Monday, 6 April 2020

The Battle of Friedlingen. Breisgau 14th October 1702.

As the War of the Spanish Succession unfolded, military formations of The Hapsberg Empire moved to cover the crossings of the river Rhine and to threaten Alsace.

In order to break this deadlock the French King sent an Army through Huningue across the Rhine into Breisgau.

South of the river Weisse the country belonged to the Swiss. The French General, De Villars had previously  sought permission from the Cantons to pass through their territory in order to execute a wide flanking march to the North East. Permission was denied.

Although De Villars could see that he had limited space to deploy his Army,  he still led his forces out to do battle. If he was to win, the situation would undermine the Austrian blockade of the Rhine crossings.

The Imperial Austrian Army;

9,000 Infantry = 9 points x 4 = 36 points.

5, 000 Cavalry = 5 points x 4 = 20 points.

C-in-C; Louis William of Baden = 1 point.
General Claude De Mercy = 1 point.

Fort Friedlingen;

1 Heavy artillery stand @ 2 points.
1 stand of Line Infantry @ 3 points.

In the field;

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

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

4 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3 points = 12 points.

3 stands of Line Dragoons @ 2 points = 6 points.

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

The French Army;

6,000 Cavalry; 6 points x 4 = 24 points.

11,000 Infantry; 11 points x 4 = 44 points.

C-in-C; Claude Louis Hector De Villars = 1 point.
General Desbordes = 1 point.

Garrison of Huningue;

1 stand of Grenadier Infantry = 4 points.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery @2 points = 4 points.

Field Army;

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

2 stands of Line Dragoon Cavalry @ 2 points = 4 points.

11 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 33 points.

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


●The French Army moves first on the first Game-Turn. All subsequent
Game-turns are diced for.

● The River Canderne can be crossed by infantry and cavalry. The artillery
must cross by the bridge.

● Any French stands forced to enter the River Weisse will be lost.

In the original battle  the French Infantry pushed up Tollingen Hill as the Austrian Army advanced.

De Villars had to intervene when his infantry started to retire under pressure from the Austrians opposite their position.

The Austrian Cavalry put in a half - hearted charge but soon retired.

Fort Friedlingen was also known as Fort De  Etoile or the Sternschanze ( Starsconce). According to an old map I've seen it is portrayed as a rectangular star shape.

I used a rectangular fort- style building. There was a marshy stream running
parallel with the base of the hill West of fort Friedlingen and I have portrayed part of it.
Any unit moving into the marshy ground can only move one square per game-turn.

Here is the map;

Some of the information presented here, I wasn't sure about but the battle seems to work so I I'm  going with this;

Once again, the battle is on a 3 foot x 2 foot board and the figures are a mix of Miniature Figurines and Peter Pig. The table is shown from the Austrian position.
Here's a few more;