Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Napoleonic campaign - sieges and summer

So what did Bavaria do? It attacked the closest weaker enemy – in this case Austria. The boys in cornflower blue marched to Innsbruck and laid siege. The Austrians skulked insided the city walls and defied the Bavarians who lost a base in the process.

The French, also being rash attacked – this time Dresden. Another siege ensued but the Prussian army withdrew leaving the French with an easier nut to crack than the Bavarians but to no avail, as yet.

That concluded Spring 1801 and Great Britain makes the first move of the summer campaigning season by again doing nothing. The Prussians however are made of sterner stuff and attack Smolensk. The Russians, with four bases missing from their army as a consequence of losing their first battle with the Prussian, advance to meet them.

The Prussians fail to muster any allies but when the Russians request help two nations reply. The French send a small division of two brigades and a battery to their aid whilst perversely the Bavarians decide to help Prussia with two infantry brigades and a light horse regiment.

Terrain is chosen and the armies deployed.

The smaller Russo - France army move first and send a briagde of cossacks marauding down the flank followed at a more stately pace by cuirassiers. The rest advance on village and wood.


Bavarians line up with their Germanic neighbours. There is a general advance. Whilst the Bavarian chevauxlegers move to intercept the Russian cavalry

 ... and soundly beat the cuirassiers who must have been surprised as they charge from behind the wood.

Batteries fire with the only success to the Russians who rout a Prussian brigade in the centre. The Bavarians on the right push forward.

... their columns hitting the Russians. One Russian is destroyed but one Bavarian is routed too.

Prussian dragoons are thrown into the fray and a battery brought forward

The Prussian battery is lost to counter battery fire!

Still the Prussians press forward hoping for a breakthrough.

Which the Bavarians and dragoons achive. The Russo French lose their fourth base and the game before the rash Prussians attempt to breach the village. 

Another loss for the Russians and a base lost for their French allies.

 A brave showing by the Bavarians who won the day for their new friends. "Perhaps a united Germany would be a good idea eh chaps?"

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

DBA Campaign map

The DBA campaign system is a very simple way of giving games a little more interest. Using DBA as the wargame rules a campaign can be undertaken in an afternoon or evening. We have had some fun campaigns in Ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy. The city state type geography give the best feel for this simple campaign system.

The original DBA map is simply a stylised circle of provinces or nations. Shown below - a photo from first version of DBA.

Each player starts the game with three cities (or provinces) joined by transport routes (usually roads but may be sea routes). In the centre is another “independent” city which is often the place where fighting starts because at the end of the year reinforcements are based upon the number of cities held at the end of the year. Supply is automatic assuming that a players field army is next to a city he controls, otherwise there may be consequences of hunger, desertion and disease.

On a players turn he may invade another player’s city, moving up to two movement stages on a transport route. Alliances can and should be made and allies may provide contingents to aid in battle. All bases lost in battle, at sea or as the consequence of supply, from the original 12 base army, are placed in reserve.

Campaigning occurs during the three rounds of spring, summer and autumn; retiring into winter quarters on the fourth move. During winter a player may transfer a base from his reserve for each city held, not exceeding his original 12 base army strength.

I am keeping note of all moves and results on an excel spreadsheet but we have in the past used a stylised play board on which counters are moved to show where forces are at a given time.

My spreadsheet did not look very good when I tried to upload it here so below is a map of the cities I am using for the Napoleonic campaign. I was tempted to produce a more inspiring map with routes between Austria and France via Italy and adding Spain with routes to Britain but in the end I stuck to the original intention ie create an excuse to play games.   Poor old Dresden is in the middle and will no doubt be fought over a few times more.


(As a personal aside, my boy Jack has successfully passed out of basic training with the Royal Air Force. His mum and I are very proud of him.)