Wednesday 7 June 2017

Battle of Kalisz 1813. Game at NBHW.

Last Saturday, 3rd June, saw me at NBHW for a game of Shako II in 28mm. The game was to be a scenario based on the Battle of Kalisz 1813. This battle was fought at the tail end of the retreat from Moscow between VII Saxon Corps led by General Reynier and the pursuing Russian advance guard corps under General von Wintingerode.
VII corps were trying to get their forces back over the Prosna river via the bridges in Kalisz while the Russians realising the importance of these bridges were aiming to capture the town.

Map from

How the above map translated to our table

View from Kalisz of the retiring VII Corps and advancing Russians.

General Gablentz's column trying to reach
Kalisz before being cut off.

Trubetzki's Cavalry tasked with cutting off Gablentz's column.

Steindel's Brigade on the Saxon left flank.
(My adversary for the day)

Russian II Infantry Corps of Prinz Eugen looking towards the suburb of
Tyniec and Kalisz beyond.

I was given command of the Russian right flank, specifically the Combined Cavalry Division of General-Lieutenant Lanskoi. My task was to prevent the Saxons of Steindel's Brigade from reaching Kalisz, destroying them if the opportunity arose, as well as trying to delay Devaux's Brigade, on the other side of the river, from re-enforcing Kalisz too soon.

Delaying action commences, "Charge!"

My plan was to charge the three Saxon battalions in range with my regular cavalry and attempt to feint away from any that managed to form square. My cossacks would loiter on the wings to take advantage of any openings. As can be seen above this sort of worked. My Horse Jagers caught the left battalion in line, my centre Hussar regiment forced their target into square and withdrew safely but my right hand Hussar regiment failed to obey the withdraw order after forcing their target into square and charged home.
The result of this was, left battalion destroyed! "Hussar!" and breakthrough advance into the flank of the artillery battery. Right battalion, Saxon grenadiers, not so good. Hussars take several casualties and retreat but don't break and are rallied. Unfortunately the forward unit of cossacks on the right got into cannister range of the pesky French battery across the river and were eventually routed.

Horse Jagers overrun the artillery battery and pause to reform. Cossacks start to
take artillery fire from across the river.

After a pause to reform the Horse Jagers charged and destroyed the Saxon square to their front

Third victory to the Horse Jagers.

My other, independent, Cossack brigade I now moved around the village to deal with the Saxon skirmisher unit taking pot shots at the artillery. These were soon taken care of but at the cost of half the brigade, lost to supporting artillery fire from across the river.
With the remaining two battalions safety in square and the French re-enforcements concentrating on me rather than moving on Kalisz, I withdrew my forces out of cannister and musket range and waited for artillery support to arrive. This it duly did but not before a lucky long range ball shot finally persuaded my weakened Hussar unit to withdraw from the battle.
The Russian battery that moved to support me soon saw off the last of the Saxons and with the French across the river now moving to support their centre my battle was effectively over.
The remains of the independent Cossack brigade were repositioned behind the village to guard the right flank and I started to move the rest of my command behind our centre to support the under pressure left flank and centre.
It was roughly at this point the game was called for the day.

The Prus... sorry Russian reserve assault
the very stubborn Poles whilst the fight
for Tyniec rages.

The reserve rebuffed, Tyniec lost and my
Cavalry moving to cover the retreat.
Game over.

All in all a very enjoyable days wargaming with much laughter, not all forced, and a result that was fairly accurate to the historical outcome.
As can been seen I have concentrated mainly on my command area in this write up, for lots more pictures and the full AAR see the club Facebook page Kalisz 1813


Thursday 1 June 2017

Basing My Napoleonic Figures, Addendum.

After my previous post on basing my Napoleonic figures I was asked on a couple of wargaming groups/forums how I base my French. After pointing out that "I don't do French" I started wondering how I would. After looking at some of our group's photographs of Napoleonic games and how they base their French, taking into account the requirement for them to be used for both Shako II and Black Powder rules, I came up with the following guide which I hope may be useful to those that choose to play the French.

The mounted officer in the first battalion is optional and appears to be a way that club members identify the lead battalion of a regiment.
Artillery, Cavalry and Command would be based the same as in the British post with the exception that one cavalry base may feature one or two "elite" company troopers.