Thursday 31 March 2022

Leipzig 1813, the battle for Mockern, Game at NBHW

This game was played back in March over a Friday night and Saturday. 28mm using Shako II rules.

The scenario was a section of the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 and featured the fight for the villages of Mockern and Gross and Klein Wiederitzch.

Mockern in the foreground looking towards Gross and Klein Wiederitzch

French defenders

Prussian vanguard arrive.

My command starts to arrive.

I had command of part of Yorcks' Prussian I corps tasked with capturing Mockern itself, vital to opening the road to Leipzig. Facing us were troops of Marmont's VI Corps. My troops formed the left wing of the Prussian force and the link to the Russians on our flank.

Gross and Klein Wiederitzch

To our left the Russians of Langeron's IX Corps had the task of evicting the Poles of Dambrowski's Division, attached to the French III Corps, from Gross and Klein Wiederitzch.

The action licked off at 2pm (game time) with our Prussians advancing towards Mockern and it's environs and the Russians heading for the Poles. My troops had the job of attacking the French around the end of the high ground, to prevent them reinforcing those holding Mockern.

Russians advance on the Poles

By 3pm the Prussian assaults on the French 21st Division holding Mockern and the 20th on the high ground nearby were underway. These French were veteran troops and put up stiff resistance but by 3:15pm a Prussian grenadier battalion had gained a foothold in Mockern.

Prussians assault Mockern

My forces continue their advance

The Poles meanwhile were also putting up a strong defence and still held the villages of Gross and Klein Wiederitzch despite strong Russian assaults. Around this time Delmas' French 9th Division of III Corps appeared on the far left of the Russians forcing them to detach their cavalry vanguard and the 15th infantry division to counter.

There now followed two hours of sustained combat as the Poles grimly held onto Gross and Klein Wiederitzch against all comers whilst the Russians saw off the advancing French 9th division on their left allowing these troops to now about face and threaten the Poles flank and rear. In and around Mockern fierce fighting saw heavy loses on both sides with the Prussians now holding two thirds of the village and slowing forcing the supporting divisions back, breaking the link to the Poles.

My assault goes in

The fighting around Mockern


At 5pm a final assault was launched by our Prussians, which despite a spirited counter by the French, saw the whole village of Mockern finally in our hands by 5:15 and the French finally forced to retire.

Final assault!

Mockern captured

A great close fought game with a return to Leipzig and another sector of the battle on the table later in April.

A lot more photos, especially of the Russian sector, can be found in the Club's Facebook albums.

Here and Here

Orders of Battle



Tuesday 29 March 2022

Isandlwana 22nd Jan 1879, Game at NBHW

On Saturday the 22nd of January, on the 143 anniversary of the battle, we gathered at New Buckenham for our first weekend game of the year, The Battle of Isandlwana 1879. The rules were to be Black Powder and 28mm figures were used.

I was given overall command of the Zulu forces as Ntshingwayo Khoza as well as direct control of the central head or chest of these forces. I think given my run of losses last year it was seen as the best chance for a British win 😆

Initial deployments from Isandlwana hill end.

View from the Zulu right Horn

View down the table towards Isandlwana hill.

We got off to a good start, winning the initiative, and my centre impi charged across the veld towards the redcoats and their blue coated artillery. Unfortunately mine was the only Zulu command that made any significant advance. The right flank refused to move at all and only parts of the left flank moved a measly one move.

The brave centre impi charge in.

The guns are taken!

At a heavy cost.

This left my braves isolated and taking the full force of the British rifle fire. Still they charged in and despite heavy loses overran the artillery before being forced back to recoup. With the right horn still not moving after a few turns Ntshingwayo Khoza himself rode over to "encourage" their commander to show a little more Zulu spirit. This seemed to have the desired effect and the impi, finally, moved off towards the British encampment.

The right horn finally advance.

The left horn engage Durnford.

Durnford's men defend the donga.

The left horn soon came into contact with the advance units of Durnford's command which used their small rocket detachment to cover a withdrawal back to the Nyogane donga where they dismounted and took up defensive positions. The rocket troop were overwhelmed by the advancing Zulus but they had achieved their goal and it would take several turns for the left horn to overcome the effectively dug in troopers of Durnford.

This stubborn resistance was finally broken with Durnford's remaining men streaming back to the main encampment, just as the right horn finally fell upon the British lines. With both flanks of the British now heavily engaged the remains of the central impi renewed their attack, tying up British units from reinforcing the flanks. It was only a matter of time now thought before the impi broke through into the camp itself, suffering heavy losses as they did so.

The right horn closes in.

Fierce hand to hand combat ensued.

The centre survivors join in pressing the British perimeter.

The right horn enters the encampment, Victory!

With the camp defence breached the game was called as a Zulu victory, abet one with heavy loses amongst their ranks.

Another great game, which I managed not to lose for the Zulus 😆

For more pictures see the club's Facebook Album