Friday, July 25, 2014

Fast Play Grande Armee - Campaign of Nations - Battle of LOSCHWITZ - day 1

A Campaign of Nations After Action Report:

This time we gamed out using Fast Play Grande Armee (FPGA) what is essentially a flank action on the far east side of Barclay de Tolly's sector along the north side of the Bohemian Mountains.

Dresden is the only major fortification in the area and in order to reach it, either the French must be beaten back from the south and west or the river Elbe must be crossed.

Our campaign map places the river between Dresden and the lands to the east, with a gap east of the city.

I interpreted this as a crossing point of Loschwitz and Blasewitz, as seen on this older map (though not current with 1813 as there are railways on it) of the area, there was a crossing here for some time.  Again not clear in the historical record if there was a bridge or ferry here in 1813 as the historical battle was much further west, and with much larger forces.

A topographical map of Dresden area, with the battle site circled in red
The battle would center around that one principle crossing, that was deemed made of stone and thus not able to be so easily destroyed.

Moreover, the French would be defending with some 'wounded' formations, while the attacking Russian and Austrians, commanded by the Prussian von Müssling, would be having to assault with limited artillery support, using 'flank' formations (no heavy divisions or grenadiers) and neither side had any cavalry to exploit any minor success.

battlefield view looking north, Loschwitz is on the right

looking east from the south side of Blasewitz across the Elbe

again looking east, now on the north side of Blasewitz at the bridge over the Elbe into Loschwitz
Die roll for battle start turn was "4", meaning it was not till well into the afternoon that the first columns of Russians moved towards the bridge that the French had been fortifying for the past 11 days ...

Russians from the right, French holding the left bank of the Elbe

Maréchal Victor's II Corps bore the brunt of the day's action

Russian batteries are hastily rushed forward to clear the bridge defenses

Maréchal Macdonald was elevated to wing command of the whole of the south region, Dresden is coming under attack and so this action pulls in his personal attention as overall commander - releasing Victor to work his magic with II Corps

von Müssling found all sorts of challenges with the multi-national Russian and Austrian forces under his command

Artillery batteries of both sides exchanged furious fire

the death toll at the bridge crossing began

35th Division artillery were brought in just that day and found range to the far side of the bridge

Right from the start Russian infantry began hurling themselves across the bridge ... straight into murderous artillery fire.

by 18h00 most of the first Russian column had arrived and were pressing the crossing of the Elbe

35th Division was marched through the woods to form a rear-guard

Artillery exchange was continuing, with both Russian and French gunners paying the price

the sacrifice to cross the bridge was becoming clear

ever more Russian brigades were lined up to make their try at getting across that bridge

while the column of re-enforcements stretched off the board to the east

Maréchal Victor kept a steady hand on the leading French Brigades

Maréchal Victor surveys the scene from a highpoint in Blasewitz

Maréchal Victor and II Corps holding Blasewitz
The length of a turn in FPGA, or how many 'pulses' a turn has is an unknown factor ... some turns are really long, others short.  The turn six for this first day of battle, 7 September 1813 (fictional), had a really long turn - this has the effect of unpredictable results when the 'command die' influence is gone ...

turn 6 pulse 2 at 18h20, just as the Russians ran out of CD's

Russian artillery had been wrecked and now the French were to be similarly undone by counter-battery fire

Russians continued to push across the bridge, indeed they even briefly held the French side of the bridge

Austrians were also moving forward, leading with Horse Artillery seen here at the tail of the Russian columns
the far end of turn 6 - resulting in maximum chaos for the Russians as some of the Divisions simply refused to move

with the confusion in the hold the death toll of Russians at the bridge rises

whole brigades of Russians were sent fleeing to the rear, so the score remained 1-0

Austrian artillery still could not get through the mass of Russian infantry to reach their desired location along the Elbe in range of the French barricades
Darkness overtook the exhausted armies, while the Russians and Austrians poured more troops into the bridgehead, the French counted their losses and made ready to repel the next wave of Russians to cross the Elbe ...

Would the Austrian Division of Mayer be enough to tip the scales?

Read all about day two of the Battle of Loschwitz here on MurdocK's MarauderS

Monday, July 14, 2014


Offering for sale NOW:

Reproductions of the Martian Metals BOPPERs for Metagaming's Microgame #5: RIVETS

The tragic fire in Martian Metals destroyed all the original molds and the company did not return after the fire.

Metagaming originator Howard Thompson had abandoned the intellectual property in 1983.

From these moves, now 30 years later, I have taken up the torch of exposing more game players to the great game title, RIVETS.

To that end I have some castings of the BOPPERs for sale.  Each set is priced at $8.00 U.S. funds.
Shipping is in a new box, at a flat rate of $22.00 U.S. funds to anywhere in North America.
Shipping to other world destinations, please contact: for a quote.

The BOPPER Control and Production Complex is where the BOPPERs are built & programmed

Heavy artillery firepower is the feature of the Big BOPPER

Air Power from the Dive BOPPER (you will need your own pin for the flight base)

Famed for its battle cry of "POP-A-TOP"  the JB is a favorite

Light BOPPERs are speedy and deadly in swarms

A bit of a rough knuckle dragger the Rocket BOPPER gives fire support

Tiny (pronounced 'teeny') BOPPERs are the brains of the operation

Sunday, July 13, 2014

SCRUD Cossack skirmish

The Campaign of Nations called for a skirmish series to determine which side would win out in the on-going patrolling battle in the no-mans-land between the two contesting armies in Brandenberg.

I settled on using SCRUD for this contest as my tabletop area is still finishing renovations (new flooring!) and would take some time to set up the table, plus I had no opponent for the day as he was having to do family stuff.

The first two battles went pretty simply, first for the French, the second for the Russians.  Both of them were more or less attrition battles.

The rubber match, was a different story.

In round 1 the French lost one die, similar to the first game they won.

Round 2 was a draw, almost equal dice rolls across the board.

In round 3 the dice fell like this:

the Russian dice are in the 'oval' at the lower center of the image
Not so much an attrition battle this time, as the French almost wiped the Russians out in one roll!

The next round, told the full tale:

Gone in two throws of the dice, the Cossacks just cannot seem to win the patrolling battle when it counts
So the Campaign of Nations resumes, with the French continuing to dominate the critical patrolling war.

On a different note, my middle son requested measuring sticks and dice to do some LEGO fun.

nope, no influence from the gamer dad at all ...

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Garden Wars - ARMY MEN

Having gone away for a camp out trip with my family, on the way home we stopped at a toy store.  My youngest decided to spend his fun money on a bucket of tan and green soldiers that had some vehicles in it also.

He was most pleased with his purchase and has been seen around the house playing games with them.

On Tuesday night he suddenly declared, "Hey Dad I can do Garden Wars with these men!  Will you play with me tomorrow?"

How could I resist?

My only request was that he count the men and mark on the troops what number they were so that we could make sure not to loose any in the tall grass ... known as forest in the game.

The real win came later, when my young son decided to write out some rules ... this is the 'cover'

the beige troops were under my control, they have a jet

and a tan, along with 28 men, a mix of officers, radio men, grenadier, flamethrowers, riflemen and a metal-detector soldier

the green were under his control, they have helicopter, tank and similar men, with mortars instead of bazooka

here is the commander laying out his forces

action started (there were no rules written) so I just followed along with what was decided and tried to keep it all in my head.  I did show the boy all about men riding on the back of a tank.

then my jet went into action - not quite shooting down his helicopter after my bazookas had killed his tank

the not quite dead helicopter then killed my jet and went on to destroy my tank
Luck for the green helicopter was the tipping point as the GREEN TEAM won the day!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Pulp Action

Encounter at El-Birbir.

Some fun with Jeff and his multifarious minis.

Pulp Action rules with some flair using sentries as 'mobile' perils...

Capo's Gangsters which I ran

The Dark Fire name for a bunch of red shirts, organized by Peter

Winchesters, Jeff's crew

The red shirts ran into trouble with perils, though they did have two of the items at one point

perils everywhere (the white dressed guys in fezzes) and the red shirts still could not hit them ...

Peter taking a turn at the storytelling microphone, all our skills need honing in that area

lucky discovery, stop a good shooter with a pugilist

Jeff has many other shots of the action on his blog

in the end it was a cool storytelling moment when the Dark fire #1 and Capo's leader met within inches of the final objective.  In the end the red shirt dropped his item leaving only the Capo's with anything of value.