Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Battle of Leipzig - 20mm Mega-Game

I was lucky enough to take part in a 20mm battle of Leipzig mega-game staged by Francis Long (of the Napoleonics 20/20 blog) with about 20 players drawn largely from around Reading and the South East and ably umpired by Francis and Tony.

There were around 7000 figures on a three tables, each about 6ft x 24ft, arranged as a horseshoe to cover the N, W and E side of the battle, with Leipzig itself being conveniently the gap in the middle. Elements were battalions more or less representing brigades. The wargame covered only the first day of the battle (16th Oct 1813) whilst things were still quiet open.

The area around Markleeburg

Francis has done a detailed AAR on his blog so I'll confine myself to what I was involved in.

I started out as Oudinot with a Bde of YG under my command, but off table in reserve on the Southern sector. Given the mass of Allies to our front, and the relatively long reserve deployment times it was agreed to pull Oudinot and a Bde of Lt Cavalry onto the S table asap. I arrived Turn 3, between Liebertvolkwitz and Wachau, behind the Galgenberg. Our merry team on the S consisted of Marc on the extreme E holding off the Austrian hoards, Bill (who I've played with for years now at Liphook) defending Liebertvolkwitz , myself, Adrian also coming from reserve to defend Wachau, and Mike and Bob covering from Wachau to Markleeburg.

With battles raging either side of me my first big threat came when Russian Guard Cuirassier (under Mark, who was my opponent for most of the game) came out to try and clear their front. I gallantly sent my lancers and hussars against them, and luckily Francis' rules don't differentiate between lights and heavies too much (just +2 for Guard) so I was able to exchange my lights for his Guard heavies. That then left a bit of a gap so my horse batter came out to play and raked enfilade fire on the Prussians attacking Wachau and helping to relieve the pressure on our defenders who struggled all game to keep the village. By nightfall we still held the key villages, with only Liebertvolkwitz not being hard-pressed, but in the dim light of dusk we saw a Brigade of the Pavlovian Grenadiers and then a Brigade of Austrians line up against us - it was going to be a tough second half.

The Northern Sector
The next day, the sun rose and the Austrians had miraculously been moved all the way out to our far L. The lines were redressed and we still faced the Pavlovians, some more guard heavy horse and a row of batteries on the ridgeline. We started with a few turns of counter-battery, with my Young Guard battery firing over 5 turns and never hitting a thing, although the foot battery next to it, rolled with the same dice, hit every turn. Then it was time for the cavalry to get to grips again, and I now had two Brigades of Guard cavalry, and a series of charges and counter-charges, backed up by some artillery fire, eventually cleared his cavalry away. Nicely all of the cavalry action meant that the Pavlov Grenadiers had to stay in squares, and by the time the melees were over I could still keep them there with my cavalry whilst my horse guns moved up to pound them. Since it was obvious that I was unlikely to face a heavy infantry assault from those boxed up mitres my Young Guard moved R to help defend Wachau.

Looking W over my sector, Wachau in middle distance
As the game drew to a close we ran out of time to really exploit the gap in the centre. The Pavlovs were taking damage each turn, and there was even a gap behind them where my cavalry could swing round the Prussian rear. I'd also handed one Cavalry Brigade off to Bill to help delay the Advancing Austrians on the L flank.

My Horse Battery delivering enfilade fire
Overall a great game, and very genial allies and opponents. The figures and terrain were wonderful, and I hadn't realised how many people were still playing 20mm Napoleonics - great news! The rules were well, far better than the Liphook ones and far more suited to this sort of big game. There were a few things I'd disagree with, but that's always the way, but at least they were quick, led to few debates, and seemed to give mostly realistic results.

The allies assault Liebertvolkwitz

The whole day was graciously hosted by Francis, and everyone was a delight to play with, so a great weekend, and one it would be great to repeat - and the French victory was well-deserved!

Francis and Marc mid-game

1 comment:

  1. Magnificent game David. Some excellent photos. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. A joy to be involved, no doubt.