WELCOME TO THE WARGAMORIUM BLOG

1787-russian-grenadiers2.jpg

Welcome to the Wargamorium Blog.

The Wargamorium is situated in a sub-terrainean location north of the Waterloo battlefield.  The table is 16 foot by 6 foot making it suitable only for historical games (i.e. no gollywobblers!).

The Poteshnyi in the tag line above is a reference to a group assembled by the young Tsar Peter the Great to play out wargames so that he could study the art of war and fortifications. See post below.

At the moment I have armies for

Franco Spanish War 1635 to 1659 (French and Spanish),
War of the Spanish Succession (French and Allied),
Seven Years War (French and Allied),
Russo Turkish War 1787 – 1792 (Russians only so far),
French Revolution (French, Austrians, Russians),
Napoleonics (French, French Allies, 1805 Russians, 1805/09 Austrians and both 1806 and 1815 Prussians),
Crimean War 1854-56 (French, British and Russians),
Franco Austrian War 1859 (French and Austrians),
Franco Prussian War 1870 (French and German States),
World War One 1914 (French, BEF, Belgians and Germans) and
World War Two 1940 (Germans).

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

1918 EXTENDING THE BRIDGEHEAD

1918-german-stormtroopers-fighting

 

SECOND MARNE GERMAN BRIDGEHEAD 1918

Our latest game was set in the Marne bridgehead in 1918 which the Germans had established and consolidated before attempting to push farther into France.  This was all part of the great German 1918 offensive and was the nearest they got to Paris and to victory. This offensive was stopped and driven back by the French armies under Foch with the assistance of American, British and Italian contingents not to mention hundreds and hundreds of FT17 tanks..

The game was played using house rules and 20mm old IT Figures which I bought over 25 years ago and which have remained forgotten ever since.

The game started with the French deployed and visible to all but not a German to be seen.  They had the advantage of hidden movement having taken up their positions during the night ready to launch a surprise dawn attack.  The German player therefore had to note the location of his forces on a map and place them on the table only as they became visible. Of course they were hidden in the woods nearest the French lines so that shooting started in Move 1 and the casualties mounted quickly.

Not knowing where to expect the enemy the French defence was spread out across the width of the table but of course the Germans concentrated their attack and after 5 or 6 moves the result was clear and after losing over 50% casualties the French commander pulled back leaving the ground to the victorious Germans.

No trenches in this area at this time as the fighting took place in open country.

The rules were simple and fast moving and overall gave a very good game and an enjoyable evening.

01-germans-emerge-from-the-woods

Germans emerge from the woods

02-stormtroopers-occupy-a-building

Stormtroopers occupy a building.

03-a-french-platoon

A French platoon defending a walled area.

04-french-platoon-in-a-wood

A French platoon in a wood awaiting orders.

05-french-in-a-building

French defending a ruined building.

07-the-germans-emerge-from-the-woods

More Germans emerge to turn the French left.

08-a-full-german-company-awaiting-orders

A complete German company waiting orders to follow up.

 

Posted in 1914 - 1918 World War One | Leave a comment

GENDARMERIE DE FRANCE DURING THE SEVEN YEARS WAR

1724 French Gendarme de France

Gendarme de France

SEVEN YEARS WAR  –  THE GENDARMERIE DE FRANCE

During the Seven Years War the Gendarmerie de France ranked immediately after the Maison du Roi. They were always placed in the first line to the left of the Maison du Roi

The Gendarmerie de France consisted of 16 companies – 10 Gendarmes and 6 Chevau-légers. They were grouped into 8 squadrons based on the distinctive colours of the sashes worn over their left shoulders.

The Gendarmes de France fought as a ‘regiment’ in Germany during the Seven Years War and comprised 1240 men plus their officers.

The composition of the 8 squadrons and the date of their creation was as follows:-

1st Squadron – Gendarmes Écossais (1422)  and Gendarmes de Bourgogne (1690)

2nd Squadron  – Gendarmes Anglais (1667) and Chevau-légers de Bourgogne (1690)

3rd Squadron  – Gendarmes Bourguignons (1668) and Gendarmes d’Aquitaine (1669)

4th Squadron  – Gendarmes de Flandres (1673)  and Chevau-légers d’Aquitaine (1690

5th Squadron  – Gendarmes de la Reine (1661)  and Gendarmes de Berry (1690)

6th Squadron  – Chevau-légers de la Reine (1664)  and Chevau-légers de Berry (1690)

7th Squadron  – Gendarmes du Dauphin (1665)  and Gendarmes d’Orléans (1647)

8th Squadron  – Chevau-légers du Dauphin (1663)  and Chevau-légers d’Orleans (1655)

Each company had its own distinctive guidon.  These can be seen in the photographs below and were purchased from Maverick Models UK. The figures are all 18mm Eureka SYW French from Fighting 15s.

01. Gendarmes de France

The sixteen companies of the Gendarmes de France divided into 8 squadrons.

04. Gardes du Corps and Gendarmes de France

The Gardes du Corps of the Maison du Roi with the Gendarmerie drawn up behind.

05. Gendarmes de France side view

The Gendarmes de France – a side view showing the different guidon for each of the 16 companies.

08. Gendarmes de France

The Gendarmes in column.

10. Gardes du Corps and Gendarmes de France

The Gendarmes with the Gardes du Corps of the Maison du Roi behind.

11. Gardes du Corps and Gendarmes de France

The Gendarmes together with the Gardes du Corps of the Maison du Roi

 

Posted in 1756 - 1763 Seven Years War | Leave a comment

CAVALRY CLASH AT RAMILLIES 1706

 

1706 Ramillies

Last night we played another War of the Spanish Succession game using the slightly tweaked house rules – Big Wigs. This time we did the great cavalry clash at Ramillies with 25 Allied regiments (100 squadrons) versus 23 French regiments (92 squadrons) in the biggest cavalry game I have ever seen on a wargames table.

To make up the numbers I had to use all of my Seven Years War cavalry as well (Old Glory and some Eureka) but they blended in quite well with their WSS counterparts.

The two villages of Taviers and Ramillies were also represented on the table and separate infantry battles also took place over them as otherwise the game would have been just one continuous dice throw for the cavalry melees.

There was little room for manoeuvre as both sides lined up in an impressive array. The allied cavalry won the day however as they used all of their elite cavalry in the front line whereas the French kept their best regiments in reserve.  All of the initial clashes were therefore won by the allies and as French numbers dwindled the Army Morale Test mechanism went against them and the French cavalry withdrew having burned their dice.  There is a lesson to be learnt there.

Some photographs below.  I have included one or two of the infantry as well. (I am a rubbish photographer).

01. French infantry have fortified the village of Ramillies

French infantry have fortified the village of Taviers on the French right.

03. 23 French cavalry regiments in the French centre

French cavalry drawn up between the villages

07. Aerial view of some of the French cavalry in the centre.

French cavalry before the start of the game.

08.  The Allied cavalry in all its splendour

The Allied cavalry in all its splendour

13. The French cavalry in all its splendour

The French cavalry in all its splendour

15. Another view of the Maison du Roi Gardes du Corps

The Gardes du Corps of the Maison du Roi in reserve.

19. French and Allied cavalry move towards each other.

The cavalries converge.

20. Danish and Reichsarmee brigades advance towards Taviers

Danish and Reichsarmee brigades advance towards Taviers

22. The first cavalry clashes on the French left.

The first cavalry clash took place on the French left

27.  Allied cavalry advancing aginst disorganised French Dargoons

Allied cavalry charge disorganised French Dragoons

28. Another cavalry clash.  This time the odds are equal.

Prussian and Dutch cavalry versus French – this time the odds are equal.

32. More Allied cavalry

Allied cavalry moving up.

Posted in 1702 - 1715 War of the Spanish Succession | 2 Comments

WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION The day is won by the Pontonniers!

WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION

The day is won by the Pontonniers!!

1704 Blenheim Marlborough

After the victory.

Last night we played another WSS games using house rules and 15mm Roundway figures.  To make up the numbers I had to use some Seven Year War figures on both sides.

The scenario was inspired by a Seven Year War battle at Vellinghausen in 1761 with a few amendments to make it a little more exciting.

The table was essentially divided into three by the Lippe river, which was impassable, and a large stream with marshy banks.  In addition there was a second stream, perpendicular to the first,  also with marshy banks just to make things more difficult.

This effectively cut the Allied force into three – right on one side off the stream, centre between the stream and the river and left across the river and cut off from the rest as the only bridge had been destroyed.  The French on the other hand were divided into only two wings – the left wing on one side of the stream and the right wing between the stream and the river.  They had no forces across the river but the Allied player did not know this.  The French player kept throwing dice for reinforcements across the river forcing the Allied player to deploy his artillery just in case.  That was all a French bluff but it kept the Allied player on edge.

The French therefore thought they had a very good chance of destroying the Allied centre with a massive blow thereby separating the Allied left from the Allied right.  The plan was sound but there were some difficulties. The centre was quite narrow and the French could not deploy their superior numbers there and also they did not realise that the Allies had a full pontoon train across the river which was ready and waiting to replace the destroyed bridge.

The second problem for the French was that the left wing failed to activate orders to advance nearly every move.  The French left was formidable and posed an enormous threat to the Allied right but they advanced only once during the entire game.  The outnumbered Allied force realised this after a while and started to move reserves over to the centre.  This was a bizarre situation but this is what happened in the actual battle so it was realistic.

In the centre the French launched their attack from move 1 as they could see the pontonniers setting up and realised they had to drive the Allied centre off the hill before Allied reinforcements could march across the bridge and tip the balance against the French.  The Allied commander immediately started to move the British Brigade across from the right to  increase the Allied defence in the centre. This turned out to be a decisive move in the game.  The Danish Brigade, supported by numerous artillery, pounded away at the advancing French lines while the Austrian Brigade moved around the left flank of the hill to meet the advancing French.

In the meantime the French had deployed their heavy artillery on the road to bring the pontoon bridge under fire in a effort to delay its construction but this met with limited success.

The French lines lost heavily as they approached the hill and in fact they did not reach  it before they started to crumble under the weight of allied fire. Firefights broke out all along the front and the allies, supported by regimental guns and all of their artillery, prevailed.  An Austrian Brigade came around the hill and attacked the French right while a British brigade did the same on the other side of the hill. The French right was eventually shot to pieces and the heavy guns had to be abandoned.  The centre brigade also collapsed under the weight of fire leaving only the French Gardes Françaises to hold back the British while the French survivors fell back.

It was a humiliating defeat for the French.  Their artillery was wasted on the pontoon bridges and they had no room to deploy their cavalry.  The Danes proved to be dogged in defence and the Austrian and British Brigades not only stopped any outflanking attempts by the French but the Austrians actually drove them back and captured the heavy guns.

The heroes of the day however were the Allied pontonniers who worked frantically under fire to build and repair the pontoon bridge so as to get the reinforcements across in time.  Once the Hessians appeared on the bridge the French knew the game was over.

All this time of course the huge French host on the left did nothing and withdrew from the battlefield in commendable order with flags flying.

It was a great game, very exciting and played by two players in one night.

Next week – Battle of Ramillies.

01. Before the game started

Before the game started. Not the best photograph but you can see the way the table is divided in three by the river and the stream and the perpendicular stream as well. The Allies are on the left and the French on the right of the photograph. You can also see the Allied left across the river and the broken bridge. The fortress in the distance is only for show and was not garrisoned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02. The French left drawn up for battle.

.

02. The French left drawn up for battle.

The French left drawn up for battle.

 

03. The Allied right moving into position before the battle.

The Allied centre moving into position before the battle.

04. The Allied cavalry on the extreme right.

The Allied cavalry on their extreme right.

05. The Danish Brigade in the allied left centre.

The Danish Brigade in the Allied centre. Their dogged defence of the hill would play a key role in the battle.

06. The Allied centre.

The Allies moving into position to defend the hill in their centre.

07. The broken bridge over the Lippe river which separated the Allied left.

The broken bridge over the Lippe river which separated the Allied centre and left.You can see the road here going off the French side of the table.  The Allies were never sure if there were French on that side of the river.  In fact there were not but the chance could not be taken when their force was strung out on the march toward the bridge.

08. The Pontoon Train arrived at the broken bridge.

The pontoon train arrived at the broken bridge.

09. The Pontoon Train moving up.

The pontoon train marching up to the river.

10. Behind the Pontoon Train the Allied Hessian and British reinforcements

Behind the pontoon train the Hessians and British.

11. British Grenadiers on the march.

British Grenadiers marching towards the pontoon bridge.

12. The French right starts its attack on the Allied centre.

The French right started its attack on the Allied centre.

13. The start of the clash for the Allied hill in their centre.

The armies come to blows. It proved to be a bloody contest.

14. An Austrian Brigade in three lines advances around the hill.

The Austrian Brigade starts it advance in three lines around the hill against the French right.

15. French heavy guns set up on the road to fire upon the Pontoon bridge.

French heavy artillery set up on the road to fire upon the pontoon bridge in a effort to slow its completion. They had limited success and in fact caused little delay.

16. The British Brigade crossed the stream to reinforce the Allied centre.

The British Brigade cross the stream to reinforce the Allied centre.

17. Despite French artillery the pontonniers continue their work.

Despite the French artillery the pontonniers have nearly completed their work.

18. The Hessians move up ready to cross the ponton bridge as soon as it is completed.

The Hessians move up ready to cross the pontoon bridge as soon as it is completed.

19. The Danish Brigade continues to defend the hil with Reichsarmee troops in support.

In the meantime the Danish Brigade continues to defend the hill against repeated French attacks. They are supported by the Reichsarmee Brigade behind.

20. A Brigade of French Dragoons hovers around the flanks looking for opportunities which never came.

A brigade of French Dragoons hovered around the flanks looks for opportunities which never came. There was no scope for cavalry in this game.

21.  A major clash between Austrians and the Irish Brigade in French service.

A major clash between the Austrian Brigade and the Irish Brigade in the French service. The Wild geese were driven back by the Austrians and the French heavy guns visible here had to be abandoned.

22. The pontonniers work frantically to repair damage done by French artillery.

The pontonniers worked frantically to repair damage from the French heavy artillery.

23. The British Brigade stood like a rock defending the side of the hill.

The British Brigade stood like a rock defending the side of the hill.

24.  In the meantime the French left made a small advance.

While all this was going on in the centre the French left eventually advanced and then stopped!

25. Allied cavalry started to move over to the centre when it was obvious the French left was no longer a serious threat.

Allied cavalry started to move over to the centre when it was obvious that the French left was no longer a serious threat.

26. The British Brigade faced off against the Gardes Francaises who are now only covering the French withdrawal.

The British Brigade faced off against the Gardes Françaises. By this stage the French had collapsed and the Gardes were really only covering their retreat.

27. The pontoon bridge now finished the Hessians start to cross.

The pontoon bridge is now finished and the Hessians have started to cross. The numbers are now against the French anyway.

28.  The reinforcements start pouring over the bridge.

An overview of the completed pontoon bridge. The pontonniers were the heroes of the battle.

 

Posted in 1702 - 1715 War of the Spanish Succession | 2 Comments

War of the Spanish Succession

1706 British cavalry Ramillies

Last Friday it was the War of the Spanish Succession in the Wargamorium. This is a great period to game with a broad variety of uniforms and plenty of battles.

The figures are all Roundway 15mm which I bought many years ago and the rules were house rules.  These are great little figures and are still available today.

The game was a straightforward clash with the Allies attacking the French in the open.  We kept it simple to try out the rules and overall they worked well so far.  We did not finish in time so the game continues next time.

Photographs below.  I did not take any pictures during the game, only at the end so you will have to imagine the battle unfolding so far.

01. Overview of the battle

Overview of the battle

02. French Maison du Roi cavalry

French Maison du Roi cavalry

03. Retreating Allied cavalry

Prussian and Danish cavalry

04. Allied heavy elite cavalry move up.

Allied heavy cavalry moving up to meet the French Maison cavalry

05. Danes in the front line, Austrians in the second line.

Danish infantry in the front line, Austrians in the second.

06. In the foreground the Prussians in reserve.

The Prussians in reserve

07. The Reichsarmee try to hold back the French Guards

Reichsarmee troops try to hold back the French Gardes Françaises

09. The Gardes Francaises on the march

The Gardes Françaises on the march

10. The Grades Suisse emerging from the mist.

The Gardes Suisses advancing as well.

11. The English advance while the French cavalry withdraws.

The English advance while the French cavalry withdraw.

12. The Allied Commander's HQ.

The Allied Commander’s HQ just off the battlefield. There always seemed to be a convenient chateau nearby in those days.

15. The English Brigade complete with Grenadiers.

The English Brigade complete with Grenadiers about to overrun a French battery. The civilian drivers refused to enter the combat zone to tow away the guns.

17. The French Army Commander.

The French Army Commander

18. The French in firefight with the Dutch

The French in firefight with the Dutch. The Dutch fire was superior during that war.

19. The Irish Brigade in reserve.

The Irish Brigade in the French service held in reserve.

CONCLUSION

The game concluded last night with a victory for the Allies.  The French infantry was eventually worn down and they failed an Army Morale Test.  It was a close run thing because the Allies had also suffered heavily and they would have had to take a similar Army Morale Test had the game gone on for one more move.

Overall we were very happy with the rules.  They are house rules and comprise only 5 pages with a separate sheet of tables.  Brigade and Army morale are applied only to infantry which is organised into 6 brigades each of three regiments a side.   The 3 cavalry brigades (9 regiments) and the four artillery batteries are not included in the morale calculations. Each unit can suffer a number of casualties before it is removed from play and the Army Morale test is applied when the army is reduced to a certain level. An infantry brigade can be individually tested if its flanks are threatened.  The order system is very simple and initiative is diced for at the beginning of every move with the winner deciding which side moves first.  Fire and melee are simultaneous.  Most infantry actions are resolved by firepower and there was very little melee involved which we thought was good.  Another good rule we thought was that cavalry has very little chance of closing with steady infantry if charged from in front.

The principle behind the rules is to produce a simple fast moving game with a minimum of paperwork and as few markers as possible. This first game showed up the inevitable tweaks which need to be made but overall we were very happy with the result and plan to play another game the next time based on an historical scenario.

In the meantime some more photographs taken at the end of the game.

01. The French Line with the Irish in reserve

The French line with the Irish regiments in reserve.

02. Firefight between the Danes and Royal Roussillon

Firefight between a Danish regiment and the Royal Roussillon

03. French Dragoons swirling around a lone English square.

French Dragoons swirling around a lone English square.

05. The Gardes Francaises under pressure.

The Gardes Françaises under pressure

06 Austrian Kurassiers finally break through the French left

Austrian Kürassiers finally break through the French left.

07. The Austrian Kurassiers fianally defeated the last of the Maison du Roi cavalry

The Austrian Kürassiers who defeated the last of the French Maison du Roi cavalry.

08. Austrian and Danish infantry advancing into firefight

Austrian and Danish infantry advance into firefight.

09.  The French infantry near the end of the battle.

The French infantry at the end of the battle.

Posted in 1702 - 1715 War of the Spanish Succession | 2 Comments

ANOTHER SAMURAI GAME

Samurai 4

Last night saw our second Samurai game in the Wargamorium and again the Ronin rules provided a very satisfactory game. We had four players each with their own Buntai which were randomly drawn from a pack of cards.  This meant that each players had a totally different command of different warrior types each with their own unique blend of strengths, weakness, advantages and disadvantages so nothing was predictable.

The scenario had all four Buntai entering from four different corners of the table each looking for treasure discs in the village.  The player who exited with the most discs  gained the most points but in fact some of the discs were actually dummies known only to the Umpire. As each Buntai wanted the treasure for themselves clashes were inevitable.  There were no allies and all opponents were your enemies.

The Umpire not only supplied all of the beautifully painted figures but also the custom made scenery and the playing aids and markers.  The organisation was truly excellent and left the players free to play the game rather than having to constantly thumb through the rules. Top marks to the Umpire!

The game went on much longer than expected as the fighting was so intense that no one player was willing to call it a day until eventually the clock and the Umpire called a halt and the winner was decided by calculation.

Overall an excellent and memorable game and one which we intend to play again in the future.

Some of the many photographs below.

01. The Japanese village before the game

The village before the game. Nice and peaceful with some travelers on the road.

02. Enter the Monks

Enter the monks – the first ones to find the treasure!

03. The first treasure disc is found

Another treasure disc is found.

04. The first clash between the monks and the peasants

The peasants arrive on the left intent on taking the treasure away from the monks.

05. The peasants swarm across the road.

The peasants swarm across the road – it’s what peasants did in those days.

06. Fighting around the gate

Fighting around the gate.

07. A right shower of hooligans

A rather rowdy Buntai determined to hold on to their treasure.

08.  The peasants start to surround the temple

The peasants again – this time they are surrounding the Temple because there is a monk inside with a treasure disc. He did not keep it for long as the peasants proved to be a tough bunch of fighters.

09.  The monks are seriously outnumbered.

The monks were heavily outnumbered throughout.

Posted in Samurai | 2 Comments

Renaissance galleys in action

BATTLE OF LEPANTO/NAVAL BATTLE 1571

Turkish Galley 1571.

Last night saw thew first ever naval battle played in the Wargamorium.  It was set in the Mediterranean in the 1570s around the time of the Battle Of Lepanto.

The ships are 1/300 scale and they come in kit form which needs some assembly and painting and the end result is worth it as you can see. These were supplied by one of our group who also umpired the game.

The game consisted of two Venetian galleys versus one Ottoman or Turkish galley accompanied by two Turkish galliots which although smaller are definitely more manoeuvrable and this was reflected in the rules.

The two squadrons arrived at either end of the table simultaneously and as their firepower is restricted both sides started to manoeuvre immediately into close range where not only artillery could be used but so too could small arms.  The ultimate aim was to board and capture the enemy ships after some hand to hand fighting.

Fighting at the Battle of Lepanto

Soon after the game started two galleys clashed head on and after an exchange of fire and an extended melee the Venetians managed to eliminate the enemy crew and capture their ship.  In the meantime the smaller galliots attempted to outmanoeuvre the other Venetian galley and launch a joint attack on the first galley which was engaged with the Turkish galley. Although the galliots were far more manoeuvrable and ran rings around the Venetians they eventually found themselves inside the range and angle of the Venetian heavy guns and both were destroyed.

It was a clear cut victory for the Venetians and an encouraging omen for the upcoming battle at Lepanto.

01. The Ottoman squadron

The Ottoman squadron

02. The Venetian squadron

The Venetian squadron

04. The galleys close for action

The galleys close for action

05. The galleys clash while the others manoeuvre

Two galleys clash while the others manoeuvre.

07. The battle in progress.

The little galliots continue to manoeuvre around the second Venetian galley while the main clash is still ongoing in the foreground.

09. The galliots manoeuvre to attack one of the galleys

The two galliots move in to attack one of the Venetian galleys

10. The end of the galliots

The Turkish galley in the background has been defeated and captured by the Venetians. The small galliot has also been defeated and captured while in the foreground the wreckage represents the sunken second galliot. The galliots may have been more manoeuvrable but the heavy guns of the galleys soon put an end to both of them.

11. The victorious Venetians return to port.

The victorious Venetians return to port towing their prizes behind them. Note the Turkish banner which has been removed from the Turkish galley and is being dragged behind the victor as a trophy.

Posted in 1571 Mediterranean Naval., Uncategorized | 2 Comments