Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Game 53 : Weisseritz to Grossgarten : Dresden the Centre

This is another play test of Dresden, fighting from the Weisseritz stream to French left past the Grossgarten. This was a large battle, where sledgehammers were the order of the day!

The above is a view, towards Dresden, from the south west. Imagine you are on the Allied lines, then march along the Weisseritz towards Dresden and there you go. The City walls are shown and behind the city is the Elbe River.

The battle was also unique in that the French had anticipated a battle and had built "Lunettes" to the south which would be facing the Allied lines. There were 5 in total and this game had all of them deployed. Each Lunette had a 12pdr battery within it and the positions were, relatively speaking, heavily fortified. This is reflected in the special rules for the Lunettes

The Grossgarten is a huge feature. Simply put, it was a series of gardens, surrounded by wall, that was over a mile long on each side. This feature would literally gobble up 4 divisions of infantry at a time, that's 40 btns in this game!

The attack, from the Allied lines, from there left which lines the Weisseritz, a secure flank. The village being attacked is the most easily accessible in the French lines with only 1 Lunette really able to offer support fire. You see why I said it was a game of sledgehammers. The above is a small one!!

This is the same action viewed from the French lines, effectively looking south west.

The game was played twice and the above shows the Grossgarten just about to be cleared by 2 Young Guard divisions of 20 btns. The Russian occupiers retired as opposed to be routed out of the feature.

The French attacked from their left, assaulting the extended right flank of the Allies towards a feature called the Landgraben. A big ditch really, but a breakwater to charging troops, especially cavalry

The French secure the Grossgarten and the Allies, Russian line and Guard reform before counter-attacking.

Guard Polish Lancers about to unleash themselves upon some unfortunate Prussian squares. The first square would buckle easily, the second square bounced the Lancers!! Who says it is easy to break squares. This is an ironical comment as some players are convinced breaking squares is too easy with these rules. Try telling that to the Guard Polish Lancers (Morale 8 so there is no mistake).

This is the second game at the Grossgarten where 40 btns are about to thrash around for control of the feature. Why is it important? To the French, control denies about a third of the front to the Allies and funnels any assaults on the city in the centre. Allied control sees the avenues of attack on the city significantly increased and spreads the French defenders more thinly, probably forcing the committing of any central reserves.

This is a sledgehammer of Austrians, plumb in the centre, attacking the central Lunettes.

This is another sledgehammer of Austrians, advancing to the right of the Division above.

This shows a Russian sledgehammer, a Jaeger Division of all things, advancing to the right of the Division above with the Grossgarten to its right. Russians contest the Grossgarten so you can see how control of the Grossgarten allows an avenue of attack on the city.

Round one assaults in the Grossgarten have been resolved. Both sides reform. Ding, ding, round two is about to start. Then we were knackered and sat in the sun and drank beer!!!, well I did the others drank tea!!! Great fun as usual.

Myself and Paul played together whilst our realistic Austrian counterparts, Herbert & Franz, were our opponents. The next game is a repeat play test of roughly the same sector with some slight adjustments to rules and OB restrictions based on our play test experience. Look out for the next instalment of sledgehammers!! 


  1. This looks pretty densely populated! Amazing gardens and intimidating city walls too!
    I have a question, many of your towns and even the Lunettes have a patch of rough ground or fields around them. Obviously these are cultivated areas near settlements but do they play any part in the game? Linear obstacles, half move etc? They look great but is there a purpose to them?
    Awaiting the next Sledgehammer blow with excitement!

    1. Hi,
      The best example to explain are the fields, many of which you see in the games. As you say, the fields represent cultivated areas around villages etc. My view, through living in a village typical in make up of those fought over in the Nap wars, is that the greatest affect is on visibility, not cover.
      If I take my own village, 300 yards from one end to the other, a battery unlimbered 100 yards from it could probably only impact on buildings about 30 yards into the village. Before that are either other buildings, trees a myriad of things. Canister would be even less effective when past the immediate outskirts.
      So, the rules. We play that visibility is limited to 8" from your current position. So, if you were 1" into a field, you could see up 7" out of the field. Within this visibility, you may fire , melee etc. The fields do not unform troops or restrict movement.
      But we can and do vary this. If the field has a hedge, then normal movement for infantry is allowed, but cavalry and artillery cannot cross. Charging infantry is allowed but they become unformed.
      But even this can be game specific. So, for Dresden, where you see fields with hedges, all of which are on the outskirts of the city, we play those as Chevau de Frise. The field limits visibility as per normal. The Chevau de Frise lining the fields allows normal movement by all troops with no penalty. Cavalry may not charge over them. Infantry may charge, becoming unformed.

      So you see that we can vary, for each game or situation, the advantages/disadvantages of terrain features. I hope this gives some insight. If you buy the Companion books (plug plug) you will see more examples, fully explained, of how terrain is treated I the battles listed.

    2. Many thanks,
      I have both companion books but don't recall this being covered hence my question. Good hear things are nice and flexible, just how I like it.
      Take care, best wishes,

  2. Always spectacular looking! Wonderful.

  3. Wonderful looking battle Gerry. Always enjoy reading your accounts and seeing the absolute thousands and thousands of wonderfully painted 10mm figures in your superb collection. I have very much enjoyed reading through your scenario books mate.

    1. I'm glad you like the books, the more Caliver sells, the more books I get asked to do.
      Prussian army is coming along, 36 btns so far.