Sunday, 25 September 2016

Start of Eisenbach Campaign

 Location of battles fought in Central Germany

The new campaign is based in central Germany between Marshal Davout’s Second French Army and General Wittgenstein’s Russian Army.   It is the fourth phase of this ongoing conflict.   The French won the first and second phase, but lost the third.
They open this phase determined to regain lost ground.

The previous three phases produced twelve battles to wargame.  The map above shows the location of those battles.    This resulted in seven wins for the Russians and only five for the French.   Despite these results, the French won two of the three campaign phases.  This illustrates the advantage of a campaign to produce wargames.   Each battle/game contributes to the final outcome.   Each game also has an effect of the remaining battles in the campaign, which adds variety.  And the actual campaign is often not decided until the very last battle.  

With an extended and long running campaign such as this, you get to a stage where the previous phases (or mini campaigns) determine the shape of the next campaign.  I simply read the history of the campaign to date, and the next phase becomes obvious.   There is no need to create a background and objective, it is determined by the previous phases.

The introduction to the Eisenbach Campaign is now on the campaign diary blog.   It contains a short history of the campaign in Central Germany, plus the strategic and tactical maps for this campaign.   There are also photos of the two armies and a basic order of battle.  

Each army has only 160 figures.    There are 128 infantry, 16 cavalry and 16 gunners with four guns.  Quite a small number of figures to represent four army corps.  It also means that a relatively small table is sufficient to fight multi corps games.    My table is 6x6 foot, which is about right when the whole 8 corps, 320 figures, are present.

I know that a lot of Napoleonic wargamers prefer much larger numbers on the table.  Most current wargame rules have battalions of 12 or even 36 figures.  Many will feel that it is not “right” to represent a brigade of 4000 men with only 8 figures.   But it is this compromise which has made it possible for me to wargame with multi corps armies on such a small table and, much more important, to enjoy the experience.

Next week I will explain how I progressed from 36 figure battalions to 8 figure brigades.


James Fisher said...

Reckon you are bang on Paul. Choose a scale that suits your resources and go for it.
The proof is in the number of games/battles that you have been able to stage, not to mention the campaigns that they come from!

thistlebarrow said...

Hi James

Thanks for your comment.

It certainly works for us. It took a lot of experiment, and much hit and miss attempts, but we finally have something which suits us.