Saturday, 6 February 2016

Battle of Dennewitz 1813 game

I carried in two hockey equipment bags, fairly light-weight, the terrain and figures (thankfully mostly plastic!) to the club's monthly meet to set up the historical Napoleonic battle of Dennewitz.  The scenario has the French (with Napoleon away to the south) moving toward Berlin with the Prussians counterattacking.

Bertrand's corps was caught across the muddy Ahebach stream with the rest of the French strung out behind him.  I decided on placing the commands in roughly mid-battle positions with the players allowed to place their elements anywhere within the rather large command radius;  even allowing contact within the first turn should they wish. Game on.  (but the players generally followed the rather more discrete course)
'Crunch time' approaches

Even on a small 8 by 6 foot table, lots of space is still available to keep reserves out of harm's way until needed (hint, hint)

JimF's French Bertrand's Corps plunked itself on the hill north of Dennewitz and followed a cautious defensive stance while DennisC's Tauentzien's and Thumen's forces moved slowly to confront them.
The Prussian artillery concentration. A careful observation will note a Russian gun as some Prussian forces historically were aided with Russian artillery batteries.

To the south, the smaller commands of Oppen, Bulow (as Homburg-Hesse) and Krafft all under MikeB's guidance, went full tilt into the French (and their guns!)  As Dennis did in the north, the French commands of PeterM's Reynier Corps and KevinA's Oudinot's combined artillery to concentrate their fire - rather effectively from early large number of high dice rolls ! - to much weaken the Prussian assaults.   Eventually Oppen's command collapsed which allowed Oudinot to swing against the flank of Borstell.
Borstell's forces included a Swedish cavalry continent of hussars.
The battlefield looking to the north.  Dennewitz is the tudor styled house above the hand.  Bertrand's Corps in on the north side of the stream, Reynier's are being pointed to by the hand while Arrighi's small cavalry corps are in reserve behind. Gohlsdorf village is represented by the house on the left.  Oudinot is off camera to the south (left).
Poles and Wuerttembergers are among the nations which formed a large part of Napoleon's forces in 1813 
1813 Wuerttemburgers made from modified Perry Austrians and heavily altered shakos, lead Bertrand's defensive stance.
Saxons of Bertrand's Corps.  Modified French style plastics most with trimmed Prussian shakos but some with Russian forage caps or 1809 shakos which are close to the Saxon uniform at the time.

With the Prussians forces strength waining and the French still holding the strong hill positions north and south of Dennewitz; and the player's seeing that the Command Morale Chart was not to be toyed with ( grin ) the Prussians ordered their withdrawal.

Not a historical outcome of course.  It is harder for the attacker to use their artillery effectively as it takes a patient command process to allow the artillery to set up, time to soften up the enemy and finally to organize the infantry and cavalry attacks.  The players, while all experienced wargamers and all having played at least one of my games and rules, still fall to the excitement and tend to charge forthwith.

The post-game analysis had some discussion about tactics and while related to the rules of course, (taken advantage of?) these were more tactical for historical play rather than holes in the rules.

 The players seemed to like the scenario saying they still had maneuver space even if the forces were close to each other.   Not bad to have a large Napoleonic battle of 28mm on a 8 x 6' table.  I will downgrade the French forces a bit for playability.   At this point of the war, their units were understrength and tired and but find themselves in good defensive positions.

I will put on the game again at the big Salute convention mainly as I have put some effort in the organization and labelling and, more importantly,  have everything already packed!

French hussars in late war uniform


  1. Great looking game. Sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    1. It was! The post-game discussion was about tactics not holes in the rules which was the best part....
      Thanks of the note

  2. I hope you keep track of your OOB's for various games. You can add it in an appendix to your game when it hits hardcopy.

    1. Hardcopy?! That my friend is a bit away yet...if ever....
      but yes I am trying to keep the OOBs and scenario notes for future plays
      take care,

  3. Yes, I second the great looking game comment. Your figures are just brilliant!

    1. Wow. Quite the nice compliment. Thanks!