Napoleonic Wargame CLub
Newsletter EDITION 03 - October,
Publisher: Pierre Desruisseaux, Secretary of State
Editor : Chris Wattie, KGL Hussars, British Army
The Front Page
NIR TOURNAMENT OFF AND RUNNING
Capt. Ray Panfil
Sec. of War
The NWC Fall tournament is now underway. We have 33 officers registered and elcome packages will be sent out this weekend with all pairings, rules and the new order of battle file.
Scenario: #7 Kutuzov Turns to Fight
Teams: three-man teams, pairings will be set by tourney sponsor. Members will be paired with other Corps members.
Format: Single elimination
A game commander will be assigned to each match to keep up game play, generally three days is acceptable for teams to return phases back to opponents. If you are travelling or out of town please have team members substitute in your absence.
An Army Commander will also be assigned to each match. The AC will generate the battle plan for the upcoming match and essentially will act as Napoleon or Kutusov giving out the command assignments.
Example: Lt. Moon could be assigned Davout's I Corp and would be responsible for all movement of I Corp regiments. All members will get a chance to be AC provided they continue to advance through the tourney.
Important: You also need to rank yourself as a Guard level, Veteran level or Cadet level as the teams will be balanced as best as possible.
If there are any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see all of you out there.
INEFFECTIVE MUSKET FIRE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE
By Chris Wattie
Hussars, British Army
Ever had the frustrating experience of getting an enemy battalion in your sights, your 500-strong unit in line or better yet extended line formation, only to see a "Fire had no effect" message pop up on the screen after you triumphantly click the fire button?
But its also historically accurate. I should know: its happened to me.
In my spare time (between multi-player games, one-on-one slugfests and the occasional training match) Im a military re-enactor, portraying a private in the Canadian militia during the War of 1812. We recreate battles and skirmishes in this war between Britain and the United States over what is now Canada (we won!). We are dressed, drilled and armed just like the infantry of the day, including replicas of the 19th century infantrymans weapon of choice: the flintlock musket.
At a recent skirmish in which our unit participated, we lined up to receive an American column advancing on our position. All 20 of us, in two ranks, made ready, cocked our hammers, presented and on the command "Fire!" pulled our triggers.
Instead of a withering volley ripping through the ranks of the advancing Yankees (well okay, we were using blanks), all we got was a series of clicks as the flints in our hammers hit the frizzens and failed miserably to ignite the powder in our pans. One or two of us managed a puff of smoke the proverbial flash in the pan caused when the small amount of priming powder in our pans ignited, but failed to spread through the touch-hole to the main charge in the barrel.
The British Army Land Pattern, and later India Pattern, muskets were notoriously unreliable weapons and they were considered by many soldiers as the best flintlocks of their day.
Even in the hands of experienced troops, most historical sources Ive read put the misfire rate at one in five shots. My personal experience would put it closer to one in four. Assuming good weather. And a well-maintained weapon. And a bit of luck.
Even a bit of humidity (remember that rain the night before June 18, 1815?) can quickly turn your powder into a black sludge that would take a blowtorch to ignite: forget about sparks from a piece of flint. A worn frizzen or badly adjusted flint will stubbornly refuse to spark at all, no matter how many curses or frantic battlefield repairs are attempted. Even a badly timed puff of wind can blow your spark right out of your pan.
When you also factor in that muskets are wildly unlikely to hit a man-sized target at more than 100 metres range, its a wonder that our BGW, PTW or NiR units manage to inflict any damage at all!
So next time one of your battalions muffs a clear, point-blank shot at a defenceless enemy cavalry unit give the guys in the ranks a break. Let em wipe off their locks and try again.
And just to prove how quirky a black-powder musket can be, our re-enacted skirmish had a happy ending for the good guys (those of us in redcoats, of course!). As the blue-coated foe marched ever closer and our sergeant-major taught us all new swear words, my comrades and I quickly wiped off our frizzens, adjusted our flints, cleared our touch-holes or re-primed the pan and said a short prayer to the gods of black powder.
The same 20 muskets were cocked, levelled and fired. And all but one went off in unison: a perfect volley that thoroughly routed the Yanks.
(The Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada can be seen at http://home.rogerswave.ca/kellys/index.html)
Cpt. Thilo Schneider (Prussia)
There will be a re-enactment at Leipzig, Germany, during the 16th - 18th of October with the large battle being refought on the 17th at the historical ground. Over 2.000, men representing soldiers of the various countries are expected.
The reason is the 185th annual of the "Voelkerschlacht". Look for "Voelkerschlacht" in the internet for further information and a program.
LA GRANDE ARMEE RIPPING GOOD NAPOLEONIC READ
La Grande Armee
By Georges Blond
Available from Amazon.com for $19.96
Reviewed by Capt. Joe Gregory
Chief of Staff l'Armee du Rhine
Author Georges Blond takes the reader with Napoleon and his men as they march from Boulogne to Waterloo with a completeness that one would expect from an autobiography. The book describes the day-to-day life and death in the army of the Emperor with all the detail of a conversation with a grizzled veteran at a Parisian café.
Mr. Blond provides character sketches of some of the leading historical figures of the time that illustrate motive, desire and fault. His descriptions of the Peninsular War and the retreat from Moscow vividly illustrate the suffering and horrors of war in the Napoleonic era. The authors in-depth treatment of the medical services is most enlightening, describing the frightful lot of the wounded in gory detail. The reader cannot avoid having an increased respect for the physicians Rene Desgenettes and Jean Larrey.
Touching on the political, personal and military histories of the period, the book provides the reader with a unique vantage point from which they may view battles like Austerlitz and Waterloo in a new light. The descriptions of the campaigns and battles avoid tactical details while providing sweeping descriptions that answer many of the hows and whys of the conflicts events. With the chronology, maps and statistics included in the appendixes, this book will become a valued addition to the library of any student of the Napoleonic era.
New game and End game forms are a hit! Since the forms have been inroduced in July, 44 end games have been reported as well as 99 new starts.
BRITISH ARMY GROWS IN SIZE, STRENGTH
To all members of the British Allied Army,
Gentlemen, I am proud to say that the British Army's progress has been outstanding in just four months. We have taken on dozens of new recruits from all over the world - England, Wales, Canada, USA,
Germany, Australia, Portugal and even Russia!
You will notice that the army points page is now up and running, along with an updated personnel page. Capt. Andrew Flynn has volunteered to act as aide to the Secretary of State to keep the points up to date. Please e-mail him your game results or if there are any problems with your points totals.
This army has gone from strength to strength and it's because of YOU - our loyal members. I have seen the results of our games with the French and we have the upper hand almost all the time - even though the French army is considerably larger than the British Army. It is an honour to lead and fight with you! Keep up the good work and do yourselves and this army proud.
CoA British Army
PRUSSIANS FORM SECOND CORPS
The Prussian army announces the addition of the II Corps to their army structure! New pages and links have already been set up.
A special thanks to Lt. Thilo Schneider, who has been most helpful with the historical data for the regiments which will be added to each corps page. As a new commander he is already showing promise.
I have appointed four of the five brigade commander slots for the First Corps and only need one more commander to have a good structure in place. I will serve as acting corps commander of the II Corps until we get a member at Major level to help out.
CoA Prussian Army
AND THE RUSSIANS DOUBLE UP TOO!
The Russian Army is filling out nicely I have added a new Corps, the XI which is fictional and is Finnish we have had about seven new members arriving this month. I have started using the allied medals and have awarded several to men in my army for exceptional work.
I have appointed an aide de camp Paul Cramer for the work rate down here is pretty full. Many of my players are during games.
CoA Russian Army
NEW BIVOUAC FOR LARMEE DU RHINE
L'Armee du Rhine has moved its headquarters to a new location. Any of you wishing to view the new site may do so at: http://home1.swipnet.se/~w-13726/ .
The link from La Grande Armee Club Page has been changed to reflect the new web address. You may note that this eliminates the old links to each corps. The corps individual homepages may be accessed via the new web address.
Capt. Joe Gregory
Chief of Staff l'Armee du Rhine
l` Armee du Rhin`
Fellow Officers of the NWC
Just a few words to give you an insight in to our "Glorious" Armee du
Rhine. My armee appears to be blessed with many veteran & devoted officers, to
date we have achieved 10 "Legion of Honour" medals,
2 Order of the Iron Crown & a Valour Cross. 7 of these accreditation's coming from the VIII Corps (congratulations Capt. Shively). Capt. Toni Andreasson along with fellow ADR officers have now established a new Armee du Rhin web site which can be accessed via a link at the NWC main page, "it really is worth checking out" & I am sure that all of the officers in ADR will join me in thanking Capt. Andreasson for all his hard work & commitment.
We also appear to have an up & coming program writer within our midst, any officers with dislikes or suggestions for improvements to the Talonsoft games should contact Capt. Gary Shively, so far Capt. Shively has vastly improved both BGW & NIR and soon hopes to open his own site dedicated to improving all of our game play.
A new addition to the Club is the use of translators, we are fortunate to have Lt. Lavis who so far is doing a grand job in translating English written messages in to French.
Capt. Joe Gregory Chief of Staff for ADR, has recently had a shake up within our ranks. This has left us with Steadfast Officers who are ready & waiting for any Allied Officer to throw down the gauntlet, so come on you Allies if its a fight you want look toward ADR for your opponents, "what have you to loose" apart from loosing!!
Let me finish this by offering a personal and public thankyou to all those officers within Armee du Rhin who have put the effort & time in to make the NWC a better club.
Major. Jon Brewitt
L`ARMEE DU RHIN
Front And Centre
The following officers have been awarded medals for heroic bravery against the enemy and for helping about in the Russian Army:
Karl Schneider Military Merit Cross (5 pts)
Mark Doggett Military Merit Cross
Bryan Corkill Military Merit Cross
Dilwyn Roberts Military Merit Cross
Bryan Young Military Merit Cross
Carlos Nalda Military Merit Cross
Paul Cramer Grand Star Cross (10 pts)
John Underwood Grand Star Cross
The following French officers are recognized for outstanding achievement in the conduct of their duties during the month of September:
Lt. Toni Andreasson - Order of the Iron Crown for commitment to the new ADR web site.
Lt. John Cotter - Valour Cross for outstanding bravery in the face of the enemy.
Capt. Brewitt's personnel congratulations and those of l'Armee du Rhine's general staff are extended to Andreasson & Cotter for outstanding achievements.
Lt. Toni Andreasson - promoted to Captain.
Lt. Gary Shively - promoted to Captain.
Lt. John Cotter - promoted to Captain.
Capt. Jon Brewitt - promoted to Major.
Capt. Michael Phillips - promoted to Major.
Major Mark Adams - promoted to Colonel.
Pierre Desruisseaux - promoted to Major!
Steve Peluso - promoted to Lieutenant Colonel!
Capt. Keith (Sharpe) Patrick - promoted Major.
Capt. Chris Wattie - promoted Major.
Lt. Andrew Flynn - promoted Captain.
STEVE PELUSO and EINAR JON MASSON fought to a hard-earned draw with WAYNE RUTLEDGE and ANDERS DANELL in BGW scenario 4 (Hougoumont) and my sources tell me the French were lucky to escape with a tie.
BILL PETERS and JAMES DOBBINS won a minor victory over PATRICK AUFFRET and SCOTT FINN in the same Hougoumont scenario, while Lt. Finn and MARK ADAMS had even less luck in NIR, conceding a major victory to STEVE ECK and MICHAEL GJERDE in scenario 17.
BRAM STEIJN and COLIN GASKELL added to the Allies undefeated streak in multi-player action with a minor victory over FRANCISCO PALOMO and SAM MOON.
The redoubtable Lt. Moon had more success in single-player action, earning a major victory over the wily veteran Capt. Peters in NIR scenario 21.
JAMES DOBBINS scored a major allied victory over the always tricky SALVADOR ALEMANY
in NIR 7, but Maj. Alemany came back with a major win over British CoA SIMON (SHARPE) PATRICK in the same scenario.
The busy Maj. Alemany added to the French tally with a major victory over BYAN CORKILL in BGW 3 (Grouchys Victory).
Col. Adams beat DILWYN ROBERTS in NIR 13, romping to a French Major victory, while MICHAEL ARRETT and KARL SCHNEIDER fought to a draw in NIR 7.
JOHN COTTER ceded a minor victory to CHRIS WATTIE in BGW 8 (Grande Bataille de Waterloo), a game Im informed set new casualty records on both sides and earned the French commander the cross of valour.
Capt. Cotter and ANDREW FLYNN fought tooth and nail to a draw in the evenly matched BGW 17 scenario, The Prussians pressure Papelotte.
MICHAEL PHILLIPS had less luck against the veteran JOHN UNDERWOOD, giving up a major victory in BGW 14 (The Battle of Waterloo), but managed to eke out a draw against STEVE TAKACS in BGW 6 (Grande Bataille de Waterloo).
STEWART MACINTYRE pulled out a Major victory over MARK DOGGETT in BGW 16 (The Main Assault Begins).
And SERGIO GUERRI racked up a pair of major victories over fellow Italian MAURO CRESTINI, playing the Allied side in BGW, but my sources tell me the rookie Lt. Crestini has learned valuable lessons from his losses and is thirsting for revenge.
* Editors Note: I hope to give more interesting details about each battle result in future newsletters, but since we had to cover four months of games this time, space was limited. By all means send me salacious details, boasts, etc. for inclusion in next months newsletter.
Over 100 new recrutis joined the ranks form July to September. Welcome aboard all!
Strategy & Tactics
Looking for articles to add here.
New Scenarios and Updates
ANNOYING ERRATA IN BATTLEGROUND GAMES TO BE FIXED
By Lt. Gary Shively
VIII Corps, Commanding
Armee du Rhin
Many of you have noticed irregularities in the Battleground games we all play. Some are officers missing from units while others involve the functions or capabilities of the units themselves. I have been able to address some of these and make corrections, while there are others I wish to correct, all on the basis of documented evidence.
Changes already in effect and play tested:
BGW: Prussian units are able to detach skirmishers.
PTW: Same as above
NIR: All horse batteries are able to unlimber in their movement phase.
Russian Heavy cavalry reprogrammed to act as heavies. They had originally
been programmed as light. "Heavy" icon added to all Dragoon units pictured
in the game. A new scenario #7 with an almost complete Russian command
staff, Skirmishers in Borodino are recallable. No fixed batteries.
BGW: Adding missing officers and officer faces. (This includes adding
officers for those who use the BRC patch) Bringing all Hanovarian LDW to
"British Trained" status. Further modifications to to Prussian Skirmisher
abilities based on newly acquired documentation. Correcting the few horse
batteries that are lacking their move/unlimber function.
PTW: Same as above in regards to missing officers (non-BRC) and Prussian
NIR: Adding missing officers to both armies.
A word about adding officers. Officers can easily be added to the Order of battle. For this to be a complete change, another file must be changed. Otherwise, you end up with the face of the wrong officer in command of the wrong unit. Those using the BRC patch already know this.
Changing the Leader file is a painstaking and long process. It will not begin until I have as much feedback as possible.
Any club member with any ideas and documentation is invited to e-mail me at email@example.com. All ideas will be considered and discussed with the club staff and the army commanders before implementation and distribution.
TALONSOFT ANNOUNCES NEW GAME PLANS
TalonSoft, Inc. announced the successor to their award winning BATTLEGROUND series of American Civil War and Napoleonic historical strategy games. To be released under their new Campaign series of historical games, this new 19th century era gaming engine will blend historical detail, new graphic
technology, playability, and multi-player on-line play, into a real-time gaming environment.
Jim Rose, President and co-founder of TalonSoft said: "We have quietly watched our competition respond to our success with the BATTLEGROUND series. Our careful planning and insistence on pushing the bar ever higher, promises to deliver an experience that will surpass any previously released PC game covering 19th century warfare. Our new American Civil War and Napoleonic engine will put gamers into an experience, that up to now, they have only dreamed of! "
The first of the two new games, which will cover the entire American Civil war, will be
released in 1st Qtr of 1999, and the Napoleonic installment will follow in the third
quarter of 1999.
What was the name of Napoleons horse at the Battle of Waterloo? What colour and breed was it?
5 points to the first correct answer e-mailed to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Edition 02 June, Trivia question and best answers.
Why is general Mouton also called Lobau?
1) Napoleon gave him the title of comte de Lebau after the island inthe Danube
that was key to the crossing of that river in the Wagram campaign.
Ed Lees, 14th Curassier (GOBLUE80@aol.com)
2) Mouton was named Comte Lobau as a battle honor for his performance at
the battle of wagram.John Cotter [Jcotter@compusmart.ab.ca]
3)Mouton is given this title because of the work he did setting up the
French base located on the island of Lobau in the Danube river. It was
from here that napoleon launched his attack that resulted in the victory
29th Legere II Corps Greg Pelletier [email@example.com]
4) Le General Mouton a ete fait conte de Lobau apres la bataille de Wagram pour
son travail lors de l'organisation de l'ile de Lobau apres la bataille
d'Aspern . Il etait en autre charge de la supervision des ponts entre l'ile
et la plaine de Wagram
L'ile de lobau etant l'ile ou s'est replie l'armee francaise apres cette
derniere bataille. et c'est de la qu'est aussi partie les l'offensive de
Il est a note qu'apres Austerlitz, Napoleon avait dit:" Ce mouton est un
Bill bertrand [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Leading club members address the always prickly question of skirmishers, house rules and optional rules; Plans for new campaign-style games; More tips and tactical dos and donts.
Submissions to the newsletter are always welcome. Questions, comments, notices of
lawsuits or challenges to duels as a result of contents of this newsletter should be
addressed to the editor: Maj. Chris Wattie email@example.com.