All posts by TWR

About TWR

Historical Miniatures Wargamer from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Website Update

Moving to this site has provided many advantages, not least being it provides a more mobile centric format and easier update process for new material. Part of the move included progressively updating the many scenarios and other supporting Volley & Bayonet material to this new format. As you can imagine this is a time consuming process. This has been further balanced by my desire to add new material. 

Unfortunately, my Internet service provider recently announced they are retiring the infrastructure that hosted the original Volley & Bayonet Pages. This infrastructure is expected to be retired today. That means that old material, still on the old site and which I have not updated yet and simply linked to, will be off-line.

I will now need to reformat old material more quickly than originally planned. I will make periodic updates here as scenarios once again become available. I hope you can be patient while this process occurs.

Of course the material and scenarios that I have already migrated remain available.

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Marlburian Mayhem 

Most of my Volley & Bayonet gaming is in 6mm, yet one of the great aspects of the rules is the they work well irrespective of the scale of the miniatures. This allows players to build armies using the scale they prefer. Personally, while I see many advantages of 6mm I’m more than happy to join games using figures ranging from 2mm to 25mm. So while last week it was an excellent 6mm American Civil War game last night we changed scales.

Adrian agreed to organise a Marlburian game using his 15mm figures and terrain, while Robin provided the venue. The scenario found a portion of the French army deployed forward and assaulted by the Prussian and Dutch while additional French and allied formations marched to their support. Interestingly there were several choke points, in the form of areas of broken ground, ravines and villages which reduced movement options. It is however worth noting that in this game the fields and hedges are visual enhancements and do not impact game play.

Not having the rosters or scenario details to hand I won’t try and provide a full summary of the game, but rather I’ll provide a few photos and a brief description.

Above, a view from the Allied right as Prussian and Dutch infantry advance on the French defenders deployed in and around two towns. In the top left Allied cavalry can be seen approaching the French on the other side of the defensive positions. The French would soon suffer attacks from two directions.

Below, another view of the French.

The attack on this portion of the French defences would occur first, but the French were still able to go stationary.

Above and below, a view of the Allies on the opposite side. The attack here would be initially smaller but involved infantry, artillery and cavalry. Later additional infantry and cavalry would deploy to reinforce the attacks.

Below, a more general view.

Above and below, two views of the attacks by the Allied right wing, with the Dutch advancing. In the preceding turns a portion of the French line had been driven back. The Prussians press their advantage with converged grenadiers now attacking. The allied attack was slowly developing from the left in an attempt to progressively unravel the French line. Allied artillery fire at supporting French formations.

Meanwhile French reinforcements, such as those below, are moving to reinforce the beleaguered French.

Allied reinforcements, shown below, are also now deployed. Several dragoon formations have formed up on the high ground on the Allied right. From here they can counter French cavalry or support the main infantry attack.

On the Allied left the attack was also well underway.

However, an area of broken ground caused considerable disruption and Allied infantry were often sent in piecemeal against solid French infantry. While some gains were made the French artillery was crucial in driving the attacks back.

The Allied right was the focus of French counterattacks as here Allied forces threatened to break the French position. To counter this threat French reinforcements threatened the extreme Allied right.

A ravine and town, secured by Allied infantry, channeled the French cavalry and disrupted the planned attack. Instead Bavarian attempted to storm the town but were repulsed with heavy casualties.

The repulse of these attacks were the final turning point. Now, the infantry and cavalry of the Allied right, supported by attacks by the Allied left, were launched in a series of coordinated attacks on the isolated French infantry.  Despite fighting valiantly the French infantry, now attacked from several directions, were soon in full rout. Another fascinating Volley & Bayonet game.

Schwarzenburg Strikes

Last night it was great to deploy our 6mm miniatures for a most enjoyable Volley & Bayonet encounter. This time an 1813 engagement using my Austrians and Jon’s French. As is almost always the case we use the Road to Glory scenario system to develop the situation. The gaming room was full, with both the French and Austrians commanded by three players each, including two out of town visitors.

As it happened the Austrians, commanded by Prinz Schwarzenburg, had the burden of attack. Under his command he had two Korps but only four divisions concentrated. Additional divisions were advancing and would swell the Austrians to six divisions, but the arrival and deployment of these divisions would take time. The French meanwhile were isolated with only two divisions initially deployed. However, their initial reinforcements would arrive earlier, potentially swelling the French to parity. Schwarzenburg attack, if it was to be successful needed to inflict casualties before the French could concentrate, and disrupt the deployment of these French reinforcements.

The initial Austrian attacks were delivered with great determination, starting around 3pm. The town of Freilberg, forming the initial French left, was taken quickly by two Austrian infantry regiments from Murray’s 2nd Division, themselves from III Armeekorps. However, a swift French counterattack dislodged the Austrians. Undeterred, the Austrians attacked again, though this time the attack failed and Freilberg was now firmly in French hands.

Extending the French positions to the right of Freilberg were several regiments. Simultaneously with the attacks on Freilberg Austrian forces also advanced here. Initial attacks involved elements of Greth’s Division, but soon Wimpfen’s Division, also from Colloredo’s I Armeekorps, supported by artillery, pressed the French. Here to the battle hung in the balance for several hours and involved charge and counter charge.

Above, Austrian units advanced through tall crops to engage the French. The town of Freilberg is visible in the distance. Below, the more general situation.

Initial French reinforcements were thrown in to stabilise the position around Freilberg with the result that the battle now extended both sides of the town. The Austrian right mostly comprised the Austrian Light Division from III Armeekorps, but was bolstered by regiments from the 2nd Division.

As the Austrian forces slowly lost momentum the Gyulai, commander of III Armeekorp, hoped to regain the initiative by the deployment of his’ 3rd Division. However, it had taken almost 5 hours for the major elements of this division, commanded by Hessen-Homburg, to advance by road to the area of battle and shake out of road column. During this time the French had stabilised the situation and were beginning to move to the offensive.

Above, the general situation around 7pm. Hessen-Homburg’s 3rd Division is starting to deploy in the Austrian centre but some regiments are still in road column. Hardegg’s Light Division is on the far right centre. In the foreground two Austrian regiments, who have previously routed, are visible. On a number of occasions Austrian regiments lost melees on morale ties as the grenadiers of these regiments had been removed for use in converged regiments.

By the time Austrian forces ceased their attacks at 8pm one Austrian division had collapsed and a second teetered on the edge. In contrast the French had sustained far fewer casualties and these spread among several divisions. The Austrian attack, without the army being fully concentrated had been a gamble. Initially it seem as if it would be successful, but as the day progressed it was clear it had in fact been a mistake. But of course that always makes a great game…

Move Swiftly, Strike Vigorously!

Having been held by a determined defence along Praxton Creek on the 23rd August General Lee gave Major General John Pope the slip during the night and flanking the Union position continued his advance north. Pope, ordered the Union army north trying to keep his army between Lee and Washington. Lee for his part was spoiling for a fight and with his army relatively concentrated turned on the 25th of August to strike advanced elements of the Union Army of Virginia.

With Confederate scouts reported the Union forces were generally strung out in line of march. Lee determined to strike swiftly, with a portion of his Army of Northern Virginia attacking two Union divisions. While it was true the Union divisions had the advantage of high ground Lee was determined to retain the initiative. His army was divided into two commands of corps size, one under Longstreet and the other under Jackson. For the forthcoming engagement Longstreet would be able to call upon four divisions, some ten brigades. Jackson would support this with two further large divisions, another eight brigades. Stuart would also add his small cavalry division to the attack. In all General Lee would be able to commit some 30,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and over 72 guns to the attack.

Above and below the Confederates approach the Union forces deployed on Weaver Ridge around 3pm. From left to right are Anderson’s, Jones’ and Ewell’s Divisions. Union forces on the ridge are the 1st and 2nd Divisions from McDowell’s III Corps, Army of Virginia.

Lee moved his army forward in three general bodies. Anderson’s Division would pin the two Union Divisions in place on the wood covered high ground locally known as Weaver Ridge. At the same time Jones’ and Ewell’s Divisions would slide to the right before moving against the exposed Union left and line of communications.

Above Confederate artillery, comprising rifled and smoothbore guns, form a massed battery of 36 guns and begin to bombard the Union left. Simultaneously the Ewell’s Division begin their attack moving swiftly forward. Forno’s Brigade attacks Union guns while Lawton’s Brigade is advancing astride the Kylertown Pike, the main route of advance for Union reinforcements. Five additional brigades extend the Rebel right.

The divisions of Hood, Kemper and Stuart, all relatively small and forming the Confederate left flank, move from the Rebel left and advance on Weaver Ridge from the left, flanking the position. Below, the Confederates advance against the Union right, holding the extreme Union right of Weaver Ridge.

By 5pm the Union reinforcements were arriving. First to deploy was Siegel’ I Corps. No sooner had they deployed these two Union divisions faced another attack, under the watchful eye of General Lee. Below, the Forno’s, Toombs’ and Jones’ Brigades are in the foreground while in the distance Early’s, Lawton’s, Trimble’s and Drayton’s Brigades attack.

While Lee was in the thick of the fighting Jackson moved along the line encouraging troops of Ewell’s Division. “Move swiftly, strike vigorously! These Yankees will break!” Despite the rapid Confederate advance additional Union reinforcements were now pouring on to the battlefield, primarily from Heintzelman’s III Corps, Army of the Potomac. Now increasingly outnumbered the Rebel attack on the right began to stall. Lawton’s Brigade was first to crack. Below, the Rebel brigades in a sea of blue around 6pm.

Meanwhile in the centre, the Union 1st Division had earlier abandoned the safety of Weaver Ridge and advancing through the cornfields attacking the Rebel centre. Below, two Union brigades, along with US Sharpshooters advance on Armistead’s and Mahone’s Brigades, both part of Anderson’s Division. Mahone’s Brigade, shown below on the Confederate left, suffered heavy casualties over two hours of desperate fighting.

Yet Longstreet was feeding in troops. Three Confederate Divisions crossed the south branch of Otter Creek about 5pm. Below, in the foreground, is Hood’s Division, which comprises Hood’s Texan and Whiting’s Brigades. In the distance Kemper’s Division, comprising Kemper’s Brigade and that of Jenkin’s Brigade. Between them are Fitzhugh Lee’s and Robinson’s cavalry brigades from Stuart’s Division.

Now, around 6pm, the exposed Union Division in the Cornfield, is hit from two directions. In the rear by Hood’s Division and from the front by Garrett’s Brigade from Taliaferro’s Division (Jackson’s Corps) and Wright’s Brigade from Anderson’s Division. Hood’s Texans in particular gave the Yankees a surprise, attacking with great élan. Below, the Union 1st Division defends the Cornfield.

While the action in the Cornfield plays out the two brigades of Kemper’s Division attack the final Union brigade holding the Union left supported by Fitzhugh Lee’s dismounted cavalry brigade at 7pm. The combination of all these attacks on the 1st and 2nd Union Divisions were disastrous. Both divisions were driven back in disorder having suffered crippling casualties.

However, Union reinforcements continued to deploy including extending the Union right. Below, two Union infantry brigades prepare to counter-attack while Pleasanton’s cavalry, some three brigades form behind the northern branch of Otter Creek.

Further along Weaver Ridge the shattered Union centre began to be reinforced by another Union division around 8pm. With light fading Longstreet ponders a further attack. Anderson’s Division is itself however nearly exhausted. Any final push would need to be by Hood’s Division, on the left, or Stuart’s dismounted cavalry far left.

On the Confederate right, below, the attack by the southern brigades had stalled earlier and now prepared to face a possible Union counter-attack. Ewell’s Division was exhausted though Jones’ Division remained fresh. Several disordered Union regiments can be seen on Weaver Ridge.

There was no doubt General Lee was pleased with his troops aggressive spirit and determination to advance. The Southerners had fought hard and pressed the Yankees at every turn. One Union Division had collapsed and another exhausted, giving Pope grave concern. However, yet again the hoped for destruction of the Union forces was not complete. The Union army had held.

The scenario was of course another fictional encounter developed using the “Road to Glory” System with each army comprised of 3000 points. The Union commanders had selected “Advance Guard – Echelon Centre #5” while the Confederate commanders selected “Returning Detachment – Reserve #20” and therefore had the burden of attack. Miniatures are all from Heroics & Ros 6mm range, with the Confederates from my collection while Jon provided the Union forces.