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Category Archives: Front Rank Figurines

Battle of Möckern AAR

The other week we finally got to give the Battle of Möckern another try. Before I start with the AAR I shall show you the force compositions, so know which forces faced one another:

French OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

French OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules
[EDIT: Please note there is a typo in the name of Maréchal Marmont]

Prussian OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

Prussian OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules

Deployment was quiet straight forward. The French Troops under Lagrange were deployed inside the village of Möckern, with the Légère being deployed behind it as reserves. They could only be released after the first Prussian assault on the village itself. The troops under Buquet were deployed on the fields east of the village. The French artillery was positioned in between these two formations.

The Prussians under Klüx were deployed opposite the village, with the Leibgrenadierbattalion being kept back as reserves. They could only be released after the first unsuccessful assault on Möckern. The Second Detachment was deployed on the fields east of Möckern opposite the French lines. The Prussian 6pdr. batteries were deployed between the two formations with the cavalry behind them. Th horsemen would stay in reserve until von Yorck saw the moment fit to unleash them. At the earliest this could happen on the fourth round (they would be released on a roll of 6+ on a D10 with each previous attempt giving them a +1). The 12pdrs. were not deployed on table but off table and would start firing on the fourth round.

Möckern (French side)

Möckern (French side)

The Prussians won the first initiative (they would actually did so each round) and began a general advance. On their right the Gardejäger had deployed the whole unit as skirmishers and it was behind them that the Landwehr advanced, with the Ostpreußisches Infanterieregiment to their left, both in line. On the fields Two regular and the reserve battalions were at the front deployed in Collums of Attack with the Landwehr battalions advanced behind them in line. The artillery opened up on the closest French infantry on the fields, without doing much damage.

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Initiative passed over to the French. While the troops inside Möckern naturally stayed put and those in the fields advanced slowly in line. The two French batteries split their fire between the Westpreußisches Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern. They too only inflicted moderate damage.

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

Now it was the Prussians turn once more. The troops opposite Möckern continued their advance with the Gardejäger opening fire at the defenders doing the first damage. On the fields there was a further advance with the 12te Reserveinfanterie preparing to charge. But before they could do so it was the artilleries turn. The left battery had to shift its fire to the French artillery on account that part of the Prussian lines now obscured the French and managed to put the crew for two of the French guns out of action, while their companions still created more damage for the infantry. Now the reservists charged the French to their front. The French fired a defensive volley at point blank range, but still they went on. Both sides already inflicted heavy casualties on the other, but not enough to send one running. But after continued heavy hand to hand combat the French broke and ran, never to return. But at a heavy price with the reservists having lost more than half their number. But still they stood fast.

First contact

First contact

On their next turn the French in Möckern still just held their ground. The troops on the fields contented with just firing at the Prussians to their front without doing much damage or with sending some infantry to re-crew the French guns. Only the French battalions from the second line (now front) opposite the 12th Reserveinfanterie charged them. The Prussians were still disordered from their own attack and while they managed to get some defensive fire off they were unable to break the French impetus and after short combat broke themselves. They would still be retiring at the end of the game. Again the French artillery fired at both the Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern inflicting more damage, having found their range.

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Back to the Prussians the action went. Near Möckern they advanced further, but the Ostpreußen now decided to deploy as skirmishers to lessen the effects of the incoming artillery, which would work out, but at the same time meant they would be less effective assaulting the village.

On the fields the 14te Schlesische Landwehr got into position to charge the French who had just broken the reservists, but faild to get their morale up for the charge. Unfortunately the same happened to the Brandenburgisches Infanterieregiment. The Grenadierbattalion decided to fire at the regiment to their front, since the second artillery battery could now longer fire at the french infantry either. And their fire proved effective enough. With the second Prussin artillery battery now shifting its fire to the French artillery as well, they caused impressive damage, killing all the infantry replacements for the crew plus the crews for another 4 guns!

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Now the French defender inside Möckern remembered that they could fire back, which they did causing minimal damage ion the Gardejäger.

On the fields most of the French proved happy firing at the Prussians with moderate effect and sending yet more infantry to help redrew the French guns. The French who had previously dispatched the reservists now decided to charge the Landwehr in position to charge them. Their superior numbers and quality proved decisive and after heavy losses of both sides the Landwehr pulled back.. The French artillery virtually did nothing this turn. One battery was in no state to cause much damage and the other failed to make an impression on the dispersed skirmishers of the Ostpreußen.

Advance on Möckern

Advance on Möckern

On their next turn the Prussians did extremely well. Both the line Regiments on the fields charged their French opposites causing both to break and run. Together with the previous losses and those troops send to help the artillery this only left a nucleus of French on the fields. While the Gardejäger caused some further damage on the French defenders of Möckern the real star was the artillery. One of the Prussian batteries shifted their fire to the next French battery taking out the crew for one gun. But the other one annihilated the mauled French battery taking out the remaining crew and damaging the guns before the French infantry even got a chance to redrew them. To make matters worse for the French the next round would also see the Prussian cavalry released. At this point the French player decided to call it a day.

Opposing lines crash

Opposing lines crash

All in all one very entreating game and we more than happy to pal it out this time without too much discussing of rules. Having read them again before the game really helped there! 😉

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Some Napoleonic game shots

Late November we began our Möckern game. Due to vast amounts of chatting and calling an end early that day we only played one round and decided to pick it up last night. Well… while we played longer (real-time) we only got half a round done, due to rules discussions and discussing what would be historically correct. In the process we found that we had made a mistake during the resolution of close combat, moved the minis back, began the close combat anew, discussed what could be done differently as a house rule, tried that out and so on. Bottom line… we botched the evening up for good! So in the end we decided to reboot and start the game from the beginning either between Christmas and New Years or in early 2014. No matter what… I managed to take a couple of nice photos, that I want to share!

Möckern (Prussian side)

Möckern (Prussian side)

Möckern (French side)

Möckern (French side)

Jäger approaching Möckern

Jäger approaching Möckern

Prussian and French lines closing in

Prussian and French lines closing in

Prussian artillery firing

Prussian artillery firing

Prussian left

Prussian left

So what is next? Well tomorrow Curt´s Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge starts. I already have a good amount of British Tanks and Infantry (all WWII), SS end a few Napoleonics cleaned up and primed ready to go. More will follow when we are off to visit my better halfs relatives over Christmas, so there should be plenty of stock to work from (plus I am expecting my Warzone minis any day now).

As I said in a previous post, the first fortnight theme (non-combatants) was giving me some headaches, but I think I shall have that sorted out with a nice Napoleonic entry. So stay tuned!

 

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Östereichische Jäger

While these were actually painted in February, I only got around to basing and photographing these guys now. Some of you might ask why I am painting Austrian Jäger right now, while I am in the middle of doing Prussians and French for my Möckern project and why I only painted four instead of a whole unit. Well they are for my Möckern project.

When looking at the first day actions at Leipzig, most people perceive the Prussian avant-garde to be on the flank of the allied units, but this is only partly true. In a tactical sense they were with their right flank hinging on the swampy terrain formed by the myriad of rivers and creeks near Möckern. But in a strategic sense they were not since there were the Austrians to their right behind said swamp. Now the allied plans called for some Austrian units to move through said swamp to surprise the French, which was a failure, since they did not know their way and their local guides were anything but local. Prussian after action report about the battle at Möckern all talk about a unit of Östereichische Jäger, roughly company sized, appearing in the Prussian rear shortly before the assaults began. While none of the reports mention the unit they came from, most say that they were separated from their parent formation and got lost in the swamps. Technically this faced the Prussians with a problem. They did not have the resources and time to get them back to their parent formation and indeed they even lacked the knowledge where exactly those Austrians were supposed to be. So they offered the Austrians a choice. They could sit things out behind Prussian lines till the evening or the next day when the Prussians would try to march them “home” or while they were here, they could join the Prussians in the assault. The Austrians chose the later and were attached to the 4th battalion of the 15te Schlesische Landwehr for the day.

Tyroler Jäger-Kompagnie beim Lützower Freikorps

Tyroler Jäger-Kompagnie beim Lützower Freikorps

Now choosing minis became my first problem. Believe it or not… There seem to be few companies doing Austrian Jäger, the best choices I found were Foundry and Front Rank. Since Foundry Austrians generally are pretty small, I went for Front Rank. While those might seem large when compared to Victrix and Perry, which eventually will make up the bulk of my Austrians, it will not be so bad to make them stand out when placed in separate units. But they will look good when mixed within a unit of my Prussian Landwehr by Calpe.
The bigger problem was their uniform colour. Most illustrations you find differ in colour… and by a large deal at that. The official colour was called a light Hechtgrau, which references to the fish pike. You get anything from light grey to virtual slate greys. The best reference I found was for a Tyrolian Jäger in the Lützower Freikorps. While Prussian the uniform was greatly inspired by the Austrians, but I did not want to settle with this.

So I did what every good wargamer does. I asked around. The most valuable information came form Iannick (aka. Archiduke Charles on most fora) who pointed me a great study on his own blog. There I found out, that Hechtgrau actually refered to a light blue-greenish grey, which was even lighter than the one shown in the above painting. But I have to admit, that the colours proposed, although without doubt correct, were a though too blue for my taste. But the advantage of having a couple hundred colours is, you just need to move a bottle to the left (I arrange the darker colours to the left in my cart) and you have what you want. So in the end I used Dark Blue Grey (VAL 904) highlighted with Blue Grey Pale (VAL 905). And I am more than happy with the result. I would also like to express my thanks to Jason (aka Der Feldmarschall) for providing me with photos of Austrian Jäger equipment, which helped a lot with the details.)

The minis themselves were a joy to paint, and from a sculpting point of view I was more than impressed by the quality and detail on these Front Ranks. The only gripe I had was, that these minis were actually quiet boring with their grey uniforms and black belting. Unfortunately, Front Rank created them without Brotbeutel, which would have added a little touch of white, but if this is my only complaint, I think I should really shut up and show you some pictures!

Östereichische Jäger

Östereichische Jäger

Östereichische Jäger

Östereichische Jäger