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Category Archives: Nap.: Austrian

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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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

 
 

Perry plastic Austrians review

So I finally get around to another post. This time it is going to be Perry plastic Austrians. I have had these since Crisis earlier this month, but unfortunately Iwas so busy at work that I never got around to write this review. But I know that these should be very interesting to people. Especially in light of the question “can I mix and match with Victrix?”. So here is the review in hopes you like it!

Contents of the box:

With the box set you get a total of 48 minis.
There are 42 plastic soldiers spread out over seven sprues, each containing six different minis. Also included is a six-mini command sprue. They all come with separate heads and backpacks. Each sprue comes with enough heads to equip all men with either the early helmet, later shako or Landwehr Korsenhut (with the exception of the officer where you a bicorne instead of the Korsenhut). The backpacks are all cast with the swords and ammo pouch hanging down from them. All uniforms are the German variety.

Likes and dislikes here… The command sprue contains an officer, two NCOs, a standard-bearer, a drummer and a sapper. The later is really great, since this is one of the minis you usually do not see in a plastic set. The ratio of standard and NCOs came as a surprise to me though. If you are building one battalion from this box, then this is fine. If you are building more than one (either because your rules require less minis or you are depicting a unit that fought under-strength), you will have to get more command minis. But to be fair… this is a battalion box, so they never intended people to build two battalions with it and you can get separate plastic command sprues from the Perrys. What really confused me though is the lack of Grenadier heads! There would have been enough room on the sprue and they would not have any difference in uniform and equipment could have been solved with a hobby knife. So this is a chance missed in my opinion.

Perry Plastic Austrian Command sprue

Perry Plastic Austrian Command sprue

Perry Plastic Austrian infantry sprue

Perry Plastic Austrian infantry sprue

Also included in the box are the usual bases and a two-sided A5 sheet with historic uniform information (facing colours and button colours for the German infantry regiments) and two flags, the regimental and Ordinar flags. Since the sheet is printed on heavy and glossy paper one would need to photocopy the flags for use as usual. The flags are quiet nice, only the shadows are a bit strong for my taste. The quality is good enough that one does not need to use aftermarket flags.

Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet (front and back)

Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet
[front and back]

Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet (inside)

Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet
[inside]

Price (as in November 2012):

This box set retails for 18 GB£, which equals 0,38 GB£ per mini and also includes bases. By comparison the Victrix sets (a review of them can be found here by the way) cost 0,39 GB£ per mini (and include mounted officers) or in other words… virtually the same ;-). So both Perry and Victrix are the cheapest option for Austrians on the market. And they are cheaper than metals as well. For example Front Rank are 1,15 GB£ per mini (or 1,08 GB£ if part of a Battalion pack) and Foundry are 1,50 GB£ per mini.

Detail:

The detail is good and as crisp as usual with the Perry plastics, but not quiet up to the level of metal minis. The undercuts are minimal. There are no mould misalignments, and the casting quality is back to superb again (not the strong mouldlines, sinkholes and flesh I got with their plastic Russians). Especially this made me really happy here!

Compatibility:

So now it comes to one of te most interesting part… how do they compare to other manufacturers?

I had both Front Rank and Victrix Austrians here and also used a Foundry Russian to compare them to.

The style of sculpting is vastly similar with Victrix and Foundry. You can see a difference in style when compared to Front Rank though.

When you compare them to the Front Rank minis, you will also find, that the Front Rank minis are taller and have a much stronger heft. I honestly would not mix these inside a unit unless you want the looks of Arnold Schwarzenegger (Front Rank) in a Kindergarten (Perry).

The Perry’s are taller than Foundry minis (please bear in mind, that I only had Russians to compare them to). This is enhanced by the fact that the Perry´s have thicker bases. The heft is comparable, but the Perrys look leaner. The Perry muskets are longer and thinner as well. In the end one could mix them inside a unit, if you slip a piece of card under the Foundry minis, but they do look different enough that I would advice against it.
[Edit: Just to clarify, I used a foundry Russian for comparison purposes since I had none of their Austrians. Please also see the comments below for input on how the Foundry Austrians size up!]

The closest match are Victrix and Perry. The Perrys are a little taller, but well within the normal variation in a population. Since the legs on the Victrix minis are not spread as wide, their coats appear longer, but I would say that this will not stand out once painted. The muskets on the Perrys are a tiny bit longer and thicker, but otherwise the equipment is the same size. Bottom line… they are a perfect match.

Perry Plastic Austrian size comparison

Perry Plastic Austrian size comparison
[Left to right: Front Rank, Perry, Victrix, Foundry (from their Napoleonic Russian range)]

One thing that did strike me was the interchangeability between the Perrys and Victrix. The good thing is both companies sculpted the collars attached to the bodies, so you can swap the heads around. Since the Perrys have done the normal infantrymen with only separate heads and backpacks, one will only be able to swap a few arms on the minis found on the command sprue, but this should give you still more variety. Since the Victrix backpacks are cast with the cartridge boxes attached just like the Perrys you can swap those around as well. Again this is quiet a perfect match.

Conclusion:

Again the Perry offer all one can ask for. They are the cheapest plastic Austrians around (together with Victrix), the detail and animation are good and the castings are generally crisp. If you want to build a big Austrian army on a budged, they are a perfect choice, especially since they mix well with the other budged offering out there. So my bottom line is… they are really recommended!

 

Victrix Plastic Austrian Review

Well I am down with the flu and on sick leave. Not much I can do right now (except watching TV), so I thought I should use the time and write some posts for my blog. Now last year and earlier this year, I wrote a review of Warlords plastic Prussian Landwehr as well the Perry plastic Prussians for Martins Befreiungskriege blog. Both went down well with readers so I thought I would do the same with future releases from other manufacturers as well. Now I know the Victrix Austirans have been out a couple of weeks, but I wanted to pick mine up at Crisis last weekend. Since Victrix could not make it, they shipped my order (a whole 10 boxes plus some metal) out to me and it arrived yesterday. To cut a long story short… here is the review!

General notes:

Now I bought these three boxes:

  • Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1806-1815)
  • Austrian Napoleonic Grenadiers (1798-1815)
  • Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1808-1815)
Victrix Austrian boxes

Victrix Austrian boxes

Now they have one more set and that is the Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1789-1805) since all three boxes I got are vastly similar (more on that later), I shall review them all in one go.

Contents of the box:

The box contains a total of 56 minis, two of them horse-mounted. There are two different types of sprues in there. The command sprue (included twice) and the infantry sprue (included eight times). They are all cast in a light creme coloured plastic, which is a nice touch, since I suspect most people will prime these white anyway and there is less chance of dark plastic shining through this way.

The command sprue contains two officers (one on horseback), one drummer and one standard-bearer. The horse-mounted officer has his left arm (holding the reigns) molded on, the standard-bearer both his arms (the hands are part of the separate flag pole). There are ample arm options for all of them. Now this sprue is universal for all four of their Austrian sets, since it includes heads for Landwehr, infantry in helmets and shako as well as grenadiers.One more word on the horse. I felt that it looked strange in some of the pre-view shots Victrix released a couple of month ago. So I removed one horse from the sprue and dry fitted it (it comes in two halves). And it looks fine in real life. My better half, who understands more about horses then I do, said that the pose is fine, too.

Victrix Austrian command sprue

Victrix Austrian command sprue

The infantry sprues each contain 6 men all in marching poses. Each pose is represented twice giving you three different poses in total (B1, B2 and B3). Each of them comes with separate heads and backpacks. Now the backpacks are actually irritating me quite a bit since there are twelve on each sprue, giving you twice as many as one needs. [Edit: Half of them have sabres attached, so they are for the grenadiers and for NCO’s] But these can always be used as battlefield debris or to convert a mini from another nation that “foraged” an Austrian backpack. B1 comes with separate arms, B2 has his left arm cast on cradling his musket (shoulder arms) and B3 comes with arms cast on (shoulder arms).

I know the Perrys have caused quite a stir about the Victrix set when they showed previews or their upcoming Austrians stating that a pose similar to B3 would be wrong since the right arm would be too close to the body under Austrian drill regulations. Personally I could not care less, since I really doubt that a soldier marching into combat and being fired at would have cared too much, how much sunlight would pass between his arm and body.

But back to these minis here. There are enough arm options for both B1 and B2 on the sprue, with all kinds of options (firing, loading, shoulder arms, attack, musket butt resting on the ground). B1 one is an excellent pose in a sense that it will look believable in any pose from firing to marching. While only three different infantry poses in a box is little, the variety of arms and separate heads will prevent a cookie cutter look.

Between all three types of boxes I have the infantry sprue was the same, with the exception of the heads, which were unique to each box. Since the heads are always in the same spot on the sprue, I assume the early infantry will share the same bodies, arms and gear as well.

Victrix Austrian Grenadiers infantry sprue

Victrix Austrian Grenadiers infantry sprue

Also included is a flyer with assembly instructions (which arms fit which mini best) and 6 flags. Since the sheet is printed on semi glossy paper and I would advise you to photocopy the flags for use. The flags are nice and have a good contrast. The detail is good so one does not really need aftermarket flags to go with these (no big surprise since one of the owners of Victrix also owns LBMS). Included are the Leib- and Ordinarflagge for the 1792, 1804 and 1806 patterns.

Historical information and information which regiment used which facing colour can be found on the back of the boxes.

Price (as in November 2011):

As mentioned each box contains 56 minis. They retail for 21,95 GB£, which means a price per minis of 0,39 GB£ (cost of the horses not taken into the calculation).

This puts them on the cheap end of plastics.

How does this compare to metals? If you only compare them to the manufacturers that offer Austrian (to my knowledge Foundry)… Alban, Foundry are 1,50 GB£ per mini, Elite are 0,97 GB£, Old Glory between 1,16-1,25 GB£.

So all in all, these are the cheapest solution out there. But how good are they?

Detail:

The minis are very crisp and clear in detail. Opposed to some other manufacturers out there the level of detail is almost equal to that of metal minis. Now this level of detail applies to the whole of the mini. You do not get the flat areas required to remove them from the mould (undercuts) that you see on some plastic minis, due to the fact that they are mildly multipart. Separate parts are so few, that even those who have no modelling skills at all, should not be too challenged.

Mould lines are minimal, and they always run over the easily accessible sides of the minis. The poses are fairly dynamic for marching poses.

Compatibility:

I can not compare them to the Foundry Austrians out there, since I have none. Comparing them to the Foundry Bavarians and Russians… they are slightly slimmer and taller, but not so much so that they should stand out when mixed in a Brigade. I would not mix them in one unit thought since the Foundry muskets are a good deal bigger.

Unfortunately I have none of the others (Alban, Elite, Old Glory) so I can not give you a comparison for either of these.

In general terms they should fit in well with the other 25mm miniatures for the Napoleonic period on the market.

Conclusion:

All in all this is a great set. The level of detail and quality is real good and they offer great value for money. Like all later Victrix boxes they require minimal assembly, which should calm those who had problems with the multitude of options in their earlier boxes (although I miss it).

So if you are not one of those people who hate plastics just for the sake of it, this should be a good set for you.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Miniatures, Nap.: Austrian, Napoleonic, Reviews, Victrix