Tuesday 12 November 2019

Battle of Landsburg 1813

Reject HQ had a visit on Sunday from one of our lost sheep, Dave, who moved away a couple of years ago (maybe we should have taken the hint?!?). We had six players around the table for this game, more than we have had in quite a long time. Postie put on a large Napoleonic game and had a lot of figures down on the table for this battle so we were set for what would prove to be an epic struggle. 

The Setup
This is a fictional encounter set just before the Battle of Leipzig, so Postie drew up our orders of battle form the units that would have been in this area at this time period. The armies facing each other were ostensibly Swedes versus Poles, but in reality, these are international armies with troops from half a dozen nations represented on the table. 

As usual, Postie set up the deployment but there was enough room for some finesse in the movement of our armies before we met in melee. We pulled sides from a hat as normal and for my sins, I found myself commander of the Swedes. 

Order of Battle
Rather than struggle with Posties handwriting as I usually do, I decided to post pictures of his OOB's. My clumsy attempts to transcribe the lists usually only serve to highlight my ignorance of the period!

The Army of Crown Prince Charles John of Sweden

The Army of Prince Poniatowski of Poland

The Action
The initial setup. Both armies are facing off but there is room on the flanks for some manoeuvre. The 'Polish' army are on the left with Ray and Surjit, the 'Swedish' army is on the right.  

The Swedish Army advances...we were tasked with 'attacking' by postie so we moved everything forward in the opening moves of the game. The real attack, however, was to happen on the left under Dave. I would feed some of my regiments to support his position for a concentrated attack and gambled that I could hold the centre with a weakened division. On the Right (out of shot) Richard would also try to press forward and draw units from the enemy centre. 

The first setback for the Swedes was a failed Brigade check resulting in an entire brigade having to fall back a full move. Suddenly our right flank looked like it was in serious trouble. Richard didn't mind though because it made his game much more interesting!

The whole Brigade has now been pushed back disordered and have to remain stationary for a turn in order to recover order. This leaves Richards other Brigade exposed and in a tough spot. 

In the centre, my troops get a whiff of Jaffa Cake and the Generals lose control... The line quivers and begins to surge forward. 

The 'Polish Army' is being very restrained and isn't attacking as we expected. Rays troops build for a massive assault in the centre but Mark restrains his men and keeps a well-ordered line facing Dave. 

On our right flank, Richard is having a very interesting day! Surjit piles in several columns and the battle turns into something of a meat grinder. We lose several colours and the points begin to accumulate for the Polish team. 

My troops are in a well-ordred line with their flank anchored on a nice solid building. Why would I move from here? 

Dave has gathered his forces and I have diverted some regiments to support his line giving him the superiority of numbers on the flank. Dave is now poised to advance. 

My boys in the centre can't resist the smell of Jaffa Cakes any more and surge forwards....exposing their flank and paving the way for some serious pain....I'm an idiot for not seeing the danger I was putting my troops in but I got a little 'carried away'. 

Dave is poised to charge right through the centre of the enemy line but gets a little bogged down dealing with a threat on his flank. The line does move forward but not as far as I thought it would. 

The one highlight of the game was Daves use of his Rocket Battery. They fired twice in the game and hit their target twice dealing four casualties against enemy cavalry units. 

Over on the right flank, Richard has stabilised the debacle that had been developing here. Despite being mauled the line looks strong and Surjit seems to have run out of steam on this flank. 

A view down the centre and left of the line. 

The trap I set for myself closes and I am charged in overwhelming numbers...this is going to be painful and it's entirely my own fault. This was one of those moments when I wondered why I hadn't taken up fishing instead of wargaming as a hobby. 

Ok, this is why. We may be about to be thrashed soundly but by god, this looks impressive! 

Ouch... Flippin heck! That has done it. 

We called the game at this point. There seemed little point fighting on as my centre pretty much dissolved, and entirely my own fault. What can I say, I'm a shit wargamer! Postie added up the points (to rub salt in the wounds). The Polish Army ended on 24 points with the Swedes on just 10. Richard did very well to recover after the disastrous Brigade check early in the game and Dave still had a viable force on our left flank, but without a centre to connect them, the battle was lost. Sorry lads, my bad!

The only good side to this game was the good-natured banter that crisscrossed the table. The neighbours were probably wondering why there was so much laughter emanating from the shed but the answer is simple, we were enjoying the game and each others company, and at the end of the day that's all that counts. 

My tally of defeats this year is fast becoming legendary. In fact, looking at my records I am now just one defeat away from a record low. I have another game planned in December so maybe I should pull out now and not tempt fate?!


  1. Magnificent game. I love the reports of Postie's Napoleonic games. They're an absolute feast of eye candy. Thanks for posting this Lee.

  2. Wonderful looking game and, as you say, you were all having fun and that's what really matters. Winning is nice, but secondary to enjoying the game.

    1. We always have a lot of fun and friendly banter in the shed-o-war. That's not to say we aren't competitive - and the occasional win would be much appreciated - but spending time with friends is just as important.

  3. Replies
    1. I should have subtitled this "The Great Jaffa Cake Offensive"

  4. Great post Lee, as you say it's taking part that counts. My luck is terrible also, my last game of Napoleonic's nothing went right, ever dice roll was low! I don't think I rolled above a 7 on 2 dice the entire game LOL!!!

    1. This wasn't bad luck, just bad Generalling on my part.

  5. Great report Mr H!!! What did Capt Mannering say???

  6. Fantastic report - I wouldn't worry to much on the win and loss tally of 2019 - these things tend to even out and with the way 2019 has played out game wise, you should be nigh unbeatable in 2020!

  7. Beautiful looking game. Looks like a fantastic way to spend a day.


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