Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Combat at Konigswartha Carnage&GloryII Scenario: Part 2 Gaming Konigswartha

As we saw from the Historical Research in Part One de Tolly's spoiling attack resulted in two combats at Konigswartha and Eichberg.  Königswartha is a run away success for the coalition forces and also therefore less apt for wargaming.  Both Petre and Bowden comment on the lack of information on details of how Peyri's 15th Italian Division was surprised and overrun.   This is great from a scenario design perspective as it allows variation and, (relatively) you can't do it wrong!

History and Assumptions:
For the most part we know that Peyri's Italians had arrived in Konigswartha before 1 p.m., likely around noon, and a portion of the division was allowed to disperse into foraging parties.  Bowden's comments on the acute supply failures of the French in 1813 really illustrate how desperate for food the troops were.  Bertrand's IV Corps had not received any bread or food since May 16. Konigswartha is not on the main highway from Dresden or along the direct line of advance/retreat from Lutzen and may therefore have offered ample and tempting sources of forage.  Regardless, Peyri's outposts and pickets were clearly not sufficient.  Tschaplitz's Advanced Guard was able to reconnoiter the Italian's and their dispersal in foraging parties and request additional reinforcements.  By 1 p.m. de Tolly had arrived with additional cavalry resources and the attack was launched and the Italians were overrun.  From here it gets a bit hazy.  I assume Peyri didn't go into too much detail on his failings in his after action report to Bertrand. By 5 p.m. Peyri's 15th Division had fallen back to Wartha and the rout/pursuit was halted by the advanced guard of lost III Corps.  Konigswartha had cost the Italians ~2800 casualties, half of which were prisoners.

The challenge here is to make a game that might be worth playing on the table top.  No one really wants to game a lopsided disaster.  My assumptions are that 70% of 15th Division's losses occurred during the initial surprise attack on foraging troops and that 15th Division fell back on Konigswartha and once some order was re-established, withdrew slowly (likely in squares/closed columns) to Wartha, ~4 miles away over the next 4 hours.

Orders of Battle:
Unit Ratings are based upon Bowden's Empire V, translated roughly to C&GII.  Units have been amalgamated to fit our groups basing.  The French are based on Bowden and Nafziger.  The Allies Nafziger, supplemented by Hofschorer.  Note for the allies neither source gives actual numbers for some of the Russian divisions, and were therefore estimated. Estimate Russian Regiments were assumed to have 1 battalion of 480 men.

Concerning Grekov's Cossacks, the OOB shows them rated as C- and I don't really know why.  I input them as Irregular, Trained, Avg. Melee, Poor Fire.  I also haven't had the opportunity to use many irregular units in C&GII to know how they handle.  Rate as you will!

C&GII generally recommends a ratio of 1 officer per 3 tactical units total.   The Russians are clearly over-officered, but I wanted to show the general structure of the OOB for potential use in other rulesets and have in fact combined a few brigades already.

Two Final Points:
1) The "Reserve" under MG Sass is not included as part of Lageron's Corps.  I was crunching the numbers for the total expedition of 24,000 and his division was excluded as there is evidence supporting Tschaplitz, von Yorck, and both of Raiewski's Grenadier divisions.

2) Potentially all or only a portion of Lageron's Corps was engaged.  Likely at least one of Lageron's cavalry brigades was brought up in support.  Raiewski's Grenadiers march in support of von Yorck at around 3 p.m. at Hermsdorf (~4 miles away), which doesn't outright preclude their presence at Konigswartha, but most likely I suspect they were in reserve at Johnsdorf or Oppitz.



Konigswartha is relatively more open compared to Eichberg and the surrounding area.  The 3d Austrian Military Survey map shows a stream and two large ponds to the north of the town.  The German Wikipedia page for the town indicates the population in the 1800s was likely 1,100 or less. The Schloss in the town was present and I assume likely the main church.

The Red Box is a 12.5ft x 6ft table at 1"=25paces (28mm); the Yellow Box is 1"=50paces (15mm)

Since the real ground scales is somewhat limited.... here is what I suggest fudging the 28mm table to:

The hash marks are every 30 inches (which is the width of a standard folding table in the U.S).
The woods should be medium cover. The steam probably a minor lineal obstacle.  The pond impassable.  Konigswartha should have at least one wooden building and surrounding light cover lineal obstacles to represent the outbuildings and outskirts of town.  Eutrich, Caminau and Neudorf should probably be treated as only light lineal obstacle outbuildings.  The table is generally more open, than likely historical.  You can increase the woods or add an additional large pond along the road to your taste.  I am usually a stronger proponent of actual ground scale, and for this scenario a more closely accurate ground scale would work, the only important factor I think for the historical scenario is that Konigswartha is relatively near one edge of the table, and the French exit point on the other.  

Historical Scenario:
Overall this focuses on the retreat in the face of a disaster for Peyri's 15th Division. 

Step One: The Surprise Attack  
Model this one of two ways:
1) Remove 3 Battalions from the French OOB.  Start the Russian cavalry as tiring or tired. Have all remaining French units take two interpenetration tests in the end turn phase (you could also randomly determine some minor morale loss and set this manually per unit) to represent the shock of the attack, and their comrades fleeing back to Konigswartha.
2) Prior to starting, GM can play the first turns, and charge do the charges against the French in march column, one round of Fire Combat/Close Combat should break the units and disperse them, with their line of retreat cut off modifier. Have all remaining French units take two interpenetration tests in the end turn phase (you could also randomly determine some minor morale loss and set this manually per unit) to represent the shock of the attack, and their comrades fleeing back to Konigswartha.

Step Two: Fatigue
Set French to Acceptable
Set Tschaplitz to Acceptable (Except Grekov and Kovslosky who should be Tiring/Tired after all that sabering!)
Set Lageron to Tiring

Step Three:  Deployment
French should be in March Column for the infantry.  As Italians were bivouacked the units should probably be somewhat dispersed around Konigswartha such that the French need to maneuver to concentrate their force.  (Variation: A brigade could be placed in either Neudorf or Eutrich [each is less than a mile from the center of Konigswartha].)  Tschaplitz and Cavalry are deployed in woods or just outside woods to the south/southeast of Konigswartha.  Lageron's infantry will enter via Neudorf. 

Step Four: Reinforcements
How much/how quickly you elect to bring up the remainder of Lageron's Corps is up to you.  There is always the randomizer under the reserve forces tab. No one knows how much of this force was or was not engaged, so you can't do it wrong.  A slower reinforcement pace will make for a tighter game. 

Russians: Destroy the French (Italians) by 5:00 p.m.
French: Make it off the north end of the table before the Cossacks get you!

Alternate Scenario:
We have two relatively equal forces and a historical location, time to push lead!.  The Italians were not completely asleep at the wheel.  Place Moroni at Konigswartha; Martel at Eutrich; St. Andrea/Briche halfway from Neudorf to Konigswartha. Tschalpitz begins in the woods south of Konigswartha; Lageron deploys along the table edge by Neudorf.  Everyone is in battle formations, artillery is limbered. Set Fatigue for All Sides to "Acceptable" (and maybe Lageron's corps to Tiring). Peyri's position in Konigswartha is essentially turned and his line of communications (south) are cut, so I suggest similar objectives:  Defeat the Russians or withdraw to north. Begin Slugfest.

Next Up: Combat at Eichberg Scenario


  1. Thanks for this excellent piece. We're doing modified version of it now. I'll see if I can get a short report and some pics on TMP sometime.

  2. Bah! Posted to wrong page, it's actually Eichberg we're doing.

  3. I was intrigued by your excellent research and ran this solo using C&GII with open deployment for the Italians. It was a fun game with the Russians winning but the Italian 15th Division able to cross the stream and concentrate before being pushed off the table. Thanks for doing the research

    1. Thanks for stopping by Pete. Very glad the scenario worked out for you. If you have any photos of your initial setup I would be interested to see them.