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Another mini-campaign idea

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Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:29 pm

I very much regret that our 1815 campaign was put on hold, this was because our online groups numbers have fallen off and I just couldn't find enough people to play the first corps-sized game the campaign generated.

I want to aim for something small that our online group can play and that means 2-players per side with a maximum of a small corps deployed in each battle.

I am thinking of a small map based on historical events where there's a clear attacker vs defender situation and the campaign might generate anything from 3 to 6 battles and cover a timeline of no more than a month.

Does anyone have any preferences or ideas?

One campaign that occurred to me is the opening weeks of 1796 and the defeat of the Piedmontese. We could use the 1806 Prussians to represent them. Flags would be a problem but I could choose something from the lesser states that at least looks un-Prussian.

Another idea is Moore's retreat to Corunna or the Maida campaign of 1806.

A third might be some of the small campaigns in 1807-1809 in N Germany where the Danes and Swedes were involved.

Yet again Suvorov's last (1799-1800) campaign in the Alps.

I'm open to anything with limited scope (troop numbers, timespan and geography).

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  scauispo on Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:18 am

My vote would be Moore's retreat to Coruna.
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:02 pm

I am also open to an ACW campaign and here the Trans-Mississippi has my interest, especially since we have so much great work done on it by Martin J and his Additional Flags and Sprites mod.

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  King_Rufus on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:56 pm

Suvorov's (1799-1800) campaign in the Alps would be of great interest; a fascinating but much understudied campaign as far as I can see.
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Miko77 on Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:44 pm

Maybe something fictional but within historical context and not totally unlikely?


My vote would be Moore's retreat to Coruna.

but would that not be just a move to Coruna and the battle?
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Martin on Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:14 pm

Trans Mississippi ACW would get my vote.

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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:17 pm

The trans-Mississippi appeals to me as well but I know absolutely nothing about it. I am having real trouble finding a source of maps as well. If anyone can point me in the direction of either period maps or wargame hex-style maps of the region that would be very helpful.

What year to set the game in is also a conundrum.

Martin J - you are the expert here I think? What would you suggest is the most interesting and/or most balanced year(s) of the war?

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Martin on Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:01 pm

I sent you a link for maps a few days ago.  Did you not get it?  It's to the atlas which accompanied the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (just 132 volumes there folks).

Here's a potted summary, focusing mainly on Missouri & Arkansas, where most of the largest battles took place:

1861 to early 1862 – Confederates often have the numbers for once, but Union are better organised and equipped.  Initial reb successes at Wilson's Creek and Lexington, but campaign fizzles-out.  Tide turns with heavy defeat of Confederate Earl Van Dorn by Union Samuel Sturgis at Pea Ridge in Mar 1862.  This followed by transfer of virtually entire Confederate army E of Mississippi, in the wake of Grant’s victories in Tennessee.

1862 - General Tom Hindman creates a new Confederate army from scratch during the summer and autumn, so numbers fairly even, but Rebs still very short of equipment.  Hindman is defeated by Union James Blunt at Prairie Grove in December in a battle which could have gone either way.

1863 - Increasing Union numerical & logistical superiority keeps Rebs under pressure.  An attempted Confederate counter-attack by Holmes and Price is defeated at Helena in July.  The Union then concentrates its forces under Frederick Steele and takes Little Rock in September.  Blunt’s force from the Indian Territory then takes Fort Smith from the W, which secures the line of the Arkansas River, and leaves the Confederates just the SW portion of the state.

1864 - Union troops under Steele advance SW from Little Rock and Fort Smith in March towards the Confederate Trans Mississippi HQ at Shreveport, Louisiana.  Part of the overall Red River Campaign in conjunction with Nathaniel Banks’ larger Union army from Louisiana.  Steele is initially faced by a mainly cavalry force, but is operating on a logistical shoestring, and fails to reach Shreveport.  Meanwhile Banks’ larger force suffers defeat, allowing the Rebs to reinforce Arkansas.  Steele retreats, and manages to defeat the pursuing Rebs at Mark’s Mill.  Nevertheless, the campaign has crippled the Union logistical base, and they effectively lose control of large parts of Arkansas.  In September Confederate general Price leads a cavalry corps in an invasion of Missouri.  Numbers, organisation, logistics, and Price’s lack of ability leads to disaster, and much of his force disintegrates during the retreat.

1865 – Little happens.  In numerical terms, the Confederates have probably never been stronger, but their commanders adopt a wait and see approach in view of events further east.  Morale deteriorates as news of Lee’s surrender reaches the Trans Mississippi.  The Confederate army officially surrenders in stages during the spring and early summer, but much of it has disbanded in the weeks before.

There was also fighting elsewhere in the Trans Mississippi, but mostly on a smaller scale.  Particularly in Louisiana in 1862-4.

I think there is interest in each year.  Look at the above summary and see which appeals.

Martin (J)


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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:01 pm

Thanks for the info. The map link was no good, it was almost all battle maps. I really need large operational level maps of Texas, Ark, Miss, etc.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Martin on Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:39 pm

They should be in there too.  Somewhere.  The original atlas does include them.

If not, look for another link.  Try either of these search terms:

* Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies + atlas

* The War of the Rebellion + atlas

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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:33 pm

Yes, there are maps in there of whole theatres but the highest resolution is too low, the place names are unreadable when you zoom in. Unless I am doing something wrong and there is a way to get a higher resolution?

https://archive.org/stream/atlastoaccompany00unit#page/n178/mode/1up

P178 (of 224).

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Interlocutor on Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:50 am

Martin (Digby) - I've been working on converting the rules for the "Gettysburg Campaign" I mentioned to you. They were written (adapted, actually Smile ) to be used as the campaign vehicle to generate miniatures battles, and I'm doing a re-adaptation such that they might be used to generate SoW-GB games.

Anyway, I have a few questions for those who create SoW-GB scenarios.

1) Is there anyway to have troops "arrive on the battlefield" from off the tactical map in mid-game? I suspect not, but could "off map arrival forces" be placed initially at their point of arrival from off-map, and then held inactive until their time of arrival?

2) When creating the OOB for a scenario, can the initial amount of available ammo per unit be easily adjusted?

3) Similarly, when creating the OOB for a scenario can the number of available ammo wagons easily be varied?

Thanks in advance for any replies...
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:47 pm

1. For single player scenarios, yes through scripting. MP does not allow any scripting which greatly limits what type of battles can be fought.

2.Yes, by adjusting the ammo number in scenario.csv for the units you wish to change.

3.Yes. For example, KS games don't use ammo wagons. However, their implementation in the game is extremely poor, following around after the division commander.

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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:04 pm

1) As Kevin says it can easily be done in SP games via scripting I have written MP scenarios generated by campaigns that had delayed arrivals and the only way to do this is to tell the player that he cannot move his troops until either 'X' time, or until he gets a courier from someone giving him orders. Its do-able but you need to choose your players carefully - someone able to role play and go drink a coffee for 30 minutes while the game runs, etc.

3) Ammo wagons are do-able in a different format to divisional wagons. I've used 'supply train' commands in campaign scenarios before but again you cannot rely on the AI to do the right thing with them and a player has to play this role, which can be pretty boring - just looking after wagons. When I umpire campaigns I usually take these roles since I'm aware where/how/when they need to move.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:10 pm

Another campaign option I have always wanted to play, since my early teen years in fact, is mid-18th century fictional petty states set in a fantasy version of NW Europe (think Dutch, French, Imperial, Prussian, Danes, Swedes, Russians, Austrians, various German Principalities etc) but at a fictional setting with made up names.

The period would be the 1740s or 1750s and tactics would be Frederican.

There is a pretty good mod for the Gettysburg game called "Fontenoy 1745" which has some beautiful sprites and some reasonably effectively changed gameplay. It needs a bit of work but it has potential. There's another mod for Blenheim 1704 that also has magnificent sprites and battalion guns but the gameplay changes on this mod make the battles pretty slow and stodgy,

Combining the sprite sets from both into the Fontenoy mod would give us many more uniform and flag options.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Interlocutor on Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:37 pm

Thanks, Uncle Billy and Martin, for the info. It will help decide me on how to rewrite the "ammunition train" parts of the campaign rules.

Martin - The "imaginary 17th century campaign" idea was one of my own earliest wargaming interests Smile . In the late 70's I stumbled across a book written by Brigadier Peter Young and Colonel J. P. Lawford, miniatures wargaming writers and gurus Cool , entitled Charge: Or How To Play Wargames. The book givers a set of miniatures rules for the Lace Age, set against the backdrop of just such a fictional campaign. I was hooked...
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Martin on Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:15 pm

Hi Jim

As Digby says, not all players enjoy dealing with wagons on *any* level.

I do however.  Indeed I don’t see how horse & musket battles can bear much relation to history unless they are represented.  I have been reading lots of contemporary AARs in the ACW Official Records recently, and it is clear that the trains were held close behind the fighting lines, were an objective to be attacked and defended, and were sometimes overrun during an unexpected advance.  I therefore always include them in my mods and scenarios.  I recognise that die-hard anti-wagonistas might wish to steer clear of my stuff, and that’s fine.  It’s a game, and each to his own  Smile .  

Whilst I agree that the stock game treats wagons poorly, I don’t think that we are bound by this.  There is much more flexibility than at first meets the eye.  

All leaders and units in the game are allocated to one of five classes in unitglobal.csv.  For example infantry are Type 1 and artillery are Type 3.  Supply wagons are Type 4.  Only Type 4 units can provide ammo resupply, and unfortunately it’s Type 4 where most restrictions apply.  However, an army’s trains ran to several thousand wagons, and the vast bulk of these were not ordnance wagons.  The majority were actually company and regimental wagons.  In the later years of the war, each brigade perhaps averaged 65 wagons, which carried everything they needed to function: tents, food, cooking equipment, first-line medical support etc.  Thus they were still critical.  We can use this to get what I think you want.

Here are a couple of ways you can represent trains:

1. Create additional Type 4 wagons. It is very easy to just add these to your OOB under the existing single wagon which the stock OOBs allocate to each division.  There are no game problems with this approach, and all such additional wagons can be used for ammo resupply.  The issue here is one of visuals.  Every wagon in a division will appear as just one unit at rest.  They will appear separately when moving, but even then will often overlap.  I have found that the effective limit is 3 for any sort of acceptable visual representation.  And once they stop, they will again coalesce into the appearance of just one wagon.

2. Make most supply wagons Type 1 or 3.
 This is a much better approach, and the one I follow.  Through trial and error, I have found that the best appearance is achieved by making the wagons Type 3 but putting them under a Type 1 commander.  There is no game problem in doing this, although an error will be generated in the log file.  Because most of the wagons are ‘artillery’ you can have as many wagons as you wish, and you can also structure them as ‘brigades’ for ease of control.  They will not broadcast supply, but then historically they didn’t.  You can then retain a much smaller number of Type 4 wagons for ammo resupply, as per the stock OOBs.

The wagons do *not* normally need a separate player (the Little Bighorn mod is an exception here).  You certainly do not need one in ACW games.  All a player has to do, is what a real general did – decide on a safe and convenient place to park them, and leave them there.  You can TC them to make sure they remain in place.  Now it could turn out that the enemy attacks unexpectedly and they become vulnerable.  But that’s how it was.  If it happens, you may be able mount a desperate defence to buy time to get them away.  Perhaps you will fail, as the Union did at Mansfield in 1864.  But that’s life in the army for you..........

I will email you a copy of one of my unitglobal.csv files so you can see how it works, together with a sample OOB.  The former is taken from my Additional ACW Flags & Sprites mod which you can get here https://www.dropbox.com/s/wha4cnzp1b82ayv/Additional%20ACW%20flags%20%26%20sprites%20v1_48.zip?dl=0

I should say my comments relate to GB.  I don’t know Waterloo well enough to know whether the same techniques could be applied.

Martin (J)


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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:55 pm

Jim - for me it was Charles Grant's "The War Game" which I read when I was 14. The mid 1700s have been my favourite wargame period ever since.

You should download the Fontenoy mod for Gettysburg and give it a try; its certainly very colourful.

Martin - might I see a copy of your csv files as well, or are these the ones in the LBH mod?

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Martin on Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:31 pm

The LBH approach is similar, but the files might not be exactly the same, because the display issues for wagons and pack-trains might be different. Can't remember.

The unitglobal.csv I've sent to Jim was from Additional ACW Flags & Sprites. The OOB is a separate scenario file. I'll email them both to you Diggers.

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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Interlocutor on Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:46 pm

Digby - I bought the Charles Grant book when it was published in '71  Smile . It was actually the early 70's, not late as I said in my earlier post.

Martin - Thanks for the insights into the use of wagons in a tactical (SoW-GB) context. It will help inform me as I adapt the campaign rules I am working on to accommodate fighting the tactical battles with custom SoW-GB scenarios.
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:15 pm

I am going to step away from the idea of an ACW campaign. I don't think I know enough about the various different theatres to accurately depict a believable campaign.

I'm looking now at Europe in the 18th century - either mid-century around the Austrian Succession period or very early around the Spanish Succession. In Gettysburg we have very good mods for both wars, named Fontenoy and Blenheim respectively and these are probably the two best mods that were produced for GB.

The 1701-02 campaign in Italy is a very limited one in terms of geography and forces and would make a good test bed for ideas.

Do either of these periods interest people?

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Uncle Billy on Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:32 pm

Rather than making things difficult for yourself, I'd suggest that you make all the strategic moves for the two armies. When they meet, the rest of us fight the battle which will impact the next one and so on. That would give you the maximum flexibility in choosing what kind of battle(s) you want to see, e.g. rear guard, reconnaissance in force, turning movement, etc. The losses in one can effect what troop strength the armies can field in subsequent battles, so every fight will not be to the death as are most of our battles. That would minimize the record keeping required and keep the campaign moving at a predictable pace.

As for a period, I'd suggest staying away from the Blenhiem mod. I don't think it is very good at all. It makes watching paint drying seem exciting.

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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:52 pm

I've visited the Blenheim mod again in a few sandbox games recently and they've been surprisingly fluid. Its changed my mind on how stodgy I thought the mod was. I recall we have never done a player vs player game with that mod either which could make a difference. The Fontenoy mod though is livelier and a little more colourful, and the arms in it are more balanced.

While its possible to run a campaign solo and give the players a series of battles to fight, this unfortunately defeats the object for me. Without investing interest and effort in the map side of events players won't have as much of an interest in preserving their armies in battles and the map strategy side, plus political haggling is the most interesting facet of running a campaign for me.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  King_Rufus on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:03 am

For eighteenth century Germanian ideas, check out Imagi-Nations

I still remember excitingly receiving my copy of the newly published “CHARGE” back in the day, following a special request to my Aunt. I was entranced for several days with the noble exploits of the Erbprinz Grenadiers, the Gentleman Pensioners, and the Kleist Frei Korps. Probably the best birthday present I have ever been given!

And Martin will recall a subsequent KS game in which he courageously defended his Electorate of Bad Lucken against rapacious neighbours from all points of  the compass.
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Re: Another mini-campaign idea

Post  Miko77 on Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:49 pm

While its possible to run a campaign solo and give the players a series of battles to fight, this unfortunately defeats the object for me. Without investing interest and effort in the map side of events players won't have as much of an interest in preserving their armies in battles and the map strategy side, plus political haggling is the most interesting facet of running a campaign for me.

I think if you give the strategic context for each battle then players will still be interested in preserving their armies.
Another option is if you give the actions to choose from to CinC of each side - it's to make it more player dependent but still within your ideas what should happen.
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