Fin de Siecle Alzheim

A few notes:

So, what to do with all those Franco-Prussian troops you've amassed?

So far as I can tell, German unification proceeded pretty amicably (or at least with a sense of resignation in some quarters) in 1871.

Alzheim however got overlooked, but in the happy afterglow of the 1871 proclaimation of the Empire someone asked: "Hey, what about them?"

So, a Prussian Army Corps of two Divisions (plus a brigade of cavalry, plus a siege train, plus a bridging column...) is to proceed with the occupation of Alzheim preparatory to her Annexation to the German Empire. Hurrah!  The Kleindeutsche Lösung just got a little more like the Großdeutsche Lösung. Just a little more, for we all know that the surface area of Alzheim is about that of a postage stamp.

Alzheims' forces are about division-sized, and the Principality* has no modern border defenses. What defenses she does have are a inner and outer line of fortification about her principal city of Alzheim. The outer line is a ring of physically disconnected, small, mutually supporting polygonal forts. The inner ring is a continuous enceinte. All up, the fortifications resemble those of Ulm, only not quite as complex!

Alzheim has one major assett that the Prussians will not. A small river monitor (the SMS Haraald Alz), not unlike the Danish Rolf Krake. She will mount one or two rotating turrets, each mounting a pair of 68PR SBML. A wholly satisfactory little vessel. Armoured turrts and sides. No armoured deck.

Units will be 18 infantry or 12 cavalry for the "battlefield scale" units, although I envisage some small to medium-sized skirmishes as well.

Larger Organisations:
The Prussian Corps will be two divisions plus a Cavalry Brigade, Siege Train and bridging train as Corps assets.

The divisional organisation, common to both sides will be as follows. A division will dispose of two brigades, each of four battalions. The division will also dispose of a battalion of Jaeger, a unit of Cavalry for scouting, an artillerie abtielung of two field and one medium batteries.

The Prussian Cavalry brigade will consist of two units of dragoons and a battery of flying artillery.

I intend at the moment to build one Prussian Division, the Cavalry Brigade, siege and bridging trains. For the Alzheimers, probably a single Brigade and a couple of cavalry units plus supporting artillery. Apart from that, I'll see how I go.

In terms of figure numbers, I am thinking the Prussians will field something in the order of about 200 infantry, 50 cavalry, 3-4 batteries of guns plus a few specials representing the Train, bridging column etc.

The Alzheimers will be about 100 infantry, 24-36 cavalry and a couple of gun batteries.

Figures will be from the Spencer Smith "Classic" Franco-Prussian War Range. Bavarians will stand in nicely for the Alzheimers. They'll look different enough on the table for there to be no confusion as to who is who!

Specialised terrain will include the Haarald Alz, one of works from the small outer line of forts, some sort of representation of the lines of Alzheim and the Winter Palace - see below.

The Shape of the Project:

I'm currently looking at something like a narrative campaign. I want to develop the following linked scenarios.

1. Scouting the Border. A unit of Saxon Jaeger and one of Light Cavalry are probing over the border at the head of one of their divisions. They are about to take a look at a small town - unknown to them, there are a couple of Alzheimer battalions in the area.

2. River Crossing. The Saxons are crossing River Mur between Prenzlau and Augusts-bad. Scenario will be Grants' "River Crossing".

3. Open Battle. The Alzheim army has concentrated at Prenzlau and Rosenthal and is now rushing to intercept the Prussians before they reach the Isar, the last defensible water barrier on the road to Alz. It will be a meeting engagement between that part of the army that was at Rosenthal - the troops from Prenzlau are a days' march away. If the Alzheimers can hold out for a day, perhaps they'll have a chance.

4. Escalade. The Prussians have appeared before the outer Fortress line and have decided to storm the fort using stronger numbers. A large skirmish game, say a company in the fort versus a couple of battalions without? 40 figures versus 200? With a battery in support?

5. The Siege of Alz. A large game, the surviving elemets of the Alzheim army plus a unit of armed civs/landwher, the SMS Haraald Alz. A section of the City walls and the whole Prussian force.

6. Storming the Winter Palace. Alzheims' last stand. I think there is an old Grant scenario that looks the same as this. The Garde Regiment, the Cabinet and the prince have been brought to bay and will fight to the end in a welter of Chanpagne and Cocaine.

*Alzheim became a principality during the Napoleonic Wars when, as a member of the Confederation of the Rhine, the French Emperor rather fancied the then-Duchess. A Princely title was the price of acquiescence to their arrangement. Interestingly, the other two parts of the agreement - a Brigade for Spain and later, another for Russia - ended less happily. The former were taken captive and only came out of British prison Hulks in 1813 when Alzheim wisely chose to throw in her lot with the apparently winning side at Leipzig. The latter? Well, they were never heard from again.
Street Scene from the Pfeffergasse
More as I think it up.


tradgardmastare said...

I wish you well with your new blog and look forward to watching your projects develop...
best wishes

Ross Mac said...

An uncomfortable post title on the blog.....

Have you thought about the impact on the games of the end being foretold? Will "victory" be determined perhaps by the amount of time bought by winning scenarios along the way?

No kepis? Really? :(

Bloggerator said...

Hi Ross,

Er, yes.Didn't think of that. Fixed it now. Ahem.

I was thinking that victory/defeat per scenario would effect the stating conditions of that following it. I've not yet put much thought into Victory Conditions yet; what's there is what seems to me a likely series of scenarios bearing mind the map of Alzheim I put together some time back. What a complicated sentence!

If you can come up with a way for me to get kepis into it, then there will be kepis.



Anonymous said...

Kepis--The French Foreign Legionnaires who were originally from Alzheim (that's how alzheim dealt with it's prisoners; shipped them off to the FFL) desert and return to Alzheim, answering their Nation's offer to restore their citizenship if they fight in defense of Alzheim.

Didn't Alzheim regain it's independence after WWII when each side drew their maps and inadvertently excluded Alzheim from their territory?

Bloggerator said...

I'll consider legionaries, but they'll have to be dressed like French line.

My initial thought was that she spent the next 44 years as a East German Lignite mine; yours is more attractive and possibly more typical of her luck.

Ross Mac said...

I was thinking initially of Wurtemburg but they some form was also worn by Austria, Italy,Greece etc so it seemed a possibility. I see the SSM version has what looks more like a shako than a kepi but close enough.

My thought would be some form of Freikorps or reserve unit perhaps or an allied contingent for the Saxons.

A guard unit in bearskins would be nice too and a naval unit, even if just a crew for the gun boat + maybe a gun crew or small escort.

Bloggerator said...

The Wurtemburgers and the Bruswickers both wear a nice kepi/shako from what I can make out in the pix on the SSM website.

They might also do as Jaeger for the Alzheimers; in blue they might also serve as Alzheimer landwehr, I would think.

I want to use the SSM French Marine infantry to do a small naval brigade. Bearskins would be nice if I can swing it. I could grab some HE English Grenadier Guards, i suppose if they are compatible...