Sunday, November 21, 2021

Woodscrew Armies Campaign: Strength Returns

After the battles of the 17th and the 20th of July, the staffs of both armies compiled their strength returns, to determine (in part) their capability of sustaining the campaign. 

This sort of thing I used to find quite an interesting element of a wargames campaign of this type. As units got worn down, quite often one would look to disbanding some and merging others. Once an army was reduced to half the strength it began with (taking into account recruits and reinforcements and what have you) then its political masters would be suing for peace. Thirty years ago, a fictitious Napoleonic campaign (set in early 1816, Napoleon having escaped from St Helena) that I ran came to an end at the gates of Paris when all three armies (French, Austrian and Anglo-Russian) at the one battle succumbed to that criterion.  Of course it really set the scene for a summer campaign...

Union Tenth Army:

37th Brigade (figures): 20 inf + 2 arty + 2MG = 24 figures (4000 troops)
38th Brigade: 24 inf + 2 arty + 2 MG = 28 figures (4667 troops)
39th Brigade: 20 inf + 2 arty + 2 MG = 24 figures (4000 troops)
10th Cavalry Brigade: 19 cav + 2 arty = 21 figures (3500 troops)
110th Artillery: 4 arty = 4 figures (667 troops)
210th pioneers: 4 figures (667 troops)

Totals: 105 figures, 6 guns, 3 MGs (17,500 troops, 48 guns, 24 MGs)

Chinese Army of the East:

East Column (at Yangzigu):

6th Regular: 13 figures (2167 troops)
9th 'Green Tigers': 10 figures (1667 troops)
13th Conscript: 8 figures (1333 troops)
15th Conscript: 19 figures (3167 troops)
16th Conscript: 19 figures (3167 troops)
Artillery: 2 figures (333 troops)

Total East Column: 71 figures, 1 gun (11,833 troops, 8 guns)

East Column at Battle of Yangzigu

South Column (about 3 day's march southwest of Yangzigu)

7th Regular: 20 figures (3333 troops)
2nd Cavalry: 10 figures (1667 troops)
20th Conscript: 10 figures (1667 troops)
21st Conscript: 19 figures (3167 troops)
22nd Conscript: 15 figures (2500 troops)
Artillery: 2 figures (333 troops)

Total South Column: 75 figures, 1 gun) (12,500 troops, 8 guns)
South Column at combat of Weshall Pass

West (Reserve) Column (on the road southeast of Yangzigu) :

1st Regular: 21 figures (3500 troops
2nd Regular: 22 figures (3667 troops)
3rd Regular: 28 figures (4667 troops)
8th 'Blue Leopards': 19 figures (3167 troops)
10th Conscript: 19 figures (3167 troops)
11th Conscript: 18 figures (3000 troops)
12th Conscript: 18 figures (3000 troops)
1st Artillery: 2 figures (333 troops)

Total West Column: 147 figures, 1 gun (24,500 troops, 8 guns)

West Column at action of Midla Nowhere

North Column (somewhere within a day's march northeast of Yangzigu): 

5th Regular: 28 figures (4667 troops)
1st Cavalry: 15 figures (2500 troops)
17th Conscript: 19 figures (3167 troops)
18th Conscript: ditto
19th Conscript: ditto
Artillery: 2 figures (333 troops) 

Total North Column: 102 figures, 1 gun (17,000, 8 guns)

Total Chinese Army of the East: 385 figures, 4 guns (64,167 troops, 32 guns)

From these lists, it is plain that after three combats, the Union Army is still up against it, rather!



  1. Yes the Union are very much up against it in numbers however their artillery is still stronger so there is some hope.Looking forward to the next battle report very much. Regards.

    1. The Union has superior firepower right across the board, of course, not even the 8th and 9th Chinese Light Infantry anything like a match. But it is in the interests of the Union to take on their opponents piecemeal. The latest battle was to give us some idea of what might have happened had Tenth Army taken on the whole Chinese Army of the East.

  2. This is the sort of thing I like with a campaign, as the attritional nature of the battles helps drive the narrative and often lead to a natural conclusion, as one side doesn't have the strength to carry on. Certainly looking forward to the next game:)

    1. Hi Steve -
      That next action I think you might find sufficiently entertaining. It will also start both armies thinking about the effects of attrition, and what to do about them.
      Archduke Piccolo.