Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Light Infantry

Introducing the Chasseurs de la Moutarde, light infantry in the Batrachian Army. This unit comes from the Moutarde* region of Batrachia. They are commanded by Captain Jean "Renard" Dijon. (He's a professional)

Correction: I have been informed by reliable sources, the famed scholar Steve Kriegspieler, that the Captain's surname is actually Dijon. Renard is some sort of Batrachian nickname.

* aka Mustardy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Battle of Brinkerhugel

Upon hearing of an incursion by the Batrachian Observation Army into the state of Hesse-Offenbach the Soweiter League sent a hastily assembled force, commanded by General Georg von Bluster, to try to intercept the Batrachians and prevent them from penetrating further into League territory.

The battlefield
The Batrachian Army, commanded by General le comte D'Zastre, arrived in view of Brinker Hill (point B, where the road enters the map in the southeast corner) only to see that the League's army had arrived shortly before and was even then marching along the road that enters the map in the north (point A), just east of the hill center north.

Key to symbols

Both commanders sent their lead cavalry unit to hold or take the southern pass just south of Bard's Hill. The Hasenpfeffer-Heisenberg Hussars arrived first. But the Wild Goose Chasseurs were soon there, too. After a prolonged struggle the Hussars finally managed to rout the Chasseurs. By this time, though, the Hussars were pretty well spent themselves.

Meanwhile the Batrachains sent a small force, consisting of the King's Musketeers and a company of Pandours du Pinque acting as light infantry, northwest along the roads to try to intercept or harass the rest of the League's forces before they could get in place on and around Bard's Hill. At the same time the rest of the Batrachian army headed west to take the south pass and Bard's Hill if possible.

The northern force of Batrachians arrived too late to stop the League's forces from arraying into line for battle, but kept up a steady fire and eventually forced the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers to retire.

While the northern action was going on the main forces clashed and even though the League's forces had arrayed into line and managed to fire off a few volleys, the Batrachian forces managed to knock the League's forces off of Bard's Hill.

So, the Battle of Brinkerhugel ends with the Batrachian Army holding Bard's Hill and the passes through the hills, which will allow the Batrachians to press further into Soweiter League territory.
As mentioned in the previous post, this battle was based on scenario 18 "A Hasty Blocking Position" from C.S. Grant's Programmed Wargames Scenarios, with some modifications due to local resources (forces, table size, etc.). Both forces were run under the guidelines of the programmed actions, in this case they directed the 2 commanders to send cavalry forces to take the south pass, split the main red force (the Batrachians) into a small northern focre and the main army, send the rest of the blue force (the Soweiter League) to occupy the hill and not split forces. One major mistake made by the Soweiter League was probably not keeping the jaegers back to hold the northern flank. This misstep allowed the Batrachians to attack the flank and was probably one of the main reasons for their success. Another big factor was, in spite of being able to keep their forces together and array into line first along the hilltop, the League's forces rolled rather poorly when firing.

I used/abused Jeff "Bluebear" Hudelson's Tricorne rules for this battle, as I mentioned in the last post. It worked well (in other words, it was fun, and the final result was not certain until nearly the end) in spite of all the mangling I'm sure I committed to the rules, forgetting to roll average dice for movement, almost certainly not conducting firing, melee, or morale correctly, etc. But that's one of the beauties of solo play - as long as I have fun the rest doesn't really matter much. I did learn I probably need to make some more "cheatsheets" the next time I play and post them on the wall or something during play (including a sheet or 2 with the commander and unit info).

I didn't keep meticulous notes of turn by turn details (such as who rolled what, etc.; just a few notes about losses, routs, and other movement and the like) as I just wanted to play the game and write up a report that was more about the story and less about the game mechanics. I'm not sure I succeeded in that aim, or if people prefer one type of battle/game report over the other. Nor did I take good pictures of details of the game in progress, just overviews of the table. Maybe next time I'll try for some more detail shots at key points of action.

I drew the maps in Adobe Illustrator, with symbols of my own making.

Now, time to get back to painting more miniatures!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Press of Battle

The Batrachian Army of Observation finally pressed so far into Soweiter League territory the League was forced to react. The invasion is on!

The League sent out a force under General von Bluster to block the advance of the Batrachian forces commanded by General D'Zastre.

Order of Battle

The Soweiter League

  • The Mayeux Musketeers

  • The Saxe-Urquhart 86th Highlanders

  • The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers

  • The Heisenberg-Hasenpfeffer Hussars

  • The Waldorf Waldjaegers

  • The Ballyfoole Light Artillery

The Batrachian Observation Army

  • The King's Musketeers

  • The Queen's Musketeers

  • The Musketeers de Limbourg

  • The Wild Geese Chasseurs

  • The Poupon Dragoons de la Moutarde

  • A unit of Pandours du Pinque acting as light infantry

  • Medium artillery from the province of Bombardy

Both commanders sent cavalry (the Wild Geese Chasseurs, in the case of Batrachia) towards the pass to the southwest (I'll post a map when I get a chance). The rest of the Soweiter League's army headed for a hill dominating the western edge of the battle to block the advance of the rest of the Batrachians. Meanwhile the Batrachians sent a small force, comprised of the King's Musketeers and the Pandour light infantry along the road northwest to try to catch the League's forces before they had deployed (but failed to get there quite in time). The rest of the Batrachian forces headed west, to attempt to break past the League's forces, or, failing that, to attack the League's forces and force a passage.

The situation after a a few hours. The League's forces are on the left (west), while the Batrachian forces are a bit more scattered to the right (east). The cavalry battle just south of the western hill has just about played out. The League's forces have just finished arraying their lines for battle. The Batrachians are still getting their forces in place.


On the mechanics and such - I used (or rather, mis-used!) Jeff "Bluebear" Hudelson's Tricorne rules, and Scenario 18 "A Hasty Blocking Position" from C.S. Grant's Programmed Wargames Scenarios (with forces reduced due to space limitations and lack of enough units). The table is 2 card tables butted together, with a cheap flat sheet draped over them. This gives me a rather small table and restricts the width especially (could be critical in this scenario, but then again I'm using fewer forces). So far I've played 11 turns (but I messed up and have only done one round of movement, fire, and melee each turn rather than one for each side). I also forgot to roll average dice for movement, but I think it still worked ok. I'm sure I mangled many more rules. The cavalry melee has gone back and forth for several turns and mounting casualties, but I figure the casualties could just repersent loss of fighting power, not neccesarily dead and wounded. No matter - it's been fun so far. We'll see how it goes before I have to take it all down.

I would like to come up with a little bigger table (4'x6' probably; couldn't fit much more in my back room) for future battles. Maybe a couple of pieces of 3'x4'plywood to start, maybe braced with wood around the edges, maybe hinged with a piano hinge. Or I could try playing on the floor... anyway, dreams for the future.


Today I received an order from On Military Matters (fast service!) - going old school, I bought:

  • Charge! (which I've never read!)

  • The War Game Companion

  • Scenarios for All Ages

  • Battles with Model Soldiers (Featherstone)

  • Battlegames issues 14 and 15