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!


Martin said...

Hi Fitz,

That was an excellent battle report, and the maps sure helped me follow the action in my mind's eye. Some pictures of the troopies in action, would be nice, but it's not bad as is.

A J Matthews said...

I agree, it was a great battle report. Your maps make it easy to follow the action. Some photos would be nice, but they are just eye candy. A good result all round.

rpardo said...

A great Programmed Scenario and a great Wargame!

David said...

Yes, a good report. I think maps *and* pictures together are ideal - maps make it possible to follow clearly what's happening, the pictures bring it to life.. :-)


David said...

P.S. For battle maps you might like the Tom Mouat fonts I mention in my latest posting on NBA.


Keith Flint said...

Very interesting Fitz. I was particularly impressed by the neat and clear maps. This is something I would very much like to develop for my own games.

Highly detailed battle reports with every dice throw recorded are commendable, but somehow i doubt if most people read all the detail. Plus noting it all down whilst you're playing is such a pain!

Best wishes, Keith Flint.