Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Battle of Delbrucke

(Based on Scenario 7, Hot Pursuit, from Scenarios For All Ages, by Grant and Asquith.)

The Soweiter League forces:
  • The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers
  • The Saxe-Urquhart Highlanders
  • The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry
  • The Heisenberg-Hasenpfeffer Hussars
  • The Hesse-Offenbach Artillery Battery
The Batrachian forces:
Main force under General de Siecle:
  • The King's Musketeers 1
  • The Queen's Musketeers 1
  • The Pandours du Pinque
  • The Poupon Dragoons
  • Artillery Royale Battery 1
  • Artillery Royale Battery 2

Force under General Soleau:
  • The Musketeers de Limbourg
  • The Cuirassiers Royale
  • The Wild Goose Chasseurs
A small Soweiter League force, under the command of General von Blunder, is marching along the main road near the village of Delbrucke. The area has 2 small rivers or streams running through it. These are fordable all along their lengths, but will slow movement down. They are crossed by bridges where the main road intersects the rivers. There are numerous hills, woods, patches of marshy ground and other rough ground that makes cross-country movement more difficult. Movement along the road will be the quickest way to proceed. 

A much larger Batrachian force, split into 2 columns, has hastened along the roads from the east in an attempt to catch the Soweiter force while they are strung along the road. The main column, heading along the northern branch of the main road, is commanded by General de Siecle. While a smaller force, heavy on cavalry, and commanded by General Soleau, proceeds along the southern branch of the road.

The opening scene:

The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Muskeeters halt on the eastern bridge to block the Batrachian forces from moving swiftly along the road and give the rest of the Soweiter forces time to get away. The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry pulls off the road to retreat across country.
As the King's Musketeers approach the bridge the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers fire off a volley, inflicting 2 casualties. The King's Musketeers charge, but the result is inconclusive, no casualties.
Meanwhile the Batrachian cavalry spread out to pursue the Soweiter forces across country.. The Cuirassiers Royale catch the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry at the river and charge in, inflicting 1 casualty.

Overview as battle commences:

Bottleneck at the bridge:

While the rest of the Soweiter forces contiune to hot-foot it down the road the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers pull off of the eastern bridge to make a second stand at the western bridge.

The retreating Soweiter forces:

As the Soweiter withdrawal continues the Wild Goose Chasseurs charge the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry, inflicting heavy casualties. A quick melee and the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry are eliminated. At the same time the Cuirassiers Royale charge the Hasenpfeffer-Heisenberg Hussars and also inflict heavy casualties.

The King's Musketeers charge the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers on the western bridge before thay have time to fire.

By this time the balance of the Soweiter forces, the Saxe-Urquhart Highlanders, the Hesse-Offenbach Battery, a much-reduced Heisenberg-Hasenpfeffer Hussars and General von Blunder make it to safety. And the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers, finding themselves cut off and surrounded, are forced to surrender.

The finale:

The battle ends and the Batrachians hold the field, having damaged the Soweiter forces, but is it enough? By the scenario conditions this is on the edge between a draw and a victory for the Batrachians.

The battle went quicker than I expected at the start. Given the terrain it was hard for the Batrachians to bring all of their forces into play in time to catch the Soweiter forces. Several units on both sides never saw any combat (firing or melee). But I guess that's the way it goes sometimes, especially in this type of scenario.

I used very small units, but they still took up a lot of space on the road. If I had spread them out in a battle line they could easily have taken up most of the width of the table. Granted, my table is no more than 6 feet long and only 40 inches wide I still wonder what size of table people use for larger units sizes. If I doubled the size of my units I think I would need at minimum a 5 by 7 foot table; maybe even 6 by 9 feet. For large battalions of 48 or 60 figure infantry units I can't even imagine what sort of table you would use. So I'm curious, what size units and what size table do you use? How many units per side would also be a consideration, of course. in this battle I used the number of units given in the scenario.
I know I could get more figures in a smaller space if I used smaller figures (such as 15mm), but I can't see the smaller figures as well (to paint or to play with).


Steve Turner said...

I enjoyed the action very much FB. More please.
I recognised one or two of your terrain pieces (i.e. the mill) and I especially like your buildings. I just have one question though...what were the table's dimensions?
Hope you don't mind me asking.


tidders said...

Great little game; love the buldings and scenery.

I use a table size 8ft by 3ft, with units of 30figs for infantry and 12figs for cavalry. The rules I use have measurements in inches, but when fighting 'across' the table I use measurements in centimetres - effectively tweaking the ground scale.

-- Allan

Archduke Piccolo said...

Enjoyed the action and admired the scenery! I was impressed, too, at the way you arranged the game on what is quite a small table (at 40-inches width).

My own table is a 6'x4' board mounted on trestles. It works OK for my 24-fig inf/12-16fig Napoleonic units, though I'll never get my whole armies on that table!

I've yet seriously to try it with my 18th Century Wholly Romantic Empire armies. Years ago I did run an interesting 'Olmutz Convoy' scenario on an 8'x4' table with limited forces, and that worked pretty well. But that, somewhat like the 'Battle of Delbrucke' was an action concentrated along a road, pretty much, which meant any extra width would have been superfluous. The thing would have worked well, with minor tweaking, on Allan's 8x3 table.


littlejohn said...

Nice action report,...I really love those small engagements...they make for a fast fun game.

I'm lucky in that I can manage an 8x5 table and I use 30 man regiments but still, even with all that real estate, it can get pretty crowded if I'm trying to do a large battle.

but a good small scenario even on a 4x4 can be really more fun.

Fitz-Badger said...

Steve, the table is 40 inches wide, fully extended as in this game it's 6 feet long. It collapses down to 2 foot by 40 inch side table. With a foldover piece and a couple of leaves it can be pulled out to 3 intermediate lengths as well.

Thanks for the comments all!

I'm thinking of building some more terrain pieces along the lines of the Rederring mountain I posted previously. For some scenarios with hills along the edges profile hills could help with the space issue. I think a similar idea could be used for woods or buildings, too, especially for table edge scenery.

Another option is to go with fewer units. I really enjoy Allan (Tidders) small actions with large figures. Somehow your table doesn't appear to be only 3 feet wide in those battles.

Littlejohn, I agree about small actions! I'm pondering using scenarios from the Grants and Asquith books and tabletop teasers in a reduced fashion. I'll likely do more small actions when I start Colonial games.

Chris said...

Great report! I like the terrain you've built. As for table size, I've done relatively little "large-scale" gaming (mostly skirmishes instead) but what I have done I've done on a table 6' x 4', more or less the size of your table. I've never had a problem with it, but then I've always had relatively small forces. My project for this summer is going to use smaller minis (10mm), but this is more for "paint-'em-up quick" purposes (less detail) than for space considerations -- though now that I think about it, that will probably affect play as well.

Rafael Pardo said...

Bridges are synoymous with traffic jams!
A good battle