Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Battle of Bruckwasser

note: the previous game I reported on where I used Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame 2 rules, the battle of Zweipfennig took 5 turns to play. The battle of Bruckwasser took 9 turns, still quick.

Scenario #6, Crossing Point, from Grant’s Programmed Wargames Scenarios

Batrachian forces, under General Soleau:
The Cuirassiers Royale
The Poupon Dragoons
The Wild Goose Chasseurs
The Garde n’est Pas
The King’s Musketeers
The Queen’s Musketeers
The Pandours du Pinque
The Pandours San Serif
The Musketeers L’Ouef
2 cannons

Soweiter forces, under General Cummerbund:
The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry
The Ballyfoole Dragoons
The Ballyfoole Hussars
The Muttonshire Musketeers
The Woostershire Muskets
The Soforth Highlanders
The Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps
1 cannon

The Bruckwasser River runs east to west. Two stone bridges cross the river and the village of Bruckwasser lies on the south bank of the river between the 2 bridges. The Batrachian forces are looking to capture the bridges so they can strike deeper into Soweiter territory. The Soweiter League has a couple of units, the Malarkey Musketeers and the Soforth Highlanders, stationed in the town to guard the bridges. Other forces are stationed in nearby villages and other posts.

General Soleau, commanding the Batrachian forces, hopes to capture the bridges before the Soweiter reinforcements can shore up their defense. The battle starts out with the Batrachian forces coming from the west along a road that roughly follows the north bank of the river. The column is led by the Poupon Dragoons, followed by the Wild Goose Chasseurs, The Garde N’est Pas, the King’s Musketeers, and so on.

Riding quickly the Poupon Dragoons reach the west bridge, but are destroyed by a hail of fire from the Malarkey Musketeers in the western part of the village.

The Wild Goose Chasseurs swing around to the east bridge and are met by volleys from the Soforth Highlanders in the east part of the village, but little damage is sustained. The Garde N’est Pas reach the west bridge and also survive the volleys from the Malarkey Musketeers.

The Wild Goose Chasseurs gallop over the bridge to meet any potential Soweiter reinforcements that may arrive along the southeast road. The Garde N’est Pas cross over the bridge and fire at the Malarkey Musketeers in the village to little effect. 

(Camera batteries ran down so I didn't get photos for the middle of the battle)

The Malarkey Musketeers return fire and destroy the Garde N’est Pas. The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry arrive on the southeast road and the Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps arrive on the west road, south of the river.

The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry charge the Wild Goose Chasseurs and destroy them. The Malarkey Musketeers fire at the King’s Musketeers on the bridge to little effect. The Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps advance towards the west bridge. The Ballyfoole Hussars arrive on the west road, the Muttonshire Musketeers on the south road and the Ballyfoole Dragoons on the southeast road. The King’s Musketeers fire at the Malarkey Musketeers but cause few casualties if any.

The Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps fire at the King’s Musketeers on the west bridge and cause little damage. The Malarkey Musketeers also fire at the King’s Musketeers and destroy them. The Soforth Highlanders fire at the Queen’s Musketeers who have moved on to the east bridge. The withering fire destroys the Queen’s Musketeers. The Batrachian artillery having taken up position on the north bank of the river opposite the village open fire on the troops in the village. The Highlanders survive, but the Malarkey Musketeers finally succumb to the onslaught.

The Batrachian artillery fires again at the Highlanders, this time destroying them. The Pandours San Serif and the Musketeers L’Ouef reach the west bridge and start crossing over. The Pandours du Pinque reach the east bridge, with the Cuirassiers Royale close behind. The Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps fire at the Pandours San Serif and destroy them. The Malarkey Dragoons charge the Pandours du Pinque on the east bridge, but the tables are turned and it’s the Dragoons who succumb. The Muttonshire Musketeers occupy the village.

The Muttonshire Musketeers fire at the Musketeers L’Ouef, as do the Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps, but neither achieves much success. The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry charge the Pandours du Pinque and destroy them. The Batrachian cannons fire at the Muttonshire Musketeers to little effect. The Musketeers L’Ouef charge the Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps and are destroyed. The Cuirassiers Royale charge the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Cavalry and destroy them.

The Muttonshire Musketeers fire at the Cuirassiers Royale and destroy them.

At this point the only units left to the Batrachians are the cannons north of the river. So with no hope fo capturing and holding the bridges they beat a hasty retreat.

The Woostershire Muskets and the Soweiter cannon arrive, on the west road and southeast road respectively, but by this time the battle is over.

As before these rules played very quickly. Firing and combat are "bloody", in the sense that units can get destroyed quickly. That's not all bad and in fact is one of the reasons the games are quick. Not having to fiddle around with movement or search through pages of rules or follow complicated turn sequences help, too.
There were times where a combat could have gone either way or even where the odds favored one side, but I seemed to roll ones at just the wrong times for some of the cavalry. Positioning the Batrachian cannon on the north side of the river to fire across at the village worked well, even though according to the orders I rolled for the scenario maybe they should've headed for the bridges like the rest of the units. The Programmed Scenarios offer programmed options for both sides, as well as allow the player to play one or both sides. Often there are restrictions, special circumstances, etc, that will limit what you can do. There are also various things you roll for, from the maps to set up options to orders to reactions in some cases. This means each time you play a scenario it can vary quite a bit.


Conrad Kinch said...

A very engaging report. I wish that book was available again!

Rafael Pardo said...

A good AARd. I also did enjoyed that scenario in a battle with Napoleon's Battles between French and Austrians. It was a close run thing!

Best regards


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


Another very interesting battle report. You certainly seem to have got the hang of the rules, and the fact that you can fight a battle to a conclusion in a realtively short time.

The joy of simple rules is that they free you up to fight wargames and not to spend all your time trying to find things in the rules book. The rules may not be perfect ... but at least they work fairly well.

All the best,


Fitz-Badger said...

Thanks for the comments!
Rafa, I enjoy your reports, from researching the historical battles to adapting terrain and scenarios to producing and adapting the OOB to coming up with scenario-specific house rules to the photos and reports of the games. It's interesting to follow your entire process.

Bob, I want to thank you for reinvigorating my gaming! The PW 2 rules were just the simple sort of rules I'd been looking for. 2 fun games in 2 weeks! The rules are great in their own right, and as a basis for tinkering (for another example, I'm considering some ideas for non-grid movement. The trick will be to keep it simple. The temptation to make things more complex can be hard to resist! ha ha The easiest option would probably be to simply convert grid spaces to inches, but my mind wants to try other options. ha ha)

Ross Mac said...

An interesting little fight.

For simple off grid moves,which keep some of the feel of PW2, you could try letting stands rotate before and after moving but measure the actual move in a straight line, center to center.