Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Battle of Zweipfennig

I used Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame 2 rules for this game. That's the version that fits on a single sheet of paper. I don't know if I did things right, but it seemed like the defenders had a decided advantage. It took about an hour to set up and play this, leisurely, taking notes and pictures (although I forgot to take pictures a few times because it moved so quickly), consulting the scenario book and rules sheet, etc.

The scenario is # 37, Night Attack 2 from Scenarios For All Ages by Grant and Asquith.

A force comprised of units from the Soweiter League had occupied two villages and the ridge connecting the two, expecting to meet an attack by a more sizable Batrachian force in the area.

Soweiter League force:
General Jacques Pfennig-Pfarthing
The Ballyfoole Dragoons
The Ballyfoole Hussars
line infantry:
The Muttonshire Musketeers
The Woostershire Muskets
The Soforth Highlanders
The Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps
1 cannon

Unbeknownst to the Soweiter forces the Batrachians had moved up in the night to attack the Soweiter force in the left flank. The Batrachians had divided into two forces to accomplish this.
The first force under the command of General Finn de Siecle came from the more southerly direction. The other force, under the command of General Soleau, came from a more northerly direction.

The southern Batrachian force:
General Finn de Siècle
The Wild Goose Chasseurs
The Garde N'est Pas
The Musketeers L'Ouef
The Pandours du Pinque
The Pandours San Serif
1 cannon

The northern Batrachian force:
General Napoleon Soleau
The Cuirassiers Royale
The Poupon Dragoons
The King's Musketeers
The Queen's Musketeers
The Musketeers de Limbourg
1 cannon

The situation at dawn:

As dawn broke and the Batrachians were able to see the Soweiter forces arrayed in and between the two villages they realized they had not arrived exactly as planned. The force under General de Siècle was heading in the right direction, but farther back than expected. Meanwhile, the force under General Soleau had mistaken another group of buildings to the northeast of the Soweiter line as one of the two villages. As the Batrachians moved forward the Soweiter forces realized the danger and General Pflugnickel re-ordered his line, sending some of the troops towards the northeast buildings and repositioning some of the troops that remained on the hill and in the east village.

The Batrachians retained the imitative and proceeded to advance on the Soweiter position. As the southern force under General de Siècle neared the east village the Woostershire Muskets stationed there opened fire. In the ensuing hail of musket fire the Musketeers L'Ouef were knocked out of the fight (result = destroyed).

As the Batrachians advanced further towards the east village the Soweiter artillery rang out and put paid to the Pandours San Serif (result = destroyed). The Woostershire Muskets fired at the Wild Goose Chasseurs to little effect (result = no effect). As events developed it was a toss up as to which side would reach the northeast buildings first. The Soweiter League won the toss and the Muttonshire Musketeers managed to get there first. By this time the Soweiter forces were mostly in position and firing broke out all along the line. The Soforth Highlanders devastated the  Poupon Dragoons (result = destroyed), but the Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps, the Queen's Musketeers and the King's Musketeers failed to inflict any significant losses on their opponents (results = no effect).

The initiative seemed to be firmly in the Soweiter force's favor now. More cannon fire and musket fire rolled up and down the line. The cannon fire had little effect, but the Muttonshire Musketeers, the Soforth Highlanders, The Pfennig-Pfarthing Pfreikorps, and the Woostershire Muskets caused widespread destruction and disruption (results = destroyed). This put the Pandours du Pinque, the Cuirassiers Royale, the Queen's Musketeers and the King's Musketeers out of the fight.

At this point, with only his artillery left, General Soleau quit the field. He was followed shortly by General de Siècle, having only the Wild Goose Chasseurs, the Garde N'est Pas and the straggling artillery, so to carry on the attack seemed futile at this point.

Having beaten off this flank attack the Soweiter forces retired back to the villages to rest and recuperate.

Maybe I should've moved the Batrachians slower to give them time to bring their artillery to bear and to inflict some small arms losses on their enemies. As it turned out moving in quickly didn't seem to favor the attackers.


Capt Bill said...

A spirited affair indeed...

tradgardmastare said...

Interesting looking game and excellent battle report- will you continue with theses rules?

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

I read this battle report with great interest.

This is exactly the sort of small battle that the PORTABLE WARGAME 2 rules were written for, and it was very pleasing to see that someone else had given them a tryout.

You are right about artillery. It needs to be brought up and used to soften up defences before an infantry assault is mounted. You are also right about defenders being given a slight advantage over attackers, especially if they are in fieldworks or some other form of cover.

I am looking at the prospect of giving units a number of 'lives' that can be 'lost' before they are destroyed. This would allow better quaility units to survive better on the battlefield, and might go some way to evening up battles between, say, a mainly militia army in defences that is being attacked by a stronger and better trained army of regular troops.

Please let me know if you fight any further battles using PW2.

All the best,


Fitz-Badger said...

Thanks for the comments.
Yes, I believe I will play around with these rules a bit more, as is and without modification (much as I am tempted to tinker).
Bob, one thing I like is not having to keep track of things, no roster system, no casualty caps (which detract from the look of things in my opinion), etc. With my single-based figures on magnetic trays I could remove figures to indicate wearing down of the unit. There is the idea of putting a small die with the number of remaining "lives" showing. Another possibility is to use saving throws. But I'll try to play a few more games first.

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


Like you, I don't like to see extraneous bits and pieces on the tabletop and I have found that trying to keep a roster up-to-date can be a nightmare.

I like the idea of having removable figures to show that a unit is being 'worn down' by combat, and it is something that I am considering experimenting with myself.

All the best,


Fitz-Badger said...

I am torn though. I do like the idea and look of multi-figure stands with the figures integral to the stand and terrained base.
With removable figures you could make the number of figures reflect the number of hits the stand could take and/or make some, like militia remove 2 figures for each hit, for example.
On the other hand for integrated stands maybe there are other options that don't require record-keeping or extra bits on the table. For example, like HoTT, different effects, such as push back or pinned, between no effect and destroyed. And/or saving throws for some units or situations. Any of that adds more variability, but also more complexity. So the question is how to strike the best balance.