Saturday, August 6, 2011

And Finally... - When I first developed the concept of the army of St. Maurice, there of course was a need to make a determination regarding the balance of forces. I had remembered reading somewhere that the Grants, in the establishment of their WARGAME, created a pair of antagonists numbering some 1000 infantry, 250 cavalry and 10 or 12 artillery pieces with support troops as necessary. I set out to create my army using roughly the same percentages.

What you see here is the final cavalry regiment from the original mid-1970s plan. This is The Royal Musketeers (or The Princess Maria's Own Regiment of Horse). These are yet another amalgamation of manufacturers; the troopers being Front Rank miniatures while the horses remain the ubiquitous Stadden standing horse. I really love those big nags.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Battle at Coberg - To this point the hostilities existing between St. Maurice and Ardoberg-Holstein have been confined to the "western front," essentially between the villages of Auber and Latrine, and concentrated around the river crossing at Dettingen. Imagine the surprise then, when the Holsteiner garrison commander at Kurmanz donned his telescope just long enough to observe the advance of no less than 2 infantry regiments (4 line battalions) and 3 cavalry regiments advancing on his town from the bridge from Ravina.

The commander hastily beat a retreat (or as they say in Ardoberg-Holstein, a re-deployment)
back toward the village of Coberg, with the hope of drawing off the advancing francophones as well as to gain the assistance of reinforcements from further to the north. Alas, neither was to be as the St. Mauricians invested Kurmainz and, leaving behind 2nd St. Germain to garrison the town, rushed forward to assault the Grand Duck's (sic) forces.
Observing that a confrontation was not only inevitable but imminent, The Ardoberger commander, whose name has been lost in the interest of good taste, occupied the cluster of dwellings known as Grunt with the Isselbach and Zweibrucken regiments, and placed the regiment Kurmainz in line with flanks resting on the berg as well as a copse of trees.

For their part, the St. Maurician army under the command of colonel-general Bonnechance deploys directly from their route march with Bonnechance commanding the left wing and brigadier Baguette commanding the right.

Here we see the redeployment of the Ardoberger regiment Kurmainz , still in line, now faced to their left toward the trees. Isselbach has marched out of the village and formed line to fill in the gap between Kurmainz and the village. The St. Maurician cavalry regiment Rohan-Soubise and the Loncheney Hussars have moved well to the left of the A-H flank, forcing the re-deployment. In the mean time the St. Maurician battalions 1st. Clare and 1st St. Germain have been ordered to drive on the center. The Isembourg cavalry regiment (bottom left) remains well out of the action because...

...they maneuvered a little too close to the Zweibrucken regiment in the houses and suffered severely for it. They would take no more part in the action of the day.

Seeing the onslaught coming in front of them, the brave, if fool-hardy Isselbach colonel orders his men to fix bayonets and charge. Silly man. Bayonet is a French word; or in this case Irish as 1st Clare forcibly encouraged the novice Holsteiners from the field.

The Kurmainz regiment picks it's way through the trees and manages to drive off the St. Maurician cavalry under the very eyes of their commander. Brigadier Baguette and his staff have ensconced on the Blast-off bridge, seeing it as not only elevation to observe the troops but it's stonework should keep the self-important personage in one piece through the fighting. The 2nd Clare advances behind it's senior battalion to force the center.

It is clear here that the battle is ended as the Isembourg cavalry are beginning their valiant advance once again.

As the remainder of his hapless troops scrambles to escape, we see the A-H commander galloping from the field and signaling to his St. Maurician adversaries that age-old hand signal that "we're #1."

This game was a lot of fun (not the least of which because I won). It saw the evolution of a rule we had incorporated in the last battle whereby a commander wishing to withdraw from the field needed to wait at least 6 turns from the beginning of the game before declaring his intention to do so. Once declared, the retreating commander rolls a D-6 die with the results being the number of turns his opponent had left to do whatever damage could be done. The game would then go on normally until the D-6 number was reached, at which point the game ends. This rule was one of Gary's ideas and presents the kind of headaches a commander suffers in attempting to get as many of his troops out of contact and away alive as possible. And speaking of Gary...

... the smile is actually a wince...

...and a parting shot of the valiant Blast-off bridge defenders.