Tuesday, August 31, 2010

18th Century - Unlikely allies

At last the forces of Litharus (Russia) were able to take the field, albeit with unexpected allies.  A rare, and in the opinion of most of the army, unwelcome alliance was formed with Germania (Prussia).  "Have not our soldiers fallen in battle against these machines?" raged the high command.  But ever loyal to their oaths they marched in all haste to succor the Prussians who were facing the Gallian allied (French-Austrian) army alone.  As you view the description, clicking on any picture will enlarge the image.

Here the army advances under their bold banners, resolved to do their duty.  A new unit and new Imagi-Nation standards since their last outing.

The heavy cavalry are riding hard to spearhead the relief column.

And relief is needed as you see but a small portion of the host arrayed against the Prussians.

Here you see the Prussian center.  The Russians are scheduled to arrive at an unknown time, somewhere to the right of your view.

Huge numbers of Austrian and French cavalry prepare to descend on the Prussian left.  The Prussian heavies move to intercept.

And they crash together for the first of many rounds of melee.

General Arkady Gregorovich Ouromov, with his ever-present priest gives direction to Brigadier General Anatol Gogol as the Russians hit the table.  But are they in time?

The scenario was based on the changing fortures of war in the latter stages of the Seven Years War.  Faced with enemies on all sides and almost certain defeat, Frederick the Great and Prussia were saved by the death of the Czarina Elizabeth and accension to the throne of her Prussian loving son, Peter III.  The Russian armies had clashed several times with Prussia and even had Cossacks briefly occupy Berlin.  Now they had to fight alongside their enemies of the previous campaign season.

Perhaps in the spirit of the occasion there was little communication between the new allies before the game.  Only the scenario designer and I knew when the Russians would arrive and no effort was made to coordinate our forces.  Tune in later this week for Part II.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

18th Century - Battle of Upper Potsdorf, Part Two

In the last installment the Prussians were winning on their right and the Austrians had the initiative on the Prussian left. Now the conclusion.

Things rapidly reach a critical point with the Brunswickers.  Von Zastrow routs!  Imhoff falls back shaken and disordered.  Only the grenadier battalion and von Behr stand firm.  The Austrians continue to press with French support, but some are beginning to face about.  Why?

On the Prussian right the Swiss are stretched to the breaking point and the line/Freikorps brigade is coming into action with fresh muskets.

Desperate to buy time, the French charge in the center!  Picardie lives up to it's long tradition by routing Jagers caught in the open and bouncing back a line musketeer battalion despite grievous casualties.

Von Behr now has to endure full flank fire and risk being charged next turn.  But they hold their morale, this turn at least.  The crisis point has been reached since the grenadiers have been able to disengage and reform along with von Imhoff thanks to the bold demonstrations of the last Prussian Dragoon regiment that had remained behind during the successful charge that seemed so long ago.

Yes, "demonstrating."  They threaten the flank of the entire Austrian line.  A battalion refuses it's flank and dares the Dragoons to come forward.

The remnants of the French center put on a bold face, daring charge after charge to throw the Prussian Fusilier brigade into confusion as they are caught advancing.  Only luck has kept the situation from getting worse as the French win almost every impact roll.

Now we see the cause for the Austrian facing about as the Prussian cavalry, victorious but scattered has finally reformed just as some of the routed French cavalry was making motions to return.

A last desperate charge by the Austrians is blunted by the bold Brunswickers.  Although a pair of Prussian batteries were routed or run off, the situation is no longer in crisis.

The French Dragoons are over-matched by the Prussian cavalry and run off in total rout.  Nothing can stop the other Prussian cavalry from swinging around behind the allied army.  Already the French are beginning to withdraw and the Swiss to seek new employers.  Only the stubborn Austrians refuse to retreat, though the chorus of blame on the French had begun in earnest.

Although the Prussians prevailed, it was a fiercely contested engagement.  Despite given up and early advantage to the Prussians by being caught unprepared for the swift advance of the improved Prussians, they rallied to put the issue into serious doubt for most of the game.  The allied reliance on charging, compared to the Prussian use of the musket sharply contrasted the different styles and national characteristics.  Even in defeat Bob and Todd report a thoroughly good time as did the host and reporter, me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

18th Century - Final Argument of Kings SYW game

Sunday, August 22nd three valiant players gathered for another game of Dean West's game system, Final Arugment of Kings.  The game in 15mm had 20 Prussian and Brunswick battalions (four grenadier, four fusilier, five musketeer, one jager, two freikorps and four Brunswicker), five cavalry and five batteries against 22 French and Austrian battalions (four Swiss, two German, ten French, three Austrian, one grenadier, one jager and one Croat), five cavalry and five batteries.  Bob and Todd commanded the latter while I directed the Prussians.  As you view the pictures you can enlarge them by clicking each one.

The Prussian plan called for a weighted right, headed by a grenadier brigade pushing forward.  A line brigade followed the grenadiers.  Another strong musketeer brigade was on their left.  Farther to the left were four of the five Prussian batteries and then the Brunswicker brigade in two lines.  The cavalry was massed on the left end of the line ready to engage, delay or pursue as the situation warranted. 

Looking down the line from the allied right, Prussian left.  The allies are spread more than the Prussians, looking for a double envelopment.  The Austrian infantry are the closest infantry with the Swiss on the far allied left.

To my surprise the allies advanced across the front as my three right hand brigades advanced and the fusilier brigade waited behind the guns.

Now looking from the Prussian right we see a deadly race between the Prussians in line and the Swiss in column attempting to get out and deploy.  Action will soon be general in the following turn.

On the Prussian left the advance of the Austrian infantry and cavalry had started a brief retrograde movement to get the space needed.  Now seemed to be the moment and four of the five regiments were launched forward, the second line supporting the first.  The French cavalry had not anticipated this and had to try and counter-charge.  Only one of three was successful in doing so.

The result not surprisingly was a debacle for the French. The Prussians won all the impacts and destroyed a French Cuirassier regiment in melee. The others were able to get out of follow-up range though most were in routed status.

The well ordered Austrians advance and engage the Brunswickers while looking to exploit the hole just vacated by the Prussian cavalry.

Now as the Swiss were falling back in confusion and rout, and the rest were generally engaged, the Prussian guns did a "First Fire" and then the fusilier brigade stepped off to engage the weakened French center.

The Swiss and French are much reduced on the Prussian left so things are looking good there.  On the Prussian right things are not so good looking despite the cavalry success.  How will it turn out?  Part Two soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

18th Century - To War!

And so it is to war we go.  Here the forces of the Grand Duchy of Litharus muster for service in distant lands.  Proudly carrying their new standards the battalions and regiments march past their hereditary ruler, Grand Duke Alexander Orzepovski and the Grand Duchess Mara and assorted glitterati.
"Where are we going?"  "I hear to the west."  "Who are we fighting?"  "Does it matter?"  So go the muttered questions of the rank and file. 

As they march out of the fortified camp they begin to realize they are headed North, towards the coast. 

The heavy cavalry under General Orlov lead the way as befits their station on the battlefield.

The Dragoons and Horse Grenadiers await their turn as the Grenadiers lead the infantry column.  Hmmm, I wonder who that fellow is in the white outfit in the upper left?  Looks like he has a notepad....

They march with the blessing and exhortations of the clergy.

The pass in review stretches on and on, both in terms of distance and time.  Who has it worse, the marchers or the lines forced to stand in place?

But not all of God's creatures share the excitement.

Next up, to foreign lands!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Entry

Well I've taken the plunge and followed many down the blogging path.  The main focus of this is related to miniature wargaming, a pursuit of mine for many years.  Since getting involved with historic reenacting I've changed many of my preconceptions about gaming and rules.  As such, you may see the occasional reenacting entry as well.  I'll be starting with a report on my Imagi-Nation from the Seven Years War era, Litharus.  The figures are primarily Foundry 28mm with some Front Rank cavalry and Blue Moon personality types.  Other things are just stuff I've cobbled together over the years.  Hope you enjoy it.