Sunday, February 7, 2016

Defense of the Bridgehead

In our mini campaign based on Charles Grant's "Raid on St. Michel" booklet the action has moved to the bridgehead held along the Vistula River and the village of Zahn.  To the north is Litharus and safety for the army retiring from Alten, but first they must cross.

Peaceful beginning.  The near road goes off to the SE towards Alten.
The bridgehead is held by a fresh battalion (60 figures), a combat depleted battalion (47 figures), a squadron of horse grenadiers (12 figures) and a light gun.  Each side wrote orders and then the Litharus forces deployed.  Horse grenadiers on the north bank, gun inside town, and infantry deployed.

Rules are Batailles de Ancien Regime by Bill Protz.  Each unit for this small game acted on a card, either moving or firing.  Each commander choosing a unit that had not yet activated.  The action starts at midday so the attackers have 12 turns before nightfall to secure at least their side of the river.
Turn one two squadrons of dragoons enter on SW side.

Initial Litharus deployment near Zahn.

On turn 3 the Latverian infantry arrive.  Two of 60 figures, one of 42.

Litharus gets a Joker early, allowing them to "trump" a movement
or firing card later.  They will need it.

Latverian cavalry scouts while the infantry prepares for a
coordinated attack.

And me?  I refereed and enjoyed an adult beverage.
Note "Der Choral von Leuthen" playing in the background.

The storm is about to fall on the defenders of Zahn.

Even the Joker taking a first fire cannot help as the noose tightens.

The first battalion gets below 50% casualties and routs over the river.

Defenders shelter in the buildings but it is only a matter of time.

Now all but the cavalry, who advanced only to be shot up are
running on turn 11.

So with one turn of daylight remaining the Litharusian forces were evicted from the south bank of the Vistula, rallying in the woods beyond.  The only flaw in the otherwise complete victory was sight of a lone Litharus rider, disappearing to the SE at full speed.  When the main body arrives in the next day or two there would be no real surprises.

We always talk about the dice and this one is no exception.  In general the Latverians enjoyed above average dice and the Litharusian below average.  Already at a significant disadvantage given the forces left in garrison there needed to be a swing the other way.

One final action awaits as the army, laden with wagons full of the Latverian army treasury arrive at some point and try to take their plunder home.  Stay tuned!


  1. Thank you for posting Michael. It was an enjoyable read and visual treat. Smallish games are appealing too. I must do a small one here on a weeknight now that I am reminded of this. If it doesn't finish, we would come back the next week.

    1. This one took more time to set up than play. Almost. But certainly less than two hours and that with a card turn per unit.