Sunday, December 16, 2012

The battle of Reckling

Well, this is the third and last battle of the first campaign season. The Army of Bravance has been victorious once again. Let's see why....

The Hrvatskan garrison at Reckling.

The approach of the Bravancian army!

Hrvatskan relief force deploys for battle. (I'll apologize now for the unfinished bases ofd the Hussars)

On the distant hill can be seen the invader's heavy artillery bombarding Reckling; tough times 
for the already disordered garrison.

The white-coated Saxon regiment, in camp, outside Reckling, deploys into line of battle.

As the distant guns boom, Hrvatska's hussars reconnoiter the hill.

To no one's surprise, the valley floor below is carpeted in blue-coated Bravancian brigands!

Luckily it's turn 4 and the reinforcements have arrived; a trained regiment and its gun.

With the arrival of new supports, the Hrvatskan cavalry ride down the hill against the waiting sabers of Bravance.

Alas, the hussars are swept away by their heavier foes, while the Bravance Guard cavalry 
reels back from Hrvatska's cuirassiers.

Orders fly as the Bravance cavalry re-groups to charge the hill.

The defenders pull back their lone cavalry regiment to the support of fresh infantry.

Ignoring their own disorder and the threat of musketry, Bravance aggressively attacks up-hill against the enemy.

Bravance is rewarded for their audacity, the Hrvatskan cavalry bolts from the field of battle!!

The infantry lines continue to trade volleys.

By Wheeling into line a fresh reinforcement of Bravance's infantry peppers the Guard Grenadiers of Hrvatska.

Unable to reply to twice it's strength, the guard is destroyed by musket volleys.

With the hill secured and the grenadiers gone, Bravance can finish the flanking movement on the enemy's right flank.  Unfortunately, this leaves little energy to maintain the bombardment of Reckling.

Despite their disorder, the cavalry prepares to charge the lone infantry regiment that secures Hrvatska's right flank.

Confident his fresh infantry can hold off the weakened cavalry; the Hrvatskan general sends the remaining gun off to his left to engage the heavy artillery in bombardment.

A lesson learned the hard way, as the cavalry surprises the infantry and delivers enough 
damage to disorder them to rout.

This last fight brings the Hrvatskan Army morale to zero...end of game.

Well!  That concludes this first year of campaigning. All three engagements were won by Bravance. The Hrvatskan army has lost many elite units and must re-train and raise more to replace them. We'll see...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Campaign Continues........

The map moves so far:

The attack and Bravance win at ALF.

The second campaign against Neuenahr....Hrvatska defeated yet again.
many of her soldiers loose heart and their fighting ability suffers a loss.

The latest mischief is in Reckling; a fortified garrison town held by Hrvatska.
And luckily, with so many of Bravances troops detailed to guard the Southern Approaches, this 
looks to be an easy fight for the army of the red coats.

The soon-to-be-not-so-quiet garrison town of Reckling.

Adding Some Minden Miniatures to the Mix.

Recently I wanted to add some Prussian Jaegers to my army and decided to try some of Frank Hammond's excellent Minden Miniatures. I was not disappointed. I opted for green coats and dull-yellow small clothes.

I added some irregular ground to the stands, a few clumps of brush, and kept the figure count at two per stand. This will be an easy way for me to tell they are skirmishers.

Hypothetical Campaign blending Soldier King with Maurice.

I decided to try a small campaign using Soldier King as the engine for moving troops to battle. I let each counter represent a single unit. So, Maurice's elite cavalry uses a Guard Cavalry counter from the board game.
I blue tacked the counters to magnets an then hung the map from the game on a metal wall sheet. Easy to see where the troops are and the magnets allow for easy 'stacking".

A simple roster of cities and towns not controlled (1-10), along with a random march roll on an average die and off I went. The first battle occurred as both Hrvatska (red) and Bravance (blue) vied for control of the town ALF.

The armies were small so I cut the card count to five and removed the cards that adjusted morale points as this was too big a swing in the value. I allowed a battalion gun for every two infantry regiments.  
The colors of the protagonists lent themselves nicely to my collection of Russian and Prussian SYW figures.

Here we see the armies approach marching, ALF lies near a mountain range. The plains card allowed me to include 'foot hills" on the table and in the fore ground on the tables edge I added some impassable steepness.

The army of Hrvatska drew a "morale re-roll" National Characteristic; the Bravancians had the dubious advantage of assuming "mass " with their infantry.

The Havartskian army deploys well, the blue coated Guard cavalry are in the fore ground. In the distance the rash Bravancian cavalry has already dashed forward; only the intervention of the cuirassiers saves the infantry column from being caught .

For their rash behavior the fates awarded the Bravancians a double disorder; the Hrvatskian Cuirassiers only suffer a single disorder.

Meanwhile, the Bravance infantry begins to form, you can see the left-most infantry regiment just finishing their maneuver to hinge a flank on the woods.

Hrvatska has possession of the objective but the Guard cavalry of Bravance is picking its way through the rocky valley and will shortly find an open flank!!

The massed musketry of the Bravancian infantry begins to take a toll on the red army. The disorder levels climb, there aren't enough good order cards to move the infantry sheltering behind the Cuirassiers. This failing will undo 
the exposed flank of Hrvatska.

The Guard Cuirassiers of Bravance thunder out of the valley and fall upon Hrvatska's left flank. Not Good!

The final image shows a lone Hrvatskian infatry regiment holding onto the hilltop. A tenuous existence at best....OOPS!...the losses caused by the out flanking have driven morale to ZERO !!!

Win to Bravance. The game was fun, fast, and due to the campaign setting, meaningful.

First Full Battle Using Maurice.

Well! Finally done with the household roundup. I had a chance to finally play Maurice.  Russians vs. the Prussians. Pulled a PLAINS card so terrain was seven pieces: village, wood, two hills, two marshes, and a field.

The Prussians were the attackers, so they picked up an extra unit of trained infantry. The rules cause the village to be the objective. The Prussian plan was to hold the front while their left swept around and took the village. There wers two cavalry units and one of grenadiers to accomplish this mission.

The Prussian infantry advanced towards the buildings and fell into line (Cadence).

The calvary, with the Notable von Thiesing in tow advanced upon the Russ cuirassiers. Unfortunately these were elites and the fight ground to a stalemate.

Both lines made a general advance and volleying began as soon as range was met. This went along well for the Russians. However, once more of the Prussian units arrive, the "Lethal Volleys" began to tell. Prussian artillery began to find the range of Katzenov's troops in the plowed field, and the russian commander spent precious time maintaining a respectable disorder level for them.

The Russian grenadiers held on to the village and even destroyed the enemy to their front. Katzenov'e regiment can be seen labored with three disorder, the general nearby. Fresh Prussians approach.

The Russians advance again to meet the threat, as we see the Prussian cavalry finally move to support the attack. 
It should be noted that the Prussian Grenadiers never had the attention of their general as he was using his cards to maintain pressure along the main battle line. A single infantry unit will get left out; I should have had the Grenadiers as the extreme right of the attacking line. Next time!

Returning to this picture above, and looking up the board, you'll see the developing Prussian assault on the hill where the ineffectual Russian guns were the target. You can also see a repeat  of the "lone unit", a proxy Austrian unit holding the far right of the line, never to see a card as the Prussians kept up pressure and distracted the Russian commander all game.

Again the cavalry melee bogged down, just adding more disorder. The Prussians pushed the enemy artillery off the hill. Those morale rolls, along with the demise of Katzenov's regiment (see the empty field), were enough to break the Russians. Though they still held the village, the objective went over to the Prussians as the Czar's army retreated from the field.
You will notice lone cavalry units for both sides that never saw activation. Again, the rules favor groups that are kept together. The Prussian Conscript units (Fusiliers) did fine, but their counter parts were shredded by the "Lethal Volleys" of the Prussians. The Clerics helped but just a bit.

The battle was a lot of fun, it only took three hours with 28mm troops. The game went through one deck and about half the next after a shuffle.  Next time I will try it using my back tables, this way I'll have more room for maneuver: 9' x 8" vs. today's 5' x 8'.  

Reviewing 100 Point Armies for Maurice.

Well here we go. The first army for consideration is Russian.

Immediately you will see I have two "Austrian stand-ins" as I await reinforcements from NorthStar (they are having a Crusader Miniatures sale through the end of may). 
The army has the following configuration:
Grenadiers     Elite         1 unit
Musketeers    Trained     6 units
Musketeers    Conscript   2 unit
Cuirassiers     Elite         3 units
Artillery                        2 units
National Characteristics
Steady Lads
The unit ratio is 9 units infantry to 3 units cavalry; so the 3:1 ratio requirement is met and my army's principle arm  is infantry. For National Characteristics; Steady Lads and Clerics are pick and paid for. I need to find some religious types I can modify to become Russian Orthodox priests. If not, I'll probably make up some markers with religious iconography and use those. I also have drawn two Notables for the army.

Due to his high rank, Filip Koreczki needs to be assign to one of the Elite Cuirassier units. Katzenov will earn his salt the first time my opponent "changes" the battlefield by adding disordering terrain,. Ah Ha!

So here is the army from it's right side.

And again from the left side

Next I'll present the Prussian army in detail and then prepare for my first fight of the rules. The Lite version has been played a few times and was very enjoyable, so, I'm looking forward to "road testing" the full version soon.

Reviewing 100 Point Armies for Maurice (pt 2)

The second amy up for a look is my Prussians. These are mostly a mix of RSM and Foundry. The empty trays represent a yet to be painted grenadier unit which will be replaced, temporarily for the battle, by one Conscript Fusilier and one Trained Musketeer units.

The Prussian configuration is as follows:
Grenadiers            Elites          2 units   (one replaced by 1 Cons. Fusilier + 1 Train. Musketeer)
Musketeers           Trained        4 units
Fusiliers               Conscript     3 units
Cuirassiers            Elite           1 unit
Cuirassiers            Trained       1 unit
Dragoons              Trained       1 unit
Artillery                                 3 units
National Characteristics
Lethal Volleys
The present unit ratio is 9 units infantry to 3 units cavalry; so the 3:1 ratio requirement is met and my army's principle arm  is infantry. I'll need to paint one more Fusilier unit and one Grenadier to complete my target army. In the meantime I can run the extra Fusilier and Musketeer unit mentioned above.
I choose Cadence and Lethal Volleys as national Characteristics because they fit my idea of a Prussian army's training. Like the Russians above, the Prussians also have two Notables to "accommodate" (smiles).

So, here is the Prussian army from the left side;

And, here is the Prussian force form the right side, please excuse the empty trays:

To finish the viewing, a close-up of Prince von Preussen Cuirassiers Regiment

Well then, I just need a free afternoon to commit the troops to battle. Looks like it may rain Thursday or Friday. Yard work will grind to a halt giving me the time needed for the fight.
So a battle report next weekend. Stay tuned.