Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Battle at Neukatzberg – Camp before battle

A whole month of development, background, and horrible, shameful, peace. Time for a battle, and here we have one! I’ve been eager for some time to try out the Might & Reason rules set with the armies of Aschenbach and Luftberg, and now I’ve had a chance to do so. I decided a one-off battle to try out the system was in order. I pressed every available figure into action, quickly made name labels for all the units and officers, and used makeshift counters & dice as casualty markers. The whole thing was a little bit ad-hoc and unpolished (even taking place on some old carpet tiles for extra space) but as a learning encounter it’s been pretty useful. Over the following sequence of posts, I’ll recount the battle.

In the campaign setting, the first year has gone uneventfully for the characters – nobody died, nobody had kids, etc. I’m actually glad there were no mass deaths or anything, so obviously my Excel spreadsheet for randomly calculating deaths etc. has some worth to it. :-)

Anyway, I decided after some deliberation to begin in the thick of the action, with a border skirmish already underway between the two states. From the map, the province of the Von Zaub family are the obvious friction point, being the buffer state between the two. It’s aligned with the Aschenbach ruling house, so the calculating Elector Ulrich Von Luftberg has marched in at the head of his army to take possession. As the old king Otto of Aschenbach is far past feats of arms, his regent Gerdt von Krumper will lead out the Aschenbach army to counter them.

Using the Might & Reason system the two armies drew near and began their battle in the afternoon, which I thought might restrict the time available but actually turned out fine. The ground was generally open and flat, with some streams, villages and woods on the fringes of the action. The Luftberg army drew up in traditional style and anchored it’s right flank on the large woods stuffed with Croats for protection. With this flank guarded, the bulk of the cavalry was placed on the open left flank to counter the likely Aschenbach attack. Infantry formed up the main line in the centre, with cannon on their flanks and the Grenadiers held back in reserve to stop any enemy breakthrough. The Elector Ulrich was the army commander (naturally) while the admirable figure of Conrad v. Hentsch commanded one of the Infantry forces.

Over in the approaching Aschenbach army, General von Krumper had determined on a straight oblique attack in the traditional style, hitting the Luftberg left flank and refusing the side of the battlefield with the irregular-infested woods. The middle aged Hans von Zaub was at the head of his guards regiment, who – along with the Hirschburger grenadiers – would provide the punching power of the attack. The Graf Erich von Kleintrink was put in charge of a cavalry force, but through rolling for sub-commanders’ profiles he seemed to match best with the commander for the smaller cavalry force on the refused flank – so it turned out that a relative nobody led the breakthrough cavalry wing while the Graf sat fuming on the ‘quiet’ flank. At least, that was all the theory…

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