Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Battle at Neukatzberg - Part 1

In the early afternoon, the Aschenbach army began to roll forward towards the waiting Luftberg army. As an unfortunate sign of the inexperience of all concerned, there was a breakdown of communication as the left of the infantry line began lagging behind [failed a command test to became ‘inactive’ and, through my unfamiliarity with the rules, deployed into line far too early!] The cavalry however began forging gamely ahead, including the left-flank cavalry which moved to it’s correct location but was now in advance of the army and within range of the Luftbergers.

Once the Aschenbach forces had pulled into range, the Elector Von Luftberg ordered his cavalry to attack on both flanks. The result however was a disaster, and the Luftberg horse was swept off the field by it’s opposite number [again down to my inexperience with the rules – cavalry have no resilience if you compete on reasonably even terms and then roll poorly! The Luftberg cavalry made no attempt at flanking etc. and merely crashed head-on into cavalry that had a slight qualitative edge on them to start with.] After this disaster, the Luftberg right was wide open and the left had only the reserve cavalry force under the general La Spezia to hold off their triumphant foes.

Cavalry fighting on the Aschenbach left - it's about to go very wrong...

A sketch-map of the battlefield layout

The Aschenbach infantry rolled forward to try and not get left too far behind, even their line was now squint from the left lagging behind. The cavalry on the right chased down survivors and some dragoons overran a battery of cannons on the flank of the Luftberg infantry line. At this, the Luftberg cavalry reserve sensed an easy kill and descended on the isolated Dragoons that had advanced ahead of the rest. The Elector also ordered his infantry line to roll forward, and he refused his right to counter the Aschenbach cavalry now threatening there.

Follow-up moves as the battle develops

Incredibly the single dragoon regiment didn’t evade but managed to hold off the swarming mass of attacking horsemen. Seeing the enemy infantry approach led to the Aschenbach soldiers formed into line, with the elite grenadiers and Foot-Guards slightly in advance of the rest. The Luftbergers promptly advanced on and began firing. Amazingly, IR Doppler (Luftberg IR No. 2) took on the Grenadiers and rolled three ‘6’es in a spectacular display of musketry! The fearsome Hirschburger Grenadiers were staggered and lost half of their strength in the face of this (admittedly uncharacteristic) display of firing efficiency. All the same however, the qualitative superiority of Aschenbach fire began to tell as the lines went toe-to-toe.

The Aschenbach grenadiers find they've had better days...

The firefight develops...

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