Thursday, October 16, 2008

Victory!



Wow, I was worried about not getting any comments back, but happily a good clutch of readers felt rightly welcome to chip in some advice. My only regret is that I didn’t seek advice earlier, when it might’ve done the defenders some decisive good! Ah well, maybe in the next campaign…

Following the unanimous vote, historical convention has been followed and a polite call for surrender has been politely accepted, with the remains of the Aschenbach army has been permitted to march out of the breach with bands playing, retain it’s colours, and leave the province.

So, the siege is at an end. I’d put a bit more attention into how to attack a fortress rather than defend one, purely for practical reasons, so tough luck to the Aschenbach troops for having to bear the brunt of this learning process! Looking back on it, the garrison seems terribly inert. Firing on the trench-works proved terribly draining on the attackers, but not decisive when they had a five-to-one superiority.

I think the first big mistake was the giant 8-base sortie launched early in the siege, which for the gain of 2 days cost the defender around a fifth of his total strength. Perhaps it shows the steepness of the defenders’ learning curve that it seemed like a good result at the time(!) and by later in the siege, more spectacular delays were accomplished with sorties of just 2 or 3 bases.

The other big shocker was the effectiveness of howitzers and mortars. Perhaps surprisingly for someone who so liked the 1992 film of ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ it never occurred to me just how effective they would be. If I’d known, I’d not have given the Luftberg army so many batteries of them, which turned the final artillery duels into a spectacularly one-sided affair. By the stage the danger they posed was clear, the defenders hadn’t the strength to attack the batteries and wreck the pieces. If they’d been more alert they could have countermined them and blown them sky-high. Infuriatingly, this very measure was actually suggested mid-siege in a comment by Frankfurter of Frankszonia, but utterly forgotten about when I was actually playing out the game (If only von Krumper had been listening a bit closer!)

Ultimately I’m happy with how the game played out. I think I learned a lot from it all about the ‘ins and outs’ of attacking and defending a fortress, and some features which weren’t clear to me before seem a bit more understandable – as a learning process, I’d really recommend it!

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So, the campaign for the Zaub provincial lands have ended, after occupying my gaming time since I started it back in mid-july. Thanks to absolutely everybody who has commented on it in that time, as I really don’t believe it would’ve been successfully completed without the encouraging words I’ve been regularly receiving!

All of Luftberg is in an uproar of celebration, following on from the peace treaty. The Zaub provinces are now ceded to Luftberg who has won a decisive victory. The Aschenbach borders now no longer lie secure on the Rhine river, and the newly-annexed provinces are poised like a dagger at the old enemy’s heartlands. The Elector Ulrich Von Luftberg has now risen to new heights of fame, wealth and glory!

8 comments:

Jerry said...

If you get into another siege, you might try using one of your readers to play the defending forces.

They could formulate a defensive plan and make necessary adjustments along the way. Might be more interesting for you.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Jerry has a good idea there.

I know that Murdock ( http://murdocksmarauders.blogspot.com/ ) has been interested in sieges . . . maybe he'd like to do it (if his Napoleonic project hasn't gobbled up all of his free time).


-- Jeff

Martin said...

So now that Elector Ulrich has taken the city, he gets to try to hold onto it, and incorporate it into his "sphere of influence". There are lots of back-story plots available. Who will he appoint as Governor - a sympathic, good-hearted soul, or a hard case that is determined to squeeze every thaler that comes his way? Will the general population remain restive under their new masters, or will their "old alliegences" result in a boiling underground movement of fifth column activies? Hummmm.....

Yours,

Martin

abdul666 said...

A very enjoyable series of reports of what, I'm sure, was a very enjoyable game: compliments!
Jerry's suggestion is interesting, as are Martin's 'role playing' ones.
Looking forward for more.
Jean-Louis

A J Matthews said...

I second the sentiments, a very interesting series of reports and a pattern for those of us who will carry out seige operations on the tabletop in future.

Fitz-Badger said...

I, too, have enjoyed following along with this siege series. Some interesting ides here. I may ask for input from readers myself when I get around to some battles.

Frankfurter said...

I of course liked the Festung Krieg supplement for Koenig Krieg.
And I've played some of my best games there ...
Yes, one needs to wait until the batteries are in range of a fast move before making a sally ... unless you're attacking in support of some sort of relief force.
Also, there was a point during the initial development of the third parallel in which it seemed to me that a counter sap by the defenders would have been greatly productive.
Another device which I like is the use of retrenchments and bomb proofs behind the ravelin and in the ravelin and bastions when they're initially breached ...

A point to remember, however, if the attacker has sufficient force and given time ... every fortress will eventually fall.

:)
Arthur

CWT said...

Hi everyone. Glad you liked things. I'm currently gearing up for the next campaign, and organising what's going to be happening. I'll also post a few details shortly on the rules I used for the siege, so anybody else can take them for use/adaptation if they fancy a shot.

C