Thursday, October 16, 2008
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!
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!