Monday, November 2, 2009

Approach to Froschbach

The blog has halted recently due to that troublesome 'real world' getting in the way once more. I recently managed to hurt some muscle in my neck, which gave me a painful 'lean' for a few days with my head cocked to one side, and this brought pretty much all hobby activity to a standstill until it wore off.
In games-land, I have managed to paint up around two thirds of my figures, when in a sudden 'flash of inspiration' made me realise that I could fight a 50% scale Might & Reason battle between the full armies for the first time in about a year! Each unit has two bases in M&R, but by just using one base per unit and halving all distances I was pretty much set to go! The battle has been fought out and - following the pause for recuperation - now completed, so my plan is to blog the battle and post photos over the next few days of the week.
Following his failed attempt to push the Aschenbach army back, Felix von Hentsch has revealed he is at least present in strength. For the Aschenbach army commander Gerdt Von Krumper, this means a chance to sieze the initiative and strike! A flanking march round the southern flank with virtually the entire army will avoid the fortified lines of each side, and bring on an open battle. The disadvantage is all the Luftberg cavalry is watching the southern flank, so any attack will not be a surprise and most likely will meet a fully drawn up Luftberg defence.

The scene for the confrontation turns out to be this scene of bucolic bliss:

The small village of Froschbach, nestled in behind some peaceful rolling hills and with a little stream meandering down a shallow valley. Hills in the west and east have little re-entrants on their slopes, plus some woods top the hill to the west. The northern area of the field affords Luftberg a flat, open plain for deployment.
Due to the circumstances that brought the battle about, namely the flanking of the fortifications mentioned before, I've added a few 'setup conditions' to the defenders, quite arbitrarily. First, their right/west flank can have a redoubt, but facing away from the developing attack. If they have to form a new line outside their works, then it makes sense for them to at least anchor it on a strong redoubt, like a pivot. It won't be facing the attack, but it will at least defend against any flanking moves.
Next, the cavalry will have been skirmishing and slowing the Aschenbach advance, so it will be required to assemble together as one mass on the left/east flank, having presumably drawn aside like a matador's cape to reveal the white infantry lines awaiting.
Last, two infantry regiments are presumed to be 'late arrivals' on the field, to represent Felix von Hentsch's understandable reluctance to completely abandon his fortified lines until he's sure that this flanking move isn't a probe, but a full-blown assault.
The infantry line is drawn up in the customary double-line manner which worked so well at Vogelhof, and nearly worked at Passditz. In fact, by placing the Croats forward and occupying the village of Froschbach, the right side of the line isn't too likely to be threatened. There's even scope to increase depth to three regiments on the left, in preparation for the Aschenbach oblique flanking attack. There's no foe like a predictable foe!
So, over on the other side of the field, what does Von Krumper have up his sleeve? Will he attack the left, centre or right? Well, he doesn't know too much about the enemy dispositions, but he does know that the stream running up the field splits him neatly into two. Either he tries to straddle it, or commits entirely to one side. The western side seems to offer nothing but hilly terrain, redoubts, and fortified villages - hardly appealing! The east is more open, but the cavalry situation here is awful. Hi sown troopers will be numerically outnumbered by two to one, although they are of higher quality. Also, following the injury of the great Von Kleintrink, can the Aschenbach cavalry recapture the old magic?
The new man, hand-picked by the military-minded king and general, is a General Von Hartling. Competent and active, he should be a worthy successor - not least because of his reputation for swashbuckling bravery, hardly a drawback in a cavalryman! Nonetheless, he's untried in command, and betting the success of the attack on his ability to overcome the odds seems a bit risky. So, with each flank rejected the choice is clear - the centre! The army will advance with it's left flank secured on the boggy stream, the right flank refused and guarded by the cavalry, while the centre, led by the grenadiers themselves, breaks the enemy army in two!
It's a plan with just enough of a crazy chance to work. Send out the orders - we attack tomorrow, under cover of daylight!


Fitz-Badger said...

Looks like a promising start. Looking forward to the report (and pics!)! :)
I applaud your use of the forces at your command to fight a reduced scale battle! Being able to get the minis you have into action sooner is a good thing and may help motivate your painting. At least it's a nice break from painting, eh? :)

CWT said...

Quite right, Fitz! I've made huge strides forward with my painting, but at the cost of total exhaustion - a game is long overdue to relax with!

Cheers, and I hope you enjoy the reports!