Today is something of a significant date in the Blog's history. To the best of my reckoning, this is about 1 year ago from when I resolved to carry out my big 'expansion' project. About 3 months ago I suddenly threw myself into painting and basing when I realised today was imminent, hoping to have it all done. I thought success was unlikely, but I wanted the spur to keep me active. The result is - exactly what I wanted!
From having about a third done, a third partially painted, and a third untouched, I have made huge bounds forward over the last few months. Now, how did I do? Out of a grand total of 74 bases across the two armies, I have 56 completed bases and just 18 still to do - 75% completed! Considering most of the completed ones are the 'heavier' infantry bases with a dozen figures compared to the cavalry's five, that's pretty good going. In fact, if I had abandoned the blog and not fought the battles over that redoubt and the monster clash at Froschbach, I could plausibly have managed the target! Proof that all painters should set achievable targets to encourage themselves along - I strongly, strongly recommend it!
After all that, how have things fared in games-world? Well, Aschenbach have yet again won a battle in the open field. The cavalry proved itself able (with some careful handling and some infantry support) of taking on double it;s own numbers. Things looked like the army was about to be overwhelmed by the size of the enemy, but the superior Aschenbach firepower in the Might & Reason Rules came to the rescue. That was the first time I think I've seen Grenadiers at work in full strength, and in the open - and it's alarming! They were chewing through enemy infantry regiments with virtually no damage in return. To put it in perspective, the standard Luftberg infantry unit has 6SP's (strength points) while the Grenadiers have 8SP's - and in fire they effectively double it, making the contest 16 to 6. They can very nearly take on three-to-one odds!
The only moment of brilliance for Luftberg arms is the dubious advance by General Ludwig into the boggy stream, which saw an infantry regiment effectively wrecked in exchange for flanking fire onto the Grenadiers, which did at least do some damage to the giants. No doubt Ludwig will maintain this was just the sort of long-odds stuff needed to save the day, although his rivals in the army will argue it's just proof of his immaturity and evidence of why he shouldn't have been promoted over them, dammit.
Poor General Felix Von Hentsch! Beaten twice in the field, the war is not doing his military prestige any good. Can he possibly tolerate a rival in Ludwig, even as he needs him now? The Elector Ulrich Von Luftberg (Victor of Vogelhof, etc. etc.) must be sharing the pain of the Empress Maria Theresa, railing against competent-but-uninspired commanders that keep on losing to the bluecoats after respectable performances. They're such a tough army to beat!
Looking over my records from the battle, I decided to follow the M&R post-battle process, and discovered that the Luftberg army only narrowly had enough hussars and light troopers to stave off a pursuit that would've resulted in a major defeat - close one! Totting up the casualties and rolling for recovery, Aschenbach had a few units reduced for the remainder of the campaign, and lost an artillery battery - thanks to the Luftberg Cuirassiers running down the crews. The Luftberg army is in far worse shape. An artillery battery, a regiment of hussars, one of Cuirassiers, two of Dragoons and FOUR of Infantry have been wrecked, depleted so far that the survivors can only be dispersed to strengthen other regiments, while the remaining cadres are ordered back to Luftberg to refit and replenish with new recruits. Terrible!
So, what does this mean on the campaign? It's unlikely that Luftberg can take on anything but a fragment of the enemy army in the field, but can Felix suddenly execute a kind of klein-krieg low-intensity war to thwart Aschenbach and save the day?