Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Taurenwald Aftermath

Before the end of the year kicks off and hobby-time falls away, I just wanted to post about the results of the recent battle of Taurenwald. I played it out with the rules-set 'Table Top Battles' by Mike and Joyce Smith, and a lot of fun it was too. Not as 'serious' as the usual Might & Reason rules I use, but just as much fun, and probably concluded in about a third of the time!

So, the Luftberg attack is beaten back, but each army comes unstrung. Clearly, unless each army annihilated itself, the units destroyed in the battle are routed rather than dead, so we can check for rercovering them. Lacking any system, I decided on a straight D6 dice roll of 4+ to recover them. However, the strategic situation is a bit different for the protagonists. Luftberg is fighting with it's main supply dunp barely a few miles back down the road, while Aschenbach is deep in wooded territory with a long road, a pillaged city, a river, and a range of hills between it and home-base. It seems far likelier for Luftberg troops to be regrouped quickly after the battle, so I gave their roll a +1 modifier. Aschenbach soldiers, being far likelier to go 'missing' on the long trek back to a rallying point, got a corresponding -1 modifier.

The results of the rolls (once per regiment destroyed) produced the following armies ready for continuing the campaigh:

Luftberg: 6 Infantry, 1 Croat, 1 Dragoon, 1 Hussar, 1 Artillery.

So, not too bad for Luftberg...

Aschenbach: 1 Grenadier, 3 Infantry, 1 Cuirassier, 1 Dragoon, 1 Artillery.

Hm, Aschenbach maintains it's quality, but is painfully outnumbered. Looks like fighting various skirmishes and three pitched battles is a bit harder to recover from, when you've the smaller army!

If it was a pitched battle, then maybe it could be fought out again - except there's no chance of that. Luftberg are safely locked up tight in their fortress of Blinzburg, ready for a siege. Aschenbach have to besiege a force who outnumbers them 3:2 in infantry, in deeply wooded country while the enemy has irregular light troops to raise havoc in their rear. It can't be done! So, it looks like the campaign in the province of Spitzplatz is coming to an end, militarily a stalemate while the diplomats agree negotiation terms. We'll have to see what they come up with in the new year, when doubtless the armies will find themselves launching into some new campaign over a tiny province. For now though, it looks like a peaceful christmas - Happy holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taurenwald, Part 2

Felix von Hentsch's attack gets off to a less than brilliant start when the lines clash, and the Aschenbach counterattack through Taurenwald village blasts his centre apart. Damned cowards fled like a bunch of old women!

Von Hentsch pulls his remaining infantry regiment back into the protection of the woods, plus his cavalry begin to pressure the enemy flank. Meanwhile, the smug General Von Krumper preens himself in the wrecked village.

Over with the left column, General Tobias Ludwig shows how it should be done. Giving ground in the face of the enemy line, he works on the flanks. The Croats send one regiment reeling, the cavalry force the Grenadiers to halt and turn away, while the last remaining regiment quickly learns what it means to take on 4:1 odds!

Back on the right, the Aschenbach infantry find it just as hard to take on a defended piece of terrain. One infantry regiment is scattered by Luftberg artillery fire, while the other collapses after being fired on by invisible opponents in the woods. The Cuirassiers flee, and General Von Krumper realises the village is about to change hands for the third time.

On the left, Ludwig presses on, but the roused camps continue to produce more regiments belatedly forming to fight. His cavalry vanguard crashes headlong into the U-shaped enemy line, with his infantry following on behind.

Ludwig's cavalry get routed, but the two lines meet with one slight advantage - he's got more cavalry on the flank. Over on the right, Von Hentsch has occupied Taurenwald with his last infantry and his cavalry now push depeer into the enemy's old camp, finding more and more Aschenbach horsemen beginning to oppose them.

A terrible run of luck hist the Luftberg troops! The infantry going into Taurenwald are rapidly bombarded into a chaotic mob by the waiting Aschenbach batteries, the Croats are finally routed out of the central wood when Von Zaub manages to spare a regular regiment to clear them out, then the left-most regiment under Ludwig is destroyed by hostile fire!
And then it gets worse! Ludwig's cavalry ride down the Aschenbach flank regiment, but then his last two infantry regiments are hit by the Grenadier-fronted Aschenbach line, and flee the field in chaos!

Similar disaster on the right! Von Hentsch's cavalry are outnumbered and scattered, being broken up piecemeal by the continually reinforced Aschenbach line. Time to admit defeat, and retreat. All the damage that can be done, has been done.

So, a victory for Aschenbach again, but what manner of one? Von Hentsch's surprise attack has similarly wrecked both armies. The difference being, that Luftberg is right on the doorstep of it's main supply-base city, while the less numerous Aschenbach troops are at the end of a long and tenuous supply line. A few more such Aschenbach victories and they will be ruined!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Taurenwald, Part 1

The Peaceful camp of neat, white tents along the roadside - and then, in the pre-dawn darkness, the Luftberg army attacks in two columns from the south!

General Felix Von Hentsch oversees the right column, which hits the village of Taurenwald and scatters the unprepared defenders. The Aschenbach army raises the alarm and rushes to form it's ranks.

The scant regiments of infantry available form a line and rush back in a daring counterattack, retaking the village before the Luftberg line can advance. Outflanked by cavalry and Croats in the woods, can they hold it?

The left column, led by General Tobias Ludwig, shakes itself out into line, but is rapidly halted. The Aschenbach general Zaub has responded quickly, forming three regiments and rushing them forward obliquely to protect the disorganised camps.

It looks good, as the Luftberg line retreats slightly and reforms - but those Croats in the centre and the cavalry on the flank are a risk. Especially when the Aschenbach line's own hussars are ridden down by their heavier and more numerous enemies.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

March to Battle

Following the battle of Froschbach, the remaining armies are of virtually identical size. What with Aschenbach's superior discipline and leadership, this should mean they have the edge. What can General Felix Von Hentsch do to ofset this? After much head-scratching and pondering to harpsichord music, there appear to be two options: entrench and fight from behind several feet of earthworks, or launch a surprise attack to negate the enemy advantage.
Aschenbach is marching back across the countryside and then rejoining the road to Blinzburg, the Luftberg source of supply into the province. With it's fall, Aschenbach can dictate peace terms. With the Luftberg army reformed and steadied by Von Hentsch's firm disciplinary hand, they have reassembled at their depot near the Rotenwasser bridge. Initial plans for a dispersed and low-intensity war of raiding parties have been abandoned, in the light of Blinzburg coming under threat. Taking the southern road, the Luftberg army has further to cover but makes better time, getting between the enemy and the city. A few miles short of the city, in the woodland surrounding it, the Aschenbach army encounters the Luftberg outposts and realises it's opponent is present for a fight. The critical battle, in fact - neither side can carry on the war if they take heavy losses.
They pitch camp, expecting to have to attack a defended position the next day. Because of this assumption, they make no camp defences of their own. The cunning Von Hentsch orders a dawn attack on the unsuspecting enemy, planning to rudely interrupt their dreams of a battle in the morning, and dinner in Blinzburg. He'll oblige them on the former at least, and on the latter only as his prisoners!