Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On the other side of the hill

Stand to...

"Nothing ever happens around here!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Out in the Park

Trotting out on a summer's eve, General Felix Von Hentsch has been reviewing the odd parade, in order to keep the troops sharp. With his entourage of bickering brigade commanders and nondescript hangers-on in tow, he's been reviewing the army's artillery park.

Certainly the field pieces make a nice show, lined up for inspection and review. The Luftberg army commander can at least reassure himself that his force can assemble a fearsome grand battery if required.

Away from such pleasing dalliances however, a short ride out to the front lines will reveal that the enemy are not far distant. Felix has resolved that he shall be giving the scoundrels of Aschenbach a sound beating if the opportunity presents, and now it has. The defensive lines are obviously not continuous, as unbroken trench-lines are for close sieges only. No gallant army would hide in such works in the open field!

A short distance away, on the forward slopes of a gently wooded hill, the Aschenbach army has built a small redoubt. It's a strong position, but isolated from the rest of the army and unlikely to receive swift reinforcement if attacked with vigour. Thought to hold about two regiments, Felix has resolved to throw double that number against them. The regiments are already picked in his mind, and soon they shall launch a surprise dawn raid to overturn the works and threaten the Aschenbach line with being turned if they don't fall back immediately and humiliatingly.

A scheme with no drawbacks! Granted, some of the actual troops required to charge into the cannon's mouth may not share that opinion, but they're no doubt comforted by the knowledge that their personal sacrifice will be Luftberg's gain. After all, what Electorate ever rose to greatness without sacrifice from the lower orders? It's the natural way of things!

In the meantime, double the grog ration, fix bayonets, and remove flints - just to motivate the boys to do the business with cold steel!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Back on Campaign

Time to get back to the campaign between Aschenbach and Luftberg, who are currently contesting the province of Spitzplatz. As readers with long memories will recall, recent events have been mixed for both sides. The general of the Luftberg army, Felix von Hentsch, was caught by a surprise attack while near the capital city of Spitzburg, and defeated after the battle of Passditz. However fortune was quick to redress things, as the Aschenbach pursuit was deflected by the rearguard under Tobias Ludwig, the great-nephew of the Tradgardland duke and general-for-hire extraordinaire. Not only was the Luftberg retreat called up short, but the much-feared Erich von Kleintrink, hard-driving commander of the Aschenbach cavalry, was removed from action by a grievous injury to his leg.

So, now the two armies have halted a short distance east of the capital city, no doubt engaged in much spade-work, and are now glowering at each other. Here's the old map of the situation.
And here, in a re-jigged format, is the new one of the same thing.

The close-up of the central area, viewed here looking to the north-west. Aschenbach controls the city of Spitzburg, but has the river Spitzwasser to his rear. Each army is hard against the tributary Rotenwasser to guard it's northern flank.

Felix von Hentsch can now reflect on his next move. Forced to live in a tent with only seven wagon-loads of personal effects and only two of his mistresses for company, camp-life has clearly lost it's charms. But with his supply lines exposed to an enely army on this side of the Spitzwasser, he can't just march off until the foe opposite him is dealt with. He has two real options. To maintain the 'digging offensive' he could rely on his superior numbers to slowly stretch the fortified line south and west, extending it until either the Aschenbach army is outflanked or compelled to fall back to a tiny bridgehead in the city itself...

Or, if he wants, he can despatch his lighter raiding troops northward by building some pontoons over the Rotenwasser. The catch is that the Aschenbach foe will simply do likewise, if they have access to the riverbank. A first move could however be a sharp rap against the Aschenbach defences, to drive him slightly backwards until he was across from the swampy marshland at the river junction. Then, Felix's northward move would be free to roam as it pleased, with the bluecoats pinned helplessly at the capital. Whatever he decides, he'd better make up his mind soon, as things are serious - he's down to his last three crates of champagne.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


As I mentioned in my comment back to Jeff in the last blog entry (I’m trying to respond to every comment, so you’ll always get something back from now on!) I have finally knocked a big chunk off the ‘to do’ pile by completing all my Luftberg infantry! One regiment of Grenadiers, one of Croats, and ten (ten!) of line infantry, all based and done! I’m one pretty pleased wargamer, I can tell you!

So, as I dash on to knock off the remaining cavalry (5 figures a base – seems like a breeze after the 12-figures-a-base infantry!) I wanted to put something on the blog to keep folk engaged. Yes, I do care about all my bloglodytes (to coin a phrase - at least as far as I'm aware.)

As with most wargamers, I have a regular itch to make my own versions of rules, typically quick-play ones. I recently filled in an idle hour bashing out a quick set of 18th-Century DBA variant rules. If you know the general DBA-esque setup, this’ll all be very familiar. Nonetheless, have a look and see what you think:

Unit: Move/Range Combat Mod vs. Inf/Mounted

Infantry 2”/2” +3/+4

Cuirassiers 3”/0 +3/+4

Dragoons 4”/0 +3

Hussars 5”/0 +1/+2

Skirmishers 3”/2” +2

Artillery 2”/6” +3

Guards/Grenadiers can add +1 to all combat mods.

Skirmishers ignore terrain effects, all others double costs to cross/enter.

Artillery cannot move and fire in the same turn.

Artillery add +1 combat mod if firing at a target within half-range (3”)

All Luftberg (ie, Austrian) infantry units can only move straight ahead or wheel, while Aschenbach (ie, Prussian) infantry can move obliquely.

For combat, roll a dice each, add mods and compare. Minor loss is less than enemy but more than half, major loss is less than half enemy.

The results are:

Recoil = move back one base depth, facing same way.

Repulse = recoil, then turn around and make 1 full move rearwards.

Rout = Repulse, and rally next turn with 2PIPs. If not rallied, removed.

Destroyed = remove from game.

Cuirassiers who win must make a follow-up move of 1 base-depth straight ahead.


INFANTRY Routed by mounted contact in the open, repulsed if flanked, else recoil.


DRAGOONS recoil in close combat, repulse against fire.

HUSSARS repulse

SKIRMISHERS recoil vs. fire, routed by mounted contact, else repulse.

ARTILLERY destroyed by mounted contact, repulsed by foot in close combat, else recoil.


INFANTRY repulsed by skirmishers, destroyed by mounted in open, else rout.

CUIRASSIERS routed by infantry in contact or by fire, else destroyed.

DRAGOONS routed by infantry in contact or by fire, else destroyed.

HUSSARS destroyed by any mounted in contact, else rout.

SKIRMISHERS repulsed by fire, destroyed my any mounted contact in open, else recoil.

ARTILLERY destroyed by any contact, repulsed by fire.

And there you go! I’ve tried to generally keep things simple and so have made some sweeping pronouncements to simplify, but I think it should overall get the ‘feel’ of it. I’d be curious to know what others think of it, so feel free to stick on a comment with any (constructive) criticism!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An inkling of progress

The other night, I had the place to myself and took the opportunity to haul out all my stored Luftberg miniatures, covered the dining room table with them, and had a massive ‘stock take.’ It was actually pretty encouraging, as the full look of the army was clearly starting to take shape. Worryingly, it took up the full length of the table, but that just seemed cool to me - this is genuinely the biggest wargames force I've ever owned! I’ve not taken any photos, as I plan to hold a full review parade once the painting is done, and post liberally from that!

Two rough ‘milestones’ are drawing close. The first is the completion of the entire Luftberg army, which only requires a determined burst of cavalry-painting to finish. The second is the basing of some new Aschenbach infantry, which would give me a 12-base force of suitable composition. This would mean I could field a DBA battle between the sides again, and at least progress the campaign a little. It’s not with my typical Might & Reason rules, but certainly it should give some decent fights to post.

Right – I’m off to buff some tricornes. I just wanted to post and let you all know that big things are at least soon on the way!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to Base-ics

Hi y'all, it's just a quick update today, as I'm taking a break from painting Aschenbach uniforms to post a quick technical update. In the last post I railed against Essex Miniatures' teeny bases, but the very effort of moaning about it made me dwell on it long enough to come up with a solution. This took about 10 seconds to figure out though, which probably means I should keep my mouth shut about complaints in future, but there you go!

Basically, a small 10mm x 10mm bit of thin card is snipped out and glued to the base, so instead of the model trying to balance on a small base, I've a small base trying to balance on the model - much easier! Now they're stable enough to stand alone, and I can also glue them directly onto their large MDF 60mm x 30mm final bases much easier, and without all the colour-bearers experiencing a strange height-gain next to all their fellows!

Painting continues, and with a bit of luck, I may soon be at least able to field a DBA-sized force from the finished bases. Better than nothing!