Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Party Is Ruined

Date: 2-4 December 1760 (2010)
Location: Frankfurt Am Main, Frankzonia, Germania
Situation: Lady Pettygree's Entourage Enters The City
Lt. Col. Enigma: "Don't double click photos to see better. If YOU do, your next vacation will be in The Bastille!"
On 2 December 1760 (2010) an expectant and cheerful Gallian entourage approaches the Water Gate of Frankfurt Am Main. Our familiar characters are:

Lady Diana Pettygree (blue) Lady Cherish Masquerade (pink), Maid Katherine (holding tricornered hat) and Lady Belle Silhouette (busby) passing through the gate.

They enter the superb town square stylishly laid out by host Randy F. The ever-resolute Lt. Colonel Enigma leads the way brandishing a loaded flintlock pistol. He always suspects trouble. Lady Pettygree is unseen.

Oh. There she is on the grey. Lady Belle Silhouette rises in the saddle to see better, Katherine again attempts to maintain her tricornered hat while Lady Cherish Masquerade eyes citizens in her way. Enigma, well, Enigma....

The next day, 3 December 1760 (2010) Lady Belle Silhouette arrives to inspect her hussars. At the moment they are practicing loading drill. Later today they will guard party goers at a ball.

That evening, the entourage rides to l'Maison Fryegoumont for a party. It will span the last hours of the day passing into the morning hours of the 4th instant. Lt. Col. Enigma is suspicious of several unusual guards. Naturally.

South of the city a piquet line of Fischer Chasseurs a Cheval stand guard. Flanking them off screen  left and right are bodies of Fischer fusiliers. All have been aroused by the appearance of numerous enemy forces boiling over onto the fields before them. There is no way to stop them. The three piquets fall back taking heavy losses.

See for yourselves why! Audacity and speed are apparently orders for the foe.

They are unstoppable. Some cross the stone wall of l'Maison Freyegoumont. The Lanciers de Saxe saddle up and receive fire. They will soon charge into oblivion to save the revelers mounting up in front of the main door of the chateau. Time and right decisions are critical for everyone! Will anyone get away? Doubtful.

Lady Belle Silhouette's guards form up and load their carbines on the chateau balcony. They will give covering fire in a moment.

While the entourage makes an escape. Success!  But....NO!

They are suddenly charged by impertinent foes bent on their capture. A series of individual melees are fought. Enigma and a Gallian white coat down three of their assailants. The near white coat fells one before he is knocked to the road. Other foes attempt to grab the reins of the ladies. In some cases the horses kick assailants away. Ouch! Only Maid Katherine's reins are successfully grabbed.

You see the result of the melee. Most escape the clutches of the foe. However,....

Katherine is captured and led away. Why?

Perhaps this unfamiliar woman and her masked desperado associate know why as....

Pandemonium reigns in the town square. Chassuers and partiers reorganize themselves.

As the enemy retires taking prisoners and cattle found scattered about the fields.

1. Our annual Light Troop Game hosted by Randy and Sheryl in DeKalb, IL.
2. Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 (BAR).
3. We were often fighting with units of 12 miniatures or less. You can too.
4. Hesse-Seewald Mission: Capture cattle.
5. Desperado Mission: Capture VIPs; especially Lady Pettygree.
6. Gallians: Bruce, Tom, Randy (Player/Judge) and yours truly, Bill.
7. Hesse-Seewalders and Desperadoes: Jim (Der Alte Fritz) and Keith.
8. Silhouette's female hussar guards are from Hinterland Miniatures. See:
9. We were very happy Randy was able to field most of his Miniature Building Authority structures. Lovely stuff. Have you gone to the MBA website?
10. Randy designed a fun, stimulating, visually appealing and tense game; tense for some of us with personalities to lose! Bravo and applause Randy! Thank you Sheryl for the terrific chow and cheerful hospitality.

11. Postscript Photos For Fun!
(The Grey) Express: "That Germanian ruffian flew through the air when I kicked him!"
(The Bay) Siren: Oui! And the one I kicked down crashed into another!"
Both: Whinny happily with satisfaction.

Siren: I think our mistresses are proud of us, don't you?
Express: Certainment mon ami.

Siren: Do you see what I see?
Express: Oui! Keep cantering my dear. She'll disappear in a moment.

12. Comments welcome below!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bridging The Main River

Date: 29 November 1760 (2010)
Location: Main River
Situation: En-route To Frankfurt Am Main And Elsewhere
Click images two times to enlarge them - a lot.
Gallian forces and personalities are preparing for our annual light troop game. Randy and I raised the entire Legion de Fischer in 2009-2010. My half appears below.
Dismounted Chasseurs A Cheval and a Light 4 Pounder Gun lead The Legion across one of Germania's many streams, in this case The Main River.

Horses are being held near the stream while 1st Battalion sends its chasseurs a pied and grenadiers across. Mounted dragoons wait in the rear.

1/Fischer Dragoons and four divisions of the battalion pause awaiting orders.

Overhead view of the crossing

As the crossing continued two troops of Lanciers de Saxe arrived escorting an entourage from the court of Gallian King Louis XV. They are bound for a party at Frankfut Am Main.

From left to right: Lady Cherish Masquerade, Lady Diana Pettygree, Lady Belle Silhouette and Maid Katherine. Wait! The party slows turning toward the building.

Silhouette: "Diana. Who is that in a mist?"
Masquerade: "Oh no. It is...."
Katherine: "That Old Woman, my ladies. She always warns of trouble and...."
Diana: "Yes. Have a care my dears not to look away lest she disappear before giving us her warning. I...."
That Old Woman: "Bound for Germany thee are. Heed my words. Turn back lest a winter storm overtakes you. The winter, the winter the winter is coming."
Silhouette: "Nonsense! The region is as green as Springtime."

Narrator: A moment later the ladies barely looked away and in that blink of an eye the apparition or whatever they saw vanished - as usual. A search of the house revealed no one home. Silhouette not having experienced this before was the most confounded. The others knew to be on the watch from now on. But for what?
1. Chasseurs A Cheval are Eureka Saxons.
2. Most of 1/Battalion and the Dragoons are Front Rank.
3. Minden Miniatures supplied the workmen I've made into Pontoniers.
4. The 4 Pounder is from Elite Miniatures.
5. Ammo Wagon is probably Hinchliffe.
6. Fischer Chasseurs A Pied are Scrubys.
7. Artillery Crew is from Redoubt.
8. Terrain Guy supplied the terrain covering and custom river. Custom because I asked for sections 3' long to minimize seams.
9. Pontoons and their wagons are probably Miniature Figurines from the 1980s. The pontoons are painted copper color because a source now long forgotten said Saxon or ? were made of copper. The wagons were originally painted for my Saxon Army.
10. Flag Dude flags are fictional. There are no records so I made them up.
11. Your remarks are very welcome below.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Audacity At Lobositz

Date: November 26, 2010
Scenario: 1756 Lobositz
Rules: BLACKPOWDER (pub. 2009)
Venue: Home of Rob O.
Prussians: Rob O. and Joe G.
Austrians: Kurt D. and Bill P. (yours truly)
For a brief account of the battle, you may find this useful:
Images below were taken from the Austrian left where I was posted. Achtung! Double click za images quick!
From the Austrian perspective, the right flank was held by Croat light infantry, the center by infantry and cavalry (shown below) and the left behind the Morellenbach stream by more infantry and cavalry.
The Austrian center was stoutly controlled by two infantry brigades seen here. Note cavalry on the right of the image. We'll come back to them (Saxons) in a moment.

Meanwhile, have a closer look at the infantry.

Austrian Left Flank: Behind the Morellenbach Stream was one kürassier regiment, two six pounder sections, three line and one grenadier battalions. Across the stream are two more regiments of cavalry posted with the Army Center.

Upper Right of Image: Lobosch Hill. Austrian Right Flank defended by Croats.

Top of Image: Joe G. watches Saxon cavalry charge straight into the Prussians. The purpose was to stop, delay or impossibly push the Prussians off the table before they could deploy their weight of numbers.

Bottom of Image: Austrian Grenadiers on the extreme left flank have crossed the Morellenbach Stream to anchor the line at Sullowitz Village.

The first clash of sabers! I was kindly permitted to bring along some of my Saxon cavalry though none were at the historical battle; Rutowski Chevaulegers in red and von Brühl Dragoons in grey, both properly rated as heavy cavalry. The chit behind the Rutowskis represents one casualty taken from an earlier artillery long shot. Kurt commanded the Saxons and won. The Prussians fell back and the Saxons pursued.

The pursuit melee cut deeper into Prussian territory. The purpose was to cause as much mischief, turbulence and wreckage as possible. The Saxons won AGAIN! Back went the Prussians - some off the table and away forever. Others were broken.

However, the Saxons were now spent and overextended. Von Brühl was hit in front and flank and was cut down. The Rutowskis fell back and they too were carried of the table - forever. However....

All the cavalry activity allowed the Austrian Center to advance upon the Prussian Center where battle was joined mid-game. This was the high water mark for the Austrians. After initial contacts the Austrians fell back and time was called.

Closing Remarks:
1. I've had no exposure to Blackpowder before. Kurt thankfully took command while I listened and learned relying on linear game experiences and crossing the Morellenbach Stream.

2. After the first Saxon cavalry clash the question became should we stay put, retire or pursue. Each offered a viable choice. I suggested pursuit so we could penetrate deeper into Prussian territory to disrupt their deployment, weaken other Prussian cavalry and impossibly hope to throw the foe off the table. "Audacity, audacity, always audacity." In the next moment thinking the same as I, Kurt shoved the Saxons forward - happily to their second victory.

3. "In any specific action we always have the choice between the most audacious and the most careful solution. Some people think that the theory of war always advises the latter. That assumption is false. If the theory does advise anything, it is the nature of war to advise the most decisive, that is, the most audacious. Theory leaves it to the military leader; however, to act according to his own courage, according to the spirit of the enterprise and his self-confidence. Make your choice therefore, according to this inner force; but never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity." Carl von Clausewitz, Principles of War 1812 as quoted in Patton, Montgomery, Rommel, Masters of War by Terry Brighton.

4. What of Austrian Left Flank Forces Bill? Well, BP is a command control game. The officer needed to throw 8 or less using 2D6. He failed on most attempts to get the three line battalions across the Morellenbach. The guns and grenadiers did get across.
5. The Prussians also had some command control failures but the audacity of the Saxon cavalry charge was key in keeping them close to their table edge.

6. Who would have won? The Austrian attack was stopped. Survivors were retiring to the rear to take up posts in Lobositz Village and a palisade wall. My Left Flank chaps were finally getting over the Morellenbach in the last two turns - a not inconsiderable force. They would have bunkered down in Sullowitz Village. The Prussians would have been able to attack these positions. Who might have won there? Hard to say.

7. Rob and Kurt have been experimenting with BP for The Nine Year's War and The Mexican American War. They may have tried with one other SYW game.

8. It was good to see many familiar old units from our "Tricorne" days and have an opportunity to have a very good time with Rob, Kurt and Joe. Always lots of laughs. Another good thing! Looking forward to next time.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

KORBACH: 30 OCTOBER 1760/2010


Game #1
Charles Grant's Tabletop Teaser from Battlegames #23.
Cavalry only, fast-moving using 100 cavalry per side.
A 1.5 hour warm-up game before our main event.
No photos.

Almost four decades ago Don Featherstone suggested doing a cavalry only game. What if you don't have enough cavalry? If I remember correctly, Don suggested using cavalrymen from several different time periods. A very useful idea.
Game #2 (Double click all images)
Der Alte (Jim P.) suggested Korbach (fought 10 July 1760) so we could have our British and French tangle in Western Germania. The table was based on the map on page 217 in my first edition of Sir Reginald Savory's, His Britannic Majesty's Army In Germany During The Seven Years War, published in 1966.

A Watch Tower anchored the southern end of the Allied line in 1760 and in 2010. 2/Auvergne advances with shouldered muskets in the upper left while 2/Languedoc and 2/Guyenne (farthest away) approach the tower area. Note Britannian infantry in the tower. Barely discernible far far away a massive cavalry battle rages.

Foreground: 2/Guyenne. Just beyond in red are resplendent Gendarmes. Some of the latter penetrated to the Allied Back Table pursuing and cutting down routing opponents.

Late in the battle, two battalions of Grenadiers de France were committed from The Reserve. The near battalion marched between two separate Gallian batteries. There was insufficient room. As was customary, portions of battalions would pause, turn inward and march behind those not bothered by blocking terrain. The grenadier (near) and picket (far) companies were the ones falling behind on this occasion.
Closing Remarks
1. Rules Batailles de l' Ancien Régime 1740-1763 known as BAR.
2. Miniatures On Table: 1,700 approx.
3. Game Duration 11:30am to 4:30pm with a half hour lunch break. (4.5 hours)
4. Winner: Gallia
5. Tower made by H.G. Walls.
6. I did not take many photographs. Der Alte may post some he took on his blog.
7. To buy BAR and the recent edition of Savory go to the left of this blog finding the heading: Rules And Savory For Sale. To subscribe to Battlegames, click on the address at the upper left of the blog.

595 Infantry (Veteran)
223 Cavalry (Veteran)
52 Pds. Arty. (Veteran)
4x Ammo Wagons

Left (the cavalry flank): Todd

Center: Matt and Jim
Right: John
1st Foot Guards (60)
3rd Foot (60 + 9 grenadiers)
8th Foot (60)
11th Foot (60 +12 grenadiers)
23rd Foot Royal Welsh Fusiliers (30)
42nd foot (60)

44th Foot (66)
46th Foot (72)
60th Foot 54
Converged Grenadiers (52) [From above battalions]
British. Cav. Saving Throws of 3-4-5-6
Other Cav. Saving Throws of 4-5-6
12 Horse Grenadiers
36 regt of Horse
48 Hanoverian Horse
12 3rd Dragoon Guards (not guards).
60 2nd Dragoons Prussians

Hanoverian Luckner's Hussars (7)
Hanoverian Guard du Corps and Horse Gren. (12)
Hanoverian von Breidenbach Dragoons (36)
British: 2x6 Pdrs. (10 crew)
British: 2x6 Pdrs. and 1x12 Pdr.
Hanoverian: 1x 4 Pdr. and 1x 12 Pdr.

600 Infantry (Veteran)
234 Cavalry (Veteran)
56 Pds. Arty. (Veteran)
4x Ammo Wagons

Left: Brent
Center: Bill and George
Right (the cavalry flank): Michael
1/Gren. De France (60)
2/Gren. De France (60)
1/Auvergne (60)
2/Auvergne (60)
2/Guyenne (60
2/Languedoc (60)

Gardes Francais (60)
D’Eu (60)
Buckeley (60)
Grassins (60)

Comm. Général (36) (armoured)
Royals (36) (armoured)
Gendarmes (48) (unarmoured today)
Von Brühl Dragoons (50)
Von Brühl Horse Grenadiers (12)
Grenadiers a Cheval de l’Garde (12)
Lanciers de Saxe (16)
Bercheney Hussars (24)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Two Topics


One of the interesting features of 1762 was the change in alliance by Russia. After Czarina Elizabeth's death, Czar Peter III cancelled the alliance with Austria and joined Prussia. Interesting. The BAR game on the 28th was our first experiment with this.

I took no photos.

This game was a departure from our usual scenario design. Prussians holding rising ground on the Main Table were attacked by superior numbers. They did well holding off the French and Austrians until the Russian Corps arrived on Turn 4 to stabilize the situation. Some said the French and Austrian attackers had the edge at the game end for victory assessment. I'm not so sure.

Russian Michael M. threw two 1D6s before the game. One throw determined the turn of arrival. The second placed the Russians either on the right of left on the Back Table. They arrived on the Prussian left. A little "fog of War" there!

Points were calculated for all soldier types to be in the game. The Prussians and Russians with more than 1,300 pts. had 4.1 pts. less than their foes with a one pound advantage in artillery.


Photos enlarge when clicked upon.

Photos below show a small selection of Garrison 25mm Seven Years' War miniatures. Units are from my 1:20 collection. They may be re-based and expanded for BAR; extra miniatures ordered to do this two years ago.

Hessian Battalion Isenburg. Garrison's Prussians make nice Hessians.

Close-up of Isenburg.

The Hessian Guard Battalion.
The officer in the center I think is a Hinchliffe - not Garrison.
The officer in the front rank (upper left) is a Mini Fig.

Hanoverian Battalion von Hardenburg arrives to support the Hessians.

Close-up of von Hardenburg.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gendarme Brigade Finished

Eureka designed a range of attractive War of Austrian Succession Dutch cavalry two years ago. Mine though have been uniformed as Seven Years' War French Gendarmes. Click images to fill your screens with....

Left: Gendarmes Anglais; Miniature Figurines recovered and increased from an older disused collection.
Center: Eureka Gendarmes de la Reine.   Right: Eureka Gendarmes Dauphin.

Foreground: Gendarmes Dauphin. Miniatures are individually based and magnetized to underlying trays. No casualty records are kept this way. Remove and set aside.

Monsieur l'Brigadier, Prussian cavalry appears in the distance. There Monsieur!

Bring the brigade into line then, en muiralle, if you please, mon ami.
Closing Remarks:
1. The Eurekas are elegant, anatomically correct and -- take a look at the lovely horses.
2. Three squadrons of fifteen each plus three more to command the brigade. Total: 48.
3. Mini Figs were placed on thicker stands to bring their smaller size closer to the larger Eurekas.
4. The two large standards are from GMB.
5. Comments welcome -- below.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chapter 3 of 3: Schlacht Bei Tannesberg Ended

Date: 22 June 1760/2010
Location: A Tannes Mountain Pass/Defile
Where Exactly? North Of Frankfurt Am Main
Situation: Rebel Force Found And Engaged
Also See: June 9 and 23 entries for prior history
Sirs, if you please, click on photos 1-2 times to enlarge them
Our last entry left us hanging with a just commenced cavalry versus infantry mélée.

Rebel foot give fire thinning Gallian Régiment Royale. They are part of a Gallian contingent assisting Der Hurtshog Artur von Frankzonia quell a seditious assault on his prerogative.

And now we see the result of swordplay. The rebels pay for their sedition, lose heavily, check morale.....

and hold! The horsemen elect to rally back (off screen right). They could have remained to mélée again next turn but Lt. Colonel  l'Comte de Lichey pulled back - perhaps because a rebel regiment of heavy horse began to appear not far away (off screen left).

Indeed, that regiment of horse did come forward and then withdrew to cover the withdrawal of the rebel force. See them in the upper middle in white coats. Der Hurtshog Artur is seen riding bravely forward in front of 1/Grenadiers de France. His Brigade de Guerre moves forward consolidating.

Artur may be seen on the left. His Garde Grenadier are on the right moving through light woods. To their left is 2/Grenadiers de France. In the foreground are l'Comte de Lichey and, -- I can't say.

Artur moves forward joining the commander of 1/Grenadiers de France to watch enemy horsemen ride away seemingly on a collision course with the blue coats atop the rise.

The enemy cavalry commander salutes his opponents with his tricornered hat.

Meanwhile the blue coat battalion opened an interval to allow the horsemen to pass through them. Two of the battalions central divisions previously about faced, marched to the rear, faced and marched outwards  halting behind battalion flank divisions. All proper drill per the era. Well-done!

It's time to close the interval. The previously withdrawn divisions retrace their steps and....

Reform an ordered three rank line ready to meet Artur's advance. However....

Der Hurtshog has other ideas!

Artur: "Advance the guns!" They will deploy in the space just ahead while....

On the right the battalion gun assigned to the Garde Grenadiers also moves forward.

On the far left flank, 1/Grenadiers de France await orders from Artur. A moment later....

Artur sagt,: "FEUER!

Rebel jagers appear unconcerned. Nearby.... 

Two red coated senior officers look on. Are they Britannian advisers, paymasters, commanders or?

They are difficult to see. It matters little for the Aide de Camp clearly heard Artur say, "They did not pass!"
Closing Remarks
1. This was a fun game. Hopefully it worked into Arthur's campaign. Certainly l'Comte de Bastille, the Gallian Intendant back in Frankfurt Am Main will be delighted. Super delighted if it were possible.
2. It also is the smallest BAR game, we've played, roughly 200 miniatures per side. No problem.
3. Losses were 2:1 in favor of Artur; roughly 92 for the rebels and about half that for Artur.
4. The game ended shortly after the infantry versus cavalry mélée. Photos after this were staged by yours truly to end the story and to show how it was possible to withdraw cavalry through an infantry line.
5. Thank you Arthur. Get well soon!
6. Thank you Chuck and John - the Tuesday night game crew. Well done!
7. Comments welcome next as usual -- below.