Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Battle of Polkfurt

a review:

I started with the envelopes set up, Jeff got to roll 1/2 of the arrival turn and I rolled the other half and the 'spot' for arrival 1-6.

Sadly Jeff rolled rather high, to his advantage I rolled well for the arrival locations (save for one). Allowing him to have troops at least on the flank of the moving wagons and in two cases, ahead of them!

Special notes for the mappe:
The northern steep hill was considered 'Nasty' terrain (with only 1/2 die" or d3" for cavalry and 1" for infantry artillery not allowed during 'game' proceedures as moving arty on this hill would mean taking it apart first!).
The woods areas are all 'separating' terrain with d3" less for the formed troops moving and 1" less for the skirmishers and irregulars, with all moves being diced for by company (stand).
The #5 zone forest is permitted to have artillery pass through it so long as it is moving 'behind' infantry (either in column or line).

The Norden forces were arrayed with the horse and dragoons well out in front of the infantry, with a large contingent on the road with orders to rush ahead and secure the south road area. The cavalry seemed to have orders to reach the fort first at all costs.

The convoy was moving ahead of average for the first five turns, all things looking well, other than the column of infantry on the road was rushing off out of command range, the Commander; Brigadier Dagfinn Ulf Nilsson then ordered that the covering infantry start the march along with the moving supply column. Sadly he was very far out of command range for his other infantry column, now well ahead on the south road.

Moments later, the Troopers of Brigadier Ernst von Bruin arrived, well positioned on both the north and south flanks of the convoy. The mornings orders of just attack were all now tossed aside by von Bruin whom did his usual aggressive thing and converted them to assault orders! He was personally close to the von Kodiak Kuirassiers and they were at once launched into an attack on the northern cover columns of the Snow Leopards!

Meanwhile in the forest, south of the fork in the road, the Rheinfelden Grenzers had begun to deploy. Quickly and quietly without drum or horn.

We used a chalk board, with the outline of the forest on it as the 'secret' deploy area, allowing the player to know very well how close his troops were to exiting the woods and still keeping that information secret from his opponent as the chalkboard table was hidden from easy view behind our turn control board.

By turn seven the situation for the North forces was desperate, though they were still confident. No wagons had yet been destroyed, but the Infantry Commander, Brigadier Dagfinn Ulf Nilsson was completely out of contact with all of his soldiers as he was racing east to stop the infantry columns of the Artic Foxes leaving the others behind to the west and hoping that they could fend off the two forces of cavalry then pressing in on the wagon train from both flanks. While the Snow Leopards did well against the head-strong von Bruin forcing the von Kodiak Kuirassiers into a foolish charge that fell short of their target and left the horses badly winded and vulnerable while they closed home, blown.

On the south flank the Edelbrau Dragoons reformed into column and attacked the rear of the convoy while the commander's Skirmishers kept the Ice Wolves and artillery from interfering with their operations.

Now was when the Rheinfelden Grenzers broke free from the south woods, appearing in very large numbers between the two infantry formation groups to the east and west. Nothing lay between them and the fork in the road which the convoy was going to have to move through...

The rear of the convoy was disrupted by the charge of the Edelbrau Dragoons. Mule teams scattered at their approach and the wagons were upset along with most of the drovers being put to the sword by the massed troopers.

Gen Otto Fasjovik, in the city of Polkfurt, took in the scene from the postern gatehouse. Only 2/3rds of the supplies remained and fully 3/4rs of them must reach his position lest the city fall back into the hands of Saxe-Bearstein. He chose to send off messengers to command the horse back to the road fork and do battle against the advancing Bearstieners.

Meanwhile on the south road, Brigadier Dagfinn Ulf Nilsson had stopped the Artic Foxes only just in time as another infantry battalion of Bearstieners appeared in the south, to the east of the woods and was now firing on the flank of teh Artic Foxes. They turned to face this new threat and attempted to return fire...only a scattering of them managed to hit their mark.

Left behind to guard the convoy, the Snow Leopards now took a charge from the re-formed Edelbrau Dragoons now in line and pressing on the back of the supply train. The Snow Leopards could not accept this charge into their extended line flank, the lost many men, then broke and ran.

By turn 8 the Norden Cavalry had turned around, but they were desperately far from where they were needed! The situation with the convoy was desperate, yet no troops were in range to be of any help!

The coup-de-grace came from the north, along the tall ridgeline the Heineken Hussars now appeared! While it would be hard for them to reach the convoy, their appearance meant that the covering Norden cavalry could not stop the approaching Rheinfelden Grenzers, nor do anything to stop the von Kodiak Kuirassiers from their looting operations of the second wagon in the convoy after chasing away the drovers!

There was still a long-shot chance that the badly mauled Snow Leopards, whom had rallied, could stop the advancing Edelbrau Dragoons. They did not and were swept from the field. Their attempt at a stand though did stiffen the resolve of the rearmost (now) wagon team and they halted the Edelbrau Dragoons, if only for a short time...

Turn 11 and endgame came with the North Cavalry chasing away the Heineken Hussars, this left the Rheinfelden Grenzers unmolested to begin a wild looting of the remaining waggons while the Edelbrau Dragoons hacked up the last mule teams. There would be no respite for the holders of Polkfurt, and the Duchy of the North would have to surrender the city much, much sooner than expeted with many conditions most likely.

Gen Otto Fasjovik had already quit the city and was last seen rushing north away from the city.

Other game notes:

I liked the 'orders' interpretations and limitation details that Jeff has put into his rules. He may not have like the fact that one of his infantry battalions was fored to march into musket fire by these rules, but that was the intent...to make players do things according to some kind of historical norm (like following orders) with some unexpected results.

I also started using a new 'timer' I have recently purchased...partly to keep my children focussed on time related tasks (and me too!) and partly for use at the game table. It as lights and sound elements, can be fully programmed (to the second) for each timer section and I found it to be very helpful in keeping the players focussed on the table (something that can get 'out of hand' quite quickly) whenever 'movement' was to be done. We only used it to keep the movement turns - MOVING. During the other turn parts we did not use it and I found that 3 mins per brigade was plenty of time.


Fitz-Badger said...

Good show! Looks like it was a lot of fun.

Bluebear Jeff said...

It was a lot of fun . . . although it was an emotional roller-coaster for me (as I'll report later on my Saxe-Bearstein blog).

Murdock's description of the battle is a good one as far as what happened from outside observation. I'll try to provide my "interior" view of the battle.

If we're lucky, Pete will share his thoughts as well (although he isn't on his computer much -- so he might not).

-- Jeff

rpardo said...

A very nice AAR! I enjoy it and I am waiting for the next Tabletop Teasres fight

MurdocK said...

Thank you gents, I've got some plans to 'shake it up' a bit for the next game coming up...sunday!

abdul666 said...

Very enjoyable battle report, and a welcome opportunity to discover more of the Norden forces.

Steve said...

Excellent report - battle honours should be presented to the Edelbrau Dragoons I think?!!