Tuesday, October 30, 2007

THE BATTLE OF OFFENBACH

Wherein Offenbach troops of the Soweiter League co-operated with Frankzonian forces to delay a VILE Stagonian army that had approached the town and its works.

The opening to the battle saw the diplomatic exchanges continue right onto the battlefield, as the entire Stagonian aims were to 'punish' Frankzonian limericks found scrawled over buildings and bridges in the region. Baron Gaspar du Vile, commander of the Stagonians, sent off a collection of staff officers and one of his own Aide de Camp's to 'smooth over' the situation with the Offenbach troops, offering to not fire on them first - should they do the desired thing and not fire at them...

With this messenger group sent off under a white flag (though in the rain some of the Offenbach militia could not tell if it was 'white' or 'white with golden fleur-de-lys') the Stagonian army lurched into motion.

The first moves were taken by a mercenary Brigade under one Prinz Robert Axe of The Hertzogh of Burtzenia, their objective was the greater hill to the north west of the works and outside the ramshakle defensive works that the Offenbach militia had thrown up to blockade the roads to the north and west. The rest of the Stagonians managed a slow march forward until their commander, Brig. Graf Adolf von Voss, began a vitriolic exchange of messages and notes with the army commander (part of this is due to family 'issues' between the two clans), while this argument progressed von Voss' brigade was halted, well within range of the Frankzonian artillery.

The starting situation in the 'allied' lines was anything but clear...at first they were not 'in position' standing at the barricades to the west, in order to be ready to face the Stagonians, and the 'allied' lines were actually pointed AT one another while the Stagonians formed their ranks. Fully one-third of the Frankzonian infantry and half of their artillery were ready to engage the Offenbach militia (their nominal ally). It took the efforts of the Earl of Flynn to sort the matter out with the Frankzonian high command, all the while the possibility of combat erupting between the two 'allies' was a very real possibility. For the Offenbachers it was an unknown situation seeing the massive Stagonian army assemble to the west while their 'flank' was turned by the Frankzonian to the north.

With great crashes of thunder the Frankzonian artillery boomed out, at least the battery commanders had no illusions about the Stagonian intentions towards them! This battery was to deal out death and destruction on a massive scale into the Voss brigade all day long, firing very nearly without error!

At the far flank of the Frankzonian line were the four companies of the Frankfurt Guild Militia Battalion. They were to face the brunt of Stagonian attack early in the battle.
At one point the Guild Militia advanced, but after loosing nearly a whole company in 15 minutes from concentrated Stagonian artillery fire they rolled back to their starting line. Brave though they were, this formation was unable to stay in the field until the end of day, having retired some hours before the 2nd Battalion Foot Longs.

After about 2 hours of standing and taking relentless fire, the Stagonian Battalion of O'Duffy was very nearly out of men and on the verge of retreat many times.

Also the Frankzonian plan of attack had become clear to the VILE Stagonian General Baron Gaspar du Vile, they - the Frankzonians were being permitted through the Offenbach defences and re-deploying to the far south, beyond the south hills was an open plain, which the cavalry was rushing towards in order to exploit and 'turn' the Stagonian flank. Baron Gaspar du Vile had ordered his horse to similarly deploy to the south fields and both cavalry columns were now in a desperate race to the south...

It was while the Frankzonian cavalry was hustling past the works and Offenbach command HQ of General Leopold that the ADC of Baron Gaspar du Vile was presented to the General and his staff. He heard the offer of neutrality from the Stagonians and agreed that his forces would remain 'in place' and 'ready' at the barricades. That he would take no aggressive action against Stagonian forces unless they approached the defences or fired upon anyone from the Soweiter League. This ADC had left before Brigadier Shlidelisht had greeted the General and accepted a glass of wine from him as his Cuirassier squadrons passed by.

Offenbach militia troops now had manned the barricades to the west and were observers to the wild fighting on the greater hill to the northwest, where the Mercenary Brigade under Axe was fighting bitterly uphill against first jagers, then line troops of Frankzonia of the 2nd Battalion Foot Longs. The 'fat chickens' were the first to crest the hill, only to be facing the levelled barrels of the entire 2nd Battalion of the Foot Longs, who promptly blasted them to bits! The Mercenary brigadier Prinz Axe, aggresive by nature, simply pushed the 'fire ants' up the hill to assault the 2nd Battalion Foot Longs at once!

Meanwhile, in the south, the two cavalry forces had begun to assemble...

Back to the north von Voss Brigade had begun to move again, only to halt standing among the dead of the first line from O'Duffy's, this time these VILE Stagonians would have to face both the medium battery that had killed off O'Duffy's AND the light battery which had started the day prepared to fire on Offenbach!

On the great hill, the 2nd Battalion Foot Longs, stood upon the crest, and were shocked to see the fire ants coming at them! Beyond could be seen the real size of the Stagonian army, which had an entire Brigade standing in reserve (essentially) since the Offenbachers were prepared to watch this contest rather than participate in it!

To the south on the open fields the cavalry melee had begun, first in were Hillary's Hussies, who managed to charge and cause the von Kirschstein Kuirassier, elite horsemen, of Stagonia to flee! All seemed to be ready for a great sweep into the vile Stagonians! They were brought to a halt by the Jailler Hussars, who then engaged them toe-to-toe for a very short engagement, sending them fleeing from the scene of battle. The Jailler Hussars then pursued, and shattered the fleeing Hussars with their blown mounts.

The Jailler Hussars then recalled from their charge before HC Reiters could engage them. The Reiters had seen the Hussies flee around them and were not eager to engage the larger numbers of enemy formation opposite them until the Vinny's Vincibles another Cuirassier unit could join them. They were not to be given the opportunity. With the von Kirschstein Kuirassier now rallied in their rear, the charged into the HC Reiters, sending them fleeing for cover, then swung into a position to threaten Vinny's Vincibles while the Benzler Dragoons began to fire into their flanks, then charged, sending them recoiling towards the east. Brigadier Shlidelisht could now see that his horse were outnumbered and in bad positions, he issued an immediate order to withdraw further south, as the Offenbachers would clearly not agree to let them back north through the town defences. He sent riders to warn General L'Haugen Bienz of this situation.

Back to the north the artillery batteries of Frankzonia continued their pounding of vile Stagonians, only this time these vile Stagonians refused to break and run, the continued to steadfastly stand their ground and soak up vast numbers of casualties!

General L'Haugen Bienz was informed of the cavalry debacle in the south then decided upon seeing the white coated Mercenaries 'fire ants' coming down the north slope hard on the heels of the broken companies of the 2nd Battalion Foot Longs that this battle was not going to his advantage and that immediate withdrawl would preserve the 1st Battalion along with all the ordinnance cannon.


General Leopold then sent word to the victor of the day, Baron Gaspar du Vile to join him in Offenbach town to dine on sweet meats and enjoy an Offenbach vintage while they discuss matters martial.

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This was a fun game to run since I was able to get the 'parts' put together from other players, thus play it out "by proxy" and that the outcome was not going to be just another 'dud' once I walked away from the table. There were going to be other consequences for players thousands of miles away...

7 comments:

Frankfurter said...

Gorgeous!!!
Looking forward to more engagements by other gamers.
Wargaming means Gaming! to me ... though I like to look at the work other folks manage to achieve on their collections ...
Makes me envious!
Regards and all that,
Arthur

Bluebear Jeff said...

I very much enjoy the look of your photographs.

The flags and unit and character labels go to show what a wonderful effort you put into running this proxy battle.

I also have to say that I'm very pleased with how my rules apparently worked during the battle (even if those vile Stagonians won).

I salute you, sir!


-- Jeff

Stagonian Jeff said...

Why do you call our forces "vile"?

As befits the noble nature of Stagonian arms, we saved the citizens of Offenbach from the most treacherous and vile threat of their duplicitous Frankzonian neighbors.

Your artist did manage to capture some fine images of the fight, but your reporter was obviously prejudiced and in the pay of Frankzonia . . . yet even he had to admit that we whipped them most soundly.


-- Stagonian Jeff

Steve said...

...excellent report and fine photography. I especially liked the one of the cavalry melee... bravo, sir, and encore!

abdul666 said...

A great report for a great battle -thanks to thr Marauders for playing it!
Compliments,
Jean-Louis

Fitz-Badger said...

Splendid!
I had a good time observing from behind the barricades :-)

This has given me new inspiration for getting back into painting my forces so I can attempt some battles.

Thanks to all involved!

tidders said...

Excellent stuff.

The proxy battle schema looks like it worked very well.

-- Allan