Monday, April 20, 2009

BATTLE OF NEU ISENBERG : AAR



The defenders of Neu Isenberg, Frankzonians under the command of Francios l'Marquise de Hottatrot had some advance notice of the coming forces from the Kingdom of Saint Maurice. They made use of the time to erect some improvised defenses along the Frankfurter Strasse before the town of Neu Isenberg. Constructing these defenses on one side of the high road were the militia of Neu Isenberg, never before tested in any battle regimen.



These defences were still under some construction when the troops of St. Maurice came out into the open from the light woods in the area.

Arranged in front of the St. Maurice lines were two battalions of militia forces.


Hidden in a thicker part of the eastern woods were the elite Jay's Jagers, waiting totally concealed.


The battle opened with a cannonade from the St. Maurice battery, which tore a great swath through the exposed ranks of the Hottatrot regiment 1st battalion.




Meanwhile in the woods the Jagers now had the flank company of one of St Maurice's militia regiments totally exposed and in some disorder directly in front of their concealed position. Rising almost as one these marksmen then cut their own deadly swath through the officer and senior NCO's leading these new soldiers. The general response was panic and they turned to flee...only to find the fixed bayonets of the regular line troops directly behind them. They turned to flee away from the continued Jager enfilade fire towards the other battalion of militia.



The response from the other militia force was also to start to panic and flee...only to be cut down almost instantly from the rear by the leveled muskets in volley fire at point blank into their backs! (it was a critical success for the fire shot!)

These totally frightened men then threw down their arms and fled in all directions! (including towards the Frankzonian lines!)

So ended turn 1.

The St. Maurice force was not slowed at all by the chaos in the woods, the main line was advancing on the improvised defenses that still appeared to have men working on them. Upon firing at the troops the Frankfurter Buns took off in all directions away from the battle area, their 'leaders' vainly showing attempts at rally, while running at full speed along the high road after passing into the town. A company of regulars that were completing the works on the other side of the road also ran off in the confusion started by the Buns militia loosing their composure so quickly (it was a critical failure of morale on the militia and a normal fail on the line troops).

Meanwhile in the woods the St. Maurice militia that was running in mobs came close to the edge of the woods and surrendered en-masse to the Frankzonian IR Black Kilts. A detachment of a dozen men was made to form a 'guard' for these surrendering troops and they were mustered to the eastern outskirts of Neu Isenberg.



so ended turn 2

With the advancing line at the high road and the defenses only half-manned there was little opposition to the St. Maurice line troops scrambling over the wooden barricades.



Confusion in the woods had died down and now the St. Maurice lines started to move forward to press on the Jagers.

so ended turn 3



The next action started from the artillery which had been firing all along but only had good effect on the first volley, now this cannonade again struck home, with the Hottatrot 1st again taking more casulaties, this time enough to halt their tentative advance in the woods, as they readied themselves to face St. Maurice foot coming at them through the woods.



The first cavalry clash comes now on the west edge of the defenses. The Gendarmes of St. Maurice clashed with the Frangipani Hussars, who were driven off by the heavier and more skilled Gendarmes.






so ended turn 4

A small rain shower came across the battlefield at this point (I have a 'wonky' light ballast in my gamespace and it went out at this point...also the radio station started playing "Raindrops"), the St. Maurice commander, having decided that the battle was all going in his favor, ordered his two ADC's to return to camp and prepare his tent for the rain. Then when the rain got worse, left his command post, with an orderly remaining behind to simply report back the final effect of the battle. (this was decided after a critical failure in the initiative rolls for the turn).

Overall the battle did not move much at this stage, the Gendarmes drove off Arthur's Hussars and got into good supporting position for the western defenses. The other troops traded musket fire, with one force of the St. Maurice line troops expending their powder (presumably the rain caused more powder problems leaving that battalion without fire capability until they moved to the rear of the battle area ~ for resupply) [they rolled a critical failure on firing, then a normal failure for 'no powder' effect].



so ended turn 5



The tipping point was upon the battle, for the wiley St. Maurice commander had managed to convince a small force of independent dragoons to simply 'make a show' in the woods to the east of Neu Isenberg. It was at this point that their crashing mounts, whistles and shouts could be heard by the Jagers. Frankzonian commander l'Marquise de Hottatrot was also informed and decided that it was time for his "Devil my care" reputation to not be outdone! He ordered an immediate cavalry attack followed by having his personal entourage of Highlander garbed sycophants sweep into the melee.

The first cavalry attacks are badly co-ordinated and the St. Maurice commander on the spot drove his lancers into the flank of the returning Frangipani Hussars, shattering them utterly and sending all of them into a running battle to the west of the town, the Lancers took off in pursuit of prizes.

The Sultan of Swat with the Delft Blues then struck at the ready Gendarmes, the encounter did not go off well. The Blues were obliged to let the St. Maurice line troops fire onto their flank as they advanced, taking down many, then they trotted into contact with the Gendarmes in some disorder. The Sultan was not killed, but dismounted during the engagement and managed to catch on with one of his retreating troopers following the hot engagement.

thus ended turn 6

Now the Highlanders were going in without any support.

First the Gendarmes laughed at their small numbers approach, after a few troopers dropped from the accurate small-arms fire and they saw the claymores come out...all of them drew pistols and sent the kilt clad brave men off into the buildings for cover.

With the unknown dragoon force pressing in from the west and the St. Maurice Kings troops holding the edge of the town, running out of any troops to actually take action with, Francios l'Marquise de Hottatrot ordered the general retreat and left the area to the north. Leaving Neu Isenberg in the hands of St. Maurice, yet not without cost as the prisoners were also herded along with the main body.

End result:



Neu Isenberg now in the hands of St. Maurice.
Losses:
St. Maurice: 2bn militia
Some cavalry in the Gendarmes and Lancers (who will be at least a day before they can even form up again [with lots of loot!])
Some line infantry, perhaps a company KIA, with 2 companies wounded. No forces are fresh and no pursuit is possible.
Frankzonia: 1bn Line troops KIA
1bn Militia scattered over the area to the north
Frangipani Hussars were really badly mauled by both the Gendarmes and Lancers (they were broken morale and hit in the back!) ~ I suspect they did not get away at all.
Arthur's Hussars were wounded, but not mauled.
The Blues were decimated by musket and sabre, 50% casualties and wounds to nearly everyone else.
No troops came away without casualty, they were not in good order as a body of men on retreat, only two battalions of Line were in any sort of order.

No effective defensive line would be available for 2 days from these troops.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The commands were split between two players on each side and I did "Kreigspeil" using a rough set of notes and my own 'hybrid' system based on Envoy and GURPS ~ so as to allow some of the very colorful character elements that Frankzonian commanders have to perhaps shine through, sorry if not much made it to the tabletop = there is just soooo much to work with!

Interesting note regarding the players, twin sisters took opposing sides during the battle and I am interested in hearing from them about their game-play experience.

so ends this AAR.

Comments are encouraged!

11 comments:

justMike said...

Nicely photographed and reported. Am pleased with the outcome if not so much the vainglorious performance performance of my men. Still, shooting at one's own troops is not unheard of in the military history of St. Maurice. Hope everyone had a good time. Lovely troops by the way.

Mike - St. Maurice

rpardo said...

Hi
A great AAR with superb pictures... I like the tower of Orthanc-like aspect of Isenberg monolith
Regards
Rafa

Frankfurter said...

Excellently well illustrated ...
Good Job!

Does St. Maurice know of the close proximity of the guard brigrade with the Hurtshog?
With no pursuit, I'd guess it'd not come into play yet.

Now let's see if Gallia intervenes in time ... before the guards and the Frankszonian artillery slog through the slush to make some sort of riposte ...

Very glad the girls played. All too often we forget that there is a lot in our hobby to offer women fun things to do.
:)
Arthur

Fitz-Badger said...

Colorful report (words and pictures!). :-)

Those militia in the top hats, are they from the Hatter's Guild? Are they mad?

If you can get input from the players I'd be interested to read their take on the game.

MurdocK said...

Isenberg Monolith?

Do you mean the tree?

MurdocK said...

I do not know what the other Imaginations are aware of.

Yes it was great having the ladies in the game, their input is of a different energy and I find it always refreshing.

MurdocK said...

The Top Hat militia are from Foundry, I think they are advertised as Austrian militia.

I have painted them with mostly Austrian sort of equipment and like them since I can use them as pretty much anybody's 'supporting troops'.

Mad Hatters guild? Why not!

andygamer said...

Alas, the Delft Blues have been shattered.

Frankfurter said...

Someone agonized over the shattered Delft Blues (Frankfurt in the period turns out to have been one of the better production centers).

Not to panic. I'm sure they'll soon be glued back together again, as the Porcelain Brigade is the pride of the Guilds faction in Frankfurter!

Besides,
The Guards brigades of infantry and curiassiers are only five miles away to catch the fleeing horde.
Also, Hottatrot can bring up the 2nd battalions of his own regiment and the Black Kilts by forced march.

and I suspect that General Broglie will soon intervene to stop this ruckus!
:)
A

MurdocK said...

LOL "The Porcelain Brigade"!

Arthur your fantastic names are always a joy!

:-)

Frankfurter said...

Almost all of my funny names are school boy take offs on historical names ... I like a lot of hysteria in my gaming!
The Porcelain ... based on the Pozellan (I think) dragoons.

There actually was a unit called the Frangipani hussars!
Started as mercs, worked for Bravaria and wound up in Austrian service I think....
:)
A
then again, our ultimate staff officer, von Ricewits was inspired by the guy who invented Kriegspiel to train Prussian cadets ...