Friday, May 31, 2019

NQSYW: Field Maneuvers at the Weishaus Tavern

King Rupert had noted the the recent performance of the army of Schoeffen-Buschhagen on the field had been, to say the least, uninspiring.  While troops deployed against Rosmark had some success in le petit guerre, stopping a vital convoy of supplies for the Rosish forces, and had successfully delayed the advancing Rosish by destroying the bridge at Sittangbad (though at fearful cost),  attempts to counterattack had not been successful.  Recalling reports of a session  of field training maneuvers which had been held by the initiative of a group of Allied colonels some time previously, the King and the Prince-Palatine of Wachovia agreed that another such exercise should be conducted.

Adjudication Team meeting before the maneuvers

The field of action, with Monk's Hill on the left, the orchard in the left center, and the Weishaus tavern in the right center

A relatively open area near the Weishaus tavern was chosen for the action.  The Adjudicators were briefed on the rules for the day's activities, and the troops were drawn up as though for battle.

The Wachovians deployed with their gun on the far right of their line, intending to emplace it on a small hill, and both of their cavalry regiments in the relatively open ground between the Weishaus and the hill.  Three infantry battalions were tasked with seizing the Weishaus, control of which was considered to be the condition of victory.  The light infantry were poised to advance into the orchard, and a forth infantry battalion anchored the line to the left.

The Schoeffen-Bushhagen troops, approaching the field from the north, deployed with their light infantry at the edge of the wood on their left, dragoons at the road to the tavern, three infantry battalions poised to attack the orchard and angle, and a right flank guard consisting of the artillery, which intended to deploy on Monk's Hill, an infantry battalion for security, and the hussars as a flank guard.

S-B infantry advances on the angle by the orchard
The Chief Adjudicator ordered the bugles sounded to commence the action.  Eager to demonstrate their elan, the Wachovian hussars dashed across the field and attacked the King Rupert Jaegers, still drawn up by the woods in a line formation.  Despite the protests of the hussar commander, the Adjudicators ruled that the charge had failed, and that the hussars were destroyed.  The hussars cheerfully headed off to the tavern to await the end of the maneuvers, and it was later suggested that this might have been a deliberate ruse on their part to get out of the action early to begin the drinking.  The Adjudicators may have to consider this point in future maneuvers.

Wachovian hussars realizing that the drinking can begin once they have been adjudicated as casualties
With the Wachovian hussars cleared from the field, the S-B dragoons (elements of the Prince's Dragoon Guards not involved in the recent surrender at Sittangbad) spurred across the field to be met by a countercharge by the Wachovian cuirassiers. Since it was just an exercise, both sides slowed before contact and engaged in a display of horseback fencing.  The Adjudicators ruled that the S-Bs had the better of the contest, and the cuirassiers trotted off to await the end of the day, along with a few dragoons.

Cavalry clash
Meanwhile, in the center, the Schoeffen-Buschhagen infantry advanced with drums beating and flags flying.  The plan had been to take the Weishaus with a detachment of jaegers, while the line infantry cleared out the Wachovians.  In practice, this did not go as planned.  Wachovian jaegers (the Wilderin) in the orchard proved very difficult to dislodge, and the S-B infantry was slow in taking up positions along the roadside wall at the angle, which was expected to provide sufficient cover to be able to engage in a fire fight with the Wilderin.

The attack on the Angle
Out on the S-B left, another detachment of the King Rupert Jaegers was caught by a Wachovian line unit, which showed more enthusiasm for running than the Jaegers.  Perhaps this was another case of motivation during maneuvers being less than during an actual battle.  In any case, they were sent off to the tavern to await the end of the exercise.

Knowing it's only an exercise, S-B Jaegers fail to retire quickly enough
By mid-afternoon, the Wachovians were firmly in control of the Weishaus grounds.  In the center, one of the three S-B infantry battalions had been battered and was in danger of being removed from the field.

Wachovians seize the Weishaus

Situation about mid-action
The few S-B dragoons remaining in action attempted to deal with the Wachovian infantry, but despite charging them while they were reforming, were ruled defeated and out of action.  Their officers were getting thirsty, otherwise they would have undoubtedly protested this decision.
Remaining S-B dragoons attempt to break a small troop of Wachovian foot

Eventually rising losses among the S-B infantry in the center decided the action.  Compelled to withdraw, there was insufficient time to reform, organize another attack, and perhaps drive the Wachovians, also wearing down, from the Weishaus.

S-B infantry retires from the Angle
As the sun touched the horizon, the Adjudicators ordered the bugles sounded again, to signal the end of the maneuvers, and all the Allies settled down to supper, with drinks provided by King Rupert.  The Prince Palatine looked over the field at the thirsty troops, and remarked that he was pleased that his troops had won, as Wachovia could ill afford such a defeat.

The situation at the end; Wachovians hold the Weishaus as the clock runs out

The Players' view
From the players' point of view, this game was played with A Gentleman's War rules, from Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley.  Since Norman was trying these out for the first time, we left the distinctions rules out, as suggested in the book.  In the NQSYW, our countries are always staunch allies, so we followed the fictional conceit we use for battles between the two as being field maneuvers.

While I didn't keep good notes, timestamps on the photos suggest that we started playing around 8:30 AM and finished up around 11:00, having cycled through three decks of cards.  We had agreed that breaking five units would constitute victory, or possession of the Weishaus at the end of the third deck (since Norman was up against a real world time limit and needed to get home).  As it was, we ran out the clock, although he was close to breaking a couple of my units. We had eight units per side, and the available space in the well of the game table is 3 feet by 5 feet.  Six units and perhaps one fewer terrain piece might have made for a more mobile game, but I am still getting a feel for the rules.  Nevertheless, I was generally very pleased with how much it felt like a larger battle.  Norman noted that he wouldn't want to give up the grand sweep of the Charge! rules which we usually use with these figures.  While I agree, we also would have been hard pressed to put a Charge! game on in this 3x5 space.  I intend to post a fuller review of the rules soon.


  1. Have been using AGW for my 19th cent. Balkan figures but am eager to try out my SYW-ish figures .

    1. I'll keep an eye out for your battle reports. Your figures definitely look like fun. Mostly for reasons of actually getting things done, I'm trying to avoid being inspired to do a 19thC imagi-nations thing in 40mm...