As mentioned previously
, Chris Palmer and I got together for a game day on the 12th of August. His report on these two battles has already been posted, and can be found here
. For both of these battles, we used A Gentleman's War
, and randomized the exact orders of battle. We then poked around in the book's scenario suggestions for something that look plausible with the forces involved.
I don't think that I can sustain a full fictional battle report today...
|My notes for the battles|
The first battle, the Defense of Schepper's Farm, used the Isolated Detachment scenario from the rules. Both sides had six units, but the Schoeffen-Buschhagen defenders had only two of them (a battalion of the Adelmann regiment and a battery of field guns) at the start, defending the walled farm enclosure, while the other four (2 battalions of the King Rupert Jaegers, a squadron of the Szathmari Hussars, and a horse gun battery) formed the relief force, and did not appear until the first joker was drawn.
|Schepper's Farm: The North Polenburg cavalry advances.|
The battle opened with the North Polenburg cavalry sweeping forward in the center while their infantry slogged through the woods on either flank. The Schoeffen-Buschhagen field artillery, emplaced behind the stout walls of Schepper's Farm opened fire, causing casualties among the hussars on the near end of the cavalry formation.
|Schepper's Farm: Extended view of the action; defenders to the right.|
As the North Polenburg infantry struggled forward, impeded by the woods and the steady fire of the farm's defenders, the cavalry formed up on the unprotected side of the farm and charged toward the S-B positions. Although the gunners managed to level a gun or two around and get off a last round of canister, the dragoons swept across their position and the last gunners fled. The infantry defenders managed to form up in the newly introduced square formation, and repelled the horsemen. As the N-P attackers reformed to continue the attack, the King Rupert Jaegers, arrayed for battle, were seen approaching the farm, and other S-B troops were also arriving.
|Schepper's Farm: The Schoeffen-Buschhagen relief force arrives.|
Conscious of the need to husband troop strength at the very beginning of what might be a decisive campaign season, the North Polenburg commander made the decision to sound the retreat.
|Schepper's Farm: Overview of table position at the end of the game.|
After some lunch and a visit to the friendly local game store, Chris and I reset the table for a second game. This time we started with the scenario, electing a deliberate attack to seize a strategic point, which we chose to represent with a bridge. I took a force of six units generated from the garrison table (and ended up with a light infantry, three line infantry, and two guns), and Chris took nine units from the main force table, ending up with five line infantry, two guns, a heavy cavalry unit, and a light cavalry unit. After deploying, it looked like the defenders standing in the open were a bit vulnerable, so I grabbed some earthwork pieces from the collection and put down a redoubt. I split my light infantry into two detachments, one on each flank.
|Schlegelsbridge: The opening positions|
|North Polenburg commander oversees the deployment of his troops|
As the battle opened, North Polenburg cavalry advanced on their left flank, to be met by intense fire from the Schoeffen-Buschhagen guns.
|Schlegelsbridge: North Polenburg cavalry sweeps forward into a hail of cannon fire.|
Nevertheless, their advance concerned the 2/Adelmann commander, and he ordered his unit to retire to a more secure position. Meanwhile, in the center, the North Polenburg infantry advanced bravely into a withering fire from the redoubt. No progress could be made until an astute N-P artilery commander realized that his guns could be emplaced in an enclosed field in such a way as to enfilade the right end of the redoubt. As their fire began to tell, the issue was in doubt...briefly. The S-B guns on the south side of the river opened a long range fire on the N-P artillery position, and, with a sudden roar and vast column of smoke, half of the N-P artillery were eliminated by a lucky shot. One presumes that a howitzer shell set off a carelessly deployed powder stock...
|Schlegelsbridge: the 2nd battalion of the Adelmann Regiment falls back.|
The North Polenburgers, though, did not lack bravery, and pressed forward with an attack on the S-B left flank. Briefly driving the defenders from the wood and the left end of the redoubt, mounting casualties left them unable to hold the position, and, once again, the North Polenburg commander was compelled to retire.
|Schlegelsbridge: The Jaegers defend the woods at the S-B left flank.|
As Chris notes in his battle report, perhaps this would have been better balanced if the redoubt had been rated as a little less sturdy, but he came close to clearing it, so I suspect that another unit, or perhaps two, would have given a fully balanced scenario.
I am hope that a rematch will come soon. It has been a great pleasure to see these forces on the table again, and we have been enjoying the rules a lot. I am considering some sort of formal but simple campaign system, but more about that when it actually occurs...