Thursday, 12 July 2012

Elblingberg II

I had intended to play this game solo but once I began to put the table together my arch wargaming enemy, daughter Georgia, said that she would be pleased to beat me again. I was interested to see if she would pick up the revised rules, which I thought were simple but this would be a good test.

This was to be the first game in the mini campaign, based on a number of Charles Grants’ scenarios, number 40 Dominant Hill.

I want a fairly bare Old School type table for these games and when the crossroads were placed on the table it looked a bit crowded so I removed them and made the two hills and the village the objectives instead.

The scenario called for seven units each. The respective armies were:

Weinpfalz       Horse:             Gelb Dragoner, Blau Dragoner
                        Foot:               Muscat Regt (2 battalions)
                                                Riesling Fusilier (2 battalions)
                                                Scheurebe (1 battalion)
                        Artillery:         Grune Battery

Fromagere      Horse:             Schabziger Chevauxlegers
                        Foot:               Roquefort Regt (2 battalions)
                                                Fusiliers de Brie (2 battalions)
                                                Comte (2 battalions)
                        Artillery:         Alpha Battery

For simplicity I amended the rules to alternate moves; naturally Georgia won the toss and moved first. Without hesitation she divided her force. One brigade marched directly to Elbling town and the other to the small hill on the right. I asked why she had left a battalion and a battery apparently isolated in the centre. “I don’t know which side which side will need their help,” she replied.

Grrrrrrr wargamers using reserves – whatever next?

It became apparent that Fromagere moving second was at a distinct disadvantage. (note to change rules back to simultaneous movement). However the blue coats marched forward in fine style and the battery was deployed on the Elblingberg overlooking the town. And very ineffective it proved to be.  With Count Olaf and the Weinpflaz forces in possession of two objectives there was only one way – “Vorwarts”.

Firstly the Gelb Dragoner needed to be pushed back before the Fromagere infantry could move forward without their flank being threatened. The Schabziger Chevauxlegers were ordered to charge and without hesitation were off. I ought to have recalled Georgia’s dice throwing ability and the poor green coated horsemen lost six to the Gelb’s one casualty. The Schabzigers withdrew in haste but the Weinpfalzers were left having to rally too.

The Roquefort Regt moved forward but rather than charging the well defended town immediately decided on a musketry duel. The Comte 1st battalion were moved forward to support but couldn’t wheel to face the town without presenting their flank to the well placed Weinpfalz reserve.

On the Fromagere left the Fusiliers de Brie advanced towards the hill on a broad front of two battalions They too faced a cavalry regiment as well as a hill defended with the Riesling Fusiliers and two guns. “He who hesitates…” etc.

Count Olaf, with two objectives in hand, simply waited for the assault. The Muscat Regt in Elbling town took aim and delivered a devastating volley taking down eleven of the Roquefort heroes.

On the left the firing was not quite so effective but I had to take away three poor soldiers back to the box.

Round one to Weinpfalz

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Dominant Hill - the Elblingberg

With much of the flood plain of the river Wein a quagmire there was only one route for the army of Fromagere, the main highway.

This was of course also obvious to Count Olaf of Weinpfalz and as he and general Bojollay pored over the map it became clear that they needed to stop the enemy at the town of Elbling which controlled the crossroads and the way into the foothills. Simultaneously they pointed to the same spot on the map. "We must get here first." they said.

The Duke of Fromagere had no map but whilst his hussars were mostly vagabonds they did scout well and had effective methods of extracting information from the local populace. A two day march and the heartland of Weinpfalz would open up to him, and Wilhelmina might be more amenable to his suggestion of marriage.

Dominated by the Elblingberg the pretty little town of Elbling grew because of it's position on the crossroads of the main highways between middle and lower Weinpfalz. Wine would move east to the river ports on the navigable Wein and other produce, such as cheese and grain, came back on the same wagons.

In late spring of 1736 the hard working population had piled their own possessions on these wagons and hastily evacuated their homes. For Elbling was the point on the map that was to be fought over.

The Infantry of Fromagere advance towards the Elblinberg


...while the Weinpfalz infantry march into Elbling.


The War of Wilhelmina's Hand (continued)

Earlier in the year the invading force of Fromagere routed the Weinpfalz defenders in a short sharp encounter on the banks of the river Wein.  

However a few weeks of heavy rain turned the low lying meadows around the river Wein into a quagmire. Wagons and guns sunk up the their axles. The officers found nice billets in the homes of local gentry, cavalrymen in farms and the poor infantry camped under inadequate canvas.

This has allowed the shaken Weinpfalz forces to regroup and Count Olaf has decided to march his reinvigorated men on the enemy still ensconced on the Weinpfalz side of the river. At the same moment the army of Fromagere is called "to arms" as the Duke of Fromagere arrives in his golden carriage to lead his troops to victory in battle and claim the hand of Countess Wilhelmina and the land of  Weinpfalz.