Friday, December 30, 2011

Preliminary Map

Of my little corner of not-Germany.  This is the political map; I am adding a point-movement system to this that will incorporate the geography.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Campaign Thoughts

There's nothing like a fun game to get one thinking about a PBEM campaign.  Rob has shouldered the burden for a couple of long-running Diplomacy campaigns and it would be nice to take my turn a bit. 

The basic plan would be to create an Imagi-Nations map -- perhaps using the method published by Henry Hyde for the Faltenian Succession (See Battlegames 4), perhaps using a separate continent based on something like the Blitzkrieg map -- with 3 major powers (Drakenburg, Bravant and Stuz-Berkatz) and 4-6 minors.  Players would submit orders every couple of weeks and I would adjudicate, resolve battles solo and communicate results.  The backbone would probably be the rules from Battlegames with a very few twists.

Since the players would be scattered around the country -- or further -- a lot of interest would have to be in the intrigue and the operational campaigning rather than in the battles themselves.  In fact, as long as the players have fun it would not actually bother me if no-one fought a battle.

I will have to mine the literature for examples of intrigue and dirty tricks -- I watched a documentary on Catherine the Great last night which certainly left me with an impression of  Enlightenment politics as a full contact sport.

I would value thoughts on this from all and sundry.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Battle of the Bridges

Control of the vital road junction of Dreibrücken is a critical step in a successful advance by Bravantois forces against the Landgaviate of Stutz-Berkatz.

Today, the armies of the Duke of Bravant, under the command of the duke himself advised by Marshall MacDuff attempted to seize the bridges.   They were opposed by the combined field forces of the Landgave and the Archduke of Drakenburg.

The Allied avaunt-guard stole an early march on the enemy, and began to secure the left bank.  The famed Darkenburg Hussars were backed up by the Fenwick Light Dragoons, the Drakenburg Croats, the Fenwick Fusiliers, and every battalion gun that could be pried from the Drakenburg army.

In passing, we note that the Fenwickers do not consider themselves to be mercenaries, preferring instead to think of their lord as a nobleman with a fixed loyalty to profit.

A short while later, the first brigade of Branvantois horse made their way on to the right bank.

Soon thereafter, the Drakenburg horse on the extreme allied right met the second Branvatois cavalry brigade on the Branvantois left.

While the Stutz-Berkatz horse deployed to face the waiting enemy in the centre.

Seeing their chance, the Drakenburg horse got "stuck-in" and began the destruction of the Bravantois cavalry.
A decision fulfilled by the charge of the Stutz-Berkatz horse in the centre, leaving Marshall MacDuff struggling to rescue his shattered regiments.

But the tramp of marching feet was soon heard, as the cavalry preliminaries were concluded and the main bodies of infantry began to enter on both sides.  The Bravantois cavalry had been driven from the field; the Stutz-Berkatz cavalry had suffered in the engagement and fell back in the centre effectively spent.  The Drakenburg cavalry, victorious but exhausted, deployed to threaten the Bravantois left.

The Branavtois avaunt-guard held the right bank of the bridge nearest its entry point, matched and engaged in a long range fire-fight with their Allied opposite number.  In the centre a strong brigade of infantry backed by heavy guns threatened the middle bridge facing a weak Stutz-Berkatz brigade and supported by a brigade composed of the Bravantois Guarde backed up by French-supplied Swiss and Scots.

The Bravanois forces shook out into line and began to advance.  Long range fire from the battalion guns forced the exhausted Stutz cavalry to retire.

The Drakanburg contingent, meanwhile, has occupied a position in a large farm complex on the right and established a battery to bombard the enemy centre.  The Branavtois infantry on their left are likewise holed up, but with a single battalion gun are as good as neutralized far from the objectives.

The Branvatois try a strong two-brigade push in the centre, but it all goes horribly wrong.  First, in a surprise success so rapid it is almost missed the Berkatz "double-blue" freikorps send a Branvois brigade packing with losses; only a second attack drives it back.  Then the much-vaunted guarde refused to advance.  This unit is amazingly consistent in its behavior. Marshall MacDuff attests that they have failed him in every engagement in which he has employed them,and believes they should be rated as a militia regiment for spoiled noblemen's distaff offspring.

Meanwhile, the Stutz-Berkatz first brigade arrived on the left bank, and secured the left bank of all the bridges.

With the centre brigades broken or compromised, night falling, and a frech Drakenburg force advancing, Marshall MacDuff realized that he could neither secure both banks of any bridge, nor even force a draw, and so elected to withdraw from the field.  With their cavalry blown and one enemy brigade untouched, the Allies elected not to push the pursuit.

The game was played  using Ross's (MacDuff's) Hearts of Tin rules, the latest version of which can be found from his Battlegame of the Month blog.  In the past we have translated inched to centimeters since Ross's rules were originally designed with 20-40mm figures in mind.  Today we used inches straight up; so foot was moving 9" in line and horse 18"; guns reached out 36".  These are bloody rules, since battalion level morale results are simply rolled into losses.  Fast movement, long ranges and bloody combat makes a fast decisive game with a short cycle from decision to combat to result.  This was not a small game - something like 20 or so units on each side - and came to a sold conclusion in 12 turns over about 4 hours (leaving out the coffee and lunch breaks).

And the Brantois Guarde  really is that consistent.

All figures are Pendraken.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bravantois Horse

The heavy horse of the Duke of Bravant.

First, the Gensdarmes of the Guard, led by their colonel-in-chief General Epinoy

Red with yellow (gold for officers of course) turnbacks.  Bays, except the trumpeter on a grey.

Next in precedence, the Regiment St. Laurent. 

Finally, Regiment St. Urbain.

Yes, they are "Saint Urbain's Horsemen" -- I never could resist a bad pun.  And yes, St. Laurent ("La Main") is also a Montreal street.

I also really like their commander, who is from one of Pendraken's commander's singles.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bravantois Artillery

The senior engineer inspects Batteries Gagnon and Tremblay.

Gunners often shed coats and hats, showing their red waistcoats and  breeches.

All artillery wear a dark blue coat with yellow cuffs; hat trim is white.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Duke of Bravant

Bravant is the most French influenced of the imagined enlightenment states.  It also, at this moment, has the strongest army.

 Here the duke (Francois III)  himself inspects the drill  of the Lachine regiment.

The Lachine uniform is in the French style, with a coat of unbleached wool, and pale blue turnbacks, yellow trim on the tricorns.