Friday, December 14, 2007

Bitburg, part five

As Lentulus deployed his grenadiers to storm the much-battered Inn, with his fusiliers behind them, the elite Erbprinz Regiment (in 2 battalions) filed onto the field, heading for the rather-depleted left wing: fortunately, the stern fighting over Bitburg itself had dissuaded the Arvergnians from pressing forward here, for fear of exposing their flank.

To Lentulus' relief, the Oldenburgs had managed to sort out their musketry woes, and forced La Marine to retreat, while they were replaced in the line by the reformed Normandie regiment, somewhat depleted from their ejection from Bitburg. In the centre, the Schwandrie combined Grenadiers and the 58th Foot joined hands, preparing to storm both town and Inn at once. (In the distance, you can see more Arvergnian horse filing onto the field).

On the left, the combination of two depleted fusilier battalions, and the heavy battery, had reduced the Clare Regiment to relative impotence, and they were showing signs of wavering - however, another Grenadier regiment had moved up to support them, and behind them, the Auxerre Regiment deployed in further support.

The disordered Kalkreuth Dragoons, having eliminated the Bourbon regiment by virtue of attrition and superior numbers, now launched themselves at the open flank of the retreating Normandie regiment, as a target too tempting to resist. Beyond them, the Bayreuth Dragoons swept forward, causing the gunners to abandon their ill-deployed guns, only to be met by another regiment of Arvergnian cavalry, Les Mousquetaires. The resounding crash of their meeting echoed over the field, but to no effect, as they drew.

On the left, you can see the Clare reigment now recoiling from the firefight, while the first Erbprinz regiment deploys into line, ready to replace the wavering fusiliers. Further in the distance, the resurgent 58th Foot seize Bitburg again, while the Inn is taken for the third and final time, by Lentulus' grenadiers. Alas, the fair Bernice had by now been spirited out of the inn.

Bitburg, part four

The Kalkreuth Dragoons, even though disordered, held the Bourbon regiment to a draw, and both sides rapidly debouched into line.

Lentulus, having deployed his leading regiments, now led them forward, his favorite Oldenburgs in the lead. They marched up to the La Marine square, carefully preserving their fire until close range, then unleashed their first volley at this plump pigeon. Peering through the smoke, Lentulus started spluttering and gibbering, turning an alarming shade of purple, before he could clear his throat and turn to the Brigade Major. "Two dead! Two miserable men dead!! what have you done to my boys?"**. The Brigade Major turned white, then hurried down the line, quickly checking muskets and kicking the arses of sergeants.

Beyond this, the Arvergnians brought up a fresh regiment of Grenadiers, and assaulted the town, driving the 58th Foot back in some confusion.

Meanwhile, the rest of Lentulus' brigade arrived - a regiment of Fusiliers, and a combined battalion of Grenadiers.

Somewhat against the odds, the Kalkreuths drove the Bourbon regiment back in disorder, then pressed forward, inflicting further injury, despite Baron de Batz joining the Bourbons to rally them.

Meanwhile, on the left, the 12th Foot, after seeing off the Picardie Foot, had themselves been caned by Clare: maintaining good order, their much reduced ranks formed column, and fell back into reserve behind the heavy artillery, leaving the Fusiliers to face the Clare regiment. Above, you can also see the 58th Foot rallying after being ejected from Bitburg.

** First Fire, against a Dense Target, not moving, and they roll 2x1 on 2d6

Bitburg, part three

Here you can see Lentulus' troops marching up to reinforce, while on the right the Kalkreuth Dragoons ride roughshod over the Bulkeley Regiment, their first victim of the day, and the Bayreuth Dragoons skirt circumspectly around the Arvergnian square. In the centre, the Icenian fusiliers have just ejected the Grenadiers Savoie from the Inn, again, while the 58th Foot is exchanging futile volleys with the Arvergnian foot occupying Bitburg itself. On the far left you can just about see the Picardie regiment starting to flee the unflinching Icenian volleys, across the closed field.
As the Kalreuth Dragoons drove the Bulkeley Regiment back in ruin, the following Dillon Regiment hastily formed square, comforted by the arrival of the first of the Arvergnian horse, the Regiment de Bourbon Cuirassiers.

However, von Lessow, commanding the Kalkreuth, was nothing loth and flung his dragoons, disordered or no, straight at the Bourbon regiment. (In truth, as the alternative seemed to be to rally directly in front of a newly-arrived Arvergnian battery, the charge looked a better choice).

Meanwhile, the Bayreuth Dragoons took the opportunity to deploy into battle line, and menace the deploying artillery.

While this was going on, the 58th Foot had decided that their firefight was pointless, and had drawn bayonets and ejected the Arvergnian Normandy regiment from Bitburg itself, in short order - ironically, just as the Savoy Grenadiers seized the Inn and Lady Bernice for the third time.

Bitburg, part Two

Rathenau had meanwhile led his dragoons over to the west of town, and the Kalkreuth dragoons were mounting the first of the low ridges there: their appearance caused some consternation amongst the Arvergneaux, and the Normandie Foot regiment had formed square in response.

Now, as the dragoons marched urgently off, his own brigade started pouring down the road, and he trotted down to join the head of the column, aiming to march in support of the dragoons**

At this time, the Grenadiers flung themselves at the Inn again, successfully ejecting the Icenian fusiliers.

On the left, the exchange of fire continued, with the faltering Arvergnian foot being now supported by the Regiment de Clare, against the superior numbers and discipline of the Icenians.

As he joined the Livgarden Regiment, he saw the Savoyards launch their third assault on the (rather battered-looking) Inn, while to the west he could hear trumpets blowing the charge - the Kalkreuth Dragoons had apparently found a target (not, he prayed fervently, that French square).

Indeed, it was not, but rather the unfortunate Bulkeley Regiment: Patrick Bulkeley having misestimated the reach of the dragoons, and neglected to form up from march-column, and was caught by the squadron-columns of the Kalkreuths (above, about to start their charge).
Meanwhile, the 12th Foot had pressed their advantage against Picardie, advancing to close range (while the second battalion of fusiliers dropped back into support, leaving room for the continued bombardment of the town), and Picardie was rapidly wilting under the storm of shot.

** Not to mention the juicy target of a regimental square of French!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bitburg: the early phase

Riding in advance of his troops, Lentulus soon reached the heights of Bratschen, and gained a panoramic view of the lively clash.

The retiring Arvergnians had installed one regiment of foot as garrison in the town, with another regiment on each side of the town, neatly in line, and a reserve column of the Grenadiers de Savoye held behind the town. They showed no sign of artillery or cavalry as yet, while the Icenians had a battery of 12 pounders in action beside Lentulus, in ear-splitting but rather disappointing action already.

Clinton had apparently concentrated his two infantry regiments on the left of the town of Bitburg, splitting his elite Fusiliers into a pair of small battalions, one to act as general reserve, and the other as a storming party to assault the White Horse Inn, on the edge of town*.

As he watched, the right-hand battalion of Fusiliers stormed the Inn successfully, eject a company of Arvergneaux in short order, and securing the courtyard. To their left, the rest of the Icenian foot pressed forward, the 12th Foot lining up against the Picardie Regiment across a closed field, while the 58th Foot headed towards the town. The Arvergnian foot on the other side of the town kep marching in stately fashion, while the road south showed suspicious dust clouds and - sure enough, when peering through his spyglass, the flags of the Ibernian brigade.

He turned in the saddle, and saw the Kalkreuth Dragoons trotting briskly up the road, with half the Bayreuth Dragoons behind them, all neatly in column, and smiled in some satisfaction.

Back at the town, the Savoy Grenadiers had formed an attack column and flung themselves at the Inn, but been repulsed by sturdy fighting by the Fusiliers, while to the left, the 12th & the Picardie regiment had exchanged some extremely disappointing first volleys, and now moved to close the range.

Behind the town, he saw, the Regiment de Clare was forming line to support Picardie, while the rest of the brigade headed for the other side of the field, still in march columns: and the Savoy Grenadiers, nothing loth, had flung themselves at the Inn again, only to be repulsed after some sustained combat.

*and temporary residence of the fair Bernice, hence the assault.

Monday, November 5, 2007

First Stirrings

At last, the long-anticipated news arrived: Arvergne and Styria were stirring, and readying their armies to seize the Rheinpfalz again. Leopold extricated himself from the Royal Conservatory, in the midst of composing Concerto #17 for Recorder and Quartet, and hobbled excitedly down to the Royal War Room, where he had to kick out four patrons in order to clear a table*.

Die Altenburger and von Lentulus broke up their whist quartet and joined Leopold, as the other generals hastened in at the news. Studying the map spread out on the table, Leopold quickly dictated his plans, sending the bulk of the Kruppfalzarmee south and east to face the Styrians, while detaching Lentulus and Rathenau to cover the southwest frontier, and hopefully link up with the erstwhile allies of Grand Icenia, in the blithe assumption that perfidious Prydin would honour its treaty obligations.

However, while the Elector gathered his army for the descent on Styria, news arrived from the Icenians, that Arvergne had broken the frontiers already, descending on Osnabrueck and with a brigade of infantry seizing the annual Wax shipment just prior to it being sent to Icenia: and Brigadier Clinton had set out in hot pursuit, determined to prevent the Arvergneaux taking the shipment back to their own lands. Leopold threw up his hands, and ordered all his forces to rush to the assistance of the rash Clinton**

First in the saddle, and first to march, was Rathenau with his brigade of dragoons, hotly followed by Lentulus with his infantry, the others straggled behind. Pausing briefly at Kleefeld for a hasty kaffee, the two heard a rumour that the Arvergneaux had seized not just the Waxerie, but also the fair Lady Bernice Witherscomb, which explained the hasty pursuit by the amorous Clinton. Redoubling their efforts, the twain headed south, rewarded by the distant sound of musketry and the occasional thud of artillery.

*In accordance with Leopold's customary frugality, the Royal War Room serves as a kaffeeklatsch and whist room for subscribers while not in more martial use.
** Not to be mistaken for the Clinton Rash, an entirely different affliction.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mutiny in the ranks!

Akk. I've been beseiged all evening by a pestilence of skirmishers. Upset at being omitted from the relevant lists of armies, the Arvergnard regiments:
  • Arquebusiers de Grassins (12 Skirmishers)
  • Fusiliers de Conti (15 Skirmishers)
have been pestering me to rectify my glaring omission, while the Kruppfalz troops:
  • Freikorps von Kleist (12 veteran skirmishers)
  • Freikorps von Bulow (15 2nd-rate skirmishers)
have simply staged a strike for double-pay in recompense. Consider me suitably chastised: and as double nothing is nothing, I thought to offer the Freikorps triple-pay instead.

Grand Icenia

I've only made small inroads on collecting the fourth army, that of Grand Icenia and Thuringer. So far, I've accumulated some pre-painted figures, courtesy of the Great Bazaar of eBay, and none painted by my own hand: however, with the damn Yankees almost complete, this is about to change. What I have to hand is:

  • 7th (Silure) Fusiliers: 32 Veteran Line
  • 12th Regiment: 32 Line
  • 58th Regiment: 32 Line

  • Royal Lifeguard: 24 Cuirassiers
However, on the painting board are:
  • 1st (Pict) Fusiliers: 24 Veteran Line
  • 3rd Regiment: 24 Line
  • 27th Regiment: 24 Line
  • Maxwells (Fusilier) converged Grenadiers: 20 Grenadiers
  • Richards (12/58) Grenadiers: 16 Grenadiers
  • Farquharson's (3/27) Grenadiers: 16 Grenadiers
  • 1st Battery, Royal Artillery: 3 12#
  • 2nd Battery, Royal Artillery: 3 6#
And in the further distance, yet to be undercoated:
  • 43rd Light Infantry: 12 Veteran Skirmishers
  • 52nd Light Infantry: 12 Skirmishers
  • 60th Rifles: 8 2nd class Skirmishers
  • 1st (Royal) Dragoons: 12 Heavy Cavalry
  • 2nd (Pict) Dragoons: 9 Heavy Cavalry
  • 5th (Ibern) Light Dragoons: 9 Light Cavalry
Eventually, I'm aiming to add a 3rd Artillery battery, and perhaps another cavalry regiment; and to expand all the line infantry to 32-strong regiments.

Grand Army of the Republic

I've almost completed the third force, the Rebel Scum Confederated States of Colonia, close allies to Arvergne ever since the Great Rebellion against their rightful and natural overlords, the Brigants. Being new and poor, they are so far lacking in cavalry, and their artillery has yet to be delivered by the foundries of Lyon and Dijon.

So far, the army thus consists of two divisions, from their most populace states:

  • 1st Algonquin Continentals - 24 Line
  • 2nd New Hull Continentals - 24 Line
  • 5th Algonquin Continentals - 16 2nd class Line
  • 6th Somerset Continentals - 16 2nd class Line
  • Green Mountain Rifles - 12 Veteran skirmishers
  • New Hull States Guard - 18 Militia
  • New Somerset States Guard - 18 Militia

  • 3rd Bawdian Continentals - 24 Line
  • 4th Bawdian Continentals - 20 Line
  • 7th North Clementine Continentals - 16 2nd class Line
  • Hatfield Rifles - 12 Veteran skirmishers
  • North Clementine Regiment - 24 Militia
  • South Clementine State Guard - 18 Militia
  • Janeland Home Guard - 18 Militia

Two batteries of artillery should shortly be making their way into the lists, and eventually the odd squadron of dragoons may finish falling off their horses training, and add their weight to the army.

Friday, October 12, 2007

L'armee de l'Arvergne

The other large force I've more or less completed, is the Arvegnch army. This so far consists of:

  • Grenadiers d'Arvergne, 24 Guards
  • Grenadiers de Savoye, 24 Guards

  • Bulkeley Regiment, 32 Line (Hiberns)
  • Dillon Regiment, 32 Line (Hiberns)
  • Clare Regiment, 32 Line (Hiberns)

  • Normandie Regiment, 32 2nd-class Line
  • Picardie Regiment, 32 2nd-class Line
  • Limousin Regiment, 32 2nd-class Line
  • Auxerre Regiment, 18 2nd-class Line

  • Les Bourbons, 16 Cuirassiers
  • Les Mousquetairs, 12 Cuirassiers
  • l'Allemands, 16 Dragoons
  • Maistre de Camp Dragoons, 12 Dragoons
  • Chasseurs de Fischer, 16 Hussars
  • Maroczy Hussars, 12 Hussars (on loan from the Skyrian army)

  • Dole Artillery, 2 12# pieces
  • Vesoul Artillery, 2 6# pieces

Other than rounding out the Auxerre, no plans are afoot for this army.

The Army of Der Kruppfalz

After some consideration & playtesting (and much dithering), I've settled on Kunstkrieg, the SYW variant on General de Brigade, as the most suitable rules for my troops, and have based them up on that basis - not least because I've always favoured large regiments as giving more visual grandeur.

At the moment, Der Kruppsarmee consists : (pix to be added later)

  • Erprince Regiment (IR1), 2 battalions, each 24 Guard
  • Oldenburg Regiment (IR7), 1 battalion, 32 Veteran line
  • Ostergotland Regiment (IR9), 1 battalion, 32 Veteran line
  • Livgarden Regiment (IR2), 1 battalion, 32 Veteran line
  • Vastmanland Regiment (IR10), 1 battalion, 32 Veteran line
  • Knyphausen comb. Grenadiers, 1 battalion, 32 Grenadiers

  • Sobiesky Fusiliers (IR14), 1 battalion, 32 Line
  • Butyrsky Fusiliers (IR16), 1 battalion, 24 Line
  • Lowenstein comb. Grenadiers, 1 battalion, 24 Grenadiers

  • von Lentulus Kurasserie (KR3), 12 Veteran Cuirassiers
  • von Seelhorst Kurasserie (KR6), 12 Cuirassiers
  • von Seydlitz Kurasserie (KR8), 16 Cuirassiers
  • Kalkreuth Dragoons (DR4), 12 Dragoons
  • Bayreuth Dragoons (DR5), 16 Veteran Dragoons

  • Detwald Heavy Battery, 2 12#
  • Julich Medium Battery, 2 6#

The whole is usually commanded by General von Finck, with General Lentulus and Die Altenburger leading the infantry brigades, and General Lavoissier the Dragoons - the Kurasserie has yet to find a stable commander capable of not being shot out of the saddle, slain by his wristwatch, or fleeing like a very frenchman at the first shot.

In the fullness of time, it is intended to round the army out with another pair of infantry regiments (Pfalz-Sonderheim and Schaumburger-Lippe), a Hussar regiment, some more artillery, and of course, another draught of Dragoons to expand the Bayreuth regiment's strength. Much of this already resides in the fabulous riches of Der Unbemalte Stapel (The Unpainted Pile), languishing along many an Arab, Byzantine, Roman and so on.

Wye Knott

I suppose it's inevitable even the old grumblers will venture into Blogosphere - scouts posted, sentries alerted, and muskets loaded, of course.

This is intended to be a fairly occasional blog, to let me track the size and growth of my seven years war collection, and the nations thereof, and any battle reports that might ensue. Being of grandiose ambition (and ever-expanding, like my waistline, it seems), I have not a single fantasy nation, but a whole continent of them:

Der Kruppfalz (und konigreich von Rugia), ruled by the wily Kurfurst Leopold, and his dimwit son, Landgrave Joachim.

The Monarchy of Arvergne, lorded over by the otiose King Louis XXXIII

The Holy Gothic Empire (also known as the Twin Thrones, of Skyria and Avary), held in the iron fist of the Empress Josefina as Regent for her slackwilled son, Villy .. also nominally ruling over the sprawling mass of duchies, bishoprics, marks, and freistadts making up the bulk of Alamanny.

The realm of Suzlov, more or less ruled by the Tsar Vladimir

The Kingdom of Grand Icenia (or Brigant, colloquially), with it's appanage, the Duchy of Thuringer, in the firm, fair hands of King Charles III

The Rebel Scum, err, rather the Confederated States of Colonia - principally the Commonwealths of Algonquin and Bawdia, ruled by none, with the People's Assembly allegedly organising them.

and lesser players and occasions for war, such as
The Frisian Republic
The Helvetian Republic
The monarchy of Ispania
The principality of Lusitania