Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Battle at Altenhof: Action!

Otto was busy polishing his brand-new Brigadiers' brass* epaulette when the devious General Finck gave the usual signal to commence the battle: an all-out bombardment by every gun that he could find. Otto sighed, and waved forward his new junior ADC to take forward the order to advance to his lead regiment, then drew his telescope to keep an eye on the advancing Skyrian foot: just the usual bouillabasse of Bohemes and what not, it appeared. He grasped Mark, his senior ADC, by the shoulder to get his attention, and rasped a command: 'Ride in to the south-east corner of these pine woods, lad, and bring me back regular reports of what's afoot beyond it - I want to know immediately if Funck's lads funk it'.

While the brigade, and the line, advanced, his young ADC, Hans, came galloping back, waving his hat over his head for a moment: then Otto blinked, as Hans seemed to be suddenly shorter - indeed, the first Skyrian cannonshot had removed his head neatly. 'Ach, another day, another ADC' he muttered, and stirred his churchwarden with a twig. Then he beheld a sight to bring a smile: the right-hand battalion of Skyrians had deemed the furious Krup bombardment too much, and decamped, falling back in disorder behind their supports.

2nd Bn, von Moltke's regiment, fails the first morale roll of the day

A young peasant lad, mounted on what appeared to be a cross between a plowhorse and an elephant, cantered out of the pine trees, waving a note over his head, and handed it to Otto, who scowled and pulled out a schilling to reward the youngster, then flicked open the note: "Herr General, the Skyria foot manouevres to engage Funck's brigade aslant, while their Dragoons appear to have misjudged their deployment and are manouevring for more room". He smiled a wintry little smile - that made a change from the Krup' cavalry making a pigs ear of it, the normal situation.

Riesling's infantry wheeling to attack: and Funck sending fusiliers to occupy the pines

Then from the right, there was an almighty crash of metal 'Like a thousand wives throwing saucepans at their husbands and hitting the best plate by mistake', he thought. Peering through his telescope, he saw the Skyrian hussars decamping for the rear at high speed after the briefest of clashes with the Bayreuth Dragoons, while the Dragoons had - for a miracle - retained their heads and swung into the exposed flank of the Skyrian grenadier battalions, driving 2 of them back through their own ranks in confusion.

Charge of the Bayreuth Dragoons

As he watched, puffing excitedly on his pipe, they continued, smashing in more of the unfortunate grenadiers, before their momentum expended itself.

The Grenadiers flee in disorder

While his attention was transfixed by the unexpected pleasure of seeing friendly cavalry doing something more than looting any stray baggage, Otto felt a tug on his sleeve. 'Good news, milord!' beamed young Marc, 'The Skyrian dragoons essayed a charge on the front of the Livgarden regiment, and got shot to shreds for their pains. Looks like their infantry is getting ready to attack though, and the other regiment of dragoons might head this way - I dinna think they'll be trying another frontal charge.' he explained in his broad Silurean twang. 'I'll away to keep an eye again', and he galloped off, furiously dodging pine branches.

Silvaner's Dragoons try conclusions with the stalwart Livgarden Regiment

Otto scanned his own line again carefully, seeing the Oldenburgs ready to engage the Skyrian foot at last, and spurred his horse forward, shouting encouragement, waving his churchwarden overhead (and scattering half-burnt tobacco over the nearby Buyrski Fusiliers). Off to his right, there was another hullabaloo, as the Bayreuth Dragoons, after taking hot fire from the reformed grenadier battalions, chased the impudent Skyrian hussars off the field, then headed for the Skyrian baggage (for a change). Behind them, the more somber Kalkreuth Dragoons manouevred, probing for an opening to attack the grenadiers.

Hussars and Dragoons depart the field

Meantime, the Skyrian right had finally engaged with Funck's brigade, as he could tell from the crashing volleys - in fact, making some headway and driving the Krup foot back, by and large.

*Gold being a touch rare in Kruppfalz since the drying up of the Alzberg Treacle Mines


Bluebear Jeff said...

An interesting focal point for the battle account . . . I think that I like it.

Seems like a good fight.

-- Jeff

Fitz-Badger said...

Nice report and pics! I like your dropped muskets and swords markers.

Die alte Aechzener said...

Front Rank sell a whole bunch of sabres & muskets separately for an amazingly reasonable price: seemed like a much nicer marker than what I used to use, white counters with numbers painted on them.