Thursday, March 10, 2011

Refights: Blasthofbruecke

Well, now that I have a couple of tiny armies to play with again, time to try them out, and what better place to start, than my first introduction to lace wars battles, Blasthof Bridge from Peter Young's Charge! I suppose I must have first played this out myself in 1967, so it's decidedly venerable. For this exercise, I used KK rules, with each side having 2 brigades of foot and a brigade of horse, with a couple of attached guns, and all of equivalent points value (this meant that the Skyrians are stronger in foot, their battalions being larger, but the forces of the elector of Krupp are better quality, having close drill capability).
Here is the initial setup:
On the left, the forces of Styria bustle onto the table, evil white coats glinting in the sunlight, while to the right, the sober, sombre Krupfalzen stride forward nobly. In the foreground is the prosperous hereditary estate of Freiherr Blast, with the eponymous bridge in the midground astride the Blastbach, and in the distance, the Blasthofberg and the stolid Blasthofdorf. The river is fordable except within 6" of the bridge.

After the most rudimentary scan of the terrain, both generals laid hasty plans - FML von Finck decided to trust the mighty legs of his infantry to outmarch the Skyrians, and planned to advance down one bank of the Blast, and reach the bridge before the Skyrians could establish themselves there, while FML Graf von Jagermeister, a wily veteran, decided that trying to outmarch the Kruppen, and sent his cavalry, and von Muscat's brigade of foot spashing across the stream, while von Riesling's foot pushed up the initial bank to menace the bridge from both sides.

von Schwartchild's foot thus seized the Blast estate easily, filling it with two battalions of IR 1 Winterfeldt, while IR20 Zastrow linked with Fahrenheit's brigade seizing the eastern abuttments of the bridge.
Both sides' cavalry formed up on the eastern plain beyond the estate.

In the cavalry clash, the Skyrian Hessen-Darmstadt Dragoons putDR12 Wuerttemburg Dragoons to flight, but lost control and dashed madly after them, while the Krupp KR 3 (Liebgarde zu Pferde) utterly crushed the Infante von Portugal Kurasserie, then reformed, and moved back to menace the madly pursuing Dragoons.

 In the ensuing whirl, the Liebgarde then fell on the flank of the Hessen-Darmstadt Dragoons, driving them back, then a subsequent charge smashed them off the field.

 Meanwhile, Muscat's Skyrians approached the farm cautiously, while von Riesling manouevred the Deutschmeister Regiment to broach the river beyond the bridge, while the Ferraris Regiment rushed the bridge head-on (one battalion getting scathing fire from the massed Krupp artillery and falling back to restore order).

The wily Schwartzchild, seeing the cavalry had cleared his flank, extruded a battalion beyond the Blast estate in order to turn the Skyrian flank: while Muscat could turn one battalion of Jung-Wolfenbuttel to stave off the immediate catastrophe,  the resulting on the pressure on the hinge then created an opening, and Schwartzchild, radiating certainty, led the other battalion of Winterfeldt into the gap in the Skyrian lines.

 Von Rieslings brigade made heavy work of trying to cross the river, and made several attempts to come to grips, rushing the bridge, but the focus of musketry and artillery repelled them each time.

Eventually, the second battalion of Ferraris made a successful rush and broke the defending battalion of IR 32 Treskow, but by this time Muscat's Brigade was crumbling from pressure front and flank, while the rallied Kruppfalzen cavalry were menacing the rear.

 With the destruction of the Kaiser and Jung-Wolfenbuttel reguments, the combined Kruppfalz foot brigades then decisively outshot the weary Skyrian foot. With the line of  communication back to the depots of Sittangbad under threat, Jagermeister drained his bottle and ordered an immediate retreat, sauve qui peut.


Bluebear Jeff said...

Nice to see a classic battle refought with the "good guys" beating the "bad guys".

-- Jeff

Die alte Aechzener said...

I'm always pleased to see the 'good guys' win - in fact it somewhat alarms me how often they dont, given my unconcious bias in their favour: as I usually make plans for them and dice pseudo-randomly for the opposition, it suggests that my planning capabilities may be inferior to random chance determination of strategy!