27 December 2007

The Action at Zollamtstadt

The Army of the Electorate of Zichenau won its first victory today at the small town of Zollamtstadt. The road is now wide open into the Grand Duchy of Stollen! Stollen's small corps of observation, or rather what is left of it, has retreated north in the general direction of the capital Krankenstadt.

Above, you see a photo of the general troop dispositions as of 3PM on the afternoon of December 27, 1768. From left to right we see Zinnfiguren Farm, Zinnfiguren Kopse, Hasselblad Heights, Zollamtstadt, and Zollamt Bridge.

Troops pictured above in the background include (from left to right): Stollen's 4th (Trakehenen) Dragoons, the Von Laurenz Musketeers, Princess Waltraud's Battery of Artillery, and a company of the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own ) Grenadiers in support. In the foreground are (from left to right): Zichenau's Garde zu Pferd, a company of the Ermland Garde, the 7th Regiment of Artillery, and two more companies of Ermland Garde on the far right with a fourth held in reserve.

The action began slowly enough with the Stollenian general, General von Drosselmaier, under orders simply to prevent Zichenauer forces from actually crossing Zollamt Bridge before nightfall. No offensive action was advised. Above you see the Stollenian Jaeger zu Fuss inflicting light casualties on part of Zichenau's Ermaland Garde during turn #1.

Things soon picked up when Zichenau's Garde zu Pferd charged across the frozen Lesser Zwischen. They were engaged by a squadron of Stollen's 4th (Trakehnen) Dragoons, and both sides suffered some casualties. Above, you can see the cavalry melee in full swing.

Casualties soon began to mount for General von Drosselmaier's small force over the next couple of turns. Although they inflicted a fair amount of damage on General de Latte's army, things were worse for the Stollenians. Above, we can see General von Drosselmaier, his ADC Major von Schenker, and two officers pondering their next move in the face of mounting casualties.

Late in turn #4, the Stollenian center gave way when the Von Laurenz Musketeers accumulated 50% casualties at the hands of Zichenauer artillery and infantry. Here, you see the remnants of the regiment retiring from the field.

Things went from bad to worse when two companies of Zichenau's Ermland Garde charged across Zollamt Bridge unopposed early in turn #4. You can also observe the general situation across the battlefield. Zichenau's Garde zu Fuss has lost the cavalry melee and is in full flight back across the Lesser Zwischen, reduced by 50%. And midfield, Zichenau's artillery has inflicted heavy casualties on the Von Laurenz Musketeers. Stollen's Jaeger zu Fuss have withdrawn into Zollamtstadt itself at the far right while the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers enter town from the north.

For a brief while, it looked like General von Drosselmaier might pull things out of the fire and save the day. Here, we see fierce resistance by Stollen's Jaeger zu Fuss before Zollamtstadt in the face of intense pressure from two companies of Zichenau's Ermland Garde, who are crossing the frozen Lesser Zwischen in perfect order. They are led by their colonel, the mercenary English officer Augustus von Finknottle -- at the head of his beloved newts.

Within Zollamtstadt itself, the fighting was bitter. The Leib Grenadiers entered town behind their Regimental Sergeant Major-- the renowned Oberfeldwebel Klatschen -- and quickly repulsed the first wave of Zichenauer infantry to cross Zollamt Bridge.

But more Zichenauers came in their wake! Stollen's Leib Grenadiers were able to hold them off for a while, but they sustained heavy casualties themselves, defending the winding streets of Zollamtstadt.

Not wishing to squander his small force in an admittedly minor action, General von Drosselmaier ordered his remaining forces to withdraw from Zollamtstadt and the surrounding area in turn #5. Above, you can see them effecting a reasonably orderly retreat, relieved, perhaps, for the chance to live and fight another day.

The Electorate of Zichenau now has a toehold of sorts in the Grand Duchy of Stollen. As dusk fell over the frozen northeastern European landscape, General de Latte sent word to his ruler, Princess Antonia, and then watched his surviving men file into Zollamtstadt.

And what of this Zichenauer victory? How might it affect relations between Stollen and Zichenau? Will de Latte be able to follow up his early victory and exploit the strategic opportunity presented to him? Or might General von Drosselmaier make a stand up the postroad to Kankenstadt? Will he make a counter attack, wresting victory from de Latte's smug hands? Stay tuned in the coming months to find out!

12 comments:

Der Alte Fritz said...

What beautiful armies these are. I like everything about your collection, from the look of the figures, the size of the units, the uniform colors selected and the scratch built terrain/buildings ( I really like the bridge and towers). It is a true pleasure to see your armies in action at long last. Bravo!

Bloggerator said...

Well done Stokes!

I do love your painting style; it's so very crisp and clean. Lovely game, well laid out with your handsome buildings. Did you ever explain to us how you do them? I'm glad to see it's not just me who blunders about on the floor in the interests of a good game!

Regards,

Greg Horne

Bluebear Jeff said...

Stokes,

I loved the photos; and a good battle report too.

What rules did you use? And how did you find them? Did they work well? Or were they a bit awkward in some circumstances?


-- Jeff

Bill McHenry said...

Excellent report my friend! Well done indeed. You have proudly carried the banner for not only the OSW but for the greatness of plastic as well. I only hope that my own efforts with Zvezda'a products can someday make as good a showing.

Sir William

meadows boy said...

Looks great you should be very proud of your collection! All that work is paying off!
cheers
David

tradgardmastare said...

looks great and inspires me to proceed to my small holiday game too. Thanks for sharing it with us all! Figures look great too- not to mention the buildings also.

MurdocK said...

Excellent that you got to roll some dice and push some lead (even if it was not all of your troops).

I love it that you left at least some of the 'dead' to lie where they fell, I can understand clearing out them from the town, as the quarters are pretty cramped there at the start. Did you leave any 'lieing about where they fell' for the whole battle?

I echo Jeff in asking about your rules used?

Did you find 'movement' at bit fiddly with all of the troops on separate bases?

Have you considered movement trays or "magnetic" systems?

Bravo on the show and a big razzberry to de Latte whom obviously took advantage of a lesser skilled opponent.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Have you considered using some of the Zvezda Great Northern War Swedes (plastic) in your armies? They might be easier to find than the Revell kits. Of course, now that you have RSM figures...

I forget the name of the other company that makes plastic GNW Swedes, but it seems that the cut of the coats would fit in with your era. I'm not sure if the Russians would work, but definitely the Swedes.

I like the Holger Erickson cavalry - very nice.

Frankfurter said...

Beautiful paint jobs ...
:)

A J Matthews said...

A rattling good action, Stokes, and what beautiful armies! Well done on an excellent show!

Snickering Corpses said...

A beautiful action, and it shows very much how well the plastic figures and the RSMs can go together when beautifully painted.

tidders said...

What a great little battle. Excellent report and piccies.

I sure you had a great time playing with your soldiers at Xmas

-- Allan

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