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Showing posts from July, 2010

At the Start of Move Six. . .

An hour and a quarter later, Colonel von Adalnowski returned from his walk, collected the good Major, and the two returned to the drawing room where the former exploded on observing the new situation at the wargaming table. . .


At the western end of Teordorstal Valley, the center company of Major von Topfsange's Leib Grenadiers occupied two of the three houses, making up the village of Instetten. The 1st company (above) moved off to strengthen von Topfsange's extreme right flank. "Well, I'll be damned!" howled the Colonel. "Von Topfsange, have you been at these figures in my absence?" The Major coughed nervously in reply.


Colonel von Adalnowski next observed an aide informing a taciturn General de Latte of the deteriorating situation at Instetten (above) and turned angrily toward Major von Topfsange, unleashing a torrent of choice words upon the younger officer. "And I thought I told you not to touch this table until I returned! But now everyth…

Apoplexy at the End of Move Five. . .

Lots to report from the drawing room during Move Five. . . along with the usual excess of smoking and drinking. But let's peek in on the Colonel and the Major, shall we?


For starters, Major von Topfsange's courier reached the 3rd Kuirassiere unmolested and was able to convey the change in orders. As a result, the troopers have rallied behind their standard and will undertake those orders during Move Six. "I'd watch my guns on the left flank if I were you, my dear Colonel," said the Major casually to a reddening von Adalnowski.


In the center of Major von Topfsange's position, just north of Effibriest, the 11th Engineer Battalion wheeled left and began marching east toward Crampas Farm where the Jaeger zu Fuss and cuirassiers waited. "Aha, so you're going to try a flank attack, are you? We'll see about that!" shouted Colonel von Adalnowski from his side of the table.


At the far western end of Teodorstal Valley, the Colonel and Major again d…

Move Four Update. . .

Move Four saw the artillery and musketry duel along the road between the villages of Instettin and Effibriest continue with the leading two companies of Colonel von Adalnowski's Flickenhoffer Fusiliers (in white) getting the brunt of it. "You aren't using loaded dice there, are you von Topfsange?" asked the Colonel half jokingly.


Meanwhile, at the western end of Teodorstal Valley, the cavalry on both sides had managed to shake themselves out and reform. "Never mind, my boy," said von Adalnowski brightly, "my horse grenadiers will soon be on your right flank and roll it up in no time!"


Refusing to take the bait, Major von Topfsange nevertheless took the opportunity to issue new orders during Move Four, sending an ADC to the commanding officer of the 11th Engineer Battalion with special instructions to change position during Move Five. "It won't help, old boy," chided von Adalnowski. "You might as well raise the white flag now.…

At the Conclusion of Move Three. . .

Let's return to the drawing room at the end of Move Three to see how the game between Colonel von Adalnowski and his younger guest, Major von Topfsange, is shaping up after three moves. . .


Move Three saw the previousuly sporadic combats grow into a full-fledged battle all along Teodorstal Valley. In the center, on the road between Instetten (at left) and Effibriest (right), there was considerable artillery, musket, and skirmish fire between the Stollenian and Zichenauer forces. While the latter did relatively little damage, the exchange of artillery salvos and volleys of musketry caused considerable damage, in particular to the first two companies of Colonel von Adalnowski's Von Flickenhoffer Fusiliers. The Colonel blamed that particular misfortune squarely on the accumulating smoke from Major von Topfsange's pipe. "Blast, I can't see to roll my dice properly!" he fumed.


And at the eastern end of the valley, around Crampas Farm, von Topfsange's 3rd Kui…

Move Two Updates. . .

Move Two, with one notable exception, saw little sweeping movement or particularly hot exchanges of fire between the Zichenauers and Stollenians, commanded by Colonel von Adalnowski and Major von Topfsange respectively. But let's eavesdrop selectively on their game in the drawing room for a better idea of the details. . .


"My generals and their staff are going to observe the unfolding battle from the ridge along the north side of the valley," announced Major von Topfsange early during Move Two. "Watch away old fruit," replied Colonel von Adalnowski, who rattled the ice in the bottom of his G&T glass.


"And," continued the good Major, "I am also going to form up my reserve of infantry into a second line." He clinched his clay pipe tightly in his teeth and puffed away deep in thought. Indeed, in the above picture, you will observe the troops concerned beginning to wheel into line. "Are you sure that's what you really want to do t…

The Battle for Teodorstal Valley Commences. . .

Managing finally to lure the bruised Major von Topfsange back to the drawing room, Colonal von Adalnowski and his hapless guest begin Move One of The Battle for Teodorstal Valley. Here is a quick pencil sketch by the Colonel, showing the positions of the troops at the end of Move One. It seems Major von Topfsange and the Stollenians are on the offensive. Could this be a vain attempt by the Major to regain his battered honor?


No dueling yet, but von Adalnowski has rushed his remaining Irish Grenzers toward Crampas farm at the eastern end of the valley. You'll recall that the farm is currently occupied by an understrength company of Stollenian Jaeger zu Fuss.


Meanwhile, in the center of the valley, Major von Topfsange has sent a company of his 2nd (von Laurenz) Musketeers to reinforce the Jaeger zu Fuss and one gun, currently holding the village of Effibriest. The musketeers will occupy the two buildings to their front during Move Two.


Major von Topfsange has also raced the two …

While Colonel von Adalnowski Coaxes Major von Topfsange back to the Drawing Room. . .

Let's have a look at the troop dispositions. . .


Here is a general view of Teodorstal Valley with Crampas Farm just out of sight at the bottom of this artist's sketch. General de Latte has his Zichenauer and Pillau-Reuss forces drawn up in two lines on the south side of the valley (left), while General von Tschatschke has his army along the valley's northern edge (right).


Here is a more detailed shot of the Stollenians as they take their initial positions. On either flank, the cavalry is still coming up in column of march.


Meanwhile, across the valley, General de Latte gives final instructions to his aides and brigade commanders, who salute him in a characteristically flamboyant display of enthusiasm. Now, as soon as Colonel von Adalnowski finds a comfy chair for his bruised opponent, the battle can begin!

Introducing. . . The Classic Wargamer's Journal!

Just a brief note to encourage all of you, who check in regularly here, to join the queue for the pilot issue of Phil Olley's Classic Wargamer's Journal. The CWJ is a new quarterly newsletter that's meant to fill the gaps -- through stimulating, thought-provoking writing -- left by the wargaming glossies. In Phil's own words, the CWJ is intended to, "recapture the 'raw' nature of the hobby before it became glossy."

While giving a nostalgic nod to the famous hobby newsletters of the past, the CWJ is forward-looking, covering all periods, and featuring something for every taste, from how-to articles, to battle reports, battle and campaign scenarios, plus 'Desert Island' profiles with an occasional piece from the hobby archives. In each case, the articles convey that vital sense of wonder, innovation, and enthusiasm that help make the miniature wargaming hobby so contagious, so engrossing, so all-encompassing, and so richly rewarding.

And all yo…

The Wild Boar Hunt Comes to an End. . .

Here is an artist's rendering of a rather stern looking Colonel von Adalnowski. Of course it could just be his extreme disappointment at the wild boar hunt ending sooner than planned due to a minor accident.


And here is a recent, and somewhat misleading, portrait of the young Major von Topfsange. Despite the hussar uniform he is depicted in here, the young Major is most definitely not an accomplished horseman. Reports from hunt participants suggest he was thrown from the saddle early during the hunt when his horse stopped short just shy of a hedgerow, tossing von Topfsange head over heels into the brush. Fortunately, the Major emerged from the accident relatively unscathed. However, he is, shall we say, a bit sore in the seat today, having landed squarely on his posterior.

While von Adalnowski and von Topfsange are away from the wargaming table. . .

Let's have a few teaser photos while Colonel von Adalnowski and his guest Major von Topfsange are gallivanting through the neighboring countryside with the wild boar hunt.


Here, General de Latte (the man in blue, red, and gold at the left rear of this photo) joins his officers, who are recounting their exploits of the night before at a fancy dress ball, held at a nearby manor. The figures here are by RSM95 and MiniFigs with a vintage plastic one by Spencer Smith.


Meanwhile, the grim Stollenians hold out in Effibriest at the center of Teordorstal Valley. The village is garrisoned by half a battery and crew along with about 10 Jaeger zu Fuss, who occupy the far two houses beyond the gun.


Finally, here's is a photograph of General von Tschatschke (in pink), surrounded by his officers as they review their plans for the coming battle.

A misty, muggy midsummer morning dawns. . . 8 July 1770

After a hearty dinner with entertaining guests, followed by too much cognac, several cigars, too little sleep, and a large breakfast, Major von Topfsange and Colonel von Adalnowski returned to the latter's drawing room by mid-morning the next day. They discovered to their delight that the main armies of Stollen and Zichenau had indeed arrived and deployed sometime in the night on either side of Teodorstal Valley, and that the respective commanding generals, together with their retinues of subordinate officers, were deep in consultation. Von Adalnowski expressed surprise at how much space the relatively small forces occupied atop his 6'x10' gaming table. Von Topfsange uttered something in reply from across the room that sounded to the Colonel like assent, though he was not entirely sure just what the ashen-faced young officer was mumbling about.

Sadly, the battery in the digital camera was dead, however, requiring an overnight recharge before photographs could be taken t…

The Final Moves of the Day. . .

The last few moves of The Action of Teodorstal Valley between Major von Topfsange and Colonel von Adalnowski saw little movement on a grand scale, except at the eastern end of the valley and few casualties, except in one dramatic instance. Moves Ten and Eleven saw von Topfsange's Jaeger zu Fuss occupy two of the buildings in Effibriest. The Major also moved his single gun and crew closer in to the village, taking both out of reach of von Adalnowski's pesky Irish Grenzers, lurking atop the wooded ridge to the south of Effibriest. But let's return now to the Colonel's drawing room for a more complete picture of the final events of the day. . .


A fierce clash took place during Moves 12 and 13 between Colonel von Adalnowski's Grenadiere zu Pferd and Major von Topfsange's remaining 3rd Kuirassiere when the former finally caught up with the latter, who got bogged down in deep mud just west of Crampas Farm. In the four separate combats that ensued, von Adalnowski o…

Report on Moves Eight and Nine. . .

Moves Eight and Nine, exhibited little maneuvering by either side, but they were nevertheless full of drama for Stollen's Major von Topfsange and his opponent, Zichenau's Colonel von Adalnowski. Once more, let's peek into to the colonel's drawing room where the game is unfolding. . .


Move Eight saw Major von Topfsange again unlimber his single gun, to cover the left flank of his remaining company of Jaeger zu Fuss. Otherwise, this section of the battlefield was quiet as Colonel von Adalnowski watched through a blue haze of tobacco smoke from across the table without comment, though he was observed twisting one end of his waxed mustache thoughtfully.


On the north side of Effibriest, things went from bad to worse for von Topfsange's squadron of 3rd Kuirassiere during Move Eight. "Aha, your cavalry is within 24"-30" of my gun, old fruit!" exclaimed von Adalnowski suddenly. "Just roll your die to see if you can hit anything and stop going on …