02 August 2010

Post-Battle for Teodorstal Valley Musings. . .

As a Zichenauer officer conveys General Phillipe de Latte's sword to General von Tschatschke, the latter invites his officers to salute their enemy, as a fellow officers and gentlemenn, while the Stollenian 11th Engineer Battalion and 3rd Kuirassiere look on.


Thank you everyone for dropping by, plus your kind remarks and comments, during the last month (hard to believe!). I've had a blast playing these two related tabletop actions, based on Charles Grant's Tabletop Teaser in Battlegames #19 from last year.

One of the many things that made the game enjoyable from a soloist's point of view had to do with the crowded nature of the battlefield, in common with many TTTs, which made any broad, sweeping maneuvers difficult. It was nevertheless interesting, in hindsight, how most of the decisive action, for both Day #1 and Day#2, seemed funneled into the relatively open space between Effibriest at the center of the valley and Crampas Farm at its eastern end with no help from me. . . even though I was playing both sides.

On that note, I really tried to play to win for the respective sides and put myself in the different shoes of the two commanders during each turn. The various random events and die rolls certainly helped here. Were I to do this TTT again, I'd also have a look at Featherstone's Solo Wargames for some pointers on determining beforehand which force is on the attack and which is on the defense, so that there is not a simply a mad dash by both armies to occupy key points/features on the table.

Most of all, it was just terrific fun seeing all of my troops on the table at one time. . . after four years of painting! In a way, it really took me back to playing in a huge sandpile at my grandparents' with a few hundred green plastic soldiers and several tanks when I was 7-11 years old. Terrific stuff those childhood battles were! Sometimes, they'd go on for days if the rain held off in the summer, and I'm sure there may be an errant plastic soldier or two still there in southeastern Pennsylvania, half-buried in the soil. Who knows what archeologists might find one day? "We are pretty certain that civilization at that time consisted of small, brunette boys who spent their time fighting with armies of green, plastic army men, and yet we don't know what finally happened to this culture. They remain as enigmatic as the ancient Mayans!"

Returning to the present, while I eventually hope to add a few more units to complete the Sittangbad-sized order of battle, plus some wagons, pontoons and bridging gear along with a few other specialist units, I think the best sized tabletop army is this roughly "reinforced brigade", i.e., several units of infantry, some cavalry, and a few guns. It's enough to keep things interesting and colorful without jamming the table with so many figures that maneuver becomes impossible. . . especially when fielding your troops unbased as I have chosen to do. That said, now it's time to clean up this mess, reassemble all of those soldiers into their units, and put some of them away. However. . .

There's no rest for the wicked! There is a smaller Phil Olley scenario, presented in the pilot issue of the Classic Wargamer's Journal, that I want to try out in a few days. Sadly, the fall semester begins for me in just three weeks (Where in the heck did summer go?), so there's no time to waste! Now, I wonder what good ol' Irwin-Amadeus II and Hives have to say about the Battle for Teodorstal?

4 comments:

Der Alte Fritz said...

What is the name of the RSM battalion in blue coats and orange waistcoats? I seemed to have missed that one over the past year or so when you were adding new btns to your forces.

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hi Jim,

Those belong to the "11th Engineer Bn.', purchased cheaply from a guy named Jim Wright, who sold me a bunch of unwanted RSM figures at a rediculously low price about 18 months ago (much more unpainted cavalry and infantry in the lead pile). I simply painted up two officers, two NCOs, and a drummer in the same colors to make the unit fit the parameters outlined in charge for a pioneer/engineer/sapper unit. I wasn't able to get the washers off easily though, darn it!

Best Regards,

Stokes

Phil Olley said...

Victory for Stollen! Well done Stokes. A very fine battle report and a very fine collection of Classic figures. Good to see them being put through their paces. All those hours of planning forces and painting, painting, painting are now being rewarded with some good games and the sight of your troops marching across the tabletop.
Phil

adeptgamer said...

My congratulations Stokes. I want you to know ever since finding your blog I have been amazed at the work and organization you put into this hobby. I see you as a real inspiration when I'm feeling overwhelmed with the little I have.

:)

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