09 July 2012
Meanwhile, in General von Tschatschke's study. . .
Generals von Tschatschke and de Latte eschew the lovely morning to continue their war game in the confines of the former's study.
General von Tschatschke rubbed his left temple. The gin-induced throbbing lessened to a dull roar after a fashion. He glanced at the wargaming table one final time, made a few more notes with his quill pen, and then spoke with an air of authority.
"There you are my dear de Latte! Take that!" Unmoved, General de Latte puffed his clay pipe, removed it from between his teeth, and spoke.
"Come, come now, old sneaker. Do you really think any of this is going to help? Your boys are fighting a losing battle after all. You've mishandled your guns throughout the game and your Jaeger zu Fuss in Eispicke Village are all but finished. Time for you to throw in the old towel, don't you think?"
"Nonsense!" blustered von Tschatschke from across the table, adding, "I've just pulled your troops into a carefully laid trap, that's all. Hah!" He picked up his smouldering clay pipe, drew on it a few times, and blew several lopsided smoke rings in de Latte's direction for added emphasis. General de Latte coughed in the thickening smoke, took a draw on his own pipe, and laughed derisively.
"Hah, hah! We'll see old chamber pot, we'll see. Now, how about those orders, hmmm?"
"Certainement, my dear de Latte! Here you are then. For Turn Six, my troops are ordered to do the following:
1) My 4th Dragoons will retire a full move distance to their rear, pulling the recaptured cannons that belong to my artillery with them. There, they will return the guns to the waiting artillery and reform on the extreme right flank, covering the guns from any unanticipated enemy action
2) My remaining artillery crew will then re-man their guns and take aim upon the nearest enemy troops to their front.
3) My remaining Jager zu Fuss in Eispicke Village will concentrate their fire on the left flank of your Auflauf Battalion.
4) My Von Laurenz Museteers on the left flank will form a column of half companies, withdraw into Neu Sittangbad, and head for the bridge. The remaining infantry in my front line will unleash volleys of musketry on any of your infantry that approaches to within less than 12". They will hold fire otherwise.
5) My cuirassiers will move into the space vacated by the Von Laurenz Musketeers at the double and charge into contact with your Ermland Garde at turn's end.
6) My engineers in the earthworks on the edge of Neu Sittangbad and those just across the river at the far end of the bridge will hold their positions for now.
"There!" intoned von Tschatschke with smug satisfaction and took another puff from his clay pipe. He puffed out his chest. "Get out of that one my dear de Latte!"
"Child's play, old banana peel, mere child's play," laughed General de Latte with characteristic Parisian dismissiveness. "We'll soon have you sorted out. Won't be long now, what?"
"What?" asked von Tschatschke from his side of the table.
"It's an expression old trowel," smiled de Latte with a rakish air.
"Oh, yes. Of course. Of course," replied von Tschatschke confused.
"Now, it's just gone quarter past ten. How about some of that single malt over there on the bar cabinet? 18 years old is it? I'll take mine neat in one of those new crystal whisky glasses."
"Ah! A fine suggestion my dear de Latte," said von Tschatschke with enthusiasm. "Hair of the dog and all that, eh?" His Gallic opponent grinned in agreement.