Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2013

The Battle of the Elbow River Redux. . .

The recent Battle for the River Elbow, seen once again from the Stollenian side of the table.
The beauty of multiple bases?  I just spent slightly over an hour putting everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, carefully back in its plastics tubs, consolidating and storing the buildings and terrain, and tidying up in general.  Ahhhhh. . .  I may just pour myself a bit of something medicinal in a moment.  

Tomorrow is September 1st -- Can you believe it? -- and it's time to get painting again for yet another friendly painting challenge that a few like-minded friends and I are waging from September 1st to November 1st.  Or was it December 1st?  No matter.  I've got my anticipated brushwork cut out for me in any case.  But more on that anon.  

Time to finish that first batch of student papers for the semester in the meantime, which I collected yesterday.  This semester will be particularly brutal where free time is concerned.  I've got three writing intensive courses on my schedule: de…

And What of the Grand Duke?

"Well, I suppose that's that, Hives," quipped the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II at the conclusion of the battle.  "Frightfully good show, but ol' von Tschatschke had an easy time of it though if you ask me.  Still, places to go, and people to see, eh Hives?  Come along now!  There's a cobbler back up the road in Kaunitz who has promised to measure my feet for a pair of whole-cut riding boots.  We mustn't keep him waiting."  Figures in this vignette are all by Minden with a Foundry barrel at the foot of the signpost and a unit of 1/72 Revell plastic infantry in the background.

The Situation at the Close of Turn Nine. . .

General de Latte (at far left in dark blue and red), after much deliberation and consultation with his subordinate officers, decides to order a general withdrawal.  With great shame and frustration, he concedes the battle to his Stollenian opponents.  There will clearly be no schnooky-schnooky when de Latte returns to Princess Antonia III this evening!  The miniatures in the group of officers pictured above come from RSM95, Minden, and Spencer Smith.
Between seven-thirty and eight o'clock on the evening of 4th August 1773, General Phillipe de Latte gave the order for his men to break off contact and begin an orderly retreat to their south.  He had no wish to squander any more of his troops, who, during the course of several hours, had failed to cross the River Elbow and establish a foothold within the Grand Duchy of Stollen as ordered by the conniving Princess Antonia III.  The Zichenauer infantry took heavy casualties in its attempt to do so, and the bulk of de Latte's artille…

There's a New Blog in Town. . .

Berliner Landmiliz, 1760.  You can see where my mind is headed, can't you? 
Breaking News!  Phil's War Cabinet is back!  Noted wargamer Phil Olley has been hard at work behind the scenes, and it looks like his new blog is going to be an amazing ride chocked full of visual goodies and inspiring copy.  Do yourselves a favor and toodle on over to Phil's War Cabinet right now.  Have a look around and either bookmark or, better yet, click on 'follow'.  This is destined to become one of the greats I'm certain.
In other news, the Battle of the Elbow River has obviously taken a brief hiatus.  The Grand Duchess and Young Master returned last week, which has eaten into my available freetime considerably, much as I love and missed them.  And then, in a double whammy worthy of a WWF tag-team move, I looked at the calendar and noticed, almost as an afterthought, that it was the final week of summer vacation.  Which meant that it was time for. . .  the dreaded annual revision…

The Situtation at the Close of Turn 8. . .

General de Latte's first assault across the River Elbow comes to a standstill thanks to Stollenian musketeers and artillery  Not much is left of the first wave of von Flickenhoffer's Fusilers (foreground), and the Ermland Garde (background) have suffered badly the hands of von Tschatschke's 13th Musketeers.
For the next hour, General de Latte's advance stalled as his officers and NCOs attempted to sort out their men and restore some sort of order.  By 7:30pm, General von Tschatschke asked for the return of his telescope from the Grand Duke-Irwin Amadeus II, who remarked cheerily, "I say!  Did you know that if you look through the other end of this thingy, everything looks farther away?" Von Tschatschke raised an eyebrow in reply, as did Hives, and took back his telescope.  He surveyed the scene before him.  


Reduced below 50% of their initial strength, de Latte's remaining Irish Grenzers (in the distance) turn tail and flee while the Mittau Volunteers attem…

Heavy Casulties at the Close of Turn Six. . .

The Stollenian Jaeger zu Fuss inflict another five casualties on Zichenau's von Cziklos Croats on the wooded hill, reducing their numbers to less than 50% of their original strength.  The remaining Croats fled as fast as their feet could carry them.
At half past six on the evening of 4th August 1773, the situation for General de Latte's invading army grew darker in every sense.  Along his front line, de Latte's infantry took heavy casualties from enemy musketry and gunfire, throwing the various units comprising the Zichenauer Army into confusion.  Chaos erupted in some areas as men and horses struggled to escape the carnage.  Still worse, the hussars and Croats attacking the left flank of the Stollenian Army on the eastern end of de Latte's position withered and evaporated in the face of heavy return fire.  The latter caused high casualties within de Latte's units in that area of the battlefield with sheer panic breaking among the relatively few survivors.   


The co…

Turn Six Begins. . .

Throwing caution to the wind, the infantry on General de Latte's left flank wades into the RIver Elbow, with one platoon storming the bridge, while the Stollenian infantry waits beyond, its muskets at the ready.  Meanwhile, the aristocrats continue their carousal in the village of Clauswitz beyond.  Listen closely, and you'll hear Maestro Bacharach's musical combo striking up Sir Roger de Coverley!
Shortly after 6pm on the evening of 4th August 1773, the Battle of the Elbow turned into a full-blown affair.  General de Latte's cavalry brigade had finally been able to concentrate on his left flank at the western end of the battlefield.  It was, however, unable to do much thanks to the mass of confused men and riderless horses before it on the south bank of the Elbow. 


As the broken independent company of the Wolmar-Bock Regiment makes its way to a rear area, the remnants of de Latte's cavalry brigade form up into two lines.  What a pity they've nowhere to go!  Y…

Turn Five Highlights. . .

To the rear of his center, General von Tschatschke's Leib Grenadiers and 4th Dragoons continued approaching their new positions 
Between 5:30 and 6pm late in the afternoon of 4th August 1773, the action heated up across the battlefield.  Yet a third attempt by Stollenian engineers to blow the single small bridge across the River Elbow failed.  General von Tschtschke's artillery, nevertheless, managed to inflict heavy casualties on parts of the Zichenauer line which gave way.  So too did the Grand Duchy's corps of Jaeger zu Fuss during a stiff exchange of skirmish fire atop a wooded hill at the eastern end of the field.  


A hot firefight erupted on the thickly wooded slopes at the far eastern edge of the battlefield between the von Cziklos Croats and  their enemies the Grand Duchy of Stollen's green-coated Jaeger zu Fuss during Turn Five  The latter managed to inflict three casualties on the blue Croatian devils without suffering any of their own.  Who said plastics can&…

At the Close of Turn Four. . .

The Zichenauer Infantry began to feel the effects of prolonged Stollenian artillery fire during Turns 3 and 4 with the independent company of the Wolmar-Bock Regiment (in light blue) taking the brunt of it.
Little additional troop movement on either side had occurred by 5:30pm that afternoon thanks to a sudden cloudburst.  However, the artillery on either side was able to resume its barrages again as soon as possible after the rain quit, and the sun returned.  The were casualties on either side, although the Zichenauers suffered especially hard at the hands of the Stollenian artillery crew and its lone gun in the Lesser Redoubt, which blew gaping holes in the ranks of the Wolmar-Bock regiment.  

Presumably, the sudden rain also had something to do with the Stollenian engineers' failure to detonate the bridge across the River Elbow.  You'll recall that they placed a charge beneath it before the battle began in earnest.  At the moment, two brave volunteers have crept beneath the …

The Situation after Two Turns. . .

Here's a general panorama view of the battlefield after an hour of game time.  You'll note the respective armies beginning to concentrate and converge.
By approximately 4:25pm on the afternoon of 4th August 1773, the ongoing respective cannonades of both armies had inflicted only light casualties on either side.  Otherwise, the battlefield was relatively quiet with both General de Latte and General von Tschatschke taking the opportunity to shift  some of their units into better positions.


General de Latte (left) and Major di Biscotti (right) lead two squadrons of the 11th Hussars toward their left flank at the gallop.  Di Biscotti, you'll note, is already demanding "Are we there yet?" and exhorting his superior to find a sidewalk cafe where they might stop for a late afternoon pick-me-up and use of the facilities!

Meanwhile, de Latte has left behind his third squadron of hussars under the supervison of another one of his aides, one Colonel von Buttinski, in support …

The Battle Begins . .

The situation at 3:30pm on 4th August 1773. . .  The start of the Battle of the River Elbow.  The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I am in the midst of attaching the troops to multiple bases -- dimensions stipulated by Peter Gilder's In the Grand Manner rules -- to speed up play.  Still some painting to do here, so that the bases blend into the tabletop.
Early in the afternoon of 4th August 1773, the libidinous General Phillipe de Latte and his dastardly aide Major Paolo di Biscotti observed the final units taking their positions in the Zichenauer line.  Thicker than usual morning mist and moderate midday rains had delayed things longer than de Latte would have liked.  He spent the morning overcome by waves of ennui inside his pavilion tent, emerging just after 1pm.  By mid-afternoon, the skies had at last cleared, and everything was ready for de Latte to make his move.  At precisely 3 o'clock, he turned to his aide and asked, "Shall we order a general advance of the …

A Few Questions. . . A Few Answers. . .

No, not the greatest photograph, but here's another small scene prior to the battle beginning in earnest.  A couple of Zichenauer officers discuss some aspect of the enemy deployment while yet another Croat takes potshots at someone or something across the River Elbow.  The mounted figures are by Minden Miniatures while the firing Croat and shattered gun carriage are from RSM95.
A hearty thank-you to everyone who had a look at yesterday's photographs and/or left comments.  There were two or three questions asked as well, so here are the answers:


1) The cards I plan to draw to determine movement and firing initiative are just plain old playing cards.

2) The object that I mentioned on the right-hand side of one of the earlier photographs yesterday was the group of frolicking aristocrats, who have organized an impromptu garden fĂȘte just outside the small village of Clauswitz where they can climb the nearby ridge and observe the coming battle.

3) The artiste, who resembles long-haired…

The Armies Move into Position. . .

A Room with a View: The armies take their starting positions.  Darn those moving wooded hills!  I'll have to put that back where it belongs.

Captain von Schenker reports to General von Tsschatschke (in pink), who has just arrived.  And that looks like ol' Fred himself off to the left.  It's seldom mentioned in the history books these days, but Frederick II was a keen observer of the War of the Buttons between Stollen and Zichenau, and he attached himself to von Tschatschke's staff on more than one occasion just to see how things panned out on the battlefield for his neighbor.  The figures are by Minden, RSM95, and Minifigs.  Can you guess which miniatures are which?

Meanwhile, General de Latte and his aide Major di Biscotti set up their headquarters at the foot of the church tower in Gneisenau.  The former was heard to quip to the latter, "I say, old bean, nothing is better than a fresh cup of espresso before a battle, what?"  To which di Biscotti replied wit…

General Orders and Victory Conditions. . .

Funny what a fully charged battery in the camera, and the right lens, will do!  Here's a much sharper view of the table before I set out the troops in a little while.

General Orders

Electorate of Zichenau (General de Latte)
The attacking general, de Latte has been ordered to invade the Grand Duchy of Stollen and establish a base of operations at the small market town of Kaunitz, several miles to the north of the River Elbow.  He has the larger army with more guns and cavalry at his disposal, but de Latte's men must cross a river that has not been thoroughly reconnoitered.  What were they thinking?  Moreover, the river has only a small single bridge spanning it.  Last, the Army of Zichenau must assault a heavily defended ridge.  

Grand Duchy of Stollen (General von Tschatschke)
Von Tschatschke has been charged by the Stollenian War Ministry with defending the Grand Duchy and preventing its invasion. While he commands a numerically inferior scratch force, with its units still somewh…