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 infantry and a barrage from our guns in the center, my dear Biscotti?"
By 3:30pm, the Zichenauer and allied line had begun marching, with standards fluttering in the breeze and bands playing, in the direction of the River Elbow. De Latte's grand battery in the center of his position came to life with a roar and began pounding the smaller Stollenian army, which was still scattered before, around, and behind the ridge just to the river's north. As far as de Latte and his fellow officers could tell, there seemed to be little discernible reaction or movement on the far side of field.
"This will be a cakewalk, gentlemen, "de Latte chortled to the men around him. "Von Tschatschke has missed his one chance to escape. The Stollenians are a country of fishermen, peddlers, and haymakers. And von Tschatschke, I tell you, is a bad general! We will simply march across that river, scale the rise beyond, and roll over his men without so much as breaking a sweat. And then the Grand Duchy of Stollen is ours!"
De Latte punctuated his remark by taking a healthy pinch of snuff from the engraved silver box that Princess Antonia III had given him the previous Christmas. He inhaled noisily and with great production, sneezing like a thunderclap. Through tearing eyes, de Latte hacked and sputtered in the direction of his aide, "Major di Biscotti! Drop that jelly doughnut and wipe your mouth! We've got a battle to win." The two spurred their horses and rode off toward the left flank in the west where the bulk of the army's cavalry brigade was stationed, awaiting more direct orders.
The orders of battle for the two armies were as follows:
Grand Duchy of Stollen
Jaeger zu Fuss (1 coy.)
4th Dragoons (3 sqn.)
Grand Ducal Engineers (1 coy.)
1 Battery Arty.
Electorate of Zichenau and Allies
Von Flickenhoffer Fusiliers
29th Mittau Volunteers
Wolmar-Bock Regiment (1 coy.)
O'Malley's Irish Grenzers (1coy.)
Von Cziklos Croats (1 coy.)
11th Hussars (3 sqn.)
Trumbach Dragoons (3 sqn.)
5th (The Roses of Riga) Cuirassiers (3 sqn.)
3 Batteries Arty.