06 August 2017

The Combat at Wegkreuz: A Featherstonian-Grantian, Old School Battle. . .

Today's set-up, now featuring mats, roads, and fields from Hotz Artworks.  Everything works together very cohesively, and the felt mats drape very well over styrofoam hill contours.

Well, the Young Master has not expressed much interest in a battle of toy soldiers with ol' Dad lately, so I am having a quick solo affair myself today (Sunday) while he and the Grand Duchess are off to the Detroit Zoo and IKEA.  I've decided on a battle for a crossroads somewhere along the frontier between The Grand Duchy of Stollen and The Electorate of Zichenau.  Whoever controls it by the end of ten turns will be deemed the winner.  

The situation before the start of hostilities is this.  The two generals commanding the respective scratch forces -- of roughly equal size, but with some slight differences on composition -- have each been sent by their superiors to seize the vital crossroads at the village of Wegkreuz, which sits in a shallow valley taken up by farmland and largely open country.  The slopes surrounding the village are very slight and impede movement only on the higher (second) contours.  Likewise, a small stream some distance south of the village, the Kreuzbach, represented by the treeline, presents only a minor obstacle to troops on foot or horseback although cannon must remain the roadway to navigate the stream easily.  

General von Maximus von Sydow's scratch force of Zichenauers, includes the famed Flickerhoffer Fusiliers, a composite battalion of Ernestine Sachsen Infantry, two cannon, and a company of Croats as well as a strong squadron of cuirassiers in the foreground.

 General Siegfried von Toppels aus dem Sattel commands a similarly sized boddy of troops, consisting of  the steadfast Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers, a battalion of Hanseatic Infantry, a company of jaegers in the distance, plus two guns along the road, and a strong squadron of dragoons bringing up the rear.

As you'll observe in the two photographs above, the Zichenauer force, commanded by General Maximus von Sydow approaches Wegkreuz from the south, while the Stollenian force under General Siegfried von Toppels aus dem Sattel (he likes a nip or two of the good stuff) approaches the village from the north.  The two generals have already spied one another's forces through their telescopes and deployed their respective men.  Gentlemen, start your engines. . . 

-- Stokes


End of Move/Turn Four Update. . . 

General Maximus von Sydow's Flickenhoffer Fusiliers became badly disordered traversing the light woods on either side of the  Kreuzbach very early in the game.  By the end of Move Four, they still had not managed to sort themselves out although they finally managed to navigate the woods and stream.

 Here is a more general view o the situation at the close of Move Four.  No shooting has begun yet although one of General Siegfried von Toppels aus dem Sattel guns has unlimbered, and the respective light infantry elements are within range of enemy formations.  The Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers are also somewhat disordered after crossing rough ground and contracting their line to move around a small copse.

Finally, a second view of the state of things at the end of Move Four.  The careful early dressings and dispositions are now somewhat more messy.  But, as any military person, or, indeed, student of military history can tell you, it does not take long in the face of the enemy for carefully formulated plans to go t--s up, if you'll pardon my use of the bizarrely hilarious Britishism.


Update at End of Move Eight. . .

The combat of Wegkreuz took off in Move Five when things became fast and furious with both sides taking heavy casualties from their respective artillery, musketry, and skirmish fire during Moves Six, Seven, and Eight.  These doctored Featherstone rules -- the foundation of my one-page 'Call It Macaroni!' rules -- are bloody when troops fire at close range.  A few highlights follow below.

The Zichneauer cuirassiers charged toward the Stollenian dragoons in Move Seven, but did not close, stopping 2" short.  They retired a full move back to their starting point. 

 In Move eight, the Stollenian dragoons counter charged and closed with the retiring cuirassiers.  A short, sharp melee erupted,resulting in four casualties for the Zichenauers and three for the Stollenians.  Bother bodies of cavalry retired two full move distances at the end of Move Eight.

Elements of General Mximus von Sydow's Flickenhoffer Fusiliers and General Siegrfried von Toppels aus dem Sattel entered Wegkreuz during Move Eight and began to slug it out, with both sides taking casualties.

 Here is another shot of the fight for control of the village crossroads during Move Eight.


After eight full moves, von Sydow and von Toppels aus dem Sattel decided to call the game a draw.  The sun was low on the horizon, and time was running out.  Rather than squander their small forces in fruitless frontal attacks, the two officers and gentlemen -- it turns out they were both students within a few years of each other at the university in Dorpat before both left to try their respective fortunes on the Field of Mars -- decided to call it a day and put soldiers and scenery away for another day.  

Both generals were very pleased with the inaugural outing for the Hotz mats, which are just the right shade of muted, light green to enable troops to show up nicely for the the camera.  Now, if yours truly could simply find enough time for, not only the painting o new troops, but also a few vital refurbishments AND getting my darn bases painted.  How many years has it been now??!!  There is a lesson to be learned somewhere.

-- Stokes 

The Next Day. . .

I tried out a new bit of rules yesterday to simulate artillery shots penetrating more than just the target immediately before the gun(s).  It works like this:

1) The formation immediately in front of a gun, or guns, takes the prescribed number of hits.

2) A second body of troops, up to 12" behind the first, takes half that number of hits (ignore fractions) to simulate the shot running out o steam but still bounding along in a lethal way. 

3) A body of troops between 12"-24" behind the initial target before the guns takes one fourth the number of hits rolled for the initial target.  Again, ignore inconvenient fractions that tax the mind and pay attention only to whole figures.

There we are.  Not a strictly realistic simulation, of course, but it does help take into account something that actually happened on battlefields during the black powder era.  Naturally, adding this to my rules makes them flip over onto a second page, so an even smaller font size is in order, darn it.

-- Stokes


Paul Liddle said...

It's gonna be good!.

Der Alte Fritz said...


The Good Soldier Svjek said...

Like the table set up , looking forward to the action ! , Tony

CelticCurmudgeon said...

My Dear Heinz-Ulrich, Greetings!

The Chamberlain here at my retirement villa had asked whether you would attempt to play out a game before the semester resumption of university work. It is so gratifying to see your forces out and about to engage in gentlemanly combat.

The situation looks like it will be quite enjoyable to play out. Lovely "old School" look to the table as well.

My best regards,

Gerardus Magnus
Archbishop Emeritus

Matt said...

The troops are nicely turned out. Let us hope they behave as gentlemen in the following moves!

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Now, THAT is a table with room to manoeuvre!

The whole thing looks 'just right'".

Wellington Man said...

I think you've found the perfect combination of scenery for your troops, Stokes. A really beautiful spectacle.

Best regards

Allan Tidmarsh said...

Nice setup and game report

Simon Millar said...

Great to see your forces on the table again. I enjoyed the game report and an honourable draw seems to have been the right result.
Best regards,

Stryker said...

Great to see the troops in action once again!

Conrad Kinch said...

Magnificent! I completely missed that you'd updated your entry.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thank you, men! O course, I wanted to have EVERYTHING out on the table yesterday, but there were only so many hours available before things had to be cleaned up, reorganized, and put away safely (eight feline paws and a pair of young hands), so it made more sense to keep things modest. Still, it was fun to push lead around the tabletop for a few hours of 30mm fun. As the wargaming greats have written, even small games are fun, and the smaller clearing away and clean-up ain't too shabby either. Now, maybe a bit of painting this evening?

Best Regards,


zieten said...

Great looking Table and figures (as always of course). The buildings are inspirational!

Thank you for your kind comments over on my blog 1760 and all that. I will forward the compliments to the one who deserves them.
And by coincidence, believe it or not, today I have just read your CWJ, Issue 2, article "Your wargaming blog seems interesting enough, but where are the tabletop armies to go with it?". Good stuff! 140 figures already finished, now I have to go back to the painting table ...

Chris Gregg said...

It all looks very good indeed - you have the "old school" feel well represented......but unpainted bases reminds me a bit too much of hasty teenage wargaming - a mature fellow like you deserves to treat himself better! :-)
Best regards Chris

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

You are indeed correct, Chris! Now hanging my head in abject shame. Time to do something about those unfinished bases.

Best Regards,


Stu Rat said...

Increase your font and FILL both pages!

It is not as if it will take up more space having front and back sides. And why strain your eyes, you have generalling to do.

Der Alte Fritz said...

Where did you find that color of felt cloth for your table cloth? I found some of the same years ago and have never been able to find any more. It is a natural looking color and very pleasing to the eye - much better than that dark green felt that many of us have had to use.

Your table top terrain just keeps getting better and better.


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

The mats, roads, and fields have all been purchased during the last year from Eric Hotz of Hotz Mats in Canada. Great products and service plus reasonable prices (I think). Here's the link: http://www.hotzmats.com/felt_purchase_mat.html

Best Regards,



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