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Showing posts from November, 2008

The Action at Pickelhaubewicz -- Intermission

Henry Hyde's Von Eintopf Regiment of vintage plastic Spencer Smith miniatures (mentioned below). One of the many photos I gaze at periodically to keep me inspired and working toward my goal of two Charge-sized forces of 25-30mm figures. You might recall that I passed the halfway point last summer, and once I get another 80-figure unit of infantry painted for the Electorate of Zichenau, its army will be complete. Hopefully, that task will be finished in December and January this winter. Thank you everyone for your interest and the encouraging comments you have offered to Jonathan and me this weekend. So far, the game has been a great deal of fun. . . even if things aren't looking so good for my tabletop alter ego, Colonel von Grundig! Jonathan and I are halting for the evening, but we will pick up things where we have left them later in the week. In the meantime, I thought I'd answer a couple of questions that were asked yesterday. One of you asked about my hussars.

Start of Move Seven. . .

Colonel von Grundig finally has his troops concentrated -- more or less, though his artillery is still searching for an advantageous position, and his cavalry is still too far from any enemy troops to threaten them (Sigh). Meanwhile, Major von Hirschbiegel and his aide de camp have entered Pickelhaubewicz and are surveying the village's central platz. The first company of O'Malley's Irish Grenzers have formed line just to the east of the village and marched to within easy musketry range of Colonel von Grundig's line of musketeers and jaeger. And to the west of Pickelhaubewicz, von Finknottle's Newts have almost reached the village outskirts. Finally, a company of Pillau-Zerbst's Wolmar-Bock Regiment, currently in the service of Zichenau, has appeared on the board with orders to occupy the hill to the south of Pickelhaubewicz in the next turn. The hill is just out of sight here, to the regiment's right (your left).

Move Six Concluded. . .

The end of Move Six saw a brief cavalry melee between Stollen's red-coated 4th Dragoons and Zichenau's blue-coated Grenadiere zu Pferd on the eastern side of Pickelhaubewicz. Oddly, the latter lost one figure and had to withdraw 12" back down the road they had originally come into town on, to the south of the village. Stollen's dragoons, on the other hand, retired 12" to their previous position, a hilltop just to the east of Pickelhaubewicz. Nevertheless, Pickelhaubewicz remains firmly in the hands of Major von Hirschbiegel's Irish grenzers . Stollen's even more dour than usual Colonel von Grundig certainly has his work cut out for him!

Our First Snowfall in 2008!!!

We woke this morning to about three inches of wet snow on the ground! And I couldn't resist snapping a couple of quick photos to mark the occasion. You might recall that the Grand Duchess and I are avid cross-country skiers (Nordic), so the first snowfall of the year is always full of promise for the coming winter and fuels animated speculation in our home about the possibility of further snow, etc., etc. And here is the obligatory shot of part of our back yard. Oops! Someone forgot to put away the firepit. Now, besides the continued tabletop adventures today, be sure to drop by again throughout the month of December. I have numerous special visual treats planned for you Stollen regulars, which will start tomorrow since it is December 1st and the first day of Advent.

Move Six Begins. . .

Here's a view of the general situtation across most of the battlefield at the start of Move Six. You can see that von Grundig has moved his infantry up into position and deployed them into line. Unfortunately, it might be a case of too little, too late. Out of sight here (to the left) is another squadron of the 4th Dragoons, who bring up the rear of the colonel's small force. On the southwestern edge of the field, another company of O'Malley's Irish Grenzers has appeared and makes its way to Pickelhaubewicz, to join the first company of the battalion already there. Two moves ahead of those same grenzers, we see The Newts, making their way slowly toward the village to cement von Hirschbiegel's possession of it. Meanwhile, the first company of grenzers has cleared Pickelhaubewicz of Stollenian troops, forcing them back toward the waiting Grenadiere zu Pferd beyond. And as they attempt flight from Pickelhaubewicz, the 4th Dragoons are taken in flank by those same G

Move Five Continued. . .

Lots happening on the battlefield late in Move Five, but not for Gussie Finknottle's Newts, who are still too far from Pickelhaubewicz to affect the events unfolding there. A second sharp combat between Zichenau's 11th Hussars and Stollen's 4th Dragoons resulted in one casualty for the latter, who also took three casualties from the skirmish fire of O'Mally's Irish Grenzers. Above, you can see the victorious hussars rallying just to the west of Pickelhaubewicz. Don't they look full of swagger? Out of the frying pan and into the fire! Following their loss in the cavalry melee, plus musketry casualties, the 4th Dragoons fell back, leaving the immediate confines of Pickelhaubewicz. . . and falling right into the clutches of Major von Hirschbiegel's Grenadiere zu Pferd. At this point in the game, Colonel von Grundig's infantry remained too far away to help, while his artillery was still limbered and travelling along the road leading to the southeaster

Move Five -- The Situation Darkens for Stollen. . .

Well, Move Five began well enough for Colonel von Grundig, whose squadron of 4th Dragoons galloped back through Pickelhaubewicz, coming into contact with Zichenau's 11th Hussars, meaning a second cavalry melee is in store. But on the southern edge of the village, things were not so good. As you can see, Major von Hirschbiegel marched his Irish Grenzers into town, exposing the Stollenian dragoons to flanking fire from several marksmen. Finally, Zichenau's Grenadiere zu Pferd galloped between Pickelhaubewicz and the copse immediately to its south, cutting off the 4th Dragoons from their infantry and artillery supports, which are still moving up the road that approaches from the southeast. Needless to say, a sick feeling immediately came over Colonel von Grundig when he recognized how the tactical situation had changed in the blink of an eye!

The Action at Pickelhaubewicz -- Move 4. . .

Following the sharp cavalry skirmish in Pickelhaubewicz itself, things remained quiet on the rest of the battlefield. However, a company of Zichenau's Ermland Garde (The Newts) arrived, marching in perfect step behind their commander, Colonel Augustus von Finknottle, as their drummer beat the cadence time, and their colors unfurled in the breeze. For their part, Stollen's Von Laurenz Musketeers moved up, closing the distance between themselves and Pickelhaubewicz. To their rear can be seen two companies of the green-coated Jaeger zu Fuss, which finally arrived following a night-long forced march from their billets, a full day's normal march to the southeast.

Cavalry Melee Resolved, Cocluding Move 3. . .

In the cavlary melee that unfolded in the center of Pickelhaubewicz, three Stollenian cavalry opposed three Zichenauer cavalry. Von Grundig's 4th Dragoons rolled a 6 and two 5s in the melee, beating von Hirschbiegel's single 2 and two 3s . Above, you see the vicotrs rallying just outside the village on a nearby hill. Here, you'll observe the remainder of von Hirschbiegel's 11th Hussars, who lost three comrades in the close fighting, withdrawing to the edge of Pickelhaubewicz.

Move Three -- Von Hirschbiegel Revcovers. . .

Major von Hirschbiegel recoverrs from his fall, remounts his horse, and puts his men in order on the road toward Pickelhaubewicz. Having sorted things out, von Hirschbiegel moves his grenzers and horse grendiers toward the village ASAP. Colonel von Grundig and his aide attempt to exhort their men forward, but due to their forced march in the night, the Von Laurenz Musketeers are unable to move an inch.

Von Hirschbiegel's 11th Hussars Occupy Pickelhaubewicz!

Bad luck! Major von Hirschbiegel is thrown from his horse and cannot issue any orders for one turn. Nevertheless, his 11th Hussars reach and occupy Pickelhaubewicz first, but they are set upon immediately by von Grundig's 4th Dragoons. Meanwhile, a company of Stollen's Von Laurenz Musketeers reach the field in fine order. And on the Zichenauer side of the field? A company of O'Malley's Irish Grenzers and a squadron of The Die Grenadiere zu Pferd arrive, but they must wait for orders from Major von Hirschbiegel before doing anything constructive.

Move Two -- Zichaneuer and Stollenian Cavalry Advance!

Respective positions of Stollenian and Zichenauer cavalry at the start of Move Two. Colors flying, the Stollenian dragoons advance on Pickelhaubewicz. Full of panache, Zichenau's 11th Hussars move in on the village.

Stollenian and Zichenauer commanders set-up their respective headquarters!

The flamboyant Major von Hirschbiegel and his aide set up headquarters above the road on which his hussars are advancing. Likewise, the dour Colonel von Grundig and his aide have set up temporary headquarters in the southeastern part of the battlefield.

Move #13- Initial Deployment of Cavalry. . .

The 1st squadron of the 11th (Prinz Albrecht's) Hussars takes the field! Prinz Albrecht's Hussars moving northeast along road toward Pickelhaubewicz. Stollen's 4th Dragoons, across the battlefield, moving northwest to occupy the village. Who will get there first?

In the tent of Major Wolfgang von Hirschbiegel. . .

. . . a small group of officers gathers: "Gentlemen, no doubt you are wondering for what cause you have been drawn from your parent units. You have each been selected to serve our beloved Zichenau as a part of the vanguard of our forces as we once again advance against the Stollenian usurpers. Today the eyes of the whole army and the Princess shall be upon us. It is a time for steel and glory, Gentlemen. If you will observe the map, here. We march for Pickelhaubewicz, to secure this crossroads for the advance of the victorious forces of Zichenau. Doubtless the craven von Drosselmaier shall dispatch some small delaying force to cover his retreat, but we shall defeat them by force of arms and lay open the way to the capital for our beloved Princess. On for Zichenau! Assemble your commands, we march within the hour."

On the Eve of Battle. . .

Pickelhaubewicz seen from the southeast. It is thought that the Stollenian troops, under Colonel Hans Peter von Grundig, who surveys the field alone, will approach from this direction. Another view of Pickelhaubewicz, looking to the southeast this time. A local farmer who was questioned earlier this evening believes that a Zichenauer force, led by Major Wolfgang von Hirschbiegel, will apprach the village from the southwest, just off to the right of this artist's rendering of the field.

Stollen Poised to Fight Holding Action at Pickelhaubewicz!

For Immediate Release! Contact: Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger Die Krankenstadt Tageblat 13 Palatz Platz Krankenstadt, The Grand Duchy of Stollen 28 November 1768 -- Krankenstadt, Grand Duchy of Stollen How Will Coming Battle Shape Future Stollenian Foreign Policy? Following a short series of small battles during the preceding twelve months (at Zollamtstadt in December 1767 and Pelznikkel in August 1768), the Army of Stollen, still commanded by the disgraced General von Drosselmaier, has retreated into the interior of The Mark of Schleiz, an area rich in timber, game, and various types of ore. The Mark of Schleiz has thus been a historically contested region since it lies on the southern edge of Stollen and is immediately adjacent to the Zichenauer frontier. The Electorate of Zichenau Covets Mark of Schleiz A Stollenian possession since 1720, Schleiz has been a semi-autonomous part of that country for most of this century, but the region is also highly coveted by The Electorate of

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

To all subjects of the United States of America, wherever in the world you might find yourselves, the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and the fetching Grand Duchess Sonja wish each and everyone of you a Happy Thanksgiving 2008! May your day be filled with good food, joyous company, and the comfort of family. Let the 2008 h0liday season officially begin!

A snippet of conversation between the Grand Duke and his manservant Hives. . .

One bright, cold autumn morning, in late November 1768, the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Stollen -- Irwin-Amadeus II -- and his faithful English manservant Hives have retreated to the relative calm of the drawing room in Krankenstadt Palace. As the ever-present Portugese Water Dogs, Max and Moritz, soak up the available late morning sunlight on the floor of the chamber, Irwin-Amadeus waxes philosophically while Hives attempts to read the early edition of Die Krankensstadt Tageblat . . . Irwin-Amadeus: (Cheerfully) Thank you, Hives. The Egg and B were delightful. Delicious. Hives: (Wearily preoccupied) Very good, Sir. I'll relay your compliment to the kitchen staff. IA: (Pushing his chair back, standing, and stuffing his hands into the pockets of his dressing gown) Hives, what's been going on the last year with this awful Zichenauer invasion? I mean, what do you think that dreadful Princess Antonia wants? Hives (Looking up absent mindedly from his place across the table): I

T-minus five days and counting. . .

Here's the 1st Squadron of Zichenau's 11th (Prinz Albrecht's) Hussars , galloping behind their newly appointed colonel, "Frieherr Adrian von Muenster" (atop the lively bay steed at front) and their newly issued guidon. Except for two coats of Future/Klear acrylic floor finish, they are ready to take the field this coming Saturday, if "Herr Major Wolfgang von Hirschbiegel" chooses to include them in his advance guard, which will attempt to seize and hold the small village of Pickelhaubewicz, along the postal road to Krankenstadt, the Stollenian capital. The second squadron of the regiment is reportedly on its way from the Zichenauer frontier and should join the 1st squadron by midweek.

Gameday is just one week away!

Gosh, only a week to go until that start of the play-by-e-mail game between Jonathan Broadus and me! And still so much to do in preparation. Five of the hills are now complete, painted on both sides to prevent any warping of the styrofoam sheeting. The four remaining large hills/ridges still need two coats of paint on their edges and bottom sides, but I'm waiting for the second coat on the topside to dry overnight before taking care of that. Work on the second squadron of hussars continues, and they might actually be finished in time for two squadrons to take the field, if Jonathan so chooses. I finally got around to adding an appropraiately sized sewing needle to the right hand of the standard bearer, and it will work nicely as a pole (just right) onto which I'll glue a hussar guidon. The eye of the needle even looks like a finial at arm's length! Expect a photo here in a day or two when I get it all finished. So, next week, I must write a short narrative to perso

We're saved -- The cavalry has arrived!

Just a fast update this evening -- work on the second squadron of hussars and hills/rideges for the November 29th play-by-e-mail game between Jonathan Broadus and myself continues apiece -- Today, my celebratory gift to myself arrived from the Dayton Painting Consortium. 29 Austrian cuirassier troopers and officers along with an English bugler and two extra officers (Austrian and a Prussian, one of which will be converted to provide a standard bearer) plus 31 standing horses. Hurrah! I must give a plug to the DPC and Richard Masse here. Richard was extremely helpful and answered all of my inquiries via e-mail promptly, even making a few suggestions since I wanted a bugler for the regiment, but there is no Austrian figure fitting this description. He also corresponded with me about the planned order while he was away from home base on business. On his return, the order was finalized and dispatched to me this past Monday, arriving in the mail this afternoon. The figures were well

Plastic Spencer Smith "Commanders" Finshed!

Here they are! Two vintage plastic Spencer Smith figures, all painted and varnished. Not exactly perfect, but very miuch in keeping with the growing armies of Stollen and Zichenau. Jonathan Broadus, my opponent in the game starting on Saturday, November 29th, will be represented on the table by the flamboyant, white-coated gentleman on the left (name to be announced). I, on the other hand, will be represented on the by the dour, vaguely Prussian-looking fellow on the fight. His name, too, is to be announced when the personalized scenario is posted here just before gameday. In the meantime, watch this space! Addendum Ian has asked what paints I use on my figures. A good question and one I always like discussing (really!). For the most part, I use Games Workshop paints, which do have very good coverage, along with a few old bottles of Ral Partha paint. I mean really old, about ten to twelve years. The occasional drop of water just keeps 'em flowing and flowing, though I mu

A Couple of Quick Photos. . .

Here are the (almost) finished Spencer Smith figures, sent to me by Jonathan. They will become our on-table personas in the upcoming game. The flamboyant figure at left will command the Zichenauer advance guard while the rather more taciturn fellow at right will take command of the Stollenian force. And here are sixe of the ten new hills and ridges all dry and ready to go. Kids, if you try this at home, remember to apply two coats of paint to your styrofoam sheeting. It really soaks up the first coat, but a second will restore the exact color of your chosen green paint. Here, it's Olympic Latex "Meadow Green".