|With Hasenpfeffer Farm now firmly in the control of his Schaumburg-Lippe-Bueckeburg Infantry, Paul von Stollen's front line began its advance on the young general's second objective of the day. . . the village of Maddening.|
|Now desperately in need of his emotional rescue, General Phillipe de Latte observed the enemy advance with a feeling much like a fallen cheese soufflé. Through his spyglass, he could see the Stollenian line emerge from the smoke largely unopposed.|
|"Fools!" exclaimed de Latte to the officers surrounding him. "Young von Stollen is wiping the field with us! I should have listened to Mother and gone into partnership with Monsieur Saint Laurent when I had the chance."|
|The action at Maddening came to an end by just after five o'clock that afternoon. Herr General Paul von Stollen had prevailed yet again and was congratulated by his staff as the shamefaced Zichenauers withdrew from the field.|
Upon the occasion of General Phillipe de Latte's eventual return to the palace in the Zichenauer capital of Schmitten some days later, the fiery and capricious Princess Antonia III is rumored to have stated unequivocally, "For you, there is no sugar tonight!"
Indeed, as Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley might put it in A Gentleman's War, or Glossy Coats and Tin Bayonets (2018), "Oh, bad luck old chap!"
The Action at Maddening concluded after approximately three hours with a 10-minute comfort break at the halfway point. It will come as no surprise by now that the affair did not go well for my 30mm tabletop alter ego, the vanquished and deflated de Latte. He never even managed to deploy his troops in a way that they might have an appreciable effect on the enemy, much less occupy and hold two of the three settlements on the table by the completion of 10 turns. These were, you will recall, our victory conditions laid out before the game commenced.
Herr General Paul von Stollen, on the other hand, easily took control of these key points in only eight turns. It became pretty clear, in fact, how things would play out at about the halfway point of our game, and Turn Nine was largely ceremonial. Contrary to the tactical aptitude of yours truly, my son's performance during our tabletop battle most definitely was a textbook example of "getting there the fastest with the mostest."
About all that can be said for de Latte is that his attempt at troop deployment recalled the title of our emerging rules. The resulting mess was indeed A Tangled Mass.
Without doubt, the Young Master yet again demonstrated an unmistakable fingerspitzengefühl when it comes to commanding brightly painted, glossy toy soldiers in action. And best of all, our game had the right effect. It was all he could talk about at the dinner table that evening. Indeed, the two of us had so much fun that Paul and I have planned a rematch later in August after we return from our coming family holiday "up north" as they say here in Michigan.
-- Stokes and Young Master Paul