Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Offenback Falls!

Alas, it seems that the vacillations of the local Offenbach leaders has left them victims to Stagonian duplicity. The tiny, brave brigade; which Frankszonia had so generously sent to their aid in response to the earlier Stagonian Ultimatum was driven back.
We gather together again.
We call upon all the friends of the Soweiter League to assemble against the Vile Stagonian invasions.
Offenbach shall be free again!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Last Minute Diplomac y

Even as the Frankszonian officers glower at the rascally captive, the carriage of l’Comte d’Beauphaup clatters into the yard. Everything is held in suspense as guards quickly leap to the door and assist the elegantly attired young diplomat descend from his ornate vehicle. Seeing the flouncy lace shake in the man’s springy step, the captive leans out the window and shouts, “Guiles!”
“Ryan! you scoundrel!” laughs the count. “Whatever are you doing with this crowd?”
“Same thing you like to do,” Ryan rejoins, “holding hands with the most hirsute guards.”
The guards momentarily flinch away from him, but the mutual laughter of the two men, keeps everyone else from intervening. As the count traipses into the room, he gets serious. “I’m glad to catch you here, Ryan. There’s work to be done.” Then, without a further comment to anybody , he pulls Ryan aside into another room from which they expel the various aides, clerks, and officers.
“Ryan,” the count begins, “you’ve got to help me get the Soweiter Burgomasters to reason. The Stagonian forces coming down the river outnumber both of us together, and Gen. Chevert is on the wrong side to intervene.”
“Reason, I suppose, means submission to your Hurtshog’s whims and abandonment of our ancient liberties?” retorts Ryan scornfully.
“No!” the count continues angrily. “That’s what the first provision was meant to secure! Your “ancient liberties” are not by Imperial Edict and have never been acknowledged by Hesse Darned Stadt nor by Nassau. Frankszonia, however, has all of that.”
“Just how does our inclusion as a Frankszonian town defend it for our selves?” Ryan responds skeptically.
“Look, the Frankfurter Bundt is NOT the Stadt Council of Frankszonia, never has been. Wurstinburgers and other great towns have always been represented ... joining the bundt actually increases your status as well as gives an almost automatic improvement to the whole Leagues status.”
“I’ve never heard of becoming a protectorate increasing anyone’s status!” Ryan snaps.
“A mutual defensive alliance might have sounded better,” Guiles admitted, “but do you really want your boys getting blown away in fights with Limburger or Munster or Hamburger? Let alone becoming Gallian cannon fodder.
“Look, the Hurtshog isn’t gaining all that much by this. He’ll lose the tarrifs on the hundreds of tubas you sell each year in Frankszonia; he’ll lose a major bit of the river tarrifs on traffic past the bridge. Moreover, as a Frankszonian “protectorate” he can pressure L’Intendant Bastille into dispatching the many fine crafts men and engineers from Gallia along with our own laborers for the restoration of your towns defenses. Scheise! three modern redoubts, even if just ditch and dirt, would triple your town’s resistance.”
“You can promise these engineers?”
“They’ll be here within 36 hours of any agreement.”
“So your officers can use our own men to seize rule in the town?” Ryan turns away, “You know us better than that!”
“Verdamnt! Ryan! ‘Intact units,’ ‘Intact units.’ Do you honestly belief any lieutenant, hauptman, or especialy a Feldwebel of Soweiter would permit such an abuse?”
“Then why under YOUR officers and command?”
“We’ve got the more troops. Your units are Reichs Armee trained, ours are Germanian ... orders from the commanding General would be confused by your obersts and intendants. Besides, the Hurtshog has put together a real army staff ... look at the guys next door!” The count pleaded. “Offenbach simply must let itself become an active part of the Frankszonian community!”
“We are ourselves, not you,” Ryan snarls. “And what happens if, no when, the Stadt Council tells you how to use your offers?”
“Get real, Ryan,” Guiles answers sadly. “Stagonia shall not be allowed to obtain the tuba works intact. I play an Offenbach tuba, what do you think I want?”
Ryan looks out the window at the traffic of messengers and patrols for a moment. “Guiles,” he says, “even if it ruins us, they can’t swallow the arrogance of the proclamation.”
“Then reword everything to whatever works.” the count urges. “We need commitments to achieving the purpose together ...” a sudden clatter interrupts them. The various Obersts are leaving, looking grim and purposeful and with determined strides to their soon galloping mounts.
“You know Haugen Bienz.” the count continues. “If a diamond ring would roll by his foot, he’d stomp on it in case it was green fly .... and Woad and the big guns will be here in hours. The Hurtshog doesn’t want to hurt a hut here, but Stagonia must not obtain the works intact.”
Beauphaup opens the door. “Bienz!” he shouts, “quickly, before you do anything else, get this man a pass through our lines, a good horse, and a neat aide to ride escort!”
“Ach!” the general replies, “you diplomat! Ve haff un grosse schlact hier und Sie vill to gift this rascal stuff stop our soldiers? Nein!”
“In the Duke’s Name!” Beauphaup responds more forcefully than any of the officers had ever heard. Suddenly, Beauphaup pulls of his heavy riding gloves and thrusts a ring under Haugen Bienz’s nose. “And, under the Seal von Frankfurter! Now yield and obey!”
“Ja! Ich musten!” the general stammers. “Schnell, ein Grande Pferd und mit him, Emil!”
Within moments, the two riders dash off into a swirling mist which is rising into the cold air ....

Taking the terms in order:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
This is a matter for the League and not something to be ruled on by foreign nations.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
The League is more than willing to send an ambassadorial contingent to Frankfurter to represent the interests of the League and its members.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
While Hesse-Offenbach and the Soweiter League is quite capable of defending itself we would graciously accept, as equals, an alliance against Vile Stagonia or other enemies of the League.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.
Hesse-Offenbach as a member of the Soweiter League cannot and will not place its forces under the command of foreign officers.

graffitti appearing along the Main River

Stagonian Verses:

I don’t know, though I have heard
That the cuckoo is the Stagonian bird.

Though clearly descended from Father of Lies,
That’s not why horns are above the Stagonian eyes.
It’s a question of legitimacy,
And perhaps too much intimacy
With what a small drink in Stagonia buys!

Old Stagonia must sponsor the writer’s art.
See how great is just fiction’s real part
With colorful mendacity
Recounting their descendency
Where mothers can’t tell the fathers apart!

The tale of Stagonia’s minister’s execution
Is a rumor precluding a proper prosecution
For the mangled man’s state
When crushed by the weight
While evading a stronger husband’s perception.

If Bob’s your uncle by a relation
Not found in a legal, recorded compilation,
In Stagonia, no fuss;
Indeed it’s a plus
To be born into such a relative complication!

No wonder Stagonian noses stick in the air,
For looking down, their men could never dare. .
If he chanced a quick glance
Down about his pink pants,
He’d find much less than he expected there!

Developments at the camp near Offenbach

A piquet of Hillary’s Hussies beyond Offenbach spots a bedraggled officer sneaking towards them in the dark. As they dash forward to seize him, he exclaims: “Frankzonians! Oh Blessed Spirits!” and collapses. When they carry the unconscious man into camp, another officer recognizes the missing Oberst Bratmann!
Brig. Shlidelisht quickly orders him brought to the quarters of L'Haugen Bienz, where they carefully give him a few drops of schnapps. Bratmann revives for a moment, recognizes a friend and exclaims, “Franz, Franz, Die Stagonian marchen!” The battered man collapses again amid the exclamations of alarm from the assembled officers.

L'Haugen Bienz moves quickly to the map table. “Meinen Herren, ve musten machen schnell!
Kommen Sie.” He quickly marks out on his charts new positions, concentrating his forces on the western side of Offenbach. “Im der Morgen,” he continues, “ve shall by ein battalion uff Nathan’s Nationals und der 1st Black Skirts under Brig. Woad be joined. They escort a supply convoy und ein battery uff 24 lbrs. When they arrive, they will our second line immediatly deploy as. Die grosser guns, aber, will be unlimbered against the crumpled section and open fire immediately. Aber, against der vall und stone alone must they fire. When any breach appears, the Reiters will dash forward, discharge their pieces towards the town, and then retire if anyone returns a sinlge shot.
If ve can the Offenbach men out of the town draw, ve may be able to ride ofer dem vithout hurting them too bad.
Remember all! We are hear to protect Offenbach, not destroy it ... it is Stagonia vee must bury und nich praise, Jah?
If we musten the walls assault, we must carry through on the first rush or pull back into our entrenched camp.
This battle must bevore the Vile Stagonians arrive be over!”

As the staff begins to write out the necessary orders, a shout resounds from a guard outside the house where they are working. Soon, a dapper gentleman is dragged into the room by soldiers.
“We caught him beneath the staff room window, Mein Herr,” their corporal reports.
“Ach!” L'Haugen Bienz exclaims, “und, whom might you be? Vile Stagonian Spy!”
“Oh, hardly that!” the captive impudently chuckles .....

Monday, October 15, 2007

High Level Conferences

Conference notes between L’Intendant Bastille and Hurtshog Fahrtz.

Infantry Regiment Sanders / Chicken to be recalled and restored to full strength,
I.R. Relischer under Oberst Pickle is to replace it in Gen. Chevert’s corps.
1st Hottatrot battalion is to be changed similarly for the 2nd Hottatrot battalion.

Nathan’s Nationals (militia) is to form a battalion and march with 1st Black Skirts under Brig. Woad. They will escort a supply convoy and a battery of 24 lbrs to the camp at Offenbach.

The Count L’Beauphaup will attempt to obtain Offenbach’s agreement to the following terms:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.

Ducal Proclamation:


After its insulting note to our great friends, the Soweiter League,
Vile Stagonia instituted a program of covert sabotage and incindarism against Tipplebruder.
In Righteous Anger, our young men have marched to Offenbach to help guard them against similar nefarious aggression.
Vile Stagonian agents have already planted their insidious poison into the body of that fine city!
Misled as to our friendly and wholly honorable intentions, the citizens of Offenbach have given Stagonia a gift of their own valiant forces.
Now, the horrible tragedy looms that we, who should be brothers feasting together, may soon engage in the hateful horrors of battle!
It is this very pestiferous, petty pride that precludes our honorable German communities from enjoying those awesome attributes of acknowledged autonomy. It is this refusal to unite against the criminals in our own midst that yields our fields to foreigners!
Rally to the Right!
Congregate with your comrades in the community of the committed!
Reach out to your relatives and associates afar, that conglomerated together we can grind this beastly boar into sausage!

Long Prosper Frankszonia!!!

Field dispatch from Offenbach

Dispatch from General Bienz:
To: His Highness Stanken, the Hurtshog Fahrtz von Frankfurter


On approaching the town of Offenbach, we found that the local stadt council refused our generous offer of protection against the nefarious plots of Vile Stagonia. Indeed, a crowd of ruffians and mechanics assumed a motley of “uniforms” and have challenged our colors, threatening to attack our camp unless we withdraw.

After a council of war with Brig. Shlidelisht and Oberst Pfennighalter, we have decided to entrench our camp and retain our position on the outskirts of Offenbach. We hear that vile Stagonian agents have influenced the city mob in order to bring about this confrontation.

Perhaps, Your Highness, a high level diplomatic mission may yet defuse this situation, though there has been some random firing along the piquet lines.

Y’r srvnt.
Huagen Bienz


The grand "BIG BATTALIONS" battle in Illinois has happened, a grinding draw, it seems from first reports. Gallia and Hesse Seewald continue their grueling grind ....
Also a grand event, which we who have not attended, will miss for a long time.
Alte Fritz has some photos up on his blog spot and some battle reports are on the Yahoo Groups "Old School Wargamers" site.

The founder of the Empire vs. Elector blog has long suggested that we get "proxy" games going, in which gamers who are isolated have a third party actually game out their battles.
In furtherance of this goal, I've managed to engender a battle between the Soweiter League (actually our allies, sigh) and Frankszonia which is to be resolved by Murdoch ...

So the fun continues ...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Koenig's Krieg

I've long been a fan of these rules, ever since I got totally turned off by an overly detailed Napoleonics game in which extremely unreal events happened and true player initiative was difficult. This happened at an HMGS East convention, which can be a lot of fun, even though I was primarily an ancients gamer / WRG VI in those days.
I then had three Koenig's Krieg games in a row in which I was not prohibited from attempting things which forces of those periods attempted. The "Festung Krieg" rules were still not officially adopted then, and I got to play a round which I still feel was my outstanding performance at a convention game.

Alas, Koenig's Krieg is currently out of print, though the odd copy can still be found in some shops and it does show up on various second hand forums from time to time.
There is good news on that front, however. Not only are the current copyright holders working on bringing out a new edition (the last one had a lot of typos and poor illustrations), but also, there's a rumor that in spite of several annoying delays in their project, something good may happen soon.

Now, about those rules.
Koenig's Krieg is a deceptively simple set. Like chess, I've found it to incorporate surprising complexity in actual play.
It is based on 15mm / 12 figures = battalion usually (1 figure = @ 50 men). One inch (yep, it's inches, not millimeters)= @ 200 feet. Adaptation to 24 figure battalions and 25mm figures are fairly easy. Combat is fairly abstracted, with the eye candy of different formations extremely simplified.

On the other hand, K.K. features an "initiative" roll system, in which the winner declares who acts (one brigade at a time) ... and this roll occurs several times in a single phase, as most games will involve at least two brigades on a side. While I've seen this choice feature in other games, I've not seen it repeated in a single phase ... and the proper use of this choice can be quite decisive in that turn's events.
Secondarily, the turns are divided into operation phases ... combat is actually a function of movement in this game ... so instead of the usual move / fight simplicity, one has to choose to more or to shoot ... and only those units which have moved close enough can later act in the "close combat" phase ... which means, among other things, that unless you're careful, your cavalry will get shot down on its approach to charge distance!

These game mechanics underscore a unique feature of the period ... things actually did not happen exactly simultaneously. Who gets off the first volley can be decisive. Even though tactical considerations such as range, first volley bonus, platoon versus rank firing etc. are not considered, the unpredictability of who gets to do what next can generate quite unexpected and exciting turns of momentum within a single "turn" of the game.

In Seifreidsburg, for instance, the Jaegers performed much better than I expected. Furthermore, I would have bet that the Rotheisen Grenadiers would have been destroyed before they took the Grand Battery ... Santa Anna made a similar mistake in the Mexican American War. But, once it had happened, their heroic and suicidal attack actually made sense in the period dynamics!
Also, the nefarious Lt. General of the first wave managed to get his forces sufficiently dispersed as to leave them effectively all out of command ... Rosenblum's activation rolls were consistently, extremely good: which contributed to the constant attack against Lt. Oberst Sanders' battalion.

While K.K. functions quite well on brigade and larger scale, I've found it difficult for a single player to handle more than twenty or so battalions. So a "corps" sized game is about the largest I'd attempt myself (I have to game solo most of the time). On the other hand, the nice simplicity of the game makes it unsuitable for me for anything smaller than a brigade sized engagement. At the smaller scale, intricate details of range, tactics, formation, and so forth are much more important, and gaming at that level, for me, requires rules to consider ... and to portray such distinctions visibly.

If you do get a chance to try these rules, I predict that you will enjoy them.
I just wish I could have a live, face to face opponent who really understood them so I could learn much better how to exploit their unique subtleties.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Pictures posted

Okay, Jeff, even after you viewed the blog, I was still adding pictures ... a long and agonizing process.
BTW, I used less than half the lovely pictures my wife made for this game, and she's eager to photograph another soon!
Alas, I shall miss both the big game this weekend and the RockCon next month ... but looking forward to those pictures as well from the other guys!
will now creak off to bed ...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Draft Report on Battle of Seifreidsburg

Battle of Seifriedsburg, The Battle Itself:
(This Post will be Edited with Pictures in the upcoming days)

Key locales / reference points:
Salzugnen , Fulda, Gemunden am Main,
Wurzburg (Wurstinburgers), Frankfurt (Frankszonia)

Schonau, Ascheroth, Weyersfeld, Hollrich, Seifriedsburg, Reichenbuch

*{Initial comment: I had set up the battle using the 24 figure/battalion adaptation of Koenig’s Krieg, but set up the battle on a table better scaled for the 12 figure / battalion. Alas, I overlooked this until I’d already set out most of the figures. Hence, instead of the maneuvering which I had expected, the game decayed into a slug fest series of frontal assaults. Obviously, the original orbat provided the Hesse-Seewald forces with totally inadequate artillery, so I effectively doubled (again) the power of the Hesse Seewald battery and converted the whole thing into a great collection of howitzers. As the game developed, I was at first afraid that even this had been inadequate, but about turn four, this adaptation finally worked as expected).


As the drums beat “Alarm!” and “Assemble,” the forces under V. Ballpark’s command fall in.
In the fog shrouded, wooded valley below them, vague figures can be seen forming into battle lines. More troops can be seen debauching from Ascheroth and approaching the bridge between Ascheroth and the Seifreidsburg plateau. The mist rumbles with the competing drum rhythms of the various forces gathering for the looming battle.

Along the crest of the plateau with its cleared fields
*(the yellow zone in the pictures – the cleared fields along the Wursburg road are represented by tan),
Ballpark has constructed lines of chevaux au frise. The east side of the table is dominated by the fields along the Wursburg road and the village of Ascheroth. The Seewald attack is based on Ascheroth, from which it moves down across a stream (bridged on the road from Ascheroth to Seifriedsburg and the road from Weyersfeld to Seifriedsburg) into the scrubby pastureland and woods on the slopes leading up to Seifriedsburg.

Coming up to Seifriedsburg from Schonau, a road climbs the steep canyon walls on the north side of a gulch. The stream which forms this gulch rises from a spring on the very eastern edge of the plateau (the green band through the plateau). On the western side, this gulch is bridged, but on the eastern side it is almost an insignificant feature
*(only forming a one move delay and also halves the melee value of a unit).
The plateau itself forms a good passage through the tree covered ridges and bluffs arising above the river... so is flanked by higher, wooded hills. Another road, however, does lead south from Seifreidsburg to Reichenbuch, which is another high flat, fielded site and is the designated rally point for von Ballpark’s command.

Brigadier Rosenschnauz, in spite of his hangover, rushes the infantry regiment “Chicken” into position on the forward edge of the plateau. His light artillery is posted on the left flank to obtain an oblique field across the front of the advanced under Lt. Oberst Sanders.
L’comte Hottatrot, assembling his kit with the aid of the attractive daughter of the local mayor with whom he had been quartered, positioned his battalion in column about fifty yards behind the center on the north side of the stream. He advanced his 12 pounder artillery into the stream to cover the gap between the two battalions of Chicken.
Col. Bombalier also sent a battery of 12 pdrs. to join them there to provide a concentration of fire down the straight road leading up the plateau.
V. Ballpark detached the half battalion of V. Kamps Jaegers to advance down into the woods to the right of I.R. Chicken in order to cover the road from Weyersburg. This was the route on which he expected a cavalry force to join him.
Col. Bombalier also took command of all the howitzers present and placed them in battery behind Intendant Chicken’s battalion. He also positioned his own light artillery on the right flank of Chicken’s battalion where it could support either Int. Chicken or cover the road from Weyersburg, a decision which would have key results in the following battle.

Observing that most of the guns were massed around Intendant Chicken, Brig. Rosenschnauz decides that he will post his headache, which already feels as if it has endured bombardment, behind Lt. Col. Sanders battalion. Again, this decision, taken more from the bottle than the map, proved key in the development of the battle.

Meanwhile, Le Sorbet drew up the 1st battalion of the 4th Laura Anns as the second line position behind Lt. Col. Sanders. The 2nd battalion was posted on the road leading from Schonau. Brig. Duplicite posted himself on the right flank of the 1st battalion in order to create a swift response. The Grenadiers, however, were posted on a second line of chevaux au frise covering the south side of Seifriedsburg and the route to Reichenbuch.

As the fog thins, Brig. Maudelin can be seen climbing the steep road from Schonau with the L’Lagalle Dragoons. He seems to be swaying side to side, fortunately in rhythm with the many twists in the road. Furthermore, the Falsie Hussars can be seen approaching from Weyersfeld. The other cavalry regiments are left to guard the defiles. On the low ground below the Chicken regiment, Low German oaths explode through the fog as the Feldwebels align their troops.
*(Another note: The Hesse-Seewald / Germanian forces in this encounter will often be represented by red-coated figures painted for the Britischerwurst / Hungover forces).


Before dawn, Lt. Gen. Klompen had briefed his generals and their brigadiers. “Diese Frankszonian baurengraben are az if zey haf something to prove behaving. Und(t) dey scramble diese hillen up like zum goats! Aber, Now dey moosden zu fight standen! Vor, if dey move again, dhen, ve schall upon dere Gen. Chevert like blitz und dhunder gefallen! Achtung, Meinen Herren! Diesen Morgen, shall ein Kampf bevore Gotterdamerung haben vir!! Alle Commanden, vorward Harch!”

Upon his signal being passed quietly forward, Oberst Rothheisen leads his grenadiers in a swift dash across the bridge, driving off the Frankszonian pickets without firing a shot. However, as they flee up the road, the Frankszonian soldiers shot wildly into the fog, and alert the battalions bivouacked above them. Rothheisen’s grenadiers push into the scrubby, sloping pastures as a skirmish line to cover the crossing the rest of General v. Rottenbeck;s infantry.
The same fog which conceals their advance and deployment, however, also deprives their massed howitzer batteries from firing any advance bombardment.

V. Rottenbeck, who has been secretly conspiring to undermine Klompen so that Rottenbeck could take over the lucrative Klompen regiment – and whose resentment of Klompen is increased because that Klompen regiment is marching first under Klompen’s orders – decides to insult his commander by ordering the Klompen regiment to deploy to the left of the road and Infantry Regiment Rosenblum to the right. This will prove to be an ironic decision ...
Then, as Brigadier Funft begins to lead his regiments over the bridge, Brig. Fungamungus rides forward and orders Rothheisen’s grenadiers to concentrate into an assault column and the entire brigade Fungamungus begins to advance. Unfortunately, there is only room in the scrubby pastures to set a battalion in line on either side of the road up the hill. So each Regiment sends forth its first battallion while the Grenadiers remain in an assault column as the third battalion of the assault and Rottenbeck opens a fifth.


Abruptly, the wind shifts and the fog streams away! Many linguistic variations of “offal of hogs (and other livestock)!” sound in the valley! The Frankszonian guns immediately begin to fire upon the Hessian grenadiers ... the roundshot bounces beyond into the first battalion of I.R. Klompen. Fungamungus shouts the charge, and the Hessians advance.
The Klompen regiment suddenly begins to take fire from more batteries and from the jaegers in the woods on their flank. Even as the first battalion begins to shred and to fall back, the second battalion swings towards the woods to disperse the jaegers. Meanwhile, the first battalion of I.R. Rosenblum clambers up the slope into the barricades before Lt. Oberst Sanders. The combination of Frankszonian musketry and grape shot, however, forces their retirement.
At the same time, the Rothheisen Grenadiers bravely rush straight at the 12 lbrs, in the middle of the Frankszonian line. Even though they sustain horrible casualties, the heroic soldiers seize the guns and scatter the gunners!

Meanwhile, General Klompen has moved to the howitzer battery to try to get their fire ranged on the Frankszonian position. As he galloped out of Ascheroth, his alert eye spots the movement of the Falsie Hussars and Brig. FitzAle to the south. Seeing that they are committed to crossing their bridge and uniting with the Frankszonians on the plateau, Klompen orders Brig. Gruener to capture that bridge and to attack the Frankszonians along the Weyersfeld road (much of the rest of Gen Pferdkopf’s cavalry has already marched south along the Wursburg road to cover that flank from a possible counter attack from Gemunden.

In the storm of action on the hillside, Fungamungus drives the 2nd bat. Rosenblum up to support the grenadiers’ amazing success on the road. Rottenbeck is distracted by the complete disintegration of the coveted Klompen regiment (the remnants of the 1st bat are clustered by the stream bank while the 2nd bat. happily settles down in the leafy underbrush ... out of site, out of mind, out of anybody’s line of fire). Brig. Funft deploys his commands methodically in the original position that Fungamungus had used: I.R. Trinken on the right and I.R. Drunker to the left.
At the top of the hill, Gen. Hottatrot sees the Hessian grenadiers directly in front of him, and orders his battalion to counter attack. His precision drilled veterans unleash practiced volleys as they advance and quickly overwhelm the surviving grenadiers. The musketry of Sander’s battalion holds the Rosenblum battalion at the barriers, and Fungamungus knows that they must be withdrawn before that battalion is decimated as well.


Now both commanders are beginning to hope for victory. Ballpark has seen two assaults repulsed, and the third attack, led by Brig. Funft, does not seem to have any greater chance of success. Gen. v. Klompen, on the other hand, observes that his infantry is continuing to stream across the bridge and attack the Frankszonian line intrepidly. Furthermore, he can watch the Falsie Hussars continue to file into Seifreidsburg, leaving the Weyersfeld road open for his dragoons. Moreover, the howitzers are finally beginning to bring fire upon Seifriedsburg. Though the impact of the howitzers on the Frankszonian line is not yet serious, the primary Frankszonian battery has been clearly eliminated (Hottatrot orders the withdrawal of what equipment could be salvaged).

In a few minutes, v. Ballpark , Rosenschnauz, and Hottatrot cheer as the first battalions of Funft’s assault are driven back, even though they had managed to break through the barriers at some points. Moreover, as Brig. Gruener ordered his Strumgen Dragoons to dash across the apparently undefended bridge, the lead squadron is suddenly exterminated by jaeger rifles firing from ambush!
Angrily, Gen. v. Klompen shouts across the stream and orders Rottenbeck to stop fooling around! The remnants of the 1st bat / Klompen are sent to join Rosenblum who is forming a composite battalion, and Rottenbeck is order to take the 2nd bat/Klompen under command and to capture the Weyersfeld road bridge, “Schnell! Sie fharten, rotten, SchweinHunde Dumpkopf! Verstehen Sie?!?”
In order to conceal the importance of this move and to keep v. Ballpark’s attention, Klompen orders Funft to commit the rest of his battalions.

STAND IN THE BREACH! (or, Pull Up Your Trousers!)

As Rottenbeck rides into the forest, the old sergeants of 2nd Klompen are already getting their men up and moving. They’ve discovered that the leafy vines have a very irritating, tridentine nature (okay, so I’m guessing that Germany has poison ivy too ... it seems dang near universal over here in the States). Once again, the forest shadows are further darkened by the acrid smoke and rattled by the musketry of the opposing forces. Observing this, Brig. Gruener orders the Teufelbond Dragoons to renew the charge across the bridge while he rallies the Strumgen squadrons. The v. Kamp Jaegers, outnumbered and struck from two sides, quickly flee across the Weyersfeld road and up the wooded ridges beyond.

Carrying out the order to pin the Frankszonian forces in place, Gen Funft urges his battalions into the assault, and Fungamungus is able to contribute a battalion to the attack as well. They urge their men forward, claiming that the Frankszonian line is clearly weakening. Their rather fatuous reassurances, however, are surprisingly confirmed when an extraordinarily accurate discharge of the Hessian howitzers shatters Oberst Chicken’s battalion! Cheering, I.R. Drunker streams through the barriers onto the plateau! Sander’s battalion is barely able to hold, thanks to the aid of the attached battery and the direct participation of both v. Ballpark and Rosenschnauz. For a moment, it seems that the Gallian forces are broken!
At the moment of their exaltation, however, the Drunker regiment receives direct fire from the howitzers and guns of the Gallian right wing. The same time, L’Comte Hottatrot turns his battalion and, firing into the flank of the momentarily disordered Drunker soldiers. Once again, the Hessian formations stumble back down the hill.


Now the forces of Gen. Googlen are beginning to form for the assault. Reformed battalions are pulled together from the prior assaults by Fungamungus and Funft, and some of them are joined by a battalion of Fingerlein Fusiliers. The Teufelbond Dragoons form a column and gallop up the hill against the flank of Hottatrot’s battalion. By now, Seifreidsburg behind Hottatrot is in flames.

Once again, Bombalier’s howitzers and Sanders light guns join with the musketry of the infantry to halt the Hessian infantry battalions. The Hessian dragoons, however, with great elan charge uphill towards the light artillery battery Suddenly, the dragoons are swept by case shot from the light artillery, from a battery of 12 lbrs. which was posted with the Gallian grenadiers, and the musketry of those Grenadiers. Since Brig. Gruener was still with the Strumgen dragoons, bringing them across the bridge. the Teufelbond goes to the devil and breaks back down the hill.

Gen. Klompen, however, sees the flames from Seifreidsburg and, knowing that he still has fresh battalions and other forces approaching, orders that the assault be constantly renewed.

Once again, Gen. Rottenbeck is ordered to take control of the 2nd Klompens and is directed to advance on the left. By now, another battalion of dragoons and squadrons of cuirassiers are also across the stream. A major reshuffle begins, as battalions are maneuvered at the foot of the hill.

The reorganized bits of Brigs. Fungamungus and Funft are brought to the north of the road as the right wing. The Grenadiers, backed by cuirassiers, form an assault column on the road, and Fingerlein’s Fusiliers line up with 2nd Klompens on the left. Brig. Gruener permits the Teufelbond Dragoons to flee down the road and across the bridge, and reforms the Sturmgen Dragoons at the foot of the hill.

Observing the enemy regrouping into ever larger formations, v. Ballpark warns Gen. Sorbet that the time for their plan to first fall back to the town itself is approaching. He orders the light artillery and howitzers to be limbered and moved back into the town to be repositioned. Gen. Sorbet in turn, alerts his brigadiers and hastens to rally the remnants of Col Chicken’s battalion. As he is known to them from the Battle of Bad Tannes, he is able to get them to post themselves between the burning houses on the eastern edge of town to cover the withdrawal of Hottatrot’s battalion. At the same time, he orders the Falsie Hussars to advance on the right to a position from which they can charge any force coming up the Weyersfeld road. Maudelin deploys l’Lagalle’s dragoons to cover the open fields behind Rosenschnauz


Riding forward from his position by the howitzers to the bridge, Gen. Klompen orders a trumpeter to clear the way over the bridge through the Turkies inf. reg.

Unfortunately, Fungamungus, Funft, and Googlen all interpret this as the signal for a general advance. So in a mix of columns trailing beside the battalions formed in line, they begin to hack their way back through the now much raveled scrub. The Feldwebels scream themselves hoarse over the drum and howitzer fire to keep some alignment as their men work through the shrubs and over or around the wrecks of the previous assaults.

Abruptly, a great shout arises from the Hessian line as the Gallian artillery falls silent and the standards of the Frankszonians disappear from the barriers at the crest of the plateau! Everyone, even Gen. Rottenbeck, scrambles forward cheering. The Seewald howitzers fall silent as their battalions finally climb into the target area.

Meanwhile, Brig. Rosenschnauz and Lt. Oberst Sanders, in a prepracticed maneuver, file around the flank of the 4th Laura Anns and march towards the Seifreidsburg square via the town bridge. On the Gallian right flank, however, the withdrawing howitzers block the routes through the flaming houses, and for a vital moment, d’Hottatrot is caught between swarms of Hessians and burning houses. The Grenadiers V. Hesse swarm up the road and into the creek on Hottatrot’s left. The Fingerlein Fusiliers are breaking through the barricades, 2nd Klompen is breaking out in ... uh ... out of the woods on his right, and the Strumgen Dragoons are trotting up the hill beyond them.


Now the Gallian gallantry is tested to the utmost. Brig. Duplicite flings Col. Phule into the flank of the Hessian Grenadiers and brings Col. Dummass up in line to delay the forces clambering over the barriers. Still, The Hessians are able to drive three battalions through the smoke of Col. Dummass’ old battalion. On the right flank, the Gallian light artillery chooses to continue firing in hopes of delaying the Fusiliers advance, but are overrun by 2nd Klompen.

At this moment, the Jaegers v. Kamp hear Brig. Hottatrot shouting encouragement to his men (his line battalion literally with their backs to a burning wall), and emerge in time to fire on the flank of the Strumgen Dragoons. Even as Brig. Gruener tries to keep them trotting forward, the Falsie Hussars thunder around the woods and crash into his force. Behind them, the Grenadiers fire into 2nd Klompen with case shot from their 12 lbrs.

Then, before the Hessians can close with Col. Dummass, Brig. Maudelin, rolls into the Hessian flank! For a confused moment, the Hessians recoil back through the barriers. Gen Klompen pushes through the confusion with the Lieb Garde Cuirassiers and I.R. Turkies in an attempt to renew the advance, but it is too late. The Gallians have fired the houses on the north of the creek to deprive the Hessians of their cover and have pulled safely back over the bridge. The Count d’Hottatrot is able to join the remnants of Chicken’s first battalion, and the howitzer battery is redeploying while the Frankszonian light artillery sets up at the end of the bridge.


Brig Maudelin pulls back into the ravine leading down to Schonau ... any attempt to pursue him will run into many roadblocks, ambushes, and be under fire from Aschenroth as well. All the Hessian Cuirassiers can accomplish is to disuade him from bursting back up the hill into the battle. The Grenadiers and Fusiliers under Brig. Google refuse to assault the new Gallian redoubt.. Even worse, the I.;R. v. Klompen is highly irritated and is clustering with itching ... uh ... itchy fingers below the plateau crest. Meanwhile, there are reports of more Gallian cavalry approaching on the Weyersfeld road.

Von Klompen clomps around the hill top angrily attempting to reorganize, but he knows that only the arrival of further Hessian forces will enable him to advance. Moreover, a quick dash up into the hills by Gen. Chevert could leave Klompen facing a much larger Gallian force. At least, his current position would be as hard for the Gallians to force as their position is for him. Meanwhile, he awaits the arrival of another corps of Germanians, who could choose to push on to Wurzburg instead of reinforcing him.


Frankszonian / Gallian:
Rosenschnauz receives another wound in his ample flesh, but Intendant Chicken has been seriously injured by shrapnel. The I.R. Chicken will be reorganized as the Col. Sanders / Chicken Regiment.
Van Kamp has taken a sword cut above his right ear, apparently this is also not serious, and he remained in command of his troops.
Brig. Maudelin seems to have suffered a breakdown over his failure to drive the Hessians from the hill and was sent weeping on leave.

Gen. Rottenbeck is suffering a severe rash and has been sent north to the sea for a cure.
Col. Rosenblum was hit several times and is hospitalized in serious condition.
Oberst Rotheisen fell at the great battery, he was captured and died before he could be taken to the surgeons.
Brig. Gruener was injured and captured along with the regimental colors.

Frankszonia has lost 2 12 lbrs and 1 Howitzer.
Gallia has lost 2 12 lbrs and 4 light artillery.

Frankszonia / Gallia:
I/R Chicken: nearly 50%
1st Hottatrot: 40%
Jaegers V. Kamp 30%
L’Lagalle Dragoons, @ 25 men
Col.Phule’s bat. 25%
Col. Dummass: 15%

Hesse-Seewald / Germania / Hungover
I.R. Klompen 75% (about half the casualties medical leave for severe rashes and poison bites).
I.R. Rosenblum 60%
I.R. Trinken and I.R. Drunker; 30%
Rothesien Grenadiers: 90%
Sturmgen Dragoons: 60%
Teufelbond Dragoons: 40%
Fingerlein Fusils: 30%
Grenadiers v. Hesse: 45%

Battle Honors:
*(a ribbon for each unit)
*4th Laura Anns
*I.R. Rosenblum
*Rotheisen Dragoons (post humurously)
*I.R. Fingerlein Fusiliers
*Brigadiers Rosenschnauz and d’Hottatrot,
*Lt. Oberst Sanders to Oberst Sanders
*Brig. DuPlicite
*Col. Bombalier
*Oberst Rotheisen (posthumorously)
*Brig. Fungamungus to Maj. General
*Oberst Rosenblum to Brigadier
While I game with Koenig's Krieg rules, and enjoy them ...
an awful lot of my cyber buddies are using "Battles of the Ancient Regime from
The price there includes postage at $37.00 American ....
These rules are designed to be highly flexible ... units can run from @ 24 to 60 men, depending on space available and your collection ... differing basing systems are considered with suggestions as to how to make your collection against the other guy's basing, and so forth.
Also, Bill is a nice guy.
And I don't say that just because he runs Gallia in the Elector vs. Emperor blog!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Battle of Seifriedsburg, Strategic Background

Battle of Seifriedsburg, Strategic Background

Salzugnen , Fulda, Gemunden am Main,
Wurzburg (Wurstinburgers), Frankfurt (Frankszonia)

Schonau, Ascheroth, Weyersfeld, Hollrich, Seifriedsburg, Reichenbuch

Okay, the above list of names etc. are the key points of reference in order to discuss the Battle of Seifriedsburg. The two URL’s are excellent resources for understanding developments. The FEEFHS map is derived from a pre-World War One map and thus shows key sites and routes fairly much as they were in the 1700's (before modern road building swept all over the place). The Multi Map site has not only an excellent road map program, but also has aireal (okay, it’s misspelled, but I prefer to spell it this way) photographs of all the terrain involved ... which will give a very clear picture as to the nature of the defiles and why the battle had to occur where it did.

Now this battle developed as a consequence of a battle between the forces of Gallia / Saxe-Rachstein and the forces of Hesse-Seewald and its allies. Gallia’s General Chevert received another check at Salzugnen and had retreated to the fortress of Gemunden. My three Frankzonian battalions under the command of Baron V. Ballpark which had been vetted to Chevert were the core of the covering force in an advanced position on the route from Salzugnen to Gemunden. Their primary task was to delay the foe while Chevert obtained reinforcements and another general secured the supply routes through Frankszonia (where there is a tremendous amount of resentment over the arrogant occupation and behavior by Gallia, even though the Hurtshog thinks that this presents a great opportunity for Frankszonia).
Woosh, that was a long sentence!
Anyway, to set up the battle, I of course went looking for Salzugnen and Gemunden on the maps ... and found no less than SEVEN (7) places called Gemunden. Moreover, there were two quite logical candidates for the Gallian position on good routes from Salzugnen. Furthermore, since Gen. Chevert had two or three times failed to overwhelm the Bishopric of Fulda and the Fulda gap thanks to the versatility of the Hesse-Seewald / Germanian forces there, both routes looked like good candidates at a campaign drive to bypass the Fulda Gap. Bill Protz, who is the player / creator of Gallia, said that on his game map, Gemunden was southwest of Frankfurt ... which clearly indicated that the site was Gemunden am Main.

Now there were several routes to Gemunden Am Main from Salzugnen. Two follow the canyons created by tributaries of the Main which flow into the Main just south of Gemunden. Their mouths are separated by only a mile or two. The western canyon led directly to Fulda while the eastern canyon linked up to roads which went through Salzugnen. Furthermore, there was a major route on more or less the high ground which goes about five to ten miles east of Gemunden on its way to Wurzburg. A route branches off this highway and comes down to Gemunden from the south. The rough nature of the terrain in the area created a problem in that v. Ballpark’s command could not cover both the route from Fulda and the other two routes. Gen. Chevert therefore commanded him to cover the direct route from Salzugnen while he made other arrangements for the route from Fulda.
Unlike Frankfurt, where the Main flows through an area with fairly large flats around it, the Gemunden region is very hilly, and the rivers basically flow through entrenched meanders ... which means very narrow and steep valleys ... more properly, I think, canyons ... with only a few broad places on the inside of some of the bends. Gemunden itself is overlooked by high river bluffs. Furthermore, a force which was holding defiles on the middle route could easily post itself on high ground which not only commanded that canyon, but also provided easy access down to the route leading to Wurzburg. In consequence, the Hesse-Seewald forces had been working their way down the middle route, and turning the defiles with their superior forces by accessing routes behind them up to the high ground and working down on the Gallian artillery.
When this process came to within an easy day’s march of Gemunden (Schonau is less than 10 kilometers away as the buzzard flies, though much longer on the roads twisting through the canyons), Chevert reinforced v. Ballpark who made a stand at Seifriedsburg which commanded the route toWurzburg and covered the route twisting down the canyon walls to the Schonau defile. Even so, v. Ballpark had already gained almost four days delay in the Hesse-Seewald advance.
On the morning of the battle, a very strong force from Hesse-Seewald drives across the creek bed separating Aschenroth from Seifriedsburg under the cover of morning fog ... as the fog lifts, the Frankszonians and Gallians gather behind their chevaux a frise barricades on the edge of the farmed area on the plateau around Seifriedsburg to look down on the Germanian horde deploying to assault them ....