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


MurdocK said...

Thats some details!

I liked the cheval du frises done with the toothpicks?

You need to update with pictures.
The bare text while informative takes some time to process thru...while a picture or two (or nine!) would break it up nicely.

Bluebear Jeff said...

A nice, detailed report . . . but I'm glad that I waited for photos . . . although, given the detail of the report, I could have used more close-up photos to show particular engagements.

One other suggestion -- please put a blank line between each paragraph (you did for a bit in the middle). It makes it much less intimidating to read.

Also, I enjoyed the "byplay" about various commanders' motives and feelings . . . it really helps bring things to life.

Finally, let me encourage you to write a follow-up post about how well you feel KOENIG KRIEG served for this battle . . . what you particularly liked about using it . . . and what, if anything, didn't feel right.

Good report.

-- Jeff

Bluebear Jeff said...

Aha! More pictures are now gracing the account . . . I like it.

-- Jeff