Friday, 14 June 2013

A scenario idea for my forthcoming play-test

I have been thinking about a suitable scenario for my forthcoming play-test of Joseph Morschauser's FRONTIER wargames rules ... and taken the plot outlined in George MacDonald Fraser's ROYAL FLASH as my starting point.

I am going to assume that Flashman's efforts to thwart Otto von Bismarck's plan to destabilise the Duchy of Strackenz have come to nothing, and that Prussian troops have invaded the Duchy 'to restore order'. Troops loyal to Duchess Irma have mobilised and are preparing to defend the bridge where main road to the east of Strackenz City crosses the river. This appears to be the best defensive position they can occupy if they are to stand any chance of preventing the Prussians from entering the capital of Strackenz and forcibly putting the Duchy and its ruler under their 'protection'.


I decided upon this scenario because it will allow me the opportunity to use some of the figures from my 15mm-scale Austro-Prussian War collection. They have not been on the tabletop for some time, and it seemed like an ideal occasion to use them.

12 comments:

  1. Strakenz always struck me as a very tiny duchy, and therefore not able to carry a large army. Maybe they could get help from the Danish - a few Holstein volunteers, perhaps, you know: unofficial, left hand not knowing what the right is doing, we issued no such orders etc etc - Copenhagen grovelling for mercy and much good may it achieve, given Otto v. Bismarck's granite resolve.

    But friend Otto might yet underestimate Duchess Irma's own independence of spirit and send to subjugate Strakenz a piffling force, the which, suffering a humiliating and shattering defeat, reels back into Mecklinberg, broken and dismayed. Bismarck's ambitions laid naked, the little Duchy's stirring defence, and Harry von Flashman's tub thumping to the 'Times' arouses all of Europe, especially England, against Prussian aggrandisement. Schleswig and Holstein remain part of the Danish realm for a long time to come, Bismarck is disgraced, and almost a century later, the German battleship 'Herzogina Irma' will create such a fuss when she escapes into the North Atlantic in company with the heavy cruiser, 'Prinz Eugen'...

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  2. I never managed to make a wargame scenario based on Flashman, but I always thought I should have!

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  3. Archduke Piccolo,

    In the book two regiments are mentioned (one being cavalry), so I would assume that the Army of Strackenz has an infantry regiment, a cavalry regiment, and a couple of artillery batteries (one field and one fortress battery). I would therefore expect that they troops defending the bridge will be an infantry regiment supported by a field battery. There may be a few volunteers (The 'Sons of the Volsungs', for example) but not many.

    As to the outcome of the battle ... well what you have suggested all sounds good to me! We will just have to see what happens, won't we?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. John Curry,

    The FLASHMAN books contain such a rich 'vein' of possibilities that I am surprised that more people have not 'mined' it for wargames scenarios before.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Many years ago, whilst fighting "The Grand Opera Wars", Flashman often appeared as a character but I have to confess we never thought of using the books as source material for scenarios. Hmm, what an oversight.

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  6. Barry Carter,

    I must admit that I had not seen the possibilities myself until now ... but now that I have, who knows where this 'journey' could take me?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. I really must read 'Royal Flash' again - it's sitting in my bookshelf. I had completely forgotten all mention of any troops aside from the city guard and other ceremonial types.

    A quick squizz shows yellow jacketed infantry (wearing back-and-breast cuirasses on ceremonial duty, by the look) and I presume a unit of cuirassiers. It seems to me with a small duchy, the Infantry would comprise a single battalion, and the cavalry maybe only two or three squadrons. With a battery of 4 or 6 field guns, that's enough for a field army of just on 1000 men (600 foot, 300 horse, 100 train)...

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  8. Archduke Piccolo,

    You and I have come to similar conclusions as to the size of the Stackenzian Army.

    As you will find out when you read my as yet unfinished battle report, the Strackenians have sent an infantry battalion (the Strackenz Grenadiers) and an artillery battery to deal with the invading Mecklenburgers.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. I'll be cheering for the Strackenzians, of course.

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  10. Archduke Piccolo,

    For some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, that does not surprise me!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. A very fine idea for a campaign. "Royal Flash" has some lovely details in it....as does the film. I'm hoping you're going to have Harry as (reluctantly) one of the commanders of the Strakenzian army - or maybe changing sides half-way?

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  12. Sidney Roundwood,

    Sorry to disappoint you, but poor old Harry Flashman did not feature in the eventual battle ... but he may do so in any sequel.

    All the best,

    Bob

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