Sunday, 12 June 2016

Another diversion

Despite still having various domestic chores to do, I just could not stop thinking about how much fun I had had fighting the Battle of Nerfburg Heath, and how much I wanted to try out the minor tweaks and changes I had made to the rules that I had written.

Being weak-willed and prone to doing things that I know that I ought not to be doing, I set up another small scenario from the Hexland vs. Gross-Schism conflict to try out my 'improved' rules.

THE BATTLE OF THE NORTHERN PASS

Having seen his forces trounced in the Battle of Nerfburg Heath, the Prince of Hexland became even more determined to seize the lands of the Archbishopric of Grosse-Schism. He summoned the truculent General von Trumpf and ordered him to use whatever force was necessary to defeat the forces defending Grosse-Schism. Von Trumpf was a devious fellow, and decided that as the direct approach had failed, an indirect approach might be more successful. He therefore put together yet another small force drawn from the units of the Hexland Army, and marched northward with the intention of invading Grosse-Schism by swinging around its border and invading via the Northern Pass.

The Archbishop was concerned that the Hexlanders might mount another invasion, especially as the troops that had come to his aid had now gone back back to their home countries. He quickly called for volunteers as well as recruits from abroad, and within a few weeks a small contingent of former soldiers from the British and Hannoverian armies arrived in Gross-Schism. They formed a small 'British Legion' as well as helping to train the Gross-Schism volunteers.

As his troops neared the Northern Pass, news reached von Trumpf that a small unit of the newly established Grosse-Schism Army was guarding the pass. The numbers were small, and locals described them as being dressed in old and tattered uniforms. 'Scum. At worst they will be a few woodsmen and hunters; at best they will be untrained militia', thought von Trumpf to himself, and that night, whilst his men were preparing for the forthcoming advance into Grosse-Schism, he told them that they would have no problem brushing aside the troops that opposed them. 'You are many, and they are not; you are trained soldiers, and they are not. Tomorrow we march ... for the glory of Hexland!' ('and von Trumpf', he thought to himself).

The invading Hexland force
Led by General von Trumpf, the Hexland force comprised:
  • 1st Hexland Hussars
  • 2nd Hexland Dragoons
  • 3rd Hexland Fusiliers
  • 4th Hexland Fusiliers
  • 5th Hexland Fusiliers
  • 2nd Hexland Field Artillery
The defending Grosse-Schism force
Only a few troops from the newly-formed Gosse-Schism Army were available to defend the Northern Pass. They comprised:
  • 1st Grosse-Schism Infantry
  • A detachment of foreign volunteers
The Grosse-Schism Infantry occupied the area near a small redoubt that had been constructed some years before to act as a border post and to defend the Pass. The position of the foreign volunteers was unknown.

Turn 1
Oblivious to the fact that the Hexlanders were advancing on their redoubt, the Grosse-Schism Infantry carried on as if nothing was out of the ordinary.


Turn 2
The sight of the oncoming Hexlanders ...


... spread alarm amongst the ranks of the Grosse-Schism Infantry, who hurriedly returned to the comparative safety of their redoubt.


Turn 3
Von Trump had ordered his cavalry to move as quickly through the Pass as was possible. They were then to swing around, cutting off the route the Grosse-Schism troops would have to take when they retreated. Led by the 1st Hexland Hussars, the cavalry did as they were ordered.


The Grosse-Schism troops in the redoubt opened fire on the leading Hexland cavalry unit, and emptied quite a few saddles.


Before they could react, a further deadly volley came from the nearby woods, and this cause the Hexland Hussars so many casualties that the unit ceased to be a coherent and effective fighting unit!


Turn 4
As the remnants of the 1st Hexland Hussars streamed to the rear, the 2nd Hexland Dragoons now received the attention of the Grosse-Schism defenders.


Despite suffering some casualties, the Dragoons continued their advance, as did the rest of the Hexland force.


Turn 5
The Hexland Dragoons swung behind the redoubt, half of whose defenders did a swift 'about turn' and fired at them, causing further casualties.


The rest of the Hexland force continued its remorseless advance on the Pass ...


... and the leading Hexland infantry unit opened fire on the redoubt's defenders.


Turn 6
The redoubt's defenders fired back at the advancing Hexland infantry, and caused a few casualties.


It then became apparent why the fire from the hidden Grosse-Schism unit was so deadly ... it was Colonel Blunte's Volunteer Riflemen! (There are often referred to in the history of this conflict as 'the chosen men', but Colonel Blunte is recorded as saying 'Chosen men! Bl**dy Hell! I'd like to know who chose them, 'cos I certainly didn't! They were the best I could recruit in the time I had ... and most of them were 'recruited' from the taverns and doxy shops of East and South London.')

The fire from the Riflemen was deadly, and besides hitting many of the Hexlanders in the front rank of the advancing infantry unit, General von Trumpf was seen to fall from his horse.


This was enough for the poor Hexlanders, who fled back through the Pass in near panic, taking their supporting units with them.


Grosse-Schism was saved yet again ... and with von Trumpf dead, there seemed little likelihood that another invasion attempt would be mounted again soon.

Postscript
The Hexland Dragoons, finding themselves cut off and unable to retreat without suffering possible annihilation, surrendered. Their horses and equipment were taken away from them and they were made to walk back across the border.

General von Trumpf was not in fact dead; the bullet that hit him had grazed his temple, causing him to fall from his horse unconscious. He was found by one of the volunteer Riflemen, who was performing what he termed 'the offices for the dead' (i.e. looting the body).

Von Trumpf was conveyed by wagon to the nearby Convent of St Hilary of Poitiers, where he was slowly nursed back to something approaching rude health, although his mental state thereafter was always something of a cause for concern.

Comments
The latest version of the rules seemed to work better than the original draft, although the Rifles are quite deadly and may need to have their fire effect toned down a bit.

I had to make up a rule on the spot to cope with the possibility that von Trumpf might be hit when the unit he was with was fired at. Using Joseph Morschauser's rule 'Let the dice decide', I decided that I would throw two D6s, and if the score was 12, von Trumpf would be hit. I threw two 6s!

I hope to make the new version of the rules available in the near future, but be warned, they are still a 'work in progress'.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent! A brisk little encounter. Its good to have a little something quick but engaging and fun in the bag of tricks.

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      The rules are still under development, but I feel like I am getting to a point where they are usable. Once they are, there is a distinct possibility of me being able to mount a number of Napoleonic mini-campaigns in the near future.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Good to see the Del-Prado figures in action - interesting Scenario Bob. Regards. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev,

      Now that they have been out of their storage boxes a couple of times, expect my Del Prado figures to make the occasional appearance on my blog in the future.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Looking forward to the polished version of the rules - pinching your ideas has become something of a hobby of mine in recent years :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaptain Kobold,

      The latest draft will be published as a blog entry later this week ... and please feel free to copy my ideas if you find them useful.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete