EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Colonel Hangought and the Village Square.

At last! A call to action! Training a polyglot collection of mercenaries into a battle ready regiment was no easy task but it was done and his lads were in fine fettle and ready to Charge!. Now the call had come from Sir William (or Whirling Willie as the men called him behind his back), take command of his regiment and a battery of guns and march in support of the Cavalry Brigade in a reconnaissance towards the town of New Peedeeheph.

Despite 15 years of campaigning in the Not Quite Seven Years War, the Colonel still had trouble understanding let alone speaking or writing the lingo so it was, perhaps, not surprising that his mind wandered during the briefing and that he thought their force was facing an enemy with superior numbers of infantry. In the face of this supposed infantry superiority, he proposed a quick advance by the cavalry backed by artillery to pound the enemy should they occupy the town, with his redcoated mercenaries in reserve. Whirling Willie quickly adopted the plan and with drums beating and trumpets toodalooing, the army set off.

The view from the Colonel's position. Veteran TT Teaser players will recognize the scenario immediately despite minor differences in details.

Google hangout's video was not as good as Skype but the latter has no chrome book version and a free video conference is a free video conference. Actually it did the job just fine and didn't shut me down for lack of bandwidth which Skype used to do from time to time. I think the sound was better too but with months in between its hard to tell.

The column clattered onto the table and down the road without incident but as the cavalry disappeared  into town, the urgent call of bugles, a clatter of hooves, shouts, a pistol crack or two and a clash of swords announced that enemy cavalry had been encountered. Mystified by the apparent failure of the enemy infantry to seize the far side of the town, the Colonel deployed the guns (one never knows what cavalry will do, of either side) sent A company into the nearest town block and began to deploy the remaining companies against all contingencies.

No sooner had his men secured the town when a scattering of rifle shots announced that enemy Jaegers had crept into the wood and just barely been forestalled by his own men. A prolonged firefight erupted with superior numbers and hard cover balancing the slightly more effective rifle fire. More neighing, trumpeting and clashing of swords announced that the cavalry battle continued to ebb and flow  on both sides of the town, seemingly without end as squadrons fell back, regrouped and charged back in. Suddenly from behind the wood appeared yet more cavalry.

The atmosphere became tense. Were they after all outnumbered? Who were the cavalry?

Suddenly the light and smoke cleared and it could be seen that these were the Wachovian Hussars. The men relaxed and a ripple of laughter ran up and down the ranks at the fright they had had, obviously there were Rosmark veterans amongst the mercenary ranks. As the enemy cavalry trotted forward, the well drilled mercenaries quickly formed a 2 company square then held fire until the Hussars were just beyond their bayonets. A crashing volley brought down men and horses but no had ever denied that the Wachovians always showed courage. The Hussars, who had never encountered infantry in square before,  threw them selves onto the waiting bayonets popping away with their pistols ineffectually while yet more were shot down and then as suddenly as they had come, they were gone.

Through a haze of powder smoke, the square can be seen repelling the Hussars.

The far side did offer to walk the camera around the table but since the town and woods would have blocked my view from the Colonel's location, it seemed more fun to catch glimpses and hear the sounds of battle ("4""3" tie, next) 

As the Hussars retired to join the cavalry melee, their place was taken by more Jagers. Still the remaining town block remained empty. At last the light began to dawn on the Colonel. All the enemy had brought were cavalry and jaegers! C Company was ordered to double over and occupy the rest of the town while B company and the guns remained to support A Company in their fight against the Jagers. As B company formed in column behind a small hill, ready to drive off the Jagers at the point of the bayonet, a horn rang out an urgent recall from behind the wood and the town was suddenly emptied of horsemen. The heavy cavalry on both sides had had enough and pulled back followed by the battered Jaegers and Hussars. The Colonel's little command, barely scathed, was left  in secure possession of the town.

Casualties gather near the board edge as the battle comes to a close. Watch for upcoming reports from the other side at http://sharpbrush.blogspot.ca/ and  http://junkyardplanet.blogspot.ca/  

2 comments:

  1. I fear the good Colonel is mistaken on one point--the hussars who charged the square were Schoeffen-Buschhagen hussars, not Wachovian. The Wachovian hussars were busy being butchered by enemy cavalry elsewhere on the battlefield...

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  2. Ahhh, It was a little hard to see uniform colours through the gunsmoke. The pistolling tactics are of course a shared heritage. Never did see exactly what was beyond the town, I await the official account!

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