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

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

At last, the Pudding.

I did in fact find time on Sunday evening to play through this scenario. It went OK and I meant to write it up on Monday but what with this, that and the other, what time I had was spent rethinking the approach, arguing with myself and checking various references, freeing myself once again from the scale demon then refighting the scenario using a slightly tweaked version of the Tin Army which so pleased me in the Kapelle game last June.


Turn 2. The artillery is trading fire at long range and Blue has started to redeploy his forces. I'm sure the Tigers and Buffs were muttering about having stormed and taken this same bloody town on Sunday. Ferozepur is it? 

 The game follows on from the last one where Red won a technical victory. The general idea was that Blue had fallen back to a defensive position which a reinforced Red would attack. I was looking for a small scenario which would be quick to play but didn't want another encounter scenario or anything to do with rivers or one that I had fought a zillion times. I was resigning myself to plopping a hill down in the middle of the table and just going from there when I thought about Thomas's OHW. Surely there must be something in there. It was a struggle, esp since so many are stripped down versions of familiar Grant Teasers but I came across this one inspired by a Panzer Blitz scenario and figured it would do. The forces are equal but the defender has to allocate 1/3 of his resources to each of 2 distant objectives while the attacker can focus on 1. I might or might not have once played the Panzer Blitz original but it was close enough to something different and I was off.


Oberhilse (Blue)  Rolled up 3 infantry (4 stands each), 2 guns and a cavalry unit (2 stands). They posted 1 infantry and a gun in and around the town and the same on the hill in the far corner. The cavalry and other infantry unit hovered in the middle.

Faraway (Red)  Rolled up 3 infantry, 2 elite infantry and a gun. The hill looked like the most vulnerable target but I made myself roll: 1-4 attack the hill, 5,6 attack the town. Yup, inevitably 5.
I deployed the elite Tigers and Buffs to attack the town (and promptly forgot the elite status),  the gun in the gap and the rest of the infantry to clear the wood, support the gun and act as a reserve.

I shuffled out a deck for 12 turns maximum and set to.

A few turns later, maybe turn 5 or 6? Blue's artillery has been forced back to avoid destruction  while the Tigers have captured the white house. Casualties amongst the attacking force have been high though.  Apart from the volunteers that is, especially the ones out of LOS and thus control of the General, the ones who have downed packs and are brewing up in the middle of the wood. A dashing attack by cavalry on the volunteers which just chased away the gun was forestalled by Red pointing out to Blue that the scenario requires that he  keep at least 2 units within 4 squares of the hill. Eh? Damnnation!  
An hour later I reached a breathless conclusion after some close calls and tense moments, walked downstairs and was somewhat surprised to see that 2 hours had gone by. I don't usually take an hour to walk down the stairs so it might have taken me somewhat longer to play the 12 turns than what it felt like. However 2 hours is a good game length for me. I can see a full divisional game lasting twice that or more.
Turn 11. (Cameraman must have been preoccupied) Red has slowly cleared the town and has then repulsed 2 forlorn counter attacks by infantry and dismounted cavalry. Every unit has stretched as far as it can go but Blue has lost 7 out of the 8  companies of infantry that were engaged as well as one of his guns and no one is close enough to renew the fight even if they wanted to.  Blue's 7th infantry who watched the battle from afar are probably feeling a mix of relief and guilt that they got off scot free and are available to cover the retreat.

OK so what's next? A post discussing the rules naturally and at least a quick reference summary but there are more troops to paint as well as limbers, bands, hospitals, command groups, engineers and some slightly bigger,  hollow, buildings to make. Buildings with a lift off roof and able to  hold 2 stands while only taking up half an area so that a road can run through the town as with these solid ones. And more! Much more!

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