Viewer's Choice Celebration MiniCampaign

It has now been over 20 years since I launched "With MacDuff On the Web" and nearly 10 years since I launched my 2 blogs: Gathering of Hosts and Battle game of the Month.

To celebrate the years and the friends and the million hits I've decided to run a 3 game mini-campaign in late October. By popular vot e it will be set in the mid 18th Century.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The heat of the Winter sun brings War to Oerberg!

The Railway Battalion closes on the enemy.

We have received the following dispatch from Oerberg where Her Majesty's forces have clashed with those of the Republic of Oerberg.
The sudden incursion of  foreign troops onto the hot dusty Oerberg plain came as a complete surprise to all, however, the advanced state of the National Railway allowed a force to be quickly thrown forward to stop the enemy from crossing the Little Phoam River at Blasthof.
The situation at dawn.
Oerberg forces under Soubise to the right or South,
 Faraway or Allied troops under Cornberg to the left.
This force, consisting of the Railway Battalion, 3 battalions of Foreign Volunteers and a squadron of the Frontier Constabulary backed by Long Li, was under the command of Field Commandant Willie Soubise, the spitting image of his uncle, Old Cords himself.

The foreign invaders appeared to be a coalition force of Faraway and Hougal troops under the command  of Major-General Cornberg wearing the Queen's uniform. The usual suspects were present, a Naval Landing party with a 4.7", a squadron of Larsen's Lancers and a battalion of Ross's Rifles but they were backed by a Battalion of Victoria Rifles, a battalion of Hougal's Foreign Legion and a squadron of their Chasseurs.

Allied cavalry seizes the bridge, then keeps going. (Dismount? Never!)

General Cornberg seemed to be driving them hard in an attempt to secure the bridge and they did not slow down at the appearance of the Oerberg forces. Soubise on the other hand appeared to have frozen at the sight of the enemy although he later explained that the halt as part of his clever plan to deceive the enemy and draw them forward into a trap.   

The silence, broken only by the thunder of hooves and blaring of bugles, was uncanny. However, as the Chasseurs thundered over the bridge, Soubise nodded and the Oerberg gunners sprang into actions. At the second salvo from Long Li, the Chasseurs scattered and fled towards the Lancers leaving dead and wounded men and horses behind.

It was like something I'd read long ago, at any rate the bugles sounded Charge! and my eye was drawn back to the battle.

Soubise now sent his infantry fording the shallow river to hold the Northern edge of the bridge while the gun and constabulary held the Southern edge, from a safe distance.  Another lull ensued with the 4.7" apparently stuck in the mud with the sailors heartedly wishing that they had been allowed to confiscate some ox teams while the the infantry of both sides trudged slowly forward and the allied cavalry rallied and formed up for a brigade charge on the Constabulary who had occupied a low hill overlooking the bridge.

Soon enough the infantry on both sides were deployed and the rattle of rifle fire dominated the field, punctuated by an occasional BOOM from the guns. It was rather curious that though both sides had a strong interest in holding the bridge, neither appeared to send any troops to seize it. While Cornberg seemed  too eager to close with the enemy to worry about objectives beyond destroying the ememy, Soubise just appeared happy to survive and hope the enemy went away. 

Eager as always to be at the enemy, Cornberg managed to push his battalions forward  one at a time, later claiming that the terrain was less open than it looked and that there were communication problems due to the lack of translators. This later was curious as the Foreign Legion is well known for its ability to find someone in its ranks to speak any language known in Atlantica.
The Foreign Legion advances to the rear through Ross's Rifles.

At last Cornberg could stand it no longer and ordered his cavalry to drive the enemy off the ridge forthwith. The Chasseurs, hit by intense  artillery fire as they formed for the charge, could take no more and the last man was seen scampering from the field but the Lancers spurred uphill and fought the enemy to a draw. Falling back to reform for another charge, they also were caught by Long Li, which the gunners were slowly dragging forward, and reduced to a mere handful.

The repulse of the Allied cavalry.
The thunder of the hooves and the explosions of the shells appear to have driven the river from its course) 
The result was inevitable with battalion after battalion falling back in disorder before rallying while the Oerberg line slowly followed up maintaining a tight formation.

The Allied tide ebbs.
When Ross's Rifles crumbled, Cornberg acknowledged the growing hopelessness of the situation and signalled for a general retreat.  Even the passive Soubise could not fail to secure the bridge without opposition.


We have been endeavouring to find out more but apparently our correspondent has decided to take a short sea voyage for his health. 

What we have ascertained is that there were no fatalities amongst the casualties who are all being well looked after, it seems it was indeed a Gentleman's War.


  Coming soon to a book seller near you:
A Gentleman's War
A treatise on how small wars should be fought by well known adventurer Howard Whitehouse. 


  1. Splendidly Ross...
    I think that I am about due for another Gentleman's Wargame.
    What make of miniatures are you using?

    All the best Aly

    1. Thanks Aly,
      Roughly 1/2 Scruby ACW or Colonial, (mostly current production from Historifigs), 1/4 homecast from Zinnbrigade (The Lancers and staff have been converted from Prussians) and 1/4 homecast from my own sculpts ( The Canadian Riflemen, the Baluchs and the 4.7" crew

  2. Ross,
    A very interesting battle - with delightful Armies- do like your photos- very crisp. Cheers. KEV.