Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Battle of Oberbratwurst: The Opening Moves

The fictional Battle of Oberbratwurst, fought during the War of Spanish Succession, will be fought using the rules Volley and Bayonet. Volley and Bayonet is a "grand-tactical" level game and allows players to assume the roles of Army and other higher level commanders. Figures are mounted on one stand and rosters are utilizing that have the unit's strength points.

Infantry units for the 18th century represent Infantry Regiments; Infantry units in the 19th century represent Brigades and are on bigger stands. For both centuries, Cavalry are Brigades.

Unlike other rules where players have to worry about the formations of their individual units, in these rules it is assumed that the Brigadiers and Colonels know their business and will deploy their units accordingly. In this game players need to worry about deploying and maneuvering their armies!

As mentioned, a roster sheet (posted in an earlier blog) is used to keep track of the status of units. Each "strength" point of infantry or cavalry represents approximately 500 men. Each strength point of artillery represents 6 guns. Most units for the War of Spanish Succession have 2 strength points each. Units lose points through long range fire and close combat (which represents close range musketry and melee combined).

Morale, command and division cohesion are all elements of the game but not overly complicated. In fact, the basic rules are just 18 pages long! Now, on to battle!

The lovely city of Oberbratwurst at the peak of the tourist season.

Imperial cavalry on the Allied Left Flank commanded by the Austrian Lieutenant General von Natzmer.

The Danish contingent of the Imperial Infantry Corps under the command of the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau.

The Danish Foot Guards (Yes I painted them because they had yellow coats!)

Major General the Prince of Holstein-Beck's Infantry Command consisting of Dutch, Scottish and English troops.

Lieutenant General Lord John Cutts leads his wing of Allied infantry.

Allied Cavalry commanded by General of Horse the Erbprinz of Hesse-Kessel move to the extreme left flank of the Allied line.

The Elite French Gendarmes take the position of honor as part of the Comte de Zurlauben's forces.

The Garde Francaise are held in Army reserve.

The Bavarian Leibregiment in the middle of the Franco-Bavarian deployment. The Marquis de Maffei commands the Bavarian infantry.

More of the Bavarians under the Marquis de Maffei.

Two foreign regiments in the French Army: Dillon's Irish Regiment and the Swiss Regiment Reynold. Both are part of the infantry command of the Marquis de Blainville.

Massed French and Bavarian Cavalry under the Count d'Arco support a French infantry line.

Late Breaking News: Due to Track and Field Events (Honorable Sons # 2 and #3 are distance runners) there has been a change of command:

Honorable Son #4 will command the Grand Alliance.
Yours truely will command the Franco-Bavarians.

Turn 1: Franco-Bavarians. We diced to see who would go first and the Franco-Bavarian Army won the toss. I immediately saddled my horse and pointed at the enemy line. "Advance!" I said. I decided to move and take control of the center of the battlefield, hoping to throw my opponent off by my aggressive move. I had a regiment of dismounted dragoons move into Oberbratwurst and ease the concerns of the inhabitants of the lovely Bavarian city.

Situation Map After the Franco - Bavarian Advance

The might of the French and Bavarian Armies

The French and Bavarians quickly seize control of the center of the battlefield while the French cavalry on the right flank move around the outskirts of Oberbratwurst in an attempt to deploy into line of battle.

Dismounted French Dragoons occupy Oberbratwurst. The yellow marker behind them signifies that the dragoons are disorganized. In other words, they lost their "battle formation" as they moved through the streets and will need some time to reorganize.

Turn 1: The Grand Alliance. So did my advance through off the Allies? Nope. In a surprise move (at least it was a surprise to me!), it seemed like every horseman in the Allied army was bearing down on the Franco-Bavarian left flank. Then I thought - wait a minute, I outnumber him in cavalry about 2 to 1 (BWAH HAH HAH!).

The Austrian Cuirassier units boldly charge into the French cavalry. The line behind the French consists of Bavarian Cuirassiers and more French Cavalry.

French and Austrian Infantry prepare to blast away at each others lines. The Danish Corps and the Bavarians will also exchange fire as both sides have light losses.

And then it got ugly. The French cavalry forgot that they outnumbered their Austrian counterparts. The furious and unexpected charge of the Austrian Cuirassiers disordered and swept from the field the majority of the French Cavalry . . .

The French Cavalry Commander, the Count d'Arco, boldly stares down the Austrians as he wonders where his cavalry command went.

Next: The Franco - Bavarian Response.

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