Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Second Battle of Alzheim

The Fight at the Mill

General-Oberst Schlitz von Apfel-Strudel was a satisfied man. He rode his beautiful gelding, Gerald at the head of the finest Regiment in the Anhalt-Bootcamp service. Behind them marched a disconsolate battalion of impressed wretches from Saxony while, marauding all around, were the mischievous lads of the von Kleist Freikorps. How Major v. Kleist had managed to persuade the pestiferous pandours to turn their coats once again was beyond him. Ha! Bah! It mattered only that they again supported the cause of his dear Anhalt-Bootcamp.

And there went the dragoons, a fine and manly sight to stir the heart of any warrior with their brave pink facings. Heroes all!

He halted this bold force to let the officers have the men take a bite to eat, settle the men down and dress the ranks.

Then a harassed dragoon rode back to him. "Herr General! The Soubre-Whelmers have been re-enforced! It looks to us like they have skirmishers on the hill and a regiment each in the village and then one joining it to the hill."

"Have they Cavalry?"

"Sir, a large body forms beyond the town as we speak"

"Right then boy. Tell your Colonel to take his dragoons against their cavalry. These Saxon lads can go against the village or I'll have their guts for garters! Von Kleist? Where are you?"

With shifty side-glances von Kleist appears, stuffing something into his coat pocket. "Sir?"

"Get your men onto that hill. I want them popping away at the flank of THAT regiment THERE. My Lads, the Donner and Blitzen boys will go straight down the middle and send those Soubre-Whelmers running home to their mummies."

Report of Brigadier Creosote Force-Majeur
Your Majesty, it is my honour to report the course of the engagement between your forces and those of Anhalt-Bootcamp.

As your Majesty was gracious enough to favour me with re-enforcements I made the following dispositions:
Your cavalry regiment "La Reine" I enjoined to take a position outside of the town or Merlot. I emplaced your Majesties' Regiment Bearn within the town itself while your Majesties' other Regiment Royal Lorraine I used to maintain communications between the rear boundary of the town and the eminence of Mont Haut. I took the very great liberty of detaching the grenadier company of Regiment Bearn and begging that they go to the height and so inconvenience any light forces the enemy may have hoped to have mount up and perform mischiefs upon our own troops.

The enemy was bold in his onset. He advanced his entire force in out direction. I contented myself with advancing your majesties Regiment of cavalry toward the Anhalt-Bootcamp dragoons and reinforcing the Grenadiers on Mont Haut with the Grenadier Company of Royal Lorraine as a result of espying the very great number of green-coats the enemy was sending in their direction. Your Majesties' cannon emplaced in the village of Merlot caused the Saxons advancing thereupon a small amount of disruption.

The enemy continued his advance. The weight of skirmishing fir from our men did little damage to the enemy, while they took some damage themselves. Again your guns discommoded the Saxons while regiment Royal Lorraine was itself slightly discomfited by enemy cannon fire at long range. Your Cavalry charged the enemy cavalry who declined to counter-charge. Could it be they had not the mettle for the fight? Sadly, no. They stood their ground, but the issue was inconclusive with both bodies of horse falling back to recover their order.

All the while the Green-coated devils had continued to work their way closer to your Majesties' skirmishers, their steady fire not seeming to discomfit the enemy at all, while equally sadly, they were becoming visibly less ordered.

The Saxons had come close enough to complicate matters for our gunners who switched to cannister, caused them substantial casualties and forced them to rout! This happy event prompted your Majesties Cavalry to spring against at their foes. To their credit they were not unwilling to join the fight. The whole of the battle hung on this moment, but your Majesties forces prevailed and the enemy's forces routed. While the Saxons rallied some distance to the rear, the Dragoons kept on and on. Their standards will decorate your Cathedral on the morrow.

The battle now was all but won. While the von Kleist men did drive our skirmishers in, this was of no consequence. They had shot their bolt.

The last force open to the enemy advanced past the outskirts of Merlot towards the Royal Lorrainers whereupon they took two galling volleys - one from the Regiment Bearn in the village and one from Royal Lorraine - and then a charge from the Lorrainers which tumbled them all into ruinous flight. The day was finished by the Artillery who again broke the Saxons at long range, causing them to precipitately flee the field.

The von Kleist Croats were last seen covering the enemy's retreat.

Your Majesty, my cup runs over! Victory is yours!

Y'r Servant

Brigadier in His Majesties Service

The forces that met that misty morning were these:

C.O. General-Oberst Schlitz von Apfel-Strudel (Already thinking of writing a monograph on "War like the Lightning")
Infantry Regiment 13 "Itzenplitz" (30 Figs and also known as the Donner und Blitzen Boys)
Saxon Regiment (24 saddened infantry)
Von Kleist Croats (24 Figs) - Major von Kleist
Dragoon Regiment 3 (18 Figs)
Nr 1 Section, "A" Battery the Princely Artillery. (1 Gun)

High Grand Supreme Duchy of Soubre-Whelm
C.O. Brigadier Creosote Force-Majeur (Given another go at the behest of one of the Dukes' mistresses - "Lavailable")
Infantry Regiment "Languedoc" (30 Figs)
Infantry Regiment "Royal Lorraine" (30 Figs)
Cavalry Regiment "La Reine" (18 Figs and beautifully mounted, too)
1er Section, "A" Batterie, His Lordship (bless him) the Dukes' Own Artillery. (1 Gun)

Mont Haut counts as difficult terrain for the purpose of this battle with a 50% penalty on formed troops. Open order troops may move as normal. It is impassable to cavalry and artillery. The mill will hold one company of six figures. The town will hold six figures in each of its four buildings and an additional one in the town square.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Order of Battle

Yesterday's piece got me thinking... this Lace Wars project of mine has been going on in one form or another for the best part of 15 years, I would suppose. It has really only started to yield fruit in a substantial way these past 18 months since I became involved with the OSW Yahoo Group - check out the link on this blog.

From just the odd scrap here and there with a vague French and Indian War feeling my armies have grown to encompass the following:


  • Regiment Royal Lorraine
  • Regiment Bearn
  • Regiment Languedoc


  • Regiment La Reine
  • Turpin Hussards (1 Sqn only...)



  • Infantry Regiment 13
  • von Kleist Infantry


  • Dragoon Regiment 3
  • von Kleist Dragoons (1 Sqn only...)


  • von Kleist Artillery (1 Battery only..!)

That's about 200 figures in round numbers and does not count any of the samples I've painted up (like those Highlanders or the Gardes Suisses) or units I've begun and have to get on with (Gardes Francaises, Regiment Bourbonnois, Cavalry Regiment Wurttemburg) or have set aside temporarily (Saxon Leibgrenadier Garde, Kurprinzessin Regiment and von Bruhl's Regiment, as well as the men of the Compagnies Franches de la Marine) or even those I have bought figures for but not even started to think about painting - like my two batteries of French artillery or those two regiments of Austrians who are pegged as Bavarians for some time next year!

I suppose the upshot of all this is a vote of theanks to the guys over at the OSW group without whom I'd never have had the impetus to "think big". Cheers, chaps.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What's on the Boil

Working at something like half steam on a couple of regiments - Bourbonnois and the Gardes Francaises. I'm into the second companies of both and will let myself do some musicians and officers to relax afterwards.

At the same time I'm plugging away at the HMS Catamite, Royal Navy Brig just for something a little different. This is an old (1967?) Pyro kit of an "American Brig of War" that I put up on eBay recently but got no interest in. So, with a shrug of my shoulders I thought I'd waterline it, stick it to a card base and then use it as some back-ground eye-candy scenery. Looking at her guns, I'd say she scales out at about 1:120 or thereabouts - totally wrong for my 28mm RSMs, but I'm not too bothered. Slight problem though - Now the hull is assembled and painted, I can't bear to waterline the kit! In the interests of concious artificiality, she may have to sail the seas on her stand.

Next I'll do some more Highlanders and then the bold cavalry regiment Wurttembourg in their bearskins from some minis I bought a little while back from BP. Lovely stuff, and I'm sure they'll look nice next to their comrades in Regiment La Reine. Maybe some artillery next.

This weekend I'll be playtesting some rulesets written by the chaps at the OSW Yahoo Group, so expect some more chapters in the travails of the Duchy of Alzheim.