Monday, June 20, 2016

Finum Mundi Turn #5: Sweeping the Plains of Algarmejo

Casa Bairos was the scene this past weekend for the latest scrap in the Finum Mundi campaign. The Nordstrum fleet had transported a KaiserReich contingent to the north coast of St Julien and, after sorting out the dis-embarkation process (not so easy to unload cavalry horses onto a beach from wooden sailing ships), the KR commander decided to go on a "walkabout" and began sweeping across the open northern plains around Algarmejo. A perfect opportunity to pull out Sharp Practice 2 once again.

The St Julien force were made up exclusively of militia units. El Duque had no regular forces nearby and thus this list represents the local militias gathering to oppose the KaiserReich incursion. The KR force is mostly made up of cavalry, a rather unique list for SP2.

We chose Scenario Two: Sweep the Table from the rule book, with the KR force as the sweeping aggressors. The table was mostly open area (to reflect the plains) with a few small farm buildings and tree copses. Scattered about with the buildings were some supply carts (in lieu of animals) and the KR objective was to capture these carts and escort them from the table. The sweeping force begins the game as normal but the defenders cannot immediately deploy. Their forces are delayed in responding to the incursion.

(Apologies for the photos below but once again I forgot my tripod)

The St Julien basic force of four militia infantry groups and two skirmish guerrilla groups (plus 3 Level II Big Men). Vidal had 14 support points to spend and chose another militia group with Level I Big Man, a light calibre mountain gun (is there any other size?), and a Holy Man. 

The KaiserReich basic force of two Dragoon groups, two Scouting cavalry groups, and two light infantry groups (plus 3 Level II Big Men). With only six support points, I chose an Exploring Officer and to upgrade one of my Big Men to Level III.

KaiserReich started the game with 10 Force Morale points and St Julien with eight.

The basic table configuration with three buildings and four carts. The KR sweeping force comes from the left, the St Julien defenders from the right. The combination of Exploring Officer and units with the Movable Deployment Point characteristic allowed me (the KR commander) to deploy literally on top of three of the carts with my scouting cavalry.

A closer look at Freiherr Erik von Radeburger closely directing the Ulanen Radeburger to seize control of the carts.

The St Julien forces were quite slow in responding, allowing the KR cavalry to begin moving away with the carts (in fact, at this point, the St Julien forces had yet to make an appearance at all). It seemed that the scenario would be quite easy for the KR forces but time was to show this be a false expectation. It was necessary for the cavalry to spend some time corralling the cart animals and bending them to their will and once moving, could move only at the walking speed of the cart animals. Then, the cavalry group at the top of the photo received three consecutive Random Events that cumulatively slowed its movement by -3 pips per movement die. Apparently it's quite hot in northern St Julien in June and both mean and horses were suffering from dehydration.

Finally, the first St Julien units appear. Guerrilla skirmish groups jump forward to harass the retreating St Julien cavalry and their booty. 

The guerrillas pour fire into the rear of the slowest St Julien cavalry group, causing double shock (in this case 8 shock points....ouch!!). The first Force Morale loss goes to KaiserReich.

St Julien dragoons appear to cover the withdrawal  of the booty. And Radeburger Jagers move forward to help as well.

The St Julien dragoons have charged the guerrillas and destroyed them. This caused a total of three Force Morale point losses for St Julien. In a flash, the St Julien Force Morale was down to five!

Finally, the St Julien militia arrive!

Some of the dragoons have taken over escorting the wagons from the Ulanen Radeburger, with the hope they might be able to move the booty faster.

The St Julien overall commander moves more militia infantry forward with the mountain gun advancing alongside.

With three of the wagons safely withdrawn to the baseline, one (the slow one) almost two thirds of the way there, and the evening getting late, we decided to call it and declare a KaiserReich victory. The scenario-induced slow deployment for the St Julien forces and the rapid deployment of the KR cavalry (aided by the Exploring Officer and the Movable Deployment Point) at first promised a rather quick and (somewhat dull) game. However, the Random Events slowing down the withdrawal of one of the carts forced the KR commander to deploy more cavalry to cover the withdrawal. Although successful in sweeping aside a small skirmish unit, the KR dragoons then became a target for all available St Julien muskets (and the pesky little mountain gun). Although the cavalry charge had quickly dropped the St Julien Force Morale to five, the subsequent battering of the exposed KR dragoons quickly dropped the KR Force Morale to six.

So, another plus for the new Sharp Practice 2 rules... a seemingly simple (or boring) scenario turned into one that was at least a little closer.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Battle of Sulinger: June 11, 1746

As the summer begins in Finum Mundi, troop movements along the KaiserReich-St Julien border continue. After a small rebuff in his efforts to scout the small town of Sulinger (see Border Skirmish: Sulinger, April 30, 1746), El Duque had gathered substantial forces to push into Sulinger and make the first major inroads of the 1746 campaign. 

Facing the majority of the St Julien army were two small brigades of KaiserReich infantry and artillery. While El Duque had an advantage in numbers of units, all of the St Julien regiments were small (in Black Powder terms) and were facing full-strength KaiserReich infantry regiments (standard-sized in BP), supported by heavy artillery. The St Julien cavalry, although quite small in numbers, would prove a decisive advantage.

St Julien
(note: El Duque, suffering from an acute attack of piles, was not present at the battle)


The town of Sulinger.

The KaiserReich initial deployment, anchored on the town of Sulinger. 

Grenadiere Oettinger, covering the left flank of the town and providing a reserve. Unfortunately, this fine regiment, by far the best on the field that day, saw little to no action.

KaiserReich heavy artillery deploy near Sulinger.

St Julien forces deploy to attack.

The first St Julien attack rolls in against the KaiserReich main line. The small size of the St Julien regiments can be seen here... and the flexibility of the St Julien cavalry. The KaiserReich army in Sulinger had no cavalry attached and, as the picture above shows, this would prove to be a serious liability.

Some time later (but not much later), the rightmost KaiserReich infantry regiment has been defeated and its now the turn of its neighbour. The manoeuvrability of the small St Julien infantry regiments has allowed a quick wheel into the flank.

Adding insult to injury, St Julien cavalry get into the rear! The melee result was inevitable and Infanterie Marzen, finding itself surrounded, promptly laid down its arms in surrender.

Meanwhile, on the opposite flank... Grenadiere Oettinger moves forward to counter the St Julien move on the town. Unfortunately, this came too late to prevent (or even affect) the collapse of the KaiserReich right flank.

The KaiserReich force has retreated northward, licking its wounds. Fortunately, all the army's guns were brought from the field. El Duque must now decide whether to press his advantage or turn his army about to deal with the sea-borne landing of another KasierReich force in the north of St Julien.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Le Grand-Duché de Gourmandie: reinforcements

Some new cavalry for Le Grand-Duché de Gourmandie: Dragons Grande-Duchesse

Grand Duc Pierre-Louis has issued a warrant for the organization of a new regular cavalry regiment, to be paid for and furnished by the state. Le Grand Duc has asked that young men of noble birth (or in certain circumstances sons of wealthy landowners) present themselves with horse and furniture, upon which time they would be issued with uniforms and weapons. This dragoon regiment sports the traditional Gourmandie red coats with, in this case, buff facings. Although associated with the Grande Duchesse in name, the regiment should not be confused with a traditional guard unit. In fact, as with the Hussards Grand-Duc, the rank and file have little or no military experience, beyond the normal education for young men of substance. Thus, a number of seasoned men from Gourmandie's senior cavalry regiment, Les Grenadiers à Cheval Boursin, have been transferred in to bolster the ranks.

Commanding the new dragoon regiment is Phillipe Prière, Comte de Partout, recently acolyte to Arch Bishop Ambroise de Chabichou du Poitou. Le Comte is another young nobleman who dreams of martial glory and, with the assistance and influence of HIs Grace the Archbishop, has been able to acquire the position of Colonel of Her Ladyship's namesake regiment.

Dragons Grande-Duchesse, 2e Escadron.

(Crusader Miniatures)

Regular heavy and light cavalry regiments are each composed of one to three field squadrons and one depot squadron, maintained and recruited in the regiment's home district. The first squadron carries the Ordonnance standard and is commanded by a Chef d'Escadron and the regiment by the regimental Colonel. In the case of this regiment, only two squadrons have been raised (above, 2e d'Escadron).

Das KaiserReich - army completion

The forces of Das KaiserReich have completed their muster and stand at full-strength (for the moment, at least). In practical terms, the KaiserReich carry case is full and any additions will require a new case or a serious re-evaluation of the collection. Nevertheless, good to complete an army as planned.

Füsiliere Schwarzbier.
Front Rank figures with GMB flag.

Above sits 2. Brigade under the command of Markgraf Vidalius von Beyrösch-Nachbarschaften. The latest (and last) addition to the army, Füsiliere Schwarzbier, sits in the foreground with its sister regiment Füsiliere Weißbier to the rear. 

Füsiliere Schwarzbier is a second militia infantry unit, raised and funded by Freiherr Jean-Baptiste LeBlanque, wearing standard blue coats with green disctinctions. In contrast to their sister regiment, Füsiliere Schwarzbier sports silver mitres and metal distinctions in contrast to the  Füsiliere Weißbier brass. Freiherr LeBlanque, a Gourmandie emigre, is a member of The Council of Twelve. In only three short years, LeBlanque has risen from wandering nobleman, late of southern Gourmandie, to well-respected military commander and handsomely wealthy landowner. Rumours of how he achieved this in so short a time abound.

Army Commander: KronPrinz Friedrich Wilhelm
Chief of the Army Staff: Baron Jenssen of Bisterstad

1. Brigade "Reichsgraf Reinhard von Blumhardt"
  • Musketiere Krombacher
  • Musketiere Märzen 

2. Brigade "Markgraf Vidalius von Beyrösch-Nachbarschaften"
  • Füsiliere Weißbier
  • Füsiliere Schwarzbier

3. Brigade "Freiherr Ulrich von Schlender"
  • Grenadiere Oettinger
  • 1. FeldArtillerie zu Fuß
  • 2. FeldArtillerie zu Fuß
  • 1. Große FeldArtillerie

4. Brigade "Reichsritter Hildebrandt Freytag"
  • Grenadiere zu Pferde Warsteiner
  • Pistoliere von Doppelbock

5. Brigade "Freiherr Erik von Radeburger"
  • Ulanen Radeburger
  • Freikorps der Jagers Radeburger