Sunday, 22 December 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!*

*brought to you as The Swabian Greeting performed by the infamous Götz von Berlichingen depicted here with his personal banner, bearing his coat of arms and his famous quote as a slogan freely after W. Goehte.

Gottfried „Götz“ von Berlichingen (1480 – 23 July 1562), also known as Götz of the Iron Hand, was a German (Franconian) Imperial Knight (Reichsritter) and mercenary. He was born around 1480 into the noble family of Berlichingen in Württemberg. Götz bought Hornberg castle (Neckarzimmern) in 1517, and lived there until his death in 1562.
He was active in numerous campaigns during a period of 47 years (1498–1544), including the German Peasants‘ War, besides numerous feuds; in his autobiography he estimates that he fought 15 feuds in his own name, besides many cases where he lent assistance to friends, including feuds against the cities of Cologne, Ulm, Augsburg and the Swabian League, as well as the bishop of Bamberg.

In 1497, Berlichingen entered the service of Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. In 1498, he fought in the armies of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, seeing action in Burgundy, Lorraine, and the Brabant, and in the Swabian War the following year. By 1500, Berlichingen had left the service of Frederick, and formed a company of mercenaries, selling his services to various Dukes, Margraves, and Barons.
In 1504, Berlichingen and his company fought for Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria. During the siege of the city of Landshut, he lost his right arm when enemy cannon fire forced his sword against him. He had a mechanical prosthetic iron replacement made, which is today on display at the Jagsthausen Castle. This prosthetic hand was ahead of its time, being capable of holding objects from a sword to a feather pen. In spite of this injury, Berlichingen continued his military activities. In the subsequent years he was involved in numerous feuds, both of his own and in support of friends and employers.
In 1512, near the town of Forchheim, due to a long running and bitter feud with Nuremberg he raided a group of Nuremberg merchants returning from the great fair at Leipzig. On hearing this, Emperor Maximilian placed Berlichingen under an Imperial ban. He was only released from this in 1514, when he paid the large sum of 14,000 gulden. In 1516, in a feud with the Principality of Mainz and its Prince-Archbishop, Berlichingen and his company mounted a raid into Hesse, capturingPhilip IV, Count of Waldeck, in the process. A ransom of 8,400 gulden was paid for the safe return of the count. For this action, he was again placed under the ban in 1518.
In 1519, he signed up in the service of Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg, who was at war with the Swabian League. He fought in the defence of Möckmühl, but eventually was forced to surrender the town, owing to a lack of food and ammunition. In violation of the terms of surrender, he was held prisoner and handed over to the citizens of Heilbronn, a town he had raided several times. His fellow knights Georg von Frundsberg and Franz von Sickingen successfully argued for his release in 1522, but only after he paid a ransom of 2,000 gulden and swore not to take vengeance on the League.
In 1525, with the outbreak of the German Peasants‘ War, Berlichingen led the rebels in the district of Odenwald against the Ecclesiastical Princes of the Holy Roman Empire. Despite this, he was (according to his own account) not a fervent supporter of their cause. He agreed to lead the rebels partly because he had no other option, and partly in an effort to curb the excesses of the rebellion. Despite his wishes to stop wanton violence, Berlichingen found himself powerless to control the rebels and after a month of nominal leadership he deserted his command and returned to the Schloss Jagsthausen to sit out the rest of the rebellion.
After the Imperial victory, he was called before the diet of Speyer to account for his actions. On 17 October 1526, he was acquitted by the Imperial chamber. Despite this, in November 1528 he was lured to Augsburg by the Swabian League, who were eager to settle old scores. After reaching Augsburg under promise of safe conduct, and while preparing to clear himself of the old charges against him made by the league, he was seized and made prisoner until 1530 when he was liberated, but only after repeating his oath of 1522 and agreeing to return to his Burg Hornberg and remain in that area.
Berlichingen agreed to this, and remained near the Hornberg until Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, released him from his oath in 1540. He served under Charles in the 1542 campaign against the Ottoman Empire of Suleyman the Magnificent in Hungary, and in 1544 in the Imperial invasion of France under Francis I of France.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Eve of Battle goes publish! In approx 10 days!

As my proposal won‘t slip out of my hands into my keyboard so easily as I thought it would ... so:

I thought I could publish this on some game/card game producer/distributor in the meantime.

Game crafter seems to be a good choice to me. An American company who is feeding on a whole game geeks culture over there.

They are all based on the same system. You pay for the production costs, which are print-on-demand (cheaper than litho but still more expensive than your little jet p.... print desk top box), but still therefore if you purchase only one item you'll have to pay for this. And they are all overseas for a reason (minimum wage and greater distribution costs).

Secondly you'll have to pay for the price of half circumventing the globe (if you are living here in the UK) which is nearly the price of the whole product. That seems on the first sight unfair, but I just won't collect multiple requests and then do a bulk order, just as nobody would. Point is precisely to leave that with the company - distributional headaches.

Unless somebody makes a start with a similar gigantic minimum wage company here (which would, I think, affect greatly my profession here $§&%&/()=)!!) -  you‘ll have to pay a connosoir price for this item for now until I find a suitable games company who are interested in this.

Yours affectionally,


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Italian Wars - Pike & Shotte rules

All Work-in-Progress (Point values aren‘t properly checked ... etc.), but as for now, this is how I group and base my army and what kind of rules ‘adjustments‘ I will use:

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Battle at the Old Fort

"Sir, we got message from the vanguard of the Grenadiers, who should have taken the old fort at the road on their reconaissance mission. They stumbled upon a massive Rebel contingent, even some rumours that they have French allied units with them!"

"Tell them to stay put, we will come to their aid as fast as possible ..."

This battle started slowly off! With the heavy snow rule and the most of the terrain woods it was no wonder. My (very gamey!) hope was that the hill would be in middle of the field and my Grenadiers could claim it as scouts - but oh cruel dice! It would have been the shortest battle ever, now I fear it will be the longest.

My Grenadiers got mauled by the rebel guns and had to retreat behind the Line to get rallied. The Hessians didn‘t move for 3 turns! The American got into VERY strong positions behind barricades before the hill, the French at last come and join them. One American Gun and the riflemen are out of powder. Yep. thats it.

The Grenadiers taking the hits by the Rebel artillery

The Guard retreats to lick their wounds

The untested British Line out of shooting range

The static Hessian Brigade

The American taking the hill

The Battlefield once we stopped ...

Battle map so far...

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Next Battle (Thursday 05/12/13 - Announcement!!!)

I must say that after the last battle, I knew it would a lot harder (as for obvious reasons, I put a little pressure on the loosing party in the campaign rules; one commander -1 staff rating and one line unit off the 'rump' army, while the for the victorious it had the opposite effect, rating increased and one unit more.) Btw, Paul, you had chosen Militia last time, which isn‘t exactly Line, but for nothing in my life I would re-fight the last battle - I would have lost even against just two artillery feebler, q.e.d..

..but this time it will be something special, Ladies and Gentlemen!

We will fight... the snow! - after the flakes have settled down, OK shooting is possible, but still in the cold so movement is halved. Brrr!

...and in the woods! (75% Wood coverage) - that means a very slow battle! as its in the woods movement is halved (again!).

...and on the hills! - also Paul had enough cards to pull an strategic objective - the strategic hill (now known as the strategic strategic hill!!), which means he looses the battle only if I manage to get one foot on the hill, or he wins while I loose my units trying to do so.

...and maybe without powder - Paul is running out on the black stuff! (1 in 6), hhmmmm - akward, thats the only thing that gives me hope right now!!

... and we shall never surrender. Well, I would‘nt exactly bet on that.

12 British units against 13 American...

Funnily both have 2 artillery and 1 Dragoon guards - they must battle on the small space around the road as they do not travel inside woods!!!

... so its all open. Or better on the contrary.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Battle of Lonely Hill (Finale)

"Sir, we can‘t attack with our Grenadiers they are beaten and exhausted! No, Sir, the Light Infantry Guard does not exist anymore. Errm, No, the Hessians won't be of much help either. I'm afraid  they are not gone home, they are dead, scattered around that damn hill. Yes, beaten by the Rebels Artillery. Must be some new form of weapon they have. If I dare to mention, it would be wise to offer terms now, as we are  out numbered and ... Sir, Please dismount! Why, do you raise the ..." and with one stroke the British Aide-de-corps fell to the ground. 

That was a battle of a different kind! As mentioned earlier (see
 the situation of the Americans was more than peculiar. All their troops were exhausted and could break any minute. I enfiladed his advanced American Guard corps and annihilated it with a bayonet charge! In fact I charged and charged again and in turn annihilated most of his army - the only problem was the American did the same as the condition of  my troops wasn‘t even better.

The complete Hessian centre was soft, but charged against Artillery, twice and was beaten TWICE!! I lost two line against Artillery. The performance of the troops was out standing, the LI even got behind enemy lines into the back. But to no avail, as the front, the Hessians, at this moment ceased to exist.

It was the most bloodiest battle I ever fought against Paul. In the field 11 units marched onto that hill on both sides. At the end the British surrendered with 3 units to 5 Americans!

I did two mistakes: First - my dice rolls were absolute crap! Yeah, we all heard that before, but successful cohesive movement teamed with overwhelming charges really do win battles!! Second -  and that was one of my own making - I wanted to win the battle, now! Not later, not next turn, not next week again, so did not hesitate to sent all my units bit by bit against and shaken but resolved enemy, with fatal consequences. Never underestimate 'finishing moves‘!

All the way through the battle it was great fun and tense as a thriller as the luck and fate seem to change every turn in favourite for the other.

Well done Paul that was a victory well deserved!

The fierce French
The folly Hessians

The brave British

The famous Rebel Artillery

A distinctive moment in the Hessian regimental history to become ...

The Light Guard behind enemy lines!!

More possibilities ...

A battle line dissolved

The last act - the General surrenders

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Battle of Lonely Hill

"What plan? I got no plan! I just try to stay put and hope the Redcoats make a mistake! They won't go on their own accord, wouldn‘t they ...  wtf{∑€†Ω¨⁄øå‚∂ƒ!! ...  tell the Gunner to move!!! -  hiding behind the Line won‘t do  ... I hope those Indians won‘t run again ... where are the French for that matter...  no, no, don‘t write that down! Get the depeche to the French Brigadier, but be quick about it!!!" the American General had not finished his sentence, as the next courier stormed in and told that the British were over the little river ...

The 3rd Battle of the campaign had begun, the set up was pretty precarious for the American player, Paul, and he had to win. (see

In my humble opinion, Pauls only chance was to disrupt my advance (with 2 units delayed for 2 turns that were in the realm of the possible) and wait for a blunder or a tactical foix pas and then strike hard and fast, only to retreat and rally to soften me up and hope to win.

In the first turn I did blunder with my light infantry (who was guard as well), he delayed my other two Guard regiments and I carelessly advanced and attacked with the left flank his French untested who turned into 4 stamina!!!

Somehow he didn‘t capitalise on this. I reached the river and my fortifications, my advancing Lines got mauled, but refused to break. Just one Line was properly slaughtered (-5 break test and rolled a 5). At the end the left flank was run into a deadlock - both Line and the Grande French Line fought to a draw both shaken and both not pushed from the field. The Hessians advanced, got pushed back and the second French untested turned into stamina 1!!! Something which I in my turn failed to capitalise on.

And to be totally patronizing, Paul did well, I thought, for open ground, his line is still intact even if shaken.

Next week we will continue ...

After deployment

The British line

The American line

After the LI reached their target

The carelessly advancing after a sudden flank attack

The American guns behind their lines

The Lonely Hill faces the Hessian attack

The epic battle of the Grand Soixonans against a British Line

I guess it was the 23rd ... with the stolen flag of the 15th (?)...

The Battle field after we stopped.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

OK OK OK – for the old men‘s league

.. I promise to make my blog more readable, change the white on grey and make the font size bigger ... and all that schnick-schnack. (after some more moaning from short sighted war gamers)

maybe this weekend or later ...

the general-administrator-facilitator-King-bachelor-pope-beethoven-blind-lemon-jefferson

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Battle of Lonely Hill(?) - 3rd Campaign battle / pre-settings for next Thursday

"This rustics are so inept, it nearly takes the honour out of victory."... (British Celluloid General)

The Americans have lost the two previous battles, the British (me) can afford to loose this Battle. For the Americans it would be good to have a victory to break the British run and to collect victory points urgently needed. Also the winner of this battle gets free fortifications (12") next time and there is no +- 25% woodland bonus/malus. If the Americans win the British would have a hard time next.

Its open ground, a no-so-goody for the Americans and as they have lost prev., they have one commander at staff rating -1 and one unit less (Paul already decided it would be a militia unit!!!).

Paul has one 'strategic hill' (-1 movement, -1 to hit on hand to hand combat for units not on the hill), a scouting unit and he can delay 2 of my units for two turns.

I got 24" barricades/fortifications, I can delay 1 unit of Americans 1 turn, but it is Paul‘s choice which.

As auxiliaries the British have 3 Hessian units, while the Americans just have 2 French. Both have 3 'untested' Infantry units. Also both have 1 Dragoon unit each. The American have 1 upgrade to an elite unit while the British have 2 (additional to their regular Grenadier unit).

Its clear weather and a clear field, one road and a small 'rivulet' which has no effect (I luckily was able to cancel the big river card from Paul).

I started the battle, so I got the 1st deployment and the 1st turn.

May the most ignorant win!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Mehr Landsknechte – and keep coming ...

After I survived my birthday and the following party, rebuilt my flat, and exchanged my liver for something softer (stone??) – I started to paint again ... 

another light gun (Spanish, a bit late for Maximillian and Carl, but hey) 

and 16 more Landsknechte, Perry/ Foundry again 

and my first Chevaux Leger, which I imagine a bit more maybe like Coustilliers - so I will give some men-at-arms a crossbow and the rest will have lances (so I can use the lancer for both later)...

The other famous German mercenary captain from the last post was of course Franz von Sickingen; (the five white circles on black with red frame), but hey, he wasn‘t probably never mentioned in Wargames Illustrated ;)