Thursday, 26 January 2017

Schrödinger‘s Battle at the Palava near Koshka around 1812

What could be more entertaining than experimenting with some old folks, a book, a cat and some metal? But that sounds worse than it was.

Campbell had found in an old tome, a scenario book, which could have been written by some Danish saga researcher. To my understanding, we were playing "Over the Hill" a rule system, I had never laid my eyes on before. Angus and Ken and myself were told to capture the village "Koshka", while Peter and Campbell defended the cat and would win if they did. 

Campbell was at the same time the umpire to equal measures, but one could only probably tell when one would observe the experiment with some distant or pertinent Newcastle brew. The River "Palava" was uncrossable apart from a 20" gap next to the village.

The Russian were to deploy first and then the Würtembergers could occupy the village and rearrange their set up to their hearts content.

My plan was to  get heavy artillery on the safe side of the river protected by light Cavalry and some regiments near to the cat, while the main assault was hitting the Swabian militarists as hard s possible! To my delight  the Russian CinC (Angus) and Ken (the Heavy Cavalry brigadier) agreed and we marched forward!

Now as it turned out there was a lot to discuss about and old folks with their noses in books and a lot of noise, so from one point of view one could say that the Russian advance was very sluggish, but at the same time and in equal measure ,we had only played about 4 turns. 

Ken was in particular very effective in bashing through German lines and finding out about Russian extra boni in the rules, we never applied in the first place. One of the mali, if you never do read the rules. At the same time I immensely frustrated Campbell, as I was just in range to amuse the occupants of Koshka, while protecting my flanks with square formations. As I reformed to line, his cavalry sweeped through all my units and swiped away my flank without actually applying the correct movement rules, as it was observed from the outside from some old folk (Jack), but me and Campbell were unaware of in equal measures and at the same time.

So at the end of the experiment the time might be insufficient (or not) to kill the cat, we will never know. As the divergent opinions were in equal measures present to claim victory and distribute defeat, could only be defined by an outstanding observer, but he was drunk at that time.

Don‘t ask me, ask Schrödinger!

Some Russian Uhlans or maybe just some light cavalry
The badly dressed Russian Cavalry on the other side of the table 
The Observiant Russian Centre 
The South-German Brigade deploys
Schrödinger's Würtenbergers Reiterei advancing sabre drawn!
All advance!

The massed russian Army reaches a little village named Cat

The Cat is surrounded by a field of green

the Strategically superior position of the Russian forces 
My little Brigade had reached the objective: in range of the Cat
The Non-Bavarians try various counter moves 
Meanwhile the Swabian guns try to cannister the green field away
But from a different perspective all looks lost
The greener the guns the better the aim
The finger prooves too many Russian trying to enter a Koshka 
The Russian Heavy Cavalry is near
And the field is left empty by the Würtemberger‘s the Cat is definitively dead
My Brigade forms a Line what a waste of atoms

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Fort Fleury, Guadeloupe, around 1794

Already before the start of Angus‘ infamous West Indies Campaign (for Sharp Practice), we had 2 deserters/AWOL!!! Bill was frozen-in at Livingston and Bart was missing in action. Campbell defected to Dragon Rampant, so that left only me and Donald and Angus; with me never even played the game or looked at the rules ...

The British had landed and were forming two line regiments and a couple of grenadiers, light infantry and some naval guns to: either get the guns to a nearby hill (to shoot the fort, objective A) or to take it by storm directly, as history has it (objective B). The horticulturally named fort was defended by Loyalists, a gun and Monsieur Ignace-Joseph-Philippe de Perpignan who could defect to the British side later on, but which Angus forgot in the heat of the combat. I'm sure not because he played the French revolutionaries. And said personnes occupying Guadeloupe herself, voila!

The first half of the battle, I must admit, I fell nearly asleep. The card driven game in combination with two aged bookworms digging their faces into the rules, all the time didn‘t help either, but we got there in the end.

The LI advanced and got shot to pieces, then the Grenadiers did the same and got hurt, in-between a complete line regiment was enfiladed by the only gun, but just survived. In total, three units of six were almost fucked up, one commander wounded and stunned the other demoted ... with the revolutionaries finally swarming out of Guadeloupe ... it looked bleak, this wasn't how Donald envisioned the storm of the fort.

Well, that was when I remembered that I was actually the CinC and instead of listening to Donald (somewhat umpire and British advocate (or CinC in his eyes) who wanted to storm the fort - I decided to fire at the gun in the fort!!!

That was when things got very bad for the Sans culottes for a change! Their gun got shot off the wall. Then I stormed the only left loyalist line and hacked them to pieces -  they broke. Before the turn ended my naval guns hopped on the hill and deployed the guns towards the city ad the rabble - c‘est ca!

It was all in all a very good game, certainly also because I won, of course, haha! My only suggestion, as with many card driven games, we need to speed things up in the future and give the CinC's extra "flag" cards ( if only) for movement or so, as the starting phase (from initial deployment to turning point of the battle) was 75% of the time.
Also scenario objectives with gaining ground or positions are tricky - but that is just my humble personal opinion.

The French Loyalists in the fort  - in the background my declassed Bourbonnes
The British Lines are forming
The revolution has captured Guadeloupe! 
The British Gun trail between tropical forrest and lemonade 
The initial deployment for quite a while 
The French sent flowers!
The Line has to watch the Grenadiers getting blasted!
The enfiladed Line dies, but does not retreat. 
The revolutionaries take their time to get over a rivulet 
Again the Grenadiers get shot - Ouch! Retreat!
Enfiladed, shot to pieces, but still standing, just so ...
The moment after I decided to blast the damn gun off that wall!  
Seconds later the British are within the fort!
The remaining LI jumps in front of the weary enfiladed Line - text book! 
The Jacobites with their baguettes stumble out of Guadeloupe
The final moments of the battle - the naval guns take the hill.
The French naval officer decides to defect to the British ...