Monday, December 31, 2007

Absolutism attempted in 1651

Ogólny Ludwik, Captain-Gracz, Commander of all Duchy of Mieczyslaw forces was not left idle for long.

The forces of Absolutism found fertile ground in Owijać-Drewna lands and a return of Kardynalny Dobry brought the situation into action in 1651.

Dobry had come from Rome with orders to re-establish his rule, only now he was to bring with him the power and might of the Church and its ideal 'rule' as expressed in France. Absolutism found many supporters with the survivors of the 30 years war whom upon return were fetted, but now two years later had become dissolusioned with the slow progress of Duke Czeslaw ewa Jerzy, the young Duke (25) and the old Ogólny (66) were a good match for one another, for while the Ogólny had served in Bavaria and Paltinate, the Duke had worked with the Dutch and English, their combined talents made assembling the needed counter to the Kardynalny relatively easy.

What was not expected was the sheer size of the war chest Dobry had brought with him from Rome. The Papacy had determined that no further lands were to be surrendered to the forces of either Reformation or Anglican design, since he (the Pope) had learned that the new Duke had been with the heathen Dutch and English it was decided that a statement was needed to stamp out any plans that these forces against Catholic dominance may have.

Kardynalny Dobry had raised a large force of mercenaries from the Holy Imperial Lands and these men now made thier presence known, sending the veteran Duża Firma Mieczyslaw Muszkieterowie and Korona Korpus to flight before their massed arms.

A show-down was now brewing between the Imperial forces and those that could be rapidly assembled by the Duke and his Ogólny

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bitva Grozhof

Victory for the arms of Mieczyslaw!

Yet another victory was achieved for Mieczyslaw, this time along the Burtzenian frontier.

Skladowy Fabiszak, assigned the task of probing the Burtzenian mountain passes, discovered that a large Burtzenian force was maneuvering with a possible bid to force one pass before winter proper set in, so as to be able to command the action into next spring. Skladowy Fabiszak, had Pulkownik Koronowski and Ugodzic Wojskowski with him to command a small force of infantry and some cavalry.

Fabiszak, chose to hold the elite Trabki Huzarzy and a medium artillery battery into his personal command, and assigned Koronowski the infantry, consisting of Skrzypcowo Piechota, Flety Korpus and Korona Korpus along with a light gun and some mysliwi (skirmishers); Wojskowski was to command Wstrasowo Dragon.

The plan was to hold the town of Grozhof while at the same time driving off the Burtzenians, whom appeared ready to control the nearby bridge crossing of the Grozen river.

Fabiszak led into the area with his infantry, while the Burtzenians rode forward along the other main road at a trotting pace. At the last moments the Burtzenian Dragoons realized that they were in a race with the Flety Korpus! These raw recruits were dashing down the road and only just managed to reach the town before the somewhat overconfident dragoons. These elite horsemen calmly dismounted, and formed to deliver fire before advancing on the town. Meanwhile the second Burtzeniand dragoon force attempted a charge at a slow gallop, many troopers realizing that they were too far away to manage to hit the Skrzypcowo Piechota whom were rushing forward in a column.

The elite dragoons took fire from the town, then tried to return fire, though now their numbers were reduced by half! The other dragoons then completely baulked at charging into the now formed line of Skrzypcowo Piechota. The Skrzypcowo Piechota calmly marched forward then set bayonettes onto fully loaded muskets and waited.

Meanwhile the rest of the armies were arriving, all the Burtzenian infantry moved into a covering position in a massive brigade square in front of the bridge, with the river forming the 4th line of the massive box. Burtzenian high command was also now present and bringing artillery into position on the corners of the square.

Mieczyslaw high command had arrived and sent off artillery to the far left flank. The cavalry was still not arrived by the time the Burtzenian cavalry was spent.

The elite dragoons only fired one more time, as the Flety Korpus managed to scatter the remnants with another lethal series of volleys. At last the other dragoons had found their courage, only now so had Skrzypcowo Piechota; their charge only just reached the infantry lines having taken two-thirds casualties on the way in with a truly leathal first volley from the steady standing Skrzypcowo Piechota. The melee took down the remaining horsemen and sent the survivors scattering into the woods, twice the Burtzenian cavalry brigadier was exposed to fire during the engagement, but he managed to escape unscathed...

Once the Wstrasowo Dragon under Ugodzic Wojskowski had arrived they turned immediately to the right flank and began to climb the hill leading over towards the riverbank. Burtzenian forces were still assembling their great square and did little to counter the next Mieczyslaw moves.

These consisted of issuing new orders for the infantry, to wheel to the left in a great arc, with the right beyond the woods and the left to come about facing the grenadiers in the Burtzenian great square. Along the way also had come the medium battery, which was now swinging off the road and would form the right 'end' of this new line.

The line had just gotten into position when the Burtzenian re-enforcements had arrived, now with a fresh Uhlan force, these troopers were immediately seized upon by the same wild-eyed brigadier that had sent the dragoons to their doom earlier in the day. The Uhlans rode forward to be met by the Mieczyslaw light battery, now loaded with cannister, while running to form line behind them were the Flety Korpus, having evacuated the town and coming out to become the 'support' line behind Skrzypcowo Piechota and Korona Korpus.

These Uhlans fared no better than the dragoons before them, they ended up half their force before they could even complete forming a line to charge! In this shattered condition they refused to charge and permitted the Flety Korpus to form line behind the guns and so totally block any further advance on the Mieczyslaw left flank.

Meanwhile over on the right flank Skladowy Fabiszak was having his own command problems with Ugodzic Wojskowski. The Ugodzic was having trouble understanding the new HOLD orders he was being given, while this was being argued the troopers of Wstrasowo Dragon were creeping forward towards one side of the Burtzenian great square. At least the dragoons were doing a good job of probing the river banks for any potential fording spaces. While the Mysliwi nearby in the woods were performing absolute feats of marksmanship literally executing more than a quarter of the standing infantry force on that side of the great square. Finally Wojskowski halted the Dragon and waited for new orders. Once the fording space had been found the firing orders for the remaining infantry and all artillery batteries were set. That flank side facing the Wstrasowo Dragon was to be the target for all firing while the Wstrasowo Dragon made to cross the river at the ford at once and commence an attack from the other side of the river. Ugodzic Wojskowski miraculously managed to understand and ACT on these orders at once!

This development was too much for the Burtzenian commander, whom quit the field at that moment and ordered the brigadiers to take what action they saw fit.

With little or no cavalry left to command the Cavalry brigadier rode off at once, the Infantry commander did not choose to stay at the bridge and be surrounded and began an immediate withdrawl. The light battery was able to keep up with the infantry, though the battered troops near the flank facing the Wstrasowo Dragon chose to all flee shouting 'jeder Mann für sich selbst!', while the Burtzenian medium battery, having lost two-thirds of the crewers and the limber teams, simply put down their tools and surrendered.

The mountain passes near Grozhof are now firmly in Mieczyslaw hands and the Burtzenians will make no progress this winter.
Koronowski has been promoted to Ugodzic and those Mysliwi under his command are considered the best quality in all the Duchy.
Skrzypcowo Piechota for their steady action under fire have been awarded veteran status and pay.

This was a play-out of Table Top Teaser #3 (Advance-Guard Action) and I was using a mixture of figures, not the ones specific for The Duchy of Mieczyslaw.
We gamed on Bluebear Jeff's table, using his terrain and a mix of our minis, with a guest Burtzenian commander, whom had playtested Jeff's Tricorne Wars rules in their infancy a year or so ago.