Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Campaign: First Moves

With the return of Eric from his travels in the North our campaign was able to get under way a couple of weeks ago.  I had naively expected a period of relative calm as both sides gathered information about each others strengths and dispositions but this was not to be.  With the campaign season commencing on the first of February eighteen hundred and something, Saxphalian forces set out from Munster and crossed the Hanenburg border South of Osnabruck around midday on the 2nd.  News of this was immediately relayed to the Osnabruck garrison and other units in the region. 

A Panoramic shot of the initial dispositions done using a handy little utility on my new phone.  Saxphalians mass before the defending Hanenburgers.

The horsemen of the 5th cavalry Brigade arrived on the outskirts Osnabruck during the late afternoon to find themselves facing a defensive position held by the 3rd Hanover Division.  They immediately opted to attempt a probing attack in order to assess the enemy's strength and as their supporting infantry arrived were able to ascertain that Osnabruck was held by an infantry division with no cavalry support.  It was too late to put in a full assault and so with the knowledge that they outnumbered the defenders in infantry as well as having total cavalry superiority they settled down to prepare for an attack at first light.

The theatre of action.  Saxphalia consists of Saxony, Westphalia, Hesse-Cassell and Bayreuth.  Hanenburg is made up from Hanover, Brandenburg, Pomerania and Mecklenburg.

Turn one saw the Saxphalian forces deployed with their infantry in an extended line facing the two defended villages held by the Hanenburg forces.  Their all important cavalry was almost exclusively massed on the left and this immediately made it clear that their plan was to turn the enemy right flank.  The Hanenburg troops were thinly spread and without cavalry had no way to respond to their enemy's tactics other than refusing their right flank. 

The site of the first action. 

By turn four things were beginning to look very bad for the defenders as their right flank came under pressure from heavy cavalry and massed infantry.  However at this moment the lead squadrons of the 1st Hanover cavalry began to arrive on table to redress the imbalance of cavalry forces.  With three regiments of heavy cavalry and a regiment of lights they actually outnumbered the Saxphalians and began to deploy into line to face the enemy horsemen.  Directly on their heels was the infantry of the 2nd Hanover Brigade which meant that for the first time in the game the defenders now also had a numerical advantage in infantry.

The 1st Hanover cavalry make their entry in the nick of time.

Nick the Hanenburg commander had made the wise choice on the previous evening to march these reinforcements overnight from Holdorf, they arrived somewhat weary, but had they not appeared the Osnabruck garrison would have probably been wiped out.  However far from being disheartened by this turn of events the Saxphalians continued to attack and scored several victories over the Hanover cavalry who it has to be said, were not particularly well handled. 

Saxphalian infantry begin to assault the centre, though these were pushed back this attack did allow their supporting troops to capture the village which formed the centre of the Hanenburg position.

Far from being thrown on to the defensive the Saxphalian infantry pushed on and ejected the garrison of the Hanenburg centre after a vicious melee.  Routing troops from the Hanenburg right flank caused even more problems as they disordered their newly arriving infantry, even causing some of these fresh units to retreat.  As the game reached turn fourteen the result is still very much in the balance.  The Saxphalians are reforming behind the shelter of a hill while the Hanenburgers attempt to bring order to their discomfited ranks.  The one piece of good news for the defenders is that the troops of the left flank, having seen off the attacking Saxphalians have advanced from their initial positions and now have a real chance of giving the Saxphalian right a mauling.  This is however an isolated fight and will have little bearing on the main point of conflict which is the Saxphalian left flank.

The extreme left of the Hanenburg position.  These troops are now actively pursuing their erstwhile attackers.

So it remains to be seen which side can make the most of their respective situations.  It will take a while for the defenders to sort out their reinforcements but they have the luxury of artillery superiority to buy them some time.  Whereas the Saxphalians face the choice of continuing the assault against fresh troops or holding on to what they have.  With the loss of so much of their cavalry the Hanenburgers will have to use what remains more wisely and it is possible that the Saxphalian cavalry superiority will be the deciding factor.
    We reconvene on thursday where it is likely that we'll see a decision one way or the other.

1 comment:

Dmitri Kononenko said...

Hello! Great blog, great reps and fotos!

Can you tell please where u get this beautiful map? Do you have full europe version?