Monday, 1 July 2013

The Best Laid Plans of Mice...

Things don't always work out as planned. Not news to you, gentle reader, I'm sure. In any event, to facilitate my attendance at an upcoming large meeting (the Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada's National Convention in Ottawa held in common with the national convention/General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. I'm not sure what it's called; I'm only learning to speak Anglican.), I purchased a tablet computer. This way I don't have to print and carry hundreds of pages of the bulletin of reports for the convention. I attempted to take photos of last week's DBR game but somehow the photos did not make it to a blogging-ready condition. Such is life. It would have been nice though, considering I fought Martin's German Catholic TYW army to a standstill with my Gustavus Adolphus Swedes.
So... Imagi-nations was the order of the day last Saturday. We fought with limited armies and the table did not groan with the weight of lead/tin/pewter/obscure alloy. Martin's Rationalians and Andy's Frankenschweiners met my Freedonians and Rob's un-named army led by the prince of Worchestershiresauce on the field of battle. The verdict-in-arms? Curfew fell on a true draw with some nail- biting moments for the Rationalia/Frankenschwein side. Rob suggested a strategy of refusing the right while punching through on the left and in the centre. Derick handled the right and was happy to hold tight there. The odd thing is that the Axis of Evil's side refused the left and advanced on the right. So Andy and Derick stared at each other while Kevin and I fought over the town of Dacron (or was it Gabardine?) and Rob and Martin hacked at each other on the far end of the table.
The field of battle. The hills and the town of Dacron were the objectives.
Derick contemplates a move.
Derick's brigade - 1/Regiment Stahl, the Irish Legion, the German Legion,
and the Freedonian Freikorp flanked by a heavy artillery battery.
General Heintzelmenchen commanding. 
Troops of the Serene Republic of Rationalia in their deploying tray.
Andy turned command of his division to Bear. Lain looks on, offering helpful
tactical tips. Kevin checks his ammo. Derick stretches while I decide where to
place the orbital bombardment and Rob checks the rules cheat-sheet.
Don watches from the sidelines.
Since both sides refused the same side, the Axis of Evil held the objective hill on the west of the table. Kevin and I contested the town while Martin launched a huge cavalry charge - 2 Hussar regiments, one dragoon regiment, and the armoured cavalry of the horse guards. The intent was to rip up the Allied left-centre, but troops were able to form square, although the Worchestershiresaucer dragoons took it on the chin from the horse guards and fled. The cavalry charging the squares fought each other to a stand still. Then the fun began!
Martin's Rationalian Horse Guards begin their charge.
Rob's Regular brigade advances. The dragoons are seen in the lower right.
Martin's cavalry charges home. Frankenschweiner dragoons, one of Martin's
Todtenkopf Hussars (he has two), and the horse guards menace Rob's squares
and his dragoons... who were to be hurt badly.
Todtenkopf #2 hits the square of 1/Hoch-und-Deutschmeister. Sky blue
facing on a deep green coat turns up odd, but they're my favourite Austrian
regiments, and I had to paint them. (Real Austrians wear white!)
Warriors of the Turtleburper tribe snipe from the large woods.
The brave and unlucky Militia brigade deploys to hold the hill.
(Figures - Frying Pan and Blanket Continentals in hunting shirt)
The Freedonian Hesse-Burder Hussars charge into sabre range!
For once, I was smart I saw the cavalry coming and I sent my cavalry - the Adelsfahnetrabantenkorp (armoured guard cavalry) and the newly recruited Dragoon Regiment Shanton to meet the horsey onslaught. The Adelsfahne took a hussar regiment in the flank while the hussars fought the 2/Hoch-und-Deutschmeister regiment while in square. The hussars realised that the better part of valour is discretion and discretely fled ...and fast! The Dragoons took the horse guards in the rear but since the horse guards were SOOO sarcastically superior, the melee carried on. Meanwhile, Rob had his hands full with the Rationalian line infantry that advance toward the hill held by 3 Freedonian militia battalions - Battalions Groucho, Chico, and Zeppo. (There's a theme developing here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.) Eventually two of the three militia units took off to Alabama (... to hunt elephants... 'cause in Alabama the Tuskaloosa.) (That one hurt ME to hear.) In the centre, Kevin and I fought over the town. He had some Frankenschweiner grenadiers and some large, 6-stand Rationalian infantry, neither of which can be taken lightly. I had 1/H-u-D and 1&2/Regiment Tom Servo. When the Adelsfahne chased off the hussars, they hit one of Martin's large regiments and shattered them.
To the west of the town, Derick charged some Frankenschweiner infantry with the Freedonian Hesse-Bruder Hussars and I supported him with three grenadier battalions of Stinner, Curatola, and Hohn. Things got touchy as the time bell rang.
The town... The Adelsfahne charges Martin's infantry at the bottom right.
while 1/HuD melees with Frankenschweiner grenadiers. The town is the area
within the tan felt. The houses are just for show.
The attack of the Freedonian Hussars.  The blue bingo chips denote casualties.
The blue pipe cleaner lengths denote "disorder". Yellow means "broken"
and red "routed."
Rob's regular brigade faces the Frankenschweiner dragoons
and Rationalian infantry.
General Flern of Freedonia bravely leads his troops into the heart of Dacron.
1/Hoch-und-Deutschmeister faces Frankenschweiner grenadiers and
1/Tom Servo mixes it up with Rationalian grenadiers.
In a truely self-serving and triumphalistic photo, here we see the TWO
Rationalian Todtenkopf Hussar regiments  heading for the hills.
I always enjoy these games and this was more fun for me since the Allies caused the forces of the Axis of Evil to sweat some. Credit goes to Rob for suggesting the strategy and to Derick for holding the right flank as ordered. Some goes to Martin who threw his cavalry into our front... AND we got to see how the monster works - the usual purpose of "red shirts" in Star Trek.
Andy generously sat out and let Bear take his division and both sides could gloat that their chosen flank did just what it was supposed to. Since the Rationalia-Frankenschweiner side held two of the three objectives, they could claim a win with some evidence. Still Dacron was in dispute and the one hill could have been turned if we had unlimited time, tremendous patience, and  pizza delivery. 
Maybe next time, we'll leave off the towns altogether. We might use two smaller tables and run two smaller games  now that most of the major players have enough painted troops to make a go of it.
I won't be back to the games group for a month or so. This weekend I'm in Ottawa at the afore-mentioned National Convention. Next weekend, I'll be helping to set up for Vacation Bible School at the church, and after that are two 1812 reenacting events. I hope I can blog something about them. In August, the library branch will be closed for renovations, so no games group meetings. I'll also be on holiday, which could mean home-based games of Shako, Where Heroes Dare, and maybe even Warhammer 40K Epic! I'll have to see. I also want to go to the Toronto Zoo to see the pandas and penguins.
Kevin prepares to "arm" his artillery.
Frankenschweiner infantry enters Dacron only to be faced by 1/ Regiment Tom Servo! 
The finger of God? The hammer of Thor? The declaration of the bombardment
from orbit? Martin saying "Put your finger back there, John."?
I'll let you decide. (To be honest, Andy looks a little god-like in this photo.)
My recently-graduated-from-high-school son stares down the Rationalians.

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