Monday, 24 February 2014

Campaigns in Libraria: The Battle of Glockenspeil Pioneer Village -- 22 February 2014

For the second week in a row, the armies of Libraria marched. The disciplined, iron-shod legions of the Electorate of Saxe-Freedonia joined the wild and wooly clans and troops of Galifrey to meet the regiments of the Principality of Frankenschwein and the Serene Republic of Rationalia. This means that Beth and I aided by Kevin faced Andy, Martin, and our special guest, Mike "The Mad Padre" who accepted our gracious invitation and came down for the day from Kitchener/Waterloo where he is on an educational sabbatical.
It might have been "Dirty Tricks Day" but such is life. Everybody set up ahead of Beth and I which meant we saw their deployment and took advantage of it while they went to lunch. We shouldn'ta oughta done it, I suppose, but the opposition took it well. Martin had recovered from last week's attack of Brain-Fade-From-Writing-My-Thesis, but Andy had shovelled too much snow this week and had thrown his back out. He was in a lot of discomfort. Well, we probably won't take such advantage of our opponents again.

In any event, the field was cut at about the 2/5th line by an unfordable river that had three crossing points. Kevin held our left with two militia battalions, a regular battalion, a regiment of dragoons, and two guns, one medium and one heavy. Beth was in the centre with 5 "clan regiments" of Jacobite-ish Scots, two regular battalions, and a regiment of dragoons. I was on the far right with 4 regular infantry battalions, two grendier battalions, a regiment of dragoons, a regiment of heavy horse (Dragoons with improved morale) and two gun, one medium and one heavy.

Dragoon Regiment Scungili and Regiment of Horse Firefly on the Freedonian side

Martin's Rationalian dragoons and infantry

Rationalian cannon and Marine Corps troops

Appearing for the first time, Colonel Pepper's Lonely Hearts Dragoons
A mercenary regiment --painted at my daughter's request -- like the cover of the Beatle's album
Colourful and plastic (models by Zvesda -or something like that-  in 1/72)

The Clan regiments of Galifrey - lots of plaid and pointy, cutty, sticking things carried by screaming Celtic maniacs.
My kind of people!
Beth has a t-shirt that says "I can't keep calm! I'm Scottish!"

Frankenschweiner regulars with the Archbishop's Own Regiment in the centre.
Since I named the Mad Padre as the Archbishop-Metropolitan of Freedonia, it seemed appropriate to have his own regiment. They turned coat for this game, but all is forgiven! They're back in barracks in Freedonia and his Beatitude, the Archbishop is forgiven his momentary insanity!
We had to advance since the Scots are none too good at defending a position and Martin had already ensconced himself on a ridge line. Mike menaced Kevin's flank and Andy hurriedly shifted his troops to the other side of the river through a ford in their deployment area. I sent my troops forward and my dragoons and horse met Martin's dragoon and armoured horse in a head-to-head cavalry battle. My dragoons met his armoured horse and his met my horse with the expected results. The Scungili Dragoons took off in a rout, although they shaped up off-board and would have come back had night/curfew not fallen. My heavy horse regiment hit Martin's dragoons and drove them back disorganised. I was later to fall back myself. My infantry never really got into range to even fire their muskets. One grenadier battalion kept an eye on Martin's armoured horse as it tried to turn the flank and actually got behind my troops.
The big show was the assault by the clans in the centre.

Beth's "Cossack-y" Dragoons before their ill-fated charge against Martin's guns.

Ill-fate in person. The sideways stands are casualties. The figures are WWII Cossacks painted all fancy for the SYW period. Warfare in the Age of Reason has rules for true Cossacks but they're REALLY irregular and mounted individually. We use those rules for Robby's irregular First Nation's Cavalry.

The Charge of the Clans. Four Clan regiments hit Martin's grenadiers and marines. The results were about even. Some of the line held and continued to melee, while the unit hit by two clans routed. The Clans are not a guaranteed thing but they ALWAYS charge and all that plaid and broadswords and targes is scary.

These lads had to charge up-hill. The figures are old Thistle and Rose figures sculpted and marketed by the late Jamie Fish. I always liked the figs which were "muscular" (read large) 15mm.

The white drapery rings are casualties.
Off on the left flank, Kevin and Mike glared at each other over the stream. Mike threw a light cavalry regiment over the ford only to have it hit by two cannon which did a fair number of casualties and caused an high speed return to their starting point. Pepper's dragoons took quite a few casualties from cross-river small arms, but Kevin was doing exactly what he was tasked to do - hold the river line and secure that flank for the entire army.
Beth sent her dragoons to take Martin's artillery out of the game, but she got the short, dirty end of the stick and had to fall back. When her clans charged - with much whoop and hollar as well as bagpipes - they hit the Rationalian line hard. Two clan regiments were held while the two others chases off a battalion of grenadiers which led to a break-through charge onto another Rationalian unit.
Soon after that - at the end of 7 turns - we called the game or as we say in Libraria "Night fell." The results were inconclusive and arguable. Andy was hurting pretty bad and Mike had an appointment with a local hobby store. (as his blog reported - see I hope he enjoyed himself and that he'll join us again in the future.

There are always lessons to be learned. (One of Finagle's Laws hold that no experiment is complete failure; it can always be used as a bad example.)

  • We need to either draw maps and deploy on paper first or hang a curtain... which is not a realistic thing.
  • We need to determine objectives; it'll make for a better game since battles aren't fought in a vacuum. Glockenspiel Pioneer Village was the only feature on the board and we all ignored it. Martin called it "Dutch Wonderland" which is actually a real amusement park in Lancaster, PA. It isn't a true Amish Disneyland since they have electricity and a monorail. I've never been there; it's across the highway from the site of HISTORICON! I mean, really.
  • The point system Andy developed works rather well. It allows for a balanced force with many choices. I've thought of taking an all-cavalry force and calling it a raid. It could be fun.
Frankenschweiner light cavalry of Mike's brigade coming up on the river.
(FP&B castings AWI British Light Dragoons)

Frankenschweiner artillery - a medium gun (FP&B AWI "German" gun and crew)

The commander of the Galifreyan forces with his conveyance and his faithful companion.
Another view to show off the scarf. (Black Tree Design figures in 25mm)

Martin's armoured horse regiment does an end run over my Traveller dice while the grenadiers of Battalion Pooka keep a watchful eye. (Yes, I play Traveller and thoroughly enjoy it.)

Martin's personal command stand. I can't remember the manufacturer. A lovely Sedan chair with associated hangers-on.

Colonel Pepper's dragoons after having been shot up rather badly. Still they hung on to the bitter end.
They must be immune to the "new unit curse."
(One of the laws of wargaming states "Freshly painted units will die or rout in their first outing on the table.")

His Beatitude, Michael, Archbishop-Metropolitan of Saxe-Freedonia, Hereditary Sandwich of Monte Cristo,
and Saxe-Bariton Curling champion.

Mitzi, the major attraction at Glockenspiel Pioneer Village.
Open daily March through November.
Only 3 ducets for an all day family pass.
Free bratwurst for the kiddies.
Tell them Andy sent you.


  1. The Archbishop pleads confusion in his old age, he was not really clear that he was a prince of Freedonia and mistakenly formed his troops in line with the Frankenschewin guys. However, since his regiment only fired a volley once, he hopes that he is forgiven and won't end up on a spike on someone's palace wall.
    Thanks for the inviite, it was great fun. Cheers, Mike

    1. Isn't that what the 18th North Carolina Infantry said at Chancellorsville...

      Thanks for your inadvertent help to the Rationalian cause.


  2. Confusion! Yeah, that's the ticket! You're welcome any time, Padre!

  3. The game looks great and seems to have been fun to play in. The armies look fantastic en masse on the tabletop.

    1. I like the mass look of painted figures, too. I think that's why I prefer table-top gaming to all other types.
      Thanks for the compliment!

  4. It looks as though an enjoyable day's battle was had by all. Personally I wouldn't set too much store by hidden deployment pre-battle. If necessary, a rough map with units or formations scrawled thereon should at least ensure units are laid out roughly where they ought to be.

    An alternative is a real encounter battle, with troops being fed in from off table. Those sorts of actions can generate the kind of roller coaster action that keeps interest high.

    1. Years ago, when I cut my gaming teeth on "Column, Line, & Square" (dating myself there!), we used maps covered with clear plastic and drew our moves in grease pencil. It was a decent system.
      I like the idea of a true "meeting engagement" with piecemeal reinforcements. Those games are are usually nail-biting barn-burners!
      We all enjoyed the game, I think. Martin commented "Any day I get to throw dice and push figures is a good day!"

    2. By the way, is there any way I could add these sort of entries to the "Emperor vs. Elector" website?