Finally the last Huzzah! post. I hate having so much stuff that isn’t wargame related to do.
Day 3 this year culminated in the Battle of Dennewitz. This event began as an idea put forward by, who else, Rich Claydon of Boston Trained Bands on the Black Powder New England Yahoo group months ago. The thought was to play a large battle that board members would contribute troops for that we could use as a showcase for our outstanding brushwork (by ‘our’ I mean, ‘not mine’), show Warlord’s Black Powder rules in their best light (tons of models on a big table), and finally to get some board members fired up about painting troops that can be used in the once monthly ‘Black Powder Sunday’ put on at Adler Hobbies.
I promised to provide a Prussian infantry brigade consisting of 5 line battalions and an artillery battery. I managed to actually finish 3 battalions, basing the last unit the night before the con. Fortunately, other members weren’t so lazy and my brigade was fleshed out by 3 Landwher battalions and a foot artillery battery.
My brigade in their start position in the center of the Prussian line. The line battalions are Perry Plastics painted by me. Notice a problem with them?
Dennewitz showing everyone in their start positions. French to the right, Prussians to the left. Rich finished spray painting the cloth table top the night before the game, so I wasn’t the only one doing last minute work!
Having been beaten soundly by the Prussians the day before at Wartenburg, I was looking forward to sweet revenge today. One of the great things about playing a game this large is that, much like a real battle, you don’t really know what’s going on except for the area immediately around you. So I can’t give a good blow by blow of what happened everywhere. I know that I faced two French brigades in my front with nothing but open ground between us.
The commander of the two French brigades was an aggressive type and he gave brigade orders to both units to advance on my position. Thankfully one brigade failed its command roll and so did nothing on turn one. This was excellent news for me as I would be able to deal with them one at a time.
One of the two brigades facing me advances, the other, having failed command remains in place.
I’m not timid either and advanced my brigade down the low hill they were on. I faced off against the French to my front with 5 battalions having detailed one of the Landwher battalions to demonstrate against a French light infantry unit that had occupied a villa to my right. My opponent wasted no time in hitting me hard, with his Frenchmen in their characteristic dense attack columns.
The melee begins. With supporting battalions to the flank and rear, one of my line battalions accepts a charge from a densely packed French assault column.
We each continued to feed battalions into the meat grinder, with unengaged units and artillery exchanging fire where possible. We both held on with determination. I broke two French battalions forcing them to flee, but my casualties were mounting quickly. Before long my brigade was broken, forcing all battalions not actually engaged in melee to withdraw from the enemy, but lo and behold thanks to some supporting fire from Prussian units in the town to my left, both French brigades were broken as well!
The situation near the end game. My brigade has withdrawn to its start position except for two battalions still locked in melee. The French have been forced to withdraw as well.
At this point I felt quite good. True my troops had been mauled but the French to our front were in no position to do anything about it. I turned to the commander of troops on my left and suggested that if he moved out of the town and pushed the French, they would have to retreat and their center would collapse. But, as I said earlier in a big game like this it’s hard to know what is going on everywhere. It turns out the Prussian left had disintegrated early on and there was nothing on my left but broken units. Since he was occupying a town, my compatriot was not compelled to withdraw, but he couldn’t advance either.
Just beyond my troops you can see the town occupied by yet another broken Prussian brigade. In the far distance you can see the last fresh unit on the board, a French cavalry brigade, moving up the middle about to sweep us all like chaff before the breeze.
All in all, another outstanding game at an outstanding convention. I believe everyone had a great time; I definitely didn’t see any frowns around the table. It’s a lot of fun playing in a game that you contributed to however small that contribution may have been!
Plans are already underway for next year. I don’t think I’ll say anything about it here and now, but it’s going to be big. You don’t want to miss it, so block off your calendar in May 2013 for Huzzah!