Monday, 16 June 2014

A Mighty Tussle in Central Europe

Well I had an excellent Sunday (actually the previous Sunday but I had trouble getting this post to publish and have been away for a few days). Although it was a pleasant drive, and lunch outside was very nice, the superb weather was incidental. That's because I had the great pleasure of a visit to John Ray's where I played the part of the Duke of Wurttemberg in the next instalment of John's continent-spanning campaign.

The game was titled The Battle of Schwabisch Hall, a town (despite its name) that the Duke and his army of Wurttembergers and assorted allies from the Empire were attempting to defend. John had prepared a very interesting and challenging scenario, with the Prussians under Frederick himself launching a typical Alt Fritzian flanking attack on my outnumbered forces. A big treat for me was the invitation to contribute a brigade of Medetians who served as Bavarians in their pale blue. Accompanied by 2 small units of my heavy cavalry and a company of Jäger, 3 'Bavarian' battalions formed up alongside John's lovely troops as the Prussians marched into view.

I won't describe the battle itself as that's John's area, but I will say that it was very enjoyable, hugely entertaining, and it contained a few surprises! My Cuirassiers in particular had a tremendous time, and honour was served pretty much all round (although a couple of Prussian Dragoon colonels might be in for an ear bashing..)

As with my previous visit, the rules played out very smoothly and provided believable results throughout, along with a fair amount of tension.

John was a very gracious host and I'm grateful to him for the effort he put into the game. A well thought out 14x7 (in places) foot table with lovely scenery and 1,200 figures didn't put itself together!  And everything fitted neatly into the campaign narrative which explained why the armies were where they were, and what the strategic situation was; very important for deciding on battle plans and potential lines of retreat should things go awry.

Altogether, with the battle and the excellent company, I had a great day and came away freshly inspired to face the rigours of my own painting schedule. I'm already looking forward to the next (big) game later in the year.

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