Sunday, 30 April 2017

Crossing the Rotwasser

'My dearest Wilhelmine
The Austrians moved in force to cross the Rotwasser today. They moved at dawn, and were aided by a fine mist that reduced our visibility. The Malachowski Hussars were on patrol south of the river and were the first to encounter the enemy movement, being pursued by a superior force of Austrian Hussars...'

Yes, the Austrians are about to commit large forces to forcing the Rotwasser. Has von Pritzwalk laid out his defences to maximum effect? Can his small force repulse the much larger forces of Generalfeldmarshal von Schilcher?

Early morning Robrucke, the small farming community next to the eponymous red bridge crossing the Rotwasser.

The von Trumbach regiment are on Picquet duty.

And the Prussian artillery is solidly ensconced in a redoubt to cover the bridge crossing, and the ford further downstream.

The Austrian grenzer brigade begin crossing at the ford, their movements hidden by the early morning mist.

The Malachowski Hussars appear - in a hurry! A message is sent over the bridge to Rotbrucke - wake up General von Kasenstein!

The grenzers continue to cross the ford, the artillery oblivious to their movement

This is why the Prussian Hussars were in a hurry! They turn to face the pursuing Austrian Hadik and Esterhazy Hussars.

The Hadik regiment charges and gets the best of the opening exchange by some way. The Malachowski Hussars have obviously still not recovered from the casualties they received in the raid.

Back they go, and the way to the bridge lies open.

But the Austrian Hussar General Gugelhupf is intent on destroying his enemy and pressing his advantage.

Kasenstein is awake now! He rouses the two fusilier regiments camped at Rotbrucke

And hearing gunfire the Prussians in the camp on the Rotberg, under General Zwiebelkuchen also deploy.

The Peterwardeiner Grenz are the first to engage the Prussian artillery.

The Prussians, under fire, pivot their gun

Gugelhupf has scattered the Prussian Hussars.
Unable to charge (because they are light infantry) the grenz swarm around the redoubt, but the combination of the redoubt and the natural save artillery get  mean they achieve nothing.

Canister does its job though! The Carlstadt grenz are caught in a shower of grapeshot!

Guglehupf isn't the most impressive Austrian commander. He takes a whole turn to readjust his frontage.

In the meantime von Kasenstein has arrived with the fusiliers, and taking the bridge frontally is going to prove costly!

The Prussians under Zwiebelkuchen open up on the grenzers, and the Peterwardeinwer grenz, being caught in enfilade, suffer particularly badly.
 For the past two turns the Austrians have been rolling for reserves, but so far none have shown. Does this mean that von Schilcher is letting his best opportunity to win slip through his fingers? Stay tuned...

These sticks are made for measuring.
This is the first battle where I am trying the new morale system, and also the first where I have moved to measuring sticks. I used them in the Song of Broken Legions game the other day, and I preferred them to using a tape measure. I'm currently rewriting the rules so that they talk about movement as red, blue etc., and it is working really well. The top stick is the artillery stick, and had thoughts of putting a bounce sleeve on it a la Charles Grant, but we'll see how the rules I've got for it go in the meantime.


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