Saturday, June 13, 2015

Battle of Crystal River

Battle 1 of the Tweenwater War

As we have seen, King Henrik of Bluderia decided to expand his country's influence by reclaiming the province of Tweenwater. He came to an agreement with the Empire to prosecute war against the Redgravians.

In late spring, the armies of Bluderia advanced through the Imperial province of Fenwick toward the Crystal River. Detachments were sent out to seek a crossing into Tweenwater. One detachment, under General Hamfist, approached the town of Franklin, which boasted a nearby bridge and ford. Alas, Hamfist found that a detachment of Redgravians were also rushing toward the crossings.

Battle Notes
The scenario is #4 - Control the River from One Hour Wargames. It seemed fitting given the geography of Tweenwater.

I rolled randomly for the army make-ups, although I had to tweak them because I haven't painted all my 3mm cavalry yet.

Bluderia (the attackers) had 3 infantry, 2 skirmishers (the Foresters of Greenglade), and 1 cavalry.
Redgrave (defending) had 3 infantry, 2 skirmishers (the Rangers of Redgrave), and 1 artillery.

I used the Song of Blades and Heroes activation rules. All units are rated as Quality 4.

Battle Report

Opening positions - facing northeast.
The ford is denoted by some rocks in the river.

Both sides begin advancing toward the crossings.

The Bluderian cavalry brigade rushes across the bridge but find themselves entangled with enemy skirmishers and infantry. Meanwhile, the Bluderian right lags behind.

 Disaster on the left! Bluderia loses its cavalry and an infantry brigade on the left flank.

 The Redgravians advance to the bridge. Musketry from the Foresters routs one brigade but the "Tiger" Brigade makes it across the river. A long-range musketry duel breaks out on the right.

 The Tigers manage to drive off the Foresters from the hills on the left. Redgravian infantry falls back on the right.

 A hill too far. Bluderian infantry routs the Tigers, securing the Bluderian flank. Unfortunately, the Redgravians still control the bridge.

 Both sides take heavy casualties. The second unit of Foresters breaks and flees from the battlefield.

 Bluderian infantry rushes toward the bridge. Can they make it before nightfall? Meanwhile, the other Bluderian infantry brigade is driven off.

Redgrave secures the ford. The Bluderians drive off the Rangers on the left but cannot make it to the bridge before night.

Unable to exploit their success, the infantry withdraws, reporting back to the main army. The crossings remain in Redgravian hands.

Battle Notes
Although the path was open, Bluderian failed to secure the bridge by the 15th turn. Redgrave was the last to hold the bridge so it remains in their control. The ford clearly belongs to Redgrave. Victory for the defenders!

Because I was rolling for activation using the SBH rules, I played with standard dice rather than the Command & Colors ones I own. Infantry is hit on a 4-6 while cavalry and artillery are hit on 5-6. A roll of 1 forces a retreat. Typically, I forget to use retreats but I remembered in mid-game today. I added a twist, though. A unit could ignore a retreat if it made a Quality roll on 1 die. I liked this rule because it moderated the amount of back-and-forth movement that can occur. Instead, units tended to stay in the line more consistently, although precipitous retreats can and did happen.

This was the first battle for my 3mm Magister Militum miniatures. I must say that I am very pleased with them!

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