Sunday, October 21, 2007

Early Problems at Offenbach

Things have not gone well for Stagonia during the early stages of the Battle of Offenbach. Brigadier Graf Adolf von Voss seemed to have a great deal of difficulty getting his brigade to lead the attack on the Frankzonian forces.

Then, once he finally started, he quickly screeched to a halt . . . and, despite orders from C-in-C General Baron Gaspar du Vile, seemed unable to get them moving again. Meanwhile the Frankzonian artillery continued to pound the lead battalion, that of Colonel O'Duffy, when this reporter had to leave.

* * *

What this all means, is that we were using my "Tricorne Wars" rules to fight this proxy battle. One of its key features is that all command officers have "personalities". Unfortunately for Stagonia, when Murdock rolled for which officers were on the list, three "Political" and only one "Steady" officers were selected.

"Political" brigadiers have a 1/3rd chance of interpreting their orders as "Hold" (wait for further instructions). This is further complicated by the fact that the C-in-C is one of the Political Generals.

Anyway, another of my "fog of war" mechanisms is that any change of orders must overcome the "Inertia" of the previous order (it takes time to change things). Sadly, it took a number of turns before Brigadier von Voss overcame his inertia . . . which gave the Frankzonians time to get into position and unlimber their artillery.

When von Voss finally started moving, he got close enough to the enemy (12") to need to test for interpretation of his orders. You guessed it, he rolled poorly and interpreted his orders as "Hold". It then took time for General du Vile to realize they'd stopped.

When I had to leave (due to my feeling poorly and the weather getting nasty), von Voss had already failed yet again to overcome his inertia. Hopefully Murdock's son, who was taking over for me, will roll better dice.

* * *

As for the basic outline of the battle when I left, von Voss was supposed to be leading the main attack (against the Frankzonian foot) on the Stagonian left . . . but was stalled.

The small mercenary force under Brigadier Prinz Robert Axe of Burtzenia was attaking the high ground and looked like they would push the remnants of the two armies skirmishers off of the ridge.

Brigadier Emile von Rumpel's brigade was positioned facing the Offenbach forces, but was holding off any hostilities (as were the Offenbachers) pending the response to the flag of truce carried by one of the Stagonian aids-de-camp -- which basically was asking that Offenbach stay out of the fight between Stagonia and Frankzonia in exchange for being left alone. The aide-de-camp would need several turns before he could return to General du Vile.

Brigadier Delmar Dijon was shifting his mounted brigade to the open ground on the Stagonian right as he shadowed the movement of the Frankzonian forces to their left.


If von Voss could have started off when expected, it would have been very bad for the Frankzonians . . . and they may well have folded quickly. However, when I had to leave, I felt that, while very very much in doubt, that Frankzonia had the benefit of momentum . . . and that might give some reasons for Offenbach to decide to enter the fray (or not -- who knows).

Young Murdock is an extremely aggressive player . . . but subject to his eagerness getting him in trouble. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this proxy battle works out.

-- Jeff


Fitz-Badger said...

I hope you're feeling better, Jeff. Sounds like the rules are working well for a characterful battle. Lots of Political generals seems right for the Stagonians somehow. :-)

I'm hoping I'll have enough minis some day to try a battle with your rules (assuming they can work for solo play - the characters for generals and other bits make it sound like they would).

Eagerly awaiting the outcome,
Zurik Fitz-Badger, Graf von Offenbach and the citizenry of the Soweiter League

Stagonian Jeff said...


My rules are still in development, but they've worked pretty well in a number of situations so far.

Paul Robinson (Grimsby Wargamer) has tried them for the AWI and liked them quite a bit -- even though they are designed for European-style battles as opposed to the North American.

Yes, I think that they could work for some solo play because of the various "fog of war" mechanisms I've built into it. Still, the basic mechanics are quite simple.

The big problem right now is trying to get it in a nice concise written form (because I cannot accompany every set of the rules.

When I had to leave (and I took a nap when I got home), Offenbach and Stagonia were facing off but had not shot at each other . . . and my hope was that we wouldn't . . . but who knows what young Alex will choose to do (or what your instructions to Murdock were)?

-- Jeff