Tussle at Grosser Stuhlgang

General der Cavalrie Ferencz looked glumly across the country at the village of Grosser Stuhlgang. It was teeming with Hanoverians, supported by cavalry and guns. The woods, orchards, plowed fields, and farm field walls near it just made it even more impractical to attack. Especially as while his cavalry arm was strong, his infantry was doubtful. Full of bohemians, he thought. There was no manner he could see to assault the place with cavalry, and he was instructed to take the place to secure the crossing over the Danube. The English had rested their right flank on the village. The plains contained the rest of the enemy; infantry with a smallish contingent of cavalry. He feared that the enemy infantry knew what it was about; it looked to be able to do things like march, and dress ranks. More than his crowd appeared to be capable of. Well then, it was to be won, it would have to be on his right. He would deploy his cavalry there, move forward, smash the enemy horse, and move on the flank of the infantry. His motley crew of foot would stay to the rear.

Ed and Mark had a game of Maurice last week; Ed ended up attacking with a cavalry force, using the “Maison De Roi” and “Great Captain” cards; Mark, with the English had the “Lethal Volleys” and “Steady Lads” cards. The English were deployed with one flank on a village and 3 cavalry minding the other side. The Austrians massed 5 units of cavalry and a hussar against the 3 English horse, and held their unimpressive infantry and guns in the middle.

The hussars leapt forward, crossing the field in best Hungarian fashion. In response to their appearance the English cavalry moved forward, prompting the Austrian regular cavalry to do the same.

Seeing his cavalry facing the horde of Austrian horse, Sir Bently ffolkes-Smith, the English commander, moved his infantry forward to engage the Austrian foot, and support his cavalry with the leftmost regiment (they were only Scots, it would not matter much if they were run over by the Austrian horse). Unfortunately the Hanoverian forces on his right did not get the memo about moving forward, so they stood and watched the others. ffolkes-Smith’s report on the action stated the message “went astray”. The memoirs of Graf Count von-und-zu Katzehaarekugel, however, state that the message was soaked into illegibility when the courier, Captain Rupert Fotheringay Upper-Class-Twit, on seeing some ducks in a farm pond in passing, promptly leaped from his horse and spent a quarter of an hour splashing around in the water, waving his elbows with his hands tucked in his armpits and saying “Quack, quack” at the top of voice. However it happened, the Hannoverians stayed put.

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The Cavalry dukes it out

It now came down to seeing would the superior Austrian cavalry dispose of their opponents before the british infantry disposed of theirs. It certainly went the Austrian way. The English cavalry was swept away, even including an infantry regiment that had been sent in support. The only loss was the unfortunate cavalry regiment that found itself in front of the highlanders. On the flip side, the Austrian infantry, supported by their guns, proved surprisingly resilient, standing up under the lethal English volleys, and giving very much as good as they got. The Austrian horse rolled up the English flank, and their opponents went down to bitter defeat.

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The Infantry firefight

The 2 main comments to be made here, is that we are getting better at this game, and that a spread out defensive deployment is counterproductive if your enemy does not oblige you by attacking a difficult objective; you really lose the use of the units.

On a side note to ffolkes-Smith: attacking when your job is to defend may result in unpredictable results….

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