Saturday, June 28, 2014

Thormoppparokay: The Charge of the Moose Brigade

General Xerxes brings up the guns.
Into the valley of death ride the 4.
As night falls the 18 have been reduced to 11.

This post follows on from Thormopparokay: The First Assault.

With the first Imperial attack repulsed, General Xerxes scrambled to bring up his guns. Even the mighty Trolka would be hard put to withstand a hail of cannister.

This would have been an ideal time for me to launch a counter attack with the Mooseketeers. I must have been asleep!

In any event the first volley of cannonfire suffered from very poor dice rolling with no real harm done.

The fighting in the north flared up again as the Coltzen foot came into line.

Waking suddenly I unleashed the fury of the Northmoose!

The werewolf gunners had been prolonging their piece and were unable to get off a shot before the the Antlers of Doom had descended upon them.

In the north the werewolves were giving as good as they got.

After the Mooseketeers went in there ensued a spirited series of charge and counter charge as the Coltzen centaurs came to the aid of their gunners.

When the dust settled, two centaurs were dead. 

 A third centaur and two werewolf gunners were hustled off to the rear as prisoners. It was at this point that I realized I should have sent the RN gunners forward with the Mooseketeers in order to haul off the gun! 

Better late than never.

After the initial clash the reserve squadron of Mooseketeers engaged the reserve squadron of centaurs. Two trolka versus three centaurs were good odds for the trolka.

Elsewhere things took an ugly turn. The Finkelstein Field Force artillery annihilated the Slaeggan 2nd Line battalion.

After that triumph of black powder over troll flesh, the gun withdrew into the square of the remaining Finkelstein infantry battalion.

Worse yet the werewolves brought down a troll and the Slaeggan 1st Light battalion was compelled to withdraw from the action.

Oblivious of the disasters on the north flank, the 2nd Squadron, The Mooseketeer Regiment, looked forward to an easy victory over the centaurs. 

They were disappointed. The centaurs managed to pull of a win and capture one of the wounded trolls!

With the centaurs currently off reforming after the hectic melees, the 1st Squadron, The Mooseketeer Regiment, returned for a charge against the dwarven square.

Smoke belched from the mouth of the gun. The result only wounded one troll and the charge went in.

The plucky dwarvers saw off the Mooseketeers with the loss of a single dwarf!

The centaurs rallied and handed off their prisoner to the Guinaleans.

Meanwhile, not pictured, the victorious werewolf battalion advanced against the Royal Slaegga Regiment of Guards. The Guards let off a volley of Kannonderbus fire and the surviving werewolves withdrew, tails between their legs. 

With the return of the centaur lancers to the scene of action, further charges by the Mooseketeers were deemed unwise.

At least the centaurs were not able to prevent the RN detachment from hauling off the captured gun.

With darkness settling over the valley I decided to call it a (game) day.

The Imperial army was reduced to three battle worthy infantry battalions, one from each contingent, two guns, and centaur lancers.

The Slaaggan force consisted of the Guards, the battered 2nd Light battalion, the 1st squadron of the Mouseketeers and the naval detachment gunners with their prize.

So who had won the day? 

I am sure both sides will claim victory as the conditions were not very clear. You see the scenario called for the defender to hold out until nightfall. With no information given on the length of daylight, number of turns, etc. the definition of nightfall is up to the player. The game did last some 30 turns though so it was a good long time in practice if not in scale.

Concerning Trolka and Charge!
The rules used, "Charge! or How to Play Wargames" were written long before the advent of fantasy miniatures and it was my choice to add the fantasy element. To this end I used the stats in "Slautherloo" as a starting point.

Using units of 20 foot for everything but trolls and 3 for trolls also provided some guidance.

A troll needed to about equal 6 other figures generally speaking. 

I could have said, "trolls take six hits to kill" and been done with it, and perhaps I should have.

Instead I went with a series of changes:

1. Saving throws. "Charge!" does not use these. I added a save on 1 or 2 for most creatures and 1,2, or 3 for trolls.
2. Hits on troll units were halved as if they were light infantry in game terms.
3. Trolls took two hits to remove. Two is an easy number to keep track of! At token by the troll means he is wounded. If he takes another wound he is out of the game.

Trolka light units were armed with large muskets. I treated these each as gun that fired only out to half the range of a field gun and could only fire ball.

Trolka line units were armed with Kannonderbusses. These fired out ot half the canister range of regular guns but could only fire canister.

Finally in melee each creature used the melee stat from "Slautherloo" as its base value. 

This all worked well in practice making the trolka units very tough but surprisingly brittle. The range advantage of the light Trolka worked well until the enemy got in close. At that point I should have had them charge their foes but for some reason I never did. The Trolka line were very tough opponents lacking the range of the line but able to lay down firepower that would equal or exceed that of a regular line battalion.

Concerning "Charge! or How To Play Wargames".

Young and Lawford wrote a fairly simple set of rules that captures the essence of horse and musket warfare quite well. The rules are very casualty intensive and two battalions facing off against one another in a fire fight will usually tear each other to shreds in a couple of turns.

This means that having reserves available to support an attack or defense is essential. An army deployed in a single line will soon be riddled with holes.

While one can question the technicalities of time versus losses, range versus frontages, and etc. the basics of horse and musket warfare apply. Combat is attritional and the commander who can feed in fresh troops at the right time will likely carry the day.

It would be an interesting exercise to take two equal armies and deploy one in a single line and the other in double line and see what happens. 

Unfortunately I have other projects that need attending to now.

If any of you readers give it a go please let me know how it turned out.

Well that is all for now so as always thanks for stopping by!


  1. Exciting report, your pictures are really nice, and these minis original and beautiful!

    1. Merci Phil! This is the first series after switching from my camera to my phone for the photos. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Fantastic.

    Once again thank you for the AAR.


    1. You are welcome Tony. Glad you enjoyed it.