Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Battle of Ollebetnom

Since finishing his dissertation and escaping grad school this spring, my brother has moved back down to our part of the world and found a job here. Happily, this means we get to see him much more often, and there has been a certain amount of miniatures gaming going on as part of this! This past weekend, we were up at my dad's for Thanksgiving, and I brought along my Proxian armies for a game.

The scenario I decided upon was the Battle of Montebello from Neil Thomas's Wargaming 19th Century Europe book, which features a smaller French force attempting to cross a river and capture a town before larger and uncoordinated Austrian forces can muster a defense. The French also get to take advantage of a rail line that crosses the table to deploy some of their reinforcements. Because of the size and composition of the forces involved, I ended up reversing the scenario - my white-coated Elabrüners took the French role, while the Occiterrans in their blue jackets and red kepis took the historical Austrian role. (I also had to tweak some of the reinforcements a bit - so the Occiterrans had some cavalry that the Austrians did not have historically.) 

We had some fun setting up the table, digging into our childhood collection of Brio toys to find a suitable train and tracks that matched the classic toy soldier aesthetic. Unfortunately, I failed to notice until afterwards that the scenario was intended for a 3'x4' table rather than our 4'x6', which put Dad (attacking with the Elabrüners) at a distinct disadvantage. His foremost units were still one or two moves short of the town when time was called on turn 15. Still, my brother's stalwart defense with the Occiterrans definitely played a role as well, particularly in overcoming the command difficulties imposed by the scenario rules - only 1/3 of the Occiterran units could act at full effectiveness each turn. And most importantly, an enjoyable time was had by all!

Initial set up. The Occiterran commander grimly surveys the battlefield. The Elabrüner general seems dubious of this new-fangled "steam train."

Two regiments of Nordaleners arrive by rail in support of their Elabrüner allies.

Two regiments of Occiterran infantry attempt to delay the Elabrüner advance.

More reinforcements arrive for Elabrün, but in the background the Occiterrans have brought up fresh troops to occupy the town of Ollebetnom.

The Occiterrans are ordered to hold at all costs as the Elabrüners attempt to press down the road towards the town.

The Nordalener regiment has nearly reached the town, but without enough support to mount an assault.

The Occiterran Red Hussars, after futilely trying to chase down Elabrüner jagers, finally find a worthy foe in the Grey Uhlans.

Occiterran cuirassiers attempt to charge an Elabrüner cannon.