Ford over the River MobPosted: May 14, 2012
The Maldacians (who wear uniforms that bear a striking resemblance to those worn by the Austro-Hungarians) are on the warpath again. They have yet again made demands that the Lauranians (who favour uniforms in the Prussian style) must hand over ‘disputed’ territory on the border between the two countries. The Lauranians say that the ‘disputed’ territory has always been – and will always remain – Lauranian, and that any attempts to take the land in question by force will be met by force. The Maldacians have responded in a similarly bellicose fashion … and war between the two countries seems imminent.
News reaches the Lauranian High Command that a force of Maldacians has entered Lauranian territory, and a small division of the Lauranian Army is immediately despatched to intercept the invaders. The Lauranian Division comprises:
- Four Line Infantry Regiments (armed with single-shot rifles)
- A Rifle Battalion (armed with single-shot rifles)
- An Artillery Regiment (armed with rifled field artillery)
Unbeknownst to the Lauranians, this is exactly the same size force (with the same armaments) as that sent by the Maldacians into Laurania. The stage is set for a battle … and it looks like it will happen near the ford over the River Mob.
The ford over the River Mob and the surrounding area. The ford is guarded by an ancient (but ungarrisoned) fortified tower, and on the other side of the river is a small settlement. The Maldacians will enter by the road nearest the bottom of the photograph and the Lauranians will enter via the road at the top.
The Maldacians advance towards through Lauranian territory.
The Lauranian Division on the road towards the ford over the River Mob.
Both the Maldacians and the Lauranians advance down their respective roads towards the ford over the River Mob. Both sides choose to lead with their Rifle Battalions. In the case of the Lauranians, these are followed by a Line Infantry Regiment and the Artillery Regiment, the latter being accompanied by the Division’s General.
The Maldacians choose to follow their Rifle Battalion with two Line Infantry Regiments.
Both side hurry troops forward to try to reach the ford first. The Lauranian advance is hampered somewhat by the slow speed of the Artillery Regiment, and the leading Rifle Battalion and Line Infantry Regiment break away from the column in order not to be delayed.
The Maldacians avoid this problem by leaving their Artillery Regiment at the rear of their column.
The two opposing forces are now within rifle range of each other, and the actual fighting looks about to start.
The Lauranians gain the initiative, and their Rifle Battalion occupies the built-up area on the right-hand side of the road, from where they engage the opposing Maldacian Rifle Battalion … with some success!
This clears the way for the leading Lauranian Line Infantry Regiment to move forward, deploy, and also engage the Maldacian Rifle Battalion … which suffers further casualties.
The remaining Lauranian troops rush forward to support their comrades.
The brave Maldacian Rifle Battalion charges into the ford to engage the Lauranian Line Infantry Regiment with the bayonet, but they are unable to make it right across.
The following Maldacian Line Infantry Regiment deploys and fires at the Lauranian Rifle Battalion, but inflicts no casualties.
The remainder of the Maldacian Division begins to deploy in support of their leading units.
The Maldacians have the initiative, and the Rifle Battalion closes with the leading Lauranian Line Infantry Regiment and engages them with the bayonet … and causes them a number of casualties!
The Maldacian Line Infantry Regiment continues to fire at the Lauranian Rifle Battalion that is occupying the buildings on the other side of the River Mob, and they inflict casualties on the Lauranians.
Another Maldacian Line Infantry Regiment deploys and engages the Lauranian Rifle Battalion, but their fire is ineffective.
The remainder of the Maldacian Division has now reached the River Mob, and has begun to deploy.
The Lauranian response is to counter-attack the Maldacian Rifle Battalion with a bayonet charge which forces the depleted Maldacians back into the ford …
… where they are shot to pieces by the Lauranian Rifle Battalion.
The Lauranian Artillery Regiment moves off the road and deploys onto the Lauranian right flank …
… and the rest of the Lauranian Division moves forward to engage the Maldacians.
As the Lauranian Artillery Regiment was now deployed, it opens fire on the closest Maldacian Line Infantry Regiment … upon which it inflicts 50% casualties!
The Lauranians build upon this success when their leading Line Infantry Regiment inflicts casualties on the Maldacian Line Infantry Regiment facing them across the River Mob …
… and when the Lauranian Rifle Battalion also joins in the exchange of fire, the Maldacian Line Infantry Regiment suffers further casualties.
The Lauranian Line Infantry Regiment that had previously occupied the building on the left flank opens fire on the Maldacian Line Infantry Regiment facing them across the River Mob …
… and causes them 50% casualties.
At this point in the battle the Maldacians have reached their Exhaustion Point (they have lost one-third of their Division’s initial strength value) and they cannot engage in further aggressive action.
The battlefield at the point in the battle when the Maldacians reached their Exhaustion Point. From this point onwards they cannot engage in any aggressive action, and should withdraw if that is possible.
Having achieved their objective, the Lauranian General asks his opposite number if he would wish for a cease-fire so that he can deal with his wounded before withdrawing from the field of battle. The Maldacian General is only too pleased to agree to this suggestion, and after collecting their wounded and burying their dead, the Maldacian Division withdraws to their own side of the border.
This was a sharp little meeting engagement between equal forces, and had the initiative gone to the Maldacians rather than the Lauranians during the last turn the outcome might have been different.
I liked the new Exhaustion Point rule, and will keep it in the next draft of the rules. I may choose to vary the point at which either or both armies reach it (it is currently when one side loses one-third of its initial strength value) in order to reflect the historical period or setting of the battle, but the concept does enable a battle to be fought to a conclusion that is not dependent upon a particular victory condition or conditions being met.
The figures used were out-of-production Peter Laing 15mm-scale Prussian and Austro-Hungarians. They were bought on eBay and were originally painted, owned, and used by a member of the Edinburgh Wargames Group. The terrain used was Hexon II hexed terrain tiles, streams/narrow rivers, roads, and hills. The trees were Hornby model trees that had additional flocking added to them before they were mounted on bases. The buildings were bought ready-painted in Croatia.