Friday, January 28, 2011

Song of Drums and Shakos Solo - Part 3

Two Prussian Fusiliers fire their muskets with little effect, two others move to hinder the Austrians from rushing towards the ruin. One of the Prussians in close combat stands up again and fights, the other conducts a powerfull hand-to-hand-attack but gets knocked down himself

The Austrians wound the fallen Prussian thereby taking him out of the game and knock the other one down. The two Austrians on the right side of the photo team up in their attack on another one: The first Austrian knocks the Prussian of his feet, the second finishes him of with a well placed bayonet stab! Nasty, but effective ...

The seventh Prussian Fusilier is out of the game. Morale Check for the Prussians! They are now under half stregth so each model has to check.

The Prussians lose their nerve and flee towards the ruin! Only the valiant Fusilier Friedrich Karl Hartnacken stands his ground

The Austrians had three models left to activate and could have chased the Prussian but failed and play passed to the Prussians.

The Prussian successfully regroup! But Hartnacken who desperately tried to hold his ground despite all of his comrades fleeing is now overwhelmed by the Austrians and wounded

Was it a good idea to regroup towards the enemy, Hauptman Beskow? Wouldn't it have been more effective to regroup towards the ruin for added protection?

Things look bleak for the Prussians but maybe one spirited counterattack can turn the tables ...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Song of Drums and Shakos Solo - Part 2

Feldwebel Kunkel is attacked again. At least the other Prussian Fusilier got out of the firing line. Aus dem Weg, Kunkel! Aus dem Weg!

Kunkel wounds another Croat. The Austrians press on with all their men!

The Feldwebel finally realises that he blocks the firing line and successfully disengages off to the side. The Volley from six Fusiliers kills the Austrian Sergeant who leads (lead!) the attack

Austrians rush forward to engage in close combat. The Prussian Fusilier on the bridge is wounded and out of the fight. Brave lad!

The prussian first rank stops the attack, one Austrian falls to the ground. The second rank reloads immediately

The Austrian player realises that the situation looks desperate. He decides to use three dice for the activation of the forward group of six men. A risky undertaking. If he gets two failures (i.e. not rolling 3+), play immediately passes to the Prussians again. But he gains three actions! Maximum success!

The Croat on the bridge jumps on his feet again and knocks out Feldwebel Kunkel with a well aimed shot! The Musketeer on the bridge also fires and instantly kills the Prussian near the tree. The Austrians go into the close assault again with powerfull attacks. One of the Prussians falls down and another is instantly killed!

Wow! An all-out-effort by the Austrians. Three Prussians out of the game at once, one of them a Sergeant! Hauptmann Kreisky obviously picked the right men for this mission.

Will the Prussians still hold their ground? Let's see ...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Song of Drums and Shakos Solo - Part 1

Annotation: What follows is just a short description of what has happened as far as the "story" is concerned. I do not decribe game mechanics in detail now, but will summarize my impressions of the rules in a seperate blogpost.

The Setup - viewed from the Prussian side of the table

The Austrians move out of the woods, fire a volley and one of the bridge guards falls to the ground

The Prussian miserably fail their first activation attempt and play immediately passes to the Austrians again!

The Grenzers rush towards the bridge, muskets still loaded

One Grenzer finishes off the fallen Prussian with his bayonet. The Prussian standing next to the rock still hasn't got his pants up again ...

One Grenzer knocks another Prussian of his feet. The Croat NCO (partly behind the tree) rushes towards the Prussian Feldwebel Kunkel ...

... and BANG! Aimed shot - Instant kill. The Croat NCO is dead! A serious loss for the Austrian side. The Prussians Officer finally gets his act together and leads his men towards the bridge. One of them finally has his pants up again

Hand-to-hand fighting on the Bridge. Prussians begin to form a firing line

The Prussian NCO wounds another Grenzer with his Kurzgewehr. The second rank of the firing line and Hauptman Beskow are in position

Himmel! What is this?! Feldwebel Kunkel blocks the firing line! Does he think he is a reincarnation of Horatius Cocles*

* = In 508 B.C., when Rome was under attack from the Etruscan King Porsena and about to be conquered, one man, Horatius Cocles ("the one eyed") stood on a small bridge leading into the city centre, all alone. He defended it against the whole army of the enemy until his comrades cut off the bridge behind him. He fell into the Tiber in full armour, but managed to reach the roman river bank (according to Titu Livius; according to Polybios he drowned!).

To be continued ...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Song of Drums and Shakos Solo - The Setup

The Austrian Officer (Major Waldheim), captured while spying during the King's birthday parade of IR 41 von Wied, is held captive in a ruined cottage. The Austrians immediately launch a rescue operation. Six picked men from Regiment Nr. 14 Salm-Salm are joined by group of five Carlstädter Likaner. The Croats are to act as guides to enable the force to secretly infiltrate the Prussian lines which they had carefully reconnoitred during the last two days. The detachment is commanded by Hauptmann Kreisky of Salm-Salm.

Rules: Song of Drums and Shakos [SDS]from Ganesha Games
Scenario: Number 3 from the rulebook ("Assault at the farm")

Defenders (Prussians of IR 41, 402 points):
1 x Officer (Hauptman Beskow)
1 x NCO (Feldwebel Kunkel)
11 x Füsiliere ("Line Musketeer" in SDS)
1 x Captive (Austrian Major Waldheim)

Attackers (Austrians, 518 points)
1 x Officer (Hauptman Kreisky)
1 x NCO (Feldwebel Hölzel)
6 x Line Infantryman
1 x Grenzer NCO (Unteroffizier Laducic)
4 x Grenzer/Carlstädter Likaner

Special Rules: SDS assigns two special rules to the Grenzers/Carlstädter Likaner. "Light" - they move quicker through difficult terrain (woods). "Marksman" - their shooting is deadlier up to medium range (120mm).

Here's the Setup (click on pictures to enlarge):

The Austrians approach, Salm-Salm on the right, Carlstädter Likaner on the left.
Five Prussian, including the NCO and four men guard the bridge. Wait! There are only four of them on the bridge ... Where's number five? Ah, over on the left, between the rocks. A human want has caused his absence ...

The captive held in the cottage. He still has his Sponton. Men of honour, obvoiusly.

Hauptman Kreisky's tactical approach:

He divides his force in two groups: Group 1 ,Salm-Salm, with the seven soldiers and himself move out of the wood and fire a volley at the bridge guards. At the same time, Group 2, the five Carlstädter Likaner run towards the bridge to engage in close range musket fire and hand-to-hand combat. Group 1 follows immediately.

Let's see, how this turns out ...