|Von Kleist : Fusiliers and Frei Korps|
Commander : Eric von Kleist (6 Strength Points) - in his favourite Horse Grenadier
Infantry : 1st and 2nd Battalions, 44th Line Fusiliers (each 4 SP)
1st and 2nd Battalions, von Kleist Frei Korps (each 4 SP)
'Rifles' (3 SP) : actually 'commanded' fusilier figures.
Hand-picked sharpshooters, of course
Cavalry : Von Kleist Horse Grenadiers (3 SP)
Total : 28 Strength Points, with Exhaustion Level 9 SP.
As previously, strengths are for Bob Cordery's rules for The Portable Napoleonic Wargame, with my home-grown tweaks for 'Portable Seven Years War'. All troops rated Average except the 'Rifles' - Elite. To save on book-keepng, each base ( of 2 infantry or cavalry, 1 sharpshooter, 1 gunner ) is a Strength Point, which can be removed to show losses in an nice 'old school' manner. A handy little force, unencumbered by slow-moving guns, with decent infantry firepower and a small cavalry strike force.
On the Austrian side, all is hurry and confusion as forces are hastily gathered to meet the Prussian incursion. General Dachs finds himself with six units also:
|Dach's doughty defence|
Commander : General Dachs (6 SP)
Infantry : 1st and 2nd Battalion 'Wildganse' Jagers (each 4 SP)
Grenze foot (4 SP) - dismounted Hussars, heroic defenders
of Tragers Grat
Cavalry : Grenze Hussars (3 SP)
Artillery : 2 Field Guns (each 2 SP)
Total : 25 Strength Points, with Exhaustion Level 8 SP.
All the above rated Average, except the Grenze foot, boosted to Elite by their feats of arms at Tragers Grat. Those guns give Dachs' force some punch and should powerfully aid his defence.
Dachs knows the importance of a particular crossroads, at a place known as Vier Arme. Von Kleist's force will surely reach the place, but when? Dachs has been able to dispatch one battalion of his Jagers and one gun to the vicinity. He personally leads another two units - his Grenzer foot and Hussars - down the road from the North, while the final battalion of Jagers and the second gun are approaching from the West, though they are a little more tardy in their march.
Here we see Von Kleist's column on the march: in his impatience to advance, he seems to have neglected to send his cavalry forward to scout the country up ahead.
|Column of route : shouldn't those horse be scouting ahead?|
While just South of the fateful crossroads, the Austrian advance party takes up position astride the road, flanks secured (they hope) by a wood and lake.
|Austrian Outpost Line : somewhat lonely, perhaps?|
Keen readers of 'One Hour Wargames' by Neil Thomas may have spotted that this is his Scenario number 11: 'Surprise Attack' (you may also deduce where the name 'Vier Arme' comes from, too).
Forces were chosen using the book's random selection chart, but I confess not entirely random : I diced for two armies, then decided which looked most suitable for defence and attack.
The Prussians entire force will appear via the road from the South on turn 1, while two further units of Austrians appear from the North on turn 3, and their final two units on turn 6 ( Neil suggests turn 9, but that seems harsh!). There is a special rule that 'neither side is aware of the other's precise location or strength. Accordingly, no charges may be declared on Turn 1', which we will follow. Even with that rule, it looks a daunting task for the Austrian outpost units, outnumbered three to one from the start..
So then, as the morning mists begin to clear, Von Kleist's advance column nears the crossroads, when suddenly a cry goes up : 'The enemy!' And so, the combat of Vier Arme begins..