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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Disaster in The Duchy

               Although my activities in the two imaginary duchies of Gromstadt and Biehlberg  have been somewhat limited recently, I still continue the narrative and planning in my head. The two warring families continue to build their forces and the lakeside shipyards are full of small craft under construction as the fresh water arms race continues.
                For some time now, Gromstadt had cast covetous eyes on the impoverished market town of Pfennigless that dominates the gap in the westernmost ridge line and is held under a tenuous family claim by the current Duke of Biehlberg. Tiring of the fruitless negotiations between the two duchies Gustav of Gromstadt gathered a strong force and flung it (somewhat sedately ) at the unsuspecting township.  Unfortunately the force took so long in mobilising and sauntering it's way towards the town that Albrecht of Biehlberg managed to raise a small body from the guard to reinforce the hapless conscripts garrisoning the area.

           The battle was fought on a cold dry day in November on and around the rolling hills surrounding Pfennigless under the rules of war of "Maurice" (by Sam Mustafa).  Gromstadt had brought a strong force of  2 x elite guard cavalry, 1x trained cavalry, 2x elite infantry, 2 x trained infantry 2x conscript infantry, 1 irregular dragoon rgt (dismountable) and 2 batteries of guns.  Ranged against them Biehlberg could muster 2x elite cavalry, 1x hussars(irregular), 2x elite infantry, 1x trained mercenaries (Irish), 3x conscript infantry and 2x batteries of guns. Notable for their effectivity were the Gromstadt elite guard cavalry who almost single handed rolled up the left flank of the Biehlberg force and aided the infantry in their cataclysmic destruction of the conscript force on the Biehlberg right flank. It was also notable for the fact that I as the sedentary Duke Gustav managed to beat Erik who chose to take the role of Duke Albrecht .

         As stated the battle was fought using "Maurice" and my imaginations 10mm forces from various suppliers. I did manage to take a lot of photos and in chronological order. So folks I present the battle of Pfennigless  In which the most protestant state of Biehlberg was hammered by the holy Roman catholic duchy of Grohmstadt and in which of course both had god on their side.. heheheh.

Dawn found the rested force of Gromstadt facing their enemy across the misty valley as the Biehlbergians deploy to defend the town. Their first error was to split the trained infantry to the north and south of Pfennigless.

To the left the advancing Biehlbergians . To the right the regimented lines of the Gromstadt regulars.   

Opening the battle the invaders determinedly advance their whole infantry force across the valley. (thanks to careful measuring on setup and the availability of an event card that allowed me to move two forces at once.

In response the defenders swing across the west side of Pfennigless defending the town and seizing the crest-line.  The attacker threw caution to the wind and his national trait (giving a huge plus on guards units) and launched the guard cavalry at the enemy infantry above them

The elite infantry battalion facing this charge simply dissolved in the face of the wild charge (and some extreme dice rolls. ). In an attempt to dissuade further madness the Irish battalion deployed in front of the winter wheat. 

The next turns saw the guard cavalry successfully launch into the remaining elite infantry's flank and then to add insult to injury rally back to cover the Irish on the hill. The centre saw  an unordered advance by one of the Gromstadt elite infantry which caused the Gromstadt general to panic and launch all of his regulars against the centre in support . It payed off and the centre crumbled.

In the final act the guard cavalry supported by an elite infantry battalion attacked and destroyed the Irish mercenaries on the hill and it was all over but the shouting. 

In Eriks support he rolled some of the worst die rolls I have ever seen while mine were spectacular. Again the rule set proved to be a joy to play and the element of surprise through use of the action and event cards spectacularly funny. I will certainly continue with them. Those personality cards however have to go. They are so unsightly . I need to develop individual bases with just enough info as we did for Blucher. Great game , great fun and soon to be repeated.


  1. Lovely looking game. We tried to like 'Maurice', believe me we did. Sadly the rules were not for us, but glad you are enjoying them.

    1. Oh I should qualify my remarks. I wouldn't like to push Maurice as a simulation at all. It's a game that works well for imagination type armies. The cards give it a feel for the unexpected event and most of the time we are laughing like big kids.

  2. Sounds like a great generating circumstance for a campaign. Will Duke Gustav swallow the insult to his name and injury to his arms...?

    1. Although I have maps of the Duchies I rarely plot movement etc.. As a solo player it doesn'r give a "life" to them. I have moved steadily towards a more narrative style solo campaign where I "record" imagined events in the duchies and then decide how the participants will react and where. Hopefully, rather than worry about movement rates etc. I can concentrate more effort on fleshing out the characters and the "why" of my campaigns and battles. My gaming partner (work permitting) is only too happy to fight out the resultant mini campaigns and battles with me. Rumour has it that the young Albrecht although disappointed by his defeat aims to retake the town as his regulars gather but then again he has long had his eye on the voluptuous niece of duke Gustav and may concede the ownership of the town in return for her hand in marriage.. Only time will tell.