Now I'm not sure a battle on a luxurious 8'x5' table counts as "small", but I'm finding more and more that I really enjoy setting up and fighting smaller scenarios with less units on the table and consequently more tactical choices to make. This latest battle here at the Lead Gardens is based pretty faithfully on one of C.S. Grants teasers from "Scenarios for All Ages" (and for the life of me I can't recall the name at the moment)...but it involves a dash to seize a small village by two forces that are small and differently configured. In this fight my Grolsteiners were the Lt. Cav/Lt infantry heavy force and entered from the far table edge to the village, and the men of the Konigreich were a small infantry heavy brigade that enters close to the center of the table with a shorter distance to make the village which is the winning objective for both sides.
The fun wrinkle in this scenario is a dense wood that covers the center of the battlefield and has branching narrow tracks that both only allow a 4 man frontage and at the main intersection units have to take a random roll to see if they take a wrong turn!
The Grolstein advance guard entering the table and splitting into two columns to dash for the objective. (again these pics are a bit fuzzy due to not using my usual camera).
Colonel Volger's Freikorps still smarting from the debacle of failing to capture the Grand Duchess' coach in the last encounter are ordered to head for the now sighted Grolstein column and delay their advance until their infantry can make for the village.
...while Volger's Jagers head up the track to a forbidding looking forest.
In the lower half of the picture we can see the musketeers of the Konigreich fully on table while Fuzilier Regiment von Kluge begins to thread it's way through a marshy area in column at half rate.
First encounter!...the jagers are surprised by a column of the Duchess' dreaded "Red Lancers" who have managed to take a wrong turn in the forest and run headlong into a volley of musketry...that fortunately for the lancers manages to cause little damage.
The ensuing melee sees the jagers get the worst of it and in the chaos of yet another wild Polish pursuit are forced to make a hasty retreat back down the forest track.
Meanwhile the Bleiherzen infantry columns still thread their way slowly through heavy terrain.
...and Col. Volger at the head of his dragoons makes a gallant charge on a regiment of Grolsteiners who have fallen behind their rapidly advancing cavalry and light infantry.
The deploying Grolsteiners are unable to get off an effective volley before the Dragoons are on them and they suffer heavy casualties in the melee and the pursuit effectively destroys Grolsteins infantry arm in short order.
The Polish commander recalls his orders and realizes that his squadron has taken a wrong turn...and he orders the pursuit of the jagers recalled and they succeed (a morale roll to halt the pursuit) in getting turned about and headed back down the forest track.
At the junction they take another wrong turn and head back in the direction they came...but it's a fortunate wrong turn as Volger's dragoons decide to head into the forest (lacking further orders, Volger takes a chance). Meanwhile Grolstein jagers, a half battery (1 gun) directed personally by the CinC, occupy a small farm on the outskirts of the objective and prepare to face the oncoming Bleiherzen infantry.
Another wild cavalry melee along the wooded track as the Poles charge the Freikorps Dragoons.
The battle begins to reach it's peak as the Bleiherzen infantry shakes itself into line and begins an assault to clear both side of the river. The second Grolstein squadron of cavalry (dragoons) makes the outskirts of the village but is shattered by a volley from the fuziliers and are forced to withdraw back across the river effectively handing the town over to their opponents.
The jagers posted in the farm duel with an advancing infantry regiment and with the support of the gun firing effective cannister managed to shatter their attackers.
But that does not stop the sheer weight of the Bleiherzen assault and they firmly capture the town and the win...
...and the Poles are left to their terrible pursuit...and a lucky young ADC (Manfred, King Wilhelm's nephew....in the blue coat) is caught up in the retreat as he attempts to deliver the brigadiers order for the Freikorps Dragoons to march to the sound of the guns...he barely escapes with his skin, and a tall story to tell!
Though they were able to rout a Grolstein regiment, Volger is still unsatisfied with the overall performance of his men and no doubt will be issuing strict return to "counter-uhlanen drill" as soon as they can be regrouped on the 'morrow.