Sunday, 21 February 2010

A Fight To Forget

Jim Wannop, having bundled his good lady wife out of the car somewhere in the vicinity of Wolverhampton, was in the area 'visiting family': which meant he spent the day fighting a battle with me. Two infantry battalions, a regiment of cavalry and one cannon per side with Charge! elementary rules in play. Unfortunately we were very pushed for time and so I failed to take any photos to record the fight.

That is probably for the best: my performance was not something to dwell on. Napoleon is supposed to have once said "I have fought sixty battles and I have learned nothing which I did not know at the beginning". In my case, on the evidence of the day's proceedings, it appears that I may have forgotten most of what little I ever knew.

Hohenzollern Cuirassiers - Looking On With Dismay At Their General's Ineptitude

Although I failed to recognise it at the outset, the battle was going to hinge on whether I could advance sufficiently rapidly from the confined space in which I had to deploy. Had I placed my cavalry in the front line I might have been able to do so. But instead they spent the larger part of the battle trapped to the rear of my infantry who were frankly going nowhere. Jim had noted the fault in my arrangements and, alert to the opportunity, pressed forwards to box me in very effectively.

The only bright spot was in the closing stages of the battle. My Hohenzollern Kurassiere made a brilliant charge losing but one trooper to a ragged volley, and then sabring a fair number of infantry without any further loss to themselves. Sadly, by this stage my infantry were melting away and my army was at half strength: the agreed decision point.

Perhaps I need to take a lesson from Napoleon's book.  After any setback he'd write a distorted acoount of the battle for Le Moniteur, confident that a sycophantic editor would publish it without any questions.

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