Monthly Meeting Saturday 2 August 2003

after action report

15mm Seven Year's War

Austrian (Elliot) v. French (John)  


History, they say is written by the victor.  If so then this battle report should be a joint effort since I hope that the game, my first in Hong Kong was a success – for battlefield winner and loser alike.


Elliot Woodruff’s debut game in Hong Kong was set in the middle of the eighteenth century – with a French force defending a line against a numerically superior Austrian one.  The rules used were “Age of Absolutism” written by Birmingham wargamer, Roger Underwood, complete with battle and terrain generation modules and army lists for each side.  Elliot showed off his Austrians and John supplied the French.


The Austrians gained the initiative, having a ‘good’ commander while the French, with only a ‘poor’ one, struggled to find a suitable defensive location and when at last they did – they did not have the time to build any redoubts.   The scene was set – together with some very Italian looking buildings and poplar trees.  The pre-game build-up and terrain laying complete the game commenced – egged on by a rousing round of applause from the neighbouring DBM game to signify the first turn.   The Austrians refused their left flank, while infantry advanced in the centre and massed cavalry advanced on the right.  The French held high ground along the centre and left with their cavalry on the left flank. 


With typical élan, the French cavalry (3 brigades: 2 cuirassier and 1 hussar) advanced and charged the Austrians.  Unfortunately the hussars hit an Austrian cuirassier brigade and were routed in short order.  The first line of French cuirassiers hit the leading brigade of Austrians only to be beaten on the dice.  This left the French left wing “shaken” and obliged to retire.  The next turn the Austrians pursued and halted, only to be charged by the French second line cuirassiers whose commander managed to muster sufficient “PIP”s to delay the obligatory withdrawal.  The French gained the advantage and the Austrians routed – so honour at least for the French cavalry. 


Meanwhile the Austrian centre moved forward steadily.  The Austrian gunners were a little rusty to say the least.  Their French counterparts were much more accurate and the lead Austrian infantry brigade soon suffered casualties.  They made it to the French line and suffered dearly in the fire fight which followed.  Seeing the Austrians on the verge of breaking, the French infantry tested to charge.  Successfully.  The Austrian line wavered but passed the response test subject to shooting at long range not short.  With five d20s requiring a dice 4 or less, the charge was in the balance.  The Austrians fired; one “4” forced a charge-in test – and the charge fell short.  A desultory fire fight followed, causing the battered Austrian line to withdraw voluntarily.  The Austrian C-in-C got too close only to be wounded when the French line turned their sights on his HQ. 


But this was all to no avail.  The Austrian left wing advanced to engage the French right and, before long the French had suffered 50% casualties  in terms of elements lost/shaken commands and were forced to quit the field – albeit in good order.


And so the battle ended – after 8+ turns and action on almost every turn.  Unsurprisingly the Austrian numerical superiority eventually told against the French but it was not a totally one sided victory.  The Austrians lost a cuirassier brigade and a brigade and 1 ½ brigades of infantry (3¾ Army Points out of 24 – so over 12%) – and this could be telling in a campaign situation (indeed, another lost brigade and the Austrians might even have considered withdrawal).  French losses in terms of routed APs came to about 5-6 APs (nearly 33%) - so the decision to withdraw was a sensible one.  The casualties in percentage terms looked right for both winner and loser alike.


Three DBM Battles

The first game was the warm up, which started about
1:45 pm and ended about 4 o’clock . The main purpose of this battle is let us study the rules of DBM again.  Four players participated players in a warm up battle, there were Cheung Kar Fai , Lawrence Ho, Philippe Buchle and Christopher CHU.

The second DBM game started around
4:20 pm .  James Cheung joined us after he finished his Warmaster battle and we invited Chris Lam to join, so we were six players, each player with his own command.

The battle was a
Post-Mongol Samurai Clan fight with 450 points per side.  We divided into Red Clan and White Clan.  The Red Clan was commanded by Philippe Buchle on the left wing, Lawrence Ho in the centre, Cheung Kar Fai on the right wing, whereas the White Clan was commanded by James Cheung on the left wing, Christopher Chu in the centre and Chris Lam on the right wing. 

Both sides deployed in the centre masses of infantry (Reg Bd. (O) & Irr Ax. (I)), while mounted Samurai on both wings cooperated with attacking with the Ronin (Irr Bd. (F)).  White Clan’s plan was not unusual: hang back in the middle, chew away at the support on the flanks, then take the enemy from front & rear, just like the tactics of the Carthaginians at Cannae .

Once battle began, Red Clan advanced into attack positions. White Clan counter attacked with their mounted Samurai, however
Philippe refused James’ outflanking manoeuvre and tried to prevent the central break from Chu .   Lawrence refused that attack successfully.  The centre of White Clan also suffered many casualties and was close to break point (becoming demoralised after 2 more bases were lost).

The Red Clan looked to pick up an easy victory.  Finally, White Clan was routed after the wing commanded by Chris Lam was demoralised by Cheung Kar Fai.  The battle ended before
7 o’clock .

The third DBM game was fought between Jeff's Romans and Tony's Palmyrans, the former prevailing after a hard fought battle.





Two Warmaster battles were fought between James Cheung's Undead army and Tom Tong's Lizardmen army.

The first battle saw James' Undead army being immobilised for 2 turns. The whole army was swept away by the Cold One Knights of the Lizardmen army and even the Sphinx could not survive one attack (roll 1 and 2 in the armour save).


The second battle saw James' army gaining revenge against Tom's army.  The chariots of the Undead army successfully charged the Lizardmen infantry while the Cold One Knights were shot away by the combined might of the Chukka and the Skeleton bowmen (the Chukka scored 3 direct hits with no armour save and one stand of Cold One was thus removed).  The remaining Lizardmen were immobilised by the Undead's spell and could not counterattack.  The Undead then swept away the remaining Lizardmen infantry with ease.


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