Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stagonia Captures Rose Ridge

Despite an heroic defense by General Rossi's Alpian troops, General Murdeau's Stagonians have destroyed or routed all enemy units and have gained complete control of Rose Ridge, the third battle in the Alpian Wars.

Gen. Murdeau and staff have just watched Rossi flee Rose Ridge.
To his credit, General Rossi and his surviving staff were the last to leave Rose Ridge as five Stagonian units closed in on Rose House.

The decisive action took place on Deck 23 as the Lau Crossbows finished off the Izzo Pike & Shot just after their volley had destroyed the Blue Squadron of Stagonia's Jillette Chevalier.

So despite Alpia winning the opening Battle of the Crossroads, Stagonia has now emerged victorious in two straight fights (Belleview Hills and Rose Ridge).

What will happen next?  We shall have to wait and see.

-- Jeff

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Tale of Two "Knight Fights"

Decks 18 & 19 were both short ones but very significant.

South end of ridge cleared of Alpians
The very first card of Deck 18 was for Stagonia's Jillette Chevalier . . . and the Blue Squadron of those knights charged and obliterated both Captain Ariete's Battery and the Artillery Guards.

This charge has eliminated all of Alpia's troops short of the defenders of Rose House.

Note too that Stagonia's Goyette Pike and Shot Regiment (blue banner to right of Blue Squadron) has now advanced past the knights.

The southern defences of Rose House
Alpia's Izzo and Zuff Pike & Shot Regiments (purple and green banners respectively) prepare to defend the key point on Rose Ridge.

Izzo and the Lau Crossbows have exchanged a number of volleys so far with no-one gaining an advantage.  Both have just recently reloaded their weapons.

Meanwhile, on the north end of the ridge, Stagonia's Green Squadron of the de Rappeneau Cavalry charged the Red Squadron of the Lanzia Spezatta.

For whatever reason, Brigadier Olivi did not get his knights to counter-charge (i.e., they rolled "snake eyes" on their test to do so).  As a result they took the charge at a halt and lost the encounter.

During the fighting, Brigadier Olivi was slain and the squadron was understandably shaken by this event (i.e., they suffered a casualty marker and both Olivi and the squadron failed their saving throws).

Stagonia's forces on the North End of Rose Ridge
In subsequent action, the squadron was again pushed back . . . but for the time being they have resisted routing ("box cars" on their save)

Still they cannot last long which will leave only the Telli Crossbows (who have withdrawn into the woods) remaining from Olivi's Brigade.

So, if Alpia is to hold onto Rose Ridge, it is Brigadier Franscioni's regiments which must hold out against considerable odds.  Can they last until dark?  Or will they be forced to abandon their position?

Only time (and General Rossi's decisions) will tell.

-- Jeff

Monday, March 18, 2013

Stagonia is "On the Ridge"

The great Stagonian sweep to their left has now succeeded in gaining a solid foothold on the southern end of Rose Ridge on Deck 17. 

Stagonian Crossbows & Knights on Rose Ridge
As you can see at left, both of Alpia's pike and shot units (Qeel and Xelt) have been eliminated and the Lau Crossbows (with Brigadier Petit) have led two full squadrons of knights onto the south end of Rose Ridge.

Only a light gun and the defenses of Rose House stand in their way.

True, both Stagonia's Ardant pike and shot regiment and the Flaubert Swordsmen were routed off table in taking the south end of the ridge, but it has been taken.

Alpia's Izzo Regiment faces the Lau Crossbows
A different angle show that the Lau Crossbows must now risk exchanging fire with Alpia's vaunted Izzo Regiment.

Captain Ariete's Artillery is barely visible through the trees as it faces Stagonia's Goyette Regiment (blue banner).

What lies in store for these units?  Only time will tell.

North end of Rose Ridge
On the north end of Rose Ridge, General Rossi has successfully recalled his units over the last few decks once he observed the arrival of the Stagonian Horse.

They now face four squadrons of cavalry and Stagonia's black-bannered Regiment La Capelle.

And Captain Corelli's Gun has been shaken from the accurate fire of Stagonia's Foot Artillery in the center of the field.

Stagonian right flank features Cavalry and Foot
Here (at left) is a look from the Stagonian side of the field.

The Cheveaux de Rappeneau have reached the crossroads in front of the north end of the ridge.

Not far behind them the Cheveaux Pincemail seem eager to get into the fray . . . as does the La Capelle Regiment.

What has General Murdeau intend for them?  We will have to see what he orders.

Center of the field as seen from Stagonia's side
Finally a view of the center of the field.

Rather empty, isn't it?

Currently it seems that Murdeau has planned a classic "double envelopment".

Will it work?  . . .  Again we will have to wait and see . . . time is running out.  Will there be enough daylight left to evict the Alpians?

I await the orders for both Alpia and Stagonia.  What will they do?  For that matter, what would YOU do?

Yes, if you were an aide-de-camp to either (or both) generals, what would you suggest that they do?

-- Jeff

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Units Appear on Deck 13

Deck 13 was a long one and featured new units appearing for both sides.

Four Squadrons of Cavalry arrive for Stagonia
I suspect that the major surprise of the day was the arrival of Brigadier Gilbert's Cavalry.

Shortly after Brigadier Olivi's Green Squadron of the Lanzia Spezatta had charged Stagonia's La Capelle Regiment (black banner) and been shot into oblivion, four squadrons of cavalry appeared straddling the road . . . which significantly changes the dynamic in the Center.

Undated view of south end of Rose Ridge
Meanwhile, on the south end of Rose Ridge, Alpia's Xelt Regiment (red banner) revealed itself as it expanded from its position in the woods.

(note that one end of Xelt is still in the woods . . . so it might or might not have enough movement to charge).

Barely visible in the background, the Izzo Regiment (purple banner) has finally been ordered to deploy in defense of Rose House.

The Flaubert Swordsmen routing
Also noticeable is the fact that Stagonia's Flaubert Swordsmen are routing.

They were able to charge home against Alpia's Qeel Regiment but locked up and were later routed as the combat continued.  Given their current state, it is unlikely that they will rally.

But Brigadier Petit still has his Lau Crossbows and two squadrons of knights as well as another pike unit on the way.  Can Alpia survive?

Center of the battlefield
Viewing the center of the battlefield, it might look like Regiment Falcon (brown banner) is also routing but that is not the case. 

They withdrew away from the Telli Crossbows (who have shaken it with two casualties) so Stagonia's big gun can fire on the Alpian troops in the flat.

Note that you can barely see the arriving cavalry in the distance.

So, given the changes revealed in Deck 13, I now await new orders from my generals.

-- Jeff

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Decks 8-12 -- Rose Ridge

We are now through Deck 12 and since the last post most of what has happened is movement and lots of ineffective shooting.

Overview of situation on Stagonian left
The situation on Stagonia's left flank can be seen at left.

If Qeel hadn't been so miserable with it's shooting, the Flaubert Swordsmen would have been in bad shape . . . but they are essentially fresh (as is Regiment Ardant on their right).

Stagonian forces (right) make it onto the end of ridge.
 Perhaps not all that apparent, there is an artillery piece moving up beside the woods to help Regiment Qeel repulse the Stagonians.

Still things don't look so good for Qeel . . . it will perhaps depend upon whose card turns first.

More Alpian units sweep onto the flat
 Meanwhile, on the other side of Rose Ridge, Alpia's forces are "on the move."

General Rossi has sent yet more units onto the flat in an attempt to sweep the Stagonians away.

Regiment Hamoncourt has already routed off table.  And Regiment Falcon (brown banner) has suffered from accurate fire from the Telli Crossbows  suffering two casualties and has become shaken.

Slowly the entire battle seems to be "pinwheeling" in a clockwise direction.

So what will generals Rossi and Murdeau do next?  I will have to await their orders to find out.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Decks 6 & 7 at Rose Ridge

Stagonian forces are massing on Alpia's right flank:

View of Stagonian forces from South looking North

Led by the Lau Crossbows, Brigadier Petit's column continues with the Flaubert Swordsmen and the Ardant Pike and Shot regiment.

This latter regiment has now turned to face Alpia's Qeel Regiment.

The infantry is backed up by two squadrons of the Jillette Chevalier.  And further up the road, in the hamlet of Roseville is the head of the Goyette Regiment of pike and shot.

Alpia's view of the column
From the viewpoint of Alpia's Qeel Regiment, it doesn't look good.

They face three units of foot and two squadrons of knights.

True, they have the advantage of height . . . but will their morale hold against such odds?  Or will they get any help from farther along the ridge?

Time will tell.

The Alpian left comes off the ridge
 But look!

Alpia's Telli Crossbows have emerged from the woods on the Alpian left and moved off of the hill.

And behind them Brigadier Olivi leads a pair of squadrons of the Lanzia Spezatta down off of Rose Ridge.

Where are they headed?

Stagonian center and right look to be vulnerable
With the massive move to  Stagonia's left, their center and right appear to be vulnerable.

But pike and shot regiments are not necessarily easy prey.  They can bite and bite hard.

Perhaps it is a feint designed to divert forces back into the middle . . . or perhaps the plan is to take out the right and center, then roll up the rest of the Stagonians.

But will they have enough time?  Can Alpia reinforce their right in time.  What will happen next?

Once orders are submitted, the cards will turn and the dice will roll . . . and the story will be told.

-- Jeff

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sweep Continues in Decks 4&5

The apparent sweep to the left by the Stagonian army at Rose Ridge continued in Decks 4 and 5.

Alpia's Qeel Regiment observes the Stagonian sweep

Led by crossbows, then swordsmen, two pike and shot regiments and some mounted, the "sweep" looks to be quite powerful.  Here are some views from other angles:

View from the side looking north

View from behind Stagonia's left.

Dureing the two decks, both Alpia and the Stagonian center remained static.  Only a few artillery exchanges took place . . . the net result of which was that Stagonia's Hamoncourt Regiment became shaken.

So now I await further instructions from my two online generals.

-- Jeff

Rose Ridge -- First 3 Decks

Having received orders from Generals Rossi and Murdeau, I have proceeded with the first three decks of the game:

Stagonian forces sweep to their left at battle's start
(As I look at this (and other photos), I notice that I forgot to move the artillery horses to their proper position behind their gun -- oops!)

General Murdeau began the battle with a sweep to his left and welcomed the arrival of two squadrons of knights.

He also pushed his artillery forward in the center along with two pike & shot regiments, while another moved to the right.

Another view of the Stagonian left and center
While Brigadier Petit's column advanced up the road to the hamlet of  Roseville and turned to the left, he himself sat contentedly on his favorite horse and savored the morning . . . (i.e., his card never came up).

The red-flagged Hamoncourt Regiment sits in a field behind a rail fence (which slows them down but provides no protection).

Stagonian center and right flank

Meanwhile Regiment La Capelle protects the Stagonian right flank.

At this point it appears that General Murdeau's plan is to overwhelm the Alpian right wing and then roll them up.

But it could also be a feint . . . which leaves General Rossi to decide how he will defend Rose Ridge in the face of this Stagonian move.

Alpian view of Stagonia's right and center.
The image at left shows the situation of Stagonia's right and center as seen from the Alpian center.

Stagonia's Foot Artillery out-ranges their two light guns . . . and it is well protected by the two pike & shot regiments as well as their Artillery Guards.

Alpian view of Stagonia's column on their left.

Meanwhile Stagonia's apparent sweep to the left presents General Rossi with some tough choices.

So far Rossi has held his troops in their initial positions . . . undoubtedly waiting to see what Murdeau has in mind.

Will he continue to do so?  Or will he alter his deployment?

Only time (and the next set of orders) will tell.

-- Jeff

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rose Ridge -- Initial Deployment

This post will mostly be photos of the two sides' initial deployments . . . so that they can send me their orders and I can start turning cards and playing things out.

The overall goal is to be in control of Rose Ridge at game's end.  That end will be at 24 +1d6 decks.  After 24 decks it will be getting dark . . . and how long dusk lasts will be unknown to the Generals.

So let us see what we can see . . . first two views from each end of the table:

View from South looking North (Alpia on left; Stagonia on right)
View from North looking South (Stagonia to left; Alpia on right)

Now let us look at the Alpian positions as they seek to defend Rose Ridge:

Alpian Left and Center positions

Alpian Right Wing

Alpian Center, looking across at Stagonian forces on Shoe Hill

Speaking of Stagonia, here are some views of its initial position:

An "Overview" of the Stagonian Forces

A Stagonian Column heads straight for Roseville . . . what then?
Stagonian Forces on and around Shoe Hill

-- Jeff

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rose Ridge Fight Looms

I finally finished my chemotherapy earlier this month and am finally getting recovered enough to tackle another "Alpian Wars" battle.

South, looking North at Roseville, with Rose Ridge on Left
After failing to break through to the Belleview Hills, the Alpian forces under General Giovanni Rossi have fallen back to a position on Rose Ridge.  Now, after some delay which allowed both sides to recover somewhat, General Maxime Murdeau leads his vile Stagonians to force Alpia from this key position.

Conflict will be east-to-west across a 5'x8' table, with two roads leading toward the Rose Ridge as well as a connecting road that leads around both ends of the Ridge.  Rose Ridge is roughly 6'x14".  The fence on Rose Ridge counts as light cover; the rail fences in the valley provide no protection, but do each subtract 1" of movement as linear obstacles.

I am unable to get enough distance to take a "whole table" photo . . . so I am providing three shots across the table from each side.  First, taken from the East, what lies ahead for Stagonia"

South (Left) of Stagonian Line, Looking West at Rose Ridge

Center of Stagonian Line, Looking West at Rose Ridge

North (Right) of Stagonian Line, Looking West at Rose Ridge

And now from Alpia's Left (North) to their Right (South):

North (Left) of Alpian Position on Rose Ridge
Center of Alpian Position on Rose Ridge
South (Right) of Alpian Position on Rose Ridge

Now all that I need to do is to let the Generals know what Brigadiers and Troops they have available and then get their OBs and Troop Positions from them and I can start.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stagonia Wins 2nd Battle

After losing the first engagement (The Battle of the Crossroads) in the Alpian Wars mini-campaign, Stagonia has rebounded to win the second conflict (Battle of the Bellevue Hills).

Position Prior to Alpia's Withdrawal
As seen at left, Alpia (on the left) outnumbered Stagonia . . . but they had lost over half of their force and still had to force the tree line . . . which General Rossi felt would not leave enough to then carry on with the invasion.

Stagonia will undoubtedly now try to gather its forces and attempt to push Alpia back out of its territory . . . and Alpia will almost certainly resist this effort.

I am very much enjoying this combination solo/email game with Ross Macfarlane giving orders for the Alpians and David Murdock doing likewise for the Stagonian's.

I would therefor suggest that some others who need or prefer to play solo games to consider recruiting some gamers from the "Net" to command the forces on your home table via emails . . . it certainly gives an interesting slant to things.

-- Jeff

It is "Decision Time" for Alpia

As Stagonia's defense of the treeline has stiffened, General Rossi of Alpia must make a decision.  Although he still has more forces than General Murdeau, is it enough to carry on with this thrust toward the Bellevue Hills?

South Bridge after Deck 18
As can be seen at left, Rossi has concentrated virtually all of his remaining forces near the south bridge.

Unfortunately they either need to thread their way through the wood line in open order or slowly file over the bridge.

Meanwhile General Murdeau will have time to concentrate his troops.

So how has this situation come about?

Stagonia's La Capelle (pike & shot) regiment shot up Alpia's Izzo (pike & shot) regiment, whose day ended later with a strong volley from the Goyette regiment.

The "red" squadron of the Pincemail Cavalry, pushed back the Xelt regiment that they'd hit in the flank, routing it (and Brigaider Olivi) while converting their pursuit into the Picanti Swordsmen.

Sadly, after such heroics, Alpia's Qeel regiment shot the valiant squadron down.  Nevertheless the Xelts continue to rout and, like Stagonia's routing Hamoncourt regiment, do not look to rally for some time.

Goyette's marksmanship improved and they eliminated Asti Spumonti's orange squadron with a series of well-aimed volleys.  And La Capelle first shot up Qeel, then charged and destroyed it to avenge the loss of the Red Squadron.

Meanwhile around the north bridge, while Alpia controls the bridge with Capt. Corelli's Light Gun, there is nothing to exploit the situation.

The lavender squadron of the the Cianti regiment has remained shaken for most of the battle despite Brigadier Lombardi's continuing unsuccessful efforts to rally them.

(note the routing Xelts (red banner) in the distance).

So the situation is this.  Stagonia has three steady pike & shot units and one cavalry squadron on the east side of the treeline.  Alpia has two pike & shot units, one sword unit (all somewhat damaged), two fresh knight squadrons, a light gun and one shaken cavalry squadron remaining.  Each also has a routing (most likely unrecoverable) unit.

Here are the actual OBs:

General Geovanni Rossi:
  • Lanzia Spezatta -- (Fresh)
Brigadier Paulo Lombardi -- attached to Cianti's shaken Lavender Squadron
  • Asti Spumonti Cavalry -- Both Squadrons gone
  • Cianti Cavalry -- Lavender shaken, 1 casualtyBlue Squadron gone 
Brigadier Luigi Franscioni:
  • Utti Pike & Shot == 1 casualty
  • Izzo Pike & Shot == gone
  • Zuff Pike & Shot == gone
  • Qeel Pike & Shot == gone
  • Picanti Swordsmen -- 1 casualty
Brigadier Sebastiano Olivi -- routing, attached to Xelt
  • Xelt Pike & Shot == routing, 1 casualty
  • Yarp Pike & Shot == 1 casualty
  • Telli Crossbows --gone
Artillery Batteries:
  • Capt. Corelli's Battery -- in North, fresh
  • Artillery Guards --  in North, fresh
  • Capt. Ariete's Battery -- in South, gone


General Maxime Murdeau

Brigadier Louis Petit:
  • La Capelle Pike & Shot --  fresh
  • Goyette Pike & Shot -- 1 casualry
  • Forquest Pike & Shot -- 1 casualry
Brigadier Marcel Bizot -- dead:
  • Jillette Knights -- gone
  • Pincemail Cavalry -- Brown -- 1 casualty; Red gone
Brigadier Eugene Delage (dead):
  • Hamoncourt Pike & Shot -- routing toward Bellevue Hills, 2 casualties
  • Ardant Pike & Shot -- gone
  • Lau Crossbows --  gone
Artillery Batteries:
  • Blue Artillery  --  gone
  • Artillery Guards  --  gone
  • Red Artillery  --  gone

Both armies have been battered and are around half of their starting effectives . . . presumably Stagonia will continue to contest the tree line in an attempt to protect the valuable wine country on the other side of the Bellevue Hills.

Will Alpia chose to continue their assault?  Or will they fall back and defend the territory they've already captured?

I await instructions.

-- Jeff