Action at Orángeville and Rougebourg

This past week my dad and I were both up in Michigan for my brother’s thesis defense. (Congratulations again, William!) Figuring we would probably have some time on our hands, I brought along a few miniatures, including the Proxian armies I’ve been working on on-and-off for the last several years. With some terrain from my dad’s travel kit, and a few pieces from a “Vacationland” playset hauled up from the basement, we set up a little game on my grandmother’s kitchen table.
The last time I had out these figures (was it really almost five years ago?) we used Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames. Those worked OK, but I thought they lacked a bit of period flavor, and so this time we tried his 19th-century rules instead. I liked these better overall, so we may give them another try the next time.
The scenario we came up with involved an Elabrüner attack on an Occiterran position – the Occiterrans set up in two small towns and a hill in-between, and the Elabrüners had to capture two of the three objectives within a time limit. Both sides had additional forces coming on over the first few turns. Dad decided he would prefer the role of defender, so I took the attacking force.
The situation a few turns in most of the Elabrüner forces have arrived and started deploying.

As it turned out, my forces all arrived mostly on time and in a coherent manner – infantry behind the hill and woods opposite Rougebourg, and artillery and cavalry along the road to Orángeville. Dad’s forces started off to relieve the more distant town, but I sent my cavalry out ahead to get in the way, which seemed to be well within their capabilities. One regiment managed to ride down some skirmishers before running headlong into canister fire; the other got involved in a melee with Dad’s cavalry coming up from behind the town.
The Elabrüner guns have unlimbered and started to bombard the Occiterrans in Orángeville from beyond rifle range.
Most of the Elabrüner infantry has been committed to the attack on Rougebourg, while the cavalry attempts to delay Occiterran reinforcements.
A cavalry melee ensues as Elabrüner Blue Hussars clash with Occiterran cuirassiers. In the background, the last few of the Gray Uhlans throw themselves into the teeth of the Occiterran cannons.
Elabrüner and allied Nordalener infantry press on towards Rougeborg, stoutly defended by the Seridian Legion.

Since only infantry can assault towns, and they need a numerical advantage to be allowed to assault at all, I had to soften up the defenders before I could try to take either objective. Orángeville was conveniently in reach of my two artillery units, which gradually wore down the defenders, but with Rougebourg I had to push my troops forward quickly in column to cover the ground, then shake out into line to be able to shoot at the defenders, then re-form into column for the assault. This took a while, and I was fortunate that the Occiterran reinforcements had been delayed or distracted so that I had a significant numerical advantage.

With the defending Seridians driven off, Elabrüner troops occupy the town.
Artillery continues to fire on Orángeville as columns of Elabrüner infantry advance on the town. To the right, another Elabrüner unit arrives on the road from captured Rougebourg.

With one objective taken, I could now concentrate on the other, though we were about two-thirds of the way through our allotted time. Weakened by several turns of bombardment, the initial group of Occiterran defenders was wiped out by our assault, but we had taken enough casualties to be driven out in turn by an attack from fresh Occiterran troops. Fortunately I also still had one relatively fresh unit to throw into the fray, and with both towns in Elabrüner hands, the Occiterrans decided to cut their losses and pull back.
The Occiterran counterassault against Orángeville.
Final positions of the battle: with both towns occupied by Elabrün, the Occiterrans retreat back down the road.

All in all, it was a fun and satisfying little battle, and I hope to get these figures on the table again soon! 
(We also slipped in a couple of games of DBA – the long-suffering Maya finally won a battle against the Tlaxcalans)
And Cortez didn’t fare too well against the Aztecs either…

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Author: Norman Dean

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