Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Die Fighting, Part 4: Die Schlact von Raubersfluss - Turn 2.

We return to the adventures of General Count Von Karrion of Austria and Prince Sorbet of France. Having indulged in a snack and a glass of wine apiece while they reviewed the rules during the intermission between Turn One and Turn Two, Sorbet and Von Karrion discovered a minor point about the procedure for testing to see if Leadership Dice can be passed to units. All officers can re-roll their lowest multiple, and the C-in-C (only) can re-roll his lowest die as well. They note that this extends the average command radius of better leaders (those with 3, 4, or even 5 Leadership dice) even more than just the linear increase in the number of dice would suggest.

Turn Two, Phases 1 and 2
To start turn 2, a Green (free) die was rolled and came up a “1”. Phase 1 is specializes actions. The only relevant one would be skirmishers reload; at present there are no units in either army deployed as skirmishers, and thus the Generals moved on to phase 2, Officer Actions. Von Karrion won the roll off with his four dice to Sorbet's three, and chose to go first. Neither he nor Sorbet in his turn encountered any difficulty repositioning their commanders, four free dice providing more than enough movement in each case.

Turn Two, Phase 3: Austrian Initiative
Phase 3 is Cavalry Actions, and Von Karrion won the Leadership die roll off. Being rather Headstrong, he opted to act first. Graf Allegro experienced little difficulty in getting his Light Cavalry brigade (and attached Horse Battery) to move the 4” to the edge of the Rauberfluss, and doesn’t even bother to allocate any of his Leadership dice. With an extra green die for column, and 2 more for being Light Cavalry (or three dice in Column of Route (limbered) in the case of the Horse Artillery), it seemed a shame to allocate any resource dice at all, but without at least one Resource die expended, no free dice or Leadership Dice my be used for movement. “Don't forget they must halt at the edge of the river, and can't move again until next turn” Sorbet chastised, his voice grating on Von Karrion's nerves like Parmesan being shaved onto a Caesar salad. “Yes, I know, Sorbet”, he groused. Meanwhile, Graf Forte's Cuirassiers also choose to move, using only a single resource die. Although both the Graf and Von Karrion were Headstrong, but a single green die was added for that, but along with the extra green die for being Heavy Cavalry, and another for being in Column, they wound up rolling up16 “and 19 “ respectively, and due to their Headstrong leadership, were obligated to move the full amount This took them beyond the shelter of the Raubersgrube hill.

Turn Two, Phase 3: French Initiative
Sorbet had but the single Light Cavalry Brigade of the very reliable Count Haricot; by adding his Leadership dice judiciously he was able to declare a change in facing (costing 6” off their move) and advance all three units to the banks of the Raubersfluss. “Stop there, and not an inch further, my good Sorbet” grunted Von Carrion. Sorbet merely nodded his head. He had used but a single red die for each unit. The phase being completed, Sorbet won the roll off this time 15 to 14, and chose to act first, feeling quite pleased with himself..

Resource Dice Used: 5 Austrian (37 total) , 3 French (29 total)

Turn Two, Phase 4: French Initiative
Phase 4 is infantry actions, and Sorbet has no less than six infantry commands. “I shall start with my right flank and proceed towards the right, if that's all right with you, my dear fellow” Sorbet pronounces in dulcet tones. “Suit yourself” Von Karrion grunted in reply, in actual fact having no say whatsoever in the matter. The Compte de Champagne's 6th Brigade, deployed in Mass Column, has all thee of his Leadership dice added to enhance its movement, as he announces his intent to make a facing change in the course of the move. Crossing the soft ground of the Heath, any die with a score of “1” are lost, plus another 6” for the facing change; the result is only 8” of forward movement, the brigade finding itself still upon the Heath at the end of its move. The Compte de Chambertin's 5th Brigade is next, and using all three of his Leadership dice to enhance the movement of his troops, each unit rolls but a single red die plus a green die, and in all but once case, a yellow one. One of the regiments enters Raubersdorf (costs 6' of movement to deploy into the building), while the other three regiments move up to the right of the village in support of the 2nd Brigade.

Next, The Baron of Burgundy, again using all of his Leadership dice, has three of the regiments of his 3rd Brigade deploy into line and move forward slightly to support the Artillery; the 4th unit is well placed and does not need to move. The Baron of Bordeaux, whose 2nd Brigade is in Mass column, announces his intent to change facing, and with the support of his three Leadership dice, it turns to the left and advances upon the Raubersfluss. That leaves the 2 Light Infantry Brigades of the far flank.

General Boursin's 1st brigade is well clear of the river, and, if it can move far enough, looks to be able to get on the flank of the Austrian Cuirassiers. They roll a “6” with their red die, and with his 3 yellow Leadership dice and two green (the LegereCuirasier unit. General Camembert, who studied the tactics of Fabius, directs his 4th Brigade to complete their crossing of the Rauberfluss; Sorbet rolls a red die and scores a six, then adds 2 green and 5 yellow dice. Sorbet's smug look melts off his visage as not a single one of these is higher than a “3” “Mon dieu!” he exclaims, as Von Karrion dryly observes “Must have stopped after they cross to dry their precious feet, eh old boy?”

His will solidifying like a perfectly prepared gelatin, Sorbet declares, “Well, my other Legere brigade looks to have a flank shot on your Cuirassiers; rough luck that. Shall we check to see if they are within range?” he asks facetiously, the light infantry having moved to within less than an inch of the Austrian Cavalry. “I think we can bloody well call that close range without need of a ruler, Sorbet; do your wurst!”

The first unit, the 15th Leger fires, and will receive three green “free” dice; one for being Elite troops and two for the flank shot; as it is close range and the unit's first fire they will have TWO opportunities to re-roll their lowest die. Therefore Sorbet chooses to roll only a single red resource die. Baron Forte attempts to bolster his troopers to better withstand the coming firestorm by transferring 2 Leadership die cot them, but the trooper shave moved too far ahead – he rolls a 14 on 4 dice – close, but the distance measures out to be 16'', so the attempt fails and the dice are lost. Von Karrion declares his intent to roll 2 red resource dice; no free dice are awarded. Sorbet rolls 4,1,1,1! Fortunately, as Boursin is an Average commander, he can re-roll the lowest multiple. Sorbet shows no hesitation in re-rolling those three 1's (the lowest multiple) – he gets another1 and – two 6's! As he also has two re-rolls of lowest die, he re-rolls the 1 for a 5, and now with a 4,5,6,6 opts not to re-roll the lowest, now the 4, so his final total is 21, a fair sight better than the score of 7 on the initial roll! Von Karrion winces, and glumly tosses 2 red dice; a 4... and a 1, total of only 5! The difference is 16! Being Headstrong, had he been beaten by six or less, the Cuirassiers would have been obligated to pay resource dice equal to the score they lost by and stand in good order in lieu of retreating in disorder (ordinarily it is the player's choice), BUT as the Cuirassiers were outscored by more than six, they MUST retreat that distance in inches, becoming disordered, AND pay the difference in scores in resource dice, here 16! “I imagine their Cuirasses are more useful as strainers than armor after that, eh what?” Von Karrion simply glowers, as he moves the Cuirassiers back 16” and marking them as Disordered. “Put a Fire Marker on those Frogs,” he directs, and Sorbet complies without complaint.

Sorbet opts to fire at the second unit of Cuirassiers with the other unit, the 24th Leger. The range is measured to be just under 6”, so long range. He again chooses to roll only one resource die, plus 3 green dice; he will have one re-roll of lowest for First fire. Sorbet rolls – 6,3,6,6! He could choose to re-roll the 3, but opts not to. “What are your Leger armed with today; repeating rifles” protests Von Carrion, as he glumly rolls 2 more red dice, getting a 5 and a 1. Not even an average score again. This time the difference is 15, so the second Cuirassier unit retreats back 15” in Disorder, winding up right next to it fellow. Sorbet lightly tosses a Fired marker onto the 24th, as he listened to the delightful music of 15 more Austrian red resource die as they clatter into the discard bin. The butcher's bill for the overly zealous advance of the Austrian Heavies has been high!


“Oh, I say, Von Karrion” sings out Sorbet, “I'll trouble you for another 10 resource dice, if you please?” “Whatever for” snaps back the rather frustrated Austrian General. “Well, my lads have seized control of one of the buildings of Raubersdorf, and each one is worth ten resource dice!” Von Karrion counts out 10 more precious red resource dice and prepares to toss them in the bucket. “I do believe that dice for captured terrain are paid directly to the capturing player” observes Sorbet, his voice as silky as a chocolate Mousse, “now be a good chap and hand them over!” Von Karrion is now beyond annoyed. “Bother and befusticate; that really dampens my powder, I'll tell you that!”

Resource Dice Used: 21 French (but 10 claimed from the Austrians for net 40 total), 45 Austrian (82 total)

Turn 2, Phase 4: Austrian Initiative
Von Karrion opts to start with the infantry of the Advanced Guard in Column Mass, who have crossed the Raub already. Their commander is inept and has but a single Leadership die; he is too far away to be able to transfer it. Von Karrion announces his intent to change facing, and manages only a high of 3 on 4 red die rolls, which added to a 5 on the green die results in a score of 8; deducting 6” for the facing change, results in little more than a readjustment of their orientation. The 2 Landwehr units of the Brigade appear well positioned and thus do not attempt to move. Similarly, the central column Mass of the Infantry Division appears well placed, and any attempt to move them with the Headstrong C-in-C rules will doubtless result in them over-running their own guns. The Grenadiers also appear well placed at present, and feeling the loss of resource dice, Von Karrion opts to stand pat with them as well. A defensive posture is starting to look like a wise plan. The far right Column Mass of Line infantry is in contact with the Raubersgrube; seizing the lower level is worth 10 desperately needed resource dice. The Hill is class II, and thus any dice showing 1 or 2 will be ignored. Being both nearby and having little else to use hi4 Leadership dice for this turn, the Division Commander, Baron Subito adds his 4 yellow dice to the move; they will also add 2 green dice (one each for Column Mass and a Headstrong C-in-C). Von Karrion rolls 1,2,2,2,3,4,6. Dropping the 1's and 2's still gives a move of 13”, but the advance is halted after about 6” when the Mass encounters the second tier of the hill. “I'll trouble you for my 10 dice back, Prince”, he demands, gesticulating somewhat wildly at the now occupied Raubersgrube. “Easy come, easy go!” remarks Sorbet as he takes 10 red dice from his stockpile and adds them to the Austrian supply. As there are no more actions he wishes to take, they roll for initiative for the next phase, and Von Karrion wins easily, choosing to go first.

Resource Dice Used: 10 French (50 total), 8 Austrian ( but 10 claimed from the French, net 80 total)

 Turn 2, Phase 5: Austrian Initiative
This is Artillery Actions, so Von Karrrion removes the smoke from the battery which had fired lat turn. He is tempted to shoot at the enemy artillery near the bridge, but judges they are probably more than 16” away, and thus at Extreme range. His Horse Battery can act on this card, so he decides to commit 1 red die; they get 2 green dice for being Limbered (counts as Column of Route), and he decides to throw in all three of the Brigade commander's yellow Leadership dice. He rolls 4,3,2,3,4,3. “Since the river is Class III terrain, I have to ignore any 1's, 2's, or 3's. That leaves me 8” of movement.” Sorbet furrows his brow “I'm afraid it's not just so, my good man; remember that when artillery is traversing difficult terrain, it counts it as one class higher; thus you must ignore the 4's too! It seems your gunners must be searching for a ford. Bad luck, that!”

Resource Dice Used: 0 French (50 total), 1Austrian ( 81 total)

Turn two, Phase 5: French initiative
Sorbet also judges the range to be too far to be worth shooting with his light guns. However, he has a heavy 12 lber battery and decides to chance a shot with it. He measures and the enemy battery is within 24” (long range) of his 12 pounders, as is the Landwehr unit in line behind it. Sorbet rolls 2 red dice, and because it is their first shot, he my re-roll the lowest. He rolls a pair of 4's and, as this is slightly above average, decides not to do any re-rolls. Von Karion's battery will get a free die for it being the first time they are fired upon by artillery from long range, and he opts to add 2 red dice for reasonable assurance; the score of his three dice easily beats Sorbet's total of 8. “Your Landwehr has to roll for the Bounce through fire”, Sorbet declares. Opposing the same roll (8), the Landwehr get two green dice, one for being the first bounce through, and another for their first time under long range artillery fire. Therefore, Von Karrion rolls only a single red die, which along with the two green again beats Sorbet's roll, while Sorbet thoughtfully marks the battery with a puff of smoke.

Resource Dice Used: 2 French (52 total), 3 Austrian (84 total)

Turn Two, Phase 6: Austrian and French Initiatives
This is the Rally, Restore, an Reload phase, and Von Karrion again rolls higher and chooses to go first. He sees no shots worth taking, and thus removes any smoke puffs on hi units now. Only the Cuirassiers of Baron Forte's brigade need rallying, and the baron has already used all his leadership dice. Von Karrion thus replenishes the supply of Leadership dice for all his commanders, and then tries to rally the 2 units of Disordered Cuirassiers, allocating 2 red resource dice and two leadership dice to each unit. They also get two green dice, one because any leadership dice are being used, and another as it is the unit's first rally attempt of the game. The Cuirassiers are regulars, and thus require a double of 4 or more to rally. For the first unit, he tosses 1,3,5,6,6,6. This rallies the unit to Good Order, and what us more, any triple of a number sufficient to rally awards a free die to the unit, which may be used immediately for any action, or saved. For the second unit he rolls 1,1,2,2,4,6. “That was close, Old Bean” quips Sorbet. “You do realize that had you rolled three or more 1's, your unit would have immediately routed off the table, don't you?” “Well, there are only two, and as they are the lowest multiple, I shall re-roll them.” A 3 and a 5 come up. The second unit has failed its attempt to Rally.

Sorbet has no units to rally, and decides against taking another shot with his 12lber battery now and thus leaving it vulnerable thereafter. Thus he simply restores the full quota of Leadership dice to all of his officers, reloads his Leger Brigade, and the Second turn concludes.

Resource Dice Used: 0 French (52 total), 4 Austrian (88 total)

Commentary: We welcome back Herr I. Q. von Brenner for his thoughts on Turn Two.

 “Well, first let me say that it wasn’t jolly sporting of them to eat all the snacks before I had a chance at them, now was it? Just because I was a teeny bit critical of both of their actions in Turn One, my poor stomach left to growl was! Ah, the sacrifices one must make in pursuit of improvement in the Military Art! In any event, clearly Von Karrion made a serious error of judgment in even attempting to move the Cuirassiers further  forward while under such Headstrong Leadership. He is falling behind Sorbet in Resource dice. It seems this may be causing him to shift to a more defensive posture. While that may be prudent, I suspect it won’t mesh with his command style for long. Sorbet’s bold move with his Léger Brigade seems to have paid off for now, but their position could be seriously compromised if the dice go against him next turn. Personally,  I can’t wait to see how it will all turn out!”


I hope you are enjoying the adventures of Von Karrion and Sorbet as they explore the new Die Fighting rules by Bob Jones. I hope to post another installment within a week or so.



  1. Hi Peter

    Very entertaining once again


  2. Glad you enjoyed it, Garry. I hope to play and reoort another turn or two before I have to clear the table for a Vauban's Wars siege playtest this Sunday!