General de Latte ordered his Ermland Garde to advance and come to grips with the Stollenian enemy at this point in the battle. Here are the Ermlanders emerging from behind the southern ridge in perfect order with their slow, measured step, as was their wont. These are Revell 1/72 (plastic) Austrian grenadiers, by the way, painted during the summer of 2007. They have held up remarkably well although the bases need retouching following removal from the original single bases two or three years ago. Of course, the heavy card multiple-figure bases still need to be painted green too, darn it.
By about 11:30am on that fateful day now so many years ago, things began to happen all at once around the battlefield with a flurry of orders issued by both General de Latte and General von Bauchschmerzen as their respective plans became clearer. The next few turns were crucial in the relatively minor military action that the more comprehensive books on European military and political history remember as The Battle of Doltz.
Still beyond effective musketry range (21"-23.5"), de Latte's Ermland Garde continued marching in the direction of the Stollenian line as the enemy's shot and shells began to fall among them. Across the valley, General von Bauchschmerzen's Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Granadiers and 1st Musketeers waited silently while their NCOs made final adjustments to the sub-formations and shouted last minute orders to potential slackers and shirkers. The mounted colonel of the Ermland Garde, one Augustus von Fink-Nödtel, could not be certain, but nevertheless thought he glimpsed the legendary Oberfedwebel Klatschen of Stollen's Leib Grenadiers opposite through the drifting smoke. The latter man stood to attention near the regimental colors, a giant in all senses among his fellow men, and calmly surveyed the scene unfolding around him as only experienced senior NCOs can before shouting to the regiment, "Grenadiers. . . Make ready!"
Elsewwhere, General de Latte and his droogs took off at the gallop toward their right flank, after ordering the Ermlanders forward, to join their brigade of infantry moving up on the Stollenian left just around Hasenpfefferwald. As they galloped by one farm wife observing the battle remarked to another standing nearby, "He do kind of look like the young Malcolm McDowell, don't 'e?"
On his own left flank, meanwhile, de Latte's cavalry finally moved into action with his sole squadron of hussars launching their horses forward at a fast trot to the clarion call of their trumpeter, a man whose name has been lost to history. They were supported by a squadron of de Latte's cuirassiers.
Here is another artist's rendering on the western end of the battlefield. The question begged, of course, would General von Bauchschmerzen's Reiters meet the enemy at the standstill, or would they spur their own steeds on to a trot?
Meanwhile, on the northern ridge held by General von Bauchschmerzen's army, the 1st Musketeers and the Hanseatic Regiment managed to sort themselves out and formed a continuous line to meet the Zichenauer threat from the east. . . those devilish Irish Grenzers and Warshawski Croats who continued to lurk just beyond effective musketry range on the periphery of Hasenpfefferwald.
General de Latte's brigade of the Flickenhoffer Fusiliers and Provinces' Provisional Regiment continued their relentless march around Hasenpfefferwald toward the waiting Stollenian line at the far eastern end of the battlefield.
Notice the precise cadence of their step! You can almost hear the drumbeat. Aren't they lovely (in the manliest way possible)?
Just before the first volley was unleashed, the stalwart Stollenian infantry braced itself for the inevitable firefight they knew would begin at any moment. General von Bauchschmerzen gazed one last time at the approaching enemy through his spyglass, snapped it shut without comment, and called out, to no one in particular, for a couple of anti-acid tablets and a glass of warm milk.
While the respective lines of infantry and skirmishers remained beyond effective musketry range, the artillery on both sides began to inflict appreciable casualties on their respective targets. Gaps began to appear in their line as men fell, but General de Latte's Ermland Garde nevertheless continued its advance across the valley toward the northern ridge held by General von Bauchschmerzen.
Gaps too began to appear in the Stollenian lines across the valley thanks to the efforts of the Zichenauer guns, but von Bauchschmerzen's 1st Musketeers closed ranks and held. Between sips of warm milk, the Stollenian General asked one of his aides for the time. A Captain von Schenker produced an ornate pocket watch and announced that the time was almost a quarter to Noon. Von Bauchschmerzen nodded grimly, and Turn Four came to an end.