Thursday, 8 April 2021

1759 - The Combat at Zweiflaschen - Seven Years War

 Bart wanted to play Russians and Campbell Austrians, so in this totally fictional battle I let  them lead an Allied corps consisting of: Austrians, 1 Infantry and a Cavalry brigade and Russians 2 infantry and a Artillery battery. The Prussian had a similar built up just one more command dice and 2 infantry regiments less and 2 fewer guns, 2 were grenadier units, but the Austrian units of the Infantry brigade counted as large units and the Russian as small. The rest as usual, 28mm, Seven Years Wargameing rules, my turf, via Houseparty.

I had the luck and won the 1st turn and advanced my heavy guns silenced the Russian medium and my cavalry pushed forward. The Allied then started to shoot back advanced a little and the Austrian Horse charged in ... as it was the 1st clash it was just scattering both parties ... foreseeable.

Then I stopped at the midline and started to fire at the Russians, especially their guns, what I could muster. Because if they would start to bear down with their artillery superiority, my life of my infantry would be hell.  The funny thing was Bart managed to roll snakes eyes and in these rules the artillery disorganises itself then ... he would continue to do this 6(!!!) times!  Campbell tried really gallantly to charge with the Austrian horses and the imperial regiments ... but somehow the charge didn‘t materialised heavy scars and just disordered.

Then I set on with my fire and gun blasts, Bart send his Pandours to harass my guns after he lost his medium gun battery ... the allied positions were strategically shaky: then I charged with my grenadiers the Austrian infantry and send them retreating! And thus disordering his deployment ... a counter charge of my Hussars successfully drove his Hussars off the table ... the Austrian flank was in disarray.

Then Bart advanced a bit with his troops and tried to shoot me down with 2 line regiments and a light gun and a howitzer battery ... yes guess what happened ... After the 6th bad artillery roll Bart quit, i.e. the Russians would retreat and thus the Austrian position would fall from very displeasingly disarray to effectively untenable - I won the battle. The magic of the "orange dice" seemed to be broken this game.

We had a lot of fun, and agreed with shrinking/ losing the edge in the guns the Russians would become a liability in the next turns while the Austrians didn‘t look much of a help. Next time I will switch the numbers and guns etc from Russians to Austrians ... lets see how that works.

The initial set up: Top Russians and then Austrians below Prussians

The proud Austrians

The stoic Russians

The disciplined Prussians

The rule set

The Prussian advance

The Austrian Horse charges ... and disorders

The fire fight begins

The Prussians halt midway and fire back

The Russian medium guns miss-fires, disorders and got hit ...

The fire fighting continues and cavalry rallies

more fire fighting

 the Prussian guns destroy the Russian battery (they fled)

The Prussian advance into the centre

The Pandors attack my Jäger

My Dragoons before they charge the Austrians

The Austrians Hussars are shaken

The Prussian Grenadiers charge into the Austrians!

But the closing fire is not disruptive enough ...

The Russian are getting more hits into my line ... ouch!

The Austrian Line retreats and the Hussars are off table  ....

The Austrians lack the staff officer to rally the retreating

so I continue to pour fire into the mess ...

The Pandurs charge and beat my Jaegers

Still I hold back and continue to fire ...

The Allied position get shaky

Then they lack staff officers to "repair" units ...

The Austrian position is temporary just ... shitty really

The fire fight continues and does not let the Allied recover ...

The deplorable Austrian position ... disgraceful but they save all their units

Its the ineffective ness of the Russian fire that let the Russian general sound the overall retreat

The death table (1 Prussian vs 4 Allied units)

Friday, 2 April 2021

1744 - Somewhere in the mountains between Prussian and Austria

This is a fictional scenario, maybe in the Second Silesian War - Invasion over the mountain pass - The Prussians (played by Campbell) had 4 line units and 2 converged Grenadier units, 2 light guns (attached) and 1 medium gun, 1 skirmishing unit (Jäger) and 2 cavalry. The Prussian units were smaller than the Austrians, but they were all classed as veterans (so an upgrade for the 4 lines). The Austrians (me) had 5 large line units (classed as regular line), 2 skirmisher (Grenzer), 2 cavalry and 2 light (attached) guns and 2 medium guns. Both had 4 commands, while the Prussians had one additional extra secured staff officer and the cavalry unit deployed on the flank. Both cavalry had only half their strength on the table and the other straggled on (50% per turn to come in later). The hill in the middle was steep and would provide visibility just once the units were over the middle line.

Campbell got the first turn and we both just advanced, I had luck and rolled my second unit of dragoons in quickly, one turn later the Prussians followed. First a cavalry melee started, but was indecisive. Campbell tried to hide behind the hill and decided to win the battle with the horses instead of the Prussian infantry.

While the cavalry battle went back and forth, we both bottlenecked our artillery, which was worse for me, as the Austrians had a better quality and more guns -grumph. The battle was a real slugfest in charges and counter-charges and fire-fights and could have gone both ways. 

First Campbells Prussian made an all front attack that shocked the Austrians to the core! Then the cavalry battle was hanging in the balance, half of my units were retreating and the guns were trying to manhandling themselves into somewhat of shooting positions ... uuch and the command dice weren‘t giving me enough staff officers ... shit ... 

Then suddenly the Prussian horse flank broke. Huzzah! A sweeping advance followed into the medium gun, which "cannistered" the charge into a halt ... which left them in front of said gun in shaken condition ... ouch! So we exchanged the complete right flank. And our horses -  and lost BOTH one command (i.e. also less creating one staff officer!!!).

Due to the lack of SOs, the Austrians had to let go some line units off the table, but finally my guns were in shooting position - still Campbells Prussian did one final charge valiantly - and at that point it was still in the balance - but they thank god they failed to do their trick and were slaughtered ... at the end Campbell conceded defeat,  this mountain pass in the Erzgebirge (ore-mountains???) would be blocked for Friedrich!

I enjoyed it, not only because I won (haha, Bart! the spell is broken!), but because the two forces were so different from each other, Austrians had more and better guns but larger but weaker line units. While The Prussians had the edge in the quality of the infantry (and in the numbers of them).

I had all my newly painted Prussians on the table (just the Jaegers and Grenadiers and Dragoons were AWI extras), and yes, the curse of the "First-Painted-Recruits-in-Battle" still holds ... :)

The veteran Prussians

The masses of the Austrian empire

The initial set up (with the commands and SO‘s in front for demonstration)

Da rules used

The stragglers ... both dragoons

The Prussian advance ...

The Austrians too ...

First fire fights start

And the Prussians hit back hard

All is on the table

The cavalry fight in full swing

The Prussian centre hiding behind the hill

The Austrian dragoons in retreat of heavily pressed ...

The Prussians charge over the hill

A fierce fight breaks lose (draw - both shaken)

The Austrians are heavily shaken and in disarray on the whole line

The hill is still contested

The Black Death Hussars are chasing retreating Austrian dragoons ...

... victorious, but in front of two medium guns ... ouch!

The Prussians are retreating!!!

Still the hill is fiercely contested ...

But the Prussian cavalry is in retreat or shaken ...

Now the Prussian right flank is retreating as well!!!

Now the Austrians are hiding behind the hillside ...

The Prussian seem to leaving the table ...

Time for the Austrians to reform

The Austrians start to pour fire into the Prussians ...

The Prussian cavalry is swept away ...

Time to sweep up the flank ...

Which ended into an ill advised charge of a medium gun ...

Both sides ceased to have here a flank ...

A last ditch attempt of the Prussians in the centre ...

failed and got a counter charge

sweeping away the Prussian centre line ...

The casualties table (left Austrians- right Prussians)