Thursday, 10 November 2016

Seven Years War

I haven't been totally idle over the past couple of months but I have been quite distracted by work, family and other things so progress on the painting front has been a bit slow. I decided to work on one of my own projects to restore my painting mojo, and here it is - the Seven Years War. Spotted in the post before this one in a small battle, I have since expanded the Prussians and Austrians further.

First up the Prussian army. The goal for this force is:
12 infantry regiments (1 x Guard, 3 x Grenadier, 4 x Musketeer, 3 x Fusilier, 1 x Garrison)
3 light infantry regiments (2 x Freikorps, 1 x Jager)
8 Cavalry (3 Cuirassiers, 3 Dragoons, 2 Hussars)
4 Artillery (3 medium guns, 1 howitzer, 4 limbers)
12 casualty markers
7 generals, assault pioneers

I'm most of the way there, I still need to paint 1 Dragoon, 1 Cuirassier, 1 Hussar, 1 fusilier and 1 grenadier regiment and 2 limbers.

The assembled Prussian army - more to come.
The Austrian force has:
12 infantry regiments (3 x Grenadier, 6 x German musketeer, 3 x Hungarian musketeer)
4 light infantry regiments (all grenzer)
8 Cavalry (3 Cuirassiers, 3 Dragoons and 2 Hussars)
4 artillery (2 medium guns, 1 heavy gun and a howitzer, 4 limbers)
12 casualty markers
7 generals, assault pioneers

I'm a bit further ahead here, needing to finish a Hussar, a Hungarian regiment, and 2 limbers.

The Austrian army is almost totally ready

 To be fair, the majority of the Austrian army and the Prussian cavalry were received already painted - I just needed to rebase them. The Prussian infantry and all of the light battalions, the casualty markers and the limbers are the main figures that I've painted for the project.
Half of the Prussian army a little closer up.

The other half of the Prussians.
 Everything is organised around 16 infantry and 8 cavalry to a unit. This is my ideal unit size. Not too small to represent a unit, but not so large that I feel I'm wasting figures. I'd rather have more units than bigger battalions. The way I figure it, 3-4 regiments is 48-64 figures, so a brigade is about the same size as a Peter Young/Charles Grant old school battalion, but it makes more sense to me to have two brigades in independent action than two battalions. Plus I get to paint a lot more different facings and uniforms and more flags which is just more fun for me.
For rules I've looked at Honours of War, Minden Rose and Die Kriegskunst, but I've rejected them all in favour of my amended Neil Thomas rules. These just work so well for me, and I've come to know them really well. They look quite different to his original Horse and Musket Rules from Introduction to Wargaming, but some core mechanisms can still be recognised, such as units pivoting on the centre and the artillery fire.
Half of the Austrian army
 I had originally thought a unit would be a battalion, but on reflection I decided to go with a regiment. Again, it meant painting a greater variety of uniforms, but it also meant that a unit of grenadiers actually represented 2 battalions made up of the grenadier companies of 4 different regiments, so the aesthetic pleasure of researching grenadier uniforms and painting four figures for each doubled the pleasure.
And the other half. You'll note that there is more cavalry and more light infantry than the Prussian army.
The casualties are disordered markers, which are applied on the first loss of a morale test. They can be rallied off by a general (but this hinders his ability to give orders to his brigade), but if a second morale test is failed while disordered the unit routs. The rules seemed to be working OK in the last game that I had, making tests harder to pass unless units were in support.
If I manage to get a couple more games played I'll publish the rules as a separate page for free download.
I owe Geoff a painted unit of 9 Years War cavalry for all of the figures that he gave me, so that will be coming sometime in December I hope.



  1. What a splendid army, love this period...Great looking officer with the red mantle, impressive...

  2. Very impressive troops Nate!

    1. Cheers Rodger. Much of it courtesy of your mate down there!

  3. Very good to see that you are still with us, Nate!
    Nice SYW collection! Those troops should provide many hours of enjoyment.

    1. Always lurking, just no time for commenting or blogging! I'm looking forward to the summer holidays and having some big battles with these chaps.

  4. Welcome back Nathan! I was wondering what you were up to and meant to get in touch before we went down to Tarawewa, but time got away on me.

    1. No problem Mark, I did drop off the grid for a while, and probably will again for another month or so. The Tarawera games looked like great fun. When things calm down I might flick you a few questions about the ironclads.