Monday, 24 April 2017

The Raid part two

Continuing on from yesterday's battle report:
The Prussian Malachowski Hussars push back the Hadik Hussars to clear space for the advance to continue.

Mean while Graf von Strudel advances forward, the Starhemberg regiment deploying into line to cover the hill.

It looks like the Austrians are going to be able to prevent the the Prussians escaping with their loot.

The Prussian fusiliers march over the hill while the Hussars do their best to clear the last of Nokedli's troublesome Hungarians.

A command failure sees von Strudels brigade march further towards the bridge than planned.

The battlelines begin to draw up. Having seen of the Hungarians, the Hussars turn to join the fray.

The musketry duel erupts - the Kaiser regiment has deployed too far to the north! They are enfiladed by canister from the redoubt across the river!

The Kaiser regiment breaks, but this is mirrored by the actions of the Prussian Prinz Heinrich regiment on the hill.

Hopefully in the lee of the hill the Prussians will be able to rally. The von Trumbach Freikorps reach the top of the hill and take their place.

Von Strudel chases his men, eager to rally them back to action.

Meanwhile the musketry duel continues while the Prussian Hussars get into position to mount a charge.

Von Strudel rallies the Kaiser regiment with promises of not marching them into cannon again!

And von Kasenstein manages to do the same with the Prinz Heinrich regiment!

The Prussians charge the Wallis regiment, only to lose an element and a morale test to closing fire.

Back they go to lick their wounds...

The Kaiser regiment and the Prinz Heinrich fusiliers have returned to the fray, although the Starhemberg regiment is now looking a little shaky.

Nevertheless they manage to stagger the Prussian Freikorps with their volleys.

Once more the Prussian Hussars charge

And the Wallis regiment is routed.

With the northernmost Austrian regiment out of the way, the column of loot can now cross the bridge.

The Kaiser regiment wheels slightly and begins to blast the pesky Hussars!

Miraculously von Strudel manages to rally the remnants of the Wallis regiment.

Only to see Starhemberg's men break.

The supplies begin to disappear over the bridge

To be joined by what is left of the Malachowski Hussars

'But the battle is that way!'
I played 20 turns in this game, five more than I should have, but it seemed silly to play to a deadline when there was an obvious end to the scenario in sight. The battle was tense and really could have gone either way. The command system did its job and heavily influenced the outcome of the game. First of all by making the Prussian von Kasenstein unable to change orders for a few truns he was unable to bring his superior forces to bear on the Hungarians early on. Then the Austrian 'over-advance' where the Kaiser regiment ended up deploying in canister range of the Prussian redoubts had a major effect on the game. It is unlikely that the Prussians would have been able to force their way past three full strength infantry regiments, and indeed when the Prinz Heinrich fusiliers broke it seemed that the Austrians might still pull through despite their mistake.

The Prussian artillery in the redoubts was not allowed to fire at long range - conserving powder you see, but was allowed to use grapeshot to defend the bridge.

The heroes for the Austrians were undoubtedly the Hungarian Batthanyanyi regiment that held the Prussians in place for so long and gave the Austrians a chance to win the scenario. The villain was von Strudel, whose poor command decisions allowed him to lose his advantages early on.

On the Prussian side the Fusilier regiment Rohr was steadfast in all that it did, never taking a backwards step. Von Kasenstein can expect a dressing down for his inaction before the Hungarian brigade, though.

This game was played using my heavily adapted Horse and Musket rules, based on Neil Thomas' Introduction to Wargaming. There is nothing wrong with Keith Flint's Honours of War rules - in fact I highly recommend them. But because I (re)wrote these rules, I know them well. I seldom have to look anything up. I also plan to use them for the Great Northern War and War of Spanish Succession, and I know what adaptations will be used for each period to give them their unique feel. And I've just finished rereading some interesting comments from Stuart Asquith that reinforced that one should use what rules one feels comfortable with. I've made a page for the rules now, so feel free to take a look.

' And so after quite a struggle, von Kasenstein managed to get the captured supplies back across the river. However, it will be some time before the units he took with him are ready for action again - with the exception of the Regiment Rohr, which performed prodigies in his Majesty's service. On reflection it was probably a mistake to send von Kasenstein - he is reliable but all too deliberate. This raid called for a Freikorps leader with a little more initiative. Of course, if events had transpired otherwise and Old Fritz discovered I had lost line troops under the command of a scoundrel, he would have my head. Such are the difficulties of command my love. I shall write again soon enough.

Balthasar, Graf von Pritzwalk'



  1. A great conclusion and I'm pleased you saw it out, as you said, too close not to.

    1. Yes, I couldn't let myself end it until I had a result...

  2. Looks like you had lots of fun here Nathan.

    1. I really enjoy these smaller scenarios, Mark. I've yet to put all my toys on the table and have an almighty stoush for the 7 Years War.

  3. An officer attached to only one stand looks quite lonely. Have you considered leaving a unit at full strength wrt number of bases but marking stands lost in some fashion?

    The game easily could have turned in either direction. A good little game!

    1. I agree, Jonathan. I actually screwed down the morale rules a bit to make units more likely to rout and harder to rally before they reached one base, but this game rolled an uncanny number of sixes! I wonder if I should actually reduce the strength of units to 14 hits, with the last two elements being removed together after 6 hits? I don't want to increase the base number of hits a single element can take because loss of an element is one of the main ways to trigger a morale test.
      Another option might be to keep all bases at 4 points, but rather than remove the third base it will gain a compulsory stagger marker that cannot be rallied. That means the unit continues to operate at 2 bases, but cannot advance and is disadvantaged in melee. A further four hits would see the unit removed. Actually, I like this idea, I might give it a shot.

    2. After a bit of thinking last night, I've made some significant alterations to the morale system, which sees each element able to take a variable number of hits based on its class. Better units can therefore withstand more damage. The number of elements left determines morale status, so with 2 elements left the unit is on its last legs and then when another element is lost the unit is removed. We'll see how that works.