Thursday, 7 July 2011

Torgau 2011

Our last major game was a refight of Torgau

This one was fought - as usual using the excellent King of the Battlefield rules - as a contest over 5 victory points - 4 fleches and a road junction.

The Austrians started holding all the victory points, but were unaware of where the Prussians could come from, whilst the Prussians had the task of seizing three or more of the VP points before night fell.

You can see the Austrian setup here - with most of the table visible - the road junction is to the left off screen (in the direction of Torgau itself)

Game organiser, Alasdair, reported the battle as follows.

"There were 12 players in all, 7 Austrian and 5 Prussian. Five of the players had never used KotB rules before and four were still new to the rules. The game came to a conclusion in 3 hours and was enjoyed by everyone.

Torgau proved to be a good multiplayer scenario as the Austrians have a central position and are attacked from opposite sides of the table. This gets all the players involved. As the Prussian columns time of arrival on the table was randomized players could still join in even after the battle was in full swing, as not all players can get into the club for the 7pm start time. I had set five victory point objectives so that there would be a clear cut result at the end of the night.

So, how did the game go? Most of the Austrian players were unfamiliar with the battle so I allowed them some latitude in set up as they did not know where the Prussians were coming in from. This led to some Austrian commands not immediately marching to the Prussian attacks as they did not know if more columns would be marching onto the table in their sector. Given the nature of our big participation games on the first Tuesday of the month, with commands being handed out as people turn up and express an interest, there was not a rigid chain of command. If fact there was no chain of command at all that I could see!"

So who won?

In true 18th Century style, no one agrees.

Night fell with combat still undecided. The Austrians held three of the five victory points, and were claiming victory, however, the Prussians were in a much stronger position to take these than the Austrians were to hold them, and the Austrian force had been split from its main line of retreat.

Conversly, that split was only held by a small number of Prussian Cavalry - which would not be able to hold them in the darkness, and the Austrians still had a viable bridge and alternate escape route to withdraw over.
Frederick required a decisive victory to end the war, while the Austrian command did not need to force a victory, as the numbers (and Russians) were on their side in the longer term.

Both sides claim victory, therefore, although the balance of casualties was significantly in the Prussians favour - unlike the historical engagement, which effectively ruined Fredericks army for the remainder of the war. He never sought out a major battle after it.

You can see some of the fighting here - notice the one fleche which has been taken from the flank by a Prussian regiment, and which suffered repeated charges by Austrian Hussars to retake it - without sucess.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Big Battle King of the Battlefield

Ian decided to hold a big King of the Battlefield game for his brithday last night - a Russians vs all comers (well, Prussians, Austrians and Hanoverians)

We had 40 regiments of Russians with 7 guns and 15 regiments of cavalry, angainst slightly more of the non-orthodox allies, divided into approximately 3 equal national forces.

Theoretically, it was based on Rocroi - although Ian was the only player who could see any resemblance to that from the map he presented us with.

Regrettably, the weather intervened again, and the man himself was unable to get to the paying table until 8.00. He made up for this by launching 12 regiments of Russain cavalry in a death or glory charge directly into the Hannoverian lines, completely ignoring the mased combined allied cavalry covering their flank.

Mostly it was death, although we did get a running tally of the number of regiments he had swept away (6 in one charge), although never with losses incurred, it should be noted.

On the other flank, the AUstrians overran the Russian Hussars covering our right flank, and were soon in amongst the rear of that side as well.

In the middle, however, the main Prussain attack barely moved - you would hardly have known they were attacking at all, to be honest, and our initial Russain defensive positions on the hills were never troubled.

Had we had the extra hour of playing time which the weather denied us, a proper conclusion would have been reached. As it was, it was pretty clear that the Russains had lost both flanks, and were in real trouble - a hasty reformed defensive line covering the woods could have held off the Hannoverians long enough for the main body to retreat, but with all that untouched cavalry able to initiate a pursuit, and nothing to hinder them, well, why run when you can just surrender now and be done with it.

We understand that the rules author's club plays games of 600 points in an evening - this was at least 6000 points per side, and in 2 hours we had a result, if not a conclusion, plenty of drama and still maintained proper linear formations with reserve line supports. Not bad for a hasty arranged game, we though.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


We attempted a refight of Hochkirk using King of the Battlefield - with @ a dozen players all told.

The battle of 'Highchurch' - so named because we used Russians in place of Austrians (but I am afraid I will still refer to them as Austrians throughout this report) - seemed an ideal one for a multiplayer game, because we could make use of the multiple columns of attack / approach which the Austrians used historically to neatly divide up the players into independent commands, and because we could straggle any new players down the line, thus representing the order of arrival of those columns.

We had enough of a gap between the first and last arrivals to straggle them down the line, representing the time dispersal between each column arriving and taking out the sitting about waiting for a 6 which could otherwise have come about. Luckily we also had an overeager Prussian Mollendorf to jump back and forth over his defensive position when he initially thought he was unopposed on the first turn.

I was quietly hoping that both these forces at the far end of the field would be inactive for a couple of turns, and accordingly left the Austrian figures off table initially.

Dispositions were slightly hampered by forgetting the orbat, but thankfully, two weeks before we quickly laid out both sides in order to get an idea of the size of table we would required - we hastily removed them before too many club members had had a chance to see the surprises.

Frederick had deployed with a large dense wood to his rear - preventing him from retiring in that direction. The wood to the south of Hochkirk screened the Austrian advance to his rear. So the point of the attack historically was to cut both ends and tie the ogre up ending the war in a stroke. Given the limitations of Austrian command and control, it came surprisingly close to coming off.


Prussian commands

1 Zeiten and the reserve cavalry behind Hochkirk
a. 2 Cuirassier
b. 3 Hussars (elite)

2 Keith defending Hochkirk and the south east of the town
a. 2 Infantry (elite)
b. 2 Grenadiers (elite)
c. 1 Gun

3 Brunswick and main army part A - adjacent to Hochkirk
a. 4 Infantry (elite)
b. 2 Grenadiers (guard)
c. 2 Grenadiers (elite)
d. 1 gun

4 Saldern and main army part B - adjacent to Rodewitz and including the central cavalry reserve
a. 4 Cuirassiers
b. 1 Dragoon
c. 1 Hussar (elite)
d. 4 Infantry

5 Mollendorf, Seidlitz and the Prussian vanguard defending Rodewitz and the road back into Drehsa and Prussian territory
a. 5 Infantry (elite)
b. 2 Grendier (elite)
c. 1 Gun
d. 2 Hussars (elite)
e. 2 Cuirassier

6 - Two regiments of second class freikorp ineffectively skirmishing in the woods adjacent to Hochkirk (for the umpire to roll some dice with)
a. 2 Freicorps (second class)

Austrian commands

1 O'Donnell - approaching on the back table corner to the rear of Hochkirk
a. 3 Cuirassier
b. 2 Hussars
c. 2 Dragoons

2 Browne - assaulting Hochkirk from the angle
a. 6 Infantry
b. 2 Grenadier (elite)

3 Weist - assaulting Hochkick from the front
a. 6 Infantry
b. 1 Gun

4 Colleredo - a large force of second class infantry and some cavalry with orders to demonstrate in front of the main Prussian army in order to pin it in the trap
a. 8 Infantry (second class)
b. 1 Cuirassier
c. 1 Dragoon
d. 2 Hussars
e. 1 Gun

5 D'Arenburg and Durlach - the main attack to cut the line of retreat.
a. 12 Infantry
b. 2 Grenadier (elite)
c. 1 Gun
d. 2 Hussars
e. 2 Cuirassiers
f. 2 Dragoons

6 - Loudon and three regiments of second class Croats ineffectively skirmishing with the freikrop and given to any late comer player)
a. 3 Croats (second class)

The Prussians all started in pre fixed deployed positions.

Browne, Weist, Colleredo and Loudon were then placed on table, and Zeiten was instructed to address his disposition to the noises in the rear. O'Donnell was then placed, and the Prussians had first move (This was entirely an umpire decision taken on the basis that all troops began in deployed line. Had we started in march columns, then the Prussians could easily have been deployed undressed, and the Austrians given first move). As the Austrians were all starting within artillery range, this seemed appropriate.

As umpire, I was hoping for Mollendorf Saldern, Seidlitz D'Arenberg and Durlach to be later arrivals than the players happened to be. But we did get one over eager Mollendorf who advanced across his defensive stream in order to get stuck in.
The next Austrian move saw D'Arenberg placed, and Mollendorf go scuttling back to his starting positions. As far as fog of war goes, this was sufficient for my satisfaction.

After this, the players were given free rein.

The Austrians were not given an overall commander - being independent columns, they received a briefing on the plan (as they arrived as players, not collectively) - the most notable of which was instructing Colleredo that he was given a large second class command in order to pin attention but not attack, although he could if he wanted to, but he would probably fail, and instructing D'Arenberg and Durlach that they were to cut the road to seal the trap, and if possible, roll up the line.

The Prussians were simply given a 'Frederick' to issue orders if they had any doubt (this happened to be the Brunswick player in our case).

Narrative wise, the Prussians held out well, almost destroying Colleredo's infantry, and holding both Hochkick and the road to Drehsa until the final turn, when the Austrians did break through and take Hochkirck entirely, and D'Arenbeg cut the road. At this point, rather than declaring a Prussian 'well played' for retaining the escape route, I had to declare an Austrian total victory - the Seven Years war is ended, Prussia has no main army, and Frederick is likely captured.

Interesting points of play, were the total collapse of Zeiten - he simply could not roll to save himself, a regiment of 'Austrian' horse grenadiers (I did mention the figures were Russian, didn't I?) breaking through Salderns command and overrunning some of the tents before being driven off, the swift victory for louden's croats - and the remarkable ability of Keith to defend Hochkirk itself until that very last turn.

The secnario worked well. Making the Prussian infantry and Hussars elite, and the Austrian Dragoons and Colleredo's infantry second class (again, a Russian figures decision, as Russian Dragoons were essentially postmen on horses) made for a balanced game.

Had I remembered to put the designed orbats in the bag, it may have been different - you can try for yourselves, as those are the basis for the disposition layout map below.

Terrain wise, we folloed a simple adaption of this map - taken from Kronoscafe (

we placed Hockkirk on the only hill, had a large wood to its south, and a huge wood to the Prussain rear between Hochkirk and the only other town - Rodewitz. Hochkirk also had a redoubt to its rear.

A stream meandered along the Prussian front line, and the roads were for visual effect only.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Zondorf Photo

I found two old Zondorf photos from the game start.

This seemed the best place to put them.

We are playing another game next week, so If someone remembers the camera, we will put some shots up again as well.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Zondorf Map

Here is the map from the first game, Zondorf.

(Assuming I uploaded them in the right order, that is) Zondorf has a wood in the middle. Kunersdorf has the Russians in trenchments.

Kunersdorf Map

Alisdair dug out his setup map for the two games below.

I thought I would produce it here for reference.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Zondorf 2008

In 2008 we did Zondorf for the club display at Claymore.

I have pulled the report posed to Mark's blog, and reproduced it here with some additional photos.


A pic of the Zondorf game we did last year in 10mm.

This is well into the battle, over half way through. The Russians (in red on the Right Hand Side) have lost most of their first line between the stream on their right flank and the woods. But equally, most of the Prussians assaulting this area are also beaten.

This near side of the wood, you can see some of the Russian front line is angling to enfilade the second Prussian attack, advancing down the woods.

The Main Cavalry wings are beginning to engage to the fore ground over the small stream.

The Russian second and third lines in this second front look solid, and the baggage is untouched. The Prussians are pushing forward with their last real formed brigades against almost three times their numbers.

What is less clear, is the totally unhistoric (says the Russian) Prussian cavalry manoever around the rear of the Russian right wing by the town on the top right of shot. A series of appalingly lucky strikes enabled this to effectively beat any Russain hopes on that flank. In fact, I couldn't even claim a stalemate there (as happened historically)

Further, at the wood, the Russian regiment angling in its fire on the second Prussian advance is about to be charged in the flank by Prussian Hussars. You can't see those Hussars, they are pretty much the rear most Prussian figures on the table. But in the next firing phase, the remaining frontal Russian units on that far side of the wood are routed, and when the next Russian regiment along moves up to square off the line again, it to goes down in a hail of shell, leaving this angled Russian regiment with its flank in the air and engaged to the front.

Finally, all the Russian Cavalry in foreground, despite correctly being supported by second line troops, fails miserably, and the Russians are forced into a retreat for the end game.

But on the bright side, the Russian Horse Grenadiers did get to sweep over a number of Prussian units, as per the illustration in the Zondorf Osprey. Seidlitz's charge was never required however, so we must assume he was the clever sod who sent his troopers around the 'back' in a thoroughly gamey game winning move. Not that I'm bitter... Kunersdorf in a few weeks, we will see a different side then, I trust.