‘Fuller’s Stand’: ‘C’ Company, 152 (Indian) Para at Point 7378, 19th March 1944 (The Game)

Last time I posted a scenario based on the defence of a hilltop on the Indian-Burmese border by Indian Paras during the initial stages of the Japanese advance on Imphal and Kohima.  We played the scenario at the Carmarthen Old Guard a couple of weeks ago, so here’s the after-action report.

Above:  Major Fuller (Dan) deploys his dug-in company on the peak of Point 7378, placing the bulk of his troops covering the road to Burma and the junction in the tracks, but also deploying troops to keep a watchful eye on the flanks and rear.

The company has a headquarters section, 9x infantry sections and a 2-inch mortar group (representing the combined platoon-level mortars), as well as an attached section of battalion-level 3-inch mortars and an attached section of brigade-level MMGs.  Each section is represented by a troop stand.  To simulate fog-of-war, each troop stand is replaced at the start of the game by a card marker (with the stand type written underneath) and five dummy markers are also added.  Troop stands are revealed when they fire or when enemy reconnaissance reveals their position.

Note that I don’t have any fancy trench models and even if I did, they wouldn’t sit right on this model hill, so I’ve used some lengths of breastworks (by Timecast Models) to show the position of trenches and foxholes.

Above:  The areas of trees represent dense jungle, while the areas of lichen and bamboo represent more open scrubland.  The clear areas on the southern slopes of the hill are very steep and slow to traverse.

Above:  Dan is permitted to pre-register three targets for his 3-inch mortar section and starts with the junction of the road and the mule-track.  I took photos of these on my phone for reference and the templates were then removed from the table.

Above:  The second registered target is slightly further along the road.

Above:  The third registered target is the point at which the mule-track splits into two.

Above:  Lastly, the MMG section establishes a beaten zone for its guns, covering the junction of the mule-tracks and the most likely avenue of approach.  Again, this photo was taken for reference and the template was then removed from the table.

Above:  The Indian Paras have not been in position very long when a patrol reports the appearance of a Japanese column on the road from Burma!

Above:  The Japanese troops belong to the 3rd Battalion of the 58th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Major Shimano (Phil).  The Paras’ exposed position on the bare hilltop has not gone unnoticed by Major Shimano, who orders his column to mount a hasty attack on the enemy position.

Above:  Captain Nishida Susumu’s 9th Company is in the lead.  Sending half of his company up the mule-track on the right, he leads the rest of his company along the road, luckily suffering only light casualties as the pre-registered 3-inch mortars rain bombs onto the road-junction.

Above:  Captain Nishida Susumu had commanded a long-range reconnaissance patrol as far as Kohima during the previous year, managing to return to Burma with valuable intelligence, while completely escaping detection by the Allies and their native auxiliaries.  However, this time he has no time for such subtlety as he orders his men to make the best speed possible along the tracks instead of using the cover of the bush.

Above:  As 9th Company shakes out into assault formation, the unmistakable rattle of Vickers MMGs is heard across the hillside.  The righthand column is soon pinned down by fire.  The Paras’ 2-inch mortars also add their weight to the cacophony.

Above:  With 9th Company starting to engage the enemy, Shimano’s 10th Company arrives.

Above:  Captain Susumu makes best use of the sparse undergrowth to mask his approach, but casualties are starting to mount.  Nevertheless, Susumu’s three 50mm ‘Knee-Mortar’ sections and the attached MMG section succeed in suppressing the Indian MMGs and 2-inch mortars.

Above:  Susumu’s righthand column suffers heavy losses as they attempt to push through the wall of MG fire.  The 3-inch mortars also now shift their fire to the track-junction.  Susumu’s knee-mortars and MMGs do their best, but can’t hope to suppress the weight of fire being directed at the attackers.  Sadly, the battalion’s 70mm gun detachment is still out of range and the regiment’s 75mm guns are a full day’s march behind the column.

Above:  “May the Emperor live for a thousand years!  BANZAI!”  Susumu finally manages to work close enough to the enemy position with sufficient men to mount an assault.  However, previously-hidden Paras now open up with smallarms and the Japanese infantry are cut down in droves!

Above:  Nevertheless, one of Susumu’s rifle sections manages to gain a foothold in the Indian trenches!

Above:  The ejected section of Indian Paras withdraws to the Company Headquarters on the crest of the hill, where it rallies.  Major Fuller orders them to mount an immediate counter-attack to re-take their trenches!

Above:  Charging over open ground, the Indian section is subjected to heavy fire, though makes it to the now enemy-occupied trench.  The flanking sections also join the counter-attack, though are badly disordered by fire from Susumu’s remaining troops, only a few yards away through the bush.

Above:  Nevertheless, the counter-attack is wholly successful.  The Japanese interlopers are eliminated and the Indian Paras re-occupy their positions.

Above:  Captain Susumu, with the rallied remnants of 9th Company, launches another charge in concert with Captain Ishida’s 10th Company on the right.  However, the attack is a disaster, with both captains becoming casualties and 9th Company being virtually wiped out.

Above:  However, Japanese strength continues to grow with the arrival of the 11th Company.

Above:  The combined fire of the 9th, 10th and 11th Company knee-mortar and MG sections are starting to make their presence felt, causing disruption among the forward edge of the Paras’ perimeter.  A few riflemen of 9th Company are also clinging on, only a few yards from the Indian trenches, though thoroughly pinned down by Indian smallarms fire.

Above:  Seeing their best chance yet, the remnants of the 9th and 10th Companies launch yet another assault on the Indian trenches!

Above:  At last some success for the Japanese!  At the forward corner of the position, two sections of Indian Paras are eliminated (albeit at considerable cost to the attackers) and a Japanese rifle section again manages to break into the trenches!  But can the Japanese manage to hold onto their gains this time?

Above:  Still unengaged, the Japanese 11th Company rushes forward to exploit the small success, followed by the Battalion Headquarters Company and MG Company.  The 70mm Battalion Gun Platoon deploys, ready to offer fire support.

Above:  Sorry to disappoint, but with the battle entering its most critical phase, we simply ran out of club-night time!!!  However, the general consensus was that the Indian Paras had won the day.  They had lost only two out of thirteen sections and still possessed their very effective heavy weapons.

It was felt that newly-arrived 11th Company, the understrength MG Company and the Battalion Gun Platoon were unlikely to tip the balance in favour of the Japanese.  As in the historical action, the Japanese would break off the attack and await the arrival overnight of the 12th Company, 75mm Regimental Gun Company and perhaps a company or two from the 2nd Battalion and with fire support, renew the assault at dawn from multiple directions.  This renewed assault would probably overwhelm the defenders before other companies from 152 Para and 4/5th Mahrattas have time to intervene…  The 2nd day of the battle will probably be one to revisit…

My thanks to Dan and Phil for a very interesting game and a good playtest of the scenario.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: WW2, Games, World War 2, World War 2 - Burma Campaign | 4 Comments

‘Fuller’s Stand’: ‘C’ Company, 152 (Indian) Para at Point 7378, 19th March 1944 (A Scenario For ‘Battlefront: WWII’)

Having played almost nothing but Seven Years War and written about nothing but tricorn hat-lace in recent months, many readers of this blog will be relieved to know that we finally played something different at club last week! 🙂

I write a lot of scenarios for various periods, but for a variety of reasons some of them never get played.  One such scenario is ‘John Fuller’s Stand’, which I first wrote in 2009.  It’s been on the Battlefront: WWII (Fire & Fury Games) Scenario Page all that time and sadly, I’ve never played it and have never heard of anyone else playing it!  So after last month’s epic Leuthen refight and needing to do something far-removed from tricorns, I thought it was time to dust it off for a Thursday-night club-game.

This is a slightly simplified version of the scenario presented on the Battlefront: WWII page, covering just the first day of what was a two-day battle.

The action fought by Major John Fuller’s ‘C’ Company of 152 (Indian) Parachute Battalion on a mountain spur with the unimaginative name of Point 7378 is a largely forgotten, yet critical part of the story of the Battle of Kohima and the Siege of Imphal.  The sacrifice of this heroic company of (British-officered) Indian Paras gave time for the rest of 50th Indian Parachute Brigade to establish a defensive position a few miles away at the village of Sangshak.  The brigade’s subsequent sacrifice at the Battle of Sangshak in turn gave time for the defensive position at Kohima to be established and the successful defence of Kohima led directly to the successful relief of Imphal and the ultimate defeat of the Imperial Japanese Army in Burma.  It’s difficult to think of another small-unit action that had such a profound impact on the course of the Second World War.

Historical Background

‘By mid-morning the enemy’s fire slackened considerably. Suddenly, from the top of the hill, a small group of about twenty men charged down towards us, firing and shouting in a counter-attack. However, between us was a wide ravine which they had been unable to see, and of those who were still alive, some fell into it in their rush onwards while the rest had no choice but to surrender. A few escaped. At the very top of the position an officer appeared in sight, put a pistol to his head and shot himself in full view of everyone below. Our men fell silent, deeply impressed by such a brave act… At Point 7378 the 3rd Battalion suffered 160 casualties in the action, with one company and two platoon commanders killed and another four officers wounded… The enemy had resisted with courage and skill.’
– Extract from diary of Colonel Utata Fukunaga, commanding the Imperial Japanese 58th Infantry Regiment and found on his body at Kohima.

If the British-Indian XIVth Army is the ‘Forgotten Army’, the Battle of Sangshak is undoubtedly the ‘Forgotten Battle’ of the Forgotten Army: Surrounded by a fanatical enemy, unsupported, running low on water, ammunition and men and without hope of relief, the 50th Indian Parachute Brigade, along with elements of the 23rd Indian Division, held out for several days, withstanding assault after assault before finally breaking out to escape in small groups.  Without this battle, the Japanese 31st Division would have reached Kohima long before the famous defence there could be established and history might have been very different.  There certainly would not have been a heroic defence of Kohima and relieving the Siege of Imphal would have been considerably more difficult.

But even before the Battle of Sangshak, a chain of events began that was to lead to the successful defence of Kohima…

The 50th Indian Parachute Brigade was formed in 1942.  The long-term plan for the brigade was that it would be the spearhead for an attempt to retake Malaya and Singapore from the Japanese (a plan that would become the much-delayed Operation ‘Zipper’). Its three constituent Parachute Battalions were formed from volunteers from throughout the Indian Army as well as the British Army in India.  The 151st Parachute Battalion (151 Para) was formed from British volunteers, the 152nd Battalion (152 Para) was formed from Indians and the 153rd Battalion (153 Para) was formed from Gurkhas.  However, 151 Para soon found itself shipped off to the 1st Airborne Division in the Mediterranean (being renumbered 156 Para as a counter-intelligence measure) and a new 154 Para, was formed from the 3/7th Gurkhas, veterans of 17th Indian Division’s long fighting retreat from Burma in 1942 and who had unanimously volunteered en masse for the Paras.

However, some Gurkhas clearly didn’t know what they were getting into.  A group of NCOs reported to their company commander that jumping from 600 feet seemed somewhat high and that jumping from 300 feet might be preferable.  “But at that height your parachutes won’t have time to open!” replied the company commander.  “Oh.” said the Gurkhas “So we will have parachutes?”  The Gurkhas went away, visibly relieved…

By the end of 1943 the Brigade, now under the command of Brigadier Hope-Thomson, had done nothing but train, train, train for nearly two years while no fewer than eight airborne operations had been cancelled.  Operation ‘Zipper’ also looked no closer to becoming reality, thanks to a lack of landing craft.  The brigade was consequently getting stale and was badly in need of fresh experience in the field.  Hope-Thomson therefore asked permission to be deployed to the front line and the decision was taken in early January to place the brigade under the command of 23rd Indian Division, which as part of IV Corps was watching the hilly jungle frontier east of Imphal.  The Brigade could therefore gain some valuable jungle experience, while releasing a ‘line’ brigade for a long-overdue rest.  There might even be the chance of action against long-range Japanese patrols.  However, the newly-formed 154 Para would remain in India to continue jump training.

In mid-March 1944, the Brigade arrived at Ukhrul, in the hills of the Indian-Burmese border north-west of Imphal, to relieve the weary 49th Indian Brigade.  However, 49th Brigade was in something of a flap.  A Japanese offensive had apparently erupted to the south-east of Imphal and  Lieutenant General Scoones, commanding the Indian IV Corps was withdrawing the corps’ strength into the Imphal Plain, intending to fight the Japanese armies on ground of his choosing.  The 23rd Indian Division suddenly found itself designated as Corps Reserve and was marching southwest to Imphal, leaving the newly-arrived Paras to take over a string of scattered hilltop positions from 49th Brigade’s rearguard, the 4/5th Mahratta Light Infantry and the Royal Nepalese ‘Kali-Bahadur’ Regiment.

Lt Col Paul Hopkinson’s 152 (Indian) Para moved up to the Mahrattas’ HQ at ‘Kidney Camp’, high in the peaks southeast of Ukhrul.  From ‘Kidney’ he sent two companies out to relieve Mahratta companies on their hilltop eyries; Major Webb’s ‘B’ Company was dispatched to Point 7386 (‘Badger’) and Point 7000 (‘Gammon’), while Major Fuller’s ‘C’ Company was sent to the otherwise un-named Point 7378.  These positions dominated the only two east-west Jeep-tracks over the hills in the area, though were not mutually supporting and were beyond the range of the Mahrattas’ mortars at ‘Kidney’.  The two companies were also disappointed to discover that the positions recently vacated by the Mahrattas were only half-prepared, so the Paras soon found themselves hard at work, improving their trenches, dugouts and firing positions.

Although the situation had changed from one of field training to alert watchfulness for invasion, the Indian Paras were confident.  They were also reasonably sure that the nearest Japanese were at least forty miles away!

However, the Japanese were a lot closer than that!  The Japanese 31st Division was now only twenty miles away and heading directly for Ukhrul, its mission being to cut the Imphal-Dimapur road at Kohima and to eliminate the British railhead and depot at Dimapur itself.  Facing this unrealised threat, Hope-Thomson had so far been able to deploy only two companies of 152 Para!  However, the remainder of the battalion would shortly be in position at ‘Kidney’ and at the moment, the Mahrattas, together with two companies of Kali-Bahadurs and a troop of Royal Artillery mortars, had still not departed for Imphal.  However, the entire 153 (Gurkha) Para was still forty miles away at Kohima awaiting transport, while the brigade’s headquarters, MMG and engineer elements were similarly having difficulty in securing transport to move up to the brigade positions.

Things south of the Imphal Plain meanwhile, were getting chaotic and control of the battle was slipping from Scoones’ grasp.  The plan was for 50th Para Brigade to have slowly fallen back to the Imphal perimeter in the wake of 23rd Division.  Instead, the brigade seems to have been forgotten by IV Corps and instead received the mistaken order to hold its ground on current positions.  This was to be a fateful order.

Then on 19th March, Lt Col Hopkinson, while on a personal recce to ‘Badger’, spotted a glint of light in the distance.  Looking through his binoculars, he was astonished to see a long column of men; a full battalion, complete with pack horses and even elephants, advancing up the Homalin Road!  Point 7378 lay directly in their path and Hopkinson immediately radioed a warning to Major Fuller, whose ‘C’ Company was clearly gong to be fighting the brigade’s first battle…

Briefing for Major John Fuller, Officer Commanding ‘C’ Coy, 152 (Indian) Para Bn

Situation at 1100hrs, 19th March 1944 – Point 7378, East of Ukhrul, Assam

Your company took over this position yesterday from a company of the 4/5th Mahratta Light Infantry and has spent the last 24 hours improving the fighting positions and digging in deeper.  You’re not expecting trouble, but there is a flap on at 23rd Division HQ, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Your position is atop a ‘pimple’ on a spur of Sihorifara Hill (Point 8425), whose peak lies 2-3 miles north of your position.  Your position immediately overlooks the Pushing to Ukhrul Jeep track, which is one of the few east-west routes over the range of hills separating India from Burma.  There is also a mule track cutting straight through your position, which takes the direct route to Ukhrul.  Some two miles south of you, further along the same spur (codenamed ‘New Guinea’), is another company outpost at Point 7386, codenamed ‘Badger’, which dominates not only this Jeep track, but also another Jeep track crossing the hills from Humine.

The bulk of 152 Para is some three miles to the southwest, at Kidney Camp, along with 4/5th Mahrattas and a couple of companies of the Nepalese ‘Kali Bahadur’ Regiment.  The rest of 23 Division, 50 Para Brigade HQ and the brigade’s support companies are strung out along the road from Imphal to Ukhrul, while 153 Para is still some 40 miles away to the northwest, at the Kohima depot.

Suddenly, your 2ic, Captain Roseby, reports that the Colonel has just sent an urgent signal – Japs have been spotted in at least battalion strength, only one mile to the east of your position!

Mission

You are to hold until relieved, with the intention of delaying the Japanese long enough to allow the Brigade to form defensive positions.

Execution

Friendly Forces

• These are detailed in the attached order of battle (below).  You have your own ‘C’ Company, with an attached section of 3-inch mortars from Battalion and a section of Vickers MMGs from the Brigade MG Company.

• Place 18 inches of entrenchments within your deployment area, delineated by the red circle.

• Deploy your forces as Hidden Unit markers within your deployment area.

• You may also deploy x5 Dummy Unit markers within your deployment area.

• You may split your command into two smaller Manoeuvre Elements if you so wish, in which case add a second, subordinate Commander unit (representing your 2ic, Captain Roseby).

• There is no hope of artillery support and while the RAF has gained air superiority over the Japanese Air Force within the last few weeks, there is little hope of getting any air support.

• Your 3-inch mortar section may pre-register three Defensive Fire targets. There is requirement to call for fire when an enemy unit enters (or has passed through) the beaten zone of this point.

• 2-inch mortars may automatically fire at any enemy unit that has been spotted or suspected by a friendly unit, without needing to call for fire.

• The MMG Section may either pre-register a point for Plunging Fire or may set up a pre-planned Grazing Fire beaten zone.

Enemy Forces

• These are thought to consist of a battalion of infantry.  Their lead company is now visible, marching along the Jeep track at Point ‘C’ on the map.

Recommended Optional Rules

In order to stand a fighting chance of winning, the Indian player really needs to make good use of his mortars and Vickers MMG section.  To that effect, I recommend using the following optional rules to maximise Indian chances:

• Machine Gun Grazing Fire (or ‘Firing on Fixed Lines’)

This method creates a ‘wall of fire’ through which an enemy must advance to reach your positions.  This was always carefully pre-planned by a defender as part of a deliberate defence plan and required a tripod-mounted machine gun, well-supplied with ammunition.  Note that I’ve amended this method from the original Battlefront: WWII optional rules.

  • Only ground-mounted, tripod-equipped MMGs and HMGs may conduct Grazing Fire.
  • The MG must be in a pillbox, dug-in, or in improved positions at the start of the game.
  • Before the game starts, place the Grazing Fire Template onto the planned fire-lane and mark on a map (or take a digital photo) for later reference.  The Grazing Fire Template is 10 inches long and is roughly conical in shape, being 1 infantry base wide at its base and 2 bases wide at the far end.
  • The Grazing Fire Template may be placed anywhere in the normal arc of fire from the MG (i.e. anywhere in the front 180-degree arc).
  • The Grazing Fire Template may be placed during the player’s Defensive or Offensive Fire phase and must be placed in its pre-planned position.  This may not be changed or moved, though it may be removed at the start of the next friendly player’s turn.
  • Any enemy units with aiming-points within the Grazing Fire Template are subjected to a Direct Fire attack using the normal Direct Fire factors, though with an additional -1 modifier.
  • If enemy units attempt to take two actions within the Grazing Fire Template, any Suppression or Disorder result suffered during their first action will cancel their second action.
  • If enemy units survive their first action unscathed and still have an aiming-point within the Grazing Fire Template, they will receive a second Grazing Fire attack during their second action.
  • Grazing Fire is blocked by Dense Terrain and crestlines, though will attack units conformed to the edge of such terrain, as for normal Direct Fire.
  • If the MG moves, falls back, panics or conducts ‘normal’ point-fire, the Grazing Fire Template is immediately removed and the unit may not conduct Grazing Fire again.

• Machine Gun Plunging Fire

This is a form of Indirect Fire conducted by MMGs, primarily as a means of interdicting and harassing enemy forming-up areas, lines of communication and reserves.  British Commonwealth MG units equipped with Vickers MMGs were masters of this tactic.

If this option is used instead of Grazing Fire, pre-register the target using a small Indirect Fire Template and mark on a map or take a digital photo for future reference.

The method used is exactly as described in the Battlefront: WWII Support Page.

• Indian Fall-Back/Panic Options – A dug-in Indian unit that gets a Fall Back or Panic result on the Manoeuvre Table may instead opt to stay (Disordered) within the entrenchment. Otherwise, they will Fall Back/Panic toward the western table edge.

Briefing for Major Shimano, Commanding III Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment

Situation at 1100hrs, 19th March 1944 – Point 7378, East of Ukhrul, Assam

Your battalion forms the extreme left flank of 31st Division’s advance.  On your right, the regiment’s II Battalion is making for the peak of Point 8425, while I Battalion is swinging around the north side of that mountain to take Ukhrul from the rear.  On your left is the 60th Infantry Regiment, which forms the extreme right flank of 15th Division.  Together, your primary objective is to continue driving westward, with the intention of cutting the Imphal to Kohima road.  Once that is achieved, Imphal will be cut off from reinforcements coming from Kohima and the British rail-head at Dimapur.  The 60th Regiment will turn south, to keep northern escape routes from Imphal firmly shut, while the 31st Division strikes north to capture British supplies from their depot at Kohima and then continue the drive on to Dimapur.

You have been advancing along the Homalin to Ukhrul road for several days now and thus far there has been no sign of the enemy.  You have an excellent guide in Captain Nishida Susumu of 9th Company – he led a long-range reconnaissance patrol as far as Kohima last year and consequently knows the route well, along with the likely points of British resistance.  One of these is the village of Ukhrul and the first combat task for Colonel Fukunaga’s 58th Infantry Regiment will be to quickly destroy the British garrison there, so that the division may push on to Kohima as quickly as possible.

Your battalion is now just passing over the crest of this range of hills separating Burma from India and in the far distance, you can see the wide Imphal Plain.  However, you don’t have time to take in the view.  Your plan here is for part of your battalion to take the winding main track, through the village of Sangshak, cutting the Ukhrul to Imphal road while the rest of your battalion takes the more direct to Ukhrul, via the mule track over the peak in front of you – marked as ‘7378’ on your captured British map.

However, your scouts have just sent a runner back to you.  They have spotted figures on the crest of the hill and signs of military activity.  It looks like you will need to fight for this mountain pass after all!

Mission

You are to overcome all enemy resistance at Point 7378, with the intention of pressing on to Ukhrul as soon as possible.

Execution

Friendly Forces

• These are detailed in the attached order of battle (below).  Your 9th Company is leading the column along the track and has just passed over the crest the pass.  The rest of the battalion is strung out on the march and will take some time to assemble.

• 9th Company begins the game deployed in close column, on the Jeep Track, within the red circle shown on the map (the rearmost base is touching the table-edge and all other bases are arranged base-to-base in front of it, in a single column with the Company Commander’s base leading).

Enemy Forces

• Intelligence is minimal.  All your scouts can say is that they have seen activity on top of Point 7378, which dominates all routes through the pass.  Colonel Fukunaga advises you that he cannot spare II Battalion to attack them from the north, so you are to deal with them yourself!

Reinforcements

• 10th Company will arrive in close column at Point ‘X’ on Turn 3.

• 11th Company will arrive in close column at Point ‘X’ on Turn 6.

• The Battalion Headquarters, with the Battalion Gun Section and MG Company, will arrive in close column at Point ‘X’ on Turn 8.

• All reinforcements will arrive in close column at Point ‘X’.  They do not need to make a Manoeuvre Roll on the turn in which they arrive.  However, they may only move for one action during the turn in which they arrive.

• 12th Company is escorting the Regimental Gun Company and supply echelon, so is consequently delayed while trying to coax the fractious pack mules and elephants over the precipitous mountain pass.  These elements will not therefore appear until tomorrow and their current location on the edge of a steep mountain pass does not permit them to engage in indirect fire against the enemy.

Game Sequence

• The Indian player has the first turn.

• The scenario ends at the end of the Japanese Turn 20.

Victory & Defeat

The scenario victory conditions are listed below.

Note that ‘victory’ for the Indians is subjective, as the Japanese still have more troops left to throw into the fight on Day 2 and will undoubtedly overwhelm the defenders.  However, the defenders’ sacrifice will have delayed the Japanese long enough for a coordinated defence to be formed by 50th Parachute Brigade at Sangshak.

Total Japanese Victory:  There are absolutely no un-disordered Indian troops anywhere on the table at the end of Japanese Turn 20.

Tactical Japanese Victory:  There are un-disordered Indian troops still on the table, though there are none within the entrenched area on Point 7378 at the end of Turn 20.

Indian Victory:  There are still un-disordered Indian troops remaining within the entrenched area on top of Point 7378 at the end of Turn 20.

Terrain Effects

Open Terrain – As per the rulebook, but note that everything south of the main crest-line (and south of the second contour line down from the peak), is classed as Steep Slopes (see below).

Dense Jungle – Dense Area Concealment.  Soft Cover.  Half Speed for Troops.  Impassable to Guns, though they may be deployed in such terrain if they have been transported there by pack mules.

Brush – Sparse Area Concealment.  Soft Cover.  Half Speed for Troops.  Half Speed for Guns.

Steep Slopes – Half Speed for Troops.  Half Speed with Bog-Down check for Guns.  No Rapid Advance.  Note that this penalty is cumulative and must be applied in addition to penalties for vegetation.  So an infantry unit passing through jungle on a steep slope would only move a quarter of the full rate (1 inch) per action.

Deep Gully – Sparse Edge Concealment for units within the Gully.  Hard Cover.  Troops require a Breach action to enter and exit the gully.  Guns also require a Bog-Down check. Troops may move along gullies at half speed, but Guns may not move along gullies.

Jeep Track – Unpaved Road.  Classed as Open Terrain.  All units on the Jeep Track are automatically spotted by any units on a higher elevation with an uninterrupted line of sight.  Note that the Jeep Track has High Banks on either side (as the track is cut out of the hillside), which confer no cover bonus, but require a Breach action to cross (Guns also require a Bog-Down check).

Mule Track – Counts as Open Terrain, rather than road.  The Mule Tracks take the best route up the hill, thus negating the half speed penalty.

Crest Line – Blocks line of sight, unless the observer is on a higher contour.  The nature of the terrain in this part of the world results in many knife-edge ridges.

I realise that the terrain for this scenario is rather complicated, being drawn from aerial recce photos and original maps.  Indeed, this is a recurring problem when attempting to recreate battles on the Burma Frontier and it is often difficult to draw a balance between accuracy and simplicity.  Hex-based terrain tiles can translate accurate maps onto the table with relative ease, but you do tend to need a lot of hex tiles and they’re not cheap!  For that reason, I’ve included a simplified version of the map, which should be within the means of most wargamers’ terrain collections.

The after-action report will follow soon!

Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: WW2, Games, Scenarios, World War 2, World War 2 - Burma Campaign | 3 Comments

Tricorn SYW Rules: Some Generalship Ideas & Playtest Rules

I’ve recently been writing scenarios for two of the bloodiest battles of the Seven Years War; the Battles of Prague and Kolin.  Prague was particularly notable for the remarkably high attrition-rate among generals on both sides and it started me thinking once again about how generalship is reflected (or not) in much in Tricorn.  At present, generals in Tricorn don’t do a great deal, other than mark the geographical position of formations, transmit/receive orders and roll for initiative.  I’ve therefore been toying with some ideas based loosely on the original Shako Optional Rules for generals…

At present, Divisional Commanders have a generalship rating which is used to modify their Initiative Roll: Poor (-1), Average (+0), Good (+1) & Excellent (+2).  Any unmodified 6 rolled may be used to remove a Stagger or Casualty from a unit under their command.

Army Commanders do things slightly differently, in that they roll a number of d6 based on their generalship rating: Poor (0d6), Average (1d6), Good (2d6) & Excellent (3d6).  These dice may then be used to replace the Divisional Commanders’ initiative dice, but may not be then modified by the Divisional Commander’s generalship rating.

This system works well, but I’ve been wanting to add a few more options for heroism, orders of chivalry and untimely death…

The playtest rules:

* Generals (either Divisional Commanders or Army Commanders) may attach themselves to a unit under their command and within 12 inches at the start of the turn (i.e. before the Artillery Phase).  Leave their HQ marker in place, but add an extra marker (e.g. a mounted officer figure) to show the personal attachment.

* An attached Poor or Average general will increase the unit’s Morale Rating (MR) by one level (even a bad general can have his moment in the sun). An attached Good or Excellent general will increase the unit’s MR by two levels.  The modified MR may not exceed 7 and the modified Disordered MR may not exceed 2.

* If the unit to which the general is attached is Broken, the general will be killed/captured on a roll of 4,5,6 and will be replaced by a Poor general at the start of the following turn.

* If the unit to which the general is attached is forced to retreat, the general will be killed/captured on a roll of 6 and will be replaced by a Poor general at the start of the following turn.  If the general is killed/captured, the retreating unit’s MR will be reduced by 1 during the subsequent attempt to rally.

* If a general is killed/captured, the formation must roll on the Formation Morale Table during the following Command Phase, applying a -1 modifier (therefore no change if the general was Poor).  Use the next ‘step’ of the table; e.g. if the division hasn’t yet rolled for Formation Morale, use the 1/3rd casualties step.  If it’s already rolled for 1/3rd casualties, use the 1/2 casualties step.  If it’s already rolled for 1/2 casualties, roll again applying the -1 modifier.  If the Army Commander is killed/captured, use the same method at the various ‘steps’ on the Army Morale Table.

* Attached Divisional Commanders may not receive orders from the C-in-C during that turn (the ADC marker waits at their headquarters until the next Command Phase in which the general is unattached).

* Attached Army Commanders may not transmit new orders during turns in which they are attached to a unit.

* Generals apply their generalship rating to Formation Morale rolls, but may not do so when they are attached to a unit (re-living your glory-days as a Colonel is not necessarily effective generalship!).  The exception to this is that divisions led by a Poor general will always apply the -1 modifier, even when the morale-sponge is away from his HQ!

(Note that I’m already amending the rules to add a -1 morale modifier for formations that are already Demoralised.)

* If a formation is broken the general will be killed/captured on a roll of 6 (this is only really relevant to campaign games).

* The Army Headquarters may move during the Movement Phase, provided that the Army Commander is not attached to a unit.  The Army Headquarters may not transmit orders during the turn in which it moves.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Please let me know what you think.

I’m also mulling over some ideas for intermediate Corps/Line/Wing commanders between Army and Division and would welcome ideas from anyone who has attempted such things using Shako (or indeed Tricorn).

There will shortly be a slight break from Tricorns, as I’m presently writing a small Burma scenario and AAR of the game which we played last week.  I thought I’d better give fair-warning to my fellow Laceheads, so that their manservants can stand by with fans, nosegays, smelling-salts and fresh wigs.

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules), Tricorn Rules Resources | 1 Comment

The Battle of Leuthen 5th December 1757: The Refight

Last time I posted my scenario for the Battle of Leuthen, arguably one of the greatest battles of the 18th Century.  Following much delay caused by holiday and subsequent Covid infection, here’s my report of our refight, which was played at the Carmarthen Old Guard on Platinum Jubilee Thursday (2nd June).  As always, the rules used were Tricorn, which is my own conversion of Shako Napoleonic rules.  This game was the ultimate playtest of the system (which I’ve been working on since late 2019 since resurrecting it from 1997) and I’m pleased to report that it worked magnificently! 🙂

So to the game… We’re using my own collection of 15mm models.  The Austrian army is almost all Lancashire Games figures, painted by Gareth Beamish for the collection of our late friend Doug Weatherall, though the Bavarians, Württembergers and Saxons are Old Glory 15s figures, painted by me and covered in previous articles.  The Prussians are all painted by me and are a mixture of Lancashire Games, Old Glory 15s and Eureka figures.  The scenery is a mixture of items from Phil Portway’s collection and my own.

The Prussians were played by Phil Portway, Peter Williams and Sid (whose surname I didn’t catch, sorry).  The Austrians were played by Andy James and Rob Pritchard.  I was Holy Roman Umpire.  Regular readers of this blog will understand that volunteering to umpire games is a tactic I’ve started using in order to avoid losing! 😉

I’m not going to cover the historical background, orbats or scenario details again, so go back to the scenario for that information.  However, here’s the scenario map again for reference:

Above:  Having outflanked the Austrian army, the Prussians close with the Austrian left flank.

Above:  Away to the north, Prince Charles of Lorraine (bottom-left), his attention fixed by a phantom Prussian threat on his right, is blissfully unaware of the very real threat on his left.

Above:  A closer view of the Austrian army.  Frobelwitz village is in the foregrount, with Leuthen itself in the middle-distance.  Although Frobelwitz is on the Austrian left flank of our scenario, it is actually in the centre of the Austrian position.  Behind the camera, Kheul’s infantry and Lucchese’s cavalry extend northward to Nippern and Serbelloni’s cavalry are marching north to join them (historically, Serbelloni would actually still be in the picture at this point, marching past Frobelwitz on the left.)

Above:  The view from the Prussian left flank.  The left-most four battalions are actually just off-table and will arrive as the Prussian line advances.  Württemberg’s advance guard cavalry (mostly hussars, though including a regiment of dragoons), job done, has formed up to the rear of the infantry as Frederick’s cavalry reserve.  Driesen’s cavalry is off table to the left.

The observant might have spotted that I’ve used a regiment of Swedish Horse to stand in for the Prussian dragoons.  I’ve only got four painted Prussian dragoon regiments and they’re already in use under Zieten’s command.  Later in the game these were replaced with one of Zieten’s routed dragoon regiments.

Above:  A view of the Prussian right flank.  Bevern’s six elite battalions form a ‘half square’, protecting the flank of Zieten’s cavalry.  One battalion is actually off-table at the very corner of the position.  I changed this after our game, shifting the map 6 inches southward, to ensure that Bevern’s command was all on table at the start (see the map above).  This does mean that a couple of Colloredo’s Austrian battalions drop off the north edge of the map, but that won’t remotely affect the game.

Above:  The Prussian infantry emerges from dead ground in front of Spiznass’ Württembergers; already-reluctant Austrian allies, who have the misfortune to be holding the left flank.

Above:  Prince Ferdinand of Prussia commands the right wing of the Prussian first line, which has the honour of spearheading the attack.  His division is led by Wedel’s Brigade of three superb battalions (I. Bn ‘Itzenplitz’ Regiment (IR 13) and the two battalions of the ‘Meyerinck’ Regiment (IR 26) with the blue & yellow flags).  Immediately backing them up are three flanking grenadier battalions, the  superb ‘Markgraf Karl’ Regiment (IR 19 – Maltese Cross flags), two battalions of the ‘Garde‘ Regiment (IR 15) and the single-battalion ‘Grenadiergarde‘ Regiment (IR 6).  These units, having been lucky enough to avoid Kolin, represent the cream of Prussia’s infantry arm.  In front of them is the cheese of the Austro-Imperial infantry…

Above:  Another view of the Prussian left wing, the first line of which is commanded by General von Retzow.  The second line of the army is a single command, led by General von Forceade.  The second line is much weaker than the first, being only half the strength of the first line and made up of the remnants of Bevern’s beaten army.

Above:  Frederick and his staff observe the attack from the high ground of the Wach-Berg.  Mounted nearby in a grey coat is the veteran British correspondent, Sir Aiden Catey of the Times of London.  Frederick tolerates him at present, but will probably have to have him executed when he ceases to be amusing…

Above:  Prussian heavy guns, having deployed perilously close to the enemy, open fire from the Juden-Berg.

Above:  On the extreme Austrian left flank, Nadásdy has grouped the three Saxon chevauxleger regiments and Hungarian hussar regiments of Nostitz’s division (on the left) with the four Austrian dragoon regiments of O’Donnell’s division (on the right) and prepares to counter the Prussian attack.

Above:  Near Leuthen, Feldmarschallieutenant von Buccow has disobeyed orders, halting his march northward in response to the new Prussian attack.  He has two regiments of cuirassiers, one of dragoons and a combined regiment consisting of five squadrons of carabiniers (cuirassier elite companies).

Above:  At Frobelwitz, a combined battalion of Austrian grenadiers barricades the western end of the village.  Another battalion has similarly barricaded Leuthen and another further north at Nippern.  All the other detached Austrian grenadier companies are busy guarding baggage or away to the north, hunting the Phantom Menace.  The Württembergers however, have three Prussian-style semi-permanent grenadier battalions and have posted them behind abatis defences in the woodland on the left flank.

Above:  The battle begins.

Above:  Marching forward as if on parade, the Prussian infantry goes straight for the throat.  Behind them, two of Ferdniand’s four heavy batteries deploy on the Glanz-Berg, ready to put some fire down onto the Austrian reserve areas behind Sagschütz hamlet.

Above:  The Prussians waste no time in getting stuck in!  The Bavarians also waste no time in wheeling back to face the threat.

Above:  Württemberger artillery and musketry proves to be remarkably ineffective against the Prussian assault.  [Of seven dice rolled, Andy rolled no fewer than five ones!]

Above:  Not wishing to fight the Prussian cavalry while they have close infantry support, Nadásdy decides to withdraw, hoping to draw Zieten’s cavalry out, beyond the protection of Bevern’s supporting infantry.

Above:  Another view of the assault on Sagschütz.  The Austrian and Württemberg artillery at this end of the line proves no more effective than the Württemberg musketry.  They inflict some light damage on one of the Prussian heavy batteries as it deploys, but little else.

Sorry about the wandering houses!  We used ‘cobbled’ tiles to mark the location of the villages and then placed buildings on/around them, but people do like to move the buildings and then just plonk them down in random places, as here! 🙁

Above:  Boring mêlée gameplay stuff (for the benefit of those who are trying out Tricorn):

Each unit starts with a baseline Frontal Morale Rating (FMR) which then gets modified by its situation.  A d6 is then added for the total result.  The enemy does the same and the difference in the resultant number is the number of losses suffered by the loser.  Once a unit has taken losses equal to its FMR it is ‘broken’ (removed from the table).  The FMR for the Württemberg infantry is 3, with the three grenadier battalions at the bottom of the picture having 4.  Almost all the Prussian units here have 5, with three Guard battalions at the top of the picture having 6 and a few of the supporting battalions having 4.

To make things simple (especially in large mêlés like this), we start by placing a d6 behind each unit, showing its baseline FMR.  The dice is then turned over as modifiers are added subtracted (for high numbers a second d6 is placed).  All of the Württemberg battalions suffered a -1 for Failed Volley and the grenadier battalion on the left of the line suffered -1 for being Staggered and -1 for having Greater Losses.  Most battalions on both sides had +1 for Secure Flanks and +1 for rear Support.  Once that’s done, a d6 is rolled for each unit and placed next to the FMR dice to show the total.  The totals are then compared and results applied.

Looking at the dice above, you can see that the Württemberg line was utterly destroyed in the first assault.  The results starting from the bottom; 1: 6 v 2 – grenadiers have already suffered 2 casualties from artillery fire, so take 2 more and break.  2: 13 v 6 – grenadiers take 4 casualties and break.  3: 12 v 10 – grenadiers take 2 casualties and retreat.  4: 9 v 6 – infantry take 3 casualties and break.  5: 11 v 9 – infantry take 2 casualties and retreat.  6: 14 v 9 – infantry take 3 casualties and break.  7: 8 v 7 – infantry take 1 casualty and retreat.  So that’s three battalions retreated and four destroyed outright.

Above:  As units break or retreat from combat, units within 6 inches to their rear have to make a morale check (roll less than their MR).  If they fail they become Staggered.  At the end of the turn the retreating units then try to rally (by rolling less than their MR); two of the three fail and become broken, so at the end of Turn 1 that’s six Württemberg battalions gone (I./Leib Regiment, all three grenadier battalions and I./Prinz Louis Regiment) out of a starting 13!

Above:  Having already lost more than 1/3rd of his starting MR strength, Von Spiznass rolls to hold his division together and succeeds!  His second line now becomes the next target of the Prussian assault…

Above:  The Prussians come on in the same old way… The hamlet of Sagschütz offers scant cover to the Spiznass Regiment, whose 1st battalion is destroyed and 2nd battalion is forced to retreat to the Kirch-Berg.  East of the hamlet, I./Prinz Louis Regiment is also forced to retreat, while II./Leib Regiment is destroyed outright.  However, the Württembergers manage to restore a little honour at this moment, as on the right of their line, the II./Truchsess Regiment, along with the Bavarian Leib Regiment, manage to halt the charge of the Prussian Garde and Itzenplitz Regiments by fire, while on the left of the line the II./Prinz Louis Regiment manages by the skin of their teeth to beat off the Kremzow Grenadier Battalion.  The Kremzow Grenadiers then fail to rally and scurry off to the rear!

Above:  However, these small successes are all academic, as the Württemberger losses have been catastrophic and what’s left of the corps breaks and flees the field.

Above:  A short time later, the Prussian infantry have taken Sagschütz and their reletless advance has destroyed half of the Bavarian Corps.  The surviving Bavarians fall back to make a stand at the Kirch-Berg.  Behind them, Forgách’s Austrian and Hungarian battalions similarly fall back, hoping to establish a new line facing south.

Above:  At Leuthen meanwhile, Prussian heavy guns have been conducting an artillery-duel with Colloredo’s position batteries.  Although being lightly damaged by return-fire, the Prussians are steadily gaining the upper hand.  Note that had to use Swedish gunners for this battery, as I’d run out of Prussian artillery!

Above:  Colloredo’s infantry seem to be catching the worst of the artillery duel, as the round-shot bounces through their ranks.

Above:  At last the Austrians catch a break as Daun returns to the headquarters and manages to slap some sense into Lorraine!  Two ADCs are soon galloping south toward Buccow’s cavalry.

Above:  Up at Frobelwitz, the whitecoats wonder what all that noise is to the south…

Above:  At Leuthen, the defenders have a much better idea of what is heading their way, but can only stand and watch, while nervously waiting for orders.

Above:  The Prussians advance much faster than the Bavarians can possibly retire and the Bavarians are soon caught in a hail of lead.

Above:  For once, the Prussians don’t even need to charge as several Bavarian battalions are completely broken up by fire.  The remaining battalions follow the Württembergers in fleeing the field.  It’s now the end of Turn 4 and Lorraine has lost 23 battalions and four batteries for Frederick’s loss of one grenadier battalion…  Nevertheless, the Bavarian sacrifice has bought time for the Austrians; Forgách has almost completed his withdrawal to the line of the frozen Radaxdorfer-Bach.

Above:  Nadásdy has now completed his withdrawal, only just beating the allied infantry fugitives to the Radaxdorfer-Bach!  Although Zieten’s Prussian cavalry have left their infantry support far behind, they still have a significant qualitative and numerical advantage over Nadásdy’s Austrians, Hungarians and Saxons; Zieten has five cuirassier regiments (MR 6), three dragoon regiments (MR 5) and a large elite hussar regiment 0f two battalions (MR 5), versus Nadásdy’s four dragoon regiments (MR 5), two hussar regiments (MR 4) and three Saxon chevauleger regiments (MR 5).

Above:  Having cleared away the Württembergers and Bavarians, Prince Ferdinand re-orders his ranks north of Sagschütz before continuing the assault.

Above:  On the Prussian left, Retzow’s division passes through the Juden-Berg battery position.

Above:  Forgách desperately attempts to order his lines before the Prussian infantry reach him.  However, his troops are already suffering casualties from long-range artillery fire and one battalion has already been broken by the sheer volume of fire.  The Prussian gunners are certainly earning their pay this day and the Austrian artillery seems incapable of responding in kind.

Above:  Nadásdy’s men draw swords and prepare to charge…

Above:  To Nadásdy’s rear, Buccow’s cavalry are on the move.  However, to everypne’s surprise, they aren’t going to reinforce Nadásdy against Zieten!  Instead, they move forward, aiming for the gap between Forgách and Colloredo, with orders to remove the troublesome battery from the Butter-Berg and then to engage what they presume to be the Prussian left flank (they don’t know yet about Driesen’s massive cavalry wing lurking in the dead ground, just beyond the Butter-Berg and who is waiting for just such a move).

Above:  At Frobelwitz, some Austrian reinforcements arrive, in the form of part of Arenberg’s Reserve Division of the Right Wing.

Above:  Having drawn Zieten out onto ground of his choosing, Nadásdy finally orders tyhe charge!  Two Austrian dragoon and three Saxon chevauleger regiments smash into four Prussian cuirassier regiments.

Above:  Concerned by the cavalry battle on his flank, Prince Ferdinand turns the I./Markgraf Frederick Regiment, II. Standing Grenadier Battalion and a detachment of battalion guns to protect the flank.

Above:  The ‘scores on the doors’ once again!  For the Prussians (on the left) the red dice are the modified mêlée modifiers, while the blue dice is the rolled d6.  The Austrians are using white dice for the mêlée modifiers and are rolling blue d6 (except for one red d6 at the top).

At the bottom of the picture, the Prussian Garde du Corps get 8 against the Graf Brühl Chevauxlegers’ 10, so suffer 2 casualties and retreat (both sides had rear support but had one open flank, so no secure flanks).  Next, the Gensd’Armes get 9, but are fighting both the Prinz Albrecht and Prinz Carl Chevaulegers, so the Saxons roll for both and pick the best result (the supporting hussar regiment can only support one unit, so the Prinz Albrecht Regt gets the Rear Support +1); they get 13 & 10, so the best result of 13 wins and the Gensd’Armes take 5 casualties and retreat.  Next, the Seydlitz Cuirassiers get 14 against the Jung-Modena Dragoons’ 12, so the dragoons suffer 2 and retreat.  Lastly, the Schönaich Cuirassiers, lacking rear support, get 7 against the Zweibrücken Dragoons’ 8, so retreat with 1 casualty.

Above:  At the end of the combat, the Prussians have astonishingly, lost three combats and won only one!  However, the Prussians have a significant advantage in numbers.

Above:  Neither side sees advantage in launching breakthrough charges with their winning regiments, so opt to rally back behind their supporting lines.  A breakthrough charge would have been especially unwise for the Austrians, as even if successful, it would have left them milling around in front of the Prussian third line.  Combats done, both sides successfully rally all their retreating cavalry regiments.  It’s now the end of Turn 6.

Above:  In Turn 7 the cavalry charge again!  The Austrians have the initiative, so get their charge in first (units blown from combat cannot provide rear support and are easy meat, so despite his regiments’ quality disadvantage, Nadásdy needs to put distance between the Prussians and his rallying regiments.

Above:  On the flank, the Austrian Hessen-Darmstädt Dragoons charge over the Kirch-Berg to hit the supported line of the Markfraf Karl Infantry.  In response, Zieten throws in the Markgraf Friedrich Cuirassiers!  Fighting both units at a significant disadvantage, it doesn’t appear as though the Hessen-Darmstädt Dragoons have a chance!

Above:  In the main cavalry battle the two sides are evenly matched in terms of numbers, but the two Austrian hussar regiments have only MR 4 and are faced by Prussian dragoons with MR 5 and rear support.   The Desewffy Hussars (on the left) face the the Normann Dragoons and are destroyed outright.  In the centre, the Nadásdy Hussars are beaten by the Czetteritz Dragoons and are forced to retreat with 2 casualties.  On the right the Austrian Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons are evenly-matched against the Prussian Stechow Dragoons and fight them to a draw.  However, as the Austrians charged first, they have the advantage and the Stechow Dragoons are forced to retreat.

Above:  On the Kirch-Berg, the Hessen-Darmstädt Dragoons win against astonishing odds!  As mentioned above, they were fighting against two units; the elite I./Markgraf Karl Regiment (MR 5 with +1 for rear support provided by the II. Standing Grenadier Battalion) and the Markgraf Friedrich Cuirassiers (MR 6 though not quite a flanking charge).  Tragically for the Prussians, neither the battalion guns or the infantry manage to do any damage and the dragoons charge home completely fresh!  The dice gods are with the Austrians on this occasion, as neither the infantry or the cuirassiers manage to beat the dragoons!  The cuirassiers are able to retreat, but infantry beaten by cavalry are automatically broken.

The dragoons now have the option to conduct a breakthrough charge and with only the unsupported grenadier battalion in front of them, they take that option and put the Prussian grenadiers to the sword!

Above:  To add insult to injury, the Prussian Markgraf Friedrich Cuirassiers and Czetteritz Dragoons both fail to rally from retreat and go back into the box!

Above:  By contrast, the Nadásdy Hussars manage to rally, though are still ‘blown’ and are now parked in front of the already-rallied Saxon Prinz Carl Chevaulegers.  The victorious Hessen-Darmstädt Dragoons meanwhile are rallying and blown on the Kirch-Berg and right in front of some Prussian battalion guns.  They have also now drawn the attention of the heavy artillery positioned on the Glanz-Berg…  The sudden storm of shot soon wipes the jubilation from Austrian faces as the dragoons are broken and sent packing!

Above:  Nadásdy is pleased with his men’s performance thus far, but the destruction of the Hessen-Darmstädt Dragoons has sharply reminded him that he is still at a significant disadvantage and his luck can’t hold forever.

Above:  Turn 7 brings a slight ‘operational pause’ as the Prussian infantry closes to musketry range with Forgách and the two cavalry wings re-order their lines.  On the Prussian left, Prince Eugene of Württemberg receives orders from Frederick to move to the left flank and counter Buccow’s cavalry with his hussars (note that the Swedish horse have now been replaced with zombie dragoons from the right flank).

Above:  Buccow, having been forced to contract his frontage to squeeze between Colloredo and Forgách, charges into Retzow’s infantry!  Retzow’s command has become somewhat disordered during the advance (the King will have to have a word with him later).  Nevertheless, the Kalckreuth Cuirassiers are subjected to a devastating volley from the two battalions of the Winterfeldt Infantry Regiment, but that doesn’t stop the cuirassiers from sabering a battery before retiring to lick their wounds.

Above:  In the meantime, Nadásdy’s cavalry have charged again, but this time it ends in disaster, with the Nadásdy Hussars broken and the Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons, Prinz Carl Chevaulegers and Graf Brühl Chevaulegers thrown back to the Radaxdorfer-Bach!

Above:  Zieten orders the Jung-Krockow Dragoons and his own hussar regiment to continue the charge on into the sparse second line of Austrian cavalry!  The Austrian Jung-Modena Dragoons are utterly broken and the Prinz Albrecht Chevaulegers are thrown back to join their compatriots.

Above:  The heroic Saxon horsemen rally once again, but Nadásdy knows that they cannot do much more.  With losses nearing catastrophic levels, his men are now demoralised [in game terms this inflicts a permanent -1 on their mêlée rolls and any unit being forced to retreat will automatically break].

Above:  The Prussian cavalry rally following their decisive charge.  However, on their left the Austrian Zweibrücken Dragoons fight on!  Nevertheless, the Seydlitz Cuirassiers have returned and are thirsty for revenge…

Above:  The Prussian infantry continue their relentless march through Lorraine’s army.  Although the Austrian Macquire Regiment (on the left flank), manages to halt the charge of the Prussian Meyerinck Regiment, the rest of Forgåch’s first line is completely smashed.  One battalion of the Heinrich Daun Regiment manages to rally, but the other three battalions (from the Heinrich Daun, Leopold Pálffy & Haller Regiments) are broken by the Prussian Garde and Grenadiergarde.

Above:  With four of his original ten battalions broken, Forgách has now suffered 1/3rd losses, but his remaining battalions stand!

Above:  At the start of Turn 9, most of Zieten’s and Nadásdy’s cavalry are blown following the previous combat.  However, the Seydlitz Cuirassiers charge over the Kirch-Berg to contact the Zweibrücken Dragoons.  The result is a draw, but the Prussian cuirassiers have the qualitative edge and force the Austrian dragoons to retreat.

Above:  Somewhat astonishingly, Forgách has decided to go down fighting and launches a charge on the Prussian infantry!  This is unlikely to end well…

Above:  Buccow is also in an aggressive mood, as he throws his cavalry once again against Retzow’s left flank.  The massed Carabiniers are on the left and the Erzherzog Ferdinand Cuirassiers are on the right, with the Batthiány Dragoons in support.  The Carabiniers suffer heavy casualties from the muskets of the I./Winterfeldt Regiment and are beaten off in mêlée, though manage to rally.  The cuirassiers fare better however and despite being staggered by earlier artillery fire, manage to break the II./Winterfeldt Regiment before retiring back behind the dragoons.

Above:  At long last, Colloredo’s infantry are on the move!  One of the left-flanking battalions has already been broken by fire from the Butter-Berg and their comrades now fall back to defend Leuthen.  The rest of the division is ordered to form a new line facing south and a few battalions push out to remove the Prussian guns and establish the new right flank on the Butter-Berg (they are still unaware of the lurking presence of Driesen’s cavalry and somewhat remarkably, Driesen has decided not to move forward in response to Buccow’s attack on Retzow).

Above:  Arenberg’s division finally reaches Leuthen and not a moment too soon!

Above:  On the Prussian side, Forcade has gathered in his second line of infantry to establish a more concentrated infantry reserve in the centre.

Above:  Württemberg’s hussars stand ready to counter the unlikely possibility of any breakthrough by Buccow.

Above:  As expected, Forgách’s desperate counter-attack does not go well and his division is destroyed!  The only obstacle between them and Leuthen is Buccow’s battered cavalry division.

Above:  On the eastern flank of the battle, the Austrian Zweibrücken Dragoons failed to rally after retreating from their combat with the Seydlitz Cuirassiers, so now its all down to the three Saxon Chevauleger regiments to hold the flank.

Above:  Another view of the Prussian advance.  There are remarkably few casualty-markers behind Prince Ferdinand’s divisions.  Most of the leading battalions have suffered a casualty and the II./Meyerinck (second from right with the blue flag) has suffered three, but that’s it, apart from the three battalions lost earlier on the right flank.  Retzow’s left-hand division has suffered higher casualties due to being faced by larger numbers of Austrian guns and by Buccow’s cavalry (oddly enough, in the actual battle, Retzow also suffered heavily from artillery fire, being more visible to the main Austrian line).

Above:  Serbelloni’s right wing is also now moving south toward Leuthen.  Note that as most units are based in line on a single base, we used MDF arrow markers to indicate direction of travel when in column.  It’s not to everyone’s taste, but it’s FAR easier than fiddling with individual four-figure bases, especially in games of this size.

Above:  Buccow charges again!  Now it’s the turn of the Batthiány Dragoons, who smash into the II./Alt-Braunschweig Regiment, who have just moved forward to plug the gap left by the II./Winterfeldt Regiment, who were broken by the previous charge.

Above:  Astonishingly, the Batthiyáni Dragoons smash the II./Alt-Braunschweig and charge on through the gap!  The Kurszell Fusiliers have the misfortune to be in the way and have just become staggered thanks to the broken infantry in front.  The dragoons ride them down without mercy, taking some small revenge for the disaster  that is unfolding on their left!

Above:  Württemberg knows that Austrian cavalry are causing havoc to his front, but his path is blocked by thousands of friendly infantry!

Above:  On the Prussian right flank, Zieten’s cavalry FINALLY secure the flank of the infantry.

Above:  Concerned by Serbelloni’s move toward the Butter-Berg, Frederick finally orders Driesen’s cavalry to advance.  As if things weren’t already bad enough for the whitecoats…

Above:  However, the cavalry are riding to the rescue!  Lucchese’s Austrian right wing cavalry appear on the crest of the Schön-Berg and move to intercept Driesen!  However, I must confess that I brought these on two turns early for the ‘look of the thing’ as we were running out of time and they wouldn’t see combat.  It’s now Turn 10 and Lucchese isn’t scheduled to turn up until Turn 12.

Above:  As mentioned above, we were sadly running out of club-time for the game.  We’d played for six hours and 10 turns (good going for such a large game and fairly inexperienced players).  However, that suddenly became academic, as the Austrians suffered a thunderbolt from the Dice Gods!

Once again, Nadásdy had been left with no option but to charge.  In front of him were the Prussian Jung-Krockow Dragoons and the two battalions of the elite Zieten Hussars.  So three units versus three, all with MR 5…  However, the Saxon regiments all had greater casualties and the division was still demoralised, while the Prussians all had rear support, so now it was more like 6 v 3.  These heroic regiments had been very lucky in the initial stages of the battle, but now their luck finally ran out… 

Although none were defeated outright in combat, the fact that Nadásdy’s division was demoralised meant that any Retreat result would immediately become Broken.  Consequently, Nadásdy’s heroic cavalry division ceased to exist.

Lorraine’s army had already passed through the 1/4 casualties threshhold on the previous turn, when Forgách’s division disintegrated, but the loss of Nadásdy meant that he now had to test again for passing through 1/3rd losses. 

Lorraine rolled a 1…

So that was the end of our Leuthen refight.  A resounding victory for the Prussians, marked by some astonishingly bad Austrian dice-rolling during key moments (the sole exception being the initial cavalry combat).  Had there been more time, we’d have casually ignored the bad army morale roll and carried on to fight for Leuthen Church, but this time it wasn’t to be.

Thanks to all who played and best wishes to our mate Trevor, who missed the game due to illness.  Trevor will have the pick of commands when we do our Kolin refight soon.

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Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 15 Comments

The Battle of Leuthen 5th December 1757: A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’

Like many others, I originally started wargaming because I wanted to refight the Great Battles of History, as in the epic wargame scene in the film Callan.  It is therefore, very satisfying when you finally manage to tick one off the list! 🙂

One such Great Battle was ticked off the list on Platinum Jubilee Thursday (2nd June), when we refought the Battle of Leuthen (albeit without the snow) at the Carmarthen Old Guard.  As we only had a single available day to play the game, we played it in one day (six hours), but it could easily have gone on for longer, had it not been for some disastrous dice-rolling and an ‘early bath’ for one side!  This was fortunate, as we’d run out of club-time anyway.  This scenario is probably therefore, best played over two days (of if you have the stamina, over a longer period in one day).  I’ll post the after-action report next time, but here’s the scenario, designed for Tricorn rules (our unofficial 18th Century conversion for Shako Napoleonic rules).

It does have to be said that Leuthen, like Rossbach, is one of those battles where it is VERY unlikely to result in anything other than a historical result, but some wargaming itches just beg to be scratched…

Historical Background

Frederick after Kolin

1757 had not started well for King Frederick II of Prussia.  His invasion of Bohemia had resulted first in a pyrrhic victory at Prague and then complete defeat at Kolin, followed by a hasty retreat back to his own borders.  To add to his problems, the Russians were also invading in the east, while the French, together with the Imperial Reichsarmee were poised to invade from the west.

Thankfully for Frederick, Prince Charles of Lorraine squandered Daun’s victory at Kolin by vacillating when he should have been invading Prussian territory.  This Austrian failure gave Frederick the breathing-space he needed to march west and blunt the Franco-Imperial advance.  This he did in spectacular style on 5th November, by utterly crushing the Franco-Imperial army at Rossbach.  Frederick’s army was soon re-tracing its steps, marching hard to once again meet the Austrians, who had finally managed to force Bevern’s Prussian army back into Silesia.

However, Frederick was too late to save Bevern’s army.  Fighting at odds of almost 2:1, Bevern was defeated on 22nd November at Breslau.  Leaving 5,000 men to garrison Breslau, the rest of Bevern’s demoralised army retreated north to the fortress of Glogau.  However, the Breslau garrison, demoralised and under-provisioned, surrendered after only two days, on 24th November.  Upon hearing the news of Bevern’s defeat, Frederick sent General Zieten with his hussars to gather up the surviving units of Bevern’s army and bring them to Parchwitz, some 25 miles west of Breslau.  Frederick himself arrived at Parchwitz on 28th November and after allowing a few days to absorb as many of Bevern’s survivors as could be gathered, set out again on 4th December to meet the Austrians in battle.

Early on the following morning, at the snow-dusted village of Borne, the Prussian advance guard under the Prince of Württemberg surprised and defeated the Austrian advance guard, commanded by the Saxon General Nostitz.  Frederick, right up with the advance guard, immediately galloped forward to the high ground beyond the village and was greeted by the incredible sight of a huge army of whitecoats, stretched out over three miles, from the hamlet of Sagschütz in the south, through the villages of Leuthen and Frobelwitz, to Nippern in the north.  Frederick had seen a very similar sight nearly six months earlier, at Kolin.  However, this time his army was completely hidden from observation by the gently rolling landscape and Lorraine’s main reconnaissance asset had just been swept from the field, leaving the Austrians completely blind.  Frederick also had an ace up his sleeve; he knew the ground intimately, thanks to exercising his army on this very ground during peacetime.

Frederick quickly formulated his plan.  Ordering Württemberg’s advance guard, along with three Frei-Battalions and the Feldjäger zu Fuss to continue on the original axis of advance and demonstrate against the Austrian right wing at Nippern, Frederick ordered the rest of his army to turn south from Borne, using the terrain and patchy fog to mask their  movement as far as Striegwitz.

This manoeuvre worked brilliantly as Lucchese, commanding the Austrian cavalry of the right wing, became convinced that he was about to become the focus of the Prussian attack and begged Lorraine for reinforcements.  Lorraine agreed and ordered all the reserve cavalry, including Serbelloni’s division on the left wing, to march north, while the bulk of the Grenzer and grenadiers were ordered to skirmish out in front of Nippern, in search of the phantom Prussian army.  Marschall Daun, Lorraine’s 2ic and the victor of Kolin, disagreed with this decision (he believed the Prussians to be retiring), but accompanied the troops northward, in order to gain a better appreciation of the situation at Nippern.

Having fixed the Austrian attention to the north, Württemberg’s cavalry now withdrew to join the rear of Frederick’s column, leaving only the small light infantry contingent to maintain a presence in the north.  Driesen now took over responsibility for securing the Prussian left flank; he concealed his cavalry in dead ground behind Radaxdorf, ready to counter any southward Austrian move.

It was now approaching noon and at the front of the column, Bevern’s infantry flank-guard and Ziethen’s large cavalry division had appeared near Sagchütz, followed by the two long columns of Prussian infantry.  The Hungarian General Nadásdy, commanding the Austro-Allied left wing corps, could clearly see what was going to happen and sent appeal after appeal for Serbelloni’s cavalry to return and for Lorraine to see what was happening, but to no avail.  The only general to respond was Feldmarschallieutenant Buccow, commanding one of Serbelloni’s cavalry divisions, who disobeyed his orders and turned back to face the new threat.  Having been left to fend for himself, Nadásdy ordered Spiznass’ Württemberg Corps to refuse the flank to the left and ordered O’Donnell’s cavalry to move to the left flank and form up with Nostitz’s hussars and Saxon chevauxlegers.

While Nadásdy was frantically realigning his command, the Prussian infantry had executed a parade-perfect wheel to the left, forming two lines facing north.  They then performed another wheel by battalions; a three-quarter turn to the right, thereby aligning every battalion in line, arranged one behind the other in two columns aimed at the Württemberg left flank.  As the lead battalions came within musket-shot of the enemy, the entire Prussian infantry contingent executed a perfect quarter-wheel to the left, so that they were once again facing north, but were now arranged in echelon, with the right flank (heavily reinforced with elite battalions) advanced toward the enemy and the vulnerable left flank refused away from any possible Austrian response.  Frederick’s ‘Oblique Advance’ had been executed perfectly and his infantry were now poised to roll up the Austrian-Allied left flank.

However, Zieten’s cavalry were struggling to deploy effectively among the tangle of villages, ponds, woods and the bank of the Schweidnitz River and he was therefore having to attack through the Sagschütz woods at 45 degrees.  It was at this point that Nadásdy managed to strike the first blow, surprising Zieten and routing the Normann Dragoons, even managing to get hussars around and into Zieten’s rear!  However, Bevern’s infantry were deployed against just such an eventuality and their fire halted the Austrian and Saxon horsemen, giving Zieten’s cavalry a chance to rally and finally drive back the enemy.

In the meantime, Frederick had deployed heavy 12pdr and 24pdr guns dangerously close to Austrian lines, on the Butter-Berg and Juden-Berg.  As these began to pour a heavy fire onto Austrian lines, at 1pm the Prussian vanguard smashed into the Württembergers, closely followed by some of the best regiments in Frederick’s army.  The Austro-Allied left flank quickly began to crumble; first the Württembergers and then the Bavarians broke and fled.  Forgàch’s Austrian infantry tried to make a stand on the Kirch-Berg, north of Sagschütz, but now came under fire from heavy guns newly-positioned on the Glanz-Berg and too were broken.  Less than 30 minutes had passed since the initial assault.

Grenadier Battalion ‘Kremzow’ (17/22), on the right flank of the Prussian first line, comes under fire at Sagschütz.

However, Lorraine had finally begun to grasp the enormity of the crisis and was beginning to send formations south to meet the Prussians.  Part of Arenberg’s reserve infantry division had already gone north to Nippern, but his remaining five battalions were now ordered south, to hold the line at Leuthen.

Seeing the disaster unfolding in front of him, Buccow knew that he had to win time for a new line to establish itself at Leuthen.  With only two regiments of cuirassiers, one regiment of dragoons and six elite squadrons, he bravely held off the Prussians for over an hour, until heavy losses finally forced him to withdraw.  The Austrian gunners had also held off Retzow’s Prussian left wing and these sacrifices allowed the new line to begin to crystalise around Leuthen.

At around 3.30pm, the Prussians had finally re-ordered their lines and moved to assault Leuthen village.  Thanks to Buccow’s sacrifice, Arenberg’s infantry were in place, but the toll from the great mass of close-range Prussian heavy artillery was appalling and three battalions were quickly shredded by fire.  Arenberg’s two remaining battalions held on heroically, buying time for Colloredo’s right wing to move up, but they too were eventually forced back.  Nevertheless, their sacrifice had allowed time for the Austrians to stuff thousands of troops into the village and the church, surrounded by thick, almost fortress-like walls, was turned into a strongpoint by the Imperial ‘Rot’ (‘Red’) Würzburg Regiment.

The III. Battalion of the Garde-Regiment (IR 15) storm a breach in the southern wall of the church. Note that this entire battalion wore grenadier mitre caps.

The ‘Pannwitz’ Regiment (IR 10) was initially given the task of assaulting the church, but after numerous fruitless attempts and 710 casualties, the task was passed to the Garde-Regiment (IR 15), which had its II. & III. Battalions present.  For a full half-hour, the Prussian guardsmen were repulsed time and time again by the heroic Würzburgers, until at last III./Garde stormed a breach in the southern wall (above) while II./Garde simultaneously managed to force their way in via the eastern gate (below).  The magnificent Würzburgers simply couldn’t hold out any more and at last a small group of only five officers and 33 men broke out of the churchyard, saving their four colours.  The Prussian Garde-Regiment had lost 510 men in their assault.

The II. Battalion of Regiment-Garde (IR 15) storm the eastern gate of Leuthen Church. Note that this battalion actually wore hats. The red grenadier caps shown were only worn by the regiment’s detached companies of ‘flank-grenadiers’, who formed half of Grenadier Battalion ‘Kleist’ (15/18).

However, the collapse of Leuthen had not yet brought about a collapse of the Austrian army.  As the Prussians exited the northern edge of the village, they came under heavy musketry and canister fire from Colloredo’s infantry and artillery, positioned on the Windmill hill beyond.  More Austrian troops were streaming south through Frobelwitz from Kheul’s right wing.  It was now 4pm, night was falling and Frederick still needed to win the battle.  As so often happened in Frederick’s battles, fate now played a hand…

General of Cavalry Lucchese, who had earlier demanded that reinforcements be sent north to meet the phantom threat, now came south.  At around 4.30pm his great mass of cavalry appeared at the crest of the Schönberg and swept south, intending to roll up what he supposed to be the the Prussian left flank, starting with the juicy target of the Prussian battery on the Butter-Berg.  However, he remained completely unaware of Driesen’s large cavalry wing, which was still hidden behind the ridge of the Sophienberg!

Observing the appearance of Lucchese’s cavalry, Driesen immediately ordered his 50 squadrons forward against Lucchese’s 54 squadrons.  On paper these were a close match, but Driesen had surprise and a flanking position on his side!  The initial clash was catastrophic for the Austrians as Lucchese was killed and the Prussian hussars worked their way round to attack them from the rear, but the Austrian second line somehow managed to check the Prussian attack.  as night began to fall, the pendulum of battle briefly swung back in the Austrians’ favour, but it was at this moment that Prince Eugene of Württemberg struck with his 30 squadrons of hussars and dragoons!

The Austrian cavalry collapsed!  Fugitives swept over the Windmill Hill, closely pursued by Prussian horsemen.  The result was a slaughter as Austrian batteries and battalions, outflanked and overrun by Prussian cavalry, simply dissolved.

Frederick had his victory.

Exhausted and relieved at having survived the battle, Prussian troops sang the hymn ‘Now Thank We All Our God’ amid the carnage of Leuthen.

The Scenario

Note that this scenario does not include large chunks of the Austrian right wing, as with a few exceptions, they didn’t get involved in the battle and by the time they moved south of Frobelwitz and the Prussians reached them, the army was broken.  Their presence is however, reflected in the Austrian army morale level (they receive an additional 100 morale points for the off-table formations).  This also means that we could (just) fit the battle onto a 10 x 6-foot table instead of a 16 x 6-foot table.

The Prussian Army – King Frederick II

(Excellent – 3 ADCs)

Advance Guard – Generallieutenant Prinz von Württemberg (Average)
I. Bn (5 sqns), ‘Werner’ (‘Capuchin’) Hussars (HR 6) [4/1]
II. Bn (5 sqns), ‘Werner’ (‘Capuchin’) Hussars (HR 6) [4/1]
6 Sqns, ‘Warnery’ Hussars (HR 3) (elite) (Large Unit) [5/2]
I. Bn (5 Sqns), ‘Seydlitz’ (‘Red’) Hussars (HR 8) [4/1]
II. Bn (4 Sqns), ‘Seydlitz’ (‘Red’) Hussars (HR 8) [4/1]
5 Sqns, ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons (DR 12) (Large Unit) [5/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Székely’ (‘Green’) Hussars (HR 1) (elite) [5/2]

Flank Guard – Generallieutenant Prinz von Braunschweig-Bevern (Good)
Grenadier Battalion ‘Wedell’ (1/23) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Manteuffel’ (37/40) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Ramin’ (19/25) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Bornstedt’ (13/26) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Asseburg’ Infantry Regiment (IR 27) (elite) [5/2]
II. Bn, ‘Itzenplitz’ Infantry Regiment (IR 13) (elite) [5/2]
Battalion Guns [2/0]

Cavalry of the Right Wing – Generallieutenant von Zieten (Excellent)
3 Sqns, ‘Garde du Corps’ Cuirassiers (CR 13) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Gensd’armes’ Cuirassiers (CR 10) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Seydlitz’ Cuirassiers (CR 8) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Markgraf Friedrich’ Cuirassiers (CR 5) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Jung-Schönaich’ Cuirassiers (CR 6) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Normann’ Dragoons (DR 1) (Large Unit) [5/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Czetteritz’ Dragoons (DR 4) (Large Unit) [5/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Jung-Krockow’ Dragoons (DR 2) (Large Unit) [5/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Stechow’ Dragoons (DR 11) (Large Unit) [5/2]
I. Bn (5 Sqns), ‘Zieten’ (‘Leib’) Hussars (HR 2) (elite) [5/2]
II. Bn (5 Sqns), ‘Zieten’ (‘Leib’) Hussars (HR 2) (elite) [5/2]

Infantry of the Right Wing – Generallieutenant Prinz Ferdinand von Preussen (Good)
I. Bn, ‘Meyerinck’ Infantry Regiment (IR 26) (elite) [5/2]
II. Bn, ‘Meyerinck’ Infantry Regiment (IR 26) (elite) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Itzenplitz’ Infantry Regiment (IR 13) (elite) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Kleist’ (4/16) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Unruh’ (Standing Grenadier Battalion 2) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Kremzow’ (17/22) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Markgraf Karl’ Infantry Regiment (IR 19) (elite) [5/2]
II. Bn, ‘Markgraf Karl’ Infantry Regiment (IR 19) (elite) [5/2]
II. Bn, ‘Garde’ Infantry Regiment (IR 15) (guard) [6/2]
III. Bn, ‘Garde’ Infantry Regiment (IR 15) (guard) [6/2]
‘Grenadiergarde’ Infantry Regiment (IR 6) (guard) [6/2]
I. Bn, ‘Kannacher’ Infantry Regiment (IR 30) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Kannacher’ Infantry Regiment (IR 30) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Pannwitz’ Infantry Regiment (IR 10) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Pannwitz’ Infantry Regiment (IR 10) [4/1]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]

Infantry of the Left Wing – Generallieutenant von Retzow (Average)
I. Bn, ‘Geist’ Infantry Regiment (IR 8) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Geist’ Infantry Regiment (IR 8) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Winterfeldt’ Infantry Regiment (IR 1) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Winterfeldt’ Infantry Regiment (IR 1) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Forcade’ Infantry Regiment (IR 23) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Forcade’ Infantry Regiment (IR 23) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ Infantry Regiment (IR 5) (elite) [5/2]
II. Bn, ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ Infantry Regiment (IR 5) (elite) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Hacke’ (3/6) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Schenckendorf’ (35/36) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Dieringshofen’ (21/27) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Kurszell’ Füsilier Regiment (IR 37) [4/1]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]

Infantry of the Second Line – Generallieutenant von Forcade * (Average)
I. Bn, ‘Prinz von Preussen’ Infantry Regiment (IR 18) (elite) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Münchow’ Füsilier Regiment (IR 36) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Jung-Braunschweig’ Füsilier Regiment (IR 39) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Alt-Württemberg’ Füsilier Regiment (IR 46) [4/1]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Östenreich’ (29/31) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Plötz’ (Standing Grenadier Battalion 6) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Prinz Ferdinand’ Infantry Regiment (IR 34) (elite) [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion ‘Kahlden’ (Standing Grenadier Battalion 1) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Prinz Heinrich’ Füsilier Regiment (IR 35) (elite) [5/2]
I. Bn, ‘Kalckstein’ Infantry Regiment (IR 25) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Kalckstein’ Infantry Regiment (IR 25) [4/1]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]

Cavalry of the Left Wing – Generallieutenant von Driesen (Good)
5 Sqns, ‘Krockow’ Cuirassiers (CR 1) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Leib-Carabiniers’ Cuirassiers (CR 11) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Driesen’ Cuirassiers (CR 7) (Large Unit) [6/2]
I. Bn (5 Sqns), ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons (DR 5) (Large Unit) [5/2]
II. Bn (5 Sqns), ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons (DR 5) (Large Unit) [5/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Kyau’ Cuirassiers (CR 12) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Schönaich’ Cuirassiers (CR 9) (Large Unit) [6/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Gessler’ Cuirassiers (CR 4) (Large Unit) [6/2]
I. Bn (5 Sqns), ‘Puttkamer’ Hussars (HR 4) (elite) [5/2]
II. Bn (5 Sqns), ‘Puttkamer’ Hussars (HR 4) (elite) [5/2]

Artillery Reserve

Butter-Berg Battery
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]

Juden-Berg Battery
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]

Prussian Notes

* Forcade’s 2nd Line covers a massive frontage and it might be easier for game-play purposes if it were split into two wings; Generalmajor von Oldenburg’s Brigade on the left of the 2nd Line had the Kalckstein Musketeers (2 bns), Prince Ferdinand Musketeers (1 bn), Kahlden Grenadier Bn, the Prince Henry Fusiliers (1 bn) and a battery of battalion guns, for a total FMR of 25.  On the right of the line, Generalmajor von Bülow’s Brigade had the Plötz Grenadiers, Östenreich Grenadiers, Alt-Württemberg Fusiliers, Jung-Braunschweig Fusiliers, Münchow Fusiliers, Prince von Preussen Musketeers (1 bn each) and the remaining battalion guns, with a total FMR of 29.  Class both Brigadiers as Average.

Note that I’ve reduced the number of Battalion Guns on both sides in order to speed up play and to reduce the likelihood of the game bogging down into an artillery-duel.  The ratio would normally be one battery of battalion guns for every four Prussian battalions or for every four Austrian battalions (not including grenadiers), but I’ve increased the ratio here to 1:6.

Only the Heavy Position Batteries are marked on the map.  The Butter-Berg and Juden-Berg Batteries start the game unlimbered at Effective Range (i.e. within the 12″-20″ range-band) from the nearest enemy unit.  All other Prussian artillery starts the game limbered.  Battalion Guns should be dispersed equally among the infantry battalions; either deployed in front or in the intervals between battalions.  The 2nd Line should also have its appropriate share of Battalion Guns.

Prussian Formation Breakpoints

Division                FMR   ⅓    ½     ¾
Württemberg            31       11     16     24
Bevern                        32       11     16     24
Zieten                         60       20    30    45
Ferdinand                 92        31    46     69
Retzow                       63        21    32     48
Forcade                      54        18    27     41
Driesen                      56         19    28    42
Artillery Reserve*    12          –       –       –

Army                     FMR     ¼      ⅓      ½
Prussian Army        390       98    130    195

* The MR value of any broken Artillery Reserve Batteries are added when assessing overall Army losses.

Prussian Orders

All Prussian infantry divisions except Bevern must start the game on Attack orders.

Zieten’s and Bevern’s Divisions may start the game on Attack or Defend orders.

Württemberg’s Division must start the game on Reserve orders.

Driesen’s Division starts the game off-table and may be ordered to ride to the battle, though may intervene without orders (see below).

No orders may be changed until the Orders Phase of Turn 2.

Prussian Reinforcements

Due to limited table size, the left flank of the Prussian infantry and Württemberg’s cavalry may be brought on to table, adjacent to the left flank of their parent formations, at any time.

Driesen’s cavalry is off-table to the west, concealed by the high ground of the Sophien-Berg, just to the west of Radaxdorf. Driesen is tasked with countering any move by Austrian cavalry against the Prussian left flank. His division MAY appear (at the Prussian player’s choice) two turns (or later) after the arrival of any new Austrian cavalry formations OR if any Austrian cavalry units push west of the main Austrian line.  They may arrive anywhere between Lobetinz and the Briegwasser stream.  The division arrives in three lines: CR 1, CR 7, CR 11 & DR 5 (from right to left) in the first line, CR 12, CR 9 & CR 4 in the second line and HR 4 forming the third line.  Driesen will arrive under Attack orders (mark command arrow on map).

Frederick may alternatively give Attack orders to Driesen’s cavalry at any time from the Orders Phase of Turn 2 onward.  Driesen is classed as being one ADC move from Frederick and if successful, Driesen will arrive two turns later (arrival locations and formation as above).

If you want to maintain the fog of war, use this briefing map for the Prussians:

The Austrian Army – Feldmarschall Prince Charles of Lorraine

(Poor – 1 ADC)*

Infantry of the Left Wing (Left) – Feldzeugmeister Graf Colloredo** (Average)
I. Bn, ‘Moltke’ Infantry Regiment (IR 13) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Hildburghausen’ Infantry Regiment (IR 8) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Hildburghausen’ Infantry Regiment (IR 8) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Carl Lothringen’ Infantry Regiment (IR 3) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Carl Lothringen’ Infantry Regiment (IR 3) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Baden-Baden’ Infantry Regiment (IR 23) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Gaisruck’ Infantry Regiment (IR 32) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘L. (Jung-) Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment (IR 10) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘L. (Jung-) Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment (IR 10) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Harrach’ Infantry Regiment (IR 47) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Harrach’ Infantry Regiment (IR 47) (Large Unit) [4/1]
Grenadier Battalion [5/2]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Light Battery [3/0]

Infantry of the Left Wing (Right) – Feldzeugmeister Graf Colloredo** (Average)
I. Bn, ‘Alt-Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment (IR 29) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Alt-Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment (IR 29) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Joseph Esterházy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 37) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Joseph Esterházy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 37) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Nicholas Esterházy’ Hungarian’ Infantry Regiment (IR 33) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Nicholas Esterházy’ Hungarian’ Infantry Regiment (IR 33) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Thurheim’ Infantry Regiment (IR 25) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Kheul’ Infantry Regiment (IR 49) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Kheul’ Infantry Regiment (IR 49) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Deutschmeister’ Infantry Regiment (IR 4) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, Imperial ‘Rot-Würzburg’ Infantry Regiment (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Browne’ Infantry Regiment (IR 36) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Bethlen’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 52) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Harsch’ Infantry Regiment (IR 50) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Harsch’ Infantry Regiment (IR 50) (Large Unit) [4/1]
Grenadier Battalion [5/2]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Heavy Battery [3/0]
Light Battery [3/0]

Reserve Infantry of the Left Wing – Feldmarschallieutenant Forgách (Good)
I. Bn, ‘Heinrich Daun’ Infantry Regiment (IR 45) (Large Unit) [4/1]
II. Bn, ‘Heinrich Daun’ Infantry Regiment (IR 45) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Leopold Pálffy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 19) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Haller’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 31) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Macquire’ Infantry Regiment (IR 46) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Luzan’ Infantry Regiment (IR 48) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Clerici’ Infantry Regiment (IR 44) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Forgách’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 32) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘A. Batthiány’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 34) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Joseph Pálffy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 39) (Large Unit) [4/1]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Light Battery [3/0]
Light Battery [3/0]
Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer [Skirmishers]

Württemberg Auxiliary Corps – Feldmarschallieutenant Graf Spiznass (Poor)
I. Bn, ‘Truchsess’ Fusilier Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Truchsess’ Fusilier Regiment (poor) [3/0]
I. Bn, ‘Röder’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Röder’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
I. Bn, ‘Prinz Louis’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Prinz Louis’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
I. Bn, ‘Leib’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Leib’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
I. ‘Klettenberg’ Grenadier Battalion [4/1]
II. ‘Pless’ Grenadier Battalion [4/1]
III. ‘Georgi’ Grenadier Battalion [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Spiznass’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Spiznass’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]
Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer [Skirmishers]

Bavarian Auxiliary Corps – Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf Seyssel d’Aix (Poor)
II. Bn, ‘Kurprinz’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
I. Bn, ‘Preysing’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
I. Bn, ‘Erzherzog Clemens’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Erzherzog Clemens’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Leib’ Infantry Regiment [4/1]
III. Bn, ‘Leib’ Infantry Regiment [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Morawitzky’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Morawitzky’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
I. Bn, ‘Minucci’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
II. Bn, ‘Minucci’ Infantry Regiment (poor) [3/0]
Battalion Guns [2/0]

Reserve Cavalry of the Left Wing – General der Cavallerie Nadásdy (Good)
6 Sqns, ‘Hessen-Darmstädt’ Dragoons (D19) (Large Unit) [5/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Zweibrücken’ Dragoons (D39) (Large Unit) [5/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Jung-Modena’ Dragoons (D13) (Large Unit) [5/2]
4 Sqns, Saxon ‘Prinz Carl’ Chevaulegers† [5/2]
4 Sqns, Saxon ‘Prinz Albrecht’ Chevaulegers† [5/2]
4 Sqns, Saxon ‘Graf Brühl’ Chevaulegers† [5/2]
6 Sqns, Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons (D28) (Large Unit) [5/2]
5 Sqns, ‘Nadásdy’ Hussars (H11)† [4/1]
5 Sqns, ‘Dessewffy’ Hussars (H34)† [4/1]

Elements, Cavalry of the Left Wing – Feldmarschallieutenant Graf Buccow‡ (Excellent)
6 Sqns, ‘Kalckreuth’ Cuirassiers (C22) (Large Unit) [6/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Erzherzog Ferdinand’ Cuirassiers (C4) (Large Unit) [6/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Batthiány’ Dragoons (D7) (Large Unit) [5/2]
5 Sqns, Massed Carabinier Companies (Large Unit) [6/2]

Reserve Infantry of the Right Wing (-) – Feldmarschallieutenant Herzog von Arenberg (Average)
I. Bn, ‘Mercy-Argentau’ Infantry Regiment (IR 56) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Haller’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment (IR 31) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘De Ligne’ Infantry Regiment (IR 38) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘D’Arberg’ Infantry Regiment (IR 55) (Large Unit) [4/1]
I. Bn, ‘Andlau’ Infantry Regiment (IR 57) (Large Unit) [4/1]
Battalion Guns [2/0]

Cavalry of the Right Wing – General der Cavallerie Graf Lucchese§ (Average)
6 Sqns, ‘Erzherzog Joseph’ Dragoons (D1) (Large Unit) [5/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Erzherzog Leopold’ Cuirassiers (C3) (Large Unit) [6/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Lucchese’ Cuirassiers (Cii) (Large Unit) [6/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Stampach’ Cuirassiers (C10) (Large Unit) [6/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Löwenstein’ Cuirassiers (C27) (Large Unit) [6/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Benedict Daun’ Dragoons (D31) (Large Unit) [5/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Herzog Württemberg’ Dragoons (D38) (Large Unit) [5/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Serbelloni’ Cuirassiers (C12) (Large Unit) [6/2]
6 Sqns, ‘Anhalt-Zerbst’ Cuirassiers (C25) (Large Unit) [6/2]

Austrian Notes

* Starting on Turn 2: At the start of each Initiative Phase, roll 1 d6 for Prince Charles of Lorraine.  On a roll of 6, Feldmarschall Daun takes command for that turn: increase C-C Quality to Good (rolls 2 d6 command dice) and an extra ADC can be deployed this turn.  At the end of the turn command reverts to Lorraine and the extra ADC is removed if he wasn’t used.  NB The extra ADC can be used first, leaving the ‘regular’ ADC at headquarters.  Daun will then add an ADC every time he appears, even if his previous additional ADC is still in play, galloping toward his destination.

** I’ve arbitrarily split Colloredo’s massive command into two wings (Left & Right) for game flexibility.  The Left consists of the brigades of Puebla (1st Line) and Wied (2nd Line), while the Right comprises the brigades of D’Arberg & Angern (1st Line) and Haller (2nd Line).

† The Saxon Generallieutenant Nostitz was seriously wounded during the initial cavalry combat at Borne.  Nevertheless, he carried on fighting hard at Sagschütz, though would die from his wounds twelve days later, after being captured by the Prussians.  His division (consisting of the three Saxon-Polish Chevauxleger regiments and two Austrian Hussar regiments) is grouped with O’Donnell’s Austrian cavalry, under Nadásdy’s command.  I did consider marking each of Nostitz’s regiments with a single casualty at the start of the game, to account for losses suffered at Borne, but they did remarkably well doing the clash at Sagschütz, so decided to leave them as they are.

‡ Feldmarschallieutenant Buccow was ordered to move north with the rest of Serbelloni’s Left Wing Cavalry Division, in response to a perceived Prussian attack on the Austrian right flank.  However, when the Prussian attack appeared on the LEFT flank, Buccow disobeyed orders, halted his division and then mounted a counter-attack (along with five amalgamated elite squadrons described as Carabiniers, but possibly also including Horse Grenadiers) against the Prussian infantry advancing from Sagschütz.

§ The Austrian Right Wing under Kheul, the cavalry of the Left Wing under Serbelloni (with the exception of Buccow’s Division), the massed light troops and grenadiers (who were skirmishing in front of the right flank near Nippern) and part of Arenberg’s Reserve Division played no significant part in the battle and aren’t therefore represented here.  However, the strength of the missing right wing is counted for army morale purposes with an arbitrary extra 100 army morale points (below).

Note that I’ve reduced the number of Battalion Guns on both sides in order to speed up play and to reduce the likelihood of the game bogging down into an artillery-duel.  The ratio would normally be one battery of battalion guns for every four Prussian battalions or for every four Austrian battalions (not including grenadiers), but I’ve increased the ratio here to 1:6.

All Austrian & allied artillery starts the game unlimbered.  Only the Position Batteries are shown on the map.  Battalion Guns should be dispersed equally among the infantry battalions; either deployed in front or in the intervals between battalions.  The 2nd Line should also have its appropriate share of Battalion Guns.

Austrian Formation Breakpoints

Division               FMR     ⅓      ½     ¾
Colloredo (Left)        59       20     30     45
Colloredo (Right)     77        26     39     58
Forgách                      50        17     25     38
Spiznass                     44        15     22     33
Seyssel d’Aix              34        11     17     26
Nadásdy                     43        15     22     33
Buccow                       23        8      12      18
Arenberg                    22        8      11       17
Lucchese                    45        15     23     34
Right Wing§             100       –        –         –

Army                     FMR     ¼      ⅓       ½
Austrian Army         497      125    166    249

Austrian Orders

All Austrian, Bavarian and Württemberg infantry formations must start the game on Defend orders.

Nadásdy’s Division may start the game on Attack or Defend orders.

Buccow’s Division must start the game on Reserve orders.

Arenberg’s and Lucchese’s Divisions start the game off-table and will arrive as reinforcements (see below).

No orders may be changed until the Orders Phase of Turn 2.

Austrian Reinforcements

Turn 4 – Arenberg’s Infantry Division arrives on the north table edge, east of Frobelwitz.  The division is formed in a column of five battalions and is on Attack orders (mark command arrow on map).

Turn 12 – Lucchese’s Cavalry Division arrives on the north table edge, up to 24 inches west of the Briegwasser stream and is on Attack orders (mark command arrow on map).  The division is formed in two lines, with the dragoon regiments on the right flank (D1, C3, Cii, C10 & C27 in the first line and D31, D38, C12 & C25 in the second line).

If you want to maintain the fog of war, use this briefing map for the Austrians:

Terrain

The terrain is frozen, with a light covering of snow, so the terrain is easily traversable by all troop-types.

The streams are frozen and are insignificant obstacles, for decorative purposes only.  They do not affect movement.

The woodland areas are just sparse, open winter scrub with a few scattered trees.  In game terms they are treated as ‘Orchards/Vineyards’: 2/3 speed for infantry, 1/3 speed for cavalry and impassable to artillery.  They do not impede line of sight and do not act as cover.

The hills are just low, rolling rises.  They serve to block lines of sight and allow artillery units placed on them to fire overhead, but do not give a +1 melee benefit to the defender.

The villages are very open, straggling settlements, consisting mostly of gardens with a few houses.  Therefore class as ‘Woods’: 1/2 speed for infantry and only passable to other troops if they remain in column/limbered.  Villages provide a -1 cover modifier from fire for defending infantry, but no melee modifier (Flank and Rear Support modifiers are applied as normal).  Any cavalry or artillery charged while passing through a village will be automatically broken.  Villages will block line of sight, though fire will penetrate up to 2 inches.

The western ends of Leuthen and Frobelwitz are barricaded and will provide one battalion with a +1 melee modifier against attacks from the west (the game starts with an Austrian grenadier battalion defending each barricade).

The only Built-Up Sector on the map is Leuthen Church, which may hold one battalion and may not be passed through by cavalry or artillery.  This is surrounded by very strong walls and fills the centre of the village.  It may be targeted by artillery fire from the north or south, provided that the line of fire does not pass through the village.  It provides a +2 melee modifier to defending infantry.  Infantry defending Leuthen Church may not receive Flank or Rear Support, but if occupied by friendly troops, the position will provide neighbouring troops with Flank or Rear Support.

The three Württemberg Grenadier Battalions on Spiznass’ left flank are deployed behind an abatis.  This gives them a +1 melee modifier against frontal attacks.  Sadly, I only discovered this little nugget AFTER we’d played the game, but with Andy’s dice-rolling it made absolutely no difference whatsoever… 🙂

Game Length & Victory Conditi0ns

The game will last until the end of Turn 16 or until one army breaks, whichever comes first.

The Prussians MUST break the Austrian army to claim Victory (which will automatically be a Historic Victory).  If they fail to break the Austrians by the end of the game, the Austrians will be awarded Victory.

If the Austrians by some miracle, manage to break the Prussian army they may claim a Historic Victory.

Bugger…

Anyway, that’s all from me for now… Possibly terminally… 🙁

Yes, after managing to avoid the Flu-Manchu for over two years, Chairman Mao has finally got his revenge on me and Mrs Fawr!  We’re presently sweating like a Para in a spelling test, coughing like a veteran BBC presenter in a kindergarten and feeling sicker than Marshal Murat’s tailor. 🙁

Cash donations to the Jemima Fawr Recovery Fund may be paid here.

If I’m spared I’ll be back soon with the Leuthen AAR.

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Games, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 8 Comments

“King George Commands And We Obey”: My SYW British Army (Part 3: Cavalry)

In my last post I discussed the controversy surrounding the actions (or rather, the lack of) of the British-Hanoverian cavalry at the Battle of Minden in 1759, the subsequent sacking of Lord Sackville and his replacement with the Marquess of Granby, who restored the reputation of the British cavalry with his astonishing charge at the Battle of Warburg in 1760.  This time I’m looking at the cavalry regiments themselves.

As previously discussed, I’m using the order of battle for the Battle of Minden as a ‘to do’ list for my collecting and painting.  At Minden the cavalry regiments of the Allied Right Wing were commanded by Lieutenant General Lord George Sackville, who also took personal command of the First Line.  This formation consisted of Colonel Carl von Breydenbach’s Hanoverian Brigade, comprising the Garde du Corps (1 Sqn), Grenadiers à Cheval (1 Sqn) & Breydenbach Dragoons (4 Sqns) and Colonel John Mostyn’s British Brigade, which contained the Royal Horse Guards (3 Sqns), 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards (3 Sqns) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (2 Sqns).

Lieutenant General John Manners, Marquess of Granby commanded the Second Line, which consisted of Colonel Granville Elliot’s British Brigade, comprising the 3rd (Howard’s) Dragoon Guards (2 Sqns), 10th (Mordaunt’s) Dragoons (2 Sqns), 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons (2 Sqns) and Colonel von Bock’s Hanoverian Brigade, with the Bremer Horse (2 Sqns) and Veltheim Horse (2 Sqns).

After Minden the British contingent was expanded to more than double its initial strength, with the 3rd Horse (Carabiniers), 4th (‘Black’) Horse, 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons, 11th (Ancram’s) Dragoons and 15th (Elliot’s) Light Dragoons all being added to the order of battle.  These regiments each had just two squadrons excepting the 15th Light Dragoons, who had three squadrons.

As with the French cavalry, such tiny regiments aren’t really strong enough to be a ‘unit’ in Tricorn.  In my French army, a cavalry unit therefore usually represents a brigade of three two-squadron regiments (three four-figure bases, each representing a regiment), as the strength of a two-squadron French regiment on campaign was typically only around 240 men.  British two-squadron regiments were significantly stronger on campaign and averaged around 350-400 men, as did the Hanoverian and Hessian regiments of Reitere (Horse).   British Dragoon and Dragoon Guards regiments were also supplemented from December 1755 with a Light Dragoon Troop (also often described as a ‘Company’), the strength of which ranged from 71 to 120 men.  However, these could sometimes be deployed to different theatres of war from their parent regiment.

Consequently, I model these two-squadron regiments as a six-figure base and combine two such regiments together to make a unit.  The three-squadron regiments such as the Royal Horse Guards, 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards and 15th Light Dragoons had enough men to warrant being a ‘unit’ in their own right, so I do those as a single group of twelve figures.

Others may well have their own ideas, but that’s how I do it. 🙂

Above:  The 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons, popularly known as the ‘Scots Greys’ were one of the most distinctive cavalry regiments in the British Army.  To start with, they were famously mounted on grey horses, which in other regiments were the sole preserve of trumpeters and drummers.  Secondly, they were the only regiment among the cavalry of the line (i.e. the Regiments of Horse, Dragoon Guards, Dragoons and Light Horse) to wear grenadier-style mitre-caps.  The two troops of Horse Grenadier Guards also wore mitres, but they were never deployed outside the UK during the Seven Years War.

The Scots Greys were also the first British regiment to whiten their leather equipment (belts and cartridge pouch).  It has been suggested that other regiments may have done so during the Seven Years War, but none have been positively identified.  By contrast, David Morier painted a dragoon of the Scots Greys wearing his white equipment in this painting from the late 1740s.

Above:  These figures, as with all my British, Hanoverian and French cavalry thus far, are by Eureka Miniatures.  However, Eureka don’t do specific Scots Greys figures and these figures are therefore the closest match, namely Horse Grenadiers.  As such, they have the double cross-belts of the Heavy Horse, rather than the single buckled cross-belt of the Dragoons.  They also lack the dragoon-style aiguillette on the right shoulder.

This seems a curious choice on Eureka’s part.  As I’ve already mentioned above, the Horse Grenadier Guards didn’t fight during the Seven Years War, though they did fight during the War of Austrian Succession.  There was a single squadron of Hanoverian Horse Grenadiers and each Hanoverian Dragoon Regiment included a Horse Grenadier Company, but those units had the same uniform features as the Scots Greys (dragoon-style belts and aiguillettes).  Ah well, they’re nicely modelled; I can happily ignore the extra belt and I can paint on the aiguillette!

Above:  The Scots Greys had blue facings, small-clothes and horse-furniture, with white ‘metal’ (i.e. buttons and lace) and yellow lace edging to the horse furniture, with a central blue stripe.  Drummers wore a shorter version of the mitre-cap with a loose ‘bag’ and wore Royal Livery.  The Light Dragoon Troop wore the same uniform with a shorter version of the mitre cap, though I haven’t modelled these, as they were detached on coastal raiding duties around the French coast.

For the flag, I’ve gone with a blue Regimental Guidon by Maverick Models.  All Dragoon and Light Dragoon Regiments had swallow-tailed guidons; the 1st Squadron would carry the King’s Guidon which was coloured crimson for all regiments.  The other squadrons would each carry a Regimental Guidon which matched the regimental facing colour.

Above:  The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons were another two-squadron regiment.  They had yellow facings and small-clothes (the small-clothes of British cavalry regiments always matched the facing colour) with white ‘metal’ (i.e. the colour of buttons, buttonhole-lace, aiguillette and hat-lace; silver or gold for officers and white or yellow for other ranks).  Horse-furniture was also yellow and was edged with white lace with a blue central stripe. The shabraque was decorated with a wreathed blue patch, embroidered with the Inniskilling ‘ancient badge’ of a white, three-turreted castle.  Most other regiments had a red patch with the regimental title in white Roman numerals (e.g. ‘X D’ for the 10th Dragoons).  Note however, that this regiment had pointed shabraques, but there’s no way to modify the models, as the shabraques are moulded to the horses.

Leather equipment was buff.  Cloaks were always rolled behind the saddle with the facing-coloured lining outermost, though the red showed at the ends, like the jam in a Swiss Roll, as can clearly be seen in the Morier painting on the right.

I’ve got no information on where the Inniskilling Dragoons’ Light Dragoon Troop served during the war and they may well have been deployed with the regiment.  However, I haven’t modelled any regimental Light Dragoon Troops, as the Eureka Light Dragoon figures are all modelled charging ‘balls-out’ and would look rather strange when based next to these fellas in their standing/walking poses.  I will do some Light Dragoons when I get around to painting the 15th (Elliott’s) Regiment of Light Horse.  Light Dragoon Troops usually wore a black leather cap, with a semi-circular, red flap turned up at the front, decorated rather like a grenadier cap.  The bowl of the cap then usually had a brass crest and was often decorated with a coloured cloth turban, a red horsehair mane and sometimes a short feather plume.

Above:  Regiments of Dragoons and Dragoon Guards during this period always had drummers, not trumpeters, though Dragoon Guards also had oboists and kettle-drummers.  Regiments of Light Horse had drummers and hunting-hornists, while Regiments of Horse had trumpeters and kettle-drummers.  Musicians usually rode grey horses and wore very heavily-laced ‘livery coats’ that were normally in the facing colour (as here), though Royal Regiments wore Royal Livery.  Drummers wore a short mitre-cap much like those of the infantry drummers, but with a tasseled bag hanging at the rear.

I’ve given the Inniskillings a yellow Regimental Guidon, again by Maverick Models.  The fringed edge was of mixed silver and blue cords (the blue matching the central stripe of the shabraque lace).

Above:  The 10th Dragoons (Mordaunt’s) were another two-squadron regiment.  They had a uniform very similar to that of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons above, with yellow facings, yellow horse-furniture and white ‘metal’.  However, they had a slightly different arrangement and grouping of lace on the breast, sleeves and tails and the central stripe of the lace edging was green.  This time the shabraque was decorated with the more usual red patch with ‘X’ over ‘D’ in white, indicating the 10th Regiment of Dragoons.

Again, I’ve no information as to what the regiment’s Light Dragoon Troop did during the war, but they are known to have worn brass helmets.

Above:  For the 10th Dragoons I’ve again gone for a yellow Regimental Guidon (by Maverick Models), rather than the crimson King’s Guidon.  Note that the fringed edge was of mixed silver and green cords, again reflecting the central stripe colour of the lace edging.

Above:  The 3rd Dragoon Guards (Howard’s) again had only two squadrons totaling 387 men, so only six figures.  The three regiments of Dragoon Guards had been formed in 1747 from the former 2nd, 3rd & 4th Regiments of Horse.  This was done an economy measure, as Troopers of Horse were paid far more than Dragoons, yet as the Dragoons got heavier and heavier, their battlefield role had merged to the point where they were almost completely interchangeable.  Although they were now paid as Dragoons, the title ‘Dragoon Guards’ was introduced in order to maintain the order of seniority and to preserve a little esprit de corps in the re-titled regiments.  However, a fly was thrown into the ointment by the Irish Establishment, who refused to allow the conversion of the Irish 5th to 8th Regiments of Horse.  The 5th to 8th Regiments of Horse were therefore re-numbered 1st to 4th, but remained junior to the Dragoon Guards.  The former 1st (Royal) Regiment of Horse (‘The Blues’) became the Royal Horse Guards at this time.

One curious thing worth mentioning, is that while their role remained essentially unchanged, there is no mention of the Dragoon Guards receiving cuirasses and iron skull-caps for the campaign in Germany.  By contrast, the Royal Horse Guards and the 3rd & 4th Regiments of Horse all received these pieces of armour when they deployed to Germany.

The 3rd Dragoon Guards’ Light Dragoon Troop when formed, consisted of 71 men, bringing the total strength of the regiment to 458 men.  However, while the regiment was deploying to Germany in 1758, the Light Dragoon Troop spent the year with the Light Dragoon Troops of several other regiments, supporting raiding operations around the French coast.  Sadly, I’ve no idea if it ever rejoined the regiment in Germany.

Above:  The 3rd Dragoon Guards had white facings and horse-furniture, with yellow ‘metal’ and yellow shabraque-edging with a red central stripe.  The Dragoon Guards had Dragoon-style coats with an aiguillette at the right shoulder, though with infantry-style ‘half-lapels’ that came down as far as the waist and were squared-off at the bottom.  By contrast, the Regiments of Horse had full lapels that went all the way to the bottom hem of the coat.

As it happens, Eureka don’t do Dragoon Guards’ figures, so I had to choose between Dragoons or Horse.  Due to the lapels, I foolishly opted for Horse, completely forgetting that Horse had two broad cross-belts, instead of the single Dragoon-style buckled cross-belt worn by Dragoon Guards.  I SHOULD have gone for Dragoon figures and then just painted in the lapels… Ah, well…  As with the Scots Greys, I just painted in the aiguillettes.

One other surprise was that I received a kettle-drummer instead of the ordered Dragoon drummer.  I had originally intended to avoid these buggers, as they wore an especially elaborate version of the livery-coat. plus the added complication of the fancy drapery around the drums.  I couldn’t find any pictures or detailed descriptions of the regiment’s kettle-drummers, so for reference I used this Morier painting of a kettle-drummer belonging to the 1st Regiment of Horse (note the ‘I H’ on the drums), replacing the facing and lace colours of the 1st Horse (light blue facings and white lace with a red stripe) with those of the 3rd Dragoon Guards (white facings and yellow lace with a red stripe).

Above:  I’ve used a white Regimental Guidon for the 3rd Dragoon Guards, again by Maverick Models.  The fringe this time was mixed gold and silver.  While they used Dragoon-style swallow-tailed Regimental Guidons, the Dragoon Guards had square King’s Standards, reflecting their origins as Regiments of Horse.  In the British Army, a Guidon was always swallow-tailed, while a Standard was always square; the Horse and Royal Horse Guards had only Standards, the Dragoons and Light Horse had only Guidons and the Dragoon Guards and Household Cavalry had both styles.

Note that kettle-drummers typically rode horses with full, undocked tails, whereas other British Army horses had docked tails.  Eureka has got that little detail spot-on!

Above:  The 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards was organised as three squadrons and therefore has sufficient strength to warrant being a ‘unit’ in its own right.  I’ve therefore used twelve figures.  The regiment had originally been titled as the 2nd (King’s) Regiment of Horse, but were re-titled to 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards in December 1746.

In 1752 the regiment also formed an experimental Light Dragoon Company of 71 men and they are known to have worn brass helmets.  I don’t know anything about their war service though.

Once again, I made the mistake of using Horse figures for this regiment and should really have used Dragoon figures and painted on the lapels.  Ah, well…

Above:  The 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards had blue facings, though had red horse-furniture.  The ‘metal’ was yellow and the horse-furniture was edged with yellow lace with a blue stripe.  Drummers wore Royal Livery.

Above:  The 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards are known to have ridden black horses.  For black horses I mix a small amount of red-brown with the black to produce a very dark brown highlight colour.  The manes and tails then get a light dry-brush of dark grey.  I tend to find that just using plain black makes them look too ‘flat’.

Above:  As they’re a full ‘unit’, I decided to give the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards both the King’s Standard (the square crimson flag) and a Regimental Guidon (swallow-tailed blue flag).  Again, these are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The Royal Horse Guards (‘The Blues’) were originally the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Horse, but following the conversion of the 2nd, 3rd & 4th Horse to Dragoon Guards in late 1746/early 1747, the regiment was brought in to the Household Cavalry Brigade, being known for a short time simply as ‘The Royal Horse’ before finally becoming ‘The Royal Horse Guards’ in 1750.

In common with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, the regiment consisted of three squadrons, but being Heavy Horse, lacked a Light Dragoon Troop.  Nevertheless, the regiment was strong enough to warrant being fielded as a full ‘unit’ of twelve figures.

Above:  Uniquely among the British cavalry of the era, the Royal Horse Guards wore blue coats.  The facings, small-clothes and horse-furniture were red, including the full-length lapels that were a distinctive feature of the uniforms of Regiments of Horse (not that they’re really visible at this scale).  ‘Metal’ was yellow, though the other ranks’ coats were very plain, being devoid of lace or aiguillettes.  Officers’ coats by contrast, were heavily laced with gold, as can be seen in this portrait of General Ligonier, Colonel of the regiment, circa 1754 (note the full-length lapels).

The horse-furniture edging was yellow with a central stripe described by Kronoskaf as blue, but shown in the Morier painting above as crimson or purple.  I’ve gone with Morier’s crimson.

Note that this time, my purchase of Eureka’s Horse figures was the right choice!  Hooray!  The Royal Horse Guards had the lapels and double cross-belts of a Regiment of Horse, so that’s all good.  However… The Royal Horse Guards were unique in that they didn’t wear  the typical large cartridge pouch. Instead, they had a powder-flask hanging on their right hip, where the pouch would normally be (see the Morier painting of a Royal Horse Guards trooper above).  The flask was suspended from a crimson cord, which was attached by eyelets to the centre-line of the cross-belt.  That crimson cord is still a feature of the ceremonial uniform of the Blues & Royals today.  There’s nothing you can do about the pouch, except paint it buff and crack on…

Although they hardly ever appear in artwork (except in officers’ portraits, where they were commonly added anyway as a ‘knightly’ affectation), the regiment was issued with iron cuirasses and skull-caps when deployed to Germany.  These were probably worn under the coat and are also known to have been issued to the 3rd & 4th Regiments of Horse when they deployed to Germany after Minden, with the second wave of British troops.

The Royal Horse Guards were mounted on black horses.

Above:  The King’s and Regimental Standards of the Royal Horse Guards were all square, crimson in colour and fringed in gold.  All three were very similar, having a prominent crown, flanked by the letters G & R.  Each standard then had a different heraldic device in the centre.  Again, I’ve gone with Maverick Models’ offerings.

As a Regiment of Horse, the Royal Horse Guards had trumpeters and these were dressed in an extremely rich livery coat, as shown being worn in this Morier painting of a black trumpeter of the Royal Horse Guards.  The coat was a deep crimson, richly encrusted in gold lace.  Somewhat unbelievably, some of these actual coats are still being worn by the Royal Household today!  Note that the small-clothes and horse-furniture are the typical orangey-red uniform colour.  Trumpets were silver.

Above:  I do like the Eureka figures, as the quality of sculpting and casting is exceptional.  However, in the interests of journalistic balance, I do have a couple of issues with them:

First, the metal is rather soft; this does enable crisp casting-detail, but means that those finely-sculpted sword-blades, bayonets, flagpoles and artillery-rammers are hopelessly weak.  I’ve already had to replace every infantry flagpole with brass wire and as shown in last year’s ‘Frogruary’ article, I’ve even had to replace the shafts of artillery-rammers, which is something new!  You’ll note that in the last three regiments, the officer is pointing… They were originally waving swords, but all three swords had broken off in the post, so I’ve carved the hand to make it look like they’re pointing.  When I was helping out at AB Figures here in Wales, we used a much tougher pewter, which enabled that sort of fine sculpting to survive handling.  However, the downside was that the texture was slightly grainy.  Nevertheless, I FAR prefer my old Welsh ABs to the new Eureka-manufactured ABs due to the metal used (sorry Nic!) and the same goes for their otherwise-superb SYW range.

Secondly, their cavalry are modelled as one-piece castings and as a consequence, they’re slightly ‘flat’ and don’t look that good when seen head-on and it also limits the horse-poses (my Eureka French hussars all have essentially the same horse and there’s no way to vary it).  I’m also finding them to be rather weak at the ankles, especially the galloping poses standing on two legs.

These criticisms notwithstanding, they are excellent figures!  Just take a tip from me and invest in a drill and some brass rod…

Anyway, that’s it from me for now.  I’m now off on my hols for a week, but when I get back I’ll start writing the after-action report for last week’s epic Leuthen refight.  Here’s a taster…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 4 Comments

“King George Commands And We Obey”: My SYW British Army (Part 2: Generals & Artillery)

It’s taken me a whole year due to various other ongoing projects, but this month I’ve finally finished enough British and Hanoverian troops to put on the table opposite the French army I completed last year! 🙂 

I completed seven British infantry battalions in May least year, followed by the Hanoverian Footguards and the first Hanoverian brigade, then a second Hanoverian brigade and some Hessian and Schaumbrug-Lippe troops.  However, my ACW demo game then took all my time until December and I then faffed around on various other projects until April, when I FINALLY got stuck into the waiting pile of British and Hanoverian cavalry, artillery and generals.

As discussed before, I’ve been using the order of battle for Minden 1759 as my painting ‘to do’ list, as it includes a good mix of British, Hanoverian, Hessian and Brunswicker troops, as well as the odd Prussian and Schaumburg-Lipper.  The British contingent at Minden is roughly half the size it became in the latter half of the war, so it’s a good stepping-stone toward completing the whole army (even if the British cavalry refused to get ‘stuck-in’ at Minden…).

At Minden the cavalry regiments of the Allied Right Wing were commanded by Lieutenant General Lord George Sackville, who also took personal command of the First Line.  This formation consisted of the Colonel Carl von Breydenbach’s Hanoverian Brigade, comprising the Garde du Corps (1 Sqn), Grenadiers à Cheval (1 Sqn) & Breydenbach Dragoons (4 Sqns) and Colonel John Mostyn’s British Brigade, which contained the Royal Horse Guards (3 Sqns), 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards (3 Sqns) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (2 Sqns). 

Lieutenant General John Manners, Marquess of Granby commanded the Second Line, which consisted of Colonel Granville Elliot’s British Brigade, comprising the 3rd (Howard’s) Dragoon Guards (2 Sqns), 10th (Mordaunt’s) Dragoons (2 Sqns), 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons (2 Sqns) and Colonel von Bock’s Hanoverian Brigade, with the Bremer Horse (2 Sqns) and Veltheim Horse (2 Sqns).

Sackville was in fact the overall commander of British troops in Germany, though at Minden was only in direct command of the British-Hanoverian cavalry of the right wing.  However, Sackville disgraced himself during this battle, repeatedly ignoring orders from the Commander-in-Chief, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick to charge the enemy.  As a consequence, Sackville was sacked and returned to Britain, where he continued to protest his innocence, demanding trial by Courts Martial.  In 1760 he got his wish… and was found guilty, expelled from the Privy Council and cashiered from the Army…

By 1763, Sackville had quietly wheedled himself back into good odour, winning favour with the new King George III and being re-admitted to the Privy Council.  This portrait (right) was painted in 1766 and he is clearly wearing Army uniform, but it isn’t clear which regiment (if any) he was re-commissioned into.  In 1769 he inherited the fortune, estate and title of Lady Elizabeth Germain, widow of the 7th Duke of Norfolk and thereafter used the title Lord George Germain, presumably in an attempt to distance himself from the disgrace he had brought to the Sackville name.  His new-found wealth and power saw him rise in 1775 to the post of Secretary of State for the American Department and therefore having overall responsibility for the suppression and defeat of the American Rebellion.  Somewhat inevitably, his mishandling of the war led directly to the catastrophic defeats at Saratoga and Yorktown and the ultimate loss of the American colonies.  After the war and suffering from ill health, he was quietly ‘promoted out of the way’ to the House of Lords, though died soon afterwards in 1785.

There was no stipulated uniform for General Officers in the British or Hanoverian Armies at this time, so generals usually wore versions of their own regimental dress.  Sackville was Colonel of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays), whose uniform (shown right) had buff facings (including lapels) and small-clothes and yellow ‘metal’, including an aiguillette on the right shoulder.  Horse furniture would be buff with gold edging.

This is a lovely British General figure by Eureka Miniatures, who appears to be holding a pocket-watch.  I’ve painted him in the uniform colours of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, but this could be an officer from any one of a number of British regiments with buff facings and gold lace.  Note however, that as a cavalry officer, Sackville should be wearing his sash cavalry-style, over the left shoulder.  Sue me. 😉

As mentioned above, Lieutenant General John Manners, Marquess of Granby, commanded the Second Line of Sackville’s command at Minden.  Following Sackville’s dismissal he was appointed as overall Commander of British Forces in Germany, which soon more than doubled in size, from 7 battalions and 14 squadrons to 20 battalions and 29 squadrons.

At the Battle of Warburg in 1760, Granby rushed his 22 squadrons to the battle at the trot for over two hours before launching a devastating charge on the French left flank.  During the charge his hat and wig flew off and the sun gleamed off his bald head, giving the British troopers a very clear marker to follow!  The incident gave rise to an English saying, “Going at it bald-headed” (meaning to rush in (perhaps recklessly) without fear of the danger) and the moment is wonderfully captured by Eureka Miniatures.

The French Maréchal de Broglie was mightily impressed by this dashing British cavalryman; so much so that he commissioned the greatest portrait artist of the age, Sir Joshua Reynolds, to paint this now-famous portrait of the Marquess of Granby.

Known to be a gallant, humane and charitable officer (as depicted in this painting of him giving charity to a wounded soldier of the 61st Foot), Granby’s popularity with the British public was enormous and it has often been said that more British pubs are named for him than for any other person.  This was partly due to his habit of setting up retired soldiers from his regiment with an inn as a form of pension, but also probably due to his undoubtedly popularity.  However, following various political intrigues and poor choices, Granby died in 1770 penniless and pursued by creditors, though greatly mourned.

The Marquess of Granby was Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards (‘The Blues’ or ‘RHG’), who uniquely among British cavalry regiments of the era, wore blue coats instead of red and who can be seen following Granby in the charge above.  I’ll cover the RHG in more detail next time, but the regiment had red lapels, cuffs, smalls and horse-furniture.  For officers this was all heavily laced in gold.  The regiment was mounted on black horses, but I’ve gone with a bay horse to match the Reynolds painting above.  Buff smallclothes were a fashionable affectation for British officers of the period (the regulation RHG smallclothes were red) and Reynolds depicted him wearing such items, so I’ve gone with that.

The RHG (and two regiments of Horse) were issued with cuirasses upon arrival in Germany and these were normally worn under the coat, as depicted in the Reynolds portrait (and in the Sackville portrait above), though its worth mentioning that armour was a frequent and fanciful ‘knightly’ affectation added to officers’ portraits and was not typically worn by generals in the field.  Nevertheless, Granby is here depicted with the steely ‘pigeon breast’ of a cuirass under his coat.

There are a couple of slight errors with the Granby figure.  First, the lapels should be of the ‘full’ style worn by Regiments of Horse, which went all the way to the bottom of the coat.  You can see these in the portrait of Granby and the David Morier painting of an RHG trooper (right).  The model has the ‘half’ lapels worn by British infantry, Dragoon Guards and Light Dragoons during the period.  Second, Granby is for some reason modelled with two sashes; one over the left shoulder and one around the waist.  He should only have one sash.  However, neither of these two very minor quibbles detract from what is a magnificent model! 🙂

At Minden the Royal Regiment of Artillery (RA) had two ‘brigades’ (batteries) of artillery; one of six 12pdrs and one of nine 6pdrs.  In Tricorn that would equate to two models, but I decided to get an extra 6pdr for a bit of flexibility and to suit other orders of battle.  As it happens, Eureka don’t make a British 12pdr, so I used their 9pdr model.  Eureka guns are all suitable ‘meaty’, so it looks the part.  I tend to use three crew figures for light guns and four crew for heavy guns.

In terms of crew figures I started with Eureka figures, but wasn’t very happy with the lack of pose-variation, so as an experiment, I bought a pack of twelve Blue Moon crew figures to man the battalion guns.  By happy circumstance, the Blue Moon and Eureka figures are an almost perfect match in terms of size and sculpting-style, so I’ve totally mixed them up.

The RA uniform of the period is clearly shown in this extract from the David Morier painting of the RA on campaign in the Low Countries in 1748 (shown in full at the top of this page).  The rank-and-file had dark blue coats and smallclothes, with brass buttons, red lapels, cuffs and linings, all heavily laced in yellow.  Officers had basically the same uniform, except with red smallclothes, gold buttons & lace and crimson sashes.  Belts were buff, while the belly-box and scabbard were black with brass fittings.

Gun-carriages were painted grey, while the ironwork was painted black.  There are also some interesting details shown in the painting above: First, gun-carriages usually had a crowned GR cypher painted on the right-hand side of the carriage, roughly alongside the touch-hole of the gun.  This can be seen alongside the gunner reclining against the wheel.  Second, the gun as what appears to be ’12 Ps’ painted in white further back along the trail, which no doubt means ’12 Pounds’ for the calibre of the gun.  Third, the gun in the background, which is viewed from the opposite side, has only ‘No.6’ painted in white on the trail, suggesting that all the guns in a company would be individually numbered.  I must confess however, that I absolutely HATE painting guns, so mine are invariably slapdash and entirely devoid of markings! 🙂

Almost all British infantry battalions were issued with a pair of battalion guns.  These would be crewed by RA personnel, but could use infantrymen for muscle-power when required.  From 1760 the two British combined grenadier battalions in Germany, who had not previously had battalion guns, were issued with one or two guns.  Highland battalions were only issued with 1pdr ‘Amusettes’, which were like very heavy muskets (akin to the ‘punt-gun’ used by wildfowlers), being usually mounted on light, manhandled wheeled carriages.

Prior to the Seven Years War, battalion guns had typically been 3pdrs, but like the Prussian Army, the RA had largely upgraded them to Light 6pdrs by the start of the Seven Years War.  Being blissfully unaware of this, I ordered some 3pdr guns from Blue Moon and was quite surprised to discover that the models are absolutely TINY!  Ah well, at least they’re easily identifiable on the table as being battalion guns… 🙂

That’s enough for now!  British cavalry, Hanoverian cavalry and Hanoverian artillery to follow soon, as well as Ferdinand of Brunswick and his staff.  We’re also doing an epic refight of Leuthen on Thursday, so there’ll be plenty of pictures of that soon! 🙂

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 5 Comments

“Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 6: More SYW Prussian Reinforcements)

Here are a few random bits and pieces that I’ve painted for my SYW Prussian army over the last 18 months or so.  The artillery were painted only last week, but the grenadiers and adjutant were painted in January of last year and I simply forgot to post them at the time.

Firstly, Fred and his friends are looking a lot better than they did in Part 1, now that they’ve had a spray of matt varnish over their 1990s-vintage gloss!  Everything in my collection has had a similar treatment and I’m slowly working my way through the bases, changing them from my old (pre-1997) ‘green with a yellow dry-brush’ style to my current ‘earth brown with a sand dry-brush and patchy Woodland Scenics flock’ style.

Frederick needed an extra ADC on his staff, so here’s a cavalry Flügeladjutant of the Prussian Royal Staff.  I think I must have been having a bad day when I painted this chap, as he’s more than a bit slapdash… 

Unlike Prussian general officers, who had no prescribed uniform and therefore wore a version of their regimental uniform, the Flügeladjutanten had a regulation uniform.  Those officers drawn from the cavalry had the uniform shown above; namely a white coat with red Swedish cuffs, linings and pocket-piping (no collar or lapels), silver buttons and Brandenburg buttonhole-lace, lemon-yellow smallclothes, red horse furniture with silver edging and silver scalloped hat-lace.  Those officers drawn from the infantry wore a blue coat with all other details the same.  This is an Old Glory 15s figure.

Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Manteuffel’ (37/40) was formed for the Seven Years War from the grenadier companies of Füsilier-Regiment ‘Kursell’ (IR 37) and Füsilier-Regiment ‘Kreytzen’ (IR 40).  Unlike many other grenadier battalions, they changed their commanding officer (and therefore unit title) only once during the course of the war, in 1759, to ‘Kleist’.

The uniforms, as with most Prussian füsilier regiments, were fairly plain and lacked lapels and buttonhole-lace.  The ‘Kursell’ Füsiliers had red collar, cuffs and linings with yellow ‘metal’ and white smallclothes.  The ‘Kreytzen’ Füsiliers meanwhile, had white ‘metal’ and rose-pink collar, cuffs, smallclothes and (most unusually) linings.  Almost all other Prussian regiments had red linings, but those of the ‘Kreytzen’ Regiment matched the facing colour.  Another unusual feature of the ‘Kreytzen’ Regiment’s uniform was that the officers had lapels and silver Brandenburg buttonhole-lace.  Neck-stocks were black and cuffs were of Swedish style for both regiments.

The grenadier cap front-plates matched the ‘metal’ colour for both regiments and the backs, including the head-band, matched the facing colour, with white piping for both regiments.  Pompoms were white-over-red for the ‘Kursell’ Regiment and plain white for the ‘Kreytzen’ Regiment.

These are Old Glory 15s figures.  I scraped this unit up from the spares box, where they’d lain for 25 years or more.  Consequently there are a couple of missing pompoms.

I needed some Prussian Jäger for our Combat of Zinna game a few weeks ago, so quickly knocked up a couple of skirmish-stands for the Prussian Feldjäger zu Fuss.  Frederick was not exactly known for his love of light troops and usually left that sort of underhand nonsense to the Frei-Corps, but nevertheless, he did retain two companies of Feldjäger zu Fuss, as well as two squadrons of Jäger zu Pferde, with each unit totaling some 160-170 men.  The Feldjäger zu Fuss fought at a few notable battles, such as Breslau, Leuthen and Hochkirch, but in 1760 were almost wiped out by a Russian raid.  Nevertheless, the unit was restored in 1761 as a full battalion of four companies and fought at the Battle of Burkersdorf.

The Feldjäger zu Fuss and Jäger zu Pferde wore an almost identical uniform, consisting of an olive-green coat, with red collar, linings and Swedish cuffs, yellow ‘metal’ and a yellow aiguillette on the right shoulder.  The waistcoat was also olive green, while breeches and gloves were buff leather.  There was no cross-belt.  The waist-belt was white, but was largely hidden by a natural leather cartridge-box.  Neck-stocks were black and boots were of tall, cavalry style.  The hat had a black cockade secured by a yellow strap and green-within-white corner-rosettes. Officers had gold scalloped hat-lace, gold aiguillettes and gold buttonhole-lace on the waistcoat.

The two notable differences were that the Feldjäger zu Fuss had yellow lace edging to their hats and apparently had uniforms that were a distinctly lighter shade of olive green.  However, neither of these differences are confirmed by all sources.  The Jäger zu Pferde also had green horse-furniture with yellow lace edging.

Here’s a rear view of the Feldjäger zu Fuss, showing the yellow aiguillette.  The uniform of the Feldjäger zu Fuss is very similar to that of a number of Frei-Corps Jäger detachments, so will do extra duty as stand-ins for those units (in the Combat of Zinna game they represented the Jäger detachment of Frei-Regiment ‘Wunsch’).  I’ve got some put aside to do the Kleist Frei-Corps at a later date and I’m also going to paint the spares as Hessian and Hanoverian Jäger.

Lastly, I needed some more Prussian artillery, especially light battalion guns:

These are Eureka figures with Blue Moon 3pdr guns.  I went for the Blue Moon guns, as the Eureka guns are rather ‘meaty’ and are akin to my Old Glory 12pdrs!  I needed guns that would be recognisable as light battalion guns, without the need for a label.

There is a popular misconception that battalion guns were manned by the infantry.  While the infantry may have provided some extra muscle-power when necessary, Prussian battalion guns were in fact manned by detachments from the Prussian Field Artillery Regiment.

Above:  Prussian artillery uniforms were relatively plain, being a blue coat without collar or lapels.  The cuffs were Brandenburg-style and were blue, as was the shoulder-strap.  The neck-stocks, coat-linings and the piping on pockets and cuff-flaps were red.  ‘Metal’ was yellow.  Smallclothes were straw.  Belts were white and the circular powder-flask was black, bound in brass with a brass central plate.  Hats had white lace and pompoms coloured (from top to bottom) yellow, black, red and white.  Guns were brass and had light blue carriages with ironwork painted black.

That’s it for now.  There’s lots more SYW stuff to come, including the British-Hanoverian cavalry, artillery and generals, the ongoing Bohemia Campaign, a French v British-Hanoverian battle, a scenario and battle report for the Combat of Pretzsch and I’m presently painting a load of Austrian artillery and yet more Prussians in preparation for a forthcoming Leuthen game…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Prussian Army, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 6 Comments

‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 4): Reichsarmee Reinforcements

In my recent account of our refight of the Combat of Zinna, I mentioned that I had painted a few new Reichsarmee infantry units for the game.  Here they are in a bit more detail.

If you missed it, I covered my existing Reichsarmee in Part 2 and the Reichsarmee cavalry arm in Part 3.  As before, I’ll group them by Imperial District or Kreis:

Swabian District (Schwäbischen Kreis)

The Swabian District raised four infantry regiments (Fürstenberg, Alt-Württemberg, Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach) and two cavalry regiments (Hohenzollern Cuirassiers and Württemberg Dragoons) for the Reichsarmee, as well as an artillery contingent.  Note that the Austrian Army also included Baden-Baden, Baden-Durlach and Württemberg Infantry Regiments, so it can sometimes be a little confusing when looking at orders of battle, to work out exactly which regiment was present; the Imperial regiment or the Austrian regiment. 

The Baden-Baden Infantry Regiment consisted of two battalions, each of five musketeer companies and a grenadier company.  There was also a regimental artillery detachment of two 3pdr guns.  At full strength, the regiment numbered 1,690 men though in the field was frequently rather weaker and the grenadier companies were always detached, sometimes being massed into grenadier battalions.  Consequently I’ve modelled the regiment’s battalions as ‘standard 12-figure units rather than large 16-figure units.  The French Marshal Soubise rated the regiment, like so many other Reichsarmee units, as ‘Poor’.

The uniforms of the Baden-Baden Regiment were Prussian in style and cut, consisting of an unlaced dark blue coat with white collar, lapels, linings and Swedish cuffs, dark blue shoulder-strap and yellow ‘metal’.  Smallclothes, hat-lace and belts were also white.  Neck-stocks and gaiters were black.  Some sources describe gold or yellow officers’ sashes with red stripes.

The regiment’s detached grenadier companies had the same uniforms with Austrian-style fur caps with blue bags and white piping.  I’ll be painting those later.

The Baden-Baden Regiment‘s colours are a matter of some debate.  The colours shown above date from before the 1730s, though MAY have been carried during the Seven Years War.  The Colonel’s Colour (above on the right) was white with the Arms of Baden on a crowned oval escutcheon, while the Company Colours were yellow with horizontal flames (from top to bottom) of black, black, red, white, red, black & black.  The obverse had a brown double-headed eagle with the Arms of Baden on its chest, while the reverse just had the Arms of Baden. 

However, there is evidence for a new Colour being issued in 1731, having a white field with six blue flames and a white double-headed eagle bearing the Arms of Swabia on both sides of the flag.  It isn’t clear if this was the Colonel’s Colour or a Company Colour and as there isn’t any more information available, I’ve stuck with the known colours.

Here’s another view of the Baden-Baden Regiment, showing the reverse of the colours.  I used Old Glory 15s Prussian Musketeers for this regiment and cut off their pompoms.  I printed off the flags using my own laser-printer and images of the flags from Kronoskaf.

The Baden-Durlach Infantry Regiment had exactly the same organisation as the Baden-Baden Regiment, consisting of two battalions, each of five musketeer companies and a (detached) grenadier company, plus a regimental gun detachment of two 3pdrs, for a theoretical total of 1,690 men.  However, one battalion spent the war on garrison duty at Ulm, so only one battalion and the two grenadier companies took to the field during the Seven Years War.  Again, Marshal Soubise rated the regiment as ‘Poor’.

The uniforms of the Baden-Durlach Regiment were again Prussian in style.  The unlaced coat was dark blue with red collar, lapels, shoulder-strap, linings and Swedish cuffs, with yellow ‘metal’.  Smallclothes, belts and hat-lace were white.  Neck-stocks and gaiters were black.  The hats had white-over-blue pompoms.  Officers’ sashes are described as gold or yellow.

The regiment’s detached grenadier companies were drawn from the standing Leib-Grenadiergarde Battalion and had a slightly different uniform with white, tasseled buttonhole lace, straw smallclothes and Prussian-style grenadier caps with brass front-plate, blue back, red band with yellow flames, white piping and red pompom.  Some sources show the front-plate as red cloth with brass badges or as brass, but pierced to reveal the red cloth backing.  Again, these are waiting to be painted.

As only one battalion of the Baden-Durlach Regiment went on campaign, I’ve given them two colours (my pre-existing Austrian, Prussian, Reichsarmee, Württemberg and Bavarian armies all have one flag per battalion, with the 1st Battalion of a regiment having the Colonel’s Colour and the 2nd Battalion having a Company Colour).  The Colonel’s Colour was white and on both sides had a black double-headed eagle, bearing the escutcheon of Baden on its breast.  The Company Colours were yellow with six horizontal flames.  From top to bottom these were black, red, orange, orange, red and black.  On the reverse it had the same black eagle as the Colonel’s Colour, but on the obverse had a more complex version of the Arms of Baden, supported on both sides by silver griffins.

For this regiment I again used Old Glory 15s Prussian Musketeer figures and printed off my own flags using the designs from Kronoskaf.

The Alt-Württemberg Füsilier Regiment comprised eight füsilier companies, two grenadier companies and a regimental gun detachment of two 3pdrs, for a total of 1,690 men.  However, only a single battalion of four füsilier companies, plus the two detached grenadier companies and the regimental guns went to war.  In 1757 they reported 963 men with the Reichsarmee and despite the disaster of Rossbach, that had increased to 984 men by 1758.  Marshal Soubise rated the regiment as ‘Average’ (rare praise!).

The uniforms of the Alt-Württemberg Regiment were again Prussian in style and cut.  The unlaced coat was dark blue with lemon-yellow collar, lapels, shoulder-straps and Swedish cuffs.  Linings, pocket-piping and cuff-flap piping were red.  ‘Metal’ was yellow.  There was also a white aiguillette at the right shoulder.  The smallclothes were lemon-yellow, though white breeches could be worn in summer.  Neck-stocks and gaiters were black.  Officers added gold buttonhole lace and had white/yellow/red sashes (silver replacing the white of senior officers’ sashes).

Parade headgear was a Prussian-style, lemon-yellow füsilier cap with metal front-plate and fittings.  Knötel depicted the metalwork as silver and Kronoskaf matches that description, but I strongly believe that they’ve misinterpreted the colouring of this 1782 plate (right).  My money is on brass metalwork, matching the button colour and the plates of the regiment’s grenadier caps (see below), so that’s what I’ve done (although it does have to be said that there were a couple of Württemberg regiments with grenadier caps that didn’t match the button colour).  As it happens, the regiment probably left its caps at home during the SYW and instead wore hats with white lace edging and black-over-yellow pompoms, but the caps do look spectacular and stand out as something ‘different’ on the Austro-Imperial side of the war.

The regiment’s detached grenadier companies wore Prussian-style grenadier caps with brass front-plates, yellow back, yellow band, yellow piping and black-over-yellow pompom.

The Colonel’s Colour of the Alt-Württemberg Regiment was white, with the crowned Arms of Württemberg in oval form on both sides.  This actually matches the Colonel’s Colour carried by the regiments of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps.  The Company Colours were yellow, with six horizontal flames.  From top to bottom these were black, black, white, sky-blue, black and black.  The reverse of the flag carried the same armorials as the Colonel’s Colour, while the obverse carried a brown double-headed eagle, with the Arms of Swabia on its breast. 

For this regiment I used Eureka Prussian Füsilier figures and again printed my own flags using images from Kronoskaf.

Upper Saxon District (Obersachsischen-Kreis)

Upper Saxony was one of the weakest districts of the Holy Roman Empire and ordinarily would be required to provide only 3,500 foot to the Reichsarmee.  However, even this number proved impossible to raise, as when Frederick immediately knocked Saxony out of the war in 1756 that immediately deprived the district of most of its manpower and funds.  Further problems were caused by the fact that a significant number of Saxon Duchies were sympathetic to the Prussian cause.  Raids by Prussian frei-corps also disrupted recruitment.  Consequently, the Saxon Duchies only managed to raise the Ernestinisch-Sachen Infantry Regiment of 1,218 men in two battalions and the tiny Sachsen-Gotha Dragoon Regiment of only 222 men in two squadrons (not to be confused with the Austrian dragoon regiment of the same name) and this meagre force wasn’t ready to take to the field until late 1758.

To make up the shortfall in the district’s contribution to the Reichsarmee, Austria transferred two Pfalz (Palatinate) units that were serving under contract in Austrian pay; the II. Battalion of the Garde-Regiment zu Fuss and the Leib-Dragoner-Regiment ‘Kurfürstin’.  Pfalz was already making its own contribution to the Electoral Rhenish District (Kurrheinisch-Kreis) in the form of the ‘Effern’ Infantry Regiment and Kurpfalz Cuirassier Regiment.  Pfalz also had a contract to supply an Auxiliary Corps of ten battalions to France, though the contract with France was terminated on 1st January 1759.

The Pfalz Garde-Regiment zu Fuss had actually started the war in 1756 as the Garde-Grenadier-Regiment of two battalions, all dressed in Prussian-style grenadier caps.  However, in 1757 the regiment was expanded to three battalions, swapped the mitre caps for Austrian-style fur caps and had its title changed changed to Garde-Regiment zu Fuss.  The sources become very confused at this point… Some suggest that the entire regiment wore fur caps, while others state five musketeer companies (140 men each) and one grenadier company (100 men) per battalion, while another sources says two grenadier companies per battalion (the rest having had their grenadier caps taken away) and yet another says that the three battalions had only 1,000 men between them.

The regiment eventually sent its II. Battalion to war in 1758, including a single grenadier company and a battalion gun detachment with two 4pdrs, totaling 661 men.  The grenadier company was detached and served in a few battles as part of ad hoc grenadier battalions (I’ll paint these later).

Given the degree of confusion between sources, my massive stash of spare Austrian grenadiers and my general shamelessness, I’ve decided to dress this battalion in bearskins…

The Pfalz Garde-Regiment zu Fuss wore blue coats with red lapels, linings, shoulder-straps and Swedish cuffs and no collar.  Buttons were yellow metal and white buttonhole lace was worn on the lapels, cuffs and pockets.  Smallclothes and waist-belts were white.  The cross-belt is described variously as white or straw-coloured.  The musketeer hats had white laced with blue-over-white pompoms, while the bearskins had red bags with white piping and brass front-plates.  Officers had gold buttonhole lace and sashes in white (or silver) and blue.

Pfalz colours tended to be very ornate and a full description is given on Kronoskaf.  As only the II. Battalion was deployed, I’ve only given them a Company Colour, as the Colonel’s Colour would have stayed at home with the I. Battalion.  The colour shown is a post-1760 Company Colour by Maverick Models Flags.  The design is the same on both sides.  The field colour is open to some debate (blue or yellow), but Maverick have gone for the yellow option.  Prior to 1760 the colour was a lot plainer, having a blue field without the chequered border.  The central device was the cypher of Elector-Palatine Carl IV Theodor, with wreathed cyphers in the corners.

For this regiment I used Old Glory 15s Austrian Grenadier figures.

That’s it for now!  Lots more SYW stuff to come, as in addition to the Reichsarmee I’ve been painting a lot of Prussians, Austrians, British and Hanoverians.  The Bohemian Campaign is also raging on and I finally managed to get my French and British-Hanoverian-Hessian-Schaumburg-Lippe armies on the table for a game.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Minor German States, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | Leave a comment

‘Tricorn’ QRS Amendments #2

Thanks to Maurizio’s efforts, we’ve found an error in the Tricorn skirmishing rules: Skirmishers hit on a 5 or 6, not on a 6 as it previously stated.  QRS Page 1 has therefore been amended to v1.2.

There is also a change to QRS Page 2: French infantry may now move at Column speed (8 inches) when formed in Ordre Profond, but may only wheel at half speed.  The ‘French Stuff’ section on Page 4 has also been amended accordingly.  Pages 2 & 4 have therefore been amended to v1.1.

Lastly, there is a change to QRS Page 3: Cavalry units providing rear support may not be Blown.  Page 3 has therefore been amended to v1.1.

The amended QRSs can be found on the main Tricorn Rules Resources Page (linked).

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules), Tricorn Rules Resources | 5 Comments