“Rogues! Do you want to stay in the toolbox forever?!” (My 15mm Seven Years War Prussian Army – Part 1: Generals & Artillery)

As discussed last time, I’ve recently decided to rekindle my painting and wargaming mojo.  I’d grown slightly tired (for the time being) of the tedium of bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and shakos of the Napoleonic Wars, so have renewed my enthusiasm with the TOTALLY different bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and tricorns of the Seven Years War

My Seven Years War collection last saw the light of day in 1997 and has since then lain forgotten and unloved in the darkest crypts of Fawr Towers.  One of the steel toolboxes used to store the little chaps had even rusted shut!  However, I’ve been rummaging through the old boxes, repairing bits and pieces, replacing the odd flag and photographing some of the best units in some rare November sunshine.  So here are some of my Prussians, starting with the man himself, Fred the Big

Fred and his staff are produced by Lancashire Games and I really do like them.  These are probably the last remnants of Lancashire Games’ original range of figures, which I seem to remember was originally produced by another company.  The mounted staff and background infantry are Old Glory 15s figures, which are now sold in the UK by Timecast

Oh and note that I was still using gloss-varnish and painting my own flags in those days, as well as painting the bases old-skool green, dry-brushed yellow…  I was just starting to change my basing-style in 1997, so the last regiments to be painted were among the first to use my current basing-style of dark earth, dry-brushed sand and patchily flocked with Woodland Scenics’ ‘Blended Turf’.

These figures were very slender and ‘anatomically-realistic’, though that sadly made them very prone to breakages and aside from Fred and his friends they were all ditched from the range.  They fit really well with other ‘slender’ 15mm ranges such as Freikorps.  The Lancashire SYW range was remodelled in the late 90s to be MUCH chunkier (though strangely, no less prone to breaking at the ankles).  I still have quite a few regiments of both Prussian and Austrian ‘Mk 1’ Lancashire Games figures, though they do look distinctly weedy when standing next to their ‘Mk2’ Lancashire Games and Old Glory brethren.

The mounted officers standing behind Fred’s group are the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern (wearing the rose-pink facings of his regiment, Infantry Regiment #7 ‘Alt-Bevern’) and Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau (wearing the regimental uniform of Infantry Regiment #22 ‘Prinz Moritz’).  There was no prescribed uniform for general officers in the Prussian Army of this era, so generals always wore a version of the regiment to which they were appointed as Chef (i.e. colonel-in-chief/proprietor).  Fred’s own uniform was the simple ‘field’ version of Infantry Regiment #15 Garde.

A Flügeladjutant of the King’s staff (dressed in white with red facings, yellow small-clothes and silver lace) is interrupted by a Feldpost postillion, who has an urgent dispatch for the King.  Again these are Old Glory 15s figures.  The Flügeladjutant figure is one of Old Glory’s legendary ‘comedy figures’, having a hussar boot on one leg (here covered up by black paint) and a heavy cavalry boot on the other… Though not as amusing as the Napoleonic French Hussar ADC figure with a third hand sticking out of one of his pelisse arms… 🙂 

Also standing behind the King is the veteran Berlin Correspondent for The Times, Sir Timothy Paget.  Knighted for his services to journalism and comedy following our War of Austrian Succession campaign, his battle reports and other musings from the courts of European royalty were the stuff of legend, though won him as many enemies as admirers… Gareth Beamish created him from an Old Glory officer figure and he would roam campaign games at will, conducting interviews with the participants.  While he could never be deliberately targeted, Mr Paget could frequently be found at the receiving end of an ‘accidental’ bounce-through or cavalry charge…   Subsequently denied a peerage due to a Times editorial comparing the Duke of Cumberland with the eponymous sausage, he has now returned to Europe to document the coming war and to insult the nobility of Europe once again…

Above:  Here is Frederick the Great’s premier hussar general, General Hans Joachim von Zieten wearing the ‘gala’ version of his regimental dress for Hussar Regiment #2 ‘Zieten’ (aka Leib or ‘Red’ Hussars). 

This spectacular gala uniform included a leopard-skin cloak, eagle-wing plume and very natty yellow boots.  This version of dress would not have been worn on campaign, but it does look spectacular and I’m glad that Old Glory included a figure of Zieten wearing his finest clobber! 🙂 

Above:  Here is Fred’s great heavy cavalry leader and reformer, General Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz.  Again, this is a figure by Old glory 15s and is based on the famous Richard Knoetel print of Seydlitz hailing a cab.

Seydlitz actually started the Severn Years War as the mere colonel of Cuirassier Regiment #8 ‘Rochow’ (which became the ‘Seydlitz’ Cuirassiers in 1757), though quickly proved his mettle as a superb cavalry leader, particularly at the Battle of Kolin in 1757, when he took command of General Krosigk’s cavalry brigade following Krosigk’s death and then threw back the Austrian pursuit force.  Frederick promoted him to general’s rank on the spot and he rose meteorically to become the Inspector of Cavalry in only a few years.

Above:  General Carl Ludwig von Normann was another of Fred’s heavy cavalry leaders.  As Chef of Dragoon Regiment #1 ‘Normann’, he wears the light blue coat of a dragoon, with the black facings and gold lace of his regiment.  Again, this is an Old Glory 15s figure.  Note that Old Glory’s designer, having looked at the Osprey Book pictures but not read the text (he did that a lot…), added plumes to the Prussian Cuirassier and Dragoon figures, even though these were not a feature of Prussian uniform until just AFTER the Seven Years War (the Cuirassier pack also included a Garde du Corps officer figure in tabard, which again was a post-SYW uniform item).  I clipped most of them off, but left them on Normann and Seydlitz, as it made them look a bit more ‘generalish’.

Above:  This figure is a little anachronistic for the Seven Years War, as it’s meant to be Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau (‘The Old Desauer’ and Prince Moritz’s dad) calling down divine retribution on the Saxons at the Battle of Kesselsdorf in 1745, during the Second Silesian War (part of the War of Austrian Succession).  The Old Dessauer had been a superb infantry commander during the War of Spanish Succession, where he rose to command the Prussian contingent of the Allied army, leading them under Marlborough’s command at Blenheim.  He then went on to train and modernise the Prussian infantry, forging it into a formidable weapon.  His hard-won experience was to be of enormous value to the young King Frederick II during the Silesian Wars, though he died shortly after his greatest achievement at Kesselsdorf.  Prince Moritz here is dressed in the uniform of his Infantry Regiment #3 ‘Alt-Dessau’, albeit of a slightly old-fashioned style.

Above:  Prussian artillery prepares to fire.  These are foot artillery; Fred did develop a single horse battery during the course of the Seven Years War, but I don’t have those yet (well, not until the post arrives from Eureka, anyway).

Above:  I was obviously feeling keen when painting these gunners, as the officer is studying a plan of a the fortress he’s presumably bombarding… I’m not sure I can paint that sort of thing nowadays… 🙁  

That’s it for now.  I’ll show off the Prussian infantry next time! 🙂 

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to “Rogues! Do you want to stay in the toolbox forever?!” (My 15mm Seven Years War Prussian Army – Part 1: Generals & Artillery)

  1. Ian G says:

    Thank you. You put a big smile on my face again.
    SYW has been the period I return to every year. Most years its played 50% of my gaming time.

    Your recent Napoleonic posts coincided with my renewed interest. It made me subscribe and to delve into your archives. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Best regards,
    Ian G.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks very much! 🙂

      Watch out for Uncle Llewellyn while you’re down in the crypts. He gets a bit tetchy when he hasn’t been mucked out.

  2. James Fisher says:

    Such marvellous detail down to expression on their faces. The mix of figures with your basing adds greatly to the overall effect of ‘movement’, regimented, but with individuals. Fantastic. Old Fritz looks less than enamoured with his subjects?!
    Regards, James

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks James! Yes, I’ve always loved the ‘similarly posed, but with individuality’ design, which probably started with Tony Barton’s Battle Honours figures, then carried over to AB Figures and then imitated by Old Glory, Fantassin and others.

      Yes indeed, I don’t think Old Fritz was ever knowingly ‘gruntled’ and forever disgruntled with his subjects! 🙂

  3. Pingback: “Rogues! Do you want to stay in the toolbox forever?!” (My 15mm Seven Years War Prussian Army – Part 2: Infantry) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  4. Pingback: “Rogues! Do you want to stay in the toolbox forever?!” (My 15mm Seven Years War Prussian Army – Part 3: Cavalry) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  5. Chris says:

    Love the collection. OG can be very good even if a little off sometimes. Your painting is excellent. As I co-developed Shako I wondered if you would be interested in these ‘un-official’ eighteenth century rule changes:EIGHTEENTH CENTURY RULES ADDITIONS TO SHAKO II
    By Maurizio Bragaglia, David Lowe, Chris Leach, and the Shako e-group gang.

    1. Warbands (Highland Clans, Native American Warbands, or Eastern/Ottoman Irregulars):
    Warbands require special rules not addressed in SHAKO II.

    Organization and Basing:
    Warbands are considered Formed foot units. Warbands are based on a stand like the standard skirmisher stand. The number of figures required for a warband should be less than a regular unit but more than skirmishers; enough to represent a mass of troops but with space between the figures to give an irregular appearance.

    For example, if you normally organize regular battalions with 12 figures in two ranks, 8 clansmen would be a suitable number for a warband.

    Since warbands are based on a single stand they are not permitted any formation changes.

    Movement:
    Warbands may move 9 inches per turn and do not pay additional penalties for wheeling except to measure the wheel from the outside of the turn up to a maximum of 45 degrees. All other restrictions apply to warbands as for other Formed units except that they may move through Rough Ground as if it were woods. Indian warbands do not pay a movement penalty for moving through woods.

    Warbands may pass through gaps in impassable terrain that are narrower than their stand but equal or greater than a normal Formed infantry stand. The warband pays no movement penalty for passing through the gap in terrain. If the warband charges or is contacted in melee in a turn during which it passes through the gap, they fight with their DisMR.

    Shooting:
    A warband that moves may not shoot.
    Musket armed warbands use normal musketry rules for arc of fire and range. However, warband musketry effects are as per skirmishers (first hit = Stagger; already Staggered targets suffer a Kill).

    Melee:
    All warbands are considered Formed for purposes of Melee.

    Highland clans and Ottoman irregulars have a Frontal MR of 3/DisMR 2. Clans and Ottoman irregulars gain a +2 in melee.

    “Indian” warbands have a Frontal MR3/DisMR2. If melee contact occurs in woods the Indian warband gains a +2. Otherwise, in the open, Indians fight using the normal rules.

    All warbands that charge against Formed infantry can be Halted by volley fire as per usual rules (e.g. Staggered). Their relatively low MR makes them vulnerable to this eventuality.

    Only Highland clans may give and receive Combat Deployment bonuses to each other but not to regular troops. All other warbands do not give or receive combat deployment modifiers.

    2. Skirmishers:
    Skirmishing in the SYW was not as well developed as it was in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Nevertheless, light troops certainly existed and the following rules should be used to supplement or replace existing rules.

    Organize skirmishers in the same manner as the standard rules. Skirmisher movement and firing rules remain unchanged.
    Skirmishers as target:
    Ignore the -1 penalty for firing at skirmishers in the open. Skirmishers gain the benefit of protective terrain when fired upon.

    Skirmishers in the open are vulnerable to contact and use existing rules. When in area cover (woods and towns; not linear cover like walls and hedges) skirmishers may fight in melee against all opponents. Use normal rules for melee. Skirmishers do not give or receive Combat Deployment modifiers. Skirmishers use their MR3 in all circumstances (e.g. they have no DisMR)

    3. Combat Deployment: Flank support
    All eighteenth century/Seven Years Wars armies use Linear Doctrine Combat Deployment rules. In order to gain the flank support Combat Deployment modifier (+1) infantry battalions must be supported by friendly Formed infantry, artillery, or cavalry within 1 inch instead of the usual 3 inches.

    Rear support is still provided by units up to 6 inches away. Infantry columns do not provide rear support.

    Combat Deployment versus cavalry:
    In contrast to the Napoleonic rules, Combat Deployment modifiers for flank and rear support may be applied against cavalry charging the infantry frontally (e.g not a flank or rear charge).

    4. Musketry
    To reflect the greater doctrinal reliance on musketry and the presence of battalion guns, change the volley “to kill” die roll requirement from 5-6 to 4-6. Note that this does NOT apply to skirmisher fire or irregulars like warbands.

    Battalion Guns:
    Those who wish to represent battalion guns separately may use the following rules in lieu of those noted above:
    a. Add an additional base to the infantry unit with a small gun and crew
    b. The gun is permanently attached to the unit and moves like the unit in open ground. Terrain penalties are applied as usual for the infantry unit EXCEPT that the battalion gun may not be moved through woods nor over linear obstacles; it may cross fordable streams. If the infantry wish to cross terrain over which the gun may not move the gun base is permanently removed; battalion guns may not operate separately.
    C. When volley firing the player rolls an extra die for the battalion gun. IF the battalion gun die exceeds the result of the musketry die, it adds +1 to the musketry die. Any other result is ignored.
    D. The battalion gun cannot be targeted separately and continues to function with the infantry unit until the unit is broken or the gun has to be removed due to terrain restrictions noted above.
    E. When representing battalion guns, leave the musketry ‘to Kill’ requirement as 5-6.
    F. If the infantry unit Charges into melee contact, the battalion gun is permanently lost to the unit.

    5. Infantry Columns
    Infantry columns were used in the period for manoeuvre but not for closing to combat. That said, dense terrain or tactical surprise may force players to use columns to initiate a charge into melee.

    An infantry column that charges an enemy line and is Staggered is withdrawn from melee contact and must form line in the following turn. If there is no room to deploy into line, the column is stuck in its position.

    Infantry columns always use their DisMR in melee.

    Flank/Rear support:
    Infantry columns neither give nor receive Combat Deployment modifiers for flank and/or rear support.

    6. Changing Orders:
    Prussians get more ADCs.

    7. Artillery Movement:
    SYW artillery was not as mobile as its Napoleonic counterparts both due to doctrine and technology.
    The most mobile artillery – battalion guns – are abstracted in Shako by the enhanced musketry effectiveness.

    Prussian Horse Guns:
    Horse guns move 9 inches per turn; other horse gun rules apply.

    Positional artillery (foot and heavy):
    All positional foot and heavy guns may move 3 inches per turn if they did not fire that turn. Exception: Positional artillery units that start the game limbered may move 6 inches per turn. Once unlimbered (e.g. first turn fired), these artillery units are limited to the 3 inch movement rate noted above.

    8. Cavalry tactics: Pistol trotters
    During the early part of the century cavalry doctrines were still divided between the old trot and pistol fire doctrines (shot) and those that favoured the charge and steel (shock). Shock cavalry are handled using the normal rules in Shako II. Shot cavalry use the following rules:
    – Shot cavalry use the same movement rules as other cavalry; remember that there is no “charge movement rate” as such in Shako II.
    – Shot cavalry must be deployed in line to use their pistols.
    – The pistol shot effects are calculated in the Melee phase but prior to the melee resolution.
    – The pistol shot is done like regular musketry volley; the ‘kill’ requirement is 5-6. Cavalry pistols never inflict two kills.
    – The cavalry suffer the ‘failed volley’ modifier in the melee if they fail to Stagger their melee opponent but the modifier is -2.

    After the pistol shot, fight the melee normally applying the usual melee rules and the modifier above if applicable.

    These rules use existing mechanics and have the desired effect of rewarding pistol cavalry for effective firing, but punishing them severely if they fail to disrupt the charge of their opponents. Note that shot cavalry that charge infantry frontally will receive infantry fire BEFORE they are able to fire their pistols due to the turn sequencing, thereby giving the infantry an advantage in this context.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Excellent! I’ll have a good look at that. I’ll be posting my own version here very soon, but I’m sure there are some great ideas that could be adapted there. 🙂 Thanks very much! 🙂

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