The Combat of Görlitz (or Moys), 7th September 1757: The Refight

A slightly belated Merry Christmas to one and all! 🙂

Wargames have been like Maltese buses over the last two years; they’ve mostly been cancelled with very little warning or two turn up together.  So, having just got back from Warfare and our epic refight of Murfreesboro, I went straight down to Phil’s place for a SYW game. 

I posted the scenario last week and as discussed then, our game was a historical refight of the Combat of Görlitz (also known as the Combat of Moys).  This was a relatively obscure action fought between the Prussians and Austrians and suited my purposes for rules play-testing, being chiefly an infantry battle and including elements such as skirmishers and field fortifications.  The terrain was very kindly supplied and set up by Phil and I provided the scenario and troops.  Mike and Peter also joined us for the game.

Above:  Phil’s table laid out for the game.  The map is actually the opposite way up – the Austrians are on the left, the Prussians are on the right and the Jäckelsberg Redoubt is near the top.

Above:  The view from behind the main Prussian position on the Lange-Berg.  Kursell’s flank-guard of two grenadier battalions is nearest the camera, then the eight battalions of the main infantry line with the ‘Zieten’ Hussars in front of the right flank and the rest of the cavalry under Zieten himself in front of the left flank.

Above:  The Prussian army as seen from the front.  We actually realised that the Lange-Berg ridge had been placed about 9 inches too far back, so the whole lot was pushed forward before the game started.

Above:  Over on the Prussian left flank is Kleist’s flank-guard division, consisting of two battalions of grenadiers and the ‘Werner’ Hussars.  This regiment actually wore brown uniforms with yellow facings and lace and mirliton caps.  However, I’ve only got half of that regiment painted, so instead used the ‘Szekely’ Hussars.

Above:  Well forward of the main Prussian position is the fortified Jäckelsberg Hill, which is occupied by Prince Carl von Bevern (not to be confused with the overall army commander, august Wilhelm von Bevern).  The redoubt is occupied by a battery of heavy guns, guarded by the ‘Beneckendorff’ and ‘Dieringshofen’ Grenadier Battalions.  A third battalion, the ‘Manteuffel’ Grenadiers, has occupied and fortified the village of Ober-Moys.

Above:  Nádasdy’s main Austrian army.  The main body of infantry is divided into three divisions, each arrayed in three lines; Clerici’s Division of six battalions is on the left (nearest the camera), Esterházy’s Division of six battalions is in the centre and Wied’s Division of nine battalions is on the right.  There are a lot of regimental 1st battalions present, hence the unusually large number of white Leibfahne flags.

Above:  Nostitz’s Austro-Saxon Cavalry Division stands on the right flank.  In the first line are the Saxon-Polish ‘Prinz Albrecht’ and ‘Graf Brühl’ Chevauxlégers, then the ‘Prinz Carl’ Chevauxlégers with the Austrian ‘Jung-Modena’ Dragoons and lastly the Austrian ‘Sachsen-Götha’ Dragoons.

Above:  The vanguard of the Austrian army is formed by d’Arenberg’s seven battalions of massed grenadiers.  These are formed into a single large column on a two-battalion frontage, aimed squarely at the Jäckelsberg Redoubt.

Above:  As d’Arenberg’s grenadiers advance toward the redoubt, a battery of 12pdrs positioned on the Galgenberg Hill opens fire in support of the attack.

Above:  Another, smaller battery of Austrian 12pdrs opens fire from the Busch-Berg.

Above:  On the extreme Austrian left flank, Pálffy’s corps of light troops approaches Ober-Moys.

Above:  On the opposite flank, Petazzi’s light troops have seized the vital river-crossing at Leopoldshayn and considerably outnumber Kleist’s Prussian flank-guard.

Above:  As the Austrian grenadiers approach the redoubt, the Prussian guns open fire.  Austrian grenadiers go down like skittles, but they keep on coming.

Above:  As Pálffy’s hussars dash forward to seize a river-crossing at Moys, his Grenzer begin skirmishing with the ‘Manteuffel’ Grenadiers in Ober-Moys.  However, the Prussian standard of marksmanship, honed by endless days on the drill-square, is excellent and they manage to pick off some of the annoying skirmishers.

Above:  On the opposite flank, Grenzer skirmishers boldly push forward to annoy Kleist as further troops cross the bridge at Leopoldshayn.

Above:  The first Austrian assault hits the Jäckelsberg Redoubt!  Nearest the camera, the ‘Dieringshofen’ Grenadiers manage to halt the Austrian assault with fire, but two Austrian grenadier battalions manage to push through the flame, smoke and shot to charge home on the ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers!

Above:  The Prussian grenadiers have a deservedly impressive fighting reputation and the ‘Beneckendorff’ Battalion proves its mettle by repulsing the two assaulting battalions.  The officers of one Austrian grenadier battalion completely lose control of their men and they are soon streaming away from the fight in complete disorder. 

Above:  At Ober-Moys, life is getting hot for the ‘Manteuffel’ Grenadiers as the Grenzer engage them more closely.

Above:  Over on the opposite flank, the Grenzer are getting the better of Kleist’s grenadiers, with the ‘Hacke’ Grenadier Battalion in particular, becoming the main target of the enemy skirmishers.

Above:  The second Austrian assault erupts on the redoubt!  However, long-range fire from the supporting Austrian 12pdrs has this time managed to suppress the defenders, giving the Austrian grenadiers their best chance yet.

Above:  All Austrian grenadiers this time manage to charge home on the fieldworks.  Nevertheless, the ‘Dieringshofen’ Grenadiers again stand their ground, utterly destroying the Austrian battalion assaulting their sector of the defences.  However, the ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers this time are ejected from the redoubt and the gunners are swept away with them!  With two Austrian grenadier battalions now inside the defences, things are looking very dicey for the ‘Dieringshofen’ Battalion!  However, Bevern quickly manages to rally the ‘Beneckendorff’ Battalion and prepares to throw them back into the fight!

Above:  At Ober-Moys, Pálffy has brought more Grenzer across the river to join the fight for the village.  His hussars meanwhile, have halted their advance, as Kursell now commands the river crossings at Moys with his two battalions of Prussian grenadiers and some battalion guns.

Above:  Back at the redoubt, all had seemed lost for a moment, but the superb ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers fight their way back in, smashing one Austrian grenadier battalion at bayonet-point and destroying a second battalion by fire!  D’Arenberg has now lost three of his seven grenadier battalions and the Austrian grenadiers’ confidence begins to waver.

Above:  Back at Ober-Moys, the Grenzer’s fire is finally starting to have an effect on the ‘Manteuffel’ Grenadiers and so Pálffy launches a direct assault with two formed battalions.  However, the assault is halted by Prussian fire before it reaches the barricades.

Above:  With the Austrian grenadiers wavering, Bevern throws the rallied ‘Dieringshofen’ Grenadiers back into the fight!

Above:  At Leopoldshayn, a bold assault by Petazzi’s Grenzer pushes back the ‘Hacke’ Grenadier Battalion, but a charge by part of the ‘Werner’ Hussars crushes the valiant Grenzer battalion!

Above:  Bevern’s counter-attack succeeds in ejecting the Austrian interlopers and yet another Austrian grenadier battalion is destroyed!

Above:  However, the Austrian grenadiers are swift to rally and launch yet another assault against the defences.  This time the Prussian ‘Dieringshofen’ Grenadiers are swept from the field, leaving Bevern and the ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers feeling rather lonely.  Thankfully, the Austrian main body seems to have its sights fixed on the main Prussian position and hasn’t detached any troops to reinforce d’Arenberg.

Above:  Back at Ober-Moys, the ‘Manteuffel’ Grenadiers are having a hot time of it as they beat off a second attack by Pálffy’s Grenzer.

Above:  Observing the unfolding battle from a vantage point across the River Neisse, the army C-in-C is growing increasingly concerned and has therefore ordered a brigade of the Görlitz garrison to march to Winterfeldt’s aid.

Above:  The ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers continue to fight on alone at the redoubt and beat off yet another Austrian assault.

Above:  General von Katte The Younger joins the battle!

Above:  The Austrian main body marches past the ongoing struggle for the Jäckelsberg, aiming for the main prize.

Above:  Nostitz’s cavalry just manage to squeeze through the gap on the right flank.

Above:  Pálffy’s Grenzer launch a final, all-or-nothing assault on Ober-Moys.

Above:  The ‘Zieten’ Hussars move to cover gaps on the right flank, just in case Ober-Moys falls and the Austrian hussars cross the river.

Above:  But there is no need to worry, as Pálffy’s assault fails and his last formed units of Grenzer are broken, leaving only the hussars and a few detached companies of skirmishers.  Certainly not enough to force the crossings.  The battle for the Prussian right flank now hinges upon the fight for the Jäckelsberg.

Above:  The Prussian reinforcements arrive at Moys, with the intention of forming a back-stop position, should Ober-Moys and/or the Jäckelsberg position fall.

Above:  However, the ‘Manteuffel’ Grenadiers are now totally secure in Ober-Moys, though could still be forced to withdraw if the ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers lose the Jäckelsberg, thereby causing Bevern to panic.

Above:  However, the Beneckendorff Grenadiers seem to have the luck of the Devil and continue to beat off attack after attack!  The Austrian grenadier losses are now catastrophic.

Above:  As the Austrian main body passes the Jäckelsberg, the Austrian fourth line under Forgách appears in the distance.  Nádasdy orders Forgách to assault the Jäckelsberg at once and end the débâcle!

Above:  The Austrian main body is now well within range of the small battery of Prussian 12pdrs on the Lange-Berg and roundshot begins to bound through the serried ranks of whitecoats.

Above:  Over at Leopoldshayn meanwhile, Kleist is struggling to contain the Austrian bridgehead.  Both Prussian grenadier battalions have taken losses, with the ‘Hacke’ Grenadiers on the right getting the worst of it.  To make matters worse, Petazzi has managed to deploy the ‘Kálnoky’ Hussars beyond the bridgehead and they quickly drive back the 2nd Battalion of the Prussian ‘Werner’ Hussars, enabling yet more of their comrades to deploy from Leopoldshayn.  However, Grenzer losses have been high and the sight of so many dead and wounded troops streaming to the rear can’t be good for the Austrian hussars’ morale.

Above:  Despite losing the line of the fortifications and being heavily outnumbered, the heroic ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers beat off yet another attack by the Austrian grenadiers!

Above:  At Moys, the ‘Zieten’ Hussars find themselves about to becoming the filling in an infantry sandwich and wisely move off  to find a better position.

Above:  At Leopoldshayn, Kleist attempts to push forward, in order to close off the bridgehead.  His battalion guns successfully disrupt the ‘Kaiser’ Hussars as they deploy from Leopoldshayn, but a brave Grenzer battalion launches a frontal charge on the ‘Hacke’ Grenadiers!  The Prussian Grenadiers have already suffered heavy losses to enemy fire and shamefully break in the face of the Croats’ charge!  Prussian revenge is swift however, as the ‘Werner’ Hussars counter-attack on both flanks, destroying a Grenzer battalion and throwing the ‘Kálnoky’ Hussars back across the river.

Above:  Another gratuitous shot of the magnificent Austrian army…

Above:  “I can do this all day!” shouts Bevern, as yet another Austrian grenadier assault fails to break the ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers…

Above:  With Nostitz’s Austro-Saxon cavalry rapidly approaching from the south, Kleist desperately needs to remove the threat posed by Petazzi’s light corps.  The ‘Werner’ Hussars therefore charge again!

Above:  The 1st Battalion of the ‘Werner’ Hussars smashes through the last remaining (and bravest) Grenzer battalion and rides on to break the ‘Desewffy’ Hussars, who are just deploying from Leopoldshayn.  The 2nd Battalion of the ‘Werner’ Hussars meanwhile, sweeps up the last of the Grenzer skirmishers.  Petazzi finally loses his nerve and he, along with the surviving hussars, follow the fugitive Grenzer back over the river.

Above:  And not a moment too soon, as Nostitz’s cavalry are almost upon them!

Above:  Despite seeing the Austrian army approaching from flippin’ miles away, Zieten suddenly seems surprised and realises that he is deployed in a terrible position!  Cue much faffing about , as the Prussian cavalry attempt to redeploy and get out of the infantry’s way…

Above:  Winterfeldt also realises that he has for some reason forgotten to bring his infantry forward from the rear slope…

Above:  On the Prussian right flank, things are looking rosy.  Moys is occupied by Kursell’s two grenadier battalions, while the reinforcement brigade has formed up behind the village, with two grenadier battalions to the fore and a third battalion in reserve, hoping to enfilade the Austrian left.  The ‘Zieten’ Hussars are also standing by, ready to pounce on any opportunity that might present itself.

Above:  That opportunity quickly arises as the ‘Zieten’ Hussars strike at the vulnerable Austrian flank!

Above:  The 2nd Battalion of the ‘Zieten’ Hussars smashes into the first line of Austrian infantry, breaking the 1st Battalion of the ‘De Ligne’ Regiment!

Above:  The drama continues at the Jäckelsberg as the Austrian grenadiers are beaten off yet again!

Above:  Suddenly, the main body of Winterfeldt’s army surges forward to meet the Austrians on the crest of the Lange-Berg!  As the Prussian ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons strike at the vulnerable 1st Battalion of the ‘Los Rios’ Regiment on the right flank of the Austrian infantry, the ‘Brandenburg’ and ‘Normann’ Dragoons make a massed assault on the Saxon ‘Graf Brühl’ Chevauxlégers.

Above:  Out on the far flank meanwhile, the 1st Battalion of the ‘Werner’ Hussars are still rallying from their earlier fight with the Grenzer when they are struck from behind by the Saxon ‘Prinz Albrecht’ Chevauxlégers!  The hussars are quickly routed, but the damage is not as bad as it might have been and they rally behind the line of the ‘Unruh’ Grenadier Battalion.  Faced with grenadiers backed by artillery, the chevauxlégers wisely recall to rally behind the Austrian dragoons.

Above:  Zieten’s counter-attack meanwhile, is a complete disaster!  The ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons destroy themselves on the bayonets of the ‘Los Rios’ Regiment, while the rest of the Prussian Dragoons, despite having a considerable advantage in numbers, are beaten off by the heroic ‘Graf Brühl’ Chevauxlégers with heavy losses!

Above:  Back at the Jäckelsberg Redoubt, the ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers repulse yet another assault by d’Arenberg’s grenadiers and brace themselves for yet another attack… Yet none is forthcoming and as the musket-smoke begins to clear, the surviving grenadiers can be seen fleeing for the hills!  However, a fresh assault is approaching in the form of Forgách’s Division.  As the Prussian gunners rush forward to reclaim their guns, the grenadiers line the parapet once again and prepare to meet the new attack.

Above:  Back at the Lange-Berg, the ‘Zieten’ Hussars strike again at the Austrian left flank, demolishing another of Clerici’s battalions (the 1st Battalion of the ‘Platz’ Regiment).  This thankfully clears the front of the Prussian ‘Tresckow’ Regiment, which being filled with unwilling Catholic troops, is the weak-link in the Prussian line.

Above:  On the left wing of the Prussian line, the battle quickly bogs down into an attritional firefight between the Prussian ‘Lestwitz’ and ‘Pannewitz’ Regiments and Esterházy’s first line (the 1st Battalions of the Austrian ‘D’Arberg’ Regiment and the Imperial ‘Mainz-Lamberg’ Regiment).  This is a battle that the Prussians can’t hope to win, as the Austrians simply have more troops to feed into the fight, while the Prussians have no reserves whatsoever.  In order to try to reinforce the left flank, Wied pulls the 2nd Battalion of the ‘Pannewitz’ Regiment, along with some battalion guns, back to refuse the flank.

Above:  As the surviving Prussian dragoons rally, Zieten’s reserve regiment, the ‘Schönaich’ Cuirassiers, move forward to engage the Austrian infantry.

Above:  On the Prussian left flank, there is a welcome pause, allowing the ‘Werner’ Hussars rally as the ‘Unruh’ Grenadiers, with their supporting battalion guns, wait for the next attack.

Above:  As the victorious first line of Saxon chevauxlégers falls back to rally, Nostitz beings his second line forward into the attack.  Nearest the camera, the ‘Jung-Modena’ Dragoons threaten Kleist, while the Saxon ‘Prinz Carl’ Chevauxlégers launch a charge to clear the ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons away from the flank of the infantry.

Above:  The view from the other end of the Prussian line.

Above:  The ‘Zieten’ Hussars launch another charge against Clerici’s infantry, but Clerici has now turned part of his division to face the threat and the hussars’ charge is halted by fire.  However, having lost two of his six battalions, Clerici’s Division is now demoralised.

Above:  Over on the other flank, the charge of the Saxon ‘Prinz Carl’ Chevauxlégers is perfectly executed and the ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons are thrown back with heavy losses.

Above:  The Austrian ‘Jung-Modena’ Dragoons however, have surprised everyone by attempting to wheel across Kleist’s front.  Kleist’s battalion guns treat them to a whiff of grapeshot as they ride past.  The ‘Werner’ Hussars are also unlikely to let the Austrian manoeuvre go unchallenged!

Above:  With the Prussian cavalry repulsed, (Austrian) Wied’s Division pushes past the flank of (Prussian) Wied’s line.  There is now very little to prevent Winterfeldt’s left flank from being completely rolled up.

Above:  Clerici’s Austrian infantry might be demoralised, but they’re continuing to push forward, forcing the ‘Zieten’ Hussars to once again escape being the horsemeat filling in an infantry sandwich!  However, Clerici is also now taking some harassing fire from the ‘Anhalt’ Grenadier Battalion, emplaced among the houses and gardens of Moys.

Above:  As battalion guns engage each other with point-blank canister fire, the Prussian ‘Manteuffel’ Regiment wheels forward to engage Clerici’s whitecoats more closely.  An ADC meanwhile, gallops out from Winterfeldt’s headquarters, with orders for the Reserve Brigade to attack Clerici and roll up the Austrian left flank!

Above:  As the Prussian dragoons rally, the ‘Schönaich’ Cuirassiers launch a charge on the Austrian infantry.  (Austrian) Wied’s left-hand battalion has paused to engage in a firefight with Prussian infantry and has therefore left a Hungarian battalion exposed with an unsupported flank.  The Prussian cuirassiers instantly seize the opportunity and launch a devastating charge, destroying the Hungarian battalion! 

Above:  Having destroyed the Hungarian battalion, the ‘Schönaich’ Cuirassiers charge on into the ‘Los Rios’ Regiment.  However, these heroic Walloon infantry, having already seen off one cavalry charge today, are made of sterner stuff and repulse the cuirassiers, who fall back to join the dragoons in licking their wounds.

Above:  It’s a bad moment for the Hungarians, as two more Hungarian battalions, this time from Forgách’s Division, launch their assault on the Jäckelsberg Redoubt.  Shredded by 12pdr canister fire and musketry from the seemingly unbeatable ‘Beneckendorff’ Grenadiers, the Hungarian battalions simply disintegrate!

Above:  As the ‘Schönaich’ Cuirassiers rally, Zieten suddenly gets another rush of blood to the sabre and launches his rallied dragoons once again into the attack!  

Above:  The 1st Battalion of the Prussian ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons, with the ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons in support, runs into the as yet un-blooded Austrian ‘Sachsen-Götha’ Dragoons, who are supported by the ‘Prinz Carl’ Chevauxlégers and the heroic ‘Los Rios’ Regiment.  Once again, the engagement ends in disaster as the ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons are thrown back!  The victorious ‘Sachsen-Götha’ Dragoons charge on to destroy the already-weakened ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons.

Above:  The 2nd Battalion of the Prussian ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons charges headlong into the midst of the Austrian infantry… and is annihilated.

Above:  However, the Austrians don’t get it all their own way, as the ‘Jung-Modena’ Dragoons, having been stung by fire from the Prussian battalion guns, launch a charge on the ‘Werner’ Hussars.  However, flanking fire from the ‘Unruh’ Grenadiers disorders the charge and the hussars have managed to bring the other half of the regiment up in support.  The ‘Jung-Modena’ Dragoons are swept from the field! 

Above:  The firefight in the centre continues unabated, though neither side seems to be gaining an advantage over the other.  However, the 2nd Battalion of the Pannewitz Regiment is under extreme pressure on the left flank.

Above:  The view from the Lange-Berg.  Despite the extreme danger on the left flank, the Prussian infantry is still holding its ground and has only suffered very light casualties.

Above:  At the Jäckelsberg Redoubt, Bevern’s men have been under attack in every single turn since Turn 2, but still hold their ground as they repulse yet another attack!  

Above:  At Moys, Clerici has managed to make no progress in the face of extremely stiff Prussian opposition, which is hardly surprising, as his four battalions are faced by no fewer than seven elite battalions, backed by cavalry and artillery.

Above:  However, on the Prussian left, Zieten’s cavalry division is demoralised and greatly depleted.  One more charge by the ‘Sachsen-Götha’ Dragoons will probably see Zieten swept from the field entirely.

Above:  Kleist however, has managed to hang on by the skin of his teeth and is in an excellent position to disrupt the Austrian attempt to roll up the Prussian infantry.

Above:  The overall view of the Prussian left flank.  Nostitz’ cavalry and Wied’s infantry have completely overrun the Prussian left wing, but Kleist (on the left) is still in position to cause serious trouble.

Above:  As (Austrian) Wied’s Division pushes forward, their only remaining obstacle is the 2nd Battalion of the ‘Pannewitz’ Regiment, which is still standing firm to the rear of (Prussian) Wied’s left flank, along with a detachment of battalion guns.  (Austrian) Wied has only lost one of his nine battalions and is still in very good shape to continue the attack.

Above:  In the centre, Esterházy has suffered a few casualties, but has lost none of his six battalions, though is struggling to make headway against the Prussian infantry.

Above:  As his latest attack fails, Forgách suffers a crisis of confidence and halts his attack on the Jäckelsberg!  For their heroic defence of the redoubt, Major Beneckendorff and Prinz Carl von Bevern are both awarded the Pour le Mérite

Above:  On the Austrian left, Clerici’s Division is demoralised and must withdraw to avoid destruction by the vastly superior Prussian forces around Moys.

Alas, we had reached Turn 12, the arbitrary finishing-point of the scenario.  As discussed in the scenario, the Austrians historically feared a Prussian counter-attack (possibly because they weren’t sure where Frederick had gone) and failed to fully press home the attack, hence the arbitrary time-limit.

On paper this looked like a walk-over for the Austrians with their vastly superior forces.  However, having a few elite units defending key locations and A LOT of extremely lucky dice-rolling, it was judged that the Prussians had managed to achieve a well-deserved victory!  Bevern and Kleist had both lost a single grenadier battalion, Zieten’s cavalry was virtually destroyed and Wied’s infantry were about to have their flank turned, but they had by some miracle, managed to retain possession of the key Jäckelsberg and Ober-Moys positions and had inflicted considerable losses on the Austrians – seven grenadier battalions, five infantry battalions, one dragoon regiment, three hussar regiments and a crapload of Grenzer either destroyed or driven from the field.  Nevertheless there were numerous nail-biting moments throughout the game and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed the game. 

The terrain is all from Phil’s collection.  The figures are all from my own collection; the Prussians are a mixture of Old Glory 15s, Lancashire Games and Eureka models, all painted by me except for the hussars, which were painted by Gareth Beamish.  The Saxon cavalry and Austrian artillery are Old Glory 15s models painted by me.  The rest of the Austrians are mostly Lancashire Games models, with a few Old Glory 15s Grenzer and generals, all painted by Gareth Beamish for the late Doug Weatherall’s collection.  Yes, I need to sort out those bases…

My thanks again to Phil and Patsy for their hospitality and to Pete and Mike for their excellent company and sportsmanship!

The finalised ‘Tricorn’ conversion notes for ‘Shako’ rules will be published here soon, as well as my Review of 2021.  I’ve also been painting some Napoleonic and SYW cavalry (some of which are shown below), so more on that soon…

So once again, Merry Christmas from Fawr Towers! 🙂

 

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The Combat of Görlitz (or Moys), 7th September 1757: The Refight

  1. Steve J says:

    That is a lovely game and scenario and certainly a hard fought win for the Prussians. Have a good Xmas break and look forward to more from you in 2022:)

  2. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark

    Merry Christmas. Great report as always. Very interested in the Shako/Tricorn rules for my own 10mm SYW armies but a bit loath to shell out £37.50 on the Shako rules until I can find out a bit more about them in terms of basics like unit size, base size etc. Grateful for any thoughts.

    Cheers Paul

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Hi Paul,

      Yeah, the 2nd Edition is bloody steep and not worth it in my opinion, as they arsed about too much with what was a perfectly good set of simple, fast-play rules. I’m still using 1st Edition and that is the core of ‘Tricorn’, so find yourself a cheap old copy of 1st Edition if you can! 🙂

      To their credit, the writers made it clear that it didn’t really matter how you based your troops, as long as it’s consistent. They therefore suggested various basing schemes, matching Empire, Napoleon’s Battles, etc. I base mine along Napoleon’s Battles lines, so infantry bases are arranged 2×2 with 20mm frontage and 25mm depth. Cavalry are also based 2×2 with 25mm frontage and 55mm depth. Artillery are on 40mm squares. Divisional commanders are on 25mm squares and army commanders are on 50mm squares. The number of figures doesn’t really matter, but as a general convention, most battalions or cavalry regiments have 12 figures (2 bases), with large units having 16 (4 bases). Skirmisher bases have the same frontage as a 12-figure battalion (60mm using my system).

      I then use casualty figures based on a 2p piece to show ‘stagger’ (disorder), a couple of mounted ADCs per side, also based on 2p pieces and a load of 1p pieces covered in PVA and sand, then painted green and marked with ‘dice dots’ to show casualties and Bs for ‘Blown’ cavalry.

      • Andrew McGuire says:

        There are allegedly three kinds of people: those who understand maths and those who don’t. I’m definitely in the latter camp but still feel there is an anomaly in the basing system you describe. If each infantry base is 20mm wide, contains four figures in two ranks, and the frontage of a twelve-figure battalion is 60mm, does that not mean it has three bases rather than the two stated?

        As I much prefer more figures in my battalions I’m wondering how flexible the system is in this regard. Would the game work with 24- or even 36-figure battalions, assuming one had the space? (I don’t but I like to have an ideal to aspire too).

        BTW how imminent is Tricorn?

        • jemima_fawr says:

          There are only 10 kinds of people: Those who understand binary and everyone else. 😉

          Ooo, sorry about that. Yes, three bases. 🙂 Though the number of bases and figures doesn’t really matter to be honest, just as long as the unit frontages and distances/ranges remain in proportion.

          Sorry about the further delay on Tricorn. It should have been finished this week, but Mrs Fawr is ill, unfortunately, so things are slow this week.

          • Andrew McGuire says:

            Thank you. All as I more or less anticipated, rendering the query even more superfluous than usual. I trust you will make allowances for my pedantry and impatience and hope for Mrs Fawr’s swift recovery.

            BTW speaking of impatience, my inability to locate my copy of Shako, and fears that I may never do so, have impelled me to purchase a second copy, though the transaction has yet to be completed. I am also giving some consideration to Volley & Bayonet, as well as whatever else passes through my mind at any given moment.

          • jemima_fawr says:

            Haha, not at all! 🙂

            Well the good news re Shako is that if you’ve ever had any familiarity at all with Shako you should be able to just pick up Tricorn from the QRSs and conversion notes.

  3. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for the info. I have had a quick look on the interweby thing and bizarrely 2nd hand editions of the rules are going for more than buying a new (II) edition of the rules direct from Caliver Books! Anyway one more question about the rules, how does musket range compare with the frontage of one of your ‘standard’ infantry battalions? My ‘standard’ sized infantry battlions have a frontage of 3 & 3/4 inches (about 95mm) and musket range is 4 inches (100mm) using the Honours of War rules.

    Cheers Paul

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Yeah, I just had a quick search and there are some bizarre prices, including Oxfam selling a copy of 1st Edition for £80!!!!!

      In terms of musketry, the standard ‘Shako’ musket range in 15mm scale was 4 inches, which also equated to the movement speed for infantry in line AND the rear-support distance for 2nd lines. However, I’ve increased all of those things to 6 inches. This allows the 2nd line to be in rear support at the standard Prussian 2-battalion frontage distance AND still be (just) within musket-range of the 1st line. In your case I’d be tempted to increase that by one-third to 8 inches (and also increase everything else by a third).

      Something we immediately found to be at fault with Shako was that the artillery ranges were FAR too short. When you set up a historical battle at scale distance, the artillery was always out of range, even when placed in its historical location. 🙂

  4. Andrew McGuire says:

    This is a gripping and inspirational battle report with an excellent blend of commentary and images, evoking the spirit of Charge! and The Wargame but vastly superior from a technical point of view as, 50 years+ later, it ought to be, as should the rules. I’ve actually played with both Brigadier Young’s and Charles Grant’s rules, using Spencer Smith figures and don’t recall either being particularly enjoyable. (The Grant rules aren’t really feasible for solo play anyway, given the requirement for written orders).

    I still have the books and figures, but am now looking to recruit new armies in a smaller scale, probably 15mm, and am considering various rules. I’ve had Honours of War for some time though not played it, and have just acquired Twilight of the Soldier Kings which uses brigades rather than battalions and may work best with 6 – 10mm figures. However I also have a copy of Shako 1st edition somewhere (exact whereabouts currently unknown) so will be very interested in your amendments, when available. I also look forward to seeing more battle reports and hope I’ll eventually have games with a similar level of enjoyment to yours.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Andrew! 🙂

      Sorry for the delay in replying; I was on holiday and the bloody Kindle I was using has an irritating auto-correct feature that I can’t seem to switch off, making what I was trying to write seem even more like gibberish than usual! Unfortunately that also meant that I could make any more progress with writing up ‘Tricorn’ by the pool as planned, but I’ve got a few days off this week before I have to go back to work, so will try to get it finished.

      Yes, I started on ‘Charge!’ as well (aged about 15), but my best mate and I then found a club (W.A.S.P.) and immediately graduated onto WRG rules, so never played ‘Charge!’ again after that.

      Yeah, my copy of Shako mysteriously disappeared as well and all I had was a playsheet, but Phil Portway kindly gave me his old copy last year. 🙂

  5. Andrew McGuire says:

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I also went on to the WRG 1685 – 1845 rules, which gave better games, though this may have a lot to do with my playing solo. Those rules were the only WRG set I found enjoyable – in fact I don’t believe I ever finished a game with the then-revered ancients rules, of any edition. One feature I particularly appreciated in 1685 – 1845 was that the morale / reaction test modifiers, instead of being in one long list as in every other ‘serious’ rule set I’d encountered, were organised according to the situation leading to the test, and included only those of potential relevance to that situation, which speeded up play enormously. I couldn’t understand why this hadn’t been done before.

    Unfortunately for various reasons my gaming since then has been at best intermittent so although I’ve acquired a fair number of more recent rules, I’m not in a position to evaluate them. This is why detailed and vividly described battle reports such as yours are so valuable in helping to maintain my enthusiasm, unfocused though it is.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Unfortunately, it’s been such a long time (30 years) since I last played WRG that I can remember very little about them! Same goes for WRG WW2. I played an awful lot of Napoleon’s Battles from 1991ish and then a period of General de Brigade due to being co-opted to run AB Figures’ Wargames Weekends and a few General de Brigade Wargames Weekends at the National Army Museum with Dave Brown (author of General de Brigade) and Mark Urban. Then I came back to Napoleon’s Battles in 2010ish.

      For the 18th Century side of things, I tried Warfare in the Age of Reason and Koenigskrieg, but found them both rather unsatisfying. Then someone suggested Shako and with a little modification we found them to be extremely quick, fun and easy for doing BIG historical refights and campaign battles.

      Sorry I don’t delve more deeply into game mechanics in my accounts. I tend to write what I like to read, which tends to be ‘the story of the game’ rather than ‘the mechanics of the game’. I should try to do some of the latter from time to time! 🙂

  6. Andrew McGuire says:

    The battle reports are fine as they are. Digressions into rule mechanics would only detract from the narrative flow, which is what makes them fun to read. If you care to discuss mechanics from time to time in separate posts that would be great, as there are so many rule sets that are scarcely ever discussed it’s very difficult to find out anything about them. I’ve noticed two new 18th century sets on sale in the past couple of days, which I would love to know more about and there must be others I haven’t yet heard of.

    It was the battle reports in Charge! and The Wargame which I really enjoyed, though these were designed to show the rules in action and therefore included much reference to movement allowances, weapon ranges, and die rolls . I’m still inspired by those books but primarily because of the made-up backgrounds and colourful characters. The rules themselves are best regarded as ‘of their time’, though I still think of bringing my Spencer Smith figures – appalling as they are -out of retirement and organising them into unfeasibly large battalions under the command of gout-addled colonels and dashing sabreurs of dubious morals. The nearest modern equivalent I can think of to those books is Maurice, though I understand it divides opinion and might work best in an imagi-nation setting rather than to simulate a historical war. (I also have Sam Mustafa’s Might and Reason which I was fortunate to find on eBay, hidden in a list of miscellaneous rule sets). My problem, as you will readily observe, is too much vacillation and too little action.

  7. Andrew McGuire says:

    I will make sure I read my new copy – which I don’t think I ever did with the old one – so that I have a chance of memorising some of the basics before I mislay it. BTW in view of the comments on prices, it’s costing me £25 inc. postage. The original cost me £10 a little over 20 years ago.

    Incidentally, I’ve been wondering whether the name Tricorne might lead to some confusion given that there is an old SYW set of that name dating from the 1970’s though I have no idea of its current status. It’s difficult to think of an alternative, though, given the base set is named after the iconic headgear of its own period. Just to be safe you might want to consider Dreispitz.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Yeah, the prices being asked are insane!

      And yes, there are AT LEAST five other ‘Tricorn’ or ‘Tricorne’ rulesets already in existence, but as these aren’t for sale or personal gain, I’m just leaving it as it is. It’s been ‘Tricorn’ since the mid-90s and ‘Tricorn’ it shall remain. As you say, it’s the logical name given the original was ‘Shako’.

      I could have gone for ‘Mitre’, but a surprisingly large number of wargamers have no clue how to pronounce that! 🙂

  8. Andrew McGuire says:

    You’ve made me wonder whether I’m pronouncing mitre correctly now – I may as well open myself to ridicule by revealing that I say ‘my-tuh’. As if that weren’t bad enough, I used to pronounce Shako ‘shake-o’. Oh, the shame…

    • jemima_fawr says:

      😀 Sorry! 😉

      Yes, Mitre is pronounced exactly that way. 🙂

      No shame. You’re among friends. Now if you’d mentioned ‘Lieb-Husaren’, ‘Chassuers’. ‘Kampfgruppen’ (singular) or ‘Turrents’ I would have to cut you dead at my club…

      • Andrew McGuire says:

        The gods be thanked I can still hold my head up and not be shunned by my wargaming peers! At least until my next social faux pas…

        I believe I am at least reasonably safe in the cases you cite. As a (once) passable German speaker I know Leib from lieb and Schutz from Schuetze (apologies for the absence of an umlaut which I cannot access are present). In fact my hackles are raised whenever I see or hear the word Fallschirmjaeger mangled, which it almost invariably is.

        My French is also at least adequate to handle chasseurs and voltigeurs with ease. And without wishing to souffler ma propre trompette, I have been known to expound for the benefit of the curious on the full forms of DLM and DCR, at least to my own satisfaction.

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