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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15 Responses to The Battle of Leuthen 5th December 1757: The Refight

  1. Valleyboy says:

    A really good read, well done Mark

  2. paul hughes says:

    A great report and a fabulous looking game!

  3. Ian Wilson says:

    Great game guys and excellent write up. That’s a lot of figures!!

  4. Joseph says:

    That was an amazing sight, they really looked like armies! How many figs were in that game? I really enjoyed the AAR too. I’m not even a fan of the SYW (GNW guy myself) but this was great. Also your rules system seemed quite decisive which is what is needed when you can’t keep a huge battle set up for the next session.
    Thanks for all the pics and narration!

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Joseph!

      Yes, ‘Shako’/’Tricorn’ does produce a very decisive (even brutal!) game and excels at getting these large battles finished in a single day. Back in the 90s we played a lot of big historical SYW refights (Lobositz, Kolin, Zorndorf, Kunersdorf, Breslau, Minden and Prague) and they were all finished in a single day’s play.

      I’ve had a quick tot up and the Prussians had 423 horse, 592 foot and 18 guns, while the Austrians had 347 horse, 1,024 foot and 16 guns. ‘Horse’ includes staff officers and ‘Foot’ includes gun-crew figures. So that’s 770 horse, 1,616 foot and 34 guns in total.



      • Joseph says:

        Fascinating stuff! Thanks for doing the count too. Those are armies alright. I have been looking over the Tricorne rules and plan on trying them out for my India battles in the 1700s as they look fast and furious.
        One question though – do you do anything about casualties for generals. In the Napoleonic era and indeed all horse and musket periods, generals would bite the dust or at least get wounded at a pretty regular clip.


        • jemima_fawr says:

          Yes indeed and casualty rates were pretty similar during the SYW (the Battle of Prague having a particular high loss-rate on both sides). However, Shako only tacked on general qualities and risk to generals as an afterthought. I’ve been wondering how to better implement generalship for a while and need to playtest some further ideas.

  5. Joseph says:

    I’m thinking to rate the Divisional generals which is then added to the die roll to see the order in which the divisions get initiative. You could have +1, occasional +2, and for the inept, -1 also. That’s for generalship.

    I will figure out something probably quite random to see if a general dies. Often it was a lucky shot that would bring one down.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      I do give ratings to generals for initiative purposes. Divisional generals apply the following modifiers to their initiative roll: Poor (-1), Average (+0), Good (+1) & Excellent (+2). Army commanders are handled slightly differently, in that they roll a number of d6 and can use those to replace the dice of the divisional commanders: Poor (0d6), Average (1d6), Good (2d6) & Excellent (3d6).

      I’ve been toying with some ideas based loosely on the original Shako Optional Rules for generals:

      * Generals (either Divisional Commanders or Army Commanders) may attach or detach themselves to a unit under their command and within 12 inches at the start of the turn (before the Artillery Phase). Leave the 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). An attached Good or Excellent general will increase the unit’s MR by two levels. The modified MR may not exceed 7 and the Disordered Morale Rating 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 retreats, 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 a formation is broken the general will be killed/captured on a roll of 6 (this is only really relevant to campaign games).

      * If a general is killed/captured, the formation must roll on the Formation Morale Table during the following Command Phase, applying a -1 modifier. 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 orders during turns in which they are attached to a unit.

      * Generals NOT attached to individual units apply their generalship rating to Formation Morale rolls (Note that I’m already going to add a -1 morale modifier for formations that are already Demoralised).

      * 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.

  6. Joseph says:

    Ah, thanks for those. I am sure to use some of that!

  7. Pingback: ‘Fuller’s Stand’: ‘C’ Company, 152 (Indian) Para at Point 7378, 19th March 1944 (A Scenario For ‘Battlefront: WWII’) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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