Wednesday 28 June 2023

Mollwitz refight. Wofun style.

 I have mentioned in previous posts that I am quite taken with the Wofun 2d gaming pieces, artwork bu Peter Dennis means the illustrations look really nice. As a means of getting painted pieces on the table at a reasonable price ( around 16-17€ for 2 x 48 figure infantry units) it’s decent value for money. No they’re not as good as fully round figures but I still think they look quite good and open up lots of opportunities to get games played.

So on to Mollwitz, I’ve had the SYW collection for a while and not used them, John Rich a fellow gamer had recently bought the SYW starter set and wanted to try them in a game so I volunteered and thought Mollwitz would be a good starter, a challenge to both armies, ( arguably the bigger challenge to the Austrians) so using C.S. Grants proposed set up from his series of books we were good to go.

We decided to try out Andy Callan’s SYW rules including some of the optional rules and a couple of tweaks. In addition  we decided to use the Honours of War command activation rules which worked well.

The set up complete the Prussian horse is outnumbered almost 2:1 whilst the Austrian infantry who are still deploying is outnumbered almost 2:1. The Prussian battle plan was simple the infantry to push on as fast as possible, destroy the Austrian infantry and push through Mollwitz. Their cavalry was simply to hang on as long as possible.

The Austrian plan to engage and destroy the Prussian cavalry and threaten/ attack the flanks of the Prussian infantry thus disrupting the attack on Mollwitz. The Austrian infantry sought to hold the line and deploy the artillery.
Let battle commence.
The early moves was a slightly faltering start with the Prussian first line at first failing to move for two out of the first three bounds, the Prussian cavalry had advanced in anticipation of the Infantry advance.
Austrian cavalry pushed forward on both flanks whilst the infantry around Mollwitz sought to clear the lines and bring the artillery forward.

The cavalry on both flanks engaged whilst the Prussian infantry continued their advance on the Prussian right two battalions of Grenadiers moved out of line to cover the right flank from any cavalry threat.
The ensuing Cavalry melees didn’t go as Austria planned, on the Austrian right it took 3 bounds to overcome the Prussian resistance but this what at the cost of their Cuirassier regiment who suffered 50% casualties and was forced to cease offensive action.
On the Austrian left their dragoons were defeated by Prussian Cuirassiers but the Austrian dragoons road through their opposite number and a regiment of Hussars and tried to move around the Prussian right flank.
Early artillery exchanges went slightly in favour of the Prussian guns.

As the Prussian infantry steam roller continued to advance their Grenadiers on both flanks were forced to hold back and try to prevent the Austrian cavalry threatening the flanks, on their right the successfully deterred the Austrian Cuirassiers but a regiment of dragoons and their General succeeded in evading them and moving towards the rear of the Prussian lines, the Austrian right flank cavalry also succeeded in moving past the Prussian flank guard and moving to the Prussian rear. 
Whilst musketry exchange was slightly in favour of the Prussians the Austrian artillery drove the 22nd infantry regiment back towards the rear with some devastating fire.

The Austrian dragoons from the left charged the Prussian artillery from the rear and rode down the men manning the three batteries, they then pushed forward and hit the disordered 22nd in the rear and broke the unit a moment of Austrian glory. 
However the Prussian first line were now closing and unleashed some murderous fire driving two Austrian regiments back and destroying one. The threat of the Austrian cavalry caused the Prussians to about face three of their regiments from the second line and it was clear the Austrian cavalry threat was nullified.

With one last push the Prussians broke the Austrian infantry line, despite taking casualties the Prussians over ran the Austrian batteries and broke another two Austrian infantry regiments so that the survivors were surrounded in and around Mollwitz the Austrians had no choice but to concede and seek to withdraw.

12 bounds in 4 hours sent bad for a relaxed battle involving lots of chat, refreshments etc. 
casualties Prussians had lost 16 elements of cavalry, 16 elements of infantry and 3 guns.
The Austrians had lost 10 elements of cavalry, 25 infantry and 3 guns. 18 of the Austrian infantry losses were in 3 regiments that were broken the remaining 7 were spread across the remaining 4 regiments. 
The Prussians had only lost one full regiment (6 elements) and still had 11 on the table.

The rules worked well, a couple of things to think about re panic tests, disorder and rally but no serious problems.
A most enjoyable game with more to follow and more Wofun.

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Wild Geese Weekend

 I’ve lost track which year this event started 2016? But it has continued to take place in Kennilworth where 20-25 like minded gamers who all have an interest in 18th century Warfare come together for the weekend and play toy soldiers. It’s been a few years since I’ve attended ( life, Covid and cancer) but this year I was determined to attend and with the encouragement of my good lady I set off on Friday for a leisurely drive to the hotel. What should have been a 3 1/2 hour journey ended up being 7 1/2 hours, accidents, road works and volume of traffic all conspired.

However upon arrival it was good to see familiar faces and a few new ones. An excellent evening meal was followed by a quiz and I was partnered by Niall Barr and we turned in a pretty good result. I can’t keep up with the more seasoned drinkers these days so I called retreat at a reasonable time to be ready for Saturday.

After a healthy breakfast we assembled in the games room where we were presented with six excellent looking games.

Wills superb Bridge too far with his excellent Spencer Smith collection.

Keith’s FIW with loads of canoes, rafts, Indians, Magua and more wild animals than you could shake a stick at.

Paul’s SYW action using Berliner Zinfigurren

Steve’s GNW Swedes v Russians

Steve M’s Kolin game using 40mm Prince August figures

Finally Iain Burt and a spectacular 1870’s Shiny Toy Soldier game.

Always difficult to decide what to play but I kicked off with Paul’s SYW game, both armies had two brigades of infantry and cavalry with a battery in support. Paul always creates rules that are simple to learn, play well and give a great game this was no exception. Despite having Prussian grenadiers who have a distinct advantage in firing Aly Morrison my opponent in this sector got the better of me and succeeded in destroying the two grenadier battalions. But in the nick of time my co General Niall Barr destroyed the French to his front and turned his infantry brigade to outflank Aly and force his surrender

Great game.

My next game was Keith’s FIW I was joined by Dave Andrew as the British, unfortunately for Dave his column struggled advancing through the woods from the off, fighting hard against Magua and his Indians. My militia on rafts outpaced the Indians in their canoes and my Rangers had a great time sinking a boat full of French Regulars and then finding an unusual ally in the form of a bear who the French had disturbed and who put the fear of God into them.

Sunday saw me joined by Peeler on the Austrian side as we fought Kolin. I took the Austrian right flank, opposing us was Robbie Roddis and Gary Phillips. Steve M had done a great job tweaking the Command and Colours epic rules and Tricorn tactical rules. Victory was to the side who could destroy 15 enemy units (including Generals).

The early stages saw my right flank under intense pressure and at one point we were behind 8:4 but gradually we clawed our way back into the game, with Peeler first attacking the Prussian right and then their centre thus saving the Austrian right flank from certain destruction.With less than half an hour to go the score stood at 13:12 in favour of the Prussians. 

What was left of my right flank had managed to kill Ziethan earlier and they now managed to attack and destroy aPrussian dragoon unit.The score was now 13:13.

In the centre Robbie as Frederick had been mauling our infantry with some excellent dice rolls  Peeler threw everything he had in one last attack. He destroyed a Prussian musketeer battalion 14:13 to the Austrians then through the smoke Peeler saw Frederick had become isolated, the Grenzers took a shot two sabres ( effectively a 12) were required and yes Frederick fell from his horse. Much cheering could be heard from the Austrian Generals, victory on the last throw of the dice.

Here’s an assortment of pictures of the games.

 Will's bridge too far with his splendid Spencer Smith figures

A huge thanks to Steve fir organising and to all the chaps who put on a game, a superb weekend and I’m already in for next year 🤪