Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Being a bit of a geek I spend a lot of daydreaming time wondering about wargame rules in the never ending search for the perfect set. I have been pondering again the rules for the wars of wine and cheese and for the coffee table squares. When not day dreaming I like to read about wargames and battles (like most of us).

Late spring of 1745 saw a couple of very interesting battles for the wargamer, Fontenoy and Hohendfreiburg. I was looking through Duffy’s “Frederick the Great – a military life” as Hohenfreidburg is the next battle in line for the coffee table series and then found myself skimming through “Wargaming in Hisory vol 2”; the chapter on Fontenoy.

One particularly interesting part of the Fontenoy is where the column of British & Hanoverian infantry have advanced and shattered the awaiting French infantry with devastating musketry and are charged by 30 squadrons of cavalry. The first line of horse is driven back by steady volleys and are replaced by a second line who in their turn charge and are driven back, some squadrons charging eight times to no avail.

I think my rules would probably reflect this giving steady infantry a definite advantage over cavalry charging head on.

 However a month later and much further east Lieutenant Chasot wrote of his experience with the Bayreuth Dragoons at Hohenfreidburg. “…we broke into a trot and finally a full gallop, putting our heads down and running into the Austrian grenadiers. They at first stood and delivered a volley at twenty paces, after which they were overthrown and mostly cut down.”

My rules would allow for this if the volley was ineffective but Duffy writes of the ensuing mayhem – “Behind the grenadiers the Bayreuth Dragoons collided with main force of the Austrian infantry.  In twenty minutes the regiment took five cannon, sixty seven colours and 2,500 prisoners, losing just 94 men in the process.”

Were the Bayreuth regiment so much better than the French at Fontenoy? Were the British just more effective at firing? Was it a matter of panic amongst the Austrians and how to reflect this possibility in a game.

It’s back to the palimpsest that are my rules to determine how to legislate for such differing results of cavalry charging infantry in the mid C18.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow and sand

Just slipped and slided back from Birmingham Wargames Society.

Must be some sort of irony struggling through the snow after having played another excellent game with KISS Rommel rules in the western desert.

The Brits almost managed to win against the odds but the dashing Honeys couldn't destroy the supply dump before the 88s got 'em.

We really like these rules :

a) simple
b) fun
c) free

what more can you ask for?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Chotositz 1742

It was back to the rules drawing board for the Battle of Chotositz. I started with the premise of 3 and 3. Each unit has an attrition rate of 3 and would be allowed 3 dice for firing and/or melee. This will of course need some fine tuning, artillery for example gets 3 dice at close range, but 2 and 1 for medium and long ranges respectively. Elite units and cuirassiers may get an additional dice.

The whole Austrian army advance against the brigade of cavalry, lined up in front of Cirkwitz pond, and the five regiments of foot resting their flank on the town of Chotositz. Miniature dice placed on the unit base measures hits on the unit.


The aim of the Austrian commander, Charles of Lorraine, is to destroy what he believes to be an isolated Prussian army. Frederick however had broken camp early and was either racing to assist Prince Leopold or was waiting behind the curtains as the Austrians were enticed into an assault (depending on the source). Either way all the Prussians on table have to is hold on.

 Austrian cavalry on both wings charge.

Austrian cavalry charge into disordered Prussian as they cross the marshy stream

... and are repulsed by lucky dice.

On the opposite wing The Prussians lose a brigade of cuirassiers but the second repulses their opposition. The infantry take casualties from efficient musketry.

The cavalry battles rage on on the wings but the Austrians exchange fire when they ought to be charging home.

 The white coats numbers begin to tell but they can't break into the village.

However by move 7 the Prussians are reinforced by a slightly tardy Frederick and their position in untenable.
These embryonic rules gave a more satisfying game than the previous DBA style but the casualty marker dice are both too fiddly and too unsightly. Some sort of marker is required.