Showing posts with label wargames. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wargames. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 March 2020

The Battle of Mollwitz Silesia; 10th April 1741.

On the death of her father, Maria Theresa became Empress of Austria.Prior to his death, Charles the 6th had tried to get the heads of Europe to sign up to the Pragmatic Sanction. This was an agreement whereby they would honour his eldest daughter as heir to the throne of Austria.

Of course no sooner had Maria Theresa been crowned than the storm clouds gathered. Chief amongst the potential protagonists was Frederick 2nd of Prussia.

His father had also recently passed away and in ascending the throne decided he wanted to transform Prussia into a major Political power.

First he made political overtures to the new Empress expressing his desire to became protector of her domain. Having spent time on assurances, he then sent his army into Silesia itself, all the time reasurring the young Empress of his best intentions, and to protect her interests.

However, the young Empress was not to be fooled and understood the Prussian troop movements for what they were. An invasion by stealth.

To Maria Theresa and the members of the Hofkreigsrath  ( the military council ) there was no alternative but to declare war thus starting the War of the Austrian Succession. Silesia was the " Jewell in the Crown " of the Hapsberg family inheritance, and could not be lost.

April 1741 found the Prussian army scattered in cantonments across Silesia. The snow was still on the ground and Frederick and his Generals were not expecting any movement from the Austrian forces.

Therefore the abnormally fast advance by 18,000 Austrians under General Neipperg caught the Prussians by surprise. However having moved so rapidly Neipperg then encamped his army near Mollwitz giving Frederick chance to react.

On the 10th of April 1741, having successfully united 20,000 of his troops. Frederick marched his Army toward the Austrian positions. The King caught the Austrians napping and could have attacked while the Austrian army was unprepared.

However, this was the Kings first battle and gave orders for his army to be arraigned  into a formal battle line. This gave Neipperg time to hastily assemble his forces into position.

The Prussian Army.

General Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin = 2 points.
General Count Adolph Friedrich von Der Schulenberg. = 1 point.
Colonel von Posadowsky = 1 point.

16,000 Infantry ( 16 points x 3 = 48 points ).

4,000 Cavalry ( 4 points x 3 = 12 points ).

30 guns = 3 gun models

2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points =8 points.
11 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 33 points.

6 stands of Line Cavalry @ 2 points = 12 points.

3 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 3 points.

Austrian Army;

Field Marshall  Neipperg =1 point.
General Carl Romer = 2 points.
General Berlichingen = 1 point.

10,000 Infantry ( 10 points x 3 = 30 points.)

8,000 Cavalry ( 8 points x 3 = 24 points )

20 guns = 2 gun models.

Infantry ;
2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points = 8 points.
9 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 18 points.

Cavalry ;
1 stand of Heavy Cavalry = 4 points.
6 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3 points = 18 points.

2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

This is the map ;

The Austrian General Neipperg had spent time in a military prison. He was held responsible for losing a previous battle against the Turks. Therefore, having been given the chance to redeem himself he wanted to attack.

Fredericks army was a new force and the King felt ready to test his troops and himself under fire. The Infantry were drilled to perfection. However, the Cavalry has always played second fiddle to the Infantry. Neither Frederick nor his father had any indepth knowledge of cavalry manoeuvres and used  the Cavalry for decoration rather than any practical use. Some of his troopers were so untrained that they were frightened of their horses.

General Carl Romer knew the Prussian Horse were sub standard so launched a cavalry advance. This was how the battle started.

This is how the table looks before the battle commences;


● The Austrians move first on the first Game-turn, after which all subsequent Game-turns are diced for as normal.

● The Kleiner Bach can be crossed in normal movement as it had no effect on the movement of troops.

At one stage of this battle the Prussian infantry were struggling and thinking defeat was imminent, General von Schwerin urged the young King to quit the field. Frederick rode away thinking the worst. However Schwerin managed to rally the Prussian Infantry who eventually overcame the Austrian cavalry then the Infantry.

This is why Frederick is not represented on the table as it was Schwerin who controlled the infantry and instructed the young King.

Frederick never forgave Schwerin for sending him away, and vowed never to leave the battleground again.

In fact it was observed that the Austrian infantry seemed to wilt under the disciplined fire of the Prussian troops.

Also,one of the best Generals of his time, General Romer of the Austrian Army lost his life leading the Cavalry in the attack.

Well, the rest is history. The figures in the photos are mainly Miniature Figurines with some Peter Pig figures. All 15mm.

I used to have a massive collection for this era. I now have small groups of stands assigned to various states. Thus the Prussian army is composed of Prussian, Brunswick and Wuttemberg troops.

The Austrians are helped by Saxon, Reichsarmee and Bavarian troops.

This is a set-piece battle and when played out could go either way. As always the table is 3 feet by 2 feet. The buildings representing the village's are scratch built with cardboard.

As always, this is my interpretation of the actual battle.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Scenery for the Grid.

When I started using a grid, I wanted the scenery to fit in with this system. Now, I realised that I could have irregular shaped scenery, however I did,nt want the stands of figures standing at odd angles and being half-on or half-off the scenery.

Another problem I have found is that should you want to make up the table to play an historical battle,having irregular scenery makes it harder ( to me anyway) to work out how big or at what scale to make the armies.

Therefore I decided to try and make the scenery fit to the square system. This created my first problem in that most war game scenery is made for the figure scale not for the table. This meant I  would probably have to make my own.

I will say at this at this point that I have acquired ( when I could afford it) tailor made scenery, but most times I have made my own. It's not brilliant, but it does fit the 2 inch grid.

The next item was , how much scenery do I need?. Well, I decided firstly how big a table I had room for. Years ago I had a 6x4 foot table, then a 7x5 foot table. That is 180cm x 120cm then 210 x 150 cm. That was when I was using measuring tapes and bounce sticks. At that time I was a flat dweller therefore on numerous occasions I had to move the furniture to accommodate the table,and the guys I used to wargame with. I was also using 28mm figures.

Fluctuating fortunes in the job market made sure I never became a home owner. Fluctuating money supply made selling my figure collections an unavoidable event.

Fast forward a few years. I'm still a flat dweller and married, with children coming and going according to the ebb and flow of their own circumstances. Also elderly relatives were reaching the time in life when they needed help.

Having a large war game table with big scenery and loads of 28mm figures is no longer an option. So, thinking "Bejou and compact" the table is 3 x 2 feet, (90 x 60 cm). Everything I play is geared to that table size. The table is in one corner of the bedroom. This means I can have a game and leave it in situ should we have visitors.

So, having fixed the board size I  worked on the amount of scenery required. Having thought about the sort of battles I wanted to do this is the basic requirement I  came up with ;

6 hills, 8 x 8 inches ( 20cm x 20cm)
6 hills 4 x 4 inches ( 10cm x 10cm)
3 base outlines for woods  6 x 8 inches ( 15cm x 20cm)
The trees themselves are not fixed and on their own bases. This is so I can move them to put figure stands within the woods.

For rivers I use thin blue card overlapping marked in two inch segments. I use 2 inch (50cm) wide pieces for small rivers/ streams. I use 4 and 6 inch width ( 10cm and 15cm) for larger rivers requiring a boat to cross. The reason being that using cheap card allows me to make any kind of river formation.

The same reasoning applies to roads and the outline of villages. I use light brown card for this. I tried using sticky tape but having left it on the board to long the tape was a job to get off! and it marked the board.

Over the course of time I have built all kinds of scenery. It's not that good but it forfills a requirement . In recent times I wanted a fleet of 4inch (40mm) long ships wide enough to fit a stand in. I built 18 ships. They would definitely NOT win any awards for expert modelling! but, I can get my Saxon warbands ashore in Southern Britain.

The materials I use are;
Cardboard, the thick type used for picture framing and the other thin stuff.
Sandwich board, the stuff with a layer of foam between two pieces of cardboard.
Cocktail sticks.
PVA glue.
Texturing paste. This stuff can only be got from an art store or online. It's not cheap but you get a big pot. This  is great if your model doesn't  go together accurately. You just brush the paste on and let it dry. It can be undercoated and painted as normal. It's handy for covering over the rough bits!!.

Next time I'll talk about the era's  I'm  interested in and why.

The top pictures show my boats ( sorry, barges)
The bottom pictures show the castle. All scratchbuilt.

The figures are Hat Industries Goths and Emhar Viking Rowers.