Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nádasty versus Zieten At Leuthen

You can do this too. Don Featherstone once contemplated a giant cavalry game. His idea was to gather cavalrymen in his collection from multiple time-periods and have a game with only them - never minding differing uniforms. Thereby a mixture of 17-19th Century cavalrymen could have been one possibility. Fast, easy and fun!

The action below was a large cavalry battle. It was part of a larger battle set up by Der Alte Fritz using his magnificent wintry terrain. It's now time to mount up and ride with us, if you please, to Leuthen's southwest flank. Click on photographs to enlarge them.

Austrian General Nádasty(forward center) sees two massive lines of Prussian Kürassiers in the distance. From the Austrian perspective we are on the extreme left flank. The Saxon Rutowski Chevaulegers are in the foreground. The Austrian hussar screen is ordered forward followed by the red coats.

A shift is made to the Austrian oblique left. The respective forces come closer. The hussars in open order are screening a distant Prussian line of infantry inching closer.

A charge and hand-to-hand combat. The Austrian hussars take the most casualties, fail morale and will rout.

That's okay. The Prussians threw 1D6 = 2 on the "Pursuit Table" and are required to pursue the hussars. They are disorganized as the Rutowskis intervene. As things turn out the Rutowskis throw back two groups of Prussians, pursue them and then rally back when they come too close to the Prussian second line seen in the distance.

The Rutowskis are rallying back disorganized (not routing). You see the left of the von Brühl Dragoons on the right covering the withdrawal of the red coats. The first line of Prussian heavies have been thrown back but they performed very well. Meanwhile, more Prussians come forward from their second line and there is a third line now too.

The Saxons get ready to charge.

More swordplay.

Von Brühl suffers terrible casualties; 27 of 50 riders. However, they make morale. Note the Prussian square (rare in the SYW) prudently awaiting the result.

At this point the game ended. The reason is because off screen to the right on the main table it was determined the Prussians could not acquire the village of Leuthen in spite of one of the scariest charges of Prussian cavalry since the celebrated charge of the Bayreuth Dragoons.

Not shown behind the Saxons were four squadrons of Austrian Horse Grenadiers who would have intervened except for the scary Prussian charge just mentioned.

Closing Remarks:

1. Nádasty was played by yours truly, Bill.

2. Zieten was played by John.

3. We had a lot of back and forth action, pursuits and counter-charges. John's pressure was always strong. Ultimately several feet behind Nádasdy an Austrian battalion formed the last line of defense with some Austrian Kürassiers.

4. We had enough soldiers to command just one branch each, the cavalry arm on this flank. This helps focus on one type of activity rather than several. It is amazingly centering. Easier and we suppose more historical if one dons the tricornered hat of a brigadier or cavalry wing commander. Fun too!

From left to right: Chuck, Matt, Jim (Der Alte Fritz), Rob, Jim, George and barely visible, Earl. John, Chris and yours truly are not pictured. The cavalry action just described occurred on the back table in the upper left of this photo. That's the famous church that still stands today in Leuthen on the main table.

Das Ende. Danke. Comments welcome.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Parchwitz Address

King Frederick II delivers his famous Parchwitz Address to his officers on the eve of the great battle of Leuthen.

"The enemy hold the same entrenched camp at Breslau which my troops defended so honorably. I am marching to attack this position. I have no need to explain my conduct or why I am set on this measure. I fully recognize the dangers attached to this enterprise, but in my present situation I must conquer or die. If we go under, all is lost. Bear in mind, gentlemen, that we shall be fighting for our glory, the preservation of our homes, and for our wives and children. Those who think as I do can rest assured that, if they are killed, I will look after their families. If anybody prefers to take his leave, he can have it now, but he will cease to have any claim on my benevolence."

It is the evening of December 4, 1757 and King Frederick of Prussia has assembled his senior officers to outline his plans for the coming battle with the Austrians, outside of Breslau. Frederick's army had recently defeated the French and Reichsarmee at the battle of Rossbach, on November 5, 1757. Shortly thereafter, the other Prussian army defending the key city of Breslau in Silesia, under the command of the Duke of Bevern, was defeated by the Austrian army of Prince Charles of Lorraine and Marshal von Daun. If they could hold Breslau over the winter, it would give the Austrians a huge advantage in the coming campaign of 1758, possibly ending the war in Austria's favor.

But Frederick was determined to roll the dice in one last battle during the snowy December cold. So he force marched from Saxony to Silesia, picked up the remains of Bevern's army, and amalgamated the two forces for one last battle to control Silesia. Fortunately for the Prussians, the Austrians decided to advance from the defenses of Breslau and meet Frederick's army in the field. Tomorrow would decide the fate of Silesia.

Stille Nacht

Die Stunden vorher die Schlacht bei Leuthen.

Ein Hussar und die stille nacht. Er hat das Heer von Friedrich II gefunden. Der Grosse König werden hier im morgen kommen.
Silent night.
The hours before the battle of Leuthen.
One hussar and the silent night. He found the Army of Frederick II. The great king will be here in the morning.

Morgen. (Morning)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Rendezvous is the first of a series of background stories. Act 1 will be followed on some future occasion by Acts 2, 3 and so on. In between, other stories by us will interrupt the sequence. However, an easy means will be provided to follow the storyline. Some readers of EvE will be familiar with personalities presented in Rendezvous and will I should hope, be glad to finally see them up close. Meanwhile, let us commence with Act 1 of Rendezvous. Thank you.
Click on photographs to enlarge them.

January 1759/2009: Gallian Frigate Arethuse {36} departs Tradgardlandstadt, Tradgardland with a "soldier's wind", (wind directly from astern). She is bound for LeHavre, Gallia.


The harbor fort fires a salute for the ship but moreover for its young and beautiful passenger, HRH Alisona of Tradgardland.


Arethuse comes into view off LeHavre.

She enters the roadstead.


Meanwhile the de Saxe Lanciers also arrive at LeHavre. They escort dignitaries from the court to meet and bring HRH Alsona to Versailles.


They enter the small estate of Chevalier Robillard to take up temporary residence and await the arrival of Alisona.


Dignitaries include Lady Diana Pettygree in an ensemble of blue accompanied by her particular friend, Lady Cherish Masquerade in pink. Their assistant Catherine looks as if she is about to lose her tricornered hat. Chevalier Robillard is in white accompanied by an Aide de Camp. If you look quickly you may also see a man we believe to be Lt. Colonel Enigma. That might be his head in the foreground.


A close-up of the two ladies. Diana is a 30mm Edward Suren whilst Cherish is a one of a kind artfully created by the celebrated John Ray for yours truly.
Comments are welcome.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Extra Lobositz Photos And Remarks

7 February 2009. Little Wars Convention. Lincolnshire, IL USA. BIG Battalion Game. Click on photos to enlarge them. Check back more than once. We may add more to this posting in the next day or two. See Der Alte Fritz Journal link to the left and down for the most commentary and more photos -- first.

View from the southeast corner of Lobosch Hill. Wally B. commanded Austrian forces on the hill. Here you see a Hungarian Battalion starting to move up the southern slope early in the game. The yellow papers are our Quick Reference Charts for BAR, Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763. We rarely consult the main rule book. See links to the left for oldregimerules to learn more about BAR.

After tough action the Lobosch was in Austrian hands at game end. That's the same Hungarian battalion seen earlier. Note the sweeping panoramic view of the plain to the westward stretching to the Homolka Mound and beyond the mass of Prussian infantry to the Morellen-Bach Stream some thirteen feet away. The main table was 8'x16'.

One compelling concept is the height of Lobosch Hill. The camera for this shot rested on top of the tallest point aiming downwards. The bottom of the camera was 7.5" above the table surface, the lens perhaps at 9" elevation. Larger terrain pieces than we are accustomed to, like Lobosch, give one a new and interesting perspective of the three dimensions. You really DO think units are ascending a real hill. You really can make units completely disappear behind them. In other cases shallower elevations enable one to place units in partial cover. That's a tempting idea. This latter option does not force us to come up with tricky measuring conventions about how much a 1/2" or 1" elevation hides something. Never mind that sort of thing. Just place miniatures in such cover and determine how much you can actually see by using your eyes. If the lower half of miniatures can't be seen, give them an appropriate cover advantage. This makes things easier, faster, fun and visually rewarding.

Be sure to click on the photo above to make it larger.

At game end we look eastwards from the Morellen-Bach Bridge. The Homolka Mound is in the upper left.

At game end the two sides face off along the Morellen-Bach. Chuck as a Prussian faced the combined Austrian team of Rich and Dave from DPC - you know - the gentlemen who sell RSMs.

CLOSING REMARKS (Your comments are sought too.)
For more photos and commentary see the blog of Der Alte Fritz in links to the left.
Prussians: Chuck L., Mike F., John B., Rick L.
Austrians: John M., Wally B., Rett K., Rich and Dave of DPC and James K.
Judges: Jim, Randy and Bill. We did not play in the game for a change.

You can do the above too.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saxon Cavalry Brigade Exercises And?

Saxon General Major von Nostitz's Cavalry Brigade exercises near Lobositz, Bohemia. He was recently ordered to assemble there with a larger Imperium Army whose mission is to counter an expected appearance by Frederick II of Germania.

Click on photographs to enlarge them.

Von Nostitz is centered between two four squadron regiments of Saxon cavalry. To the left is Dragoon Regiment von Brühl. To the right is Chevauleger Regiment Rutowski.


They come closer in two columns of squadrons. Most castings are 28mm Elite Miniatures with a sprinkling of Front Rank officers for variety. Von Nostitz is a late 1970s 25mm Mini-Fig in service since then. The ADC leading the Rutowskis is a familiar RSM.


Von Brühl's bugler is a 28mm Front Rank WSS casting. Adding miniatures from multiple ranges often work and fit nicely.


The Rutowskis. Apparently the regiment rode heavy horses. Thus, instead of rating them on lighter horses as one might expect with chevaulegers, this regiment is heavy horse.


The Rutowski's won two battle honors (honours), Mühlenberg on 19 January 1758/2008 and Kleine Kriege on 4 April 1758/2008. In our system two such awards raised the regiment to elite. The squadron officer looking backwards is from Front Rank. He blends in well, don't you think?




The regiments form a traditional two-deep line in echelon ready for anything Frederick may throw at them.


A closer view of the WSS Front Rank bugler. I left the buttons on the coat all the way to the hem as a special signature for the regiment.


Von Nostitz inspects the Rutowski Chevaulegers. Can you find the Front Rank Montcalm?


Von Nostitz next inspects the von Brühl Dragoons.


The white flag signifies the senior squadron.


Von Nostitz bellows, "SOLDATS, FORWARTS!"


The brigade moves forward at a walk.


They accelerate to a canter.


Now at the gallop. The rules have three cavalry speeds. It is important to learn when to be at each speed.

Will they engage Frederick someday?
Yes! At Little Wars: Lincolnshire, Illinois USA Marriott Resort on 7 February at 11am.

Lobositz Scenario Design: Der Alte Fritz.
Winter Terrain: Der Alte Fritz and HG Walls.
Rules: Batailles de l' Ancien Régime 1740-1763 known as BAR by yours truly.
Austrians and Saxons versus the Prussians.
Stop by and say hello!
Judges: Randy, Jim and yours truly, Bill.


The Saxon Brigade disappears. Lobositz beckons.
Closing Remarks:

  • Both regiments were painted gradually in a two-year period. Other things were painted in between and in other time periods.
  • We've been building our forces from much smaller collections since 2005.
  • Miniatures are based individually.
  • These are magnetized and then placed on convenient underlying movement trays.
  • This system makes it easy for you to try different rules without needing to rebase!
  • It also allows easy casualty record keeping. No paperwork. Just count the fellows left.
  • Do you need to raise large units like these to enjoy the rules? NO!
  • You can do all this OR something similar too.

------------------------------Das ende für jetzt.----------------------------------