Saturday, August 27, 2016

C Grant's The Wargame: Battle at the Moravian Farm

Got up before the chickens this morning to play a quick wargame.  Lately I've been looking for something a little "different" so I thought I'd break out some of my old school stuff and try it out.  In this instance, I thought some good Horse & Musket action was due!  Grant's "The Wargame" seemed to fit the bill for a Seven Years War dust-up.

This battle sees a "brigade" from each size, consisting of 3 regiments each, Prussian and Austrian, meeting at a small farm in Silesia, perhaps part of a larger battle?  A reconnaissance in force?  The scenario doesn't matter.  Both Brigadiers, Major Generals in this case, see the sun glinting off their opponent's bayonets and it's time to commence the battle...

2 Austrian and 1 Hungarian Regiment deployed for battle!  With a battery firing in support

3 Prussian regiments deployed for battle!

 The initial orders were as follows:

Advance all Regiments up to, and conform to the shape of the road orienting NE to SW.  Braunschweig's left limit will be at the forest.

Hungarians and IR Kaiser move swiftly through the farm and threaten to the Prussian right.  Artillery advance with Erherzog.

 I used the regular movement values but reduced musket ranges to accomodate 15mm figures.  In the future, I'd like to use reduced movement and musketry, or play in centimeters like Black Powder.

So with those furiously confusing orders, the battle commenced.  Prussian artillery scored some impressive hits against Erherzog Regiment while their steady infantry moved out.

The Austrians moved their artillery and the Hungarian Infantry and the Kaiser Infantry Regiment formed assault columns and moved towards the Moravian farm.

Prussians moving according to their Brigadier's plan

Austrians form columns and move out

Prussian artillery scores some roundshot hits at impressive ranges

AWI casualty marker!

columns moving through the farm.
 Probably worth noting that the column only buys you about 1.5 more inches than the line formation.  Is that worth disordering the troops?


Infantry Regiment #3 Der Kaiser
 The Austrians limber up their artillery and move forward.  The speed of the Austrian advance surprises the Prussians on their right.

Austrian artillery shoots at the Anhalt Infantry scoring a hit
 The Austrians are on top of the Prussians in no time.  The Anhalt let loose their first volley just in time as the Austrians didn't have the movement to charge during the last round.  They knock out an Austrian stand from Der Kaiser (4 troops + 2 additional that will force a morale check).

Austrian casualties

here they come...

In accordance with the rules, the Austrians bring up from from the center companies and there are 8 individual combats which I diced for.  The Austrians receive a +1 for charging

The combat is quick and the Austrians get the better of the Anhalt troops, scoring 4 hits to the Prussian 2 hits.  That is at least double the hits so combat ends this round.  The anhalt lose a stand and also roll a "1" for their morale.  That's bad news as it is below 6 after the morale computation.  (Base Morale 6 - Casualties + 1D6 roll still must be above 6 to stay in good order).  The Anhalt routes from the field and must take another test next round.  They retire with their backs to the enemy.

Meanwhile the Hungarians are still coming.  The Prussians win the die roll and fire their first volley at "close range" which is bad news for the Hungarians, who lose a whopping 8 troops, or 2 stands worth of troops, which will count for the melee tally.

Hungarians coming on strong!

Hungarians will lose another stand in the melee, invoking the 50% rule they will retire

The Prussians only 1 more trooper and pass their post melee morale check and they will hold the field
 The next turn goes way south for the Austrians as the Braunschweig infantry finally join the fight and fire their "first volley" at the remaining Austrian from Der Kaiser, who melt away.  The Prussians are left in control of the field!

I enjoyed this game and got the "different" that I was looking for.  It's been awhile since I've played a game where each figure was counted.  Playing "The Wargame" with 15mm troops, as well as half-sized battalions presents some challenges however that make it a little "fiddly."

Based Troops & Officer Casualties
I still diced for officer casualties but used a black D6 to mark them in a Regiment.  Charles Grant has 5 officers/supernumeraries within his units and a "6" means the Colonel gets hit.  Only 1 unit actually lost an officer but never had to test morale afterwards.  It was not the Colonel.  None of the Soldiers in my Regiments are individually mounted so this was a little challenging.  The D6 was a good way to remember an officer was hit as I could just check the black die when/if calculating morale.

Losses & Morale
Going from 48 figures to 24 figures isn't too bad of a stretch.  Morale, lost proportionally, can be calculated even simpler than in the regular rules.  Basically, when a stand is lost (4 figures) the unit will have to make a morale check.  That means morale checks at 1/6 strength loss (1 stand) and when 2 more figures are lost, that is the 1/4 strength loss check.

Firing and Melee Calculations
I probably should have taken Grant's advice and subracted 1 from the fire casualties and increased the melee differential to "3" instead of "2" for hits, as that would have made a longer game and not quite so dramatically bloody.  Once the units made contact that was pretty much it.  There was really no way to recover.

All in all, a very fun game which I enjoyed.  Maybe if there is any time left, I'll try "Honors of War" since I still have my SYW troops out!


  1. Before drawing too many conclusions from this one small action, you might try a larger one, with cavalry included, to see how that plays. From you description here, it sounds like a lively little action, and small enough that a quick overall result was very plausible... and chancy.

    The scenario need not have been part of a larger action, or even an 'incident of outposts' with larger forces nearby. It might have been part of 'der kleine krieg' is some secondary or tertiary theatre, where the forces are quite small. One of my favourites incidents is associated with the Seige of Olmutz, 1758. Badly in need of supplies to keep the seige going, Fred had ordered a huge convoy of some 3000-odd wagons and carts to make the journey from southern Silesia. In command was the famous Hans Joachim von Zieten.

    The whole shebang was intercepted by Generals Loudon and Ziskowitz. Although Zieten had far more troops under command, the Austrians had the choice of where to attack. Over a couple or so days, they chopped the convoy to pieces. Just 100 transports made it through (1 in thirty-odd!), more made it back into Silesia, but the bulk of the convoy fetched up in Austrian hands.

    Something over 20 years ago I made a scenario out of this, and wrote it up in the club magazine. No pictures, unfortunately...

    I think you might have given me an idea for a blog posting... :-)

    1. Archduke,
      I love that I get to use this excuse:

      All of my SYW lead is currently with a painter right now and I won't see them back until Christmas! So what you were seeing on my table is the sum-total of all my SYW troopers (for now).

      I suppose I could use AWI troops but I think "The Wargame" is appropriately played with SYW troops.

      I do want to play a larger fight. How do you feel about "scaling down" Grant's "The Wargame" for fighting larger battles? I'm hesitant to go down to 12 figure battalions but am thinking maybe 16 figure battalions would be okay? I'd like to refight Lobositz using Grant's rules.

      I'm having similar frustration with Napoleonics, looking for "the right rules set" for bigger battles, but still retaining a small tactical flavor.

      WOW 1 in 30 wagons got through? Someone got fired for that I'd imagine?!?!

      I will keep my eyes peeled for that post, and also need to add your blog to my blog "Roll of Honor"