Sunday, August 11, 2019

Lobositz 1756 with MIGHT & REASON

A few weeks ago Ken suggested we play a game of Sam Mustafa's "Might & Reason" and so we tried it out (me for the first time and Ken a mere 12 years after his first game).  You can read Ken's original M&R battle report, the Battle of Reichenberg, at his blog here [click].  

My thoughts were we could refight Reichenberg but Ken found this gem, here, on the downloads page on Sam Mustafa's Honour site.  Me being a sucker for the Battle of Lobositz, there was no way I could turn that down.  

If you're a long-time fan of the blog, you might remember this battle has been played many times on my table with rules varying from Black Powder, to Commands & Colors, to One Hour Wargames, and so what rules set better to fight it with than a set made for epic clashes of the 18th century!?!

I set up the terrain and to really add to this historical treat, Ken brought over his outstanding 10mm Seven Years War Prussians and Austrians, which basically make me second-guess every SYW 15mm purchase I've ever made...

Sullowitz next to the bridge over the Morellen Bach.  Lobositz clearly visible along the Elbe River upper-right.  The road the Prussians attack down is top center, in the saddle between the Homolka-berg (left) and the Lobosch (right).

Lobositz center-stage.  Note the Prussians coming down the valley stage right!
We followed the historical disposition as close as we could.  This game, the turns were decided for us in the scenario (6 turns total).  Ken and I are thumbing through the rules (Ken has a soft copy, I have a digital copy) for most of the turns to get our questions answered and I'm happy to report probably 90% of our questions had pretty solid answers within the rules.  It probably dragged the game out much longer but I think it was a good "training session" and the next time will not take quite as long.

Austrians comfortably behind the Morellen Bach.  We had to sub Napoleonic 10mm Cavalry!  The horror!  Ken mused that my road is probably 200 feet wide but I think it looks cool.

Looking down the sunken lane, currently occupied by Austrian Grenadiers.  Wchinitz is visible on the far right of the picture - that's where the Prussians are coming from.

Prussians deployed smartly!  (these are Ken's troops, BTW.  Mine are 15mm).  Ken got some "inactives" on his control tests.  Frederick was not pleased!
 I realize I need to get some troops into that sunken lane to defend Lobositz.  In this scenario the victory conditions center around control of the town itself.  Right now I don't have much infantry to contest it as they're all on the other side of the Morellen stream.  There are a few units to act as speedbumps in the Prussians' way but I need more troops to defend the town!

  I put Kollowrat's "Division" into movement formation and get them ready to move out! 

Movement is very deliberate and stately in M&R.  I like that in a SYW game.  
Cavalry crossing the sunken lane.  Ken's Cuirassier are bearing down on me!  I foolishly leave them in movement formation.  A whopping -5 to my melee results...More on this later!

Defense of the town is starting to coalesce now with a Grenadier unit in Lobositz and one on the outside next to a musketeer regiment.  Note the Prussians coming on in force!    Mercifully, Ken keeps getting inactive results for at least one division!

Austrian Cavalry is on the field on the left.  The storm is about to break but note my infantry coming up along the sunken road on the left!  Reinforcements!
 Ken's Cuirassier burst off the Homolkaberg and shatter the cream of my cavalry in a very one-sided melee as my units in movement formation are promptly destroyed one after the other! 

The Prussian PanzerKorps advance!  

Austrian Pandours guarding the Lobosch entangled in the vineyards and walled gardens on the hill.  Kleist's infantry still have not begun their assault.

Awaiting the enemy attack.

Meanwhile the swirling Cavalry battle is coming to an end in the center.  I have to say, things are going pretty historically so far.  Prussian infantry is slowly grinding their way down the saddle, and the Cavalry have engaged in the center.  The Prussians haven't lost a single unit yet and when the smoke clears on the field, 3 of my Cavalry units will be gone!

Prussian Cuirassier!

Infantry advancing on Lobositz!  We are just about in musket range and the fun will really start.

Field so far.  An Austrian defense is forming but not sure it will be enough against the Prussian onslaught!

The field very much looks like a Seven Years War battlefield! 

Ken advances into musket range.  He is setting himself up for an assault next turn!  (we tried this turn but realized we couldn't since you have to fire a volley first - meaning you have to be in musket range to launch an assault with infantry).

Austrian infantry reinforcing Lobositz!  A tough nut to crack behind cover!

My Austrian Hussars (Blue coats) will evade this next round.

Note Kleists 2 x Regiments forming (top-center) to advance up the Lobosch.

Ken charges!  (we had to move the lads back after realizing we violated the volley rule)  Next turn!

Old Fritz urges his men on!
Well unfortunately we had to call it as we ran out of time.  We did leave the game up to finish next week though so I promise there is more SYW action on the horizon! 

 This was a great, learning game and I think Ken and I know enough to be much more dangerous for the next round.  Ken mercifully offered to restart the game after my Cavalry evaporated being in movement formation.  Throughout the game I noted the distinct similarities between Might & Reason and Fast Play Grande Armee and now I really want to play FPGA also!  In fact I'm looking forward to getting that on the table as soon as we finish Lobositz!  Perhaps a refight of Teugen-Hausen!?

Some things I really liked about Might & Reason so far:

Simple mechanics but challenging play.  While there are some nuances, the game is very straightforward and you're constantly thinking about how to set up an attack, the most advantageous way to move your troops, and shepherding your command dice.

Generous movement distances.  At this level of command, you can really focus your efforts, make a plan, and develop an attack.

The Shooting and Artillery rules.  Simple and subtle.

Linear Fighting.  Sam M. says it in the rules intro - the units behave in a manner that looks and feels right for the period.

Similarities to FPGA:  I like that the systems are very similar.  It will frankly make FPGA play even faster and I'm starting to think the Christmas MEGA GAME should be FPGA?

So there you have it.  A great afternoon of gaming refighting one of my favorite battles with beautifully painted toy soldiers and an orientation to a great set of rules.  Looking forward to next week's fight!