Ken was over on Sunday and we refought the 1741 Battle of Mollwitz using the Volley & Bayonet rules and our mutual 10mm SYW collections. As the title implies, it did not go very well for the men in the Blue Coats.
|Prussians advancing through shot to close with the Austrian lines|
|Steady Austrian lines looking towards the Prussians|
|The Prussian first line.|
They eagle-eyed among you will notice there is a conspicuous absence of snow and maybe even some green foliage. Neither Ken nor I have a snow mat (yet) and decided to fight this battle out "chust zo" as the Pennsylvania Dutch like to say. The Prussians must seize Mollwitz or defeat the Austrians by exhausting all of their "Divisions" on the table. The Austrian line begins the battle stationary (remember that - it's a recurring theme).
|The Prussian lines close with the Austrians while the cavalry clash on the Prussian right flank! THe second line were mostly Ken's, based in 3 ranks, too!|
|Heavy and medium horse clash on the battlefield outside Gruningen|
|The Prussian Cuirassier fail their morale check before combat and will go into the battle disordered (yellow bead)|
Winning the first cavalry clash, and unlike Frederick at the real battle, I'm feeling pretty good. "Schwerin!" I bark "Send the infantry forward at once!" "At once my Lord". And that was that.
|The neat and tidy lines of a SYW battlefield cannot be beat on the wargame table!|
|The Austrians stand proudly outside Mollwitz as the Prussians move into musketry range and open fire.|
|The Austrians catching their breath from the Cavalry charge while the infantry battle rages.|
|You can see where my Prussian first line regiments used to be!|
|A regiment of cowards making their way to the rear!|
|Ken sets his sights on my malingering and retreating units in the rear area now! Austrian Dragoons!|
I try the more "subtle" approach and the second line simply charges the Austrians. Mind you, I "should" have overlapped them to get more dice in the combats but didn't. Ken's stationary infantry are going to melee me with 5 dice. Ugly!
|Austrian infantry making their way into the rear area. Note the Dragoons top center about to charge into the Prussian guns...THe guns only defend when attacked from the front. It's all over for them!|
|Was this his actual name?|
|White beads are "out of command" Regiments. Cant go stationary, cant move towards the enemy, and if they move they go disordered.|
Well that was a fun, but brutal game. It's been about 7 years since I've played Volley and Bayonet and I had basically forgotten everything I'd learned way back then. The Prussians mismanaged their forces, especially the infantry attack and the supporting artillery, which should have moved up to keep pace with the infantry. Every advantage I had should have been pressed home including the Prussian's superior morale, and the only battalion of guns on the table, which were barely used. Additionally, the second line was much further back than they needed to be. Another "issue" was the 2 hit regiments. Most of the time, I've played linear games where the Regiments were 3 hit points, and I think this would have given the infantry a bit more striking power, especially going up against those stationary Austrians. Expensive lessons learned indeed!
Even though this game was a HUGE loss, it was still lots of fun and you have to admit the spectacle was gorgeous! All of the work to prep the figures was well worth it watching the serried ranks of bayonets glisten and march forward! Now if I could only get the dice to behave :)
Ken and I discussed fighting more SYW battles, and I hope to put Lobositz on next. We're also keen to play a Napoleonic battle with Volley and Bayonet and perhaps a refight of Teugen-Hausen is in the cards?