Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Great Redoubt

Date: 29 January 2011/1761
Situation: Allies Defend The Great Redoubt
Location: Near Breslau, Silesia
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 {BAR}
Double Clicked Images Enlarge Amazingly

The Gang Of Ten Left To Right  Prussians: Chuck, Derrick, Bill, Curt and Jim Der Alte Fritz.  Austrians/Russians: Brent, Michael, Matt, John and Todd.

We very much regret the absence of pards Randy, George and Don who needed to cancel in the past few days.

After everyone departed I went upstairs to sit with Dorothy. We discussed the day. Paraphrasing one of her remarks, she said, "You all must have had a very good time." Why I asked? "Because everyone laughed so much throughout the day." True.

This is a very companionable and polite group of gamers. We good-naturedly laughed at game misfortunes, card draws, always entertaining saving throws,  heroic stands, some amazing volleys and dashing pursuits. We shared snacks and beverages brought by all and lunched on Sloppy Joes during our version of half time.

The Great Redoubt is in the top third of the photo shaped as a giant letter V; Russians within. The snow-covered glacis (slope) is discernible if you look carefully. Per the fictional back story, the redoubt dates from The Thirty Years' War. In the century since, it was worn down by weathering, the palisades long-gone and the ditch has filled.

In the distance is Monument Hill where players position their Victory Columns. Upon each are affixed plaques commemorating their victories back to 2005. Brigadier Peter Young in CHARGE Or How To Play Wargames advises, "Never fail to celebrate your victories ... by erecting monuments and triumphal arches in your own honour."  

Right Flank Prussians feinted here. The line battalion withdrew to a Back Table leaving the Bosnian Lancers to observe Romanov forces to their front.

Michael's Russians advanced steadily here later withdrawing to reinforce the Center.

The reason why developed quickly as Derrick's Prussians flooded the nearby open plain to attack one flank of The Great Redoubt while farther away at the top left of this image...

Prussians advanced to engage the other side of The Great Redoubt. Several blue coated battalions are closing in on Todd (left), John (right) and the glacis.

Moments later Chuck's assault column charged into contact with Russians defending the apex of the redoubt. Three twelve pounders advanced with orders to unlimber atop the works. And...

Orders arrived for the Prussian Reserve (all cavalry assigned to Bill) to advance to attack the redoubt. Given the worn down condition of the great work, cavalry were allowed to trot up the gentle glacis. Trouble, trouble, trouble for the Russians!

Four turns later however, the Prussians are not much farther ahead. They hoped to sweep all before them in a flash but for John's heroic defense. Indeed, Russian reserve infantry and cavalry poured into the Center to hopefully stabilize the situation.

As shown by the Saxon von Brühl Dragoons charging a Prussian battalion in the flank. The Prussians somehow held due to intervention of Jim's hussars just coming into view above and by amazing morale throws. 

Farther out Prussian reserve cavalry arrives  to drive through to the Back Table. We did not continue beyond this point given arrival of Russian reserves and because of events on the Prussian left which we attend next....

Curt's Prussians (foreground) advance on Matt's numerically weaker Russians.

An Austrian battery has been nearly wiped out though a 12 Pdr. crew remains whilst Saxon von Brühl Horse Grenadiers charge desperately through the gun line disorganizing themselves to crash into von Bungle's infantry. The latter were so startled they barely hurt the horsemen. In the distance a Russian dragoon regiment also charged to stop the flood of Prussians. In this case their target was the elite Prussian Jager battalion. These routed to the rear....

Allowing the dragoons to throw a pursuit die. They pursued and crashed into the Protzdam Garde Grenadiers disorganized by the jagers running through them! Would the Russians turn the tide? 

No. However, before the Prussians resumed their advance they no doubt remarked amongst themselves about the very tough Russian defense that had caused them considerable consternation all the way. The Prussians above would later cross to the Back Table to their front, turn to their right and cause the Russian Commander In Chief to withdraw from the field fearing for his line of communication.

In his favor though the loss of his Center was uncertain. Note Brent's Austrian battalion's shocking advance in the upper right of the image.

Also at the end rallied Prussian jagers crossed the frozen stream to engage foes in the Center. Emptiness at the image top was formerly filled with infantry forces of both sides. Here Austrians pushed the Prussians to the right of the image. The redoubt is off the top of the photo.
1. Prussian Right - Russian Left: Stable for both sides.

2. The Center: Undecided. Prussian slight advantage but Allies pouring in reserves.

3. Prussian Left - Russian Right: Prussians victorious, crossing to The Back Table and would eventually arrive in the rear of the Allied Center - the reason for the Allied withdrawal.

4. All Winter terrain kindly on loan from Der Alte Fritz. We really appreciate and enjoy this annual opportunity to use it. Buildings and other scenics by Herb Gundt. Terrain cloths by Terrain Guy.

5. The field was divided into two flank and one central sector. Each advanced turns at it's own speed. Thus, one flank might be on Turn 3 whilst the Center was on Turn 2. The space-time continuum did not suffer a rip.

6. Your remarks are always welcome below at the word comments.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Battle on the Protzfeld

A squadron of Bosniaks escort King Friedrich II through the town of Protzdorf, as he attempts to define the flank of the Russian and Austrian army in Silesia.

On a cold Winter's day, somewhere in Silesia, circa 1761, advance elements of the King of Germania's army is on a reconnaissance to locate the whereabouts of the allied army of Austrians, Russians and Saxons that are on the move. They are making a bold attempt to seize Breslau, the jewel of Frederick's Silesian province.

However, Major General von Zieten's hussar screen has located the Russian contingent near the town of Protzdorf . So Zieten duly leads His Highness on a scouting trip, early in the morning, to locate the enemy flank.

"There they are!" exclaims the King from his forward position atop the Galgenberg hill. With that, he snaps his telescope closed and issues orders to get the Royal Army in motion and gain a march, and hopefully surprise, the enemy forces.

Duke of Bevern's Brigade
IR5 Alt Brauschweig
IR18 Prinz von Preussen
IR19 Margraf Karl
IR20 von Bornstedt
2 x 6lb artillery pieces

Leopold von Anhalt Dessau's Brigade
IR24 von Schwerin
IR34 Prinz Ferdinand
IR42 Margraf Friedrich fusiliers
IR12 Alt Darmstadt
2 x 6lb artillery pieces

King Friedrich's Reserve
IR6 Grenadier Garde
IR15/III Lieb Garde
(5/20) Jung Billerbeck Grenadier Btn
Jager Btn (48)
Escort Squadron - Bosniaken (1 sqd)
3 x 12 lb Brummers

Von Seydlitz's Cavalry Brigade
CR8 von Seydlitz Cuirassiers (5 sqds)
CR10 Gensdarmes Cuirassiers 5 sqds)
CR13 Garde du Corps Cuirassiers (3 sqds)
DR2 Jung Krakow Dragoons (5 sqds)
HR2 von Zieten Hussars (2 sqds)

It is a highly experienced army that King Friedrich commands today. He has chosen his best regiments to create a "flying column" to head off the allies and keep them off the road to Breslau. The action should commence early tomorrow morning. What will happen? Come back tomorrow for the answer.