Wednesday, 30 March 2016

All Inn for Derby

This week I've added another new building to my generic 'horse and musket northern Europe' property portfolio. It was constructed and finished in a similar way to other buildings I've posted about this month (construction and finishing) so I will not repeat all that stuff here. The only thing I've done differently for this one is to roughly back paint the windows onto the walls, in three shades of blue, before I glued the window frames on.

As with all of my buildings, this one is under-scale. At a guess, size wise, for length and depth, I'd say it is closer to 20mm scale than 28mm. The trick, I think, when modelling under-scale buildings is to get the scale of the height right and to get the size of the doors and windows right - that way the building fools the eye when figures are placed next to it. As per usual these days, the doors, windows and shutters on this building are by War Bases.

Even under-scale the model is quite a large one; it is on a 270mm x 190mm base; it is about 150mm tall. The garden / yard has sufficient room for two units. 

So there it is:  The 'Two Roosters' coaching inn. I hope you like it.

Now I only need to make two simple two storey houses with yards. 

What for? 

For a Lobositz 1756 demonstration game at the Derby World's show later this year, of course. Perhaps I'll see you there.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Paltzig 1759 - The Player's Game

The last time I did an after action report on my Paltzig scenario was when I did it as a solo game. I played it solo because it looked like the scenario could well be a complete stinker: The Prussians, outnumbered 2:1, are attacking over bad ground. I was surprised at how well the Prussians did and, though they ultimately lost, I thought there were enough tense moments and tactical questions asked for the scenario to have some interest for Peter and Graham to have a bash. I reset the game and Peter and Graham came around on Wednesday and played the first three turns. I wasn't expecting what was about to happen so I didn't take any pictures during the evening's play.

This is actually a photograph of the solo game. In the game played on Wednesday the stream is closer to the Prussian edge and thr Russian line is positioned a little more forward.
Those who read the AAR of the solo game might have been surprised at just how well the Prussians did but, look at this. This is the position at the end of turn three. The Prussian reserves have arrived, the Russian reserves have arrived and everything is on the move. 

I can't remember the last time Peter [Prussian] rolled dice like he did on Wednesday; him getting dice and initiative at the same time is, frankly, unheard of; he's been up to something; I'm having an exorcism done next Tuesday.
This shot shows the overall positions at the end of turn three. Note the new depth of the Russian deployment zone - the front infantry line started directly behind the two Russian artillery redoubts. It has allowed the action of Manteuffel to take full advantage of his concentration of force against the southern flank of the Russian line - he is now, almost, behind the Russians!
Picture taken from Paltig looking south. Manteuffel's attack has crashed into the southern end of the Russian infantry line. The Russians have collapsed, the main battery on the southern hillock has been overrun and what is left of the line is being outflanked. Belatedly, the Russians are hastily forming a second line just south of Paltzig. 
In front of  Paltzig, Saltykov has ordered the Russian infantry of Villbois' command to advance towards the Eichemühlen-Fliess to engage Wobersnow more quickly.

This shot shows just how far back I pulled the 
Eichemühlen-Fliess back towards the Prussian base edged. This allowed the Russians to be deployed with more room behind them. 
 In the distance, Kanitz has arrived in support of Manteuffel's attack. Manteuffels infantry is still largely intact and attacking with elan. On the left, a Russian unit is being surrounded. In the foreground, a cheeky unit of Don Cossacks [Krasnochekov's command) is harassing them as they come forward. 

Krasnochekov's Hussars and Cossacks have voluntarily made an early advance up the valley. Schorlemer's cuirassier hastily advanced, licking their lips, to meet them.
A scenic windmill stands idly waiting for the corn to ripen. I took this shot purely for the sake of taking another picture of my newest building.
So, there you have it. What a turn up for the books. The Prussians are cracking on at an impressive rate of knots. They have lost a single unit of dragoons, blasted away by artillery on the southern hillock. The Russians have lost six units of infantry and two batteries of guns to the Prussian infantry under Manteuffel. However, the Prussians have been spending morale chips like water and are down to just 21. The Russians, on the other hand, had greatly more to begin with and still have 41 left. The Prussians could do with the Russians failing some Major Morale [now Vs 8] checks.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this one pans out. The Prussians might achieve an astounding reversal of history. We shall see...........

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

How I finished the buildings I made last week

Last week I knocked up a couple of cottages and a windmill and I posted a short article about their construction. 

I wasn't all that keen on finishing them quickly, as making buildings is always far more interesting and satisfying than painting them, but when I saw Charles G. on Saturday his first words were "James, nice windmill". Consequently, I felt almost obliged to finish it quickly. I took Monday as a day off (Sunday was a very long day) and did the prep work and some bulk colours; on Tuesday evening I painted the detail and finished them.

The brickwork was prepared with a coat of well diluted plaster filler and PVA mix. When this dries it gives a rough 'gritty' surface that looks 'stoney' when dry brushed. 

I've run out of black artist's acrylic (with which I would normally mix in white household emulsion to get grey), so I did the grey with a tin of satin grey enamel that I've had about the place for a few years (thanks, Mark S.). It was going onto a porous, rough surface so I knew it would dry matt. I then dry brushed it with two lighter shades (the satin grey with white matt enamel mixed in).

The woodwork was painted with artist's acrylics. - there is a base coat of mid brown on all of it with the darker wood getting a burnt umber (brown) artist's acrylic ink wash. 

It was then dry brushed with artist's acrylic lightened with household emulsion paint (I have jam jars with several shades of beige, left over from decorating, that I use). 

I decided to do the sails in a lighter shade of wood purely for the purpose of contrast. It is the same shade as the darker wood dry brushed with more emulsion paint mixed into the artist's acrylic. The detail on the sails was brought out with a few strokes of diluted brown ink.

I prepared the 'wattle and daub' walls (between the timber framing) by loosely applying Naples Yellow heavy body artist's acrylic paint. You can do the same job with a plaster mix but I find this much easier to apply and the acrylic gives a 'smoother' finish. 

When dry, I washed it with diluted brown artist's acrylic ink. Then it was dry brushed with two shades of household emulsion. 
After the daub had been painted the timber framing was painted with black matt enamel paint. This later got a highlight of dark grey. This highlight was applied carefully with a brush on the framing (because the daub had been done already).

The slate roofs are painted the same but, they are more casually dry brushed. 
As you can see, the yards / gardens have a rough appearance. This was achieved with a preparation of loosely applied heavy body artist's acrylic paint (it's the same as the daub), ink washed and dry brushed with beige acrylic and artist's emulsion. 
Finally, I used PVA glue to stick flock around the outside edge of the buildings. I also did the same thing around the interior edges of the yards / gardens. This last step is an important finishing touch.

So that is it, job done: Three new buildings for northern Europe added to the collection.

I hope this very brief description of how I did these buildings is of use to some of you. 

Making buildings, once a few basic materials and tools have been collected, is quite easy.  

Monday, 21 March 2016

French Indian Wars weekend with the LOGW

Well I've just returned from another very enjoyable weekend's gaming with the League of Gentlemen Wargamers up in Scotland. This time the scenarios were designed and organised by Bill and set during the French Indian War. The rules were Muskets and Tomahawks without some of the more detailed bits (such as hidden movement) to keep it simple.

On Saturday the twelve of us split into two opposing teams (French and British) and we each played three of six, one on one, scenarios: I was French. 

First I played Peter in a simple encounter engagement and drew. I was only really saved from defeat by night, which fell just in the nick of time. 

I played Charles in my second game and won, though only because Charles failed to get three of his four reserve units onto the table before I took his block house, scalping everyone inside and doing unspeakable things to the chap at whom I shot at well over 50 times before finally getting him. 

In my last game I played Charlie in an ambush scenario (based on the ambush in Last of the Mohicans after the fort is surrendered) and lost. It was the closest game I've played in a long while. I nearly lost this game early on when I shot all three Mohicans and, accidentally, one of Monroe's daughters and missed the second by a hairs breadth in a single volley - I was supposed to capture the unfortunate women; I only hope I shot the useless blonde one.

The table for the Sunday game. This end of the table was my area of operations. The fort is the French objective. The table had quite a few trees on it. Nearest to camera is Peter with whom I had great fun in the first game on Saturday morning.
On Sunday we stayed as either French or British (six a side) and played a single much larger game set on the shores of Lake Champlain with a French fort at one end and a British fort at the other. It was basically two, three on three games with three attacking and three defending players for each side. The main objective for each side were the forts. The secondary objective was to destroy the other sides units and houses, getting a point for each.

The French fort at the other end of the table. Nearest to camera is Steve R., who very kindly put me up for the weekend. Then left to right, Angus, Steve, Dale and Kev.
I did remarkably well in this game but then I had very good troops to play with and didn't hit Colin's main line. I had three units of Indians and two Coureurs des Bois. Most of the troops I met were rather modest types.

The centre. These farmsteads would be burnt by Andy in a swift and highly successful series of raids.
Neither side managed to win outright but the French attacking players (of whom I was one) achieved great success. My job was to shield the left flank of our main attack, led by Kev in the centre, whilst Andy pursued an aggressive raid on the right to similar ends. The plan was simple and very effective. 
My Indians screening Kev's left and harassing Colin's British. 

My enemy holding a fence line.

The last man at the fence line to die, shot by an Indian.
Whilst shielding the left I managed to completely destroy, if memory serves, six units including two of poorly armed civilians, kill one officer, and burn two houses for the loss of just five figures - I don't know if I've ever been as successful as that. Andy did even better! 

My units mopping up, burning buildings and taking scalps. That hand in the distance belongs to Bill gallantly defending against Andy's unstoppable troops.
Charlie's British line. Our canoes came around the shore of the lake and landed on the beach on the other side of the village.
Kev's attack. His massed regulars, usually screened by Indians and marines, crushing all opposition.
Kev's attack was cooking with gas and if time had allowed I think the French would have won outright by taking the British fort, especially when our off table reserves arrived by canoe and landed somewhat behind the British, flanking their front line, in Kev's support - Kev rolled the best volley of the day when his Indians killed nine British regulars with a single massed volley just as the canoes arrived and the Indians leapt out, tomahawks gleaming, and fell on the British to great effect. Our opponents, Charlie, Bill and Colin, were gracious in defeat, and good fun was had by all.

These are Colin's troops that I would have had to confront if the game had run on for longer. I'd have lost a lot more than five figures if I had got this far. In fact I doubt I'd have had any left! In the distance you can see Kev's attack getting close to their objective and three canoes full of Indians are about to sweep in from the lake.

I enjoyed the weekend very much. I thought the rules, which I had not played before, were elegantly clever. 

A special thank you to Bill for organising the weekend's games. Games are only as good as the scenarios and Bill's were excellent. 

Also, a thank you to Steve who very kindly put me up for the weekend.

......and these were not the only games I played over the weekend. On Friday I played a very fine Franco Prussian War game in Perth. It was hosted by Richard. I played as the Prussians with Steve against Richard, who I met for the first time on Friday, and Jimmy, who I'd met previously at an LOGW weekend a couple of years ago. Steve and I won with a well supported flank attack but unfortunately I forgot to take my camera to record the evening. We played the game with counters on a typically set up war games table. This is something I have not done for years but it was no less fun without tin men than with them. The rules were Bloody Big Battles and new to me. I liked them a lot: they are certainly the level you want for the FPW. The game was great fun and the post game autopsy was very interesting. Thank you Richard for your hospitality. Richard has posted a game report on his blog

Thursday, 17 March 2016

New buildings

This week I'm going back up to Scotland to play in a 'League of Gentleman War Gamers' bash. It got me thinking about a request for windmills for a previous bash. Windmills are something which I didn't have. Why not? Windmills are iconic, period, landmark and totally war game. The fact I didn't have one is something that has troubled me since. We are, I think, always looking for another building to own, and another mercantile building is always a draw, so I Googled windmills.

As many of you will you know, I'm not a big fan of proper scaled buildings on a war gaming table. They tend to be far too large. Ground scale will reduce villages to a single building rather than two or three buildings over which to fight. Hamlets, with true scale buildings, for big battles, are impossible to represent: I once, remember having to representing a chapel at Lobositz with a roadside shrine, because single isolated buildings are almost impossible to represent when doing 'big' battles. Perhaps this is why windmills have escaped me for so many years. They tend to be isolated buildings, and they tend to be large.

It is all down to footprint on the table. I always build my buildings rather under scale with a doors and windows to scale. It's an odd combination to have buildings that look plausible on the outside that would not on the inside but, it tends to work well in practice. For 'footprint' purposes I decided to omit a tiller bar: these are very common with windmills but they take up far too much room to be a good 'gaming' design.

This windmill is not a 'universal building'. Windmills can visually transport a gamer to the setting his game is in; windmills are very much placed in a specific time and space; this building is for my SYW collection. C'est la vie, I'll just have to do another for Spain. 

Anyway, for northern Europe this is what I came up with.

The building is basically MDF side panels on a 7.5cm heavy gauge cardboard cardboard tube.

The conical roof is thin card, as are the roof tiles. The side boarding (red) on the upper mill is thicker grade card. 

The sails are barbecue skewer and balsa wood and the square section spindle is a piece of oak. 

Bricks on the circular base are balsa wood. 

The balcony, doors, windows and ladder are bits from War Bases.

Walls are HO scale resin I bought years ago.

I also, in building mood, made a couple more cottages for balance. These cottages have no basis in reality: They are war game buildings only.

 First up, a village building cottage, half stone ans half 'wattle' with a tiled roof. 

It is constructed from MDF, card and balsa wood. Doors windows and window shutters are by War Bases.

It's a good basic design, so I did another one but with slightly different door, window and chimney lay out.
 This kind of building is a staple. They are not exactly inspired but, they do a job.

Friday, 11 March 2016

The Battle of Paltzig 23 July 1759

An Overview Of The Battle

The Russian plan of campaign for 1759 was a simple one. Their army of 60,000 men, including Cossacks, now under the affable command of the greying Petr Semenovich Saltykov, would operate alongside the Austrians for limited objectives on the Oder river. In late June the army set out from Posen towards the middle Oder. 

Facing the Russians, with orders to defend the middle Oder, was a corps of 28,000 men under the "combatitve if rather stupid" Lieutenant-General Kurt Heinrich von Wedel. Wedel lost no time in moving to engage the enemy, first shadowing their line of march and then establishing himself across it and offering battle at Züllichau.

Saltykov declined to attack and nimbly side-stepped Wedel during the night of 22 - 23 July. Hours later, Saltykov had marched the Russians, via a northerly route, around and behind Wedel and taken up a defensive position at the village of Paltzig which lay astride the Prussian's main line of communication with its supply base at Crossen.

The Russian position before Paltzig

The position chosen by Saltykov was a good one. Sandstone hillocks provided ideal anchors at the northern and southern end of his line. On these hillocks Saltykov planted two strong batteries of guns, whilst other batteries were placed along the length of his formidable double infantry line. In front of the whole position was the Eichemühlen-Fliess. This broad and swampy stream, which was almost impassable along it's northern sector, would disrupt any aggressive movement by the Prussians. It is also worth noting that the Paltzig position is the first recorded instance in the war of the Russians pacing their artillery in hastily constructed entrenchments.

The southern end (right flank) of the Russian infantry line with the 1st Grenadiers 'en crochet' before the line becomes 'a potence'. Behind them, emplaced artillery on the southern hillock.

Returning to camp at 10 a.m. 23 July, after ineffectually reconnoitring the stationary Russian army in front of him, Wedel was rather shocked at 11 a.m. to see the Russian army he thought was in front of him marching behind him. Fearing that inactivity might lead to a similar fate to that of  Dohna [he was ignominiously sacked by Frederick for timidity] Wedel, outnumbered 2:1 and facing an enemy behind a formidable natural obstacle, did what Dohna would never do - he ordered a full scale attack.

Manteuffel's command has passed Kay and begun its advances along the southern spur towards the Russian position.

The first problem facing Wedel was how he would get his troops over the Eichemühlen-Fliess. Due to the marshy nature of the banks the only practical crossing point was at the narrow bridge at the mill at Kay. Getting troops through this narrow defile would force any attack to become staggered. The crossing was briefly contested by Cossacks, but the vanguard under Manteuffel soon pushed these back and then formed up ready for an attack on the southern end of the Russian position. It was now 3 p.m. Over the next few hours the Prussians threw themselves at the Russians in three separate attacks. 

Manteuffel's vanguard, infantry and cavalry. Schorlemer's cuirassier hold the southern valley.

The first attack, was carried out by Manteuffel's vanguard comprising fifteen battalions supported by fifteen squadrons of dragoons and five of hussars of Schorlemer's division. These troops attacked along the top of the spur pointing out from the Russian position towards Kay. The attack was carried out with such ferocity that they  managed to throw the Russian right flank into disorder and force it back towards Paltzig. 

The Russian centre with the village of Paltzig behind it.

However, the Russians were not idle and were adroitly filtering fresh troops and artillery from their left wing into the fight. They had soon established a new line south of Paltzig, including a seventy gun battery at Palzig's church, and their position was skillfully stabilised. Manteuffel's force was now spent and Manteuffel was badly wounded: He was forced to withdraw. 

Off table reserves - Kanitz (left) and Krasnochekov (right).

The second attack was carried out by Kanitz's second line which had now negotiated the bridge at Kay. The attack comprised Flemming's brigade of six battalions supported by sixteen squadrons of hussars of Puttkamer's brigade. These directly followed up on the attack made by Manteuffel. As this attack went in Wobersnow was also ordered forward in support with his six battalions and seven squadrons of hussars. By now the attack had become a hopeless frontal assault into the teeth of Russian muskets and massed artillery fire. Weight of numbers was all with the Russians and both attacks were bloodily repulsed. Wobersnow was killed.

The Prussian guns and Wobersnow's reserve.

It finally fell Schorlemer's previously uncommitted twenty squadrons of cuirassier to try to save the day. They launched their attack from the open valley to the south onto the flank and rear of the Russian line. The attack suffered interference from Russian hussars and Cossacks that had been waiting farther up the valley for just such an eventuality. The Prussian cuirassier soon got the better of the Russian horse but the cohesion of their attack had been spoilt and it was now too late to change the course of events elsewhere. 

Schorlemer's 20 squadrons of cuirasier.

At 8 p.m., with the sun setting behind the Russian line, Wedel ordered a general withdrawal and under cover of the fading light regrouped east of Kay. The Russians did not pursue.

The Prussians lost nearly 8,000 men; men that they could ill afford to lose. The Russians lost 4700. 23 July 1759 had been a bloody day for the Prussians. Three weeks later it would be Frederick's turn to top-score a butchers bill at Kunnersdorf. On 12 August 1759 he would lead 50,000 men into battle against this foe. At the day's end 20,000 of them were casualties and he had less than 3000 men under command.  

Demiku's cavalry south of Paltzig.

I believe this battle was the turning point for the Russian army. After over two years of campaigning the Russian army had found its edge. It was no longer a ramshackle force only capable of a brave and static defence. On 23 July 1759, as one observer recorded

"All those who were present at this action have testified that no battle had so far proceeded in such an orderly fashion. Nowhere was there the slightest disorder on either side during the whole of the combat, and so victory may be attributed above all to the superiority of our force, to the advantage of a well-chosen position, and to the good effect of our unicorns and Shulavov howitzers."

Order of Battle

For this battle I have chosen to use the simple expedient of representing each regiment or with a unit of 24 infantry (36 infantry for the three Observation Corp regiments). This gives the Russians twenty six units of infantry to thirteen Prussian units. 

For the cavalry I have roughly divided squadrons by five and represented each five with a unit of cavalry. I have had to make a rough stab at the number of cossacks present in the southern valley. I have made this force four units strong, which might be slightly over stating their numbers, but you can never have to many of the useless bleeders in my opinion and Saltykov is the only Russian commander who ever thought something might be made of them. I have omitted all of the Russian cavalry that was deployed north of the infantry at right angles to the infantry line as it took no part in the battle.

I have chosen to represent the artillery with eight batteries each of two guns. Six for the Russians and two for the Prussians. Russian artillery on the hillocks can claim superior position and can fire 'overhead'.

I have divided the Prussian army into four command groups as this is more than sufficient for a war game force of this size. Manteuffel's infantry, Schorlemer's cavalry, Kanitz and Wobersnow.

The Russian army is divided into six command groups. The infantry are in three groups: Fermor in the south and Villbois in the north, the third comprises the Observation Corps mobile reserve. There are three cavalry commands: Two, behind the infantry line are commanded by Demiku (south) and Jeropkin (north). The third should also be commanded by Demiku but, as he is elsewhere engaged, I have shifted the hussars to the Cossack commander Krasnochekov.

To keep things simple, I'm going to call all Russian infantry, artillery and regular cavalry 'average on the day'. The Cossacks, as is their want, will all be 'battle weary'. 

I'm going to classify the Prussian musketerr regiments as 'eager', as it seems to have performed quite well given the circumstances. Similarly, the cavalry was also a cut above anyway so I will classify that as 'eager' too. The fusiliers (IR 40 was notorious for ill luck) and artillery will be 'average'.

Scenario Notes

This is a game scenario not an absolute reconstruction. I have deployed the Russians and Prussians in there positions at 3 in the afternoon. From this point on both sides can manoeuvre as they choose except: 

  • Kanitz can be activated after the start of turn three on a 'stratagem' card. He can enter at the eastern edge of the table south of the Eichemühlen-Fliess. He need not follow Manteuffel's attack. 
  • Wobersnow cannot be ordered forward until after the arrival of Kanitz.
  • Schorlemer's cuirassier can be ordered forward at any time. 
  • The Russian hussars and cossacks can be activated on a 'stratagem' card, or if Schorlemer's cuirassier advance beyond the centre point of the table. They enter the table, from the west, in the southern valley.
  • The Russian mobile reserve and the other cavalry can move at any time.
  • The troops of Villbois' command cannot carry out significant movement south until after Wobersnow attacks - they must stand as a covering force in 'expectation' of his move forward.
I hope the movement restrictions will help the scenario flow - we will see.

The Battle 
Manteuffel's infantry advance up the spur and along the southern valley under sporadic and largely ineffective artillery fire.
They make a fine sight as they advance, and the swing of initiative pips is with them; they win high doubles back to back.
The Russians are unabashed and stand comfortably in the knowledge that numbers and position are with them.
At the end of turn 1 the Prussians are in position to press home their attack 
Meanwhile, the Russian mobile reserve is speeding its way from the north, and well they might because in the south everything is going the way of Prussia. 
A fierce musketry duel has gone the way of the Prussians. Grenadier Regiment 1, en crochet to the first line is under severe pressure. Dragoons of DR6 have moved to finish them and only a last minute intervention by the guns has saved the grenadiers from almost certain destruction. The respite is short lived. Several volleys of musketry reduce the grenadiers to ruin and the Prussians sweep into to Russian position
The Prussians do not let up. They press home along the entire southern end of the Russian line.
The Prussians are winning hands down. The Russians are in trouble.
At Paltzig, the Russians are hastily forming a new front to oppose the Prussian onslaught.
The Russian right wing buys suffiicient time for their compatriots farther north to form a very strong looking line, four regiments deep in places.
At the end of turn two the task facing the Prussians looks even more daunting.

The Prussian grenadiers of CG 35/36 (actually 8/46 pictured) attempt to storm the Russian artillery emplacement but after a tight struggle are beaten back.
The Russians infantry are also doing well and soon a IR 49 (Fusiliers) are sent packing.
At Kay, Kanitz has managed to negotiate the bridge and the second wave is on it's way.
Back at the southern end of the Russian line it is nip and tuck.
An isolated unit of Russians, despite having incurred severe losses, launches a fierce bayonet charge at Prussian infantry that has exposed its flank south of the emplacement. The surprised Prussians take to their heels.
Now the Russians and Prussians are trading deadly blows in equal measure, routing unit for unit. It is the Russians who finally crack.
At the end of turn three, Manteuffel has achieved his first objective; the southern hillock is all but taken, though at heavy loss.

Turn four sees the long build up towards the attack of Kanitz and Wobersnow. 

Turn five sees the battle become general and a result.

Whilst the Prussians build up their strength the Russians, much to the annoyance of the Prussian cavalry (until their position is covered by Kanitz), respond with artillery fire. 
Wobersnow descends into the marsh bottomed valley. The attack, as it did historically, has become a frontal assault.
Schorlemer's cuirassier advance down the southern valley.
Wobersnow finally crosses the marshy ground but is assaulted by artillery from all directions. 

The enfilading artillery fire from the northern hillock, coming from a superior position, is devastating. It will, over the course of the next turn, rip Wobersnow's attack to shreds.
The Prussians get a huge slice of luck at the beginning of turn five - they get a swing of 21 initiative points. They use it to make a concerted lunge at the Russian's newly formed line.
The assault goes in and the Prussians bring everything they can to bear.
The Russians hang on grimly then counter attack. The Prussian attack crumbles. Wobersnow's attack has been destroyed, Kanitz is dead, and Manteuffel's infantry are in tatters. 

I could have prolonged the game by allowing the cuirassier attack to get to grips but it seemed a little far fetched for them to rescue the situation. It seemed as good a point as any to end the battle, so I called it a day at this point.

I played this game through as a solo affair over a few evenings and quite enjoyed myself doing so. 

You can see that I largely went with the way you voted for terrain (22 votes to 12) and only did the hillocks. I had initially put some extra pieces of high ground in the gap between them but it just looked odd, so I removed them and settled on just representing the hillocks. 

Much of the battle, as you can see from the photos in the previous post took place on a low flat plateau and spur that rose above the marshy stream and southern valley. When I came to set out the terrain the plateau was so obviously delineated by the marshy valley bottom and stream, and the road following at the bottom of the northern slope of the southern valley, that I decided further embellishment wasn't required. The tree strewn slopes of the spur pointing out towards Kay also helped give the terrain is topographical shapes without recourse to elevating the ground. Although not perfect, it worked surprisingly well.

I wasn't at all sure about this scenario having any merit as a game because the odds are stacked so much against the Prussians. I have to say that I was surprised at just how well they did, and at one fleeting point I thought they might just turn history on it's head. The Prussians have the advantage of being concentrated against the under-supported southern end of the Russian line and the initial deployment means they can be on it before the Russians can readily act to stop them. Manteuffel's attack is the key. If it works the Prussians stand a small chance of actually winning. My biggest mistake with the Prussians was in not using the 15 squadrons of dragoons behind Manteufel's infantry - I did little with them and they just suffered the attention of the Russian guns to no purpose. They might, with some well timed charges, swing the battle a little more towards the Prussians - if they are going to die, they might as well die gloriously!

With lessons learned in the first re-fight I have slightly changed the field. I have reduced the depth of the Prussian ridge and pulled the Eichemühlen-Fliess back several inches towards it. This has allowed the Russian deployment to come forward and increase the the depth of the Russian deployment area. I think the Russians will always form their new line south of Paltzig and the extra 6" of rearward depth will help that deployment. I have also widened the spur slightly; it is now four inches wider than it was and should give the Prussians a little more wriggle-room during their first couple of moves.

So now I'm all set to do it again. Who fights it depends on what the 'Lads' are doing in a couple of weeks. We haven't got together in over three weeks now due to illnesses, prior engagements and equine necessities. I'm hoping we play this Wednesday, round at Grahams (?), then perhaps we can play this battle over the two Wednesdays after. 

On the 19th / 20th March I'm going up to Scotland to play in a (League of Gentleman Wargamers) French Indian War bash. I'm looking forward to that one as it's the only time I get to play as part of a large group. The Friday night before should be good too. Steve has planned a visit to the Black Watch Museum and a FPW game in Perth using 'Bloody Big Battles'. That trip should get the juices going and inspire me to get some things done around here. 

Tonight I'm sneaking in a cheaky game of X-Wing with Ewan. It'll have to be set up on the lower ground floor though, because there is no room for it in war games room. I'd better go get the wood-burner stoked up...........