Friday, July 7, 2017

SYW - Combat at Reichenberg - Historicon Playtest

G'Day wargamers!

It is one week away from when I'm going to run my Combat at Reichenberg 15mm SWY game at Historicon (Friday, July 14th @1pm). I sculpted the terrain from pink insulation board 1.5" thick and really looks great in person. It is hard to see the ridge lines with the camera. I will have different color flocking at Historicon to make it more pronounced. I did a playtest run with several players that haven't played Piquet ever or for a very long time.

This allowed me to figure out how long it would take to setup, teach the rules, and the play the game.

We did come to a satisfying conclusion, but each army still had morale chips.

You can look here for the summary of the real battle, but ours involved a lot more fighting!

I only want to show a couple of the photos from the game to give you an idea of what to expect at Historicon.

The battle summary was written by the Austrian commander Wes:

*Crap that is a lot of Prussians!!*

My Grenzers hiding in the woods popped off a few shots to unform the grenadiers marching towards them...after which they promptly ran back in the woods while the Grenadiers reformed and held fast.  
Austrian cavalry charge was ordered on the left only to be outflanked by Puttkamer Hussars coming over the hill and routing the Pálffy Cuirassiers!  After that, back and forth melee between remaining cavalry units but no one could hit a damn thing.  Theory was they were too hung over from the prior night's festivities at the local brothel.    Was so bad one of my routed cavalry units waved at the C-in-C FZM Count Königsegg as they passed him by as they were leaving the field of battle.
Prussians across from the Austrian center and right moved into valley (of death) to ready a charge up the hill at the entrenchments.  Austrians promptly responded with medium artillery in the center which was very effective . But the damn Prussians kept reforming and would not route! Austrian cannon on the left had good line of fire, but whiffed only took off a few hats.  They would pay for this failure later.  
Eventually the Prussian infantry lines made it through the valley and up the hill for point blank shots.   This is where Austrian First Fire and Opportunity Fire showed its value.   Elite Grenadiers on my Austrian held strong while the center turned into a meat grinder. 
Suddenly, Prussians gained a ton of impetus and did not waste any of it.   That whiffed artillery unit was ran over, and cold steel routed two Austrian units....the Austrian left line crumbled as a result.   Furthermore, Reserves were caught with their pants down because their inept rookie commander never bothered to reform their lines before moving across the river.   Hence, it was a field day for the Prussians who had charged bayonets with fully loaded muskets.
Austrians were in serious troubler at that point.   Elite Grenadiers on the Austrian right were exhausted but congratulating each other on their fine defense.   Only to look down the left line and see the disaster occurring.  It was obvious these Prussians would be meeting up with Frederick in Prague after all.  

*Crap that is a lot of Prussians!*

The visual ... the Prussians mass ...

Prussian Grenadiers chasing Liccaner Grenzers.

I'm not sure this is a good idea... Prussians move into the valley (of death). They would lose 15 stands of infantry to artillery and point blank musket fire, but only one unit would rout and not until the battle was nearly over!

4th Hussars (Puttkamer) aggressively manoeuver early in the battle in order to get a flank attack into the charging Austrian cavalry. They rout the Pálffy Cuirassier and then scamper off after them in pursuit. Later they would rally, reform and take another Austrian Dragoon unit in the flank!

The cavalry sing into battle.

Prussian Grenadiers lose 3 stands of damage after that Austrian Grenadier unit delivers a point blank volley via Opportunity fire.

Smile for your close up!

All along the line muskets belch flame, smoke, and lead!

Austrian have enough Opp Fire chips (yellow poker chips) to fire on the Prussians as they come in.

Valley of Death! Black casualty markers everywhere, disorder, stand loses, etc. This was a hard day for this Prussian Brigade!

Meanwhile the Prussian Center was able to overrun the Austrian gun battery then slam into the Austrian reserves still in Column of Route. This effectively ended the battle.

See you at Historicon!