Friday, June 21, 2019

2nd Siege of Olmutz Playtest

We started a new siege with some slight scenario and rule changes and this time we played for two weeks in order to get to the Prussian ASSAULT!

Jan and Mike were the Austrian Garrison, while Brian and Phil were the Prussians. We ran this one to a Siege based conclusion over two nights of gaming. About six total hours of game time and 3 weeks siege.

Cigar Box terrain cloth.
15mm Old Glory and Halmark figures
Unknown manufacturer of the fortress (I've had it for nearly 20 years)
PaperTerrain houses and church.

Siege Timeline

Turn 0 - Night of May 27th\28th (Spring)

Prussians finish the first parallel.

Turn 1 - May 28th - May 31st (Spring)

  • The Prussians push their saps forward to establish a second parallel (2 back to back Sapper and Mining cards).

  • Austrian Trench raid by Grenadiers wipes out a Prussian sapper company and their laborers. (note that we didn't lose a single sapper in the entire game last week!)
  • Prussian sappers start making gun emplacements and move their siege guns forward to begin bombardment of the fortress walls.

  • Prussian spy is able to gather information about the strength of the fortress walls (successful spy attempt). They find out the walls are fairly old (medieval town walls) and only have 50 hits.
  • Austrian artillery fire versus Prussian infantry in the saps is devastating with several units force to retire due to the accurate fire.

Turn 2 - June 1st - June 4th (Spring)

  • Both Garrison and Besieger lose a powder this turn. (both lost against the Powder Expenditure Die)
  • Garrison destroys a siege gun via artillery fire. This was demoralizing to the Prussians.
  • Wall takes 14 more damage and more on the way.

  • Prussians forced to enlist laborers from the infantry regiments as their sappers are getting killed or routed by Austrian Trench Raids.
  • Prussian spy is captured by the garrison (Prussians have one more spy in their stable)
  • Prussians start to use one of their mortars to shell the town of Olmutz in order to reduce the garrison's morale. They don't manage to inflict much in the way of damage yet.

Turn 3 - June 5th - 9th (Spring)

  • Garrison is counter-sapping to flank the Prussian 2nd parallel. We don't know if this will make a difference or not.
  • Garrison is using civilian laborers to attempt to repair the wall that is getting pounded by the Prussian siege guns. One civilian crew is routed from the wall, while another stands despite hundreds of cannon balls landing around them. They make little in the way of repairs though and the wall keeps crumbling.
  • Prussians inflict a practical breach on the wall of Olmutz (this happens when a wall has less than 10 hits left. May switch this to zero as the trigger point as it is easier to remember and keep track of.)
  • Austrian trench raid by Grenzers against a Prussian mortar is bloodily repulsed by the local Prussian security companies. The Grenzers retreat with a UI loss!
  • The practical breach has agitated the population and we had our first Coup de Main, but the Austrians were able to round up several rebellion leaders before things got out of hand. Nobody is sure if those rabble-rousers survived the siege.

Turn 4 - June 10th - 12th (Spring)

  • Prussians create their third parallel while directing breaching fire against the bastion next the wall that was breached. 

  • Austrian Trench Raid with Grenadiers sends Prussian sappers fleeing to the rear.
  • Austrian rally their civilian sappers in the town and hope to get them back to work on the repairs on the bastion.

  • Garrison (Austrian) spy that was slipping through the Prussian camp in order to ascertain the amount of Powder the Prussian have left is captured!
  • There is a fierce artillery duel with nearly all Austrian pieces now in action! One by one, Prussian guns are silenced.

Turn 5 - June 13th - 17th (Summer)

  • The artillery keeps up their frantic fire, as the Austrians chose an extra "Artillery Reload" card as their optional card for their Siege Deck. The Prussians chose "Sapping and Mining".
  • Prussian Siege guns are driven back due to the intense fire.

Turn 6 - June 18th - 20th (Summer)

  • The Prussian mortars, who have been shelling the city most of the game, finally hit something better than a privy, and set fire to the town. (Garrison loses a Siege Morale Point).

  • Austrian guns have now silenced all four Prussian Siege guns (which are now reassembling in the Rally Point at zero UI!)

  • The Prussian Siege Morale Points have hit zero and they must abandon the siege. With no morale chips and all four siege guns batteries in tatters, this was a sound decision. 

As Jan wrote:
"Yes, unlike their very poor trench raiding prowess, the Austrian artillery turned out to be surprisingly, and some would say luckily, effective, hammering away with counterbattery fire until the Prussians called it all off and decamped! And not a moment too soon, with the third parallel in place and more to come, it was getting very confining within the wall of Olmutz! It was another great game of siege warfare, with a lot of nail-biting action and suspense on both sides of the table, and I'm looking forward to playing it again soon!"

Next session will include more minor tweaks and a solid playtesting of mining. Can't wait for that! Also the rules are overseas being playtested to see how they hold up under fire when I'm not their to answer questions.


  1. A very effective defense by the whitecoats!

    Are you going to include this siege as s a sample scenario within the rules? I would!

  2. Fascinating stuff, Eric! Didn't you once do a big siege game at Historicon many years ago. I played in it as one of the defenders - Poles I believe?

  3. As I'm collecting my imagination army and figuring out model counts......How many artillery pieces would you recommend to play out a siege with these rules? Maybe broken down by attacker/defender?

    Great writeup. I love reading the action and seeing the pictures.

  4. What an interesting project. Will you be publishing the rules once you're happy with them?

  5. Yes, I will publish the rules when complete. I'm hoping the end of this year.

    Garrison artillery:
    4 large fortress guns for the bastion. If you only have 3 bastions, then three of these types of guns is all you need.
    2 to 3 12# heavy guns.
    1 Howitzer
    2 Mortars

    Besieging artillery:
    4 Siege Guns
    2-4 Heavy guns
    2-4 Mortars
    1 Howitzer

  6. The fortress is looking impressive. Such a siege is something very special and spectacular.