Sunday, October 14, 2007

Battle of Preisserstadt (Part I)

Here is a batch of photos from our Old School Wargamer's Big Game that took place on Saturday October 13, 2007. We had twenty players gaming on two parallel 6ft by 28ft tables, with approximately 4,500 miniatures. Please click on the pictures to enlarge them for ease of viewing.

The "Good Guys" - The Prussian Team (der Alte Fritz shown kneeling in the front row)

The "Bad Guys" - The French Team. Monsieur le General de Chevert shown kneeling in the front row.

View of the Prussian table and their initial deployment.

View of the French-Austrian table and their initial deployment.

The Austrians advance on the Allied right flank to begin the game. Their orders appear to have been to capture the village of Lineolstadt in the center and refuse the right wing, because they did not advance much beyond the table edge throughout the course of the game, despite outnumbering the Prussians in this sector of the table.

Prussian left wing (facing the Austrian) occupy the Preisser Heights, while their light cavalry advance to secure the Jungwald woods. The Prussians were likewise ordered to refuse their left wing. Much of the Prussian infantry shown on the hill would eventually be wiped out in a fierce fire fight with the Austrians.

The French decided to make their main attack on their left wing, where the open ground favored the deployment of their heavy cavalry. Here we see the advance guard of 8 battalions moving forward at the beginning of the game. What we don't see is the mass of French cavalry and more infantry hidden off-table, behind this fearsome lot.

A view of the Prussian right wing, with only four battalions, but a fair amount of cuirassiers awaiting the French onslaught. The Prussian infantry would advance to the stream on the right hand side of the picture while the cavalry brigade would secure the right flank. The only problem was that the cavalry were staring down the gun barrels of too many French muskets and cannons, so they had to fall back behind the cover of the infantry.

In the center of the battlefield, the Prussian Brigade Barta occuppied the important village of Preisserstadt and sent a detachment of jagers into the Hekkiwald, in front of the village. The Prussian plan was to hold a strong reserve in the center (off-table in this picture) and then send assistance to sectors where the French were strong, or to launch a counter attack up the middle if conditions seemed to favor such a move.

The Austrians advance towards the left-center in support of the French main attack on their left. To the right of the Austrians was a brigade of Russians. Both brigades were converging on the village of Schleich in the Prussian center. So, with two French brigades, one Austrian brigade and one Russian brigade moving in unison towards the Prussian right and right-center, there was no longer any doubt about the French strategy. Der Erbprinz thus committed his brigade of guards to anchor the Prussian right and also sent in his reserve brigade of cavalry. The battle would be decided in this sector, while the Prussian center and left were left to their own defenses in their sectors.

Von Seydlitz sent in a small squadron of the Black Hussars, as a forlorn hope, to delay the French cavalry until he could bring up the rest of his heavy cuirassiers to contest the French horse. One squadron of hussars against three squadrons of heavy cavalry, with three more squadrons in reserve, are not a fair matchup, regardless of the rules used.

Due to the shortage of infantry in this sector, the Prussians had little choice but to use their cuirassiers as battering rams against solid French infantry, albeit with notable success. The French battalion engaged in melee with the Prussian cuirassiers, in the picture above, routed. Meanwhile, the savy French cavalry commander held back his 60-figure Carabinier Regiment hoping for some easy pickings against depleted Prussian cavalry regiments. To the right, we see the Prussian Lieb Cuirassiers matched off against the French Mestre-de-camp cavalry regiment.

I will have to post the rest of the pictures tomorrow. The Blogspot software seems to have gone on the fritz and I can't down load anymore pictures for awhile. Darn it! And you should have seen the picture of the big honkin cavalry melee that I was going to show you.


  1. Congratulations, Herr Alte. It sounds like a good time was had by all...except maybe the Prussian infantry on the Preisser Heights.

    I'm in negotiations with the C-in-C House for a trip to Chicago. She wants to see the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Sooo...SYWA Convention? Is there going to be an OSW game then?

    Ed v. H-F

  2. Of course there will be an OSW game at the SYWA convention next march. We are also going on a road show to Historicon in 2008.

  3. Hello Jim,

    Looks like the game was a smashing success and awe-inspiring too. Congratulations!

    Best Regards,


  4. Staggeringly beautiful!!!

    I am so jealous!


  5. Those large units look great . . . they put my 24-man battalions to shame.

    -- Jeff

  6. Jeff: two 24-man battalions equal one 48-man battalion. this is why you should paint both battalions of a regiment. Then you can push them together if you want to "go large"

  7. Excellent display and it looks like it was VERY WELL ATTENDED!

    at my first view I am...



    I shall have to re-read all and review the images again in order to make very clear sense of it all!

    Your efforts would certainly seem to have been crowned with success!

  8. Excellent report, thanks.

    I agree with the point on using 2 x 24 fig battalions, but unfortunately mine are already based in 2 ranks, which makes changing to 3 ranks quite difficult.

    BTW, I remember that the Wargames Holiday Centre in the UK had a means of bridging between the two tables as they were exactly 2 ft apart.