Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mollwitz Game - Part 2 Conclusion

Prussian general staff congratulation King Frederick on his victory

We left off the other day with two game turns under our belt: the Austrian and Prussian cavalry were whaling away on one another while the infantry were still marching into musket range. The Battle of Mollwitz continued today and reached a conclusion within six game turns.

The rules used were Der Alte Fritz Rules for SYW Games, which are my own rules that I have been using at conventions for nearly fifteen years. You can download a free copy at the Fife & Drum Miniatures website

I played the game solo and before anyone wonders if Der Alte Fritz Himself can play it straight with the Austrians in a solo game, let me review my solo gaming methodology.

Simply put, I place myself in the shoes of either side and ask myself, "what would the Austrians want to do and what moves would be to their best advantage?" I do the same for the Prussians. I figure that if I temporarily  do what benefits the side that I'm moving figures and firing weapons for, then an impartial result can be achieved. Finally, I do not care which side wins when I play a solo game. While I prefer the Prussians, I find it interesting when the Austrians can give Frederick a surprise pounding once in awhile.

Let us go with the game report, told mostly through the picture captions. At the start of Turn 3, with my Austrian hat on, I decided that sitting back with my infantry and waiting to get gunned down by the Prussian infantry was not profitable. With that in mind, my plan for the Austrians (who were outnumbered in infantry 9 battalions to 6 battalion) was to extend the front battle line of battalions and seek a place where I could place more muskets to bear on the Prussians than they could train on me. So on Turn 3, the grenadier battalion on the Austrian right flank moved out of the second row and extended the first battle line. The 1st battalion of the Josef Esterhazy (Hungarians) likewise did the same on the Austrian left flank.


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The Esterhazy regiment forms column and marches off to the right end of the Austrian battle line.
After deploying into line on Turn 4, you can see how the Esterhazy regiment could potentially flank the Prussian far left flank of their front battle line.

On the Austrian right flank, the grand cavalry battle continued. Prussian cuirassier regiment CR1 Krakow took on the red coated Austrian Saxe Gotha Dragoons and was getting the better of them. In the background though, the second squaderon of CR1 was surrounded by Austrian cuirassiers and cut down to the man.

Another cavalry scrum in the same vicinity was more evenly fought: Prussian CR8 von Seydlitz cuirassiers on the left and the Alt Modena Austrian cuirassiers (in blue facings and shabraques) on the right.

By Turn 4, both sides' infantry were finally in musket range (foot move 8-inches in line formation) and from this point on, winning the initiative each turn (via a dice off of both sides, high die wins) was important. We use an IGO/UGO systems: if you choose to move first, then you can only fire second, after your opponent fires at you. So if you really need to move first, you surrender the firing initiative. Most of the time, you want to move second and fire first.

At the end of Turn 4, the Prussian left hand brigade has siddled sideways to the left  to counter the  Austrian  extension of their front battle line with the red trousered Esterhazy regiment. A bit of a gap begins to form in the Prussian center as a result of this movement.

The Prussian lefthand brigade continues to veer to the left, but this time it is done with purpose so that the  IR5 Alt Braunschweig battalion can move from the second line forward into the gap.

On Turn 5, the cumulative effect of musketry and 3-pound battalion guns had caused the  Austrian 1st btn of the von Sprecher regiment to rout, running straight through the red legged Hungarian 2/Esterhazy, which was directly behind them. Their rout carried them right into the face of the Austrian commander von Neipperg inside the hamlet of Mollwitz.

The 1st btn of the Esterhazy continued to siddle to its left to outflank the IR1 von Winterfeldt regiment's second battalion. IR1 swung back in response, creating a kink in the battle line.

Over on the Prussian right flank, all of the Prussian cavalry (save for one squadron shown at the lower right) had been run off the field. The Austrians began to reform their heavy cavalry to take a run at the Prussian artillery battery in front of them.

A view of the field at the start of Turn 6. You can see the gap in the center of the Austrian battle line. Off in the upper right corner, the Austrian cavalry threatens the Prussian right flank regiments.

Austrian heavy cavalry
Austrian cavalry goes crashing into the Prussian battery. The left most cannon stopped the understrength squadron of red coated Austrian Saxe Gotha Dragoons, while the right hand section of guns actually won the melee with the fresh squadron of Schmerzing Cuirassiers. The dice gods did not look kindly on the Austrians this day.

On the Prussian left, things are at a stand-off, although a fresh battalion (2/IR5) provides back up in the second line, whereas the Austrians no longer have a reserve second line.


At the end of Turn 6, Prussian musketry from the Righthand brigade has obliterated the Austrian left brigade. With no center or left, things look grim for the White Coats today. Von Neipperg decides that it is pointless to keep charging his cavalry into the Prussian wall of muskets, and with no center, he orders a general withdrawal from the field.

King Frederick is congratulated by Marshal Schwerin (right) for his victory.

A nice ground level photograph of the Prussian king and his staff.

14 comments:

  1. Without having seen the John Ray book, I'd say you give it a run for the money with your solo refight of Mollwitz. Great stuff!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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  2. Huzzah! More inspiration of the highest quality!

    Thanks Jim

    Best regards

    Steve

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  3. Excellent report Jim and a wonderful gallery of pictures showcasing your terrain and wonderful figures and buildings.

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  4. Amazing pictures, a real pleasure to look at!

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  5. Thanks for the battle report. The armies look fantastic!

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  6. That is a very interesting report and a visual feast (as usual). You have gamed the Mollwitz scenario several times (one remembers as it is spectacular),I'm curious to ask if it works out in a similar manner or do unforeseen events change the game substantially each time?

    Thanks for posting! Jim

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    1. The battle has been won by both sides in previous play, but I had only played Mollwitz using the BAR rules for our big battalion games. This is my first try using smaller units.

      One tweak that I might make is to move the Austrian cavalry on the Prussian right flank close enough to charge on the first turn so that the Prussians have no time to react and change facing of their cavalry.

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  7. Jim, that would change things, The Prussian job would be to survive and then compensate. You have no doubt a very nuanced perspective on the battle having made this effort to play out the game as often. There are still no doubt plenty of angles that could still be dealt with (particular engagements, weather, for of war...).

    Jim

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    1. I am tempted to rerun the game using the proposed change in the Austrian deployment. This will probably sweep the Prussian cavalry off the table sooner (they are already outnumbered 2:1) and then I could see if the Austrian cavalry can break through the Prussian army square in my rules.

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  8. Very good! You will be keeping the snowy ground on your table until the weekend at least then. Spring arrives late in Der Alte's man cave this year.

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  9. Great game, lovely figures and terrain.

    Thanks

    Mark

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  10. Great game, lovely figures and terrain.

    Thanks

    Mark

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  11. I love pictures of battles and you did that so wonderfully, Alter Fritz. Knowing several figures from your earlier posts, it´a joy to see them here in action. Thanks for this post!
    Peter

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