Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Suren British Artillery Crew

British SYW 6-pd battery with Suren figures on the left and Stadden figures on the right. Both guns are from Elite Miniatures.

March concluded with a roar of painting output as I finished the month with 117 Olley Painting Points (97 infantry & guns at 1 point each and 10 mounted figures which count for 2 points each). This follows on totals of 100 points in January and 115 points in February.

Monday night I finished off six Suren British artillery figures and another Elite 6-pounder in order to complete the two gun battery. I rather like the Suren artillery crew and in fact prefer them over the more formal looking Stadden crew. I used an RSM rammer and officer's sword and made the trail spike from a spare piece of wire that I had in my bits box. I should have also made a linstock out of wire with florists wire wrapped around the stick, but I forgot to do this.

The full battery supports the 1st Regiment of Guards.

The battery complements the Suren Guards rather nicely, as you can see in the picture above. I also finished 9 more Guards over the past couple of days and now have 25 figures painted - almost enough for two grand divisions (30 figures). I have to add some wire cravats to the flag poles before I can prime the figures, otherwise I would have had the standard bearers done too. I am using the GMB Designs flags for this unit.

A closer view of the augmented Guards battalion, now up to 25 figures. Suren figures painted by Der Alte Fritz.

A part of me would like to keep plugging away on the Suren Guards so that I could finish the unit in April, but we have a Jacobite Rebellion game coming up on May 9th and I need to add two more clans, 30 figures each, before then, so it is on to the Highlanders next. I may dodge in a few Surens here and there to take a break from all of that plaid paint.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Suren British Guards

Suren British Foot Guards and Mounted Officer provide support for a Stadden gun crew that is manning a 6-pounder from Elite Miniatures. Painting by Der Alte Fritz (click pix to enlarge)

I have been working on the 1st Regiment of Guards for my British WAS/SYW army over the past week and I finally have enough of them done to justify taking and posting a picture on this blog. As of Sunday evening, I had 17 figures completed and another 9 figures should be completed with one more evening's worth of painting.

The batch of figures shown in the pictures have been a work in progress that probably started in 2006. I painted a couple of the figures and started the rest, then grew tired of the project and set them aside, where they have resided in a cigar box over the past two plus years. I seem to have more enthusiasm for the figures this time around, as I am plowing through them at a fairly fast pace. I have another dozen that were primed this evening and should be hitting the painting table soon. Eventually, the battalion of Guards will have 60 hat men and 12 grenadiers.

A closer view of the British artillery crew (Staddens) and the 6-pounder from Elite Miniatures. The officer in the red coat is a Suren figure.

Last night I took a short break from the Guards and painted a gun crew of six Stadden figures and one Elite Miniatures 6-pounder. The brigade had no artillery, so I thought that I had better remedy this as soon as possible, what with the French reportedly advancing towards the British foreward base at Minden. Today, I cleaned and primed a dozen Suren British artillery crew, 8 Front Rank artillery crew, and 4 Elite Miniatures crew plus another 6-pounder. I am looking forward to seeing how the Suren artillery crew paint up because they have more active poses, in contrast to the curious marching pose that the Staddens have. The Stadden artillery crew would make for good "pioneer" figures in anyone's imagination army.

Close up picture of the Suren British mounted general and some of the Foot Guards.

The handsome gentlemen shown in the picture above will likely become my "army general" for the British contingent fighting in Germania this year. I haven't decided on a name for him yet, although I am leaning toward him being Lord Ligonier during the period of the War of the Austrian Succession. Since this is something of an imaginery campaign, I may decide that Ligonier found the Fountain of Youth and was young enough to lead the army during the SYW as well, even though that did not happen.

Another view of the Guards.

The whole brigade turned out on the Basteau Heath outside of their camp at Minden.

As of this evening, my British army in Western Germany consists of four battalions of infantry: the 3rd (Buffs) Foot, the 8th (Onslow's) Foot, the 11th (Sowle's) Foot and the 42nd (Semphill's) Foot/Black Watch. Note that I am using colonels from the WAS period rather than the SYW. This infantry brigade is supported by one section of artillery and 5 squadrons of cavalry. It is a work in progress that has many months ahead of it, but I have overcome my aversion to painting red coats and seem to be rather fired up to build the brigade as soon as possible.

So far, I have approximately 102 Olley Painting Points done for the month of March, which is a very good pace. Things should slow down a bit in April as I turn my attention to Jacobite Highlanders for our game on May 9, 2009.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back to 1998

Der Alte Fritz (standing on the right) hosting a participation game at the 1998 SYW Association convention.

I was looking at some of the photos of the recent SYWA convention that were posted on the group's yahoo site and found this picture of me running a game at the convention in 1998. The fellow seated at the far left is the late Greg Nichols, who succumbed to cancer a couple of years ago. Seated next to him is an old friend, Rich Niersbach. I'm not sure who the other gentlemen are.

I haven't changed all that much other than the fact that my locks are a little bit greyer. Given the date of this picture, the game would have been Austrians versus Prussians, all of them RSM figures, and we would be using my own Alter Fritz rules. These rules are printed on a single side of an 8.25" by 11" sheet of paper. Most gamers pick up the gist of the rules and the few nuances by the end of the second turn. They would often run the game on their own and I would simply ajudicate any unusual situations. The figure ratio is 1:30 in these rules, but they would also work at 1:20. I have never tried them at my current favorite 1:10, so who knows?

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Guards

I am getting the itch to start painting fellows in tricorn hats again and now that I have actually fielded my first SYW British brigade, I'm thinking that I will want to paint some more red coats. I am actually designing my British army around the earlier period of the War of the Austrian Succession, rather than the SYW. One reason for this is the fact that the three regiments of Foot Guards took to the field and fought at Dettingen in 1743 and Fontenoy in 1745.

Sunday afternoon, the day after the SYWA convention, I was cleaning and priming some Front Rank Jacobites for our Forty Five Campaign, when I happened across a box of partially painted Suren British figures. They were in fairly bad condition, so I picked up one figure (big mistake there) and applied a lighter coat of red over the dark red undercoat that was already on the figure. I might as well touch up the blue trousers and turnbacks. And while I'm at it, the equipment could use a little bit of freshening up. Before I knew what had happened, I had nearly finished painting one of the figures. I found that I had the urge to paint some more.

So I have 17 Suren figures that I plan to paint as the 1st Guards Regiment. Why? Because I happen to have the GMB Designs flag for the 1st Guards. My plan is to work on a few of the Surens while I am painting my Jacobites. A few here and there and suddenly I will have a half battalion of 30 figures. From there it is not that much more work to get to 60 figures.

There are several problems with the Suren figures. First and foremost, they require a lot of preparation work. You have to clean out blobs of lead between the legs and under the arms because some of the molds are so bad. Then you have to glue on the weapons and hanger swords, which can be a pain in the neck to do. However, once you have reached this stage, then you get to experience the fun of painting these nicely animated and proportioned figures. I will post some pictures later in the week after I have made some progress.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

SYW Association Convention - Part II

Der Alte Fritz's skirmish game to determine the fate of the Duchess of Saxen-Vindow

I am posting a number of pictures that I took at this year's Seven Years War Association Convention in South Bend, Indiana that took place on March 20 and 21, 2009. Rather than go into details, I think that it is easier to let the pictures tell the story. So please read the captions and be sure to click on the pictures to see them at full size. A tip of the tricorn should go to convention organizer, Randy Frye, who was in charge of this year's convention. This is Randy's first go as convention director and he did an outstanding job or organizing the events and handling all of the behind-the-scenes logistics that we all take for granted. Randy reports that we had over 100 attendees at the convention, a significant increase from the 70 or so that attended last year's event. Well done Randy!

The annual Pour Le Merite Trophy for the best game was a tie with Dean West's "Korbitz" 15mm game, and Mike Lowrey's "Siege Game" coping the honours. Going forward, the trophy will be renamed the "Mitchell Cup" in honor of our late editor, Jim Mitchell.

In other convention news, Der Alte Fritz and General Chevert volunteered to attempt to publish a single issue SYW Association Newsletter. We think that we might be able to handle the rigors of this job if it is only published once a year. A newsletter of some kind would be beneficial in keeping the bonds of the association fellowship in tack. More on this as we proceed.

Dean West (on the left) moves some lead on his "Best of Show" recreation of the Battle of Korbitz, in 15mm.

A view of the besieger's first gun emplacement in Mike Lowrey's award winning siege game.

Same siege game, but this time a view of the defenses of the town. This fine game won the best of show several years ago, but returned with an even larger town and defenses. It was quite an impressive game.

An Age of Reason naval game hosted by Todd Fisher (right). No terrain involved, but impressive to watch (and easy to play) none the less.

This game was called, "A Cow Too Far". I don't know what it was all about as it ran at the same time as my game. However, I was impressed with the terrain for this skirmish game.

Another view of my SYW skirmish game. Buildings and trees by Herb Gundt. Foundry figures. Roads by Der Alte Fritz. I think that my game won the Susan Lucci Award.

Milady de Winter (in the black coach) and her Black Legion enter the town in search of the Duchess of Sachsen-Vindow. Note the winsome women outside the house offering their wares to the passing soldiers (disgracefully, all but three of the Black Legion piled into the bawdy house for a couple of turns, so they didn't capture the Duchess).

Bayreuth Dragoons in 54mm, from Tradition Studios, thunder across the heath in a skirmish game hosted by Jude Becker. Talk about impressive! I am only glad that I did not see these figures before embarking on my 60-figure cavalry regiments in 30mm size.

54mm Bercheny Hussars in the service of France, from Jude Becker's skirmish game. Absolutely lovely figures and excellent brushwork by Jude.

The 87th (Keith's) Highlanders from the collection of Der Alte Fritz. These are Suren figures painted as the Black Watch (42nd Foot). A Suren British general on horse is in the foreground. This is the first time that the regiment has actually fought in the King's service, given that they have been filling in as Jacobites in our Forty Five Campaign. They handled themselves well in a tough rear-guard role.

British Cavalry: Stadden horse grenadiers and Suren Horse regiment.

Some unfortnuate Bavarians got charged in the flank by a squadron of Prussian Black Hussars (yes, THOSE Black Hussars which continue to vex the French & Allies) and got wiped out in their very first game. They are beautifully painted Crusader Austrians and I tip my hat to the fellow that brought them to the game. I hope that they have better luck the next time.

Speaking of the Black Hussars, here they are. They always seem to ride down half of the French army whenever someone else commands them, but when I command them, they seem to always get wiped out. I believe that they rode down three battalions and capture 2 or 3 flags in our BAR game.

Here is a long shot of the BAR game that Bill and I hosted at the convention. It was based on the Charles Grant "Wagon Train" scenario depicted in the Battlegames Table Top Teaser special issue. The British were attempting to get the wagon train off the table before the mighty French army could close in. We just barely made, with all but one of our infantry battalions either wiped out or routing at the end of the game. Our cavalry saved the day.

Christopher Duffy presented an informative and entertaining analysis of the evolution of Austrian and Prussian battle tactics at the convention. He is currently working on a revised version of his book about the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.


Friday, March 20, 2009

SYW Association Convention

Well, here I am at South Bend, Indiana attending the annual Seven Years War Association convention. It has been a hectic week getting prepared for the event, but that work is happily behind me and I can enjoy the socializing, the comraderie, and the games.

I spent most of this week getting my SYW British brigade ready for the convention. I had painted most of these figures a year or two ago, but I had never bothered to base them. Note to self, base every unit once you have finished painting it. The brigade consists of four infantry regiments and 3 squadrons of cavalry. The notable regiments are the 3rd (Buffs) Foot, the 8th (King's ) Regiment, the 11th (Sowell's) Regiment, and the 42nd (Black Watch) doing temporary service as Kieth's Highlanders (the 87th Regt in the SYW). The regiments are comprised of figures from Front Rank, Stadden, Stadden and Suren, respectively, in that order. No artillery yet, although I have a 6-pounder from Elite Miniatures and 6 crew from Stadden that are sitting at home on the painting table.

The cavalry consists of two squadrons of the 1st Horse (the Royals) circa 1745 and one squadron (2 troops) of horse grenadiers from the Household Cavalry. Eventually the Royals will have 3 squadrons and the Household Cavalry will add a squadron of horse troopers (sans mitres). I will probably add regular dragoons and dragoon guards in the future. On that score, Randy F. showed me some Front Rank Scot's Greys that had been painted by Dragon Painting Service in Hong Kong. They were absolutely beautiful! I must have some of these. However, since Randy already has the Greys, I will probably have to order some Dragoon Guards or something like that, just to be different. The figures are on the upper end of the price scale, but they are well worth it. DPS provides the castings if you use Foundry or Front Rank, so that is included in the price, but their work is really something to behold. I don't normally allow pro-painted stuff in my armies, but I will have to make an exception in the future.

I have two Suren mounted generals and a Stadden brigadier general to command my forces. Another brigade of four battalions would be nice to add to my army, along with 6 to 9 more squadrons of cavalry and several 6-pounders.

On the Colonial front, I completed the fourth company of the Seaforth Highlanders, so they are now up to 48 rank and file plus the regimental piper and one mounted officer. I think that with one more company of 12 figures, that the Seaforths will be ready to embark to Tranjipour.

The convention is going well so far. I hosted a skirmish game this afternoon to resolve the fate of the Duchess of Sachen-Vindow. She was rescued by her loyal nobles and is safely ensconsed in Stagonia (as if anyone can be safe in Stagonia, vile place that it is).

I borrowed some huge stands of trees from Herb Gundt to use in my game. I liked them so much that I bought seven stands (2 per stand) of what look like giant oaks. They really enhance the table layout and you will see the pix on Sunday night. A fellow named Jude Becker hosted a SYW skirmish game with 54mm Tradition and Imrie-Risley figures that he had painted. He had several companies of Prussian musketeers, one cannon and a squadron of Bayreuth Dragoons. They faced off against a similar grouping of French infantry, artillery and Bercheny Hussars. Gorgeous stuff. Imagine 60 figure units of those. Imagine the cost. Imagine how heavy they would be to carry around to conventions. Still, they really caught my eye.

Christopher Duffy gave a short talk about the making of the 1964 BBC film on Culloden and then we watched it on someone's laptop. Really interesting stuff. It makes me want to go back and reread his book on the Forty Five. That reminds me -- we are going to finish the Jacobite Rebellion attack on Carmudgeon Castle on Saturday May 9th at Randy's house in DeKalb. (Note to Stokes - you should attend as this is closer to your house. I will not take no for an answer, so plan ahead). This will give me enough time to add a couple more 30 figure Jacobite units to my army. I will probably paint a Lowlander unit (the second Atholl battalion) and one Highland unit (McDonnells). According to Duffy, the Lowland units made up half the Jacobite army and they were the back bone of this army. so I need to have more of these types of units.

Well, that is all for tonight. Off to bed as there is much to do tomorrow. We will fight our annual BAR game in the afternoon with British versus French for a change.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Seaforth Update

Three 12-figure companies of the Seaforth Highlanders guard the El-Teb Oasis, somewhere in the Sudan. Or is it in the Northwest Frontier? Click the pix to enlarge.

I have been making fairly good progress on the painting of the Connoisseur figures that will comprise my regiment of Seaforth Highlanders. Over the past week, I have added two more companies, or 24 figures, to the regiment as it trains and prepares for its first posting in far away Tranjipour. Since the Seaforths fought in both the Sudan and Afghanistan, I can use them in General Pettygree's Tranjipour campaign in latter area or have them fight the Dervish in the former area.

As you can see in the two pictures, I am starting to achieve some critical "mass" to my collection of Highlanders. I find that when I get to about 36 figures, that the unit has the amount of mass that is appealing to the eye. Once one of my units reaches mass, then the level of excitement increases and I find that I get even more inspired and motivated to finish the regiment. Painting large regiments is a matter of building painting momentum. I seem to have hit my stride now.

It seems like I am able to clip off about a company of figures every 2 or 3 days, so it shouldn't be too long before the Seaforths are up to their full strength of six companies or 72 figures. The key to my painting speed seems to be (1) a growing familiarity with the figures, and (2) having settled on a combination of paint colors (or a formula, if you will) that yield the khaki effect that I was looking for. I also switched from grey primer to black primer and that seems to speed things along just a bit.

A closer view of Companies A, B and C of the Seaforth Highlanders, Colonel Mackenzie (mounted) commanding.

My Colonial brigade will be quite a bit smaller than my SYW or Napoleonic forces. This is in part due to the fact that I am dove-tailing my brigade with that of General Pettygree (who is graciously providing all of the opposition as well). Once the Seaforths are completed, I have plans to paint two small mountain guns (each with 3 crew), a 12-figure squadron of British hussars and a 12-figure squadron of 21st Lancers. I also have the figures for British regulars in trousers (do I call these an "English regiment"?). Once those figures are painted, then this project is done. I also have a lot of Connoisseur and Perry Dervish that I may ship to Sri Lanka for painting, but that is far into the future.

Upcoming Events
The annual Seven Years War Association Convention is coming up this next weekend March 20 and March 21 at the Holiday Inn Downtown in South Bend, Indiana. I plan to host a small skirmish game on friday to resolve the predicament of the Duchess of Sachesen-Vindow from the Elector vs Empire group. Then on Saturday afternoon, Bill, Randy and I will be hosting a French versus British SYW game using our BAR rules.

On April 18th, I will be playing in another In The Grand Manner game at Keith Leidy's home (he of the three 6ft by 24ft tables) and this looks to be fun, as it will be an encounter game that starts with French and Allied cavalry entering the table from random points. The position of the cavalry forces will determine the entry points of the infantry for each side.

The conclusion of the Jacobite attack on Curmudgeon Castle will finally be resolved on May 2, 2009 at Randy's house in DeKalk. So I plan to paint two 30-figure Jacobite regiments during the month of April so that I can beef up my Jacobite Army.

SYW British
I splashed a little bit of paint on some Stadden British grenadiers last night and decided that it was time to finish my British contingent. The Austrians have been expanded to the point where they can hold their own against my Prussians, so I think that it is time to pay some attention to my redcoats. I have four battalions completed (3rd Foot, 8th Foot, 11th Foot and the Black Watch). I have 18 figures of the 4th Horse and 12 Household Horse Grenadiers. The 4th Horse will eventually have 36 figures (3 squadrons) and I will add a squadron of Life Guards to the Household Cavalry. I also need to paint some 6-pound artillery pieces and gun crews. Eventually, I might add a regiment of Guards (Surens) and another couple of line regiments (Front Rank and Warrior).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Seaforth Highlanders Regiment

Company "A" of the Seaforth Highlanders and Colonel Alexander Mackenzie (Connoisseur figures painted by Der Alte Fritz) - click pix to enlarge.

I have decided to take a short break from painting Seven Years War figures in order to avoid the onset off "burn out" that can occur after one has painted the same thing over the course of three months. I've been painting Austrians since December 2008 and need to do something completely different. Accordingly, I have selected 19th Century British Colonials as an interim project for the month of March.

Bill Protz has been building his collection of Sepoys and Tugs for his fictional Tranjipour Campaign, set in 19th Century India on the Northwest Frontier. I had promised Bill that I would raise a regiment of British regulars to supplement his Indian infantry and Bengal cavalry that are currently stationed at Fort Grant. I had a nice pile of Connoisseur Miniatures Highlanders that I was going to paint as the Black Watch for the Sudan and another regiment of "English" infantry in traditional kit. Harking back to Gunga Din and having a general liking for kilts and bagpipes, I decided to paint the Highlanders for Bill's project.

Colonel Alexander Mackenzie of the Seaforth Highlanders.

I selected the Seaforth Highlanders (78th Regiment), which was formed in 1881 through the amalgamation of the 72nd and 78th Highland regiments under the Stanley reorganization scheme, which paired two existing single battalion regiments with one another to form a new two-battalion regiment. The official recruiting area for the regiment was the whole country north of Inverness (Sutherland and Ross shires plus the Hebrides) plus the adjacent counties of Nairn and Moray (to the east of Inverness). Since this is the home area for the Mackenzie clan, I decided that the fictional regimental colonel would be a Mackenzie. (My apologies to anyone if I have completely bungled this up - my knowledge is minimal in this respect).

There is another reason for my selection of the Seaforth Highlanders: they were sort of responsible for introducing me to the wargame hobby. Back in 1981, I was visiting London on a business trip and while strolling around the town during some free time, I stumbled into a quaint little toy soldier shop called "Under Two Flags". I hadn't looked at toy soldiers (54mm) in ages, but the window display had a square of Seaforth Highlanders fending off an attack of Dervish. One look is all that it took to hook me. So I entered the store and bought the whole square! I developed a good relationship with the store proprietor, Jock Couts (and I understand that he could be a bit prickly with customers, so perhaps I was simply lucky) and so every time I visited London, I would stop in at his shop and chat for awhile and make another purchase of figures.

Eventually, Mr. Couts stopped producing his own range of figures, but I wanted to increase the size of my army. So he steered me towards a range of 54mm toy soldiers called Steadfast, and I bought another square of soldiers. The problem was though, that I didn't like the khaki color that Steadfast used on its figures in comparison to those of the Under Two Flags range. So back home in the States, I visited a local hobby store called "The Hobby Chest" in Skokie, Illinois in order to purchase some paints. I planned to repaint the Steadfast figures. Well, after painting a couple of figures, I decided that this was a waste of time, so I tabled the project.

On a visit to The Hobby Chest, one day, I say an advertisement flyer for the Little Wars Convention in 1986. I had never heard of wargaming, but it sounded interesting. So I visited the convention that very weekend and WOW, was I ever amazed to see so many people playing games with their toy soldiers. I mean, all that I ever did with my 54mm figures was to line them up on the table and look at them. I'd organize them in squares and create little tableauxs, but it never occured to me that I could actually play with them.

The first game that I saw was Hal Thinglum's recreation of Isandlhwana in 25mm. That was a jaw dropping experience to witness. Thousands (so it seemed) of Zulus were over running the small force of British figures. What an introduction to the hobby. The next game that I noticed was a SYW game hosted by the fellows from RSM Miniatures. The tricorn hats immediately caught my attention and I watched the whole game over the next 2 hours. I was so intrigued by this game and these figures, that I bought 30 British musketeers and 30 British Grenadiers and some paints. That was how I got started in the wargaming hobby.

So in summary, if it hadn't been for a chance stroll through the streets of London, I never would have stumbled across the Under Two Flags shop and I never would have gone to the Hobby Chest, and in turn, I never would have discovered wargaming. So I owe it all to the Seaforth Highlanders.

I painted the first company of 12 figures over the weekend, plus Colonel Mackenzie, and primed up another batch of 18 figures. Eventually, the regiment will have 6 companies of 12 figures, or 72 figures in total. This is going to be a fun project.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Battle of Leuthen Report

A view of the battlefield from the Austrian right wing towards Leuthen village in the center and to the far Austrian left wing at Sagschutz, in the distance.

On Saturday February 28, 2009 we refought the historical battle of Leuthen (December 5, 1757) at Monsieur Chevert's spacious wargame room in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. The outside temperature was a hearty 20F degrees and a few wisps of snow floated from the skies to put us all in the mood for some winter warfare. The historical battle was fought between the Prussian army of Frederick the Great (39,000 troops: 29,900 infantry and 9,800 cavalry) and the Austrian army commanded by Charles of Lorraine (approximately 55,000 total men, according to Christopher Duffy) and his advisor Leopold Daun.

Of course, we have nowhere near the total of nearly 100,000 combatants for that would require a table the size of a basketball court. Nevertheless, we were able to fill up our 6ft by 24 ft table with 12 Prussian and 15 Austrian battalions and 6 or 7 cavalry regiment (48 to 60 figures per side. The teams were divided into 4 Prussian players and 6 Austrian players. I played the unusual role (for me) of the Austrian commander, Charles of Lorraine, primarily so that I could regulate the arrival and movement of Austrian troops on the right wing. As you may recall, Frederick marched around the Austrian left wing and in naval parlance, he "crossed the T" of the Austrian battle line and rolled it up.

The Prussian advance guard and a battery of heavy Brummer guns form up on the Austrian left flank . (click all pictures to enlarge the view).

The Bavarians and Wurttemburg troops defend the Austrian left, anchored on the village of Sagschutz.

Austrian center occuppies the ground between Sagschutz on the left, and the town of Leuthen, in the middle. The church and all other buildings and roads and trees were modeled by Herb Gundt of H.G. Walls.

The Austrian right wing seen deployed above Leuthen village.

The Prussian advance guard attacks the Wurttemburgers at Sagschutz. Note the Prussian Brummer battery on the right.

The Wurtemburgers have routed and now the Bavarians advance to fill in the gap in the Austrian line. A battalion of Hinchcliffe Austrians can be seen next to the Hand of God in the picture.

The Prussians deployed three regiments of cuirassiers on their far right flank and these fought a hard battle with the Saxons throughout the day. See the Campaigns in Germania blog for the rest of the cavalry action.

The Jung Krakow Dragoons (DR2) and the Black Hussars (HR5) smash through the center of the Austrian line between Sagschutz and Leuthen, in a style reminiscent of the charge of the Bayreuth Dragoons at Hohenfriedberg in 1745.

Some Wurttemburger remnants flee in terror from the Jung Krakow Dragoons, who achieved a break through of the Austrian army. The outcome of the battle was in the balance here.

Austrian horse grenadiers and two battalions of infantry from the reserve in the center rush to the point of the Prussian breakthrough.

The de Ligne Dragoons (DR31) ride through Leuthen to stop the Prussian attack.

The Jung Krakow Dragoons retire as the fresh Austrian horse grenadiers arrive in the nick of time to plug the gap and save the day. A regiment of Prussian cuirassiers awaits their turn behind the village of Sagschutz, but their path is blocked by the IR25 Kalckstein musketeer battalion to their front.

Austrian converged grenadiers have moved up in front of the Leuthen church and form the anchor of a new defensive line, facing the Prussian attack from the west.

At this point in the game, it was around 4PM and we had an hour to go before the game ended. The Prussian players decided that with all of the reinforcements coming up through Leuthen village, that they would not be able to capture the village within the next hour. The capture or control of Leuthen village was their victory condition. So as the evening light faded away, the King uncharacteristically withdrew his army back to its position around Sagschutz. While the Prussians were not defeated, they felt that they could not achieve the victory conditions. Perhaps that was the wise thing to do.

Or was it? By my count, the Prussian had only committed 5 of their 12 battalions to the battle so far, and on their right wing, their powerful cuirassier brigade seemed to be gaining the upper hand in the cavalry fight and they still had the Jung Krakow dragoons and the Prinz von Preussen (CR2) cuirassiers around Sagschutz. The two guard battalions and another grenadier battalion were among the uncommitted infantry units at that time. The Prussians also had a powerful battery of 5 12-pounders lined up near Sagschutz that could blow some holes through the Austrian infantry. Admittedly, the Austrians were bringing up the rest of their infantry and would soon outnumber the Prussians, but playing on the vertical table meant that they would not be able to get all of their numbers into the battle. It seems that there was still a decent chance for the Prussian to reform and organize an assault on Leuthen village.

Whatever the outcome, a good time was had by all and it was an opportunity to try our hand at recreating a famous battle of the Seven Years War. Leuthen is a difficult battle scenario, because you have to keep all of the players, especially the Austrians on the right flank, busy throughout the game. At the same time, the Austrians on the left flank are going to get rolled over by the Prussian flank attack. Leuthen is not a fair and balanced scenario to refight. I imagine that I would make a number of changes were I ever to refight this battle again.

For starters, I would reduce the number of troops on the table in order to improve the fluidity of the battle, i.e. create more maneuvering space. Perhaps a Prussian force of 8 battalions and 4 cavalry regiments would suffice for Frederick. I'd give the Austrians 9 line battalions and one light infantry battalion and the same 4 cavalry regiments that the Prussians have. This increases the importance and weight of each individual infantry and cavalry unit and would seem to open up the game even more. I would also give the Wurttemburgers and Bavarians a lower rating , such as Trained, instead of Veteran and maybe make half of the Prussians Elite. Another idea is to give the Prussians the first fire on the first and or second turn, then rely on the card draw after that.