Monday, October 19, 2009

Battle of Schaumburg - Part III

The Erbprinz of Hesse Seewald and his staff watch the battle from their vantage point on the Muhlenberg, while Prussian dragoons and guard cavalry await in the background. Windmill scratch built by Herb Gundt of H.G. Walls. (click the pix to enlarge the view).

Today I am posting several pictures of the large cavalry battle that took place on the Prussian left during the battle of Schaumburg. The Prussians were ably commanded by Jim Fitzgerald while Rich Black handled the Allied cavalry (Austrians, Saxons and French) with equal skill and panache. ( I always like to use words such as "panache", don't you?).

The French Guards Brigade (left) and the French Heavy Cavalry Brigade and their commanders await the orders to unleash their thundering herds upon the Prussians.

I was too busy commanding the attack of the Prussian Guard brigade of infantry and cavalry, so I did not pay much attention to the happenings to my immediate left. It appeared that Old Fitz had things well in hand, so when things are going according to plan, a good commander just leaves well enough alone. And that is exactly what I did.

The brigade of Saxon cavalry lead the Allied advance. The grey-coated von Bruhl cheveau-legers lead the way, followed by the red-coated elite Rutowsky dragoons, and backed up by a converged 60 man unit of Austrian cuirassiers.

Here are the results after the first class between the Prussian DR2 Jung Krakow Dragoons (lower left) and the Saxon von Bruhl Dragoons (upper right). A single squadron of Prussain Gensdarmes joined in and hit the von Bruhl's in the flank. After the first round of melee, the Saxons took their morale check and passed. We now squared up the two sides for the second round of melee, which is why you no longer see the Gensdarmes hacking away at the flanks of the von Bruhls. Another regiment of Saxon cavalry can be seen in the background, ready to support the melee in the next round of fighting.

The Prussians throw in two squadrons of CR1 Buddenbrock Cuirassiers (left) to offset the arrival of the Austrian cuirassiers. At the top of the picture, the Prussian CR8 von Seydlitz cuirassiers and the Saxon Rutowsky dragoons are hacking and slashing at one another.

The Prussian Jung Krakow dragoons break and flee! They are closely followed by the allied cavalry which rolled a "pursuit" outcome after winning the melee. The von Seydlitz cuirassiers and the Saxon Rutowskys continue their melee in the upper left corner of the picture. Cavalry melees last up to three rounds in our BAR rules. If neither side wins, then both cavalry forces retire a full charge move to the rear where they may reorder their squadrons.

It appeared that the Prussian cavalry was gaining a slight advantage, having more armoured cuirassiers in this sector of the field. The cuirasse gives the rider a huge advantage in the saving throws, as they only die on a D6 die roll of 1 or 2, anything else is a save. The Prussians had lost the DR2 Jung Krakow dragoons and a squadron of Gensdarmes for the day, but the Saxon had lost the von Bruhl dragoons and the large 60-rider French Carabinier regiment. Enough of the allied horse were gone to allow the Prussian infantry to advance across the open field with some degree of comfort.

Prussian infantry advances towards the village of Leiha while their right flank is secured by Prussian cuirassiers of the CR8 von Seydlitz cuirassier regiment.


  1. The opportunity to participate in a BIG historical miniatures game is not to be missed, if at all possible. Thank you sincerely for your three reports and for the game itself, Jim!

  2. As the sad soul who fell out at the last minute, I can attest; from having played two of these games at H-con and one in Austin, that they are fun and immensely impressive. I was terribly disappointed to miss this event.

    As I work to build my armies, I use these reports, and pictures in particular, as inspiration. I am constructing my own buildings akin to what we see in these pictures, but admit to having no imagination.

    Does anyone know if there is a single source where I might find multiple pictures of 18th century buildings (preferably village and rural as opposed to Paris or Vienna) that I can use to model from?



  3. Hi Chris,
    We were disappointed on the morning of the game learning you elected not to attend due personal circumatances. Sick if I remember correctly but I might have this wrong.
    You might want to look at buildings sold by Miniature Building Authority and In The Grand Manner for inspiration. Luckily for us MBA is in the USA so you just might be tempted to buy one or two a year. Do I remember correctly a dealer had some of these at Millenium Con.; just in case the show is returning in November?
    See you in 2010 hopefully,

  4. Good starts. Thanks.
    Yes, some kind of stomach bug.
    flew home to Dallas from Philly that Thursday evening, had planned to fly to Chicago and work there Friday before the game.
    Managed to give it to my girls and wife so an all around bad weekend.
    Milleniumcon will be back in November. I bought one of their buildings last year, but their size is smaller than I would like. I use the buildings you gents play with as a standard for dimensions as I build my own. I've looked at buying some of GM buildings as they look quite nice, but they are soooo expensive.
    I also hope to be at the next big battalions game in 2010.
    Thanks again,

  5. Jim,
    Very interesting reviews of the various parts of the battle. However, could you do a 4th part to give an overall look at how things progressed (I know that would be a lot of writing) and what the final outcome was. Like Bill (Gallia), I was pretty much stuck on my flank (the allied right) and could not fit the entire battle into a summary.


  6. awesome amount of cavalry Jim, I'm impressed!


  7. I admit that I know far more about the Napoleonic era than I do the SYW. I launched myself into this based on my fascination with the BB game Fritz and Bill put on at H-con 2 years ago,a couple articles in WI about John Ray about the same time and the imagination it stirred going back to my first reading Charles Grant as a child. What I am curious about is the ratio of Cavalry to the rest of the army in the SYW and surrounding eras. Was the Cavalry a large percentage of the army, particularly with the French who have always been Cavalry-centric?

    Matt's comment made me wonder to myself how large the Cav presence was in these battles.

    Any insight on this?


  8. 30 something years ago I recieved Grant's "the Wargame" as a Christmas present, I think (hope) I still have it somewhere, it was always a massive inspiration for me, even though I never gamed the SYW in the way it described...
    To me, this blog is a direct descendant of that book.
    I love it.

  9. Chris: we strive to keep our cavalry forces at 25% to 30% of the total infantry per side, as a rule of thumb. That is fairly close to the historical ratio.

    Christot: The Wargame has been reprinted and you can buy it from Caliver Books, along with The Wargame Companion, which Charles Grant Jr. wrote a couple of years ago. Both books inspired me greatly.

    But my affinity for big battles really goes back to my visits to the Wargame Holiday Centre. I did not have a chance to visit it when Peter Gilder ran it, but I was there once Mike Ingam took over. An awesome place to visit.