Friday, December 21, 2012

Austrians at Leuthen

Austrians draw up battle lines around the Leuthen churchyard. Front Rank Austrians provide the garrison and support. Buildings, trees and roads scratch built by Herb Gundt. Click the picture twice to enlarge.

We received our first appreciable amount of snow last evening in Hesse Seewald, so even though it was but a slight dusting of the white stuff, my thoughts are turning to the Leuthen campaign in December 1757. I was scrolling through my iPhotos archives and found some nice pictures that I took of the Leuthen game that Bill Protz and I ran at the Seven Years War Association convention in 2010

I have also been reading Charles S. Grant's "Wargaming in History - Volume 4" covering the battles of Hastenbeck, Rossbach and Leuthen of late. I carry a copy in my brief case and read it during my one hour train commute from Hesse Seewald to Potsdam, which I do every day.

Charles S. Grant's book on Leuthen etc. published in 2011 by Ken Trotman Ltd.

I really enjoy the way that Charles tackles the subject matter: starting with a brief historical overview of the campaign, an order of battle for the actual forces and another OB that downsizes the historical forces into a manageable pair of wargame armies, and then finally, a summary report of the battle. Of course, each battle is illustrated with wonderful color pictures of Charles' wargaming armies and I do enjoy the pictures of Charles' "big battalions"  (53 infantry figure battalions and 24 cavalry regiments).

Charles' breaks down the battle of Leuthen into two separate wargames: Battle One is the attack on Nadasty's Corps on the Austrian left and Battle Two encompasses the main Prussian attack on the village of Leuthen. Given that the required depth for the wargame is greater than the size of the average gamer's table, Grant develops a "rolling battlefield " terrain concept that is pretty neat to behold. As the Prussians advance on the town of Sagchutz, Grant removes the terrain behind the Prussian attack and advances the terrain forward by resetting the location of the village and the opposing battle lines. This process is made easier if you use terrain tiles on your tabletop because you simply pick up one row of tiles and place them behind the Austrian line to "advance the table". I thought that this was a very clever way of tackling the problem of table size.

A similar rolling terrain concept is used for the larger Battle Two so that the Prussian assault on the  town and Lucchesi's cavalry charge can be depicted on the same tabletop.

I know that it is probably too late to order a copy of the book in time to place it under the Christmas tree this year, but if you do not have a copy then take it from me, you will truly enjoy Grant's presentation on how to bring these large battles into the home as easily played wargames. More later...


  1. I've enjoyed your posts of windmills and Leuthen. I'd endorse your recommendation of the Grant Book - I enjoyed those of the series set in the 18th century but have not bought any of those for the 19th - too many other books covering the same things.

    Merry Christmas,

    Stephen Caddy

  2. Fantastic looking picture!

  3. Stunning terrain we are glad to see and use from time to time locally. Wonderful creations and appreciated opportunities. Thank you Jim!

  4. Commented on this at E&E, and then realized you'd posted here as well. Lovely-looking game, enviable terrain, and yet more mini-porn to seek out. Good stuff!

  5. Actually, I thought that originally I was posting this on my own blog and when I hit the Publish button, realized that I had posted it on E&E instead. So I copied everything and pasted it here, but added more commentary on the book on this entry.

  6. Wonderful winter terrain.
    Merry Christmas,

  7. I can't seem to find where I can get a copy of "Wargaming in History",
    Vol 4 by Grant. I have searched but
    none are available. Thanks.
    John Gunther;