Sunday, December 10, 2017

Winter Wargaming

Frederick and his staff at Leuthen. (click on all pictures to enlarge)

We received our first dusting of winter snow overnight here in Hesse Seewald and thoughts naturally turn to the Christmas season and all of the fellowship and good cheer that it brings. 

The first battalion of the Itzenplitz (IR13) marching through the Winter snow.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland, a view of my street today.
I went crazy on the outdoor lights this year and probably put up twice what I normally do. I would finish a section of the front yard, step back across the street to view my work, and then decide that I needed just a few more lights on the right side of the house.

A view of the outdoor lights at Schloss Seewald

Needless to say, the outside of Schloss Seewald is looking very festive. We are going to purchase our Christmas tree this afternoon and decorate it today. Somehow, it doesn't seem like the holiday season until the tree goes up.

Winter Wargames
I am fortunate to have purchased some Winter terrain mats from The Terrain Guy five or six years ago, before the gentleman closed down his business. The mats are made of canvas with some kind of flock (I'm guessing) adhered to the canvas. Some bits of brown and grey coloring were added to the mats to create a realistic Winter look. Herb Gundt scratch built the snow clad buildings, the roads and frozen streams, and the leafless Winter trees in keeping with the Winter theme. Yes, I actually have buildings and terrain specifically for snow battles and conventional terrain for the non-winter season.

Over the years, I have used these mats to fight battles such as Trenton, Mollwitz and Leuthen along with several fictional battles from my Hesse Seewald collection of figures.

On the Road to Leuthen

Another view of the Itzenplitz regiment on the march. Winter roads, trees and buildings for snowscapes were  made by H.G. Walls major domo, Herb Gundt. The figures shown in the pictures are Minden Miniatures.

I have refought Leuthen a number of times over the years. At least two of them were fought using our 60-figure big battalions for the Batailles dans l'Ancien Regime rules. More recent versions of Leuthen were fought with my Minden Austrian and Prussian armies using a more manageable 30 figure battalions.

The pictures posted in this thread are from a large solo Leuthen game that I played in early 2017, if I recall correctly.

The iconic Leuthen church, manned by the heroic Rot Wurzburg regiment.

Linear warfare at its best - the Austrians form their battle line to stop the Prussian assault.

The Prussian Guards finish off the Reichsarmee troops.

Battle of Trenton

I fought the Battle of Trenton on, appropriately, Christmas Day in 2015. History repeated itself as Washington's army prevailed over the poor Hessians. The figures used in the battle were from my Fife & Drum Miniatures line of AWI figures.

View of Trenton on Christmas Day 1776.

Frozen streams, snow on the ground and bare Winter trees make for a bone-chilling scene.

The Chew House from Germantown doing double duty in Trenton.

The Battle of Mollwitz

This iconic battle was Frederick the Great's first battle (and sort of his first victory). Frederick wasn't so great that day as he allowed Marshal Schwerin to wisk him off the field to safety. He only found out the following day that Schwerin had won a convincing victory over the Austrians.

For wargamers, the Battle of Mollwitz evokes thoughts of the book "The War Game" by Charles Grant Sr.

Long ordered lines of Prussians advance on the Austrian army at Mollwitz. There is a reason for calling this the Age of Linear Warfare.

Austrian counter-attack aims to outflank the Prussian left wing.

The Prussian center is gaining the upper hand in front of Mollwitz.

The Army of Hesse Seewald

In December 2016, my nephew Alex and I played a game over the Christmas holiday, as my Hesse Seewald army "saw the elephant" for its initial battle. The green clad Hesse Seewalders prevailed, just barely, over the white clad Saxon army.

The Saxon camp on a quiet Winter's morning.

But things quickly heat up as Hesse Seewals dragoons (in green on the right)
launch a surprise attack and are met by Saxon dragoons.

the largely green clad Hesse Seewald army advances towards the Saxon camp.

The Saxons fall back from their camp, save for one lonely regiment
that is trying to buy some time for the rest of the army.

The Liebgarde of the Hesse Seewald army are the exception to the rule of wearing green uniforms.

Close combat ensues with the Hesse Seewalders gaining the upper hand in the fire fight.

Winter warfare is a fun change of pace style of tabletop warfare. I am fortunate to have been able to collect some beautiful terrain pieces over the years and refight some of the famous historical battles fought in the 18th Century - the Age of Linear Warfare.


  1. Wargaming and exterior Christmas illumination at their very best!

    Best Regards,


  2. Lovely to see those shots of your collections! Happy Christmas!
    PS Unusually we have more snow here today!

  3. What a great idea to review your snow games and so beautifully presented too, thank you. Lots and lots of snow today in the UK Cotswolds!

  4. Always enjoy seeing your table in action, and the snow seems perfectly suited to the season (despite the fact that it never snows here!)

    And your light display is impressive!