Friday, February 23, 2024

A SYW All-cavalry Game


Prussian Hussar brigade of three 12-figure squadrons

Now that all of my Civil War terrain and troops have been cleared off of the game table, I decided that this would be a good time to revisit the Seven Years War with my 28mm Minden Miniatures figures. For a long time I have been intrigued by the idea of staging a game battle that only has cavalry forces on each side. This idea was simulated by the large cavalry Battle of Liebertwolkwitz fought during the 1813 Leipzig Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. Imagine a game on a large table with enough space to entertain several hundred horsies per side.

So I decided to work on a cavalry scenario that might also include a small number of infantry to support the cavalry. Further inspiration is inspired by some of the Russian raids into Silesia and some large counter-raids conducted by the Prussians in 1761 First Prussian raid into Greater Poland and 2nd Prussian Raid into Greater Poland or Pommerania. The first "raid" was conducted by Ziethen with nearly 20,000 troops while the second "raid" was led by Platen into Pommerania with 10,000 troops. While the two Prussian raids were conducted with fairly large numbers of troops, the general idea of either a Russian or a Prussian raid appeals to me.

The general idea is that it is the year 1760 and things have not been going well for Frederick of Prussia. As a result, the lumbering Russian army decided to leave the comforts of the city of Posen in Poland and march towards the Oder River and create some havoc for Frederick. I also hark back to stories of Russian sponsored Cossacks burning down the village of Zorndorf and other small towns in East Prussia. With little regard for the lives and welfare of the people in the eastern side of the Oder River (let's call it the Trans Oder Region), the Russian light troops pillage and burn their way across Prussian territory (sound familiar these days in Ukraine?).

Frederick doesn't like the Russians in the first place and so once he receives news of this latest Russian incursion, he finally decides that he has had enough of this and is determined to surprise the Russians and give them a bit of a bloody nose.

The Russians are sending a raiding force consisting of Cossacks and Hussars in the vanguard, followed by a main body of infantry (largely grenadiers and some light infantry) and regular cavalry (some dragoons, horse grenadiers and cuirassiers) to the town of Trachenburg. The Russians are not expecting any resistance and expect to have free rein in looting this prosperous little town and then burning it down so as to deprive the Prussians of its value.

Frederick has caught wind of this scheme and so he has decided to lure the Russian raiders into a trap. He will deploy a sizable force of light cavalry hussars and lancers near the defiles that lead into Trachenburg, fall back, and then lure the Russians into Trachenburg, which is occupied by some Prussian grenadiers. Meanwhile, the heavier Prussian dragoons and cuirassiers are waiting further down the road behind Trachenburg. They will attack the Russians after the latter attempt to move into the town. There the Russians will be caught between Prussian infantry in the town and Prussian cavalry to their flank and front.

Russian (R) and Prussian (L) light cavalry troops arrive on the game table near the
peaceful (?) Silesian town of Trachenburg.

Prussian brigade of Black Hussars and Bosniaken lancers await the advancing 
Russian Cossacks and Hussars.

Prussian light cavalry brigade provide a road block in front of a defile.

Russian Cossacks were expecting easy pickings on their raid and were not expecting 
to find any Prussian resistance in the area.



  1. That is a very impressive game, even better that it's all cavalry, what a rare treat!

    1. Thank you Donnie, I’m looking forward to playing the scenario. I’ve never done an all cavalry battle.

  2. All cavalry, awesome!
    Alan Tradgardland

  3. This is a visual bonus. I look forward to the outcome. One can never have enough hussars in your life. However catching cossacks is a tricky sport.

  4. I always enjoy seeing your SYW armies out on the table and in action. Such an inspiring sight!