Sunday, 17 January 2016

Battle of Hohefriedberg, 4th June 1745

This battle is considered to be Frederick II's greatest victory and that which won him the epithet 'The Great'.

Such was the task that we set for Julian, playing Austrians, in this game played back in late November 2015. This was Julian's first taste of the Seven Years’ War rules that we have put together based on Zimmermann’s Wargamer’s Handbook.

For inspiration, the von Reitzenstein cuirassiers watch a showing of Der Hohenfriedberger (Marsch).

Battlefield at game's start. Deployed armies in the distance; Saxon's to the left and Prussians to the right of the photo. The Austrians are tucked up snug in bed, while the remaining Prussians are marching with all speed to the battlefield, having had been delayed by a bottleneck at the bridge over the Striegau R. and then a fallen bridge at Grabenfallen.


Closer view of the deployed forces at dawn. Prussians nearest camera, Old Fritz on the hill with the 24 pdr battery.


Opposing cavalry approach one another...


as the Prussian infantry headed towards the Saxon positions around Thomaswaldau.


Artist's impression of same.


Prussians get the best of the first cavalry mêlée...


but the 10th Cuirassiers got carried away by their initial success, failing against the Saxon Guard cavalry.


The Saxon dragoons had no such luck against overwhelming odds.


Reinforcements arrive for both sides. Prussians nearest camera,

panning to a view from behind Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine's Austrians. Yes, those massed cavalry are facing the wrong way. They have done what will evermore be known as 'the Julian manoeuvre'. More on that later.


The Austrians had been late to rise, yet they looked mighty prerty...
but could they fight?

They would need to as their allies the Saxons were under great pressure as Frederick's men stepped up the attack.

Grenadiers moving to the attack
The Prussian heavy cavalry continuing to get the better of the mêlée,
as light cavalry moved up to support the heavies.


Meanwhile, at the other end of the battlefield 'the Julian manoeuvre' continued. What the #@#&! was he up to?!

Upon reaching 1/3 casualties, the Saxon army retreated.
The Prussians pursuing them from the field.


Back on the Prussian left, the cavalry finally catch up with their manoeuvring foes,


some at least, as the others have moved to the Austrian side of Pilgramshain,
around which the battle now began in ernest.


To the shocked surprise of us all, 'the Julian manoeuvre'  seemed to pay off, the Austrian cavalry left to guard the rear winning the mêlée,


and the remainder of them attacking in support of their infantry. 


The combat around Pilgramshain ebbed and flowed.



The Saxon retreat guaranteed, Frederick's grenadiers moved to attack Charles' troops,
making in-roads into their left flank.

The Prussian losses had, however, added up and an army morale test at 1/4 losses was required... and passed,


enabling the attack to continue,
but the reduced Prussian army was clearly in evidence.


Frederick brought both his 12 pdr and 24 per batteries together for some parting shots at the   Austrian cavalry that had initially been deployed with the Saxon army, but were now moving to rejoin their countrymen.

This was to prove the final act as the Prussian army had reach 1/3 losses and failed its army morale test. The Austrian army passed its own army morale test, but the earlier loss of their Saxon allies and overall battlefield situation lead to us calling the battle a draw. The Saxo-Austrians had performed much, much better than their historical counterparts, so the scenario was definitely a Saxo-Austrian victory.

It had been a close and entertaining game. Most amazing of all was that what shall forever be known as 'the Julian manoeuvre'; conducting an about turn in the face of an enemy coming on in strength. Surely it should never have worked? How did he get away with it?  Was it dumb luck or brilliance? Perhaps it was inspired. Whatever the case it worked perfectly, so well done Julian!

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I just love all those conversions! Well done!

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    1. Thanks Doug. The figures are all Mark's great work. Would you believe that he painted most of these (plus some French) in just over a year?!

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  2. Agreed! Looks like a fun game. The armies and, indeed, the entire layout look fantastic. Are the figures plastics? What makes comprise the collections involved, please?

    Best REgards,

    Stokes

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    1. Thank you Stokes for your comments and interest. We had a lot of fun, as you can gather!
      Yes, the figures are all 1/72nd plastics (as with the vast majority of figures in all of our games). These ones are all Mark's great work in painting and the conversions. He also set-up the scenario, so it was a bit of a one-man effort!
      The Prussian cuirassiers and dragoons are converted Airfix cuirassiers (mainly with hats from the Hat SYW Prussian sets, but also a few that are ex-Airfix Washington's Army figures). The vast majority of the tricorn-wearing figures are straight Washington's Army, although a few are the British Grenadiers with tricorns and/or head conversions. The grenadiers are mainly Hat and Zvezda figures. Austrian grenadiers are from the Revell set. Austrian musketeers mainly Airfix, like the Prussians, with a few Revell and Hat thrown in. Those lovely Austrian guns and dragoons are the Revell figs too. (Pity that those Revell sets are now out-of-production). Airfix, Revell and Zvezda make up various Hussar units.
      I think that covers most of them!

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    2. Forgot to mention the Strelets Reitars that Mark uses for the Austrian cuirass.

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  3. A beautiful sight! Excellent stuff.

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    1. Thanks Rodger, as ever. Happy New to you and all the southern strategists!

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  4. Your most entertaining battle report to date - and not even Napoleonic! I love the buildings, where are they from? Keep it coming, Jeremy

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  5. Cheers Jeremy. I had a bit of fun with this one, so I'm pleased that it came over okay.
    The buildings are scratch built would you believe? Aren't they superb? Julian makes them from various 'scrap' bits of card. These particular ones are part of what he is doing for our slowly, slowly project of Leipzig at 1:50. He's a gem; and you can always rely on him doing something out-of-the ordinary in a game!!

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  6. Beautiful figures and terrain James!

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    1. Thanks Phil for your encouragement, as ever.

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  7. Truly a beautiful looking game. It looked like a 7YW battle! Must remember 'the Julian manoeuvre'

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    1. Thanks mate. Who knows, if you are able to join us on the 6th you may see something amazing from him again?!

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  8. Marvelous looking game and great write up, James.

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