Thursday, 10 April 2014

Operation Zorndorf - first play test

 Last night I though it might be a good idea to run through a Zorndorf game. Not everything is finished but by the time it is Sheffield Triples will be upon us and there might not be time to do a full run through. So, now is as good a time as any. So Having filled the gaps in the Russian lines with some temporary Austrian stand-ins, turned a blind eye to the glint of bare metal and dullness of unfinished basing, I sorted out the sequence card decks and army characterization cards (for modified Classic Piquet) and the game began. 

I'm not going to do the card decks randomly. They will be made up as umpire's choice so that they are tailored to fit with historical precedent.

Graham was Prussian, Peter was Russian, and I held out the domino bag.

After the Prussian preliminary artillery bombardment was resolved on the Russian right (by rolling dAv -3 for stand loss for every unit right of the 'kink') in which the Russians lost about a dozen stands, the battle started with the Prussian hussars under Seydlitz (left) a chasing around after some rather unenthusiastic Cossacks - it was like watching 'kiss chase', only it was hard to tell which ones the girls were.
 Then it got down to the nitty-gritty with Manteuffel's and Kanitz's attacks going in. 

The Prussians are not, by scenario ruling, allowed to hang around. They must move these commands on every available move card. Kanitz's command cannot move further to the left until he reaches the Galben Grund - at which point he is totally committed anyway.
 It was chaotic. The Prussians came under cannister fire. The Russian guns were overrun. A ferocious firefight ensued. The Russian infantry came off worse. The Russian infantry counter attacked with a charge. The Russian front line began to disintegrate.....
 ..The situation was restored by Gaugreben's cavalry and the 1st Grenadiers which charged to great effect. Manteuffel's command buckled then broke completely. Round one to the Russians, but their fighter is staggering in the ring. Most of their units have lost stands.
 Kanitz reaches the Galben Grund. Manteuffel's command has disintegrated so he refuses his left whilst the rest press on.
 An overview of the positions at end of play. Next week the battle will continue. 

Hopefully, for the umpire's sake, not to mention the sake of history, Seydlitz will turn the stratagem card that will allow him to redeploy any uncommitted cavalry to the other side of the Zabern Grund. This move will require no actual wargaming movement; he just shifts his cavalry where he wants them, in any formation, in a single bound. 
A shot of 'the gap'. When my table's drop leaf is brought up (making the table 14' 8" long) there isn't much wiggle room at the end. At Triples the table will be 16' long but the extra room will be counted 'off table' for handouts, the gubbins and detritus of play, drinks, etc.
On the to do side of the game, I started making up the flags required. These were downloaded from kronoskaf, manipulated in MS Paint, sized in MS Word, printed off on cheap photocopy paper. After that, they were cut out, folded and glued to wire pins, bent to 'fly', then coated in PVA. Next I'll overpaint them with enamels. It sounds a complex way of doing things but it looks quite good and works.


DeanM said...

Amazing collection of wonderful figures!

Phil said...

Very, very impressive pictures! That's really a place for wargamers...fantastic looking armies!

My 7YW said...

Nice game set up. I recognized the Zorndorf situation with the first image. We have played it as well, starting with quite the same situation as you did.
We've played it twice. One Prussian victory, one Prussian defeat. Very nice figures, by the way.