Sunday, 26 April 2015

Chotusitz 1742. An old favourite

There are some battles that I go back to time and time again. One such is Chotusitz 1742. It was a contest between the Austrians and the Prussians during the Austrian War of Succession. For once, the battle starts with the Austrians in a better tactical position and on the attack. Frederick has been caught with a divided force and is racing to bring reinforcements to Chotusitz before Leopold's troops, already deployed there, are crushed.

Anyway, because family commitments will not allow more sociable gaming for the next two weeks or so, this time I'm going to fight this battle solo. I've been itching to get my Austrians into action for ages and I can use some of my new hills. 

Here is my set up for the battle, and no doubt an 'after action battle report' will follow. I've scaled it down slightly (to about four fifths of the units present) so that it fits snugly onto a 12 x 6. I probably need to add some more Austrian Grenzers and cavalry to get it better proportioned, and these are on my painting list.

The initial deployments. The Brezlenka stream and the boggy ground surrounding it make a very good 'hard' eastern table edge - it is on table but wouldn't all quite fit into the shot.

Waldow's cavalry command is emerging from the village of Chotusitz. I plan on starting the game with the Prussians on a turned, as yet unused, cavalry move in the open card so that Waldow can get this cavalry through the village and into the attack.
Leopold's infantry, vastly outnumbered and exhausted from force marching to link with Frederick has scrambled into a position just west of Chotusitz.
Frederick's command in its eventual historical arrival position and formation. 

I'm currently thinking about the best scenario options for this command group's arrival.

The battery deployed on the slight rise in front of Frederick's command belongs to Leopold.
Buddenbrock's Prussian cavalry deployed south of Cirkwitz Pond.
Facing Buddenbrock, at the top of a low ridge, is the bulk of the Austrian cavalry under Bitthyanyi. They are supported by some Grenzer.

All the high ground around Chotusitz is nothing more than a series of very low, gently sloping ridge lines. They will have no effect on movement. 
The Austrian infantry with supporting cavalry to their right face Chotusitz over some very flat ground.

I visited this battlefield several years ago. I don't recommend it unless you have lots of time to spare and are just tagging it to a visit to Kolin (Kolin is not too far away; time is much better spent there IMHO). Chotusitz is quite boringly flat fields (with few good vantage points) and has a military base and airfield on the ground the Austrian infantry had to cross - which further restricts its accessibility and interest.

On Google Earth, Chotusitz is roughly 49 56 52.34 N, 15 23 37.24 E. You can get a good idea of the terrain by looking at the road side views - pretty flat, lots of isolated trees and stuff; field boundaries were probably simple shallow ditches.

The Austrians look rather impressive when lined up. 

Anyway, I'll probably start re-fighting this battle early next week; with a few moves each evening until it's finished.

When it's done I'll probably write up the scenario properly and run it again for Peter and Graham to have a crack at. By then I will have added a few more Grenzer units and a couple more units of Austrian cavalry.


Der Alte Fritz said...

Lovely looking set up. Coincidentally, this is next on my list of solo battles within the next couple of weeks.

Did you see the battle analysis on the Obscure Battles blog?

I'm wondering if it would make more sense to have Waldow already deployed outside of Chotusitz for game management purposes at the start of the game?


Yes I did see that. I partly deployed the Austrians on the left (west) flank in light of it. I'm not sure about the swarms of Grenzers out in front though; that terrain is pretty open.

Waldow might well be best placed outside. I think this battle is very much about the attack timings - cavalry first, then Chotusitz, then Frederick.