This week I've spent a little time working out a possible set up for Lobositz 1756 for the Derby World Wargames show later this year. Whilst doing so I wondered if people would be surprised at how I actually go about this because my methodology is actually rather adhoc and unscientific.
Stage one is to choose a historically based deployment map and OOB, in this case I drew on the information from three sources (1) mixing and matching at my whim.
Then I layed out the troops using paper templates held in position by a 'paper weight' stand of the appropriate troop type. This effectively gives a ground scale based on unit frontage.
After laying out the troops in their starting positions I lay the terrain around them.
I've always found this way of doing things far better than doing it the other way around because terrain can be made to fit troop frontages but, being fixed by base sizes, troops can't always be made to fit the terrain: It's ground scale by war game unit frontage.
In this shot you can see I've used, thin chain to roughly mark some of the contours. I've laid out the other terrain in some detail so that I can be sure what I have and what I might need - for example, I'm going to need to make at least another eight feet of vines for the walled vineyards on the Lobosch.
Leaving the chain on the table for sizing purposes and removing everything else, I then see what I can do about the hills. The hills for Lobositz are quite large features and they required me to cut some new pieces.
This requirement actually led me to discover that the pink insulation board I have is the same thickness as the blue - I've always believed it was thinner - result!
The Homolka required a few new end pieces and some 'square' filler sections to make the hills bigger than those I usually use.
The Lobosch is a volcanic mound with a classic volcano cone. Fortunately this cone was not fought over and the action took place on its much less steep lower slopes.
I made the first two contours with pre-existing shapes and some new 'square' fillers. I've subsequently made two new sloped pieces that are not shown in this photo.
- One to replace the front slope of the second contour squaring it to the table edge and giving it an extended straight front slope.
- A new piece to replace the back left section of the first contour, squaring it to the table edge.
I've used a piece of 2" thick board to do the lower slopes of the cone making the Lobosch 5" high at its highest point.
After the hills shapes were made I relaid the cloth over the top and set everything else out properly.
I'm short just three units of cavalry (which I have unpainted in the lead pile) and possibly two Prussian howitzers (which I may, or may not, buy) to replace gun models. For the purposes of the photographs I've substituted other units.
I think it looks pretty good.
The Prussian army deployed on the Homolka.
The windmill is Wchinitz.
A strange fact came to light as I laid out the troops. I have twenty four units of Prussian infantry but not one of them actually fought at Lobositz. I'm not sure how that could have happened.
This shot shows the new shape of the Lobosch (under the front rank Grenzers). The second new hill piece merely tidies up the cloth at the table edge.
Massed Prussian cavalry and guns between the Lobosch and Homolka.
Lobositz, featuring a partly finished building. This is Herr Schmied's house and smithy. I'll post some pictures of this building when it's finished as it has some nice details that you can't see in this shot.
You can just see Austrian infantry passing out of the town in column of route towards the right flank to support the defence of the Lobosch and, just behind them, the dark bend of the Elbe.
Between Lobositz and the bulk of the Austrian army behind the Morellenbach stream is a sunken road. I'm currently making a new piece of terrain to represent this.
The bulk of the Austrian army deployed in Sullowitz and beyond the Morellenbach.
Having set it up, of course, means we might as well fight it.
.....to be continued.
(1) Deployment maps and OOBs were from Duffy's The Army of Frederick the Great, the official German High Command map from Kronoskaf Seven Years War Project, and Jeff Berry's excellent map on his Obscure Battles site.