Thursday, 4 August 2016

Bohemian Blitzkrieg Campaign: Turn 7, The Battle of Lobositz

Last night the players duly turned up to play the Battle of Lobositz, where Henry of Prussian had been brought to a fight by Charles of Lorraine after some fancy footwork.

Henry deployed on the southern hill, with the bulk of his power concentrated in the centre right of his position, and with cavalry fanning out to protect his left flank. The much large Austrian army was much more evenly deployed (largely due to numbers) along the entire length of their deployment zone.

Note: As a matter of interest, the Prussians drew 26 morale points and one other card in their Army Characterisation Card draw (five cards drawn for 16 units) whilst the Austrians drew 43 morale chips and four other cards (ten cards drawn for 31 units) but, that is not quite the whole story, as will be seen.
 Henry attacked the Austrian left!
Henry's cavalry moved to demonstrate on the Prussian left.
Henry's attack came in quickly, covering no man's land before the Austrians really had time to react. Only their artillery, delivering accurate fire, did anything to slow the Prussian advance

Note: At this point the Prussians were winning most of the initiative points.
By the end of turn 1, the Prussian line was engaged with the Austrain left.
But, the Prussians had blundered. They had stumbled into Austrians well up to the fight and it soon became apparent that the attack was doomed. 

Note: The Austrians had drawn a Brilliant Leader card, a Melee Resulution card, an Infantry Up 1 for morale card and the Heroic Command stratagem card (which meant that the Austrians could discount their first unit integrity loss) in their army characterisation draw.  
The attack began to be thrown back with heavy loss and an Austrian counter attack was mounted.
At the end of turn 2, the Prussians began to withdraw. The Prussians lost six SPs in the battle and withdrew to Aussig. The Austrians lost four SPs.

Both players decided to end the game and move to the pursuit phase.

Rule Note: Pursuit phase: As has been stated elsewhere, we have changed the way that 'pursuit fire' as described in Bohemenian Blitzkrieg, is carried out. If the winner decides to pursue (player's choice), both sides now tot up their cavalry, counting 2 points for hussars, and add the initiative points of their C-in-C. This gives the number of D6 rolled by each side in the pursuit phase. Each side scores a 'hit' for each 6 rolled. One lot of hits is subtracted from the other, with the higher hit scoring side causing the difference in hits as SP losses. This is simple and works well, to a point.

However, we have come across the age old problem of players wishing to disengage early to prevent casualties by simply 'marching off the [table] edge of the world'. Wishing to end the game is one thing, but it's just not cricket to do this in a campaign setting. Consequently, we have devised a simple rule to allow it with a suitable penalty. It goes as follows:

  • A player cannot declare a withdrawal until he reaches zero morale chips, or by the mutual consent of both sides. At that time the battle can be automatically ended by the loser.
  • Both sides tot up their pursuit dice as before.
  • The battle winner then adds up his remaining morale chips. He divides the result by 3. The result is extra pursuit dice added to the winners pursuit roll.
Last night, the Prussians wished to withdraw with one morale chip remaining and the Austrians agreed to allow this, so the battle was ended. 

Both sides totted up their pursuit dice.

The Prussians rolled 9 dice (5 dice for cavalry units remaining, 4 dice for Henry's initiative points). They rolled two sixes.

The Austrians rolled 27 dice (15 dice for cavalry units remaining, 2 dice for Charles' initiative points, 10 dice for the thirty one morale chips they had remaining at the end of the battle). Amazingly, they only rolled two sixes.

No Prussian SPs were lost in the pursuit (two minus two), Charles of Lorraine must have been happy with his day's work and let them go. 

The campaign moves on to turn eight.


artourious said...

Good report, nice photo's as usual...and a mid week wednesday night game....must be heaven...

David said...

Nice, clear AAR, illustrated with the expected fine images.

Der Alte Fritz said...

One request: could you annotate some of your pictures to let us know which side of the picture is Austrians and which side is Prussians? Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish unless the photo is enlarged.

Also, I'm trying to recall any instances in mid-18th Century warfare where the victor actually pursued the loser, much less pursuing with any vigor. This seems more of a Napoleonic warfare practice.


Hi DAF, I'll try.

Your point about pursuit is well made. Pursuit is the wrong word to describe what is going on, it is easy to use (if a bit lazy) shorthand. In the Bohemian Blitzkrieg rules it is actually called "Pursuit Fire" which probably more aptly says what is going on. In the case of these battles it is the process of assessing casualties caused as the armies disengage in the part of the game the players don't usually want to go through the motions of playing out (they know they have lost and generally don't want to prolong their discomfiture, preferring to resign the game instead); it is not a pursuit in the Napoleonic sense.