Thursday 10 July 2008

Blog Standard. Austrian Infantry Flag 7YW

Back in 2000 when I was busy doing Seven Year War Austrians I started this flag, then painted all of my flags individually in enamels so never used it. I've just cut and pasted the missing legs from one side to the other so it is, after a fashion, completed. 8 years to do a flag - is that some kind of record?
Please, only use it for your own painted model soldiers. I don't want to see it on ebay!

Tewkesbury Battle Report

The day dawned with both armies arrayed for battle. The day was warm and soon to get much hotter.

The Yorkist’s opened the engagement. They advanced, en echelon with their right flank refused, with Richard of Gloucester’s men leading the attack. Once within bowshot they engaged in an archery duel, which they got much the better of, then resolutely advanced again. Somerset, realizing that his planned flank attack was in jeopardy of coming too late, ordered his men to slowly withdraw so as to trade space for time. They were too slow.

Before they knew it the soldiers of Somerset’s line found themselves heavily engaged with the Duke of Gloucester’s men. They were, having suffered under the barrage of Yorkist arrows, in imminent danger of collapse. Somerset’s men looked around for their leader but he was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly he appeared, from the direction of Coln Brook and directly on the flank of Gloucester’s line.

This part of the game was nip and tuck. The player in charge of Gloucester’s ‘battle’ had been unable to view the scenario; he had no idea what was coming and his fellow Yorkist player 9who had read the scenario) thought it would be fun not to tell him (that’s doctors for you). The initiative had been with the Yorkist's up to now, and the Lancastrians were very worried that what was left of Somerset’s line would break before the flank attack could come to grips.

Somerset’s men charged in from the flank before the Yorkist’s could turn to face. Richard of Gloucester’s men must surely run. The fight was harder than expected. Richard’s men encouraged by the activity of their stern and steadfast leader battled hard but eventually they collapsed and routed towards the rear with half of Somerset’s men in pursuit. Still Richard would not give in. In a last ditch effort to hold up the flank of the Royal army he rallied some of his men, and gallantly threw himself against his oncoming pursuers. Here he fell with the last of his troops; brave to the end.

Now it was Edward’s time. With the demise of his brother and the total rout of his brother’s ‘battle’, Edward’s battle line was now exposed to attack from the flank. Personally leading his reserve, his men-at-arms crashed into his brother’s pursuers. Thoroughly disorganized and tired by their pursuit they were no match for Edward’s fresh troops. At almost the same moment Somerset heard cries of derision and panic coming from his rear. Splashing across Coln Brook Edward’s cavalry had arrived. It charged into the rearmost band of Somerset’s men. They were ridden down to a man. The Yorkist position was stabilizing.

To be continued......................

Tuesday 8 July 2008

Battle of Tewkesbury 4th May 1471.

On the 14th April 1471 Queen Margaret and her son Edward Prince of Wales landed at Weymouth with a small army of invasion. Their aim was the reinstatement of Henry VI and the Lancastrian Regime. On the same day Edward IV went one step towards preventing those ambitions; he defeated and killed the Earl of Warwick, styled “The Kingmaker”, at the Battle of Barnet.

On learning of Warwick’s defeat the Queen marched her army to Exeter, the heart of pro-Lancastrian south west England, to make plans and recruit. Eleven days after landing her army had swollen to about 5000 men. On the 25th they marched north to unite with the Tudors in Wales.

Meanwhile, Edward IV had been informed of the new threat rising in the west and began to array another army at Windsor. On the 24th he started out towards the west country.

Whilst the bulk of the Queen’s forces marched towards Bath, two much smaller forces were dispatched east to give the impression they were marching on London. The ruse failed. On 1st May the Lancastrians arrived at Bristol. On the same day the Yorkists arrived at Chipping Sodbury. On 2nd May the Lancastrian army marched out of Bristol and the Yorkists, convinced battle was imminent, deployed to meet them on Sodbury Hill. This time he was wrong. The Lancastrians slipped by and stole a day’s march up the Severn Valley.

As soon as Edward realised what had happened he dispatched messengers to Richard Beauchamp, the governor of Gloucester instructing him to bar the city’s gates and deny the enemy the bridge over the Severn. On 3rd May, after a march of 36 miles in 24 hours, the Queen’s army arrived at Gloucester. Beauchamp did his duty and denied the Queen’s army access across the river. Losing the whole day in failed negotiations, the Lancastrians had no choice now but to march onto Tewkesbury where a ferry was available.

The army arrived that evening, tired out, and made camp. It would take the whole of the next day for the army to cross over the Severn. As darkness fell, scouts reported Edward IV was at Treddington only 3 miles away. The crossing would be impossible in the face of the enemy. All choice was removed. The Lancastrians had been hunted down and forced to do battle on the morrow.

Scenario Notes


The Gastons were an area broken by “evil lanes” an “so many hedges, trees and bushes”.
These make all movement difficult (half speed) and provide some cover [type II]. All terrain within this area is “virtual” and may be moved around to ease the movement of figures.

The Vineyards were probably the property of the Abbey. I have assumed that they are what they say they are, they are consequently type III.

I have classed Coln Brook as type III. Stop at contact and one move to cross.

Lancastrian Player:

Basic deck with the addition of one infantry and one cavalry Move in the Open card. Draw 5 cards from the characterisation [morale] deck replacing any stratagems, OR, draw 4 cards from the deck and automatically count the following stratagem as having been drawn.

“…by certain paths and ways therefore afore purveyed, and to the Kings party unknown, he [Somerset] departed out of the field, past the lane, and came into a fair place, or close, even afore the king [Edward IV] where he was embattled, and from the hill that was in one of the closes, he set right fiercely upon the end [flank of the Yorkist’s battle line] of the King’s battle.”

The Lancastrians add a Stratagem to their card deck. On its appearance the Lancastrian player may place the following troops on top, or behind [river side], of the hill in any facing:

Providing that units of Somerset’s command have not moved: His unit of men-at-arms and / or a Bill and bow unit made up of stands from other units in his command.

Providing that units of Wenlock’s command have not moved: A Bill and bow unit made up of stands from other units in his command.

Yorkist Player:
Basic deck with the addition of one infantry and one cavalry Move in the Open card. Draw 6 cards from the characterisation [morale] deck replacing any stratagems, OR, draw 5 cards from the deck and automatically count the following stratagem as having been drawn.

Before the battle got under way Edward IV, fearing an ambush, ordered his prickers to scout out the ‘Park’ which lay 400 yards away. The Yorkist player may repeat these orders and place a unit of light cavalry off table. Add a Stratagem card to the deck. They may only arrive after the first melee has been fought, from the direction of the Park, on the Stratagem card's appearance. If they are not deployed off table they must form the rear of Edward's battle.

Monday 7 July 2008

Mollwitz. The 2nd game.

So here we were again. The game set up exactly as before. Surely this time the impetus would be balanced.

Römer, having maneuvered his cavalry out to the left of the Austrian line (see deployment map) launched his attack into the flank of the tardy Prussians. The charge was devastating. Before the Prussians could react Schulenburg’s command was in flight to the rear. Meanwhile, on the Austrian right, Berlichengen’s cavalry advanced to do combat with Posadowsky.

However, the Prussian infantry under Frederick and Schwerin were undaunted. Turning the rear units of their box they slowly, but deliberately, advanced towards the Austrian centre. Whilst the cavalry wings engaged in a one sided contest, with the Austrians always holding the upper hand, the infantry came to grips.

On the Prussian right Posadowsky attached himself to his dragoons. Here he hoped to turn the tide. He advanced his cavalry very aggressively, but it was to no avail, his troopers melting before the Austrians whilst he stood, captured by an Austrian dragoon, pistol to his head. The shame of it (D12 Vs D10, result 1 Vs 10).
At this point, with both flanks routed and the infantry alone, Schwerin whispered to his King “Sire it is time for you to leave.” He did so without a second thought.

Schwerin cast all doubts to the wind. It must be death or glory. His infantry steadfastly advanced firing volley after volley into the Austrian infantry, all the time taking care to secure his flanks against the encircling Austrian cavalry, which, as it happened, refused to close. The Austrian infantry was no match for the superbly trained Prussians; they began to melt away under the well timed Prussian volleys.

The Austrians launched their cavalry against the Prussian infantry in a desperate last ditch attempt to save their hard pressed foot. It was, as well as too late, fruitless. As evening loomed the Prussians broke their tight formation and, with a sweeping right hook, scattered what was left of the Austrian infantry. The last Austrians before Mollwitz withdrew in considerable disorder. The Prussians, without cavalry, were unable to press any pursuit. But they held the field and their infantry was intact.

Wednesday 2 July 2008


Sometimes Piquet throws up one of those games that defy the laws of probability and give a result that would be unobtainable with any other rule set. The account of this game, which will be played again tonight with the players retaking their positions for a restart, is a prime example of just how Piquet can throw up a real curve ball (out of a possible 21 infantry move cards the Prussians turned just three and failed to turn their Charismatic Leader card at all; such was their lack of prowess in rolling a d20).

It was the Prussians who began the action by advancing their infantry under a desultory artillery barrage and starting to turn their cavalry towards the threat from Römer’s cavalry. Römer was quick to respond, ordering his command forward, his cavalry crashed into the flank of the Prussian cavalry and sent them racing towards the rear. He reformed them quickly. On the other side of the field, the Austrian cavalry advanced towards the stream and the opposing Prussian cavalry with confidence.

The Prussians responded by breaking their infantry box, attempting to form a line supported by artillery with which to beat off Römer’s cavalry. The move was inadvisable, but the over confident Prussian command was sure they could perform the task before tackling the Austrian infantry lined up in front of Mollwitz, it was a move for which they would pay dearly.

Römer’s cavalry charged into the scattered Prussian infantry and artillery units with élan. One by one they were sent hurtling to the rear, and each successful charge was prevented from turning into a meaningless pursuit.

On the other side of the field the Prussians were faring no better; here their cavalry, even though it was supported by grenadiers firing into the Austrian cavalry’s flank as they charged, barely gave any resistance before routing.

The Prussians were now in dire straights. As the Spring day turned to evening the Guard were routed and only the early sunset saved the remaining Prussian infantry from falling prey to the rampant Austrian cavalry. They withdrew, tail between their legs, led by a crest fallen Frederick. It would take a miracle now for him to ever be called “The Great”.

The game will be re-fought this evening. I for one look forward to at least an even spread of impetus pips (even the Austrian players, once past the joy of their initial victories, were looking a little bored of killing Prussians with so little resistance - no sport at all!), rather than the 9 to 1 difference in the encounter above. It will be interresting to see how two games, using exactly the same starting dispositions and scenario, can look when using Piquet.