Friday 25 March 2016

Paltzig 1759 - The Player's Game

The last time I did an after action report on my Paltzig scenario was when I did it as a solo game. I played it solo because it looked like the scenario could well be a complete stinker: The Prussians, outnumbered 2:1, are attacking over bad ground. I was surprised at how well the Prussians did and, though they ultimately lost, I thought there were enough tense moments and tactical questions asked for the scenario to have some interest for Peter and Graham to have a bash. I reset the game and Peter and Graham came around on Wednesday and played the first three turns. I wasn't expecting what was about to happen so I didn't take any pictures during the evening's play.

This is actually a photograph of the solo game. In the game played on Wednesday the stream is closer to the Prussian edge and thr Russian line is positioned a little more forward.
Those who read the AAR of the solo game might have been surprised at just how well the Prussians did but, look at this. This is the position at the end of turn three. The Prussian reserves have arrived, the Russian reserves have arrived and everything is on the move. 

I can't remember the last time Peter [Prussian] rolled dice like he did on Wednesday; him getting dice and initiative at the same time is, frankly, unheard of; he's been up to something; I'm having an exorcism done next Tuesday.
This shot shows the overall positions at the end of turn three. Note the new depth of the Russian deployment zone - the front infantry line started directly behind the two Russian artillery redoubts. It has allowed the action of Manteuffel to take full advantage of his concentration of force against the southern flank of the Russian line - he is now, almost, behind the Russians!
Picture taken from Paltig looking south. Manteuffel's attack has crashed into the southern end of the Russian infantry line. The Russians have collapsed, the main battery on the southern hillock has been overrun and what is left of the line is being outflanked. Belatedly, the Russians are hastily forming a second line just south of Paltzig. 
In front of  Paltzig, Saltykov has ordered the Russian infantry of Villbois' command to advance towards the Eichemühlen-Fliess to engage Wobersnow more quickly.

This shot shows just how far back I pulled the 
Eichemühlen-Fliess back towards the Prussian base edged. This allowed the Russians to be deployed with more room behind them. 
 In the distance, Kanitz has arrived in support of Manteuffel's attack. Manteuffels infantry is still largely intact and attacking with elan. On the left, a Russian unit is being surrounded. In the foreground, a cheeky unit of Don Cossacks [Krasnochekov's command) is harassing them as they come forward. 

Krasnochekov's Hussars and Cossacks have voluntarily made an early advance up the valley. Schorlemer's cuirassier hastily advanced, licking their lips, to meet them.
A scenic windmill stands idly waiting for the corn to ripen. I took this shot purely for the sake of taking another picture of my newest building.
So, there you have it. What a turn up for the books. The Prussians are cracking on at an impressive rate of knots. They have lost a single unit of dragoons, blasted away by artillery on the southern hillock. The Russians have lost six units of infantry and two batteries of guns to the Prussian infantry under Manteuffel. However, the Prussians have been spending morale chips like water and are down to just 21. The Russians, on the other hand, had greatly more to begin with and still have 41 left. The Prussians could do with the Russians failing some Major Morale [now Vs 8] checks.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this one pans out. The Prussians might achieve an astounding reversal of history. We shall see...........


Fabrizio Davi' said...

Very nice scenario. Indeed the real Paltzig affair showed that, despite the incompetence showed in throwing the army in three successive uncoordinated waves against a Russian army in a strong position, the prussians were able to inflict heavy losses on the russians. This was the thinking of Frederick when he decided few weeks later to attack at Kunersdorf. Duffy (or maybe Shoewalter) in one of his books (I didn't remember which, anyway) writes explicitly such a thing.


Colin Ashton said...

Great stuff James! I have yet to refight Paltzig as I didn't think it'd be much fun for the Prussians but I think I will now put it on the list.

Ray Rousell said...

A great looking game.


"I didn't think it'd be much fun for the Prussians"

I know exactly what you mean, Colin. When I played it solo I did so thinking of what 'extra what ifs" might be needed to balance it up a bit. As it happens, all that is needed are a few arrival restrictions and something to stop Villbois re-deploing before Wobersnow moves.

Manteuffel has just enough troops to gain a local superiority that should carry him up to, and through, the Russian line before the Russians do too much damage (providing your rules allow for swift movement - infantry move 10" a move in our 'heretical Piquet' rules) with their dug in artillery as the Prussians come in. The Piquet system also helps here because Prussia gets three musket reload cards to the Russia's two, giving them a fire power superiority too.

I've been tinkering with several of our house rules over the last few weeks, trying to iron out some of things that irk us, and with some success. At last Peter and Graham seem to be happy with the supported / secure flank rule (as am I) and a few other tweaks will add a little more tactical and period flavour (including straight ahead 'firing arc'). Much of the other stuff I've done is more akin to tidying things up / simplification than adding new stuff.

rct75001 said...

Wonderful looking game James. Windmill looks great.


Rodger said...

Looks fantastic!

Der Alte Fritz said...

I always enjoy looking at your collections in your battles. What a visual treat!


David said...

I too always enjoy seeing pictures of your epic games. Looking forward to seeing more soon.

Sgt Steiner said...

The figures and table look superb

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