Wednesday, 26 October 2016

On the road again - this time to Chotusitz

Well the Ilkley Lads are out and about again this weekend. This time we don't have very far to travel. We are going to Fiasco in Leeds. 

My intention was to re-run the Lobositz game that won joint first for best demo at Derby earlier this year. Unfortunately the big car has chosen to go on holiday this week so I've had to come up with something less hilly - with less sticky-uppy terrain all round - so that it will fit into smaller transport. 

I've chosen to do an old favourite, the Battle of Chotusitz 1742. We are advertised (at Fiasco), as doing a Seven Years War (1756 -1763) battle, and Chotusitz is, of course, a battle from the Austrian War of Succession: However, most of the characters are the same; the tactics didn't change much in the intervening decade or so; I've always thought of the two Silesian Wars and the Seven Years War as a single war with a couple of intermissions anyway. 

I hope everyone will be forgiving.

So this is how the game has been set up. I've largely used overall numbers and overall frontages rather than counting regiments. The Prussians fielded 17,000 line infantry and the Austrians fielded 16,000. Cavalry was equal in numbers at about 7,000 a piece. For general deployments I am again indebted to Jeff Berry of Obscure Battles (The Battle of Chotusitz) for another piece of outstanding work. I have also used Duffy (of course) and Reed Browning's The War of the Austrian Succession.

The game starts with all of the Austrians fully fielded and ready to attack. Leoplold is deployed in readiness, as is Buddenbrock. Note that the fields are 'virtual', they are for aesthetics only and have no impact on the game. Also, I'm not sure if all of the trees will make it to the show it depends how many will fit in the box.

Waldow starts the game in the process of arriving in and around Chotusitz.
The main feature of the early game, as previous games have shown, is the attack on Chotusitz by the centre and right wing of the Austrian army. The Austrian hopes of victory generally rely on defeating Leopold and Waldow before the bulk of the Prussian infantry arrives.
On the Austrian left, another large encounter generally beckons. 

Here the numbers (in heavy cavalry) are almost equal, and because the Austrians generally see Battyanyi's role as supporting the infantry, by holding their flank, it is generally (as historically happened) Buddenbrock who attacks. 

With all the open ground on which to fight, it tends to be a real ding-dong of a cavalry clash.  

A point of interest: The Duffy map shows the grenzers in this sector as looking rather insignificant; Jeff's map shows them as I have them here. If Buddenbrock doesn't attack, the Grenzers will pick his troopers off in short order fashion. I much prefer Jeff's interpretation - it forces Buddenbrock to do something.

The key to victory for the Prussians is the timely arrival of Frederick. If  the Austrians can swamp the Prussians around Chotusitz before Frederick arrives they have a chance of winning. 

Frederick's command will be deployed as shown, but he can't activate until the start of turn three. Then its a race against time - an early turn end will suit the Prussians down to the ground.

Chotusitz is a very simple, large scale, 'rescue' scenario and Frederick has the role of 7th Cavalry. I've fought this battle on many occasions and I've never been disappointed by it.

So that is what Graham and I are doing this Sunday. Fiasco is at New Dock Hall, The Royal Armouries, Leeds. Doors open at 10 am. 

It's worth a trip out, and you can combine the show with a visit to one of the finest military museums in the world (and the museum is free entry, of course). Ask your missus, if she would like to visit the sparklingly new John Lewis Centre (which opened with much fanfare in central Leeds a week or two ago) that should get you a pass out - the Armouries is just 15 minutes walk down the road. 

If you do drop in, be sure to drop by and say hello.


artourious said...

oops i forgot its Fiasco, and im just up the road...but am wargaming in woodhall spa........

oh well next year....

Gonsalvo said...

Playing Piquet/FoB helps you be prepared for the unexpected. Very nimble on the feet exchange of scenario, James!

Robbie Rodiss said...

Looking forward to seeing this James, hopefully I will get some great images.
Thanks Robbie.

Ray Rousell said...

Looks magnificent.

Phil said...

Your tables are always splendid, and this one, this one...

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Wonderful looking set up!


Ken Reilly said...

Missed you today James was going to pop over for a chat but ended up talking with people at our Jutland game all day. Will put a face to the name one day.

Cheers Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer