Monday, 29 November 2021

What if: Vimeiro 1808

For my first 'historical' Peninsular battle scenario, I have chosen Vimeiro 1808. I've chosen it partly because I have enough figures to do it (at my chosen scale, more anon), partly because I can do it all on one table, and partly because it's an interesting battle.

That said, this is not going to be a recreation of the battle in any real sense. Although I'm using historic numbers, and the terrain and deployments are not too far away from [the feel of] those which framed the battle, I'm going to play around with time to a large degree.

Historically, Vimiero was actually two combats that were isolated from each other by both time and distance. Firstly, there was the combat for Vimeiro and its associated hill. Then, sometime later in the day, there was the combat for the eastern end of the Eastern ridge, which was itself two combats, with the second following after the first French attack had been successfully beaten off and the British had recovered their composure. In short, the outnumbered French attacked piecemeal and paid the price for it.

My 'what if' scenario poses that all of the attacks happened at roughly the same time. The British on the Eastern Ridge will lose their historical local superiority of numbers and give the French a chance of victory. Ding dong, that's a game!

With both combats fought simultaneously the battle will be perfect for four players; no one will be left twiddling thumbs, waiting for his time to arrive, whilst the others have fun. My plan is for two players to face off for Vimeiro and Vimeiro Hill; whilst two players face off for the Eastern ridge. Essentially, my 'What if' Vimeiro scenario will remain two separate combats.

The set up for 'What if' Vimeiro 1808. 
BTW. I did make a schoolboy error when I set this game up: The room wall
 should be at the other end of the table, so to speak

Before I get down to the scenario notes proper, I just want to run my scaling method past you again because it does throw up some anomalies, and more in this case than usual. 

Rather than go the route of scaling units and having units of various sizes (much favoured by most Napoleonic players), I have decided to fly in the face of conventional wisdom: I have chosen to have units all one size, with each infantry unit representing 1000 men, and to forget the actual granular nature of brigades and divisions. E.g. Regardless of how many battalions made up a division, I will represent every 1000 men present with an infantry unit, every 500 troopers with a cavalry unit; fractions will be rounded, naturally.

This battle is a bit strange because of the number of large units (over 1000 men each) engaged. Normally I will end up with divisions fielding less units than would be historically present, and given that "I'm scaling" most wargamers would accept this without much of a to do: But, at Vimeiro, some formations have more units than they historically should. E.g. Solignac should really only have three battalions but, using my scaling method, his 4,000 men gives him four; Brenier should have four battalions but has five for similar reasons. This doesn't bother me very much but, I don't want to confuse anyone with my OOB without first explaining how I got there.

Another thing I have done, to concentrate effort and make the game less granular than it otherwise might be, is to combine certain brigades into ad hoc divisions with one division, rather than two brigade, command stands. Normally I would organise things at divisional level rather than brigade level, so where two brigades are to undertake the same task, in the same local, I have combined them. An example would be the defence of the eastern end of the Eastern Ridge by Nightingall and Furgusson: Historcally the two brigades worked closely together to achieve this so I have formed both brigades into a division under the combined command (one command stand) of both officers. Other examples of my ad hoc division making can be seen in the photograph above.

British Briefing:

Wellesley: Commander-in-Chief stand: Superior (2 Brilliant Leader cards). 12 Army Morale Points (AMP). 6 Transferable Divisional Morale Points (TDMP).

Victory Conditions: You are the holding the bridgehead in Portugal which will allow reinforcements to pour ashore from Britain. You must repel the French at all costs by holding Vimeiro and Vimeiro Hill. If you fail, you will be thrown back into the sea.

Anstruther's and Fane's Brigades (Division), 5,200 men: 
Command stand: Skilled. 19 Divisional Morale Points (DMP).
2 Line infantry. Ready.
2 Light infantry. Eager.
2 Skirmish rifle 1/2 units. Eager.
1 Light cavalry. Ready. (Combined British and Portuguese cavalry).
1 Battery. Ready.

Hill's Brigade, 2,700 men. (Off table, holding position on the Western Ridge behind Vimeiro to defend the right flank of the army):
Command stand: Skilled. 19 Divisional Morale Points (DMP).
3 Line infantry. Ready.

(Note: Hill must be activated by die roll on the Stratagem card, from turn 2, before arrival on table: Turn 2: D4 Vs D8; Turn 3: D6 Vs D8; etc. Once activated Hill's Brigade can be deployed anywhere behind the R. Maceira. Historically he wasn't called on but he was available).

Acland's Brigade, 1,300 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 6 DMP.
1 Line infantry. Ready (+2 rifle SK stands).
1 Battery. Ready.

Craufurd's and Fane's Brigades (Division), 3,500 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 10 DMP.
1 Highland infantry: Ready, Ferocious.
1 Line infantry. Ready.
2 Portuguese  Line. Battle weary. 

(Note: Craufurd and Fane may not be activated until the appearance of the British Event 1 card, or the start of turn 2. Historically he arrived too late to make an impact).

Bowes' Brigade, 1,800 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 6 DMP.
2 Line infantry. Ready.

Nightingall's and Furgusson's Brigades (Division), 4,000 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 12 DMP.
2 Line infantry. Ready.
2 Light infantry. Eager.
1 Battery. Ready.

British riflemen hold the vineyards on the lower slopes ofVimeiro Hill; they are
backed by the line and light infantry battalions of Fane and Anstruther. 

French Briefing:

Junot: Commander-in-Chief stand: Average. 11 Army Morale Points (AMP). 4 Transferable Divisional Morale Points (TDMP).

Victory Conditions: You must destroy the army currently defending the British bridgehead in Portugal before their reinforcements arrive in overwhelming force: Throw them back into the sea!

Brenier's Brigade. 5,100 men:
2 Light infantry. Ready.
3 Line infantry. Ready.
1 Dragoons. Ready
1 Battery. Ready.

(Note: Brenier may not be activated until the appearance of the French Event 1 card).
Solignac's Brigade, 4,000 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 12 DMP.
3 Light infantry. Ready.
1 Line infantry. Ready.
1 Battery. Ready.
Thomiere's and Charlot's Brigades (Division), 4,200 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 13 DMP.
4 Line infantry. Ready.
2 Batteries. Ready 

Kellerman's Brigade, 1,200 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 6 DMP.
2 Grenadiers. Eager.

Margaron's Cavalry Division, 1,500 men:
Command stand: Skilled. 8 DMP.
2 Dragoons. Ready.
1 Chasseurs a Cheval. Ready.

The massed columns of the French prepare for the assault.

The view from behind Vimeiro, with the Eastern Ridge extending out into the distance.
(Table is 12' x 6').

  • The hills are rough (steep slopes) terrain. 
  • The walled fields are very rough terrain; they provide soft cover. Regardless of type they do not block line of sight - historically, I suspect most would be low vineyards and the like (?) but grape vines are something I'm woefully short of - note to self: Make more! There do not appear to be any stone walls in the area today so I suspect there have never been.
  • Town sections should be treated as standard stone buildings with normal capacity.
  • The R. Maceira and its tributary (for want of better information) are very rough terrain, the Maceira itself is 'wet'.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Bulking out a command stand: A roadside shrine


I'm in the process of sorting out the last batches of figures to finish the Anglo-Portuguese and French armies. 

I had always planned to do a second corps command stand for the French (because I can see two corps commanders featuring at the same time) and consequently, I've had three mounted figures and a couple of foot figures to do this in my lead pile for a long time. 

I hadn't planned anything similar for the Anglo-Portuguese but I had thought about having a Beresford command stand (I even painted him). Then I decided he was surplus to requirements and didn't rebase him when I rebased the other officers.  

However, whilst rummaging through the bag of odds and sods (left over from the project) I came across another unused British mounted officer. That would be two mounted figures, and I have an unused painted foot officer and an unpainted sergeant marching with his partisan over his shoulder: But, that is still not quite enough for a full C-in-C stand. Could I use a 'stand filler' as the extra piece I would need?

I could make a signpost as a filler, or a blasted tree trunk, or what about a roadside shrine! A shrine would not be out of place in a very Catholic Spain.

A roadside shrine could be quite big, at least as big as a figure, and it would be more eye catching than a signpost, or a tree stump. 

I'm not a great model maker, average at best, but even I could probably manage a cross in some kind of housing, perhaps on a Milliput stone plinth with a kneeling step. 

I had some bits of plastic (Perry plastic bases and Airfix bits) I could cut up to make the cross and the housing, and Milliput is always to hand, so I got to work.

Then I decided that a proper crucifix might look better - more eye catching - than a plain cross. Sculpting is something I'm not very good at at all but, the Christ figure would be tiny and being such a recognisable thing only an impression would be needed. Out came the Milliput and in a jiffy I had this little piece of treasure - it's not that good but, you immediately know what it is.

I'm not sure how I'll paint the crucifix. Perhaps as a brass Christ on a wooden cross, or perhaps all wood, or all brass. Not being all that up on early 19th Century Spanish shrines I'm open to suggestions.

BTW, the plinth isn't a solid lump of Milliput. It's actually a block of balsawood with a coat of Millitput applied to the outside. Other construction is all visible. 

Edit: I have painted it up with a carved wood crucifix (which I could always, and simply, repaint as brass) and I think it looks pretty good. 

Here is a close up of the Christ. You can see just how simple I made the construction, with rolled Milliput for arms and legs - position, more than detail, being everything.


Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Brunswick Oels Jagers for the Peninsular. Did somebody die?


The answer is, yes. If you want to know who, go to this wiki-link.

This is one of those iconic units so beloved by wargamers. I wanted one too, so when Alec sculpted these last year they went straight into my next Front Rank order. I wasn't disappointed, they are superbly designed and executed. 

The trouble with this unit, and I've painted it at least twice over the years for clients, is that it's a headache to paint: Black, black and more black; even the buttons are black; and so are the cuffs, which I'd forgotten were black.

Although I don't usually do painting tips in blog posts like this, I will for this unit - they might be useful in this case.
I've learned that I have to throw away my usual painting 'order of march' when doing this unit. 

After undercoating, I painted the whole figure with my black base paint (Humbrol 33), stem to stern. 

Then, in the following order, I: 
  1. Painted hands and faces.
  2. Painted none black equipment (canteens, packs and pack rolls, musket stocks), and hair. 
  3. Highlighted coats, lace and shako plumes.
  4. Painted blue collar and shoulder straps, which are best highlighted very light.
  5. Touched up belts, shako, shoes, and musket metal with plain black to re-establish some nice hard edges.
  6. Highlighted black belts, shoes, shako, etc. 
  7. Finished, as usual, with metals.
I think the trick to livening these boys up is to use two or more black hues using the same black base. I used two hues; two or three highlights of each hue. I paint in enamels; I've added the Humbrol numbers I used in parentheses.
  1. Blue Hue: Used for soft stuff such as clothing, plume and lace: Black (33) and sky blue (89). I added a bit of white (34) to this hue to get a third highlight, dry brushed over lace and plume to bring these details out even further. 
  2. Grey Hue: Used for hard stuff such as belts, shako and shoes: Black (33) and white (34) - only two highlights used. 
You will note that the officers have red sashes; apparently they wore red, not national colours, in the Peninsular.
All in all, they make for quite an impressive, if funerial, unit. 

They are not quite as monotone black as you might imagine and I put this down to the using sky blue in the main highlight hue - it has more life than plain black and white grey.

Bases are 2mm MDF: Square bases are home cut 45mm x 45mm. Round bases are 45mm diameter from Warbases.
Lastly, I also bought a six pack of jagers to add to my 'floating' divisional skirmish stand count. 

I will always remember these guys because, a couple of decades ago, I played in a huge Salamanca game where I commanded the odd base of these chaps. Being something of a Napoleonic noob at the time, I enquired who they were by asking "Why do I have Austrians?" I still think it was an easy mistake to make.

Though, I should have remembered who they were from my second oldest wargame book: Blandford's Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars (received Christmas 1976; now without dust cover and looking very tatty), from which I've taken these uniform details.

The thing is, I can't find a picture of the the hat badge for this 1809 unit. These Front Rank figures came with a running horse badge, so they have that. If you know differently (I suspect they had a hunting horn) please let me know so I can edit this with proper info. 

Note that, as per Blandford, I have removed the figures' hat plumes. 

Blandford also shows the uniform without a blanket roll but, I think this is 'campaign dress' acceptable.

Officially, that is the Anglo-Portuguese project done. All of the originally planned units, plus this late addition, are now painted. However, when I ordered the Spanish hordes a few months ago, I added a couple of extra British units and three French units. Consequently, I'm ploughing on. 

Next up, 51st (2nd West Riding) Light Infantry - my local regiment, their regimental museum is in Halifax - to fight alongside the Brunswick Oels Jagers as part of 7th Division. 

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Napoleonic British hussars with a Spanish twist.


As I am making a push to finish the British I thought I'd get the difficult cavalry unit out of the way.

10th Prince of Wales Own Hussars (or are they?).  

These figures are not my favourite Front Rank figures. I think the sculpts are quite old and the detail, which is very intricate, on things like palisse button loops and lace, doesn't quite suit my painting style. 
That said, I think they've come out okay. Very red white and blue, and one for the Brexiteers.

Note the distinctive grey fur cap of the officer, and the grey fur trim on the pelisses.
The six bases are 45mm x 60mm x 2mm MDF. 

Two of the bases have a 7mm wide bar set at the back; one to hold the name plate; one to secure the two pins I use to hold command group ID and unit quality beads. 

Consequently, these stands are slightly raised at the back; this construction is the same for all my units in this collection. It has allowed me to do something special with this unit because......

..........this unit is not only usable by the British as the 10th Hussars, at a pinch, they can also be used for..........
....the Spanish Husares de Almansa regiment raised by General Whittingham (in Spanish Service) in 1810 and uniformed, it is said, in the uniform of the British 10th Hussars supplied by Britain. 

How EU friendly is that!

However, it does seem that there may have been significant differences in the uniform so a bit of imagination will be needed to make the change. 

I've seen two modern pictures of the Husares de Almansa (sources unknown) and both show the uniform of the 10th with the following differences: Black fur caps for all ranks; white fur edged pelisses.

The differences, especially in cap colour is striking but, as you know, I like a bit of fudge.

I've used a magnetic strip for the 10th Hussar's name plate whilst that for the Husares de Almansa is  stuck onto the base atop a piece of thin steel sheet. 

To increase the magnetism of the steel sheet, I've set three small earth magnets into the name bar below it. This seems to add quite a lot of magnetic pull.

I had to think hard before deciding to which name plate to make removable. In the end it came down to this: The unit will most commonly be British and stored as such, so to keep the plate in place and magnetised for most of the time (especially when in storage) that name is the removable one.

Next up, an infantry unit: The Brunswick Oels. Then just two more to go!

Monday, 15 November 2021

Latest Napoleonic Additions


The Anglo-Portuguese army is getting very close to completion with the addition of these two Dragoon units. 

These represent the 1st and 2nd Dragoons King's German Legion. Historically they were brigaded together.

Figures are 28mm by Front Rank (which has recently been acquired by Gripping Beast: Presently, FR isn't open for new business). 

The flags are by GMB Designs. 

The figures were painted in enamels by Yours Truly, and they are based on home cut 2mm MDF (45mm x 60mm).

These two units are identically uniformed with the blue facings of Royal Regiments. This was handy because it enabled me to paint them as a single batch.

I'm rather fond of this 'standing ready' pose because it seems to be how most of my heavy cavalry spends its time on the table-top. It also makes the figures nice and compact and easy to handle
The flags too are almost made for a double batch of the KGL. One flag sheet serves to produce the flags for both regiments.

The crimson square flag is suitable for the first squadron of either 1st or 2nd Regiment KGL; the swallow tailed flag blue flag for the second squadron is only suitable for the 2nd Dragoons KGL.
I used various sources for the uniform but, the Osprey book (Men-at-arms 338) provided a very useful picture for the Second Dragoons KGL, including one of a trooper mounted. 

This was very useful in explaining the arrangement for the troopers cape strapped on top of his pistol holsters. This seems to comprise a strap at each side plus a much broader leather strap arrangement at the top - I had thought this top piece was two or three more straps before seeing this picture.

Before I start the Spanish, I've decided to plough through what is left in the lead pile for the Anglo-Portuguese and French. If I don't do it now, will I ever be bothered? Plus, I think I'll churn through a lot of the Spanish very quickly as they are much more simply uniformed.

Next up are British 10th Hussars, a unit of British light infantry, a unit of Black Brunswickers, and then finally a unit of Portuguese cavalry: That will signal a roll call for the British.
After that, I'm going to paint two units of Legere and a unit of Chasseurs a Cheval. 

That will complete the first two armies - I have no plans to extend either beyond their present numbers, each touching the 1000 strong mark as it is. Then, I'll just have 800 or so Spanish to do - simples!

Friday, 29 October 2021

I'm thinking about monetising this blog.

 Hi Guys,

I'm thinking about monetising this blog. I don't know if this would change your thoughts about being a subscriber so I'm asking the question.

When I started this blog it was a wargame diary and the amount of hits and followers didn't bother me much. It's a still a wargame blog and as such will never constitute a pay packet but, monetising might put a few quid into the coffers for future posts, if you get what I mean. 

I doubt the sums involved would be sizable but frankly when it comes to hobby spend anything would help right now. Any proceeds from monetising would be ring fenced for gaming purchases.

Leave a comment, as a subscriber or otherwise, on how you would feel about this: Pro or Con.

If the general feeling is neutral or better I'll do it. If definitely anti I will not do it.

It's your choice on this one. 



Thursday, 28 October 2021

Humpback bridges, cheap and cheerful.


Having made about seventeen feet of stream some time ago I needed some bridges. I decided on three. They needed to be small, so simple humpbacked bridges seemed the best route. I chose to go simple. I chose to go cheap. I chose to play a trick. Then I built them, fell ill and didn't post this as originally intended - fortunately I remembered to take the memory card out of my camera so that I didn't accidentally erase the pictures; erasing pictures on the camera card is something I do regularly to speed up the find and download process.

You don't need many materials or tools to make these things, and those materials you will need are useful for many other things - so no pointlessly wasted materials left over. Cheap as chips - £0.50 each, tops.

Biggest cost can be seen here, 5mm foam board. But, it has so many uses that you'll use what you don't use on this job for others - zero waste here.

Having marked out the sides of the bridge using a set square, ruler and a compass onto 5mm foam board I cut the shapes out using a surgical scalpel with a 10A blade. 

Note that the bridge was deeper than this when it was drawn: It's had about 5mm cut off the bottom; that's where the compass point at the centre of the circles was located. The arch isn't quite a whole semicircle.

My stubby handled size 10 scalpel is probably the most used tool I own - I use it for just about everything because the blades are much cheaper than craft blades, and if you mutter to yourself whilst you work, it's funny to say "Scalpel, nurse." once in a while.

If you are watching carefully you will have noticed the trick I'm about to pull already. Can you see it yet?

Edit for RichardL: Easier said than done now they are made but, approx dimensions are: Length 120mm. Height 40mm. The lower arch at waterline is 40mm across. The arch corresponds to the width of my stream and it is that wide for no other reason. Just do what feels right for the water you want to cross. If the river is much wider you may need two or more arches like this one I made some time ago.

I didn't throw away the angles from the top of the bridge walls as these will be used.... make the ramps that will support the roadway. 

The trick is obvious now, isn't it?
Whilst the roadway support ramps were drying, I cut out my 2mm MDF bases to match my stream basing. 

This is another outlay similar to the foam board but, again MDF is such a useful thing to have around the place.

BTW: To buy quite small pieces of 2mm MDF look up picture framing supplies - it's used for backing pictures.
I cut the excess off from the road ramps and now the basic structural work is done.

Got the conceit I'm planning. Surely you see the trick now?
I added my stream texture, and two strips of foam board to the basing. These foam board pieces will stiffen the bottom of the lower arch and keep its sides straight at water level. (See second picture down: That picture shows how these strips work).

You can see that I do my footprint plans bold, using a fine felt tipped pen. The "52mm" is to remind me how wide to cut my roadway. 

Also note that before I did the water texture I masked off the areas where the bridge will sit. This needs to be flat.

The lower arches, made from thin card. I actually used cartridge paper in this case but, anything from old Christmas cards to cornflake packet is about right. 

The pins just hold everything in place whilst the glue dries.
Now here is the big fudge: The conceit that makes these bridges work. 

The problem with wargame bridges is that they usually have to go over water that is above ground level. Obviously, 'in the wild' streams flow a few feet below the level of the surrounding ground. This means that the arches of a wargame bridge, to look right as arches, actually have to be higher above ground level than they should be. This causes a problem for the modeller. Either he has to have bridges with an incredibly steep roadway or he has to make bridges overly long to make the road gradient less steep.

I have done neither. My conceit is to lay the roadway directly over the lower arch, thus reducing the overall height of the roadway by 6mm - 7mm. Thus, the bridge can be short and the road gradient shallow. But, the level of the road is lower than the stone arch on the outer wall of the bridge that is supposed to support it. That's the trick! The eye will be tricked by not being able to see both the outer arch and the roadway at the same time. It's so simple, it's downright stupid.

Because I was using cartridge paper I did my roadway three layers thick, one applied after the other. If I had used Christmas cards, two layers would have sufficed. The last layer went over the base edge and was trimmed flush when dry - only do this with the last layer; cut the other layers shorter, as in the picture above.

After doing the brickwork using thin balsa wood (bricks and arch-work) or mounting card (top stones on the walls), and texturing it and painting it with household acrylics (Dulux emulsion paint), I coated the roadway with a strong mix of plaster filler and PVA / water (1:1).
I painted the road, adding a few rocks and some 'verge' to the inner surfaces, and based and painted the stream to blend into my streams.
Here the conceit of the roadway is explained. The eye doesn't see the relative heights of the arch and the road because it can't see where they join. It is tricked completely.

One last point. Most humpbacked bridges have a splayed entrance, the roadway being wider at the entrance to the bridge and narrower in the middle. This is actually very difficult to do and causes problems when it comes to cutting the shape of the roadway. To make things simple for myself, I chose to ignore this facet of a humpbacked bridge completely: K.I.S.S.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

A Scenario based on The Combat of Moys 7th September 1757

Firstly, let me say that I'm glad to be able to post again. I've been quite ill with Covid, even having been jabbed twice. Now I'm able to post again, and work for the first time in nearly a month, I'm feeling much better about things.

Looking towards the Galgenberg.

The first game here after the hiatus will be a scenario based on The Combat of Moys 1757. 

Rather than detail the battle, here is a link to an account of Moys, on Kronoskaf: Seven Years War Project.

 Looking from the Jackalsberg.

Suffice to say, a detached Austrian corps from the army of Prince Charles of Lorraine has been confided to General of Cavalry Nadasdy. With it, he will make a surprise attack, in overwhelming numbers, to crush the corps of General Winterfeldt which is isolated from the rest of the Prussian army on the right bank of the Niesse at Gorlitz.
There are several maps of the action, all slightly different. I think this one is one of the better ones
because it doesn't show the defensive canal that Kronoskaf shows (and details in its text).
Personally, I don't think this canal was there in 1757 (I believe the map was surveyed in the 1870s).
If it had existed I'm not sure the action could have happened as it did: I might be wrong, correct me if I am.

The table (10'6" x 6') is a nice one with several points of interest.
The three villages of Moys (left), Leopoldshayn (top right) and Hermsdorf (right) are nicely positioned for a game.
and the brook (right) and Rothwasser (left) make a nice 'frame' for the action. The Jackalsberg redoubt, being small, is also game perfect. 

The table I have set up is not a true representation of the terrain: The terrain features have been squeezed together to give an impression of the terrain. 

The Austrian main force.

Hermsdorf should be off table but, as the brook is quite well populated with houses along most of its length (on all of the maps) it felt appropriate to move it closer to Leopoldshayn: The gap that opened between the Austrian right and Hermsdorf as they advanced on Moys is key to the narrative of the combat; so, Hermsdorf had to be moved to where the players can see it. It is still tucked away from where the action will take place so I can't see any problem arising from this shift of position.

The Prussian main force on the Langeberg.

The Niesse is also on table when it should be much farther back (off table). Again, it was added to help the narrative: It gives something for the Prussian reserve to be held behind before they are activated. 

The hills are a simple representation of the high ground without the 'summit knolls'. Having taken a virtual drive around the battlefield on google earth, keeping a watchful eye on the altitude gauge, I'm fairly sure that apart from the Jackalsberg, none of the hills have steep slopes and are, for the most part, flat topped.

The double ridge which held the first and second Prussian positions has been amalgamated into a single ridge: The former ridge is superfluous to the action and objectives - what's one more hill to a Yorkshireman? 

Prince Carl Bevern takes command of the Jackalsberg as
Arenberg's grenadiers advance.

A third battery, not shown on the map above and little mentioned, was apparently situated on high ground directly south of the Jackalsberg. I have added the battery but made it virtually impossible for it to shift position by adding a small lake (pond) and the Birkenbusche: It is in range of the Jackalsberg and the southern outskirts of Moys.


The position of the Birkenbusche (Birchwood) is different on all of the maps, as is its size. I've added it to stop the third Austrian battery from moving: apart from this it should bear very little on the action.

The area was littered with several small lakes or ponds. I've added some of these purely for visual effect. Except for the one that prevents the third battery moving, they can be ignored and moved about as required.

The banks of the Rothwasser (running past Moys) and the brook (running through Leopoldshayn and Hermsdorf) were both heavily foliated by trees (pussy willows) and numerous small holdings. Consequently, they limit line of sight like woods (to 4") and provide cover to troops on their banks.

In short, my table is a deceit designed to help the combat run as a scenario.

Petazzi's Light troops advance on Leopoldshayn.

I have scaled down the troops to my big battle scale. In this I use one unit to represent two battalions of infantry, ten cavalry squadrons, or a battery of heavy guns. Odd numbers are represented by either increasing or decreasing the units battle quality by one level as required / thought best. 

This scale makes most SYW battles manageable but still provides enough units to make up the proper command groups (divisions) and their correct general deployments. 

To get the battle going quickly, I have rated the quality of all units and commanders by 'Umpires Decree' - the players will not roll to randomly determine these.

The third battery, overlooking the Rothwasser and towards Moys.

The following objectives for victory have been set for the Austrians: Take the Jackalsberg, Moys and the Langeberg. Alternatively, destroy the Prussian army and force every one of its units (except uncommitted reserve units) off table. The Prussians need only defend the key objectives until sunset (end of turn 8) to win. The bar has been set high for the Austrians because they have such an overwhelming numerical advantage. 

The serried ranks of Austrian infantry - an impressive sight.

We will use my Men are Like Lemons SYW rules. Three special rules will be in operation:

Austrian Reserves: This command can be activated at any time. If the Austrians activate Forgach's command group the best result they can achieve is a draw.

Palffy's Command: On the appearance of the Stratagem card, Palffy's command may be activated to arrive on table behind the Rothwasser. After activation it will arrive on the appearance of the player's next Major Morale card.

Prussian Reserves: If the Austrians take the Jackalsberg or any part of Moys the grenadiers can be activated. If the Austrians take the Jackalsberg and any part of Moys, or put troops on the Langeberg the musketeers can be activated. These are the troops dispatched by the Duke of Bevern from Gorlitz as he slowly grasped the scale of the Austrian attack.