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.

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.



14 comments:

Neil Scott said...

Looks like it will be a great battle and glad you are feeling better

David said...

A splendid table there! Sorry to hear you have been poorly with Covid, but glad you are well enough now to resume gaming.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

The table looks superb, and glad you are on the mend. Covid cannot have been anything other than unpleasant.

Kind Regards,

Stokes

(Kym) + Warburton + (Classic40K) said...

Looks fantastic :)

Steve J. said...

That's a lovely looking table for sure and a nice battle is in the offing too. Sorry to hear you've been poorly with Covid but good to hear you feel almost back to normal now.

Sgt Steiner said...

Super looking table and that is a horde of Austrians descending on Prussians ! Glad to hear you are recovered from CV19

Chris Hahn said...

The news that you have experienced COVID (even after getting the injections) was disheartening. The latest news that you've recovered and are back to almost your usual wargaming self was a relief. As usual, the pictures and post about your latest project are of the highest standard, a level of aesthetic excellence to which many historical wargamers aspire.

Cheers and continued good health and spirits,
Chris

Ray Rousell said...

That's a mighty looking game!

Oberst Von Fabritz ou Capitaine Starck ou Berni ou Prince Fafa said...

Magnifique ! Superbe table.

fireymonkeyboy said...

That is a lovely looking table, and well worth the wait. So glad to hear you are recovering; we've lost a few friends to Covid, so I'm glad you weathered the storm.

David said...

Very sorry to hear about your nasty experience of Covid. The game looks great; one of my favourite smaller battles of the SYW. Look forward to seeing how it plays out.

Cheers,

David.

JAMES ROACH said...

Thank you, everyone.

Independentwargamesgroup said...

Class James as ever.

Paul O'G said...

Jaw droppingly excellent figure collection and table.
I hope you have a blast!