Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Seven Years War Extravaganza

The following images depict 5 or 6 battles of Maurice, Sam Mustafa's excellent rules for 18th century battles. My little club enjoys these rules very much and finds they provide excellent battles which seem to recreate the period very well. 

The first game happened some time ago in 2016. This was one of the first games of Maurice we had won by the attacker (i think.) It also marked the first time I didn't muddle up a flanking attack ... my previous attempts were more akin to the Prussians at Kolin. This one went like clockwork and the French force was decisively beaten. I love the above image of the 'Blue wall.' 

A long shot of the Prussian vs French struggle showing the French moving troops to the flank to repel the attack. 

Next are more recent games from 2017 and all are from our Maruice campaign. As mentioned we are only a small club and have 4 people in our campaign - Austria, Prussia, Anglo-Dutch and French. Above the Austrians (me) are on the attack. I decided to challenge myself and enter an army with a dominant cavalry arm into the campaign. It almost drove me around the bend trying to visualise how to use the army on the battlefield. I have gotten into a muddle a few times but finally worked out to advance gradually and use your infantry to dictate where the battle will be fought then flank with cavalry. 

Here Prussia and France do battle. The French chose to march right over the top of the Prussians but it didn't work. Defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory as the Prussians fought doggedly finally reducing the French moral to breaking point. 

The French cavalry prepare to launch an attack. 

Back to the Austrians and their infantry to columns marching off to confront the British. The attacking player has quite an advantage in Maruice deploying second and able to place his entire force in moving formation. 

A turn or so later in the same battle with the Austrians now in fighting formation. All infantry units are combined into a single force so they might all be moved at once. Here the Austrians are forming two lines to try to better cope with the Anglo-Dutch national advantage that allows a reroll when causing disruptions in shooting. The Anglo-Dutch are deployed around the objective. They also used woods and an orchard to guard the approaches to their right flank. Moving through terrain in Maurice causes disruptions to your units but doesn't slow your advance. 

Picture here are the French and Prussians at the point of contact almost. Although outnumbered the Prussian cavalry have a hill in their favour. The linear formations and varied uniforms were two of the main reasons I decided to paint armies of the SYW. 

The Austrian cavalry press their attack through the woods on the Anglo-Dutch right. Thanks to a notable in their army this formation can pass through rough terrain without disruption. Here one units moves to strike the flank of the infantry already pressured from the front by the Austrian infantry. 

Ah ... those lovely lines .... You can see what won the battle for the Prussians in the background ... their reserve of 4 infantry units. The defending player may have up to half of his army in marching formation while the rest must be deployed in fighting formation. This allows the defender to have a mobile reserve that can quickly respond to the direction of assault chosen by the attacker. 

The following two images show the Austrian attack on the Anglo-Dutch. Pressured from front and side the defender's line starts to crumble but not before their national advantage in shooting removes several leading Austrian infantry units. This is why it pays to be in two lines. 

The French cavalry attack on the hill falters as half their units rout. For the Prussians the disruptions mount (as shown by the dice behind the units) by they are clinging on. Elsewhere gaps have formed in the French line as superior Prussia shooting advantages take a toll. 

The most recent game saw the traditional foes matched - Prussia vs Austria. The Austrians once again move into such a position to place their troops against a small amount of Prussians. The Elite unit in the town was soon routed as three Austrian units simultaneously fired aided by the 'Deadly Fire' card. 

The Austrian player (me) pushed 4 units of cavalry far around the Prussian left. This prevented the Prussians from marching up in numbers and exposing their flank. I was able to take on the Prussians a couple of units at a time ... each with advantageous numbers ... eventually decisively winning by as their moral was reduced to zero. 

Ah ... those lines again ... and flags too. 

Impressive but they played no further part in the battle. Their presence did pin several units in place lest a flank be exposed. 

The Austrians moments after they had shot away the Prussians guarding the town. 

Only a few units of Prussians can advance at a time and a long line of Austrians await. 

More of the same really. 

The brown terrain feature is a marsh placed by the Prussian due to a "That's not on the Map!" card. This card can turn battles as it can foul an advance by disrupting troops which march through. While it can be frustrating a bold commander will push through as I did not do this evening. We like this card very much as it represents troops finding the ground to be different than expected by the commanding general. This often happened in battle with the Prussians, for example, stumbling into pools and fishponds which slowed their attack at Prague 1757. 

I have been meaning to do a post about my passion for the SYW for some time and now it is done. More needs to follow and I will try to show more of our campaign battles. The Maurice campaign system is very simple and we are enjoying it very much. Thus far the Austrians are on top (also having played the most games) but haven't defended as yet where they may find their large numbers of cavalry not to be as advantageous as on the attack. Time will tell. 

Breaking the long break

After a long break here are a couple of images just to get me going again ...

The Gallic camp. It has not supplied much luck thus far.

The Turkish camp ... Farook has helped things improve but we are yet to get a win.

Scythed chariots of the Pontus ... never used in anger ... 

The Macedonian camp ... often used and has attracted the favour of the gods securing many victories. 

An unreleated amphibious photo. 

The terror of the lounge ... the dog rends its toy.