It really is time some wargaming got done.
One minute it's early December, the next minute it's almost Xmas, it seems.. Real life intrudes far too much for my liking, 'time and space', as always are in short supply. Thankfully, the very sociable Mr. Omicron has not approached our door, as far as we know. In between the shopping and card-writing (and not forgetting, also work), a small amount of hobby activity has taken place - concerning my Seven Years War campaign based on the 'Soldier King' boardgame.
We left things at the end of Summer 1757, with a daring Austrian cavalry raid on a Prussian outpost, which made off with vital supplies but at some cost, one unit of Cuirassiers being lost; and a superior Prussian force still threatened to overrun the Austrian home territories. The next campaign move therefore being Autumn 1757, I rolled dice for initiative, and Austria won the right to move first - buying them time to organise some sort of defences. The dice gods have a habit of getting things right, it seems - it would have been less interesting if Prussia had taken the initiative and possibly just overrun the hapless Austrians before they could get organised. Rolling a further die gave them four 'marches' , i.e the opportunity to move four 'stacks' of units, each unit being allowed a maximum of two marches. These were used to reinforce the main Austrian army at the city of Zouache, with a small flank guard at the crossroads of Landsburg - and both of those commands were able to use one 'march' activation to entrench. Austrian forces are notably weaker than the Prussians, but have made the best of their precarious situation. With apologies for less-than exciting illustrations, here is the situation:
|Zouache on the river, Landsburg to the NE|
So, Prussian turn next - they rolled a splendid six marches. A dilemma presented itself - would they go for the blunt instrument of a straightforward attack on the main Austrian force at Zouache, or try to manoeuvre and outflank them? The lightly-held outpost at Landsburg is more valuable for recruitment, so taking it would be a longer-term benefit ( with the winter recruiting season approaching ) , and would outflank the enemy main force and threaten to cut its communications, and leave the Austrian homeland in danger. However, the season was late, ( this is the last turn before winter ) the roads somewhat indirect, and the limitation of two 'marches' per unit would not have allowed exploitation of any advantage if Landsburg was taken. If the Austrian main force could simply be attacked and defeated now, their resistance would be at an end, and the campaign won. Given all that, I put it to the Dice Gods : roll one die, with a roll of 1 or 2 meanng 'manoeuvre', and 3 to 6 'attack'. I rolled... a '3', so 'attack' it is!
With plenty of moves available, the Prussians were able to marshal their forces and launch a two-pronged attack - with their infantry approaching Zouache from the North, while cavalry swung in from the West. And so, battle will be joined.
In 'Soldier King' units, the defending Austrians have the following:
Infantry : 3 units Veterans, 2 units Levies
Cavalry : 1 unit Heavy ( Levies ) , 3 units Light ( 2 veteran, 1 Levy )
While Prussia's attacking army is as folows:
Infantry : 1 unit Guard, 5 units Veterans
Cavalry : 3 units Guard Heavy.
|Prussians (blue) stronger in all departments|
Translating to The Portable Wargame, that would be about 28 Strength Points of Austrians versus 37 Strength Points for the Prussians. Quite an advantage to the attackers, but against 'entrenched' defenders, that should even things up a bit.
I now have to decide exactly how to play this out - in particular, have I even got enough figures? That's a lot of Prussian infantry units! I may need to hurry up and finish painting the troops I recently made a start on. Or, perhaps try different rules and/or a different representation of units? Some more thinking will be needed. Owing to circumstances ( i.e the amazing spread of Omicron ) I do not have any social engagements at all over the next week or so - there should at least be plenty of time to spend on this, once the big day is out of the way, leftovers eaten and the washing-up done...
So I hope to report on this fairly soon - in the meantime here's wishing a very merry Xmas to all my readers and followers! Let's hope things are brighter in 2022. Keep safe, and well, everyone.