Monday, 3 June 2019

D-Day Flashback - Wargame refight of LeHamel 2005

I've been looking at some magnificent renditions of D-Day wargaming recently and it cast my mind back to when my little group did something similar.
I used to collect 1944 British and Germans around the turn of the century as we discovered "Rapid Fire!" rules in about 1996 and just progressed with them till the second edition came along in about 2005/06. I looked back in the Cheltenham Greatfield Wargames Club magazine "The Greatfield Galloper" Winter 2005 edition and found an account of how I staged the assault on the LeHamel sector of the British beaches.

I organised and umpired and we had two players per side. It was based on the scenario in the "Rapid Fire!" D-Day campaign book, and if you want to read the account I published at the time, with the orders of battle please check out this link to my Downloads sidebar LeHamel refight article from GG12 Dec 2005

We played on my old sandtable which was only 7 feet x 5 feet and most of the buildings and defences are scratch built. I spent a fair bit of time kit bashing to come up with cheap and cheerful versions of the 79th Armoured Division's "funny" armoured vehicles and a few appear in the photos. All items are notionally "20mm" from a variety of manufacturers.

No point giving any detailed captions, I'm just enjoying the nostalgia of a game from 14 years ago, and also remembering a fantastic 3 day guided tour of the Normandy battlefields with my son in 2003 which aided my modelling. Apologies for the quality of the old photographs.

mostly scratch built cardboard landing craft
flail tank clears a path of mines

German defence works - infantry - and sunken AT gun and mortar pit....
..........about to open up as infantry disembark from the landing craft
A good view of the various "funnies"

Bridge laying tank with petard mortar mounts the sea wall
Typhoon attacks 105mm battery
British tanks quickly advance through German infantry
flame throwing tank about to fire on a difficult strongpoint

British infantry use hedges to cover their advance inland
A "tobruk" machine gun nest overlooks the beach

By the end of the game the British tanks which had "broken though" became toast
In our refight the British players got bogged down and did not manage to achicve their objectives in the time allowed.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Hussarettes: the most complex painting yet

Regular followers might be wondering why it has been nearly two months since my last post. Apologies but I've been distracted by my two-dimensional art rather significantly. Fans of the Hussarette genre, however, should be pleased as the latest commission has allowed me to rejoice once again in the theme of lovely ladies and gorgeous uniforms. You might have seen it in process in the background of my  post on the Battle of Lobositz .  Here is an overall view of the completed painting "Hussarette Aides de Camp in Spain c1810" and the story of how it came about.

Oil on canvas 80 cm x 60 cm. "Hussarette ADC's in Spain, c1810" - Nicole, Therese and Margueritte 
As an artist I'm always on the lookout for inspiration and I wander, camera in hand, ready for an opportunity. The Duchess and I went on holiday to Andalucia, southern Spain, just over a year ago. We spent a couple of great days in Seville and much of one of them was spent in the Alcazar Palace and exploring the exotic gardens. This was originally a Moorish Palace but taken over in the Reconquista and adapted and rebuilt over the centuries to meet the needs of Spanish nobles. There are grand buildings in the grounds with elaborate architectural details and clad in classic Spanish tiling. With the wonderful trees and plants and fountains it is an assault on the senses. 

While walking through a "summer house" which was like a mini-palace, I was struck by the posing of three lovely young tourists who were wrapped in conversation and completely oblivious to their surroundings. But I was able to snap a few photos and begin to wonder how I could put the moment in time and place to good use.

One of several photos taken as the ladies made minor shifts in stance

Later in the holiday another amazing photo opportunity presented itself. On the road between Cordoba and Grenada we stopped at a roadside cafe and as I sauntered round the back through a  fairly unkempt yard looking for the loo, I saw an old bullock cart that looked as if it could have been used to carry supplies to one of Sharpe's Peninsular War garrisons! Here is just one pic from my 360 degree photo shoot of that piece

In the Alhambra Palace in Granada the Spanish tour guide, quite bitterly, told us how the Spanish palaces had been ransacked by Napoleon's soldiers and a lot of works of art stolen.......ideas began to take shape

Classic view of the Alhambra Palace on a rather dull day in March 2018

When I got home I tried these photos on one of my muses - Ian Allen. Ian is one of my most ardent patrons and always willing to allow me to bounce ideas off him.  It took a few emails and false starts but between us we came up with the following little scene for the latest in my theme of empowered women in an imaginary "blackpowder period" universe.

It is around 1810 and the French are rampaging through southern Spain. The Army has just taken a city by storm and three Divisions have temporarily come together to share the spoils. To decide the next moves their three Generals are having a meeting in one of the palace buildings. The door is guarded by dismounted dragoons (or dragons as my French-born former miniatures-painter window cleaner called them..... dragons?? it's imaginary but not fantasy!). As it happened each general has a lady Hussar as personal Aide de Camp (well, who wouldn't, given the chance?). These French ladies all know each other from earlier campaigns but rarely meet. So what better opportunity for a catch up when their bosses are engrossed in military plans for an hour or more and they have free time to call for wine, bread and cheese, and oranges, and munch away while discussing the news from home.  

Margueritte surrounded by food and drink sustenance
(based loosely on Penelope Cruz)

It's hot, they've discarded their dolmans and pelisses, sabres and sword belts, sabretaches and cartridge boxes and headgear. Ian likes his ladies sexy but respectable so he came up with the idea of "peasant-style" blouses and I took them as far as my model would allow. I looked at references of Sir William Russell Flint's Spanish ladies to give her inspiration. 

The high-level meeting has disturbed the looters and the girls sit amidst looted cases, sacks of fabrics, carpets, copper and brass vessels and candlesticks, weapons, beer barrels, and a painting in fancy gilt frame. Ian's sense of humour suggested I make it one of my own paintings, so the large print of Natalie came down from my studio wall and posed sideways in the cart!

All these objects, with one exception, are artifacts I own either as antiques or reproduction art props and I set them up as large "still life" groupings in the studio. The exception is the very fine brass mounted double pistol holsters in the foreground which were taken from an internet photo.

The detail of uniforms for the Hussarettes was left to me except in colouring. Ian loves light blue and yellow, and together with the red, he specified the colours. I looked at some older paintings of individual officers or ADCs (such as below) and made sure I gave all three ladies distinctive gold or silver lace, with designs on sabretaches etc inspired by actual examples on the internet.

My actual art prop is black leather
 and home made,
 based on a Young Guard
 infantry officer's design
Imaginary shako decorations.
All this planning took place nearly a year ago and I was busy acquiring and making some of the props I would need. Loads of work took place using Photoshop to adapt my Spanish location photos and come up with a planned composition, subject to arranging all the artifacts.  I was keen to line up Marianne to model for me as she is my go-to French first choice, but one thing after another got in our way and so the photo shoot did not take place till January this year. Although I would not use her face (see later) I still wanted a "latin" lady to set the mood and atmosphere.  I painted in the background buildings, the cart and the basics of the mini-palace arches and doorway  so we had a good idea on the spot of what was required   For the shoot I had to put the wargames table to one side, dress the room to give me a fair representation of the stone/tiled bench and upright wall and get all the stuff Marianne needed to handle and wear and we were set to go.

Many hour's work later I came up with a Photoshopped layout to get Ian's approval

This looks pretty stark because it is just cutouts with no shading or artistic effects other than resizing objects to fit. However, this gives those who have asked me a fair idea of where I'm coming from to get the final compositions. Marianne wore three distinctly different sets of blouses, leggings, scarves etc and different hairstyles and we tried each character in many positions so I had about 100 photos to choose the three that suited me best.

Here is one I did not use just to give you a flavour. I decided I wanted poses where all three girls interacted with one another, it makes a much more coherent "story".

We had to decide what sort of features Ian would like for these fictitious Aides de Camp as it gives me something to aim at, though we are not after celebrity portraits. He chose Latina type actresses, Michelle Rodriguez and Penelope Cruz, and I stuck with his theme and went for a Panamanian fashion model blogger-influencer, Pam Hetlinger, for the third. I did not achieve great likenesses but he seemed to like what I came up with fairly quickly.

Therese enjoys the chat
(based on Michelle Rodriguez)

Nicole holds forth
(based on Pam Hetlinger)

It's a tradition of my Hussarette series that the lady's name appears
somewhere in the painting. Sabre scabbards are a favourite way I can
make it look engraved in the metal or leather.
The cast shadow on this side of the painting helps throw the main attention on the girls

We felt some background figures would add realism and finish it off nicely.
Dragoons look after the ADC's horses, and up on the balcony a general is receiving a
 despatch while an aide spies out the city through his telescope
I hope you've enjoyed this rather different blog post. Something for the military equipment  enthusiasts, the Hussarette fans and the painters among my readers. Any thoughts or questions welcome in the Comment box, thank you for visiting.  (Oh! -  the obvious one - 72 hours on the canvas over three months, but countless hours in preparation, and the cost is north of £750).  And if you want to discuss a military - themed commission without obligation please email me  Chris Gregg

PLEASE NOTE: it's flattering to see my art work shared on the internet just by people who like my work and want others to see it, but the artist still retains the copyright. I own the copyright of all these images except the 8th one - paintings of three hussars, and I'm sorry I don't know who to credit for those. So if you post or copy elsewhere please credit me by name and preferably make a link back to this blog post, thank you.  I'm currently posting all my new work on Instagram as @chrisgregg173  or here's a link

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Battle of Lobositz 1756 - a West Country refight

Prussian Commanders reflect
The preparation had been done - terrain sculpted, maps received, Imagi-Nation armies deployed as historic ones, wargamers readying themselves for Chris and Kevin's birthday game 2019. It was to be the first real battle of the Seven Years War - Lobositz. Probably one of the most replayed battles of the SYW for 18th century wargamers, and now it was my turn to stage it.  That was the first weekend of February and the snow began to fall on Gloucestershire's Cotswold Hills........

My wargames room is 600 feet above sea level and receives whatever the prevailing South-west wind brings in from the Atlantic - beautiful warm, sunny breezes in Summer but icily chilled H2O in Winter. We had about 6 inches of snow up here during the day and I had high hopes that it would melt as my five players were coming from distant points North, South, West and East, and even so the last 7 miles from either Stroud or Cirencester was not to be messed with. But it did not melt enough, so I had to postpone it.....

Reorganising to suit everyone proved impossible. Honours of War (HoW) author, Keith Flint, was due to play but sadly his work schedule proved too difficult in late February and March. My old friend Richard Newcombe could not make the same day as the others, what a dilemma........... But, let's turn a sad situation to advantage. It was to be Richard's first go at HoW so what better than to use the game as a gentle tutorial with him playing Austrian, as originally intended, and me taking the Prussians. So we found a date in the middle of February........

The practice game
Gentle?!  Within five moves our Dashing C -in-Cs and cavalry commanders had seen to it that all the commands had become fiercely engaged and several obliterated, and the maximum loss Victory conditions I had set had been smashed by both sides, so we called it a draw and I had learned a lot about what might happen when the other three were to play three weeks later. Richard had enjoyed it immensely though and that was a huge plus.

Richard pulls back some shattered Austrian cavalry in our first Lobositz refight
in mid February
And I survey the huge vacant space in the Prussian centre where my infantry used to be!

Lobositz - the main game
Although I read every account of the historical battle I could find and compared it to the many published wargame refights (Charles Grant's probably being the most well known) I settled on the one Keith Flint has published in the Honours of War rulebook. He has done a lot of work to represent the historical armies and with a bit of fiddling to make various small, standard and large sized units, I found I could represent the forces at approximately 1 x 28mm figure being 100 men.  Tactical units were therefore brigade-sized, infantry 18 or 24 figures, some made bigger with battalion guns attached. Cavalry were nearly all 12 figures. How much artillery for balance could have been a  problem but Keith had set the game out using HoW so why not stick to his 3 Austrian and 5 Prussian?
Below are the maps given to the commanders - Ken Marshall was Marshal von Browne for the Austrians and Kevin East and Guy Barlow playing Frederick (the Great?) and Marshal Keith respectively.
The Austrian map - Red area. The main line was divided into four by the dotted lines and Ken had to put one main command in each area. plus the Lobosch Berg for his Light infantry
Being a bit of a scale pedant I reduced the ranges from the standard rules to:
Muskets - 10 cm; Battalion gun equipped brigades - 20cm: Medium guns 60 cm and Heavy guns 90 cm.  No fancy movements within 10cm of the enemy. Bounce through/grazing distance - 20 cm. But pretty much everything else stayed the same, so standard infantry line movement - 20cm, cavalry 30cm.  This probably meant that each turn could represent about an hour of historical time
The Prussians were limited to the area King Frederick reached by about 8 am (within blue lines) and Kevin was advised to stick roughly to the historical commands (left, centre first/second lines etc).

You can read the detailed briefs in the Download section on the right hand side bar. Here is a link  18th Century Historical

Context of the battle
I guess most of my regular readers are familiar with the history but for those who aren't here is the briefest of context statements.  Frederick had sensed war coming with the Austrians so he pre-empted this by invading Austria's ally, Saxony. The Saxon army bottled itself up in an armed camp at Pirna awaiting rescue by the Austrians, who in turn were now on the move to confront the Prussians. Frederick took a part of his army through the mountain pass south of Pirna intending to see off whatever Austria cared to throw at him.
Von Browne was a clever general though and realised that where the large River Elbe flowed past the town of Lobositz, with the marshy Morrellenbach just to the South, was an ideal spot to catch Frederick as he emerged from the bottleneck of the valley between the extinct volcanic cones of the Lobosch and Homolka Bergs. He deployed his Vanguard forward of Lobositz and light troops onto the Lobosch, while keeping a strong force back along the Morellenbach where it was concealed by the river mists. More of his army (not represented in this scenario) awaited a mile or two back with the expectation he could fall back on it if necessary.
The Prussians came out of the valley in the early morning of 1st October 1756 and could only observe a limited part of von Browne's army which Fred took to be an insignificant holding force. He deployed for attack across the narrow valley mouth and round the lower slopes of Homolka Berg.

Game deployment and plans
I deliberately did not give either side a free hand as I deemed the tactical options interesting enough as they were, but I did give them scope to arrange the brigades of each command and artillery with some latitude within the broad historical deployment zones.
Austrian: Those who have the HoW rulebook will see similarities with Keith's map in there, but the most significant change was that Ken eschewed the option of light infantry in the sunken road between Lobositz and the Chapel and opted to put them instead as yet more reinforcements to his right flank at the Lobosch Berg. His plan was simple:

  • Hold Lobosh Berg and press the Prussian flank as much as possible
  • Hold the centre and counter attack with cavalry where appropriate, using the guns to break up Prussian attacks
  • When the mist clears move the whole left wing across the marshy stream and advance towards Homolka Berg and Wchinitz village to squeeze the Prussians from both sides
  • Retreat if necessary once significant damage has been done to the Prussian force
These are the Victory Conditions I set the Austrians:
"If you have not inflicted a serious reverse on Frederick by close of play you must be in a position to retreat via Squares F1 - F6 with at least 10 units out of your 21 having no more than 2 Hits each."

Overall view at the start; Austrians on the right.  The strong Austrian left wing in the foreground would be hidden by a mist "blanket" before the Prussian players arrived
Prussian: Kevin's choices were pretty limited and to his credit he did not read the HoW rulebook scenario or read up on Lobositz historically - "I did not want to read about my demise in advance and be put off!" was his excuse.  He decided to mass most of his artillery on and round the Homolka Berg where he had the best chance of not being blocked by his infantry or cavalry advancing. His plan had some complex nuances in view of delegating some of it to Guy but in essence was as follows:

  • Hold and protect the left flank without engaging heavily on the Lobosch
  • Push forward in the centre with infantry as quickly and strongly as possible, supported by massed artillery fire. Emphasis of attack was to be the gap between Lobositz and the Chapel and not get embroiled in built-up-area fighting
  • The cavalry on the right flank were to hold back initially and see what developed from the mist while protecting the artillery on the hill
I had set these Victory Conditions for the Prussians: 
"You must defeat this rear guard and any emerging forces completely and press on towards von Browne’s camp via Squares F1 - F6 by close of play on the day.   In doing this you must have at least 5 non-artillery units with 2 or less hits.  If at any stage of the battle you lose 6 or more units "Done For" then Frederick will leave the battlefield and ride back up the valley towards Pirna".

View from the Lobosch Berg
The Prussian centre looking towards Lobositz
Prussian right flank including heavy guns and five brigades of cavalry
The Austrian centre held by artillery and four brigades of cavalry
Austrian right flank by the River Elbe. Note the green clad light infantry
intending to reinforce the Lobosch garrison

The Prussians attack

Ken watches as the Prussian torrent unfolds. In the distance a Command roll of 6 has
 caused the front Prussian cavalry brigade to charge
Above and Below: Kevin and Guy are happy that the central infantry wing is
advancing as planned. Guy ensures his artillery are well sighted

Now the Austrian heavy cavalry counter attack. Superior class Horse Grenadiers
 hitting a Prussian Dragoon brigade. Kevin is also bringing up another Cuirassier brigade
from the second line cavalry command to help
Not helped by surprise pre-melee "crossing fire" from a battery in Sullowitz, the Prussian Dragoons met their doom, but not before inflicting enough casualties on the Horse Grenadiers to see them rout. The latter had been weakened by Guy's opening bombardment from Homolka Berg

The mist clears and Austrians advance

Start of Move Three and I just missed the look of horror on Kevin and Guy's faces as the mist was cleared off! These photos are a minute later when the shock has turned to "What the H*** do we do now?"
View from the Austrian left wing
Nothing daunted Frederick continues to press on as there is not much choice. All the Austrian Cavalry Division has been drawn in now, including the small Hussar brigade
The fire from the Austrian battery in Sullowitz is balanced a little by continuous overhead fire from this Prussian howitzer battery. But in the centre the Austrian grand battery has sent the front Prussian brigade routing back to recover
The two Prussian cavalry brigades facing the Austrian masses crossing Morrellenbach
look calmer than Guy and Kevin were feeling.....they turned the Heavy guns on
Homolka Berg to face the threat
In front of Lobositz Colonel Lacy's Austrians stand firm as the Prussians press forward
and one of their batteries is beginning to cause casualties on the Grenadier brigade
On the Prussian left Lieutenant General Bevern's infantry are edging towards Lobositz
while still facing a threat from Draskovitch's Croats that has yet to be unleashed
(10 cm musket range for this game and both stayed out of range).
However the red uniformed Liccaner Grenzers now face an open flank
Meanwhile, in the centre two brigades of Cuirassiers clashed resulting in destruction of the Prussian brigade and compulsory retreat of the Austrian one

Continued Prussian attacks in the Centre and also the Right Flank 

A glass of lager calms "Frederick's" nerves while "von Browne" rolls in a dice box
for his next command initiative test
A close up of the steady Prussian infantry advance. Guy is using volley fire from his Grenadiers, now well in musket range, and his artillery have persuaded Ken's Grenadiers (light blue and yellow uniforms) to withdraw to a safer distance
The Liccaner Grenzers have got round that open flank but are now "out of command"

Prussian right wing cavalry engaged

A good view of the centre: Lines of Prussians advance but behind them other brigades are falling back with "4 hits" and a red counter to recover.  In front of Sullowitz both sides' cavalry have renewed the assault and somehow the supporting "inferior" Austrian Hussars have ended up on the bayonets of Prussian infantry. I can't quite remember how we allowed that to happen - heat of the moment excitement I expect! In the distance Kevin got a compulsory charge for the Dashing commander of those serene Prussian cavalry!
An unhappy result for both Austrian cavalry brigades by Sullowitz
A good close up of Guy's Grenadier advance against  Lacy's line which had suffered a
 little prior artillery fire damage from Homolka Berg
Close up of their right flank with Prussian Dragoons piling into an Austrian
infantry brigade and Cuirassiers matching Austrian Cuirassiers who counter-attack
A not unexpected unhappy result for the Dragoons.......
....and mutual breakage for the Cuirassiers
Austrian counter attack from the Morrellenbach

About this time a round shot from the Homolka Berg decapitated the Austrian
Left Wing infantry commander. The "Dependable" General Kollowrat was replaced
 by his "Dithering" sidekick and Marshal von Browne decided he had to put in an
 appearance by Sullowitz to get things going again.
Now a game changing command roll as von Browne was able to urge a
 double move for all 6 infantry brigades along the Morrellenbach. The nearest
one bravely attacked the retreating Cuirassiers under the Homolka Berg heavy guns
Ken moves the Kollowrat Corps across a wide front giving Kevin and Guy more problems
Full width of the Austrian attack, threatening an infantry brigade in the flank, the Prussian howitzer battery, and the rallying Cuirassiers.............
......But the heavy guns saw off the threat to the Cuirassiers while Frederick had
 come over to lend his "Dashing" C-in-C rallying skills
The next Austrian brigade was already weakened and became "Done For" from
Howitzer and infantry fire. It appeared that the plucky resurgent Austrian attack was being held off
Some Prussian progress at last in the Centre

Austrian Cuirassiers had at last recovered and now returned to support both the
Left and Centre. Prussian infantry continued their rolling volleys - close range fire
failed to break the big Austrian battery but another Prussian brigade went down under the guns
At last the Prussian Grenadier brigade leading the central attack broke the large
Austrian brigade opposite, but itself had 4 Hits and had to retire. At this point
the Prussians were beginning to achieve what they wanted - but only in this sector!
This overall shot shows more Prussian infantry attacks pressing Lacy's Austrians near Lobositz. Recovered Prussian infantry holding the line up to the Homolka Berg and in the far distance the rallying Prussian Cuirassiers being attacked by Dragoons
In the foreground Austrian Grenadiers are rallying in Lobositz and outside
the town another brigade is retreating. Only one brigade and the artillery holds off the
 Prussian surge where Frederick has now come to urge them on.
The next sequence of photos are close ups across the lines at this point of extreme engagement

Rallying Prussian Cuirassiers  on the right flank caught standing by
Austrian Dragoons 
View from the Homolka Berg heavy guns where a converged Grenadier brigade
 is making a good target. Von Browne is still sticking around here to make
 sure things go to plan!
Ken continues his infantry attack from Sullowitz......
........and Guy continues his in front of Lobositz. Here we see Frederick and aides
plus Prinz Ferdinand bravely in front of the Austrian grand battery
To their left a small Grenadier brigade is pressing on supported by artillery
but the rest of Bevern's command is still focused on the threat from the Lobosch Berg
Mixed fortunes for both sides

In front of Frederick a brigade is forced to retreat having failed again to
 break those dreaded guns . King Frederick had had enough now -
 six Prussian units were "Done For" and he left the field in Marshal Keith's charge
to "return to Pirna for reinforcements"
But the Austrian attack still continues to collapse
Not surprisingly the weak Prussian Cuirassiers are sent packing by their
 Austrian Dragoon opponents, who now have an artillery flank in sight.
Ken passes the test not to charge recklessly
The Austrian "retreat"
At this point Ken consulted me for clarification of his Victory Conditions. I deemed that he had indeed inflicted a severe kicking to the Prussians and was poised to follow up on their flanks should he wish to do so. The way, essentially, was still open back to his main army, and he could retreat with honour if it got no worse. Could he manage that and recover enough to fulfil the "10 units" criteria I had set?

Above and below: Ironically the Turn (Move 7) he had intended to start the retreat
he rolled a compulsory charge dice for both his remaining brigades of cavalry.
The centre Cuirassier Brigade crashed into the flank of a Prussian infantry brigade..... 
...and the Dragoons succumbed to the temptation to take those artillery on
Homolka Berg in flank
It looked as if they could not survive, but uphill advantage, the slightly worn
state of the Dragoons, together with lucky dice meant the battery
 held the cavalry to three rounds of melee before it was decided.
Even then they got the right dice score to escape with limbered guns!
Prussia was not so lucky in the centre where the Austrian cuirassier charge
broke the rather worn brigade trying to hold the line, putting both Von Kleist's
and Marshal Keith's personality figures in jeopardy.
In the distance Von Browne is organising a successful withdrawal of the
remaining brigades
On the Prussian left Guy had at last got fed up with the threat from all those Croats
 on the Lobosch and he attacked. The Croat brigades fired and retired. This was all to no
avail for Marshal Keith though as he had been successfully outflanked...... you can see, two brigades of Croats were now under command and edging round to cut the Prussian line of communication up the valley to Pirna. The Prussian Cuirassiers were desperately trying to find a safe place to spend their Move in recovery time but those Croats were too close and we deemed them run off the field and "Done For"

The Result
It was now around 5.30pm real time and about 3pm game time, and Kevin declared he had to go home now (we had allowed him to retain some tactical commands even since Fred had left the field).
All agreed we had played enough and it was time to tot up the losses to see if either side had fulfilled the Victory Conditions.

The Austrians started off with 21 Units and had lost 7. Prussians originally had 20 and had also lost 7 by close of play - plus the Cuirassiers forced off in "extra time" = 8. It could hardly have been closer fought.
But more significant was that Kevin and Guy only had four non-artillery units with 2 or less Hits lost so were too shattered to claim victory. How had the Austrians fared?
Ken found he had 11 units with 2 or less Hits which was one more than the minimum and he was still in a position to retreat to the main army so was declared the winner.

Here is my running score sheet

View of the whole table at the end of play
For me it had (maybe surprisingly) been the first historic SYW battle I had organised and staged, and using the guidelines set down by Keith Flint's scenario, had worked a treat. Thank you Keith. Honours of War, with my few changes,  had come good yet again for our little West Country group.

The atmosphere was really convivial with old friends for my, albeit much delayed, "birthday game" , and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Ken seemed pleased that he had a plan, and it worked. You can't often say that in wargames!

Player Highlights
The players all contributed some highlights for me, and readers might like to share their pleasure and frustration.  What a great hobby!

By Ken:
  • Guy's long range heavy artillery fire which was just mildly irritating until he managed to kill my left flank infantry commander. After that my army commander had to spend all of his time ensuring the dithering replacement did something useful.
  • Three turns of melee before my cavalry managed to defeat that artillery battery. And even then, they got the guns away.
  • Eventually it being time to retire so my heavy cavalry immediately rolled an uncontrolled charge. 
  • Just how long a brigade of infantry and a couple of guns could hold up an advance by Prussian infantry. Legend will have them standing against an army of all grenadiers for a full day.
  • Kevin's face when that mist vanished and he saw the rest of my infantry.
  • And how Fredrick managed to survive the battle without being injured. I saw him standing in front of his own heavy guns just before they blew one of my brigades to scrap and he wasn't scratched.
By Guy:
  1. The look on mine and Kevin’s faces when the mist came off to see all those horrible Austrians on the flank.
  2. My heavy gun battery which fought 3 melees with the cavalry brigade and could retire all limbered up.
  3. Fred doing a runner. I always knew he was a bad ‘un.
  4. Those 2 wretched Austrian guns in the centre which mangled probably half the brigades we lost and ground our attack to a standstill.
 Well done to Ken for giving us such a good kicking. Revenge will be sweet…..

By Kevin:
Frederick would like to make a few comments in relation to his recent little 'skirmish'.
  • That damned fog!
  • Those damned two Austrian batteries!
  • How many cavalry brigades did they have?
  • the fog has lifted. "O Mein Gott! The whole Austrian army is before us! I have important business in Prussia .......time to leave!. "