Category Archives: Seven Years War

Battle of Prague

After an unscheduled business trip, two weeks with the flu afterwards, and the standard hullabaloo around Christmas I’m finally putting up this AAR.

As anticipated from the balance of forces it wasn’t much of a battle, but that’s the beauty of campaigns: sometimes you get very asymmetrical engagements. As a side note, after looking at this set of pictures I replaced the hideous green on my table with two very nice Cigarbox game mats.

As a reminder from the previous post the opposing forces looked like this.

The Forces:

Prussians Austrians
Grenadiers 4 Brigades 2 Brigades
Musketeers 5 Brigades 9 Brigades (1 reduced strength)
Fusiliers 4 Brigades N/A
Cuirassiers 5 Brigades 4 Brigades
Dragoons 3 Brigades (1 reduced strength) 0
Hussars 1 Brigade 0
Artillery 4 Heavy Artillery units 2 Heavy Artillery unit

In the rules I use, Might & Reason, the Prussians are significantly better than the Austrians on a unit for unit basis. In this case with ~25% more infantry and over 2X the cavalry, it promised ill for the white coats.

And so it went. The Austrians deployed along a hill line a ways behind a stream. It was considered to deploy right up against the stream to take advantage of the difficulties in fording under fire however it was judged that the Austrians had insufficient men to cover the length of the stream and would have left themselves open to outflanking from the more numerous, and more speedy, Prussians. They fervently hoped that either a) part of the Prussian army would not arrive on the field or b) if it did all show up that night would fall before they were too badly bruised.

 

img_0622

View from behind the Austrian lines. Schwerin’s contingent of Prussians can be seen approaching from beyond the stream.

 

The Austrians were forced to stretch their lines in order to make a flank attack less likely. This left them dangerously thin across their entire front. Unfortunately for the Austrians, all the Prussians made it to the table and they did it in a timely fashion with the entire army advancing by mid-morning.

 

img_0627

Advance of the Prussians. Frederick’s contingent has arrived and is crossing the stream while in the background Schwerin’s group continues their advance.

 

 

img_0628

Austrian view of the approaching Prussian hordes.

 

It didn’t take long for the Prussians to engage along the entire Austrian front. Their basic plan was to tie up all the Austrian front line and use a wedge of Grenadiers to drive a wedge through the relatively weak Austrian center.

 

img_0632

Looking down the battle line. The Prussians are massing to drive a wedge through the Austrians and into the valley between the hills.

img_0633

View from behind the Prussian line as the armies meet.

 

In the end it didn’t take long for the Prussian plan to succeed. Under the grenadier bludgeon the Austrian center melted away. The wings held a while longer but they were taking horrific losses from the rapid Prussian fire. By early afternoon they were falling back behind the walls of Prague. Now the question will be can the relief army save them before the city falls.

 

img_0635

Breakthrough in the Austrian center.

img_0639

Austrian left still holding but the losses are mounting quickly.

img_0643

End of the battle. The gap in the Austrian center is now huge. Time for the remnants to run away.

 

The Prussians ended up losing the equivalent of 2 infantry brigades and 2 cavalry brigades. The Austrian losses were more significant with no less than 7 infantry brigades and 2 cavalry brigades being lost. Including the Reserve army the Austrian/Russian forces still outnumber the Prussians but the advantage is being whittled down quickly.

 

dsc_0193

Luke the Corgi says Merry Christmas!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Seven Years War

1757 Campaign – Prelude to Prague

In the first 2 weeks of the campaign the Prussians advanced and drove the army of Kongisegg before them ultimately resulting in the fairly even contest at Munchenberg. During their half of the first campaign turn the Austrians fell back onto Prague. Their hope was that they would seize the initiative in the next turn and develop a strong central position to keep the Prussian wings separated.

april-1b

If the Austrians took the initiative Charles would move west to Sonlan and meet up with Arenberg while Serbelloni moved into Prague to join Konigsegg for defense of the city.

Unfortunately for the Austrians, the Prussians maintained the initiative as the campaign entered the second half of April. Frederick & Schwerin moved into the region around Prague and the stage was set for the second battle of the campaign.

april-2a

The opposing forces favored the Prussians in the upcoming clash. With ~50% higher numbers and significantly superior quality the stage was set for Frederick to achieve a great victory.

The Forces:

Prussians Austrians
Grenadiers 4 Brigades 2 Brigades
Musketeers 5 Brigades 9 Brigades (1 reduced strength)
Fusiliers 4 Brigades N/A
Cuirassiers 5 Brigades 4 Brigades
Dragoons 3 Brigades (1 reduced strength) 0
Hussars 1 Brigade 0
Artillery 4 Heavy Artillery units 2 Heavy Artillery unit

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Seven Years War

1757 Campaign – Battle of Munchenberg

The first battle of the campaign occurred near the small town of Munchenberg when the advancing Prussians under Schwerin engaged the Austrians under Konigsegg. The Prussians had a slight manpower edge and an enormous quality advantage. It was assumed that they would brush aside the Austrians with relative ease. However…

img_0597

Austrian deployment with their left guarded by the river & the town

Konigsegg, the Austrian commander, is not a very good general however of his three sub-commanders, two of them, Hadik commanding the cavalry and Lacy commanding the left half of the infantry were able generals. His third subordinate, Saint-Ignon with the right half of the infantry line, was steady but slow.

Schwerin advanced from the east with Keith & Manteuffel commanding the infantry and Kraig and Ascherleben the cavalry.

img_0598

Prussians beginning their advance

By midday the Prussian infantry had engaged the Austrian line while the larger Prussian cavalry charged the Austrian horse.

The Prussian infantry immediately began driving back the Austrians, although taking heavier losses than expected. The cavalry however was unexpectedly repulsed by the Austrian Cuirassiers which resulted in the destruction of the brigade of Hussars.

img_0604

For several hours the white coated defenders fought toe to toe with the advancing Prussians until it became obvious that they could not withstand much longer. They successfully withdrew their guns without loss however although their infantry losses were severe.

img_0611img_0613img_0618img_0620

The battle was decided when the Prussian cavalry overwhelmed their outnumbered opponents and were able to crash into the flank of the Austrian infantry line. The defenders morale failed and they streamed off in retreat down the road towards Jungbunzlau.

Losses were heavy on both sides although the lack of surviving Prussian light cavalry meant that there was no pursuit of the retreating Austrians.

Losses Prussian Austrian
Infantry 2 Musketeer brigades destroyed – (14SP total) 2 musketeer brigades destroyed, 1 brigade reduced 4 SP –  (16SP total)
Cavalry Hussars destroyed (they were depleted before the battle from march attrition), Dragoons down 3 SP – (6SP total) 1 cuirassier brigade destroyed – (7 SP total)
Artillery None None
Generals None Hadik killed

Overall the Austrian losses were slightly heavier, 23SP versus 20, however their overall larger army means that they can afford the loss better than the Prussians can.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Seven Years War

1757 Campaign – April

Now that I have a dedicated game room, it’s time to kick off my first campaign project. Just because it’s visually appealing I’ve chosen my Seven Years War armies for the initial foray. I use Sam Mustafa’s excellent Might & Reason rules for gaming the 7YW and it conveniently includes two different campaign methods. I’m using a “slightly” modified version of the 1757 campaign. I want to get my Russians on the table also at some point so I’ve replaced Daun’s Austrian relief army with a similar sized Russian force under Fermor.

Here’s what the map looks like that the campaign plays out on:

1757-campaign

The Prussians begin north of the river, the Austrians to the south, and when the Russians arrive they’ll be coming on at Brunn. I’m playing this solo but the rules lend themselves very well for solo gaming and I think I can make the campaign work also with some judicious forgetfulness.

After deployment, the Prussians have initiative on the first turn and their moves are shown below.

1757-campaign

As Brunswick-Bevern advanced into Reichenberg, Konigsegg successfully evaded and fell back into Munchengratz. Unfortunately, he failed to fall back as Schwerin advanced from the east and so the first battle is set to begin!

Might & Reason uses “brigade”  units, roughly 4 battalions of infantry or 10 squadrons of cavalry per 2 stand unit. The opposing forces are:

Prussians Austrians
Artillery 2 Units 1 Unit
Infantry 1 Grenadier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Fusilier 6 Musketeer
Cavalry 1 Hussar, 1 Dragoon, 2 Cuirassier 2 Cuirassier

The Prussians of this period are, “man for man” quite a bit better than the Austrians so I anticipate a victory for Schwerin & company however, we’ll see how it ends up on the table!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Seven Years War