Wargaming the Seven Years War with 40mm miniatures, done by: Johann-Peter Scheck and Anselm Scheck

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Rules of our game

After the nice posts we got concerning our summer battle with the question, which rules we use, we decided to post them here. Scheckinator helped me to translate our self-made rules in english. They are very simple and easy to understand and use:

1. Nature of the Game

The game is oriented towards the battles of the SYW. Mobility, tactics, and speed are imitated as closely and realistically as possible to resemble the original mid-18th century combat we’re trying to emulate. There are only a few situations that rely on the element of chance (e.g. throwing dice), the majority is according to your own decisions and the power and skills of your army. The game also has an offensive emphasis.

2. Basics

A. Deployment
There is a defending army and an attacking one. The defenders place their forces, consisting of artillery, cavalry and infantry, first and occupy the best available position. Then the attackers place their army.

B. Movement
The attackers have the first move.
A move signifies that every unit in the army can be moved simultaneously. So the whole army can be moved.
The rules for moving are:
infantry: 1 field (10cm | 1/3ft)
cavalry: 3 fields (30cm | 1ft)
artillery: 1 shot or move 1 field or turn (only if more than 60°). Shooting and moving at the same time isn´t possible.
If you have a limber, move the cannon/mortar also 30 cm.

infantry and cavalery can move AND fire simultaneously.

Then the enemy moves and so on.

C. Shooting
If a regiment approaches another one at a distance of 1 field, they can open the fire.
You take dices with as many points as your regiment has soldiers and throw dice. The enemy does the same. The difference of the results marks the losses. Remove the bases that have been killed.
# Background of this rule: muskets were fairly inaccurate during this time period

If you have grenadiers in your regiment, 2 of them can throw a hand grenade.
They can be thrown and kill 2 enemies each.

For the cavalry, the points are as follows:
light dragoons 2pts/man
heavy dragoons 3pts/man
hussars 2pts/man
cuirassiers 2pts/man
# idea: cavalry had more guns or side arms to fire

D. Melee
If a regiment touches another, the close fight begins.
Count your soldiers and the ones of the enemy by their skills - the difference marks the losses.
# background of this rule: well-disciplined soldiers fight better than recruited troops.

musketeer/fusilier          1 pt/man
grenadier                 1,5 pts/man
pikeman                0 pts/man vs. infantery, but 2 pts/man vs. cavalery
officer                   2 pts/man
musician/standard bearer 1 pt/man

dragoons 2pts/man
hussars             2pts/man
cuirassiers         3pts/man

If you have grenadiers in your regiment, 2 of them can throw a hand grenade.
They can be thrown again and kill 2 enemies each.

## Example:
1 grenadier regiment fights with a musketeer regiment; both consist of 25 figures.
Count grenadiers: 24 soldiers and bearers + 1 officer = 36+2 = 38 pts.
Count musketeers: 24 soldiers and bearers + 1 officer = 24+2 = 26 pts.
Result: Take 12 musketeers away.
Same to all other fights.

3. Special effects

E. Cavalry´s special attack
If there are 1 or 2 fields between the cavalry and the enemy, the cavalrymen can accelerate to gallop and move into the infantry´s rank. Hereby the center of the infantry will be pushed back 1 field and 4 infantrymen were trampled to death and killed.
If you no longer have complete regiments, count: 3:1 (3 cavalrymen kill 1 infantryman).
Then start to count the skills (see D).
# Background of this rule: The cuirassier-effect of Seydlitz at Kuehnersdorf against the Russian lines, where the cuirassiers trampled the Russians to death.

F. panic and Retreat
If a regiment is being attacked by the enemy and thinks it will lose, its officer can decide to retire 2 fields (flee or panic). The next turn the regiment may not move because it has to reorganize.
# Background of this rule: The panicked retreat of the French at Rossbach.

G: artillery shooting
The cannon fires 5 fields and kills at close range: 3men / wide range: 2men
The mortar fires 4 fields and kills 3men
wider range: To hit the planned target, you must roll a die.
If you roll a 1 or 2 you’ve hit the field to the left, a 3 to 4 is a direct hit, and a 5 to 6 is a hit on the field to the right.
You need 2 hits to destroy a cannon or a mortar by artillery.
The mortar needs only 1 shot to destroy a cannon.

4. End of the game

The winner is the side that:
- takes the enemy general captive
- or forces the enemy general to give up
- or conquers 3/4 of the battlefield´s territory

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Battle at the Bünz river 1761/2011

French regiment La Couronne advancing in the foreground, assisted by the Mousquetaires du Roi, the Gens d´Armes Bourguignons, the infantery regiments Auvergne and Orléans.

The long expected moment of the big family wargame arrived last sunday and we met in my sister´s house in Switzerland, near the river Bünz. It was a great highlight to see again all relatives and to roll out then the battlefield on the floor and place the armies.
This were the allies: France and Prussia vs. Russia and Sweden. Saxony was not involved in this battle.
The opponents were inequal in weapons and manpower:
The more infantry vs. the statical power of artillery.

France and Prussia were the mobile part with more infantry but less artillery:
11 infantry reg., 7 cavalery reg, 5 16-pounders, 3 24-pd-mortars - totally 375 men

Russia and Sweden had a big artillery fraction, but less infantry:
9 infantery reg, 7 cavalery reg., 9 16-pounders and 7 24-pd-mortars - totally 330 men

Will the difference of 10% more manpower be equal to the big advantage of artillery fire?

I have to introduce our army disposition: we played with our old Prince August figures, in combination with NMZ figures, Sash+Saber and Matthias-Manske.
As you can see at the pics, its a great, mixed ensemble of figures! I could animate my younger brother Felix to start wargaming 3 weeks ago -  he leads now the small swedish corps of P.A.-figures.
r.a. 700 men rolled out at the beginning of the battle, in addition 60 men at the artilery.

To say it immediately: there were a lot of intensive discussions...

The opening was an aggressive attack of the french infantry in the center against russian grenadeers and hussars. It was supported by a long-during, heavy artillery-fire. The french used the pikeneers from the Spanish War of Succession in the first rank and could in this way hold the russians on distance... for a while.
Heavy fire from french cannons gave the sound to the first attack

On the opposite:  russian hussars of the Slobodskii regiment, flanked by the 1st grenadeer regiment and some ulans - also visible: the blue-yellow swedish corps

On the right flank, the prussian regiments No 1, 13, 18, 34 and 49 prepared a second attack against the russian infantry. They should be assisted of the brown hussars No 6 "Fleischhacker". Unfortunately the russians positioned 4 heavy mortars directly behind the first rank, so it would be a kamikaze-like movement to attack them.
Prussians had to wait till the artillery could destroy from distance mortars and reduce the infantry power - a long-during fire began, but over 3 hours, it was no movement on the right flank.

Russian Manske-Linegrenadeers and Permskii regiment under prussian menacement. 
In the center, a counter-attack by the russian cavalery against the french center initiate a bloody fight between the french main-army and the russian right wing: this fight killed in the following 3 hours 5 french infantry regiments and 1 cavalery regiment, on the russian side 3 infantry regiment, 2 cavalery regiments and 5 12-pounders. It was the most cruel part of the battle.
The russian "contre-attaque" against the heart of the french killed r.a 240 men...
Russians kept the fortified "Geschützstellung" with mortars and bombed on the french center.
French and Prussians were concentrated to destroy the ennemy´s artillery hegemony by heavy and perpetual artillery fire. They kept the cavalery in the second and third rank to protect them against bombardements. They were needed for the finale coup.

Then, after the bloody fight in the center, prussians and french cavalery comes together in the right center and were united.
Cavalery attacks in the right center.
The cavalery´s hammer of 2 prussian Cuirassier reg. and 2 french Cuirassier reg. came down upon the russian and swedish center: this attack was so heavy that the whole russian and swedish cavalery were killed - the prussian Cuirassiers took advantage of their supreme tactical manoeuvres and the power of weapons and discipline. The majority of them also also died during this attack - but it was final beat for victory and the end for the ennemy - great Prussians!
Preparing the cavalery´s attack: french Cuirassiers du Roi, prussian Hussars and Cuirassiers.
Now, the way was open for the prussian right flank to purge the rest of the swedish and russian infantry.
After this attack the russian General Apraxin had no more protection by his troops - he had to flie - but where to go? The french Mousquetaires du Roi came from the left side, the prussian Cuirassiers from the right....
The end of the battle: General Apraxin (from Matthias-Manske) in the center left couldn´t move in any direction - some russian dragoons (foreground) came too late: french Mousquetaires (left) and prussian cavalery (background) came closer and closer...
The russian General gave up...
The map of the battle:
A french light attack against the russian light cavalery
B Attack of the russian center and right flank against the heart of the french lines. Prussian infantry moves in a bow to cut the russian lines.
C The finale cavalery´s attack by prussians cuirassiers and french support. They prosecuted and enclosed  the General Apraxin (red square) at the end of the battle

green: russians; yellow: swedishs; blue: prussians; lightblue: french; black: artillery

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Battle: wargame plates

This weekend the big summer battle will happen and all regiments are packaged in travel-boxes. For each of them we made a plate with name, colonel, flags, firepower and manpower. The lightblue ones are french, the darkblue prussians, green stands for russians and white for Saxony. This should be a help on the battlefield to know the power and dynamic.
We have some simple rules: the whole army/each regiment can be moved at the same time once; infantery moves 9cm, cavalery 27cm. Then the enemy does the same and so on.
Cavalery and infantery can fire on distance: we count the weapons; at the close fight, the differences of each type will be counted: fusiliers count 1 point, grenadeers 1,5 pt., officers 2 pts., dragoons and hussars 2pts and cuirassiers 3 pts each.
So you can give some nuances in the speed of your move or keeping distance - according to the character of your regiment. E.g. dragoons are good attackers on distance, because they fire 3x, in the close fight they aren´t well exercised, so 2pts. In opposite, cuirassiers fire 2x, in the close fight they unfold their great advantages and fight with 3pts. each.

Well, next post will inform you about the end of the battle.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Saxony: Command stand

Saxony´s generals are now finished and ready for the summer battle next week, They are new figures of Matthias Manske: "Staff Officers with telescope". I kept them in the white uniforms with red trousers - the official version of field uniform. They are similar to the austrian uniforms, only the red is darker, called french "ponceau".

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Russia: 2nd Reg. Grenadiers

A very fast and intensive work is finished now with this splendid grenadiers of the Zaristic army. The figures are from a special serie of Matthias Manske, which proposed the russian army in summer dresses in several poses. I chosed a regiment´s composition to create a very special moment in a battle: just standing and kneeing and opening the fire, the first rank is getting heavy fire from the enemy - the nervosity should be visible in the faces and the officer is advancing to go to this hell....
I took 11 kneeing soldiers and one wounded, the second rank is a combination of standing soldiers and such they reload or tremble.

I talked with Steve Cady in our posts about the figures in 40mm and about my decision to concentrate on the Manske figures. As you can see, they have a very special behaviour, have different poses and can be combinated in a lot of different ways - so, creating a particular ambiance or showing a "moment" in regiment´s life is easy. This is for me - as half a collector and half a wargamer, the ideal choice: I don´t have any more the serial effect of the moulds of eg. Prince August or NMZ; I have a wide range of possibilities to compose a special effect. At the end, as you can see, I place them all on small bases for having them ready for battles. You will see in my soon posts the pics from our summer battle, when this Manske-figures will fight side by side with Prince August and NMZ-regiments.
Manske figures give me the choice to create a certain individuality in each figure. Also the way of painting is different to other 40mm figures and completely different to the 30mm-figures.
Enjoy the pics I took today very quickly - after 3 hard days of students´presentations at the University. Next week we will meet in Switzerland to fight the big battle.