Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

WSS: Playtest at Mönchröden - the Game

 Yesterday's playtest by Zoom went ahead - Goya very kindly commanded the Austrians. The game went quite nicely - I'm a little disappointed by how some bits of the rules played out, but that was the whole point of the exercise, and the labs are tooling up to engineer some fixes! The photos of the initial set-up can be found in my previous post.

General photo, quite early in the action, showing the legendary General Graf Von Fugger lining up the Cuirassiers of Jung-Darmstadt and Gronsfeld, next to the small village of Hopf, which was manned by the 2nd battalion of the I.R Scharfenstein. A minor spoiler: the cavalry pictured here eventually won the day for the Emperor Leopold.


Playtest for Prinz Eugen - Mönchröden 1703

 

Imperial Forces

 

GL Graf von Limburg-Styrum

 

Cavalry Bde (Fugger): Cuirassier Regts Gronsfeld and Jung Darmstadt and Aufseß Dragoons (3 sqns each)

 

Brigade Mercy : Infantry regts of Lothringen and Thürheim (2 bns each)

 

Brigade Bibra: Infantry Regts of Scharfenstein and Baden-Baden (2 bns each)

 

Company of field artillery plus 3 light battalion guns

 

 

Bavarian Forces

 

Elector Maximilien of Bavaria

 

Cavalry Bde (Arco): Cuirassier Regt Arco and Monasterol Dragoons (3 sqns each)

 

Cavalry Bde (Wolframsdorf): Leibgarde Regt and Santini Dragoons (3 sqns each)

 

Brigade Lützelburg: Infantry regts: Leibregiment and Bettendorf  (2 bns each), Lützelburg and Boismorel Grenadiers (1 bn each)

 

Brigade Maffei: Infantry regts: Haxthausen, Spilberg, Octfort, Tattenbach, Leib Grenadieren, Maffei (1 bn each)

 

2 Companies of field artillery

 

Status: All field artillery units 2; Bavarian Leib Grenadieren and Leibgarde zu Pferd 4; all else 3


The Bavarian infantry got themselves all sorted out into line, safely out of range, and started to advance on the Imperial position. The Boismorel "Red Grenadiers" in evidence - first time out - surely things were bound to go well for them?....

Over to their right, near the village of Sankt Johann am Röden, more infantry are busy countermarching, under the watchful eye of the Elector and his staff. The leading column has just come under fire from the Austrian battery opposite, of which more later.

View along the Austrian line, from their left. Fugger's cavalry getting organised on this flank.

 
And here comes the Bavarian infantry attack - the bad news is that it was directed at some earthworks which the Austrians had dug the night before, but it was a playtest, after all, and everyone was keen to see what happened.
 

General Maffei (yellow coat) is devastated to watch the I.R D'Octfort rapidly accumulating hits from the artillery opposite, especially with the Elector looking on.

Back to the left flank - here goes! - in goes the charge - head first into the earthworks...

 
Oo-yah! That didn't go awfully well - both units repulsed and shaken.
 
Meanwhile, on the other flank, not much is happening, but attention must be drawn to the Austrian battery on the ridge, marked with an ivory counter. This unit performed absolute miracles with the firing dice - all at long range, they quickly eliminated one infantry unit and an enemy battery. It was quite late in the game before this battery missed a shot. If this sounds like a severe glitch in the rules, let me reassure you that the Bavarian artillery, on the other hand, never hit anything all day. Chance does even out a bit over time, but sometimes the balance is not shared fairly by the two sides!

Things pretty quiet still at St Johann - the troops there not keen to venture out to face the artillery fire?

1/Bettendorf still not happy at all following their experience at the earthworks - they refused to rally, and eventually were swept away by the Imperial horse at  the end of the day.

 
The Elector and his staff admire his troops at St Johann - note the grenadiers in the background, performing warm-up exercises for throwing grenades.

 
On the other side of the village, GM Wolframsdorf has his cavalry brigade all ready, waiting for orders. Household cavalry [Status 4!] in blue, Santini Dragoons in red.

  

Somewhere across the valley, the Imperial C-in-C stand is present, smelling of fresh varnish. FM Styrum definitely displeased that the expected Imperial flag did not arrive in time - I've promised that I'll post a photo when the flag is done. It's only a small flag, for goodness sake.

 

Back at the earthworks, the Bavarian horse has sneaked around the end - General Arco with his own regiment of cuirassiers about to eliminate some of the Emperor's boys from Lorraine. Yes - they should have designed the earthwork with end-bits, shouldn't they? [note technical terminology - I've been reading Chris Duffy again] 

And Arco's brigade subsequently continued their attack on the Austrian right flank - the cuirassiers are on the right, Monasterol's Dragoons on the left - the cuirassiers did rather better in their melee. This is significant since it gives further evidence that dragoons are probably best when not used in this role, and also serves notice that these cuirassiers did very well, with a string of successes, taking the VP count from a 4-1 deficit to 5-5 [very nearly winning the day all on their own] and will be the chief argument for a major revision of the melee rules subsequently, so it is to be hoped that they enjoyed the experience.

Still at it - the Arco boys continue on their merry way - here they are at this end of the picture, about to take out a battalion of the Thürheim regiment from the flank.

 
But Fugger, with the Jung-Darmstadt cuirassiers, mopped up enough damaged infantry units to win the day for the Emperor. His late bid for man-of-the match failed because he was overshadowed by the Holy Roman Artillery mentioned earlier.

 
Some of the Elector's reserve troops, disappointed not to have figured more prominently, are left with nothing to do. The Empire has won 6-5...

 
...as you see.

General view from behind the Austrian left, at the end of the game. Not much happened on this flank, but the Sacred Battery is still in position (practising misses at this stage), and Fugger's horse have cleared the area in front of the ridge, at the far end of the table.

Goya has promised (no - too strong - has offered) to send his thoughts on the rules. There were definite clunkinesses in a couple of areas. The game was still OK, in fact, but there were times when I was distracted, thinking what a nice, smooth, logical game Commands & Colors is. I'm sure it will be fine - I'm not really discouraged, but  there is a fair amount of sorting out to do. I'll put a rules discussion in a subsequent post.

If I don't get that published before Christmas, I hope everyone has a relaxing time. All good wishes!







24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Norm - all the best to you for the season.

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  2. Very entertaining sir. Have a great Xmas.

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    1. And you, Young Sir, and the Little Ones, and the animals.

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  3. Very good, and certainly looks the part. Lots of neat lines. Great to see them in action and glad it's encouraged you to more WSS.

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    1. I'm pleased that we got a game going - a lot of things are out of balance with the rules, but it was a game and it was going!

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  4. Hello old chap,

    It gladdens the heart (pausing to wipe away an errant tear) to these venerable old warriors in action again. The same applies to the figures....

    Interested to read the after action rules report and thoughts going forwards, or should that be Vorwarts?

    All the best and stay safe and well,

    DC

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    1. Thank you David - all the best to you and yours. I'm not sure that Eric would be thrilled with the hexagons, but it's OK, I think!

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  5. Splendid stuff Tony...

    I really must get my WSS of the shelf... they have been in Covid isolation for most of the year... poor social distancing skills...

    All the best. Aly

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    1. All the best to you, also, Aly - look after yourself, and I'm waiting to see these WSS fellows in action as soon as you like!

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  6. Glad to see the rules are coming along and the troops look great!

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    1. Hi Ian - we found new lumpy bits in the rules, but that's mostly because we reached parts of the rules we hadn't got near to before! By and large the systems work OK, it's just the relative weightings and loadings that need to be adjusted - at present infantry lines struggle to stand up to a cavalry charge, which is certainly not right! - the rules pixies are on to it...

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  7. Good stuff. Great to see them finally put through their paces. Love the look of all those blue coats.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours old fruit.

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    1. Same to you, sir - the soldiers enjoyed their run-out, but they are not happy with some bits of the rules. Testing rules requires a very receptive mind set, I find - it's easy to find myself defending my reasoning, or getting upset with the bits that don't work. Mostly it's sort of OK - the melees and the reaction tests need a fair amount of sorting out, but that's the whole point! Take care - have a good one.

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  8. Excellent battle account, Tony! I sure like that ex-billiard score keeper of yours.

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    1. Thanks Jon - I like the billiard scoreboard better since I made sure I had killed all the woodworm! I wish you all the best for the holiday period - keep well and cheerful.

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  9. Great battle report glad it appeared to work pretty well with only the occasional clunkiness making an appearance - but then isn’t that what playtests are for. ?
    All the best for the season

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    1. Thanks Graham - I've decided I'll start doing rules revision on Sunday - by then I should be ready for a bit of humility!

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  10. Well, that was a handsome game and an entertaining narrative. The "Forrestmushroom" Grenadiers, and General Tin(sel)town? Very Old Skool indeed!
    Merry Christmas, Tony!

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    1. Thank you Peter - Merry Christmas to you also. I'm hoping that 2021 may settle down into something a little nearer the heart's desire, but I guess we have a way to go yet!

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  11. Tony, your SYW figures look splendid. Your rules might even inspire me to dust off my own armies, a hodgepodge of Russians and Turks.
    Hoping that you and yours passed an agreeable Yule.
    Cheers,
    Michael

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    1. Hi Michael - all the best to you! I believe that I and mine agreed a passable Yule. Tricky times, man!

      My SYW rules are really for the WSS, so may not fit your needs - they are being heavily revamped after this playtest, but it's all progress. Once they are shaped up a little, you are welcome to anything you fancy! Take care.

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  12. A great looking game, with lovely miniatures. I look forward to the final thoughts on rules as I would like to have a go at this period at some point.

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    1. Thanks Bob - hope to get some thoughts on rules posted later this week.

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