Monday, April 25, 2016

Fire & Maneuver: Rossbach 1757

On April 24, 2016, I hosted a game of Fire & Maneuver. The subject was the Seven Years War Battle of Rossbach 1757. Frank Patterson and I took the Prussian army and JG Randall, the founder of and author of Fire & Maneuver. and Rod Galati commanded the French and Reichsarmee forces. Here are some photos of a very colorful and dynamic game.  

We were prepared to use all 1,031 pieces of my Prussian, French and Reichsarmee forces. Here are the figures we used for each of the 3 armies. They are not 100% exact for Rossbach, however they come quite close. The French/Allied line of march was organized as per the historical battle. Researching and arranging the painting of this collection has taken many years. The Reichsarmee in particular took much research. I wish I had commissioned larger regiments of 24. As it is, I had to combine two 12-figure units into demi-brigades to make the game work. However IR17 Manteuffel is a 24 figure unit. This regiment uses the excellent Black Hussar figures which are very compatible with Foundry. Likewise, the von Finck Combined Grenadiers 13/26 is also a 24 figure Black Hussar unit.

Elsewhere on this Blog, referenced under "Labels", you will find photos of the individual units.

Unfortunately, the constraints of time and space meant we only deployed about half the available forces before the game was "called" with a Prussian victory. The three 6 ft tables were just big enough to recreate the centre of the battlefield defined by the Prussian camp in the NW, Rossbach village in the SW, the Janus Hill in the N/NE and Posendorf in the SE.

The Prussians were deployed off-board to the West of their Camp facing what they thought was the French/Allied army. They were allowed a constrained mobilization until the action began in earnest. The French/Allied van entered the southern edge of the board between Lunstädt and Posendorf, the light cavalry aiming to occupy the critical Janus Hill before the Prussians could react.  They then made a heroic sweep to the West towards the Prussian Camp. The Prussians reacted by immediately activating 4 battalions of Combined Grenadiers to form a defensive line facing East.

The firefights were "lit-up" by this "Volley Fire" light strip from Warlords which works very effectively.

The Prussian Camp and Frederick's HQ

Prussian Pioneers clearing a hedge at Rossbach. A coin is paid to do so.

French  Infantry advancing in column

Prussian Combined Grenadiers moving up

Prussian Cuirassiers move to secure Rossbach

The Prussians are mostly Foundry 28mm metal figures with some Crusader cavalry and the Black Hussar figures noted above. The French are from Front Rank with a few figures by Eureka. The Reichsarmee is a mix of Foundry and Crusader figures. The flags are mostly from GMB with several hand-painted by Leuthen Studios. Most of the figures were painted by Leuthen Studios.

Frank Patterson made the roads. Joe Linares of Wargames Terrain made the rivers. The Saxon buildings were purchased from the on-line store at the Cröbern diorama .

The Prussians managed to hold the line, anchored on Rossbach village. The French/Allied army arrived in successive lines according to Soubise's battle plan to which the French commander was constrained. However, with shorter lines of communication, the Prussians were able to concentrate quicker. The Janus Hill was eventually re-captured by a superb charge by the Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons which chased off the opposing light cavalry and overran the French grand battery painstakingly assembling on the hill.

Charge of the Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons