Note: This was published on the old Word of Stelios website. I’m republishing it here for the sake of posterity, and occassianally reference it for The Art of Wargaming series. Enjoy. –SVP.
Last Saturday I ran a Warfare in the Age of Reason Seven Years’ War scenario. Prussians and Russians fought for the control of a river ford.
Since it’d been over three years since I’d even played the game, I kept things simple: each side had 16 units–12 infantry, 4 cavalry. The Russians had more heavy cannon, but the Prussians had a siege gun.
Back in the day we didn’t allow siege guns, but the Russian and Prussian players has never played the game before, so I wanted to see what would happen…
I like Warfare in the Age of Reason because it feels historical, and for the most part, can simulate the tactics of the period.
Morale is key in this system. Each unit has to be supported by those around it, advancing forward together.
A unit marching off without a leader attached won’t last long. (And there’s a chance the leader can be killed).
After the first couple of turns the Prussian and Russians began closing in.
Early on, an impetuous Russian commander ordered his two regiments of cavalry to charge the fresh Prussian infantry.
The Prussians repulsed one regiment, but the other charged home hitting infantry not in square, breaking the infantry and capturing a cannon.
The victory was short-lived, however, as the Russian cavalry found themselves alone and surrounded.
With this setback, the Russians found themselves facing four Prussian cavalry regiments on their right flank.
The remaining Russian cavalry held off the enemy for a few turns, but eventually started succumbing to the overwhelming numbers.
Their infantry formed square. And that’s when the Prussians launched their second major assault. Cannon shots from the horse and siege guns tore into Russian infantry and cavalry formations.
Meanwhile, two Russian infantry brigades pressured the single Prussian brigade across the river.
After some initial artillery fire the Prussians seceded the ford to the enemy, but not without inflicting some losses first. Russian cannon pounded a Prussian infantry regiment, causing major casualties, nearly force it to route.
Once across the river, however, the Russian found themselves facing off against a crack unit of Prussian grenadiers. They took the objective, but would advance no further.
As the gallant Russian commander launched a last all-out attack against the Prussian center, a cuirassier unit slipped behind his lines.
As pitched fighting erupted at point-blank range between Russian and Prussian infantry–featuring charges and countercharges, units losing half their men, routes, and other maneuvers–the Prussian cuirassier unit sacked the Russian encampment.
This negated the Russian victory at the ford, forcing the army to withdraw and fight another day.
I had fun running and playing this scenario. When I run, I usually, if there aren’t enough players, take a command that won’t play a key role in the fighting.
In this case it was the Prussians on the other side of the river. That siege gun would have helped keep the Russians at bay, but the Prussian C-in-C placed it on the other flank, where the majority of the action took place.
In the final round, the Prussians has reached almost 25% casualties, the Russians suffered 30%. This, along with the deaths of a couple of brigade commanders and the loss of the encampment, turned the battle in to a major Prussian victory.
Which was fine, because on the following round my forces were about to face this: