Sunday, 31 October 2010


This week we refought a scenario from the Classic Wargames Journal produced by Phil Olley, the battle of Otterlitz. The battle is loosely based on Austerlitz and we moved it back in time to the Seven Years War with the Russians being attacked by the Prussians rather then the French.
We use Konig Krieg rules and these can give the Prussians a distinct advantage, allowing them, on occasion, two actions per move, rather than just one. Therefore, we limited this 'double move' to only two brigades of the Prussian force, which seemed to work quite well. Phil himself commanded the Russians, whilst I took control of the Prussians. My orders were to take possession of the road which ran through Otterlitz and then past the right flank of the Russian position; Phil had to stop the Prussian advance and retain control of the road.

The terrain around Otterlitz was very difficult going, with woods, the village itself and of course the river to cross. To pin the Russians in position the Prussian cavalry advanced and although pressing home their attack, the front line sustained heavy casulaties and had to fall back on their supports. On the Prussian right the grenadier brigade advanced and were attacked by the Russian cuirassiers. The cavalry's impetus was checked by a volley and they failed to close to combat. Another volley caused further casulaties and the regiment was finished as a fighting force. Their supports returned to the ridge to reform.
The infantry brigades forming the Prussian centre and right continued to advance and therefore came under increasing heavy artillery fire from a redoubt in the centre of the Russian position. Casulaties began to mount but some battalions managed to reach musketry range and began a firefight with their Russian opponents. The key event on the Prussian left was the success of the supporting unit of Prussian dragoons. These managed to punch though the first line of Russian battalions and move forward to the support line. The Russian volleys inflicted heavy casualties but the supporting battalion was forced to retire. Gathering the few remaining troopers together, the commander of the cavalry led them in a desperate charge against the Russian battery covering the road. The charge was successful and enabled the Prussian left wing infantry to advance unopposed (except for the harassing fire of some Pandours) across the road and towards the Russian right flank.
With both flanks threatened and the road in Prussian hands, the Russian commander decided it was time to withdraw. With their depleted forces the Prussians could not mount an aggresive pursuit so the battle came to an end.
The game took c5 hours to play and was a close fought contest; with a bit more luck with the dice the Russians would have been the ones celebrating victory.

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