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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Fontenitz, 1758

Seven Years War, Die Kriegskunst, 28mm

This was another scenario taken from Charles S. Grant’s Scenarios for Wargames (1981), loosely based on Fontenoy. Our game though, was set in Silesia.The basics premise was that the defender (the Prussians in our case) had to hold two of three positions at the end of the game – villages A and B, and redoubt C.  In this refight we scaled the scenario down slightly, as we knew we’d have a late start. We also combined the small gun emplacements 1 & 2 into one large battery. The game was a brigade-sized action, designed to be fought out in a couple of hours on a 6×4 foot table.pos-def-1-mapThe Prussians placed one infantry battalion in village B, and their artillery in the two fortified positions. The rest of the Prussian force – two more battalions of infantry and a regiment of hussars – were kept in reserve. Lastly a unit of Prussian skirmishers lurked in the wood, sniping at the Russians from the flank. For their part the Russians attacked village B with two battalions, supported rather ineffectually by artillery, while two more screened them by advancing on the main Prussian gun battery (1-2).syw-may-09-12A regiment of Cossacks headed towards village A, and two battalions of grenadiers advanced on redoubt C, supported by a regiment of horse grenadiers. Not counting the guns, eight Russian units were pitted against five Prussian ones.syw-may-09-02The attack was a disaster. Not surprisingly the artillery proved deadly, but given the scenario the Russians had little choice but to head towards the waiting muzzles. The Cossacks occupied village A without any trouble, but the other objectives proved far harder to take. First, two assaults on village B were repulsed, and the supporting Russian artillery caused no casualties whatsoever all game!syw-may-09-13The attack on battery 1-2 stalled when the two battalions faltered in front of the guns – not a good position to be in! Finally on the right the first wave of grenadiers was shredded by canister, then caught in the flank by the Prussian reserves. The horse grenadiers made two charges in support, and were bounced back both times.syw-may-09-03However, it all changed on the final turn. The Russians launched three charges – against gun battery 1-2, village B and redoubt C. This time fortune favoured them, and all three objectives were stormed and captured. That meant that despite horrendous casualties – about a third of their force – the Russians actually won the game. Prussian casualties were relatively light, and if the game had gone on they’d probably have launched vigorous counter-attacks which might well have turned the tables. In fact, the Prussian green hussars never even moved off the table edge all game, as they didn’t need to. The complacent Prussian player thought it was all in the bag, which just goes to show – the final turn can be a dangerous thing!syw-may-09-08




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