The Seven Years War, Die Kriegskunst, 28mm
This small Seven Years War game was fought around Landsberg an den Warthe, the village on the banks of the River Warthe on the Prussian-Polish border. It was held by a regiment of Prussian Freikorps, backed up by jaegers and artillery, while a stronger Prussian force was a mile away, and able to march to the relief of the garrison if they were attacked. The Russians wanted to seize the river crossing, which meant capturing the village. A small advanced force (two battalions and some Cossacks) had already forded the river some miles to the east, and the game began with them in a position to attack the village from one side, while a larger Russian “combined arms” force appeared on the far bank of the river.Unfortunately the Prussian player (Dougie) was very late turning up – one of the joys of having a new baby. We therefore knew we wouldn’t manage to finish the game, but at least we could shuffle lead around, with the option of setting it up again some other time. The Russian infantry brigade had only one avenue of attack – directly across the bridge. The Russian cavalry moved off to the right, searching for a ford, and spent the next four turns haplessly looking for it.The two battalions on the Prussian side of the river launched an assault on the town, but were driven back thanks largely to a crucial “Double 6” roll, just when Dougie needed it most. Back at the bridge the Russians piled across, and ignoring the canister fire they charged and swept away the Prussian gun blocking their way.The Freikorps were made of sterner stuff, and not only repulsed a charge by the leading Russian battalion, but they forced them to retreat, causing disorder around the head of the bridge. By the time the attackers had sorted themselves out the relieving Prussian column had arrived, and was filtering troops into the centre of the village.Of course the Russians were doing the same, and it was shaping up for a bitter little fight for control of the town – one we knew we didn’t have time to fight to a conclusion. Meanwhile those two brigades of infantry were readying themselves for another assault on the far side of the village, while the Cossacks moved out to cover their flank, which was threatened by a Prussian hussar regiment.The two cavalry units charged each other, and not surprisingly the Cossacks were hurled back in disorder. Rather than follow them up, the Prussians managed to pass a pursuit test roll, and therefore had the wherewithal to halt their pursuit, and instead they turned to face the Russian foot. One of the two battalions turned to face this new threat, which of course weakened the assault on the far corner of the town. Regrettably, that was when we had to stop the proceedings, with everything still to play for. The Russians had firmly lodged themselves in the village, but the Prussians were reinforcing it, and the fighting in the streets and houses would continue.The Russian cavalry had finally found the ford and were moving up to support those isolated two battalions of infantry, while the Prussian green hussars were posing a serious threat to the Russian flank. We’ve got to play this game through some time, as it was an interesting and well-balanced set-up, with the Prussians benefiting from a defensive central position and interior lines, while the Russians enjoyed a concentration of force.What would you have done as the Russian or Prussian commander? Give it a go, and tell us what happened!”
Russian advanced guard: Two battalions of line infantry,one unit of Cossacks, and a single secret-howitzer model
Russian main body: Four battalions of line infantry, two regiments of line cavalry, and a battery of two medium guns
Prussian garrison: Two battalions of Freikorps, two small units of jaegers, and a single light gun model
Prussian reinforcements: Three battalions of line infantry, and one of grenadiers, plus one hussar regiment.