Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Seven Years War -Jim the Builders method.

 Yesterday saw 5 TWATS assemble at our usual Hostelry for a game. Jim the Builder in the chair. Others present were Your Gentle Author, Andrew the Tekkie Floating Jeff and Mechanical Shaun.
 Now this in itself was somewhat  unusual as Jim had not run or even played a game for over a year due to pressure of work.. However he had done more than a bit in the painting arena. so this game- a dry run for the Demo at the Durham show on June 11th  -shows.

Photo of the main Austrian position -taken by Andrew the Tekkie.

 There were over 2000 10mm Prussian and Austrian figures on the table here. There will be more at the Durham game.  Jim decided to use Keithh Flint's Honours of War rules for the game as both sides had multiple brigades.  Jim opined that the game could take as many as 11 players so a simple set that could handle large forces was a must.  Me I had a few reservations but in the end most were groundless as we shall  see.

Here we see our Umpire Jim in "studious mode" in his new specs!!
For this game the Prussians fielded 15 battalion of infantry each of 60 figures 6 smallish regiments of cavalry of 18 figures each and 4 batteries of artillery- each 2 guns. The Austrians had fewer foot -8 battalions  but each of 80 figures but much more cavalry and about the same artillery. Their cavalry included an impressive 4 regiments of cuirassiers - against 2 Prussians.
 Unusually I took the role of Frederick the Average so being of a suspicious mind I suspected a stitching up but I was wrong- which in itself was a bit unusual . the fact that no stitching was planned rather than that I was wrong being the bit that was unusual.. Andrew the Tekkie  was also Prussian leaving Jeff and Shaun to  command the Austrians.

So on to Battle.
 The Austrians started badly and went downhill from there.Of their Generals 2 being rated "Dithering"  and the others steady whilst the Prussians got a "dashing" cavalry commander with all the rest Steady. This was to have CONSEQUENCES..
 The Prussian plan was simply to isolate the Austrians on their big hill and destroy the rest of their forces. Apparently some Russians were in the offing set to appear on the road below the Austrian hill. So by holding the other hill and using that as a pivot I reasoned I could pen both Austrians and possible Russians into a killing zone where we could take 'em at our leisure. Wonder of wonders it worked...
 First however we had to sort out the Austrian Cavalry under General Von un Zu Dithering. Polishing off the first Austrian cavlary Brigade frankly was almost a pushover due to a dshing General and some Austrian dithering- which was to become something of a feature of the day.
Generalview of the battlefield. The Russians may or indeed may not be entering from the Far end.

However the second Brigade would be a much tougher nut to crack.It was all cuirassiers. The net result after some prolonged fighting was that neither side had any worthwhile cavalry left. This of course suited the Prussians better than the Austrians.
 Meanwhile in the centre the Prussian Infantry advanced through the town- slowed by the streets . Their intention was simply to split the Austrian cavalry off from its Infantry  and as a secondary objective give support to our by now overmatched- but still fighting cavalry. Their timig was a bit off but they got there.
The Cavalry fight.Prussians advancing from the bottom of the picture.
 On the other flank the Austrian infantry brigade behind the hill- seemingly commanded by  General Von Feeble stood about- obviously he was a relation of Von Dithering ! . They managed to move towards the prussians just once during the whole game. This of course made me think that there was some dastardly Austrian plan- but there wasn't .  The fighting on this flank  was merely an artillery duel as I had no intention of spending my infantry in an uphill assualt until the Austrian cavalry had been neutralised.
The Austrian trapped on their Hill .
Once we had all our infantry in place we had succeeded. The Austrians could stay there all day and starve or die of thirst. Equally if the Russian did turn up they would have no room to deploy. Getting off that hill in any kind of order would be very difficult for the Austrians. So Fred the not quite so Average had done the deed.
Prussian Infantry advance.

 Figures were all Old Glory Grandscale 10mm from Jim's collection. I had a few niggles with the rules mostly about how bitty the brigade movement system was IGOUGOIGOUGO.... didn't flow all that well but having said that for a large game there are far worse sets about. Set unit sizes work better with the smaller scales than with 25/28mm. Jim's larger units look far better that the "4 stands" in the original rules.
 So at the Durham show on June 11th there will be a somewhat larger version of this scenario- so Jim tells me- more troops on each side  and a larger table.
Should be interesting.
 A more detailed post regarding the Durham show will appear here shortly..


  1. This looks a very good game. I certainly agree about the 60 figure battalions in 10mm and interesting to hear your views on the HoW rules.

    1. Chris Yes Jim has done a good job here. Other than the Brigade movement system my only other niggle is generals ratings. I'm never sure about these in any set of rules. The players should be able to cock it up without any help from the rule writer. Genrals rating just give poor Generals an excuse as it were. However they do add a few laughs.

  2. HoW should work a treat. Those big battalions look very impressive too. Sadly I will miss Durham this year as I'm away.