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Seven Years War Projects

This is one of my favourite periods. 
 
It is, however, notoriously poorly served by rules and interest in comparison with so many other periods.
 
We are lucky to have stumbled on a set of rules which suit us in our club - King of the Battlefield, by Ian Godwin.
 
Our club's two longest standing Seven Years War enthusiasts, who had previously been specialising in 6mm, seized on these rules and updated their collections to 10mm with the excellent range on offer from Pendraken Figures.
 
We use these for battle sized games - frequently replaying actual battle scenarios rather than just throwing down figures - and always get our games to a conclusion in a club evening.
 
I'll post battle pics at this stage though, since my Russians were done in a hyper rush to meet promised display game deadline, so they do not really stand up to detailed photography.  They look fine when there is a table full of them, however, as I hope you will agree (they are all with green coats removed for summer fighting, in the all-red 'away strip' of red trousers, red shirt and red waiscoat).
 
 
 
 
 Left is a refight of Kunersdorf, with the Prussian assault having cleared the first line of defences and now trying to break up onto the Grosser Spitzberg, the right shows the Russians awaiting Frederick at Zondorf.
 
The tally of refights we have done since adopting these rules is:
 
Mollwitz (club game)
Zondorf (display game and club game)
Kunersdorf (display game and club game)
Hochkirk (club game)
Torgau (club game)
Kolin (club game)
Leuthen (club game)
 
 The most recent addition to the club's available armies are an Ottoman army in 10mm.  They were expected to be just a bit of colour, but so far they are unbeaten in three outings against three regular European Seven Years War armies, including my Russians - who would have thought that second class irregular cavalry would prove so effective?
 
 
 
 
 
Left are Janissaries, centre are the same screened by skirmishing bowmen, and to the right is the field of shame for my Russians - can you see the weak point in the middle of that line?  no, well, neither could I at the time, but they found it and took the baggage.
 
Actually, my failure was to simply over defend the wings and then be unable to direct the second line back to the centre because the threat from those poor Ottoman cavalry was greater than their actual ability to do harm - tactically, he was stuck on my left (off camera, a wooded line) and I had won the right, but with too many infantry committed there to be able to defend the centre, which he took in a break through.
 
It was your basic first-defeat tactics from a Russian in this period - launching an attack which never delivered a knock out blow, and which was exploited in turn at the weakest remaining point in the line.  Its nice when a set of rules punish you for making a traditional tactical mistake, without needed any special rules to do so.
 
Update - I got him on the replay.  I formed my entre army in a box (as the Russians did), keeping the cavalry protected until the break through moment came.  It worked, although it was very close. 
 
For most of the battle, he was struggling to hurt me at all, but thrice he got a major break through which I was able to recover from in time to save the army - the first was a charge by some cavalry on the left flank of my defensive box which happend to get a break - and which rolled right down my second line - no visible damange to the front line, but suddenly I had no reserve at all in that sector. 
 
The second was when I thought I had him, and sent my cavalry out to beat his remaining cavalry on one flank - the first unit must have been caught mid deployment, because the entire command was swept off the table in a moment, and it was back to my defensive box again.
 
The last break was a similar last gasp charge by some fanatics who took away the corner of one side - the very point he had been attacking without sucesss for most of the day.
 
Luckily for me, by then he had run out of troops to exploit with, and he was forced to withdraw (without pursuit) as I was able to close the line again, and this time he had nothing new to throw in.
 
I feel morally obliged to attack him next time, butI have to say, as a Russian, it just feels somehow wrong.
 
Maurice appears
 
A new factor has entered the 7YW scene for us.  We are all frantically gaming Maurice, which is an excellent set of fun rules for messing around with.  The card driven sequence is very like Paths of Glory in the tension it produces, and while it will not do for us for refight games, it will very much do for a club game or small club campaign. 
 
While these rules have not surpassed King of the Battlefield for me, they have sparked a lot more interest among club members, no doubt in part because for many it is the first time they have seen an appelaing game being played in this period at a game-scale which they do not feel intimidated by.  Armies are comparatively smaller, and thus more appealing to new players because they look like something that can be achieved in a few weeks.  And we always finish the games every night.