Excuse the bad rhyme, but the Prussian king himself pointed to the “suitability” of Chotusitz for such endeavours, and I could not resist.
Chotusitz, aber ohne Fritz - a Prussian AAR
As the title suggests, this is a Chotusitz AAR – or more accurately, battle progress report – based on the “no Frederick” variant scenario.
I chose Chotusitz because it’s interesting and can be quite intense, while being small enough to give me a good chance of actually finishing the report, and it’s also unlikely to deterioate into the bloodbaths of the later battles of the Seve Years’ War, retaining some of the “innocence” of early/mid 18th-century warfare.
I opted for the “no Frederick” variant, because that provides a much greater challenge for the Prussian player (i.e. myself), as I’ll have to make do without some of the Prussians’ best infantry, and because it gives the cavalry, which hasn’t been getting that much love lately on these forums, more room to shine.
Fog of War is turned on, again for a greater challenge, so be warned that you might not see too much of the Austrians, particularly early on. If you’re not familiar with the initial deployments, you might want to load up the scenario without FoW to get a better overview before continuing to read this report.
The focus of this report isn’t on a coherent, (pseudo-) historical narrative, but on gameplay, and how I use the Prussian troops at my disposal to overcome the challenges facing me. I'll go turn by turn, and within the turns, commander by commander, though occasioanlly, I might summarise a few of the less noteworthy events.
I hope this provides interesting reading material. There’ll also be plenty of screenshots to illustrate what’s going on.
Enough introductory rambling, on with the action.
The situation and the plan
I’m facing superior numbers of enemy infantry, and have the higher withdrawal level, so my higher troop quality alone will not let me prevail in a drawn-out contest of attrition.
This presents an interesting challenge, because I cannot attack right away, as I will be unable to hold the gains I make, but I also cannot merely dig in, as I will then be overwhelmed.
Therefore my plan revolves around a well-timed and decisive counterattack. I intend to move forward into a good defensive position, neutralize the Austrian horse, stop their first infantry assault and then attack them with everything I have while they’re busy re-organizing their lines. If this attack fails, I have no reserves, and no plan B, but if I my goal is to achieve a decisive victory instead of merely preventing defeat, I see no other option. Fortune favours the bold, I suppose.
Here's an ingame look at the starting situation.
Initial command points go to Gessler and Kalckstein, mainly because no-one else is in range, and Rothenburg is already at 7 and only commands 2 units.
Jeetze is up first, and in spectacular fashion, fails his activation. This is going to get very interesting…
The left-wing cavalry are next, and being all in column, activation is assured. I move them forward beyond Chotusitz, ready to deploy into line in the next turn.
You may note that I put Röhler’s dragoons in the reserve, and the Hussars and Bayreuth in the 2nd line. Being veteran, it’s much easier to keep them combat-ready. Holding them back and spending rally points on Röhler’s regulars would be quite a waste.
Kalckstein is next (I deferred Leopold, he’ll go last and do his best to fix whatever mess occurs in deployment), and starts moving his infantry forward and into a classical double line, the crack Anhalt-Dessau and Prinz Ferdinand battalions heading for the flanks of the first line.
I also move my guns forward at this point and deploy them to screen my infantry. They’re to act as a deterrent for now, and I’ll move them further forward together with my infantry later on.
Gessler is next, and moves his heavy horse forward and closer together in a shallow v, ready to take on the Austrians.
Now the Austrians begin to react, and their cavalry surges forward to engage me in a rather disorganized fashion, while their infantry begins a more stead and orderly advance towards Chotusitz.
Buddenbrock fails activation, but Rothenburg steps up and moves his Bayreuth dragoons in behind the heavy horse to give support.
Some more Austrian horse move towards my right, then it’s Leopold’s turn, and I position him so that next turn he can direct all the infantry and most of the right-wing cavalry before I have him start moving some of Jeetze’s battalions forward.
Since my plan calls for a decisive blow, I am avoiding Chotusitz to offer battle on the open field instead.
The remainder of the Austrian troops advance and this concludes the first turn. So far, no casualties on either side, but that is about to change.
The second turn starts with my batteries badly mauling a unit of Austrian hussars that has strayed into their field of fire.
(-66 men, -66 morale, +100 disruption)
Then, the infantry of the Austrian right continues its advance before it’s time for General Jeetze to try and activate again. Activation is successful and he progresses to rush his troops forward around Chotusitz, trying to make up for lost time and accepting moderate disruption
in the process.
My right-wing cavalry are up next, but I defer all three of them, wanting to lure the Austrians closer before I strike so they are even more disorganized, but they don’t seem to bite the bait, also deferring their left-wing leaders.
Kalckstein then goes active and just like Jeetze, he throws his foot further forward. Speed is of the essence and some disruption is the inevitable by-product.
Leopold is next, but I save him for later. The Austrians then move more of their right wing infantry forward, and some of their left-wing cavalry can no longer resist charging my horse. The Liechtenstein dragoons rush forward, but their disorganized attack achieves little, I lose a few troopers, but the Buddenbrock cuirassiers maintain their morale and good order, throwing the dragoons into considerable confusion.
Then, the Ausrian right-wing cavalry fails activation, and now it’s Waldow’s time to strike (with his entire command still in column, he’ll activate automatically).
Waldow’s horse thunders onto the plateau and falls upon the Austrians, who are not properly deployed, but still put up a stiff resistance.
Their left, with the Lubomirski cuirassiers halts and even partially throws back my charge, while their center and right give way slightly. Not all that bad, but I was hoping for a lot more.
Now, it’s time for my right-wing cavalry. I go for Buddenbrock first. He fails, but then Gessler steps up, and moves his squadrons forward to screen the Buddenbrock cuirassiers as they finish up the Liechtenstein dragoons, routing some and driving the others back in disarray.
Rothenburg goes next and moves forward to the objective, to support the left flank of Gessler, then it’s time for Leopold. He activates without problems, and I shift him towards my left wing, where my cavalry seems to be in more trouble than on the right. He promptly restores most of my cavalry’s morale, the previously routing Bredow cuirassiers being back to 80, the rest at 100 again.
After that, the Austrian infantry in the centre continues to advance, which is the last action of turn 2.
Still not many casualties, but the cavalry on both wings is now about to fully engage.
The starting situation for turn 3
My artillery has no targets other than the lone hussar unit again, and as I intend to move the guns forward, I order them not to fire.
The Austrians have repositioned some of their guns to intervene in the cavalry fight on their right, and these fire on my Bayreuth dragoons with moderate effect.
I defer Rothenburg, who is up first, but in no position to do anything meaningful yet, and then most of the Austrians activate, which sees their infantry surge forward, and their left wing cavalry make some more ineffective moves against my right.
Jeetze activates next, and moves his infantry up further. He’s still going fast, but slows down enough to bring all his units into line, and sort out the disruption that had previously taken hold.
I defer Buddenbrock, since he failed before and that means he is not in command range of the action on Gessler’s extreme right, then activate Leopold. First, he moves up the artillery and Kalcksteins infantry – the terrain causes some misalignment in the line, but I hope to sort that out before the Austrians engage. Then, Leopold finishes rallying Waldows cavalry and sends them forward against the Austrians, charging into the gaps in their formations and enveloping their squadrons wherever possible. Roehl’s dragoons meanwhile start making a demonstration against the lead elements of the Austrian foot, to keep them away from Chotusitz.
Note how some of my horse, including Röhl’s dragoons in the infantry’s flank, are not charging, but merely have been positioned to make the most of their ZoC. Also, by charging now under Leopold, I can use Waldow later to rally my horse again after the charge.
The charges are successful, several Austrian squadrons rout or are driven back, and one is even forced to surrender.
Kalckstein fails his activation, which doesn’t matter much, since Leopold has already moved his command and I don’t need him to rally yet. The Austrian infantry put some fairly ineffective fire on a squadron of Bayreuth dragoons that has come a bit too close to their lines, while several battalions start moving from the right win towards the center, away from Chotusitz and against my waiting infantry.
Gessler is next, and continues going after the Austrian left in a controlled and steady manner.
Few of my squadrons charge, but those that do so cause considerable damage, while the main force keeps up a strong (read: 100morale, 0 disruption, foolish to attack head-on) front. So far, I’ve not had to use a single rally point, and 4 Austrian squadrons are out of the fight.
Waldow fails his activation, but so does his Austrian counterpart, so there is no immediate danger of a counterattack. I then activate the deferred Buddenbrock and move him to where he can again cover all the cavalry on my right, and also use him to bring up Rothenburg’s command. Rothenburg himself fails activation at this point, and then the Austrians launch a massive charge into the waiting lines of my heavy horse.
Against my well-ordered and ready lines, their charge has little effect, other than to wear out some of their own squadrons, which incur moderate morale losses and disruption. Most squadrons on this part of the field are now engaged, but mine are in better shape and position, and Rothenburg’s command is standing by to fall on the Austrian’s flank.
This cavalry action concludes turn 3, and as you can see from the battle statistics, my actions against the Austrian horse are slowly beginning to tell.
Turn 4 starts with a more active bombardment phase. My guns, from their new position, open up on the Austrian infantry, while the Austrian artillery, in a bid to remove the threat to its infantry, fires on a squadron of Roehl’s dragoons. Moderate casualties are suffered by all targets, with little effect on disruption and morale.
Then, the Austrians resume the cavalry action against Buddenbrock’s command, throwing their remaining squadrons into the fight.
I’m not overly worried by this, as they achieve little other than killing a few troopers, and incur fairly high morale loss in the process. Of particular note are the Philippert dragoons, which actually manage to take my Möllendorf cuirassiers in the flank, but to no other effect than losing 40 morale themselves.
Waldow comes up next, and he should be able to deal a decisive blow to the Austrian right this turn. Neither side has had a chance to rally their troops in this part of the field, so whoever gets to go first gets to strike at a seriously weakened enemy. Unfortunately, Waldow fails activation, and I’ll have to rely on Leopold stepping up later on.
With Waldows failure, it’s back to the other flank, where Gessler now readies his counterattack as the Austrian squadrons are left spent from their own charges. He activates without problem (more than 75% of his command are in an enemy ZoC), and after slightly readjusting his lines and boosting morale back to 100 for those few squadrons that need it, he launches a general charge.
A fierce melee ensues, but somehow the Austrians manage to hold on, and while their losses are greater, other than a few unfortunate hussars caught between all the heavy horse, they do not give way, and Gessler’s cuirassiers also take quite a beating in the process.
There is some more ineffectual fire from the Austrian infantry on their right against Waldows cavalry, then Rothenburg activates and finally intervenes in the cavalry fight on my right.
Sending half his force to delay the Austrian reserves, he falls on the back of their already engaged squadrons with the other half, and with predictable results. One end of the Austrian line begins to unravel.
Jeetze activates next, and brings his infantry up into line with Kalckstein’s command. He also sends 2 battalions to keep the Austrians away from Chotusitz. These waste no time with long-range fire but move into close range right away, which leads to immediate morale loss both for the Austrians and the Prussians – however, Jeetze’s rally points bring them up to 100 again before the firefight starts.
The Austrian fire causes a significant morale loss and some casualties, but not enough to stop the Prussians. The combined Prussian fire and a determined assault push the Austrians back, and close to breaking point.
Leopold becomes active now, and as his first action, he finishes the deployment of Kalckstein’s infantry into a proper line. Then, he takes charge of the cavalry battle on the left again, rallying most of the squadrons and pressing the assault, taking the Austrians in their flank and rear. He also moves some more squadrons to harass the infantry, and one squadron of Roehl’s dragoons actually charges the wavering Austrians near Chotusitz.
The infantry attempt to form square and fire ineffectually at the cavarly, but then break and rout as the cavalry sweeps down on them. The Austrian squadrons fare little better, with most being routing, two being forced to surrender and only one managing to fallback in any semblance of order. It’ll take Waldow’s horse some more time to disperse them fully, but the right wing of the Austrian cavalry is effectively out of the fight.
Buddenbrock is up for activation next, and with most of his command engaged, he activates and proceeds to rally those units that need it most. Kalckstein follows suit with activation, and moves forward to catch up with his infantry.
More Austrian infantry starts moving towards the Prussian lines, and Prince Charles himself orders the remaining Austrian cavalry on their left into the attack against Gessler’s and Rothenburg’s squadrons.
This charge has little effect, some troopers are killed, but neither side is able to dislodge the other, and at the end of turn 4, the squadrons on the Prussian right remain locked in a general melee while on the left, routing Austrian squadrons flee away from Waldow’s victorious horse.
The first infantry causaulties have been incurred, and the effect of the Prussian blow against the Austrian right is now clearly noticeable.
Turn 5 starts in the usual fashion, with the artillery opening up. My guns target the approaching infantry, the Austrians again target Roehl’s dragoons. Execution is moderately heavy this time, with both Roehl’s squadrons and one of the approaching battalions suffering over 60 casualties.
Next, it’s time to distribute sub points again.Leopold’s go to the infantry commanders, bringing both Kalckstein and Jeetze to a rating of 9. Buddenbrock should boost Gessler, but somehow, I can only add his two points to Rothenburg. Oh well, I’ll manage.
First activation goes to Leopold, and I take it to reorganize my left flank after the initial action. Waldows cuirassiers, hussars and the Bayreuth dragoons are pulled back into formation and mostly rallied up to 100 again, while Roehl’s dragoons get to continue their threatening posture against the enemy infantry and also charge the last remaining Austrian squadron to drive it off.
Leopolds also moves the two battalions sent towards Chotusitz back into line with the rest of Jeetze’s command. He also repositions himself closer to the centre of my line – I might yet have to bring him over to help with the right wing cavalry again.
Gessler is next on the right flank. He disengages his squadrons one by one, rallies them, re-aligns them and sends them forward again. However, with only 10 rally points at this stage, he can only do so much, and 2 squadrons with medium morale cannot be sent forward again at this point.
The heavy cavalry melee is inconclusive again. The Prussians come out ever so slightly on top, but other than the other unit of Austrian Hussars, no enemy squadrons give way.
Buddenbrock is next, and the cvalry action on my right continues without pause. He sents Rothenburg’s squadon in against the rear of the Austrian cuirassiers again, then rallies the cuirassiers in the 2nd line, but after that, his 9 rally points are already spent, with morale for several squadrons still dangerously low.
The dragoons are successful though, and rout the enemy squadron.
Rothenburg activates now, pulls his blocking squadron back out of the infantry’s musket range and rallies his units.
Some infantry movement towards Chotusitz follows on the Austrian right, then it’s back to the cavalry engagement yet again, as the Austrians throw their reserve squadron forwards against Rothenburg’s blocking squadron.
They achieve little though, except prolonging a ferocius melee that is now already going on for about 30 minutes.
The Austrian center now continues its advance, then Jeetze activates. He finishes rallying the battalions that drove the Austrians away from Chotusitz, and maintains his position. I want the Austrians to walk into my fire as they’ll do so in several waves, giving me multiple instances of defensive fire that I can concentrate on their units.
Jeetze then hands over to Waldow, who fails activation, to no great concern, as Leopold already did most of his work for this turn, then Kalckstein is activated. He shifts some troops from his second line to protect his right flank, making sure to put the crack Anhalt-Dessau battalions at the vulnerable angle in his line , but otherwise, just as Jeetze, holds his position.
The cavalry action on my right flank shows no signs of slowing down, as the weary Austrian squadrons charge yet again, and this time it’s one of Gessler’s badly shaken cuirassier units that is forced back as the two sides collide again.
Little is gained in the following melee, and some Austrian dragoons are also forced back among a general lowering of morale.
While this cavalry fight is still going on, the Austrian infantry, confident their numbers, move forward and engage my own foot, who unleash a heavy defensive fire, aided by some of my guns, on the advancing Austrian battalions.
The Prussian fire does great execution among the Austrian ranks, and one battalion breaks and flees. 1/ Moltke and 2/Moltke however prove tenacious, and despite their terrible losses maintain their position in front of my guns and press their attack on the angle in my line.
Their fire has little effect upon the Prussian ranks, but then, as the cavalry on the right goes at it yet again, 2/ Moltke suddenly advances on 1/Anhalt-Dessau with levelled bayonets, surprising the Prussians, who did not expect their enemy to be this determined after the heavy fire that had been put on them, and now are struggling to muster the courage to repel this assault.
The Hungarians’ blood is up, and they push 1/Anhalt-Dessau back at bayonet point and gain the high ground.
Meanwhile, the cavalry melee is now also taking its toll on the Prussians, as 2/Rochow breaks under the continuous strain and routs.
Thus turn 5 thus ends with some unexpected Austrian successes. I’m beginning to get a feeling that I’ll have to change my plans, and soon. If the Austrians continue to slam into my line like that, I’ll be hard-pressed to hold them at all, and certainly won’t be able to mount anything resembling a meaningful counterattack.
Turn 6 opens with more artillery fire. The Austrian battery plays on Roehl’s dragoons again, reducing one squadron to below half strength and 0 morale. My own guns continue to fire on the advancing Austrians, badly mauling 2/Grünne in the process, while 2/Moltke, in front of my guns, is served another unhealthy dose of canister. They refuse to rout immediately and still hold their position, but at 0 morale now, they can not last.
Jeetze is my first commander eligible for activation, but I defer him in favour of Leopold, as he will allow me to stabilize the entire line, driving off 2/Moltke and closing up the line again at the angle, and also bringing some of Waldow’s horse forward to prevent the left flank at Chotusitz from being turned. First though, he orders as much fire placed on the Austrians as possible.
The fire causes moderate casualties and morale loss among the Austrian ranks. At the angle, 1/Moltke routs and 2/Moltke is driven back and on the brink of breaking too in the face of breaking as the Prussians re-establish their defensive line again.
On the left, Roehl’s baldy shot-up squadron is ordered to withdraw behind the main body of cavalry, out of artillery range, while another moves forward to pin down the battalion advancing on Chotusitz. With the Austrian infantry wheeling towards my centre, their second battery, currently on the move, has become dangerously exposed, and one of Roehl’s squadrons seizes the opportunity and launches a charge, spurred on no doubt by thoughts of revenge for their fellow troopers that have fallen to Austrian shot.
Leopold’s rally points are spent on his own regiment after their sub-par performance last turn, particularly by the first battalion.
Roehl’s dragoons overrun the battery and destroy it while field marshall Koenigsegg, who had ridden forward to direct the placement of the guns, can only look on in horror and curse the unthinking infantry commanders who failed to block the path for the Prussian horse.
Both of Moltke’s battalions are now fleeing, and being helped on their way by a few more Prussian volleys. Austrian return fire, where it occurs along the line, has little effect.
Kalckstein is now up for activation, but I defer him, as his men have no targets now, hoping more Austrians will venture into range during the course of the turn.
The Austrians renew their assault on the angle, and the Prussians can hardly believe their eyes as they spot the Moltke regiment, now augmented by the arrival of its third battalion, coming towards their line again, in spite of having just been beaten back with heavy casualties.
In the ensuing firefight, 1/Moltke is routed again after suffering losses, the first battalion has now lost almost half its men, more than 200 out of 485. The other Austians stand their ground and trade volleys with my battalions, leading to moderate casualties and morale loss on both sides.
Then, it’s Buddenbrock’s turn as the cavalry melee on the right enters the next phase. He activates, stops Gessler’s routing squadron from fleeing the field, then does his best to re-order and rally the remaining squadrons before throwing them against the Austrians again.
His charges are successful, causing several Austrian units to rout and others to fall back in disarray, but a closer examination of the Prussian horse reveals that it’s also close to falling apart. This fight still isn’t over, and much now hinges on Gessler activating to restore the morale of his troopers.
Elsewhere, the infantry firefight continues, with the Austrians getting the worst of it, being eventually routed, but not without causing quite significant morale loss for some Prussian units.
Waldow is up next and fails activation, again to no great concern, as the Austrians, now realizing they have a serious infantry fight on their hands, organize their center for a coordinated assault on the Prussian line.
Then it’s back to the neverending cavalry melee, as some Austrian squadrons charge forward again, but thankfully, are driven back without much trouble before Gessler activates and rallies his squadrons to the best of his ability, sending those that are still capable of action forward yet again.
On both sides, a squadron routs during the ensuing melee, as the others take yet another severe hit to their morale.
Rothenburg fails his activation, but his squadrons are the only ones on the right still in decent shape, so his rally poinst aren’t needed that urgently.
The Austrians continue massing for an attack, but stay out of musket range, so as both Jeetze and then Kalckstein are activated now, their men have no targets and they merely restore the morale of some units that had been shaken during the previous firefights. With the line restored at the angle, and Jeetze’s left covered by the cavalry, there’s also no need to move any troops, and the battalions remain where they are.
A large force of Croats appears in the Austrian center as turn 6 ends, and fleeing squadrons gallop away from the site of the cavalry battle on the right.
One can only imagine what a hellish scene this must be, broken and trampled bodies, dead and dying horses, and desperate men tightening their grip on sword and reins as they ready for yet another charge, orders and signals drowned out by the cacophonous din of the fight, and everything caked in layer upon swirling layer of choking dust and mud.
90 minutes into the battle the outcome is still completely open, and I won't risk a prediction.
The artillery for both sides opens turn 7, targetting the enemy infantry, but neither my own nor the Austrian fire does much noteworthy execution, though the Austrians succeed in knocking out one of the battalion guns on my left flank.
I defer Jeetze, as he would have nothing to do right now, and then the Austrians gain the initiative and throw another of my squadrons back on my right before Gessler can activate.
Gessler tries to stop his beaten squadrons from fleeing altogether, and to pull them back behind the protection of those that can still fight, but with limited success. Still, even with his command slowly coming apart around him, Gessler doesn’t stop fighting and throws as many squadrons against the Austrians as he can muster.
The charges prove as indecisive and while more troopers die on both sides, little is gained as the heavy horse from both armies relentlessly savage each other.
Leopold fails his activation, which really worries me, as I was hoping to move him and his extra rally points towards my right to maybe salvage something from the cavalry battle – as it is at the moment, even if I win, of which I’m not too sure, my squadrons will be utterly spent and of little use for the rest of the battle.
Kalckstein activates next, and moves 1/Anhalt-Dessau forward into the first line again, to push the Austrian battalion at the angle back. The Prussians win the firefight, and Austrian morale crumbles, but for now, they hold their position.
I could probably throw my infantry forward, could have even done so last turn already, and hit the Austrian battalions coming for me hard, but I’m loathe to do so while the cavalry fight is still going on. Not only is it fairly close to the objective and could spill over into, and then comprehensively disorder and ruin, the infantry advance – I’m also still badly outnumbered, with the Austrian battalions actually being smaller than my own, giving them an even greater edge when it comes to enveloping my units, and I thus need my horse to support the infantry attack, by delaying battalions with ZoC and by making sure that routers keep routing. Speaking of which, I’ve also developed a nagging suspicion that the cavalry on the Austrian right might not be as beaten as I took it to be, and could be rallying out of sight.
I should sent some squadrons to reconnoitre, but of course Waldow fails his activation again.
Rothenburg then activates, and with a bit of clever maneuvering (multiple disengages to get through ZoC), he manages to bring his two still fairly fresh squadrons into the flank and rear of the Austrians. This could be decisive, though I doubt that, but at least it should provide some relief for the hard-pressed cuirassiers.
His dragoons perform well, and put several Austrian squadrons out of the fight, causing one to rout right away.
Another Austrian advance moves towards the extreme rightof my infantry, and again, the morale of 1/Anhalt-Dessau proves to be suspect. The ensuing firefight is inconclusive, but I’m beginning to feel less secure in my defensive position by the minute, particularly as I can see 1/Moltke rallying yet again in the distance even as the regiments 2nd and 3rd battalions are assaulting my line.
Here’s an overview over the entire infantry fight, you can see the Austrians advancing against both my flanks, and massing their battalions in the centre.
One of Rothenburg’s squadrons now pays the price for its daring charge into the enemy rear as they themselves are now flanked and routed.
Buddenbrock activates, and by now I’ve written off my right-wing horse, and no longer expect them to make a meaningful contribution to the battle. Sheer pride keeps me fighting though, as I am unwilling to concede defeat. I’ve considered withdrawal, but with the two sides intermingled, and Austrian foot between me and my own lines, it’s not very practical.
Buddenbrock manages to stop the routing squadron, and bolsters some others for a final effort in the next turn.
Jeetze is activated now, and as the firefight on his left continues, he restores the morale of the involved untis. Then, I decide to be a bit more aggressive, and launch a counter-attack with two battalions, 1/Alt-Schwerin from the 2nd line, and 1/Prinz Leopold from the first. 1/Prinz Leopold has so far been hidden from the Austrian foot behind the ridge, and I’m hoping to benefit from the element of surprise. And indeed, as they crest the ridge and make ready to fire, the Austrians facing them are quite stunned, and their morale takes a sharp hit.
The battalions exchange fire, and the Austrians get the worst of it, but stand their ground. I grudgingly – for fear of them over-extending and being surrounded - order 1/Prinz-Leopold forward into the assault, and their advance drives the Austrian battalions back, causing one to rout, and allowing both my battalions to consolidate into a strong position.
Jeetze’s bold moves is really paying off.
Turn 7 ends shortly after, with no more meaningful actions undertaken by either side. Infantry casualties are starting to mount up now.
I’m unsure how I shall proceed, but I’m tempted to use Jeetze’s local success as the starting point for a general attack, and damn the consequences and Buddenbrock’s horse. Certainly sounds like something the Old Dessauer would do…
The halfway point of the battle is about to be reached, and I’ve decided to press the attack.
Kalckstein will anchor my right around my guns, while Jeetze and the remainder of Kalckstein’s battalions, supported by Waldows cavalry, will sweep forward in an oblique attack that rolls up the Ausrian line from its right flank.
That’d be on a perfect day, in a perfect world. Today is not that day for the Prussians, as the Austrians interfere with the plan from the beginning. Their guns fire on 1/Alt-Schwerin, causing a serious deterioation of morale. That’s not good, seeing how they’re in an enemy ZoC, and how I’m counting on them to spearhead my attack.
My own guns keep firing on the Austrian left, with the unfortunate remnants of 1/Moltke being one of the targets, and, after being reduced to less than 50% of their initial strength, routing again.
This really isn’t the Prussian’s day. Leopold fails activation, and with that, I cannot launch the attack this turn, as relying on Waldow, Jeetze and Kalckstein to each activate separately is much too risky, and if just one of them fails, I have gaps in my line or a vulnerable flank that the Austrians can exploit. Best laid plans…
Gessler activates next, and with a great show of tactical acumen, manages to send most of his weary squadrons not only back into the fight, but into the vulnerable flanks and rear of the equally weary and exhausted Austrians.
Success. Or rather, what passes for success in the desperate circumstances. More Austrian squadrons rout, but so do two of Gessler’s, and the remaining Austrians still stubbornly refuse to give in. Those Croats on the hilltop look like a tempting target, assuming I have any cavalry fit for action left after I deal with the Austrian horse, that is.
Rothenburg is next, and he also sends his squadrons into yet another charge. While doing this, I also notice that those bastard Croats are providing cover which some of the Austrian cuirassiers are currently using to rally.
The charge goes in, and while they’re not yet the Bayreuth dragoons of 1745, they do well. 2 more Austrian squadrons rout, and none of my own are left in enemy ZoCs, great for rallying them with Buddenbrock, unless the Austrians interfere before he activates.
Waldow activates this turn, and redeploys his horse in preparation for the attack. His Hussars and some of Roehl’s dragoons move to delay the infantry of the second line, while the heavy horse masses close to Jeetze’s lead battalions, but takes great care to stay out of musket range.
The next time Waldow activates, he’ll also regain control of those Roehl dragoons that took out one Austrian battery already, and hopefully he can use them to silence the other as well.
In a reckless move, I also charge the wavering Austrian battalion in front of 1/Leopold with another of Roehl’s squadron.
The Austrians form square and with the help of the battalion behind them, see off Roehl’s troopers, who fall back. In hindsight, that’s the best result I could hope for, as a successful charge would’ve left me with a mediocre cavalry unit stuck right in front of more enemy muskets, and obstructing my own infantry. Clearly I was thinking like the typical cavalry commander when I ordered that charge, i.e. not at all.
All’s well though, and Jeetze’s lead battalions have just gained a very inviting target.
Or maybe all is not well. Kalckstein somehow manages to fail activation despite a command rating of 9, which gives me no chance to drive back the Austrians pressing on the angle this turn.
Jeetze activates, and his lead battalions make short work of the Austrian square, and also fire on the flank of another battalion, causing moderate morale loss, softening them up for an assault. Jeetze then moves his line slightly forward to regain contact with his lead battalions on the left, while also maintaining contact with Kalckstein on his right.
Austrian fire does little to stop the Prussian assault, and the return fire takes a heavy toll on their ranks, causing one battalion to rout. This actually leads to their right flank becoming less vulnerable though, as the Waldeckers in line behind the routing Lothringen battalion wheel in time to face the Prussians head-on. As a result, I call off the assault I had planned with 1/Alt/Schwerin.
Another unfortunate side-effect of all this fighting is that Jeetze has had to extend his line, and by now has fed all but one battalion into his first line, leaving him with almost no reserves should anything go wrong.
Little happens in the Austrian center, some of their commanders failing activation. I’m still expecting them to hit back some time this turn, though.
Buddenbrock goes next, and as stated above, with my squadrons out of ZoC, even his relatively meagre rally points can do some good, stopping the routers and boosting morale.
It is not to last, though. Immediately afterwards, Austrian squadrons who have rallied after being initially driven off, return to the fight, rout two of my most vulnerable squadrons and throw the others into disarray. If it hadn’t been for Buddenbrock’s timely rallying, this blow could’ve finished off my right-wing cavalry altogether.
To make matters worse, my earlier suspicion about the Austrian right-wing cavalry seems to prove correct, as one of their squadrons is sighted again behind Waldow’s lines.
I’m forced to ignore them for the time being though, as the Austrians now contribute their part to the infantry fight. Musket fire is exchanged again on both flanks of my infantry line. Jeetze’s men have things well in hand, and can bring a very heavy return fire to bear, but on the right, it’s not looking too good, and those useless Anhalters actually rout as they come under fire from Moltke’s Hungarians. Thankfully, I have a reserve battalion close behind that prevents their flight from opening a gap in my line.
None of the Austrians give way, though those facing Jeetze’s men are clearly losing the fight.
On my right, prospects are grim indeed, however, and turn 8 ends with Kalckstein’s flank in immediate danger of being overrun, one of his battalions already little but a panicked mob running from the fight. Maybe if I can turn one of the batteries in time, and rush up some reinforcements, I can prevent a collapse.
My grandiose plan of a sweeping oblique attack rolling up the Austrian line has fallen apart before I could even begin to implement it, and now it’s my own lines that are threatened by defeat in such a manner.
The stats truly don’t tell the story for this one, looking at those, you could even get the impression I was winning…
Artillery bombardment opens turn 9, but proves ineffectual, as the Austrians do little execution upon Waldow’s horse, and I hold the fire of one battery so I can turn it to help prevent the collapse of my right flank. Of course, even if I do prevent that, I’ll still have been sucked into a tit-for-tat battle of attrition that favours the Austrians.
Sub point distribution follows next. Gessler is brought up to 8, Kalckstein and Jeetze are both brought up to a command rating of 9.
Before I can spend too much time worrying about my infantry, the Austrians remind me that I have cavalry to worry about as well, as they continue to press the attack from last turn, routing and driving off more of Buddenbrock’s command. True, their own squadrons are also badly shaken by this renewal of the action, but now it’s my horse that are coming apart at the much greater rate.
Jeetze activates next and he can do little but hold his position until the situation on the right flank is resolved. His battalions blaze away and put a steady fire on the Austrians.
Their sustained musketry does considerable execution amongst the enemies ranks, and the two closest Austrian battalions break under the pressure and rout.
Jeetze has no trouble restoring all of his units to full morale, and the Austrian return fire proves only moderately effective, mostly lowering morale. Seeing how I have more spare rally points than bodies, this is of no great concern.
Kalckstein activates next, and the situation of his command is cause for concern indeed.
His battalions at the angle keep firing at the approaching Austrians , and succeed in routing 2/Moltke. Then, as planned, I redeploy one battery, and also shift the troops in the 2nd line. Kalckstein’s rally points are just enough to restore morale for all units, including the Anhalters.
The situation is a bit more stable now, but the threat is far from over, and the Austrians prove this as their return fire opens significant gaps in my ranks and the morale of the battalions on my extreme right plummets accordingly.
Jeetze’s success, limited as it is so far, does provide some relief, or at leasts prevents a further increase of pressure, as more of the battalions of the Austrian center now swing into line against his command.
Then, it’s Gessler’s turn, trying to salvage what he can from the cavalry desaster on my right flank.
His rally points are good for little more than stopping the routers, but he still mounts some desperate charges with the units available.
These prove successful, routing some Austrians, but they have still retain the advantage, and I can see them rally several more squadrons under the cover of the Croats. I’m delaying the inevitable, no more.
Rothenburg is next. Just like Gessler, he can no longer really rally his troops, though his two squadrons are still in decent shape, and he throws them into another charge.
They rout another squadron of Austrians, for what little good it does.
Waldow fails his activation, then Leopold steps up. I use his rally points to restore my infantry line as much as possible, giving priority to Kalckstein’s right flank. Not much else happens, there is some shuffling around of the cavalry deployed to contain the Austrian foot, and, perhaps more importantly, Roehl’s dragoons charge the second Austrian battery and put it out of action.
Buddenbrock fails activation now, and the initiative rest with the Austrians for the rest of the turn. They waste no time and immediately continue the infantry fight, putting pressure on both my flanks.
Casualties mount on both sides as the exchange of fire continues, but the Austrians seem to be gaining the upper hand – they have more bodies to feed into the firing line, and the morale of my battalions is becoming a bit shaky.
I seem to have averted the worst this turn, but I’m still fighting the Austrians’ fight, and if I cannot impose my will soon, strike decisively and rout them en masse, they’ll wear me out and grind me down piece by piece.
The stats don’t really show that again. The kill ratio in the infantry fight, thanks to my close artillery support, is 2.78: 1 in my favour, but all my casualties are concentrated on a few battalions, which are being whittled down to nothing while the Austrian casualties are spread much more evenly. That way, my battalions will eventually end up being too small to offer meaningful resistance, even if I can keep their morale up, and the Austrians seem to be patiently waiting for that moment. They have massed a lot of infantry in front of my lines, but they’re not attacking, merely keeping me in place and preventing me from a general redeployment or attack that could relieve the pressure on my flanks.
If this continues, I might have to do something really reckless and desperate, like throwing Waldow’s horse unsupported against the Austrian foot. Bastards.
After redeploying one of my batteries, I have high hopes for this bombardment phase. Those hopes aren’t really fulfilled though, as my fire takes a heavy toll on the units in front of my lines, but the redeployed battery in the flank fails to leave much of an impression on the Hungarians of 3/Moltke. 32 killed and -4 morale is not what you expect from canister fire.
Leopold becomes available next, and since most of my units do not need immediate rallying before being put into action, I activate him. That way I can fight now, and with any luck, use Jeetze and Kalckstein to rally at the end of the turn, after the Austrians have retaliated.
I continue the firefight on the right, but I order Jeetze’s men on the left to break contact with the Austrians. Their position is too strong in the centre for a general advance, and I don’t want to leave those two battalions out there on their own for too long. They’ve already lost a significant amount of men, and their morale has also taken a bad hit.
After the ineffectual canister at the start of the turn, the infantry fire is now proving more telling, as a significant morale loss is inflicted on 3/Moltke, while the Austrian return fire kills only a handful of men. As luck would have it, some of them where the crew of one of my battalion guns, which is thus disabled, but why should I care much about those when I’m sitting next to a proper batter?
The Austrians rally most of the fleeing battalions in their centre, then it’s time for yet another round of cavalry combat on my right. Both sides lose more morale and troopers, but no more squadrons are routed, though some have to fall back.
Waldow is next, but with the Austrian centre already rallied again, he can only sit by and wait until the infantry fight provides him with a chance to make a meaningful contribution. He does restore all but one of his squadrons to full morale, then repositions himself in order to draws Roehl’s dragoons back towards his own lines after their wild charge, and sends the Bayreuth dragoons to ward off the re-appearing Austrian horse from their right wing that I had thought to be completely out of the fight after the thrashing it received.
Gessler activates next, and he continues the cavalry fight with those squadrons still capable of doing so, while he tries to move the others out of harm’s way.
His success is limited, as he launches several charges that succeed in lowering the Austrian’s morale significantly, but in the end it is one of his squadrons that breaks from sheer stress and exhaustion.
Rothenburg follows immediately afterwards, trying to capitalize on what gains Gessler could make. He is successful, and routs two Austrian squadrons, both of which still had high morale.
Kalckstein and Jeetze can now be activated, but I defer both of them, as they’re not needed yet.
The Austrians then move more of their infantry directly in front of Jeetze, but do not renew the engagement.
Buddenbrock fails activation, depriving me of his sorely needed rally points.
More cavalry from the Austrian right re-appears, and some launch a charge , but they are beaten back easily by the Bayreuth dragoons.
After some Austrian leaders fail activation, I have to activate my remaining leaders, and I opt for Jeetze first. He has little to do, and so merely redeploys 2/Prinz Leopold to take the place of the somewhat depleted 2/Alt-Schwerin in the first line.
Kalckstein is next as the turn nears its end, and he has even less to do than Jeetze, doing, in fact, absolutely nothing.
Then, just before the turn ends, the Austrians renew the firefight yet again. Men fall on both sides, but neither gains an advantage.
Turn 10 is over, and it’s looking better for me again. If I manage to see the Austrians on my right flank off in turn 11, I can perhaps launch my attack in turn 12, which should give me just enough time to capture the last objective. Of course, the Austrians might not play along, as they’re in a position to mount a serious assault on my centre should they so chose. I’d originally planned for that to happen, as I know I can repulse their first wave, and that’d have been a great way of setting up my own attack, but now it’s too late in the battle for that.
Typical 18th century warfare from the Austrians, minimizing the risk to their own army takes precedence over trying to destroy the enemy.
No great changes to the bombardment phase, though my fire this time is more effective, 3/Moltke loses almost a hundred men, and its remaining morale.
I defer Jeetze, who comes up first, then it’s time for Leopold. He activates, and fed up with waiting and concerned that he is running out of time for a decisive move against the Austrians, he orders a general advance by the infantry.
Despite being well-positioned, the Austrians seem quite shocked as the Prussian battalions surge forward and quickly cover the ground between the two lines, with morale losses due to the advance much greater on the Austrian side than the Prussian. Those Austrian battalions that have suffered most from the Prussian artillery even fall back without ever firing a shot.
The rest of the Austrian line recovers from the shock soon enough, and start laying down a very heavy fire. The Prussians answer in kind, all the while maintaining a steady advance as the platoons fire and move one after the other. In this ferocious hail of bullets, men fall by the dozen on both sides and gaps are beginning to open up in the ranks at an alarming pace.
One Prussian battalion decides it has had enough and begins to fall back, but the others step over their fallen, close ranks and continue onwards, and it is the sight of such deliberate, cold-blooded determination as much as the Prussian fire that causes the first Austrian battalions to turn and run.
Since the advance has taken its toll on the Prussians as well, both in terms of casualties and morale loss, and not all the Austrian battalions are shaken, when the time to launch assaults, I do not order all battalions forward.
The assaults go in, and after close-range volleys and faced with the threat of the bayonet, the Austrians give way, with the Prussian battalions, some badly shaken themselves by the ordeal, streaming forward in victory.
Faced with the partial collapse of their lines, the Austrian command reacts quickly and sends their 2nd line forward to stabilize the situation.
Another fierce firefight ensues, as Jeetze’s battalions hold their ground.
Faced with the steady Prussian volleys, the Austrian counterattack falters, and a brief lull in the fighting ensues. Some of the Austrian battalions that were put to flight begin to rally again, but the right of their line has been badly hit by Jeetze’s battalions, and is barely hanging on.
The cavalry fight on the right is by now all but over,still some Austrian cuirassiers advance out from under the cover of the Croats and charge Rothenburg’s dragoons. This has little effect on either squadron, though.
Rothenburg does activate next, and he retaliates immediately. The Austrian hussars are routed, their cuirassiers fall back.
Waldow activates now, and after hesitating briefly, I decide to send his heavy horse against the badly shaken Austrian right. While his cuirassiers move into action, he also despatches some of his hussars and dragoons to deal with the re-appearing Austrian cavalry.
The Austrian horse are easily routed. The cuirassier squadrons take some fire on the way in, but it is not enough to stop them, and then the slaughter is on. Some Austrians manage to surrender, but many more are ridden down as they are trying to flee. The hastily formed squares also provide little protection, one of them is broken, and the soldiers are mercilessly cut down as they try to flee.
Kalckstein activates, and restores the morale of his command, getting them ready for the next phase of the fight.
Buddenbrock then launches two more charges, and succeeds in routing two more Austrian squadrons before Gessler activates and partially rallies his command.
The infantry fight then continues, as the Austrian centre tries to push back Kalckstein’s battalions. Having already been rallied, the Prussians stop those attempts with withering fire that causes great casualties amongst the Austrian ranks and force more of their battalions back, some in a rout. However, the Austrians enjoy some measure of success, a bold bayonet charge by 1/Vettes takes 1/Jeetze by surprise and routs them, but not without becoming badly shaken in the process itself.
I now activate Jeetze, and while he cannot rally all of his battalions fully, most are still ready for another fight, and in any case, they face little in the way of immediate opposition after the damage done by their own and Waldow’s attacks.
After this, turn 11 ends with a considerable part of the Austrian foot, more than half a dozen battalions, fleeing the field and spreading disorder and panic amongst the ranks of other units as they do so.
The stats this time clearly show the mark that even this clearly successful attack has left upon my army. Within the space of 15 minutes, 5% of my overall force have fallen.
The Austrians are hit even worse, of course, and their lines, particularly on their right, are now pushed to breaking point, but that is just as well, as I can’t keep this kind of attack up for very long. After all, reaching my withdrawal level not only costs me a victory grade, it also cuts my rally points in half.
The bombardment phase has me laying down fire to support my attack. Both targets suffer heavy casualties and lose almost all morale, but hold their position.
I then defer Jeetze and Leopold as well, as I want Waldow to pull out his squadrons before I sent the infantry further forward. The Austrians that remain are not disordered and shaken enough to be vulnerable to cavalry, so my cavalry would achieve little other than being an obstruction to the infantry attack.
As a result of all the deferring going on, it’s now Buddenbrock’s turn. It actually looks like I might have come out on top in the cavalry fight at all, and I start moving my horse towards the Croats, while a charge takes care of the last squadron formed to oppose me.
The Austrians fail activation in the centre, then I activate Rothenburg and let him restore the morale lost by his dragoons during the charge.
Gessler follows suit, and begins to rebuild the morale of his command, one squadron at a time.
Another attempt by the Austrian infantry to halt my attack is next, striking at the junction of Kalckstein’s and Jeetze’s lines.
Both sides lose more men, and some morale, without anyone able to gain the upper hand.
The Austrian left wing then joins in the fight.
They achieve little, but provoke a heavy return fire that causes significant casualties, forces one battalion to fall back and routs another. Only 3/Starhemberg is successful, and its assault routes 1/Braunschweig-Bevern.
Waldow fails activation, and this combined with Kalckstein’s partial setback, means I postpone the renewal of the attack to the next turn, focussing on consolidating my lines in this one instead.
With that in mind, I’m happy that Kalckstein is next in line for activation. He sets about restoring order to his line, pulling his lead units back and bringing up reserves where possible. All this movement is still accompanied by intermittent infantry fire, and the Prussians prove their superiority when it comes to mobile firepower, routing 3 Austrian battalions before launching their assaults to drive back those battalions that are still intermingled with their line.
The assault in the centre succeeds, but 1/Anhalt fail in their attempt at redemption. At least they do not break, and they actually come out slightly on top, despite fighting uphill, but they fail to dislodge the last Austrian battalion on the right flank, leaving the completion of that task to the artillery at the start of the next turn.
I now activate Leopold, and he consolidates Jeetze’s line, giving out his rally points to some of Kalckstein’s battalions as well, as Jeetze is yet to activate, and can finish rallying his own command. Leopold also tries to disengage with as many of Waldow’s squadrons as possible, but since many of them would be subject to heavy fire along the way, he ultimately decides to leave some of them where they are, and sends one of them into another charge against some reforming Austrians. A fresh squadron also launches another charge at the remaining square.
The reforming Austrians are routed, the square manages to hang on though, and survives the charge.
Jeetze activates next, and rallies his battalions some more. Thoroughly fed up with the defiant Austrian battalion in square, he sents the Holstein-Beck battalion to finish them off. The gap that is left in the line at the road by this is quite intentional, it’s meant to give my cavalry a route along which they can disengage in relative safety.
They succeed, but only after actually mounting a bayonet charge, as the Austrians would not be shifted by fire alone.
The Austrian command doesn’t think of giving up yet, instead they mount another counter-attack on Kalckstein’s newly-reorganized line.
They’re greated by defensive fire, but press on, and their own fire proves almost as effective as the Prussians’. In the end, one of their battalions routs, while all the Prussians hold their gorund, despite heavy losses in men and morale. There’s also some more cavalry action on the right flank, where another squadron of Austrian cuirassiers has reformed and charged again, but is driven back easily. One of Waldow’s squadrons ends up too close to the infantry in this phase, and after several devastating volleys, it is routed.
As the turn comes to a close, the number of routing Austrian battalions has increased again, and the stats reflect that fact, their effective force decreases sharply as more and more of the routing soldiers are beyond any hope of being rallied again.
The battle has now raged for 3 hours, and the Prussians now appear on the way to victory. The Austrian will to fight hasn’t been broken yet, though, and they’re still hotly contesting the field and the outcome of the battle.
Turn 13, and this could be the decisive moment. One more push, and the Austrians should be done for.
Bombardment phase is nothing spectactular, I soften up the Austrians some more.
Command phase next, and it’s the same as last time. Gessler up to 8, Kalckstein and Jeetze to 9. I wa thinking of boosting Waldow too, then decided against it, as his command is also covered by Leopold, and overall in good shape.
As if to show that they’re not done yet, the Austrians immediately take the initiative, and Gessler’s squadrons face another charge.
It proves inconclusive, more troopers die on both sides, but neither gives way.
The Austrians then renew the infantry fight, but the odds are now against them, I can stack my defensive fire to great effect, causing significant morale loss while their fire has little impact on my line.
Jeetze activates next, and I skip first fire to push forward with all battalions, but make sure to leave room for the cavalry to move. I bring 1/Prinz Leopold up to the front line with a cold steel move, they lose some morale, but also cause the Austrians opposite of them to lose 66. If that battalion routs, it has nowhere to go and will be eliminated completely (i.e. taken prisoner).
The Austrian battalion surrenders before a shot is fired. Austrian defensive fire is moderately effective, only 1/Leopold is seriously hit, and they have done their job already.
The Austrians are pushed back and some of them rout.
Leopold comes up next, but I defer him, as I want him to go last, after Kalckstein and Waldow, if possible.
Buddenbrock then activates. I use this opportunity to mount a series of charges, including having a go at some of the Croats.
The attack provides mixed results, the Croats manage to hold their position despite severe morale loss.
Kalckstein fails activation, and Waldow is next. I extricate his squadrons and rally them, move some against the rallying Austrians – I don’t charge them, as their morale is quite high again already, but putting them in ZoC doubles the costs for rallying them further – sent the Bayreuth dragoons forward to drive off the cavalry on my far left and finally launch a mass charge with 2 cuirassiers and 1 hussar against the weakened 1/Harrach, who form square.
The square manages to withstand the assault, but they’re badly shaken in the process. The remaining infantry then opens fire on Jeetze’s left wing.
Neither side gains the upper hand in the ensuing exchange, though some of my battalions lose rather more morale than I would have liked.
Gessler and Rothenburg follow, and rally their squadrons some more.
Then, the Austrians renew the fight with Kalckstein’s command. Their attack is feeble, and my defensive fire routs one of their battalions, but another still remains on Kalckstein’s right.
Now I activate Leopold, and he sends all available battalions forward. He breaks his own line in the process, but it is a calculated risk, and it allows him to maximize the power of the attack. Two more squadrons of hussars are also sent in against 1/Harrach to finish off the square.
Leopold’s bold move pays off, the Austrian battalions break before the determined Prussian advance, offering scant resistance. Only the stubborn battalion on the right clings to its position, and 1/Anhalt-Dessau mount an assault to dislodge them.
The assault succeeds, and the Dessauers avenge their earlier setbacks. 1/Harrach sees off the next cavalry charge, but in the process, the Holstein-Beck battalion is drawn into the fight, but their fire also fails to finish off the defiant square. On the right, reforming Austrian battalions also come under fire and are forced into disorderly retreat again.
Turn 13 ends, and the decisive blow has been struck. The Austrian centre has collapsed, and most of its battalions are fleeing in disarray. Some Prussian battalions are quite shaken by the repeated advances as well, but the Austrians have had enough, and pose no more real threat, their will to fight well and truly gone, except for a few defiant units on their right, whose stubborn resistance by now can only prolong the inevitable though.
Nothing much happens in the bombardment phase. With the Austrians on my right finally gone, I’ll bring the second battery into action against the centre again.
Buddenbrock is my first active commander, and I bring his squadrons into action against the Croats.
The results are much better this turn, half their line is put to flight.
After some mostly futile rally attempts in the Austrian center it’s time for Jeetze to go again. I’m determined to crush the remnants of the Austrian right this turn, and after softening them up with some fire, most of his battalions are moved straight into the assault with cold steel.
Putting my trust in the additional morale check modifier pays dividends as one Austrian battalion surrenders right away and several others are put to flight. It’s a bit of a mixed blessing though, as some of the Austrians do stand and fire on my advancing troops, and having to endure this without being allowed to fire back lowers their morale significantly.
Gessler activates and rallies his command some more, then it’s Kalckstein’s turn – and he fails again. Leopold is next, but I defer him, wanting to go with Waldow first. That’s not to be, though, Waldow also fails activation.
As more Austrian commanders activate and try to rally their fleeing foot, sporadic firefights erupt along the entire line, which are either inconclusive or resolved in favour of the Prussians.
Rothenburg activates and finds he has nothing to do, then I finally go for Leopold.
He activates without problem and it’s at this point that I realize why I’m having trouble with Kalckstein’s command – Kalckstein is no longer in command, having been seriously wounded or killed, and his replacement clearly isn’t up to the task.
Leopold restores the infantry line on the right, then lends most of his rally points to Waldow’s squadrons and launches them in a charge against the remaining Austrian foot on my left.
The charges are moderately effective, breaking one square and lowering morale of the other units. They’re also the last action of turn 14, which then ends with me watching a very large number of Austrians continue their panic-stricken flight.
Another meaningless bombardment phase, so I zoomed out to give you a good overview of the whole field and with most units visible, despite FoW.
Leopold is the first leader to be available for activation, but I defer him. Jeetze is next, and he puts as much fire as he can on the remaining Austrians facing his troops.
The heavy Prussian fire breaks the squares and puts all but one of the Austrian battalions to flight. 1/H.Lothringen stubbornly refuses to yield and Jeetze, with equal parts admiration for the Austrians’ bravery and disgust for this pointless waste of life, orders three battalions into the assault.
Thankfully, the Austrians come to their senses and accept the final offer for surrender that precedes the assaults, thus avoiding further unnecessary bloodshed.
Buddenbrock now continues to clear the hilltop objective of the remaining Croats, infantry and cavalry.
After a final series of charges, the Austrian defenders are scattered and put to flight.
Kalckstein’s replacement finally manages to take over command, and proceeds to rally his shaken battalions. On the far right of his line, 1/Anhalt-Dessau is drawn into a firefight with the 165 remaining men of 3/Grunne that are aimlessly wandering around the battlefield.
Rothenburg activates and restores some lost morale, and after him, Waldow moves his cavalry forward on the left. He’s not so much pursuing the fleeing Austrians as advancing after them to make sure they keep running, and he rallies his squadrons as they advance.
Turn 15 now ends with almost all Austrian units in full flight, and I wonder why I never got to activate Leopold, then I see that both he and Jeetze were destroyed by some routing Austrians. I forgot to take into account that routing units will move through ZoC, and so I’ve now lost two more leaders to some stupid game mechanic. Highly annoying, and I’ll simply pretend that both of them were forced to do some hard riding to extricate themselves from the mass of panicked Austrians, but ultimately escaped unharmed.
One turn is left, but the battle is over, and I resign it at this point, giving the Prussians a decisive victory.
Here’s a final overview of the field, and the final stats.
I’ve soundly thrashed the Austrians, but in the process, I still managed to get quite close to my withdrawal level, and that’s without any major misfortune befalling my commands, so I feel quite justified in my initial cautious approach.
Casualties pile up at a roughly even rate for both the winner and the loser of a fight, and if you’re outnumbered, that can really start to tell against you, even if you have the rally points and quality leaders to keep your units morale up all the time. I had some minor setbacks which caused a few units to rout temporarily, but for the most part, my army pushed itself close to breaking point simply by performing well and beating a numerically superior enemy.
< Message edited by jackx -- 7/17/2009 5:48:51 PM >
no truth - no justice
all false belief
blinded by morality
there shall be ... no peace