On Friday night I got the chance to run the Prussians out in a game against Matt. Matt having never played the rules before meant I would also get another view point on the rules not an opportunity to be missed I hear you say, too right I answer.
I gave Matt some fairly standard French, twelve battalions of infantry including three Ligne, three batteries including horse, one each of Lancer's, Hussars, Dragoons and Cuirassier regiments. I as the Prussians also had twelve battalions though six were Landwehr, three Reserve and three line battalions. The Landwehr though was defending the town on the left flank. They also had a battery of guns and two Landwehr cavalry regiments. I also had two Dragoon and two Hussar regiments and a total of two batteries so I had the slightly larger force.
The town, this has to be held to win the game. I put three battalions in the town with the other three Landwehr behind the town to the left of the picture. On reflection I should have had these in the town as well.
I expected the centre to be attacked and had the reserve regiment in between the two hills, when this did not happen I was slow to get the troops into the action, this would mean extra pressure on the town.
I had put the two Landwehr cavalry regiments on the hill and when one was charged I had to counter charge off the hill (I should have added the uphill bonus though it would not have helped as I was facing three French regiments and was routed after just one round of combat though I did get the Dragoons to drop one level of cohesion.
Chasing after the routing Landwehr the Lancers crashed into my second regiment of Landwehr cavalry but being unsupported failed to drive these ahead of them. A swirling melee was to last a number of rounds before I was finally driven back in retreat.
Meanwhile I was trying to catch up with three battalions of French infantry that composed the French left flank with my centre. I had already dropped one of the Battalions two levels of cohesion and a morale level so I had a chance of driving these off if only I could keep pushing.
Matt at this point was attacking the town with a relatively light force but whilst he lost one battalion to rout he was driving back the Landwehr from the town. My decision not to put two regiments into the town was starting to tell on me. My support was in the town and to the left but it allowed the better class of French to get a hold on the town, I would need help from the dice now.
I allowed Matt to hold me near the town that and I was not winning the majority of the initiative rolls meaning one formation was missing out whilst I found I needed to use the one in the town every turn so either the infantry top right or the cavalry bottom right did not get to move. If I did I could possibly have had the troops on the hill crushed between the two forces.
All this could do was play into Matt's hands and sure enough he not only got the town fully under his control but wrecked the Landwehr division. I rallied the retreating cavalry (not the routing one) but I still had two battalions under forced retreat and two routing. Enough to signal forced retreat on the Division and whilst I could get this to halt I would be lucky to get them in order to attack again and even so they would be very fragile.
Two battalions about to withdraw from the town Matt would have most of his troops in good order from the attack. A better defence would have seen his force reasonably spent but these guys enjoyed a bit of a cake walk.
The Landwehr cavalry failed to regain cohesion meaning I would have to leave them close to a forced retreat to go and try and start rallying one of the infantry battalions. This formation is finished for the day.
The three Reserve battalions on the right never so much as fired a shot, the line also never got into the action. At this point I decided the best option would be to retreat under cover of the cavalry that was still in good order and able to take the fight to the French if needed.
Not that the French needed to attack, they had captured the town and was content to sit on the hill, no doubt happy to see the Prussians retreat at great haste, would the Prussians put up a bigger fight next time.
So ended the first outing of the Prussians and down to a few mistakes by me they suffered. Well they will be out again sometime soon to try again. I made the Landwehr fairly weak as this was supposed to be when they were untested in battle and to be honest felt they performed as could be expected. Better support would have given them a better showing. Whilst Matt was not flushed with love of the rules he wants another game with them and I think he could get to like them a fair bit. Not to replace the rules he uses but as a different flavour to what he plays on a regular basis.