Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Protzdorf - The Bloody Field Pt. 2

With the left inactive and the center momentarily stabilized, eyes shifted to the right half of the table as the Austrians stepped off in a bold counter-attack, all the while attempting to redress the desperate situation on the far side of the frozen river.

The Austrians initially maul the Prussians

Despite gallant charges and the valiant defense of a heavy gun by its ever diminishing crew, the situation was rapidly going critical.  The numbers, quality and battlefield variables (card flipping) meant that the Prussians must prevail.  A tip 'o the three cornered hat to Matt for holding out so long. 

A grim sight on the far shore

As Ouromov pulled in troops from the left and organized a counter stroke on the left center, the fates tossed a joker into the fray, followed by his brother.  Armed with with a new smile and confidence the Minsk grenadiers and Jonava musketeers stepped off. 

First the guns, then the infantry!

But alas, judging the time ripe, Frederick called for von Seydlitz and his Kuirassiers.  Doom comes on the point of a sabre.  As the dark mass rolled forward Ouromov called up his heavy cavalry to counter them and urged his infantry to hold once more till they arrived.  As good soldiers, they welcomed their new adversaries.

The Elektrénai regiment receives their guests

Meanwhile, things weren't getting any better on the right as the Prussians both forced the bridge and swung wide to the back table, threatening the allied lines of communication and supply.

In the fight for the redoubt both sides infantry are rapidly losing combat effectiveness.  The toll of a prolonged firefight is devastating and only their veteran (and up) demeanor allows them to remain. 

The Vilnius grenadiers huddle around their flags awaiting the end with Brigadier Georgi Koskov

On the left of center the counter attack over-runs some guns and force back the Prussian Guards.  One battalion of them anyway.  The "wild cards" of battle give us sway and though the Prussians do not break, they are savaged.

Our token success, though the trophies will not see the capital

Massive cavalry melees erupt around the battlefield as armored warriors clash on horseback as they have done for centuries.  Magnificent in their glory, deadly at all times.

Here the Prussian Garde du Corps and Austrian Kuirassiers clash

Finally, even with unbloodied infantry waiting and some cavalry in reserve, General Ouromov had to concede the inevitable and yield the field to Frederick.  The threat from the right was enormous and only a meager handful of rallied troops acted as a momentary impediment in their way.

3rd Cuirassiers take up position to engage as necessary

As the army withdrew, beaten but not broken, General Ouromov remarked to his aide Captain Borzov, "Sergi, make a note.  Next time we bring Taras Shevchenko and his Cossacks to harry the Prussian guns.  Frederick's brummers were too strong to ignore."
In my limited experience playing game with Batailles des Ancien Regimes (BAR) this has to rank as one of, if not the most thrilling games.  While we were at a disadvantage right from the start due to bad planning on my part and an excellent game plan by Jim Purky aka. Frederick the Great, thanks to some inspired dice rolling by my colleagues and some very favorable cards we were able to keep the issue in doubt until the very end.  If any of our cavalry melees at the end had gone our way we might still be fighting.  Salute!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a nice report of a very impressive battle. Looks like a lot of fun - big battalions and nice winter scenery!