Historical Background: The Seven Years War (1756 - 1763) was a military struggle between Britain and Prussia on one side, and France, Russia, Austria, and Sweden on the other. France and Britain carried the fighting to their colonies, and eventually the conflict involved many of the European powers. In the US this war is known as the French and Indian War. The result of the war was to increase the power of Britain (especially in her colonies) and Prussia. The leading military figure in the conflict was King Frederick II of Prussia, later known as Frederick the Great. One of his innovations was the oblique attack order. This maneuver was designed to bring the bulk of his army against one of the enemie's flanks, defeating it decisively before the entire enemy army could become engaged. At the battle of Leuthen (1757) he used the strategy effectively to defeat a larger Austrian army.
Battle 1: This battle has not yet been playtested.
Building the Armies: Right now there aren't any 1/72 plastic soldiers available for this battle. Revell made some nice Seven Years War figures, but they are now difficult to find. You could use some current figure sets as substitutes. The Accurate/Imex/Revell British Infantry from the American Revolution could be used for the Musketeers and artillery crews. Italeri's Russian Grenadiers are your best bet for grenadiers. Italeri Napoleonic French Hussars could pass for the Prussian hussars. Italeri Napoleonic Prussian Cuirassier could be used for cuirassier and dragoons. The Strelets Great Northern War line has some possibilites. The Strelets Swedish Infantry includes figures that could be used for musketeers and grenadiers. Strelets Russian Dragoons could be used for Cuirassier and Dragoons. You can check out these sets, and other possible substitutes, at the Plastic Soldier Review (I love this web site). I plan to use paper soldiers. Here are some paper soldiers you can print and use. Infantry and cavalry are mounted two per base. Cavalry bases are 1.5" square, infantry bases are 3/4" x 1.5". Commanders are based singly on 3/4" x 1.5" bases.
The Map: The battle was played on a 5' x 7.5' table. There were several small villages, and some woods, which are not modeled on the table. The table is open and flat terrain except for the village of Leuthen. The village will be represented by a rectangle and can be drawn in marker, marked by a piece of grey felt, or however you choose.
Deployment: This scenario takes place stating at about 1 PM after Frederick has used a flank march to set up his trademark oblique order attack on the Austrian left wing.
Orders of Battle: The order of battle is simplified, with cavalry being listed simply as cuirassier or dragoon/hussar. Infantry are classified as musketeer or grenadier (which includes guard units). All units have six bases.
King Frederick II of Prussia
Prince Charles of Lorraine
Right Wing - Gen. Lucchese
Center - Gen. von Kheul
In Leuthen - Gen. Graf d'Arberg
Left Wing - Gen. Nadasty
1. Prussians Move
2. Prussians Shoot
3. Austrians Move
4. Austrians Shoot
Formations: Units are deployed in a double rank line, with 3 bases in the front and 3 bases in the second line.
Movement: Infantry can move and charge 6". Cavalry can move and charge 12". Commanders may move 12". Cannons can move 12" but may not fire on a turn when it was moved. A cannon which has moved and cannot fire should point away from the enemy. Cannons can pivot in place during movement and still fire. Units may not move within 1" of an enemy unit except when charging.
Optional Movement Rule: Units could move considerably faster when they were not close to the enemy (and deployed in a fighting formation). If a unit can move double if it begins and ends its turn at least 24" from the nearest enemy unit.
Fire: Infantry and artillery that didn't move this turn may fire. Range is measured from the center of a unit to the nearest part of the target unit. Units may only fire to the front and may not fire through narrow gaps between friendly units. Cannon can fire over the heads of friendly infantry if the friendly infantry are closer to the cannon than the enemy targeted. Roll one die per infantry base or four dice per cannon. The chart indicates the number needed for a hit. Remove one base for each hit rolled by the firing unit. It takes three hits in the same turn to remove a cannon. Note that you only use the 1" firing column when shooting at a charging unit. If a unit is reduced to a single surviving base then the last base is immediately removed.
Charges: Both sides may charge during the charge phase. If it matters the Prussians charge first. Cavalry can charge 12", infantry can charge 6". Cannons do not charge. A unit may not declare a charge unless it can reach an enemy unit without turning.. A player may measure to see if a unit is within charge range. One enemy unit must be chosen as the target of the charge. A unit that wishes to charge must first pass a morale check. If the unit fails moral nothing happens, it cannot charge this turn. If the unit passes its morale check then the target must pass a morale check. If the target fails it loses one base and immediately retreats 12", the charging unit is moved into the position vacated by the retreating target unit. If artillery is the target and it fails morale it is eliminated. If the target passes the morale check it has the option of firing at the chargers or counter charging. If the unit counter charges the two units meet in the middle and fight a melee. If the target decides to fire at the chargers it does so at a range of 1". If the charging unit survives the fire it moves into contact with the target and they fight a melee.
Morale Checks: If a unit has to take a morale check Roll one die and add any modifiers. If the roll is less than or equal to the number of bases (plus a commander if one is present), then it has passed. If the role is greater then it fails. Cannons pass on a roll of four.
|Defending Leuthen Village||-2|
Melee: If a charging unit contacts an enemy unit there will be a melee. Each side rolls a die and applies the modifiers. High roll wins. The loser removes a stand and retreats 12". If the roll is a tie each side removes a stand and rolls again.
|More stands than opponent||+1|
|Hitting the flank or rear||+1|
|Commander leading charge||+1|
|Defending Leuthen Village||+2|
|Grenadier, Hussar, Dragoon||+1|
Removing Casualties: When a unit is reduced to a single base this last base is automatically removed.
Commanders: A Commander may join or leave one of his units during movement. This unit gets a +1 bonus on all melee rolls and the officer counts as a base when testing morale. Every time a unit with an attached commander is completely eliminated by enemy fire (last base removed), or is engaged in a melee (win or lose) roll one die. If the roll is a 6 the commander is a casualty and is removed from play. This is the only way a commander can be eliminated.
Attacking Leuthen Village: The Austrians did not have time to fortify the town of Leuthen, but the village (especially the walled church) still provided protection to the defenders. The three Austrian units that start in Leuthen gain some benefits as long as they are fighting against Prussians shooting or charging from outside the village. If the units are hit during the shooting phase roll one D6 for each hit scored against them. If the die is a 4 - 6 the hit is disregarded. The defending units subtract two when checking morale, and add two when fighting a melee. These benefits only apply when the enemy charges from outside the village, they disappear if they are fighting a Prussian unit that has fought its way into the village. Cavalry receive no Melee bonuses if they fight in Leuthen