AAR: SYW Koenig Krieg Battle – 06/06/2009

The following bit of blatant propaganda factual reporting is offered to provide a clear picture of the action that took place at the Levee Cafe on Saturday, June 6th, 2009.  For the record, I think everyone had a good time, and it was nice to explore another period in the ‘big battle’ format that a room like the Levee offers.

Rules used were the first/second editions of Koenig Krieg and the figures were 15mm scale.  It was the baptism of fire for my brigade of Prussian line, and overall I think they did fairly well.   I’ll definitely need to add to these forces over time.  KK provides a fast and furious game with a few idiosyncrasies that will be noted in the report.   The number of brigades on the table did slow the overall game down due to the activation sequencing we were using (each side nominates a brigade to move and then rolls to see which has the initiative), but I though that it added a little tension to the game, since fire effects are adjudicated immediately after each unit fires.   A trade-off for sure.

If nothing else, the game advanced at a leisurely pace.  We started late, ate lunch and then adjourned for a long dinner.  The game was called when our Austrian commander had to leave.  The game’s outcome was pretty clear at that point, as the Austrians were in terrible shape, and we would not be able to achieve our goals of holding both crossroads.   That said, the Allies were not having things go entirely their way either.  I’d call it an allied minor victory if not a draw.  Anyway, read the following report for a ‘fair & balanced’ view of what happened….

NOTE:  The ranting nature of the report will be even better if the reader imagines it being read by Dr. Doofenschmirtz.

June 6, 1759

My King,

I hope the godforsaken wilds of East Prussia are treating you well.  Every day I hope to hear word of the coming victory you will deliver to our brave people against the hated mongol barbarians from Russia.  I hear Kunersdorf is lovely (for East Prussia) this time of year.

Anyhow, the purpose of this letter is to convey to you the true happenings on the field of battle regarding today’s combat.  I am sure you will be getting a dispatch from General von Ritter, the CinC as well, but I felt it vitally important to tell you, my king, of the diabolical situation we faced!

So there I was, taking a census of cattle on the North German Plain as your highness had so wisely ordered me to do after the unfortunate situation at Kleine Zwirnberg last fall, when all of a sudden von Ritter’s column comes marching in.  What they are doing here, I have no idea of course, so I go and speak to him.  I am cut off by one of his orderlies, who imperiously hands me a set of written orders and tells me to assemble my brigade along with some impressed Saxons and horse that von Ritter has graciously assigned to me.

Confused as to why we are going to fight in today, and against who, the orderly informs me that we are to fight to the Swedes and ‘some of their allies,’ and refuses to tell me who these allies are.  I called in a few NCO’s to take this orderly by the arms, and after a few minutes of light caning, he cracked faster than a French marshal’s confidence and told all.

He mumbled something about a high-stakes card game that went badly for von Ritter, and he apparently owed the Earl of Garfield and that bastard the Self-Elector of Hanover a great deal of money he could not repay.  Demanding satisfaction, they decided to settle matters on the field of battle.  I could not believe it!  We are good allies with der Brits and to fight them is senseless, I tell you.   Killing off untold numbers of Swedes and those rascals the Hanoverians is a different story of course.  How both of those nations managed to end up inhabiting OUR land is unfathomable!!!   I for one relished the opportunity to give the Hanoverians some good Prussian steel, so I ordered the troops to start assembling.

As we start forming, I see columns of white-coated troops marching in from our rear area.  Austrians!  We are trapped!  I rush off to tell von Ritter, who tells me to calm down and that these scum are our allies.  How is this possible?!   Von Ritter gives me this song & dance about ‘calling in some markers’ and that it’s a one-off kind of deal.  I don’t know, my king… it seems very suspicious to me.  I would check von Ritter’s family history for a papist tinge if I were you.

Reconnoitering the battlefield, I see many strange uniforms in the enemy camp.  I am told they are Neapolitans.  Neapolitans?!  What is this world coming to?   I didn’t even know they had an army!  Of course, that explains the sudden increase in grog merchants, flashy tailors and trollops I had noticed over the last fortnight.

So, we meet for a very bizarre council of war.   I did not expect things to go so well, but I was not prepared for any of the following things:

  • We are to defend both crossroads from the enemy.  Why?  We’re in North Germany for God’s sake!  They go nowhere!  But fine… von Ritter had a suspicious note from you stating he is in charge, so like the good Junker I am, I obey.  I never have seen an official order written in crayon before, my lord.  Signing your name in ‘atomic tangerine’ color was a nice touch.
  • The Austrians are to take the right flank of battle supported by von Ritter, and I am left on my own on the left.   I am not sure what I am more insulted by: giving the whitecoats the position of honor,  being sacrificed so von Ritter can support the Austrians, or the fact that I still have no idea why we are fighting our brave allies (The British, not their Hanoverian lackeys.  The fish-slapping Swedes and the Neapolitans are fine to thrash, of course.

So, we start to deploy for battle.  Here is a map showing initial deployments.  Our heroic forces are in blue, while the enemy are red.

Initial Deployment

Initial Deployment

General von Ritter mentioned that there were ‘dummies’ all over the field.  Don’t I know it.  Anyway, after some initial maneuvering, I see that I am facing the British and Hanoverians, while General von Ritter and der Austrians are facing the Swedes and Neapolitans.

After the fancy dancing is over, here is the view on the left flank.  As you can see, I have deployed my forces in a weak line between the village and the woods, with a measly freikorps battalion garrisoning the village.  Normally this would be bad form, but since we’re near Hanover, I figure the locals are used to being abused.

On the other flank, the Austrians strongly garrisoned their village and deployed to meet the Neapolitan onslaught.  The Swedes are in the middle talking funny and otherwise slowly shambling forward like they always do.

So once the formalities are taken care of, we get to the serious business of killing.  The Hanoverians slowly plod my way, and in typical fashion decide to muddle their way through some large plowed fields.  This is good since my artillerists needed the extra practice.  The early actions are all skirmishers.  The woods is infested with scum, both ours and theirs, and the Hanoverian Hussars somehow manage to thread their way through my lines and dance around like the roustabouts they are.  They eventually pay the price for their impertinence, but in the short term, they annoy der crappen out of me.  Also to my annoyance, I see the Hanoverians defy military logic and leave no real cavalry on the flanks…, just skirmishers and guns.  Unsportsmanlike!  So, I start the laborious process of relocating my properly and precisely placed cavalry to meet the Hanoverian threat.

Eventually I am put under severe pressure with no hope of relief from the rest of the army:

Next thing you know, I hear lots of shootens & shoutens off to my right.  Apparently the Austrians and Neapolitans mixed it up, with the Austrians taking the short end of the stick.   The Neapolitan infantry defeated our ‘allied’ horse by use of some dastardly trick called the ‘Neapolitan column.’  I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like it defies military logic and standard conventions.  Typical that those Southern barbarians wouldn’t know how to fight properly.  Next thing you know, they’ll promote other madness like attacking in columns and covering the assault with skirmishing freikorps or something equally disturbing.   At any rate, by the end of the battle, the Austrians were in a bad way:

In the middle, von Ritter found himself confronted with a Hanoverian brigade sneakily trying to march between two small copses of woods.   He tried the ‘maneuver a al Agincourt’ to try and dislodge the Hanoverians with predictable results:

Note  to self:  Charging formed & fresh foot with unsupported horse is not a good idea.

The bright spot of the day, apart from my heroic defense on the left of course,  was the rest of the Prussian foot taking it to those Swedes.  Von Ritter’s foot accounted themselves well, routing the 2nd Borkeborkeborke infantry:

By nightfall, it was clear we would not hold the crossroads, so we pulled back to lick our wounds and reorganize.

Here are my final notes for the day:

  • Lots of dead Swedes, Austrians and Hanoverians.  A good day for Prussia!!
  • I managed to avoid engaging the British forces for the most part, though their Scottishmen were very aggravated over the fact that my freikorps roasted the sheep without first having der intimate relations with them.  How they could tell that fact from the smell of roasting mutton alone I do not know.  Must be a disturbing cultural thing.
  • Austrians embarrassed themselves as usual… not even managing to fend off some lowly Neapolitans, their dirty tricks notwithstanding.
  • Skirmishers are an annoying pain in the schwanzstucker!   Ignore them at your peril, and even the cavalry are very maneuverable.
  • Prussian infantry are very good, but should get used to operating while outnumbered.    General engagement across the entire front of battle is not a good plan.

I will await General von Ritter’s ‘report’ with much anticipation.  Glory to Prussia!!!

Your obedient servant, etc…

NOTE: The full photo album is here.


4 Responses to “AAR: SYW Koenig Krieg Battle – 06/06/2009”

  1. 1 Jeff June 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Prince Beej von Kursed

    If I could be so bold as to correct a minor yet alarming error in your report to His Highness, Freddie the Adequate.

    A brigades worth of Mecklenburgers gave their utmost to restore the prestige and honor to those two glorious Duchies as well as the Grand Duchy itself. There untimely and devoted sacrifice insured that not a single Swedish Soldier* was lost on the field of battle. With such information there can be no doubt that it was another in a long line of successful victories for the Swedish Army in Southern Tropics of Northern Germany.

    *The Narke-Varmlands indelta (provincial) spent the day masquerading as the “Both Regiment” of the Mecklenburg Regiment and they too saw many a young and brave soul give the ultimate sacrifice, but hey I imagined them as Mecklengurgers all day as to not ruin my view of the battlefield. Mylord the Earl of Garfield had given me a new pair of Rose Colored Sunglass to improve my view of the battlefield. The Sun is so bright in these Tropical Climates.

    /Vr General “Biggie” Johnson

  2. 2 Bart June 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Bah! Lies! All Lies!

    There are several holes in your pathetic little argument!

    First, the words ‘Glorious’ and ‘Mecklenburg’ have not and will not ever show up in the same sentence! Ever!!!

    And your supposed ‘Germans’ had a troubling preference for pickled fish and making fun of Norwegians! Most Mecklenburgers can’t find Norway on a map that only shows Norway!!!

    How dare you try to ruin my fulminating by relying on such weak, weak, WEAK technicalities?!!!


  3. 3 Arthur June 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I do so love these moments of hysteria …
    Sausages, anyone?

  4. 4 Don Guisepe Machiavelli June 15, 2009 at 7:58 am

    I awoke the morning of the 6th of June to reports that a Austrian column had occupied the local town which was to supply us with wine for our escorting the Swedish ambassador back from his recent visit to our beloved King. I of course instructed my generals to prepare for battle, as preperations were being made reports began to filter in that there were also Prussians and Hanovarians to our south preparing for battle. Which I found odd as the last diplomatic notes I had seen reported that the Prussians and Hanovarians were allies.

    This news while interesting really did not matter as there were Austrians to be taken care of. As my forces marched forward I was informed that Brigader Jomini’s son had taken his command sticks and used then to start a small camp fire. I thought nothing of it at the time.

    As the battle progressed the light cavalry found the Austrian heavy cavalry and retreated in front of them. Leaving them for Jomini’s brigade to handle. I was not concerned my heavy cavalry was unopposed and in the process of circling the Austrians on the right flank.

    On the Left the Austrian heavy cavalry charged Jomini’s brigade, this is were the loss of the command sticks became an issue. With out his sticks he was unable to form his columns into line, The Austrian Cavalry hit 2 battalions of the brigade while they were still in Column. I watched in surprise as the columns repulsed not just one charge but 3 more. Causing the Cavalry to recoil and be severly diminished by my fine heavy artillery.

    The Austrians then advanced and through wise use of my artillery and musket fire, their infantry was sent back in confusion. My heavy cavalry had succeeded in routing most of the infantry out of the town and was about to finish the job. When a pesky Austrian Hussar unit decided to intervene. Needless to say they did not survive.

    The day ended with our victorious troops retaking the town and ensuring that we would have a source of wine for our march north. Jomini was told to leave his son at home for the next campaign as while the concept of attacking in column was interesting. It was one which needed to be studied and researched before using it in the field again.

    Jomini informed me he would be sending him to a military school in France, which would be a good long way from our march route.

    I should also inform you my King that while I had many reports of Prussians and Hanovarians involved in conflict forces from either side were never seen by my forces. We did get a report from the entourage of the Swedish ambassador, but we were only able to read a small fraction of it, we thought they had requested cooking wine and olive Oils. Which in the interests of continued good relations we sent them.

    In honor and service

    Don Guisepe Machiavelli

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