Saturday, March 22, 2014

Strehla: the solo play test, Turn III and the end.

Third Turn, 6.00-7.00 am:

The Left wing closes to attack the Durrenberg, whereas the Grenzers erupt frome the wood on the back of the Prussian position. In the plain Guasco attacks Prussian infantry and the Imperial cavalry charges in support. On the Strehla sector the Imperials attack the entrenchements and the city. This is the all-out move for the Austrian….

which ends in a total failure: in the Strehla sector the attackers first fail moral test under fire, then routs and despite destroying the lonely grenadiers garrisoning Strehla, the attackers from the Hessen-Darmstadt column rout desordering the other regiments.

The cavalry attacks in the centre and against the Durrenberg are repulsed whereas Guasco and Wurzburg commands lose all the attacks and becomes exhausted, Guasco in turn collapsing despite winning the melee with Hauss (proxied by a garrison regiment).

Kleefeld croats emerging from woods make non impression at all on the stedy Prussian which in turns counter-attacks. Prussian cavalry takes an holding position against Kleefeld whereas Hauss repulse the Croats in disorder behind the woods (in the following picture the real Durrenberg with the wood, taken from the Kleefeld croats line of advance).

Finally, Prussian fusiliers garrison back Strehla and their artillery bring Roth division to the exhaustion; this is the overall picture of the battlefield at the end of Turn III:

With two commands exhausted and one collapsed, the only Austrian force still available for attack is the Kleefeld division: accordingly Stolberg calls of the attack.


In V&B each point lost is equivalent to 50% of effective losses in terms of man/horses/guns. The Austro-Imperial loss are accordingly in the area of 5000, nearly half from the Reichsarmee. In the real battle the losses were nearly 2000. However in the real battle the Reichsarmee put on only a show against Strehla, not a full-scale attacke as in the refight. Prussian losses are 1000 and 5 guns, very close to the real outcome. Moreover, in the real battle the attack was called off at 7.00 am like in the refight. From this point of view the battle is simulated well enough. However there are some point to consider:

- The Austro-Imperials did only a big mistake, allowing Guasco to expose its open flank to the Prussian cavalry: the other mistake was to deploy the Imperial cavalry on the right, whereas on the left it would be more useful from the very start. The Imperials did their best given their low morale, crammed deployment and poor training of the infantry. The Austrian artillery didn’t make any impression on the Prussian. In this sense, without any further “special rule”, their the lack of effectiveness is portrayed well enough.

- The Prussian defended wisely, reinforcing the right wing and using the cavalry to stop Guasco from the beginning. Their task was indeed easy enough.

- The die-rolls were “average”, that is there was no “bad die-roll” for anybody. The only “unlucky” roll was for the Guasco collapse. A roll of 1 was the only possibility, 1 was rolled…however this changed nothing since an exhausted division cannot move in contact with the enemies. The collapse means that the unit are also permanently disordered like after a rout.

- However, the Austro-Imperial task, to exhaust all the Prussian division seems to out of reach unless the Prussian player is drunk. To attack stationary, higher-morale infantry with more guns, entrenched or commanding higher-ground is a daunting task, even with a nearly 2:1 superiority. Accordingly I think that the victory conditions should be changed into:

Victory Conditions, updated

The Austro-Imperials win if they exhaust at least one of the Prussian infantry divisions. The Prussian wins by preventing this maintaing the control of both the Durrenberg and Strehla. Any other risults is a draw.

I think this scenario would be interesting if played twice with reversed role, the Prussian victory being not so granted. An intact Guasco command together with an early attacking Imperial cavalry could have put the final result more in balance, so I think.

Next refight Korbitz, 1759, a similar situation with some different twists.


Keith Flint said...

I read your posts on Strehla with great interest, Fabrizzio. You might be interested in my own interpretation which I fought out in 30mm scale a while ago:

I think your smaller scale figures, as well as using V&B as the rules, probably produced a more accurate representation. This is certainly an interesting battle to game.

Best wishes, Keith.

Fabrizio Davi' said...

Thanks Keith, indeed I knew your scenario which by the way I quoted in my first post on March 15. I liked it very much (and the miniatures are delightful) and it prompted me to write mine. Given the different scales I think you gave the feel of the action very well. I agree that Strehla, as well as Korbitz, are both very interesting actions to game.

Best wishes

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

6mm looks so good with Volley & Bayonet. Each stand is like a mini diorama. Lovely.

Keith Flint said...

So you did Fabrizio. Too busy looking at the maps and pictures, so I missed the reference.

Thanks again for posting this battle.