Saturday 12 December 2015

Lobositz yet again.......and now we know the Honours of War rules, a much better experience!

Robbie and John returned yesterday for another refight of Lobositz using Honours of War, having felt that last week's attempt lost something as we were unfamiliar with the rules. This time the game flowed extremely well and we fought through to a conclusion in about 5 hours including lunch. John took the Prussians and Robbie and I the Austrians; as usual I had additional hosting duties relating to tea, coffee, lunch and dog control.

The orders of battle and terrain were exactly as last week and we were able to get cracking on the game without any delay beyond that caused by a natter, negotiating a bouncy labrador, and a cup of tea.

The battlefield, Prussians on the left. The Austrians behind the marshy stream on the right could not be seen or activated until turn 4.

Kollowrat's Austrians 'hidden' behind the Morelenbach. The plan, I think, was to suck the Prussians into the centre so they could attack the town, defeat their cavalry with ours and then sweep round with five fresh battalions infantry and hit them in the flank. Ha! Ha!

This has got nothing to do with the battle but I'd just finished it. Its a Westphalia Miniatures Saxon siege mortar. Very nice it is too. 

This is another new wagon, bought off Cran Tara at the Stockton show the other week. Its from Westphalia too, or it might be Fife and Drum.

Back to the battle, the two lead Prussian brigades advance, with one battalion covering their exposed flank from the Grenzers on the hill.

The Grenz unit posted in the sunken road advanced to take some pot shots at the Prussians. The accuracy of their fire, combined with the effects of being shelled, caused the Prussian battalion facing them to break. Shame on them!

The main Austrian line. The right wing wheeled round to enfilade the Prussian advance while the reserve battalion from Lobositz moved to cover the left of the grenadiers' line. Marshall Browne can be sneezy the house.

The Prussians attacked the Austrians, but in every case were forced to retreat and rally before other battalions took their place. John did well to preserve most of his troops, only loosing another battalion during the assaults. The Austrian grenadiers held but were taking casualties.

A rather shaky shot of the centre of the battlefield with the Austrian reserve cavalry from the left facing off against the Prussians. The cuirassiers and combined elite companies of Robbie's central cavalry brigade of Radicati had been lost earlier through Prussian artillery fire and by coming off badly against Kayau's Prussian brigade.

For some reason I had decided to bring the Austrian left wing cavalry across to the centre before Radicati's brigade were lost, so was able to plug a large gap in the Austrian line. The hussars were the last remaining unit of Radicati's brigade but were soon to be driven off in route as their status as my favourite unit of Austrian cavalry made them cannon ball magnets.

Gessler's cuirassiers had earlier broken the combined elite companies regiment and followed through into the centre of the Austrian line, catching an artillery battery and then an infantry battalion in the flank. They then charge the flank of another Austrian battery but didn't quite make it, halting about 1" short. My cavalry were rooted to the ground as I was unable to get them to move. Eventually the cuirassiers did charge but came off badly against the Prussians and were lost.

On the far right Robbie's Grenz charged the flank of one then another Prussian battery, driving off the crew. The Grenz then beat a hasty retreat back to the wooded slopes of the Lobosch Hill in their rear.

I finally managed to get my reserve infantry to advance, but far too slowly, and they began to take casualties from the Prussian massed battery on the Homolka Mound. They spent at least 2 turns unable to move, which contributed to the result of the battle as it wasn't until perhaps the last move that I managed to get them moving and successfully break one of the Prussian batteries, the gunners retreating and abandoning their guns on the field.

The Austrian centre in danger of being rolled up. Despite loosing another battery the line held and the Prussian cuirassiers had to withdraw as they were perilously close to becoming spent.

The Austrian centre again, still hanging on.

The grenadiers were charged in the front and the flank in the last turn. There is no doubt that they would have been broken in the melee. (Indeed I threw the dice after Robbie and John had left and the Grenadiers were destroyed).

At the close of the battle an Austrian aide rides through the town en route to Vienna with news of the battle's outcome.

Nothing in the Austrian centre remained except for a lone regiment of very hesitant dragoons.

This time the result was a victory for the Prussians. Not a resounding one but a win nevertheless. There was a time where it looked like the Austrians might have held on and driven the Prussians off but a series of dreadfully badly-timed crappy initiative throws and awful command throws for our troops guaranteed that we pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory yet again.

The rules are great. The only change we made was to ignore the -1 for not having battalion guns when shooting and canister was reduced to musket range. We also ignored the +1 when shooting at cavalry in two ranks. Using my bigger units made no difference to the game other than to make it look a pretty and rather impressive affair, though I say so myself. I shall certainly be using these rules from now on for my Seven Years War and War of Austrian Succession games in preference to Black Powder. I still do like the latter but these rules give a better 'feel' to the game.

Interestingly, this time only two generals became casualties as opposed to almost everyone in the the last game.

I shall now look forward to refighting all (well maybe most) of my Seven Years War games again using Honours of War.

Thanks to Robbie and John for coming and its a shame I couldn't find a 4th player at such short notice but there's always another day.


  1. Very much enjoyed reading this Colin. Love the Westphalian kit!

    Personally I disagree with limiting canister to musket range - just about all the sources I have give canister range as well over musket range, particularly from medium and heavy guns. I think you lose a bit of period feel by limiting it too much. But as they say, it's your train set - play how you want!

    With your permission I'll add a link to this report on the HoW Forum - or you can add one yourself if you prefer. Let me know.

    Best wishes, Keith.

    1. Thanks Keith

      I was going to add a post on the forum so I am happy to still do that. I agree that cannister range was well over musket range but how effective was it? We just reckoned that with the preference of heavy guns in this scenario it was a little too effective. I may tweak it slightly again if it doesn't work and feel right next time, but other than that the rules are a great fun.

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  3. Nice report and always a pleasure to view your collection and table, looking forward to giving the rules a try out in the New Year.

  4. The ammo wagon looks like one of my Fife & Drum models. Graham is our distributor in Europe.


    1. Jim, I do apologise for my ignorance. :-(

  5. Replies
    1. Great looking game and nice report. Really glad that you've enjoyed these rules as I think that they are great for the SYW. They are now my go to rules for this period and 18thC Imagi-Nations gaming.

  6. Game looks outstanding. I have HoW on order and anxious to give them a read.

  7. great looking game as always Colin.
    The rules seem to be finding universal acceptance and this, for me at least, is a good thing if it means that Black Powder is no longer the panacea everyone treats them as.

  8. Thanks Paul. I like BP but HoW require much more thought and planning otherwise your army will die or run away. I don't expect I shall be using BP again for 18thC games.

  9. A very enjoyable AAR with photos. Thank you, Colin et al. I'm a fan of the Black Powder rules, but I'm interested in using these rules, too. (The national differences intrigue me.) I look forward to my group's first game using Honours of War just after the New Year.

  10. Hi Colin
    Great looking game.
    Looking forward to receiving my copy of HoW within the next few days.
    If you don't mind my asking, what type of cabinets are you using for your figures? They look great on display in the background. Much better than the numerous box files I have stacked up!

    1. Hi Keith

      the cabinets were off eBay. Simple display cabinets deep enough for 50 x 50mm bases. I don't have enough wall so have plenty of plastic boxes as well stored under the table.

    2. Hi Colin
      Thanks for that.
      I'll keep a lookout for them
      Cheers for now.