Monday 26 August 2019

The Relief of Vienna, 12 September 1683 Part 1

On a scorching Saturday this weekend I had some of "The Burrowers" over for a game. I'd been toying with the idea of refighting the Battle of the Kahlenberg as it more properly known for some time but didn't think I had enough Ottomans or Holy League troops. Wrong on the first count, because thanks to a recent acquisition and a painting spree by friend Barry I had just enough Ottoman troops, and wrong on the second as I was able to press into service enough suitable Germanic-looking units from my 1670s armies. The Poles were never going to be a problem as I knew I had more than enough! Problem solved.

Anyone wanting the background to the battle can click here but suffice to say a massive Ottoman army was besieging Vienna, albeit ineptly, while a hastily assembled yet well organised combined force of Poles, Hapsburgs, Saxons, Bavarians and other German states' troops was marching to relieve the city.
I pinched this off t'internet. Pretty good plan of the battlefield and a great source for putting names to the 'great and the good' who led the Holy League army. 

For the orders of battle I used what information I could find on line as well as in the excellent Osprey Siege of Vienna book. I also ruthlessly plundered info sent to me by fellow blogger Steve Jones who had fought the battle recently. We were using Pike and Powder, i.e. Pike and Shot, suitably amended to reflect the troop types and abilities in the campaign, with various house rules and bits of Black Powder II added. The real battlefield was dotted with villages and vineyards and intersected by a few streams, but with the exception of the ruined and fortified village of Nussdorf all villages have been omitted to ease the flow of play. Likewise the vineyards are for aesthetic purposes only. The wooded slopes of the Kahlenburg are also largely for show, and for sticking to T-shirts as players reached over them, will not slow movement other than for artillery which cannot enter.

Battle lines drawn for the start of turn 1 as seen from the East. The fortified and ruined village of Nussdorf is in the foreground, while the  rest of the Ottoman army stretches long the left of the table and into the distance. Meanwhile the first of the German forces are on the table on the right (north) under the command of Charles Duke of Lorraine. The other German contingent will be arriving about half way along the right hand baseline while the Poles will join at the top right hand corner.
Close up of the Ottoman Janissaries garrisoning Nussdorf. They are supported by several units of Delli light cavalry and  Spahis.
The battlefield as seen from the other (western) end of the table. Thinly held by Tartars and several regiments of Spahis of the Porte and Feudal Spahis. I only gave the Ottomans these three small units of Tartars as they didn't do much in the real battle.
There was quite a crowd involved in the game. Richard, Conrad Ian and Shaun took the Ottomans while Paul, Dave, Neil and Nigel were the Holy League. A game of possibly epic proportions and expectations was about to begin, and for plans on both sides to unravel at an alarming rate.



Commander in Chief: Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha(8)* RICHARD

Under direct command of Kara Mustafa Pasha(8)*
Spahi of the Porte x 4
Janissaries x 2
Anatolian Guard x 1

Right Wing: Kara Mehmet Pasha (8) IAN

Spahis of the Porte x 2
Feudal Spahis x 2
Dellis x 4
Janissaries x 4

Centre (Turkenschanz): Abaza Sari Hussein Pasha(7) CONRAD

Artillery x 2 (2-gun heavy batteries)
Azabs x 2
Tufceci x 2
Balkan Irregulars x 2
Janisaries x 1

Left Wing: Ibrahim Pasha (9) SHAUN

Spahis of the Porte x 2
Feudal Spahi x 4

Tartars: Count Imre Thokoli (8) SHAUN

Tartar light cavalry x 3

 * if CinC orders his own command to move he cannot perform a re-roll for any commanders who fail their roll.


Commander in Chief: King John III Sobieski of Poland (9) {Arrives with Poles) PAUL

Polish: Arrives T5+1D3 (test for each command)

Polish Left Wing: Field Hetman Nicolas Sieniawski (8) PAUL
Winged Hussars x 2
Pancerni x 2
Cossacks x 1
Dragoons x 1

Polish Foot:  General Martin Katski (8) PAUL
Haiduk x 4

Polish Right Wing: Crown Hetman Stanislaw Jan Joblonowski (9) NIGEL
Winged Hussars x 2
Pancerni x 2
Cossacks x 2
German Left Wing: Duke Charles Sixte of Lorraine (8) DAVE

Horse: General of the Cavalry Count Alberto di Caprara (8) PAUL
Cuirassiers/Horse x 6
Dragoons x 1

Foot: Margrave Herman von Baden-Baden (8) DAVE
Infantry regiments x 6
Artillery x 3 emplaced guns

German Right Wing: Elector Max Emmanuel of Bavaria (7) Arrives T2 +1D3 NEIL

Horse: General of Cavalry the Duke of Sachsen-Lauenburg(8) NIGEL
Cuirassiers/Horse x 6

Foot: Field Marshal Lieut Margrave Christian Heinrich of Brandenburg-Bayreuth-Kulmbach (8) NEIL
Infantry regiments x 6
Artillery x 3 guns

Dragoons x 1

(Lorraine and Max Emmanuel act as ‘mini-CinCs’ for their wings of the army)

Paul and Nigel took subordinate commands in the German 'wings' until such time as the Poles arrived.

Part II, which I hope to finish tomorrow, will cover the game itself.

1 comment:

  1. A classic Burrow table there! Looking forward to seeing the full battle.