At least, that was the case for me. War Games was the first wargaming book I ever encountered, in my local library around 1970. I continue to dip into The Don's books in the odd quiet moment, and many of his ideas have stuck with me over the decades, awaiting a re-awakening.
As usual, I suggest that players juggle troop types to balance out relative National Characteristics. However, having a brigade of top quality infantry in the attacking force is a good idea to give the attacker a real chance of victory.
If not using a curtain, set up all the terrain as desired, then Blue must deploy either 2 brigades, or 1 brigade and 1 independent unit. Then continue deployment by alternate brigades or independent units from each side, using the deployment zones already described. Obviously, Red will have the luxury of deploying his last 3 brigades or units in full knowledge of where Blue is.
2. The Combat At Lützingen
Here, Blue is defending the town of Lützingen, which is off the table to the north. The Blue force has taken position around a road junction south of the town. The Red force intends to attack and defeat Blue in order to occupy the town. In this scenario the terrain is pretty basic and so is fully laid out before the battle.
I have drawn the map for the common table size of 6' x 4'. Once again the position of the curtain is shown by the fuzzy line, in this case slightly south of the table centre.
If not using a curtain, simply deploy by alternate brigades or independent units, with Blue starting. Use the same deployment zones and distances.
|The cosy and slightly claustrophobic feel you get whilst under cover of the curtain is shown here.|
An experience no wargamer should miss, as you cunningly plot your opponent's downfall in near-total privacy.
|Curtain up. |
A self-satisfied expression suggesting that the other player has failed to surprise you is recommended.
|Two dragoon regiments against a lonely light infantry battalion? No problem, I thought.|
I was wrong - the lead regiment was thrown back and the second thought the better of it.
Light infantry are surprisingly sticky in any sort of cover.
|Attacking grenadiers push up to the stream hoping to create space for the cavalry to cross...|
|...and succeed! The force commander is on the spot to urge his flank attack forward.|
|But whilst the attacking cavalry is counter-charged, the enemy infantry reforms...|
|...and linear warfare is restored. Reminded me a bit of Leuthen!|
But in this case the Austrian defence had reformed so neatly that in the end the Prussians lost.
|A reminder to pay attention to movement initiative. |
I hung these limbered guns out to dry in close proximity to those blasted Croats.
They were charged and destroyed - 2 units lost!
|The set-up. The attacking Prussians went for a strong right flank, |
with all the cavalry present and supported by the grenadiers.
|The Prussian heavy battery stayed in place the whole game and provided worthwhile support.|
|The attacking grenadiers overwhelm the Grenz infantry in the east wood.|
Nevertheless, the grenadier unit seen in melee was also thrown back at first.
|Not something you see everyday in HoW - cavalry charging infantry. In this case the 'superior' class cuirassiers are prepared to take on an isolated and 'inferior' Bavarian battalion. They succeeded handsomely.|
|At this stage of the game (move 4), the Prussian tactics are working - |
the strong right flank has pushed the Austrians back with significant losses.
|The Austrian cavalry finally arrived on move 5, but had a very cramped area to deploy into.|
|The dithering commander of the Prussian left flank infantry had been very dithery indeed.|
Here he at last gets his men forward after some stern words from his commanding general,
and begins to overwhelm the smaller Austrian brigade facing him.
|To cut a long story short, the Austrians fought manfully but collapsed in move 9,|
losing 4 units in that last move. The Prussians (Red) had lost 5 units, the Austrians (Blue) 8.
Maybe some of you will prefer a sheet of hardboard, or a line of terrain tiles set on edge. Let me know of any bright ideas you have.
'Til next time!