Wednesday 6 September 2017

28mm Austrians V Bavarians Black Powder game

Bob has a large Malburian/SYW Austrian Army to take on his equally large Turkish forces, but decided he would like to use them to tackle a European opponent.  He has been busy painting up a Bavarian and allied army and this was our first try using them.  Again we stuck with the Black Powder rules.

I commanded the newly painted Bavarians and Hesse Kessel allies whilst Bob took charge of his Austrians.  We decided that my allied troops should all count as newly raised and take the appropriate first move test.  Moves and ranges were at 50% of those in the rules and we again limited ourselves to one move if the command roll was passed.  This helps with narrower tables.

The Bavarians and Allies

The Austrians

Whilst these two forces prepared to do bloody battle a local resident sat in the church grave yard contemplating his muse.

I won the initiative – although you wouldn’t know it based on how few men wanted to advance – and moved forward my screening light cavalry in the centre and the Hesse Kessel forces moved to engage Bob’s Grenz infantry holding the farmstead on his left flank.

Bob sent forward his own light cavalry for the first clash of the game, resulting in my cavalry fleeing the table.  Not the best of starts from my point of view!

He also advance his heavy cavalry brigades in the centre towards my Bavarian infantry

And brought up another unit of Grenz infantry to support their colleagues in the Farmstead

My next turn resulted in much more movement on the part of my troops.  On my extreme right I sent a cavalry brigade to swing around the Farmstead towards Bob’s left flank hopefully in a flanking movement. Unfortunately they stopped in range of the Grenz infantry who managed to disorder one of the regiments, leaving it lagging behind its colleagues.

In the centre my Bavarians deployed out of their columns to make some impressive lines and a first fire role disordered one of Bob’s heavy cavalry units.

I charged forwards with a Brigade of Cuirassiers towards Bob’s light cavalry and the heavy cavalry to their left.  The light cavalry evaded leaving our two units of heavy cavalry to slog it out.  The first round was inconclusive.

However, I was able to throw in some fresh units of heavy cavalry catching Bob’s cavalry in the flank and breaking them.

Elsewhere Bob’s heavy cavalry prepared to charge into my waiting Bavarians and allied troops.   Forcing the herd of sheep - who were to play an unlikely, but important role later in the game - out of the way.

Due to some pathetic firing by the Bavarians and their Allies  I was unable to stop the charge and the Austrian horse surged home.

They performed heroically against the Bavarians driving them back, but had less luck with the Hesse Kessel llies who were stout in their own defence.

In the meantime the farmstead was still under attack by Hesse Kessel infantry and my cavalry continued their flanking movement.  At times this looked like a complete sideshow but it was to prove important in the final analysis.

I was able to swing my second line Bavarian infantry to engage the flank of the Austrian heavy cavalry pushing it beyond its stamina level and causing it to break.

The Hesse Kessel infantry having performed so wonderfully in the first round of their engagement with the Austrian heavy cavalry collapsed, broke and fled.

The centre of the table was now becoming devoid of forces, the Bavarians had been pushed back to the tables edge – save for one regiment, Bob’s heavy cavalry were leaving the table

All I had to do was push forwards with my Cuirassiers who had pulled back after their victory out of range of Bob’s artillery.  At this point the herd of Austrian sheep struck.  I rolled to try to charge forward and one of the dice ricocheted off the sheep – or the sheep hit it - to give me a second 6.  A Blunder Test which in turn sent my Cuirassiers off the table into oblivion!

Although Bob still had 2 brigades of infantry fully intact the cavalry I had sent in their flanking movement effectively pinned them back on the start line.  If they moved forwards they risked being caught in the rear.

At this point we worked out that the Austrians would be able to withdraw, but couldn’t push the game to a conclusion and my Bavarian infantry had taken a mauling.  The Allies surprisingly performed well and the initial ‘newly raised troops test’ proved a good addition.

Although both sides had artillery it really didn’t make that much difference with only the occasional hit being made.

We still made the mistake of thinking of hits on a unit being ‘casualties’ and removing figures.  For example I hit Bob’s heavy cavalry in the flank part of the unit – 2 figures – turned to face the attack, I rolled my dice and inflicted 7 hits.  Bob rolled and couldn’t save 4 of them so we just took the 2 figures off and forgot about the extra hits.  In fact they should have counted towards Bob’s total stamina score for the unit to be counted up as part of the subsequent Break Test.  In the our old rules it was about percentage of casualties affecting moral.  Another lesson learnt!

On question dear reader, we tend to move as Brigades rather than regiments.  In any subsequent firing if a 6 is recorded, is the entire Brigade disordered of just the unit that was in the line of fire?  We just count the regiment, meaning the rest of the Brigade can advance.  Is this right?

The Austrians are the same as mentioned in other posts on this blog.  The Bavarians are in part from Hinchliffe and Irregular Miniatures.  The Hesse Kessel Allied troops are mainly restoration figures from Parkfield Miniatures.  Bob tells me he had to go out and buy Windsor and Newton's Indigo especially for these figures.  Jack made the church from a picture Bob supplied an is based on an actual 17th century Romanian church.



  1. Thanks for the full account, I enjoyed the narrative and the pictures. Re disorder, only the target unit will suffer the disorder .... not the whole brigade.

    But note - a disordered unit cannot be part of a brigade order, I have always taken that to also means that if the disordered unit would normally be critical to ensuring that all units of the brigade were within 6" of another unit of the brigade, then the disordered unit could break that continuity, so that effectively the brigade from a 'receiving a brigade order' point of view, could in fact be split into two parts and need two orders rather than one.

  2. Hi Norm

    Thanks for the clarification, that's the way we have played the games to date, so it it great to just get our thinking confirmed. Many thanks for taking the time to look and post. It is much appreciated.