Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Kunersdorf Wargame Part II

I managed to get several more turns in today, but then called it a day. There was no end in sight. Both sides still had lots of reserves of strength. Here are a few more photos with captions bringing things up to date.

The Russians have started the fight back to re-gain the Mühlberg with some success. The Prussians send in more troops from the left of the picture to hold the position. Meanwhile on the bottom left the Prussians have assembled a powerful mass of horse, foot and guns to batter through the waiting Austrian infantry - more Russian infantry and artillery are ready behind them though.

Close up of the Prussian lines referred to above.

And the Kaiserlicks awaiting their fate.

Prussian bases lost at the close of play: 3 infantry, 2 artillery, 1 cavalry and General Finck

Austro-Russian bases lost: 9 foot, 6 cavalry, 2 artillery and 1 un-named general.
Whilst the losses look heavily in the Prussians' favour there are several more Prussian bases with losses and it wouldn't take much to finish those ones off, so the balance of casualties is more even than the pictures look.

Neither side looked in any danger of collapse and neither had the opportunity to bring overwhelming superiority in one sector. I'd taken a rather unhistorical approach with the Prussians. Instead of rushing in to attack the Allies' right wing, I refused the Prussian left. I did this knowing what Frederick didn't. That instead of marching to the rear of the Austro-Russian position, Frederick had marched around the rear to attack the Allies' front  which was protected by earthworks. If I learned anything from this, it is how difficult a job the Prussians had on their hands. Whilst the Prussians weren't completely overthrown as they were in the real battle, any victory, if possible, would have been a Pyrrhic one.

So what would have been the result if I'd carried on? Difficult to say. There was no end in sight. I had played 20-odd turns. Using the start time of the historical battle, around 11:30 when the preliminary bombardment commenced, that would hhave taken the battle into the late evning probably. Even in the Summer light would have faded. Fighting on would have been very difficult. I think the position would have been similar to Zorndorf a year before, albeit with much smaller percentages of the armies lost as casualties. Unlike Zorndorf the rival armies would have been more capable of fighting on the next day.

I've got some notes on the rules to review and possibly make some changes. Some are things that bothered me previously, but nothing fundamental.


  1. Kunersdorf produces a very similar situation as Zorndorf although Prussian success is at least possible at Zorndorf. I don't see how Fredrick pulls off a victory at a Kunersdorf.

    Will you give a Kunersdorf a second try?

    1. I’m very tempted to Jonathan. Now I’ve got all the fieldworks I need, plus all the table layout measurements and orbats it would be easier to do. I’d need to think about what I would do differently. I said after Kolin last year that I would look at making a larger formation the minimum manoeuvre unit but that would possibly not fit do well with the constrained ground of Kunersdorf.

      I have a hankering to flip back to the ECW. Cropredy Bridge looks an interesting challenge.

    2. ECW sounds good too! I cleared Kunersdorf from my table today. Wonder what I may pull out next into the gaming table?

    3. I'm looking into Nantwich which is the battle that M.Foy is doing next.

  2. Good looking game, it's a bit of a bloodbath of a battle!
    Best Iain

    1. Cheers Iain. It is. The day after the real battle Old Fritz only had 5,000 formed troops out of 59,000.