maandag 18 oktober 2010

The next campaign - Fall 1757

I thought it might be interesting to have the reader look over the shoulder as it were, at our next campaign project. We finished the Bohemian Campaign with Frederick leaving the country and re-entering Lusatia with the Austrian army cautiously trailing after him. Our next project, is to play out the year, between the Prussians and Austrians, in the months of July through November.

A quick search of the SYW project lists our next project as:


This lists on near a day to day basis of the main armies and other columns assigned secondary roles. Naturally, to bring all this in its proper perspective, we need to be aware of events taking place in other theaters to have a good understanding of why decisions were made as they were. My first step was to gather as much information available and list it in chronological order, as I too, must have an understanding of the historical events in order to set turning points in the time line at which the gamers must make critical decisions. As an example, what prompted Frederick to take leave of the area and assign Bevern to watch the Austrians?

After gathering the information, the next step is to refine this for participant use. This is not meant to avoid the inevitable, but to give the players a better understanding to “role play” their participation. Would it not be a nice gesture, upon hearing of the death of Frederick’s mother, if the Austrian player sent his condolences and offered one day for a truce? Of course, unbeknown to the Prussian player, their raiding columns were out of communication reach and accidently raided Berlin.

After listing the events for a time line, the next step is to research the strengths and here, the Nafziger collection and are good sources. I am only concerned with the relative strengths per side as even our collections are dwarfed by the actual numbers of combatants, but we can make a reasonable representation of the smaller events, such as the conflicts at Moys, Nadásty’s column and Schweidnitz.

Nafziger Collection

The next step is to search for suitable maps of the campaign area. The one which has been selected is to be enlarged and cut into sections needed for each respective months. This would give the participants a much needed focus for the immediate conflict as their control over peripheral events would be negligible or non-existent. The map would be annotated with “nodes”, DBA campaign players will recognize the term, these are simply points set a day’s march apart which the players would reference on their tracking or movement sheets. Last week’s posting handled marches, so with the allocation of starting points, strengths and turning point events, we are nearly set.

The last step is to further annotate the map with important information, such as any terrain difficulty which would slow marches, the location of one’s respective depots and magazines and in addition the creation of tables for the time of day and weather.

Looking at all the events that actually took place, there are too many minor conflicts for us to handle and have a reasonable life outside of the hobby. I have asked one of the larger clubs in the is country, with enthusiasts for the SYW to help us with playing out a number of engagements. They would be free to use their own rules, tables, and figures and all we need do is supply the players with a scenario with relevant information to play out the battle.

My good friend and war game comrade Lex and I will this coming Friday finalize the details for the start of the campaign. Hopefully, by then we will have heard from the local club here, otherwise we may have to ask you for help.


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