Continuing further experimentation for our campaign in Silesia, I decided to explore the Big Battle option provided at the back of the DBA rule set. For those not familiar with it, it essentially increases all allotted troop types of a DBA-SYW army by a factor of three. The nice aspect of this option, you may divide your commands into three unequal sizes, each with its own task and general leading.
According to the terrain, both forces had similar size commands, but with some minor differences.
Left: 2x2Lh, 1x3Cv, 2x3Sk, 5x4Ms, 1xArt Bp 4
Center: 4x3Kn, 13x4Ms, 1xArt Bp 6
Right: 2x3Kn, 2x3Cv, 2x4Ms, 1xCn Bp 2
Left: 4x3Kn, 3x3Cv, Bp 2
Center: 2x3Kn, 13x4Ms, 2xCn Bp 6
Right: 2x2Lh, 2x3Sk, 7x4Ms, 1xArt Bp 4
The Prussians opened the game and moved their left and center in the direction of the Austrians, while the right wing would anchor the battle line from the hill overlooking the central roadway. Cannon on the right would essentially cover the center’s right flank while it moved forward and look menacing at the opposing cavalry from the comfort of their hill position. The Austrians were able to double their efforts and take an earlier advantage by seizing the hill top first. The center moved in formation forward to close the distance for their cannon. The Austrian left wing cavalry lengthened the battle line to attempt an encirclement of the Prussians situated on the hill.
The following two turns brought the lines closer together and both sides would taste musket fire. The Austrians responded by maneuvering an infantry wing to split the Prussian center from their right wing. This move brought both cuirassier reserves to readiness. To the Austrian left, the Dragoons with their General would further encircle the Prussian right while the main body of cuirassiers would pin the Prussians.
By the end of turn four, the Prussians pushed off the hill were now consolidating their position to make another attempt at the hill top. Musket volleys along the battle line, from the hill through to the center delivered breaks along the line. More Prussians were recoiling from effective Austrian musketry. Further to the Prussian right, the Austrian probe along the road forced the Prussians to launch their reserve cavalry earlier than desired. At the far right, the Prussian launched their cavalry at the oncoming Cuirassier attack in vain hope to avoid encirclement by piercing the enemy cavalry. Losses were now starting to accumulate for both sides.
Turn five and six, the Austrians were able to create enough gaps in the Prussian line, that subsequent pips were used to consolidate position rather than make any effective headway against the Austrians. To add difficulty for the Prussians, their right wing caved to the Austrian cavalry, who remained unscathed. Still, Mollwitz was a Prussian victory and all thoughts became focused to win the current battle.
Turn seven, the Austrians were able to maintain their dominance volley after volley as Prussian losses were climbing to which the Prussians would have to make critical decisions. With low pip throws, the Prussian reserve line behind the left wing and center were not utilized, while the reserve of Cuirassiers, committed since turn three, were performing heroic charges. Turn eight, cavalry trumpets were sounding off as the Austrian left wing cavalry the battle’s center. Continuing to outperform the Prussians, the Austrians formed a solid wall of bayonets and moved forward for a general assault to claim victory.
BBDBA victory conditions are met when either the CINC’s command becomes demoralized or half the number of elements of one side is lost. As we normally play battles within a campaign context, I thought about lowering the threshold, but make this dependent on the Commander’s character. We use the WRG 1685-1845 which allow commanders to be cautious, bold or rash. Using the Big Battle option, I believe characteristics could be a way to reflect the threshold in which a commander resigns and leaves the field; as an example, 12 elements lost would have a cautious general packing, 15 for bold and 18 for a rash general. These are some ideas to think about.
Next posting, I shall have our revised map done and hopefully the opening moves for our campaign in Silesia 1757.