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Subject: Mollwitz Final Version AAR rss

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Art Bennett
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This will be a running AAR of the final version of the game before production.
Below is an image of the historical setup (using the VASSAL Module)



The Austrians are between Frederick and his kingdom to the North. To win the Prussians either need to rout the Austrians (thru combat unit losses) or at the end of 10 turns have 1 or more ordered units in the town of Mollwitz's hexes. It is a major win if all Mollwitz hexes are captured by the end of the game.

The Austrians win if they rout the Prussians, or prevent the Prussians from capturing any Mollwitz hexes by the end of the game while still having 6 ordered foot units on the board, or killing Frederick thru combat. Anything else is a draw.

Based on the above, general Prussian strategy would be to aggressively advance on Mollwitz, ideally inflicting losses on the Austrian army, and if possible casing them to rout to end the game early. The Austrians have weaker and less foot units than the Prussians, but their ace in the hole is a strong left wing cavalry group. If they can get them around/break through the Prussian left and get behind the main Prussian force they have a good chance of routing the Prussians.

A critical variable component of the game is initiative rolls to determine who moves/attacks first each turn. It is possible for a side to get 2 moves/combats in a row and depending how used could be devastating for the opponent.

First turn to follow…
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Dougie LB
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Are the Prussian cavalry '4-4' or '1-4'? I can't get enough definition on my Kindle to be sure!
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Art Bennett
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Prussian Cavalry are 4-4's - slightly weaker than Austrian Cavalry (5-4) and the more powerful Austrian Cuirassiers (6-4). To balance this the Prussian Infantry (5-2) and Grenadiers (6-2) are stronger and more numerous than the Austrian Infantry (4-2). So in a straight foot/line battle the Austrians are at a marked disadvantage (the Austrian Commander at the time underestimated the Prussian strength before giving battle), and must leverage his mounted units strength and mobility to hopefully get around the Prussian right. Or he could just slowly fall back to Mollwitz while using his mounted units to harass the Prussians - but that strategy is for another play through.

So let's start the first turn.
First the initiative roll - Austrians win so they go first.
First phase is ranged artillery. Each artillery unit has a smaller 3rd number in the middle that represents its range in hexes. Right now all the Austrian artillery are out of range of Prussian units so there is nothing to do.
Next is the movement phase - generally foot 2MP/Mounted 4MP/Commander 6MP. Since the Prussians need to get to Mollwitz by the end of the game I will aggressively move the Austrians forward to force the main engagement as far away from Mollwitz as possible - there are other strategies but this is good for this AAR. As for the Austrian left Mounted units I will send them on a sweeping movement to try to get around the Prussian right. Finally I will block the bridge over the river on the Austrian right as opposed to trying to cross initially with only 1 mounted unit that will likely get destroyed on its own. I also have to move units in a way that anticipates a possible double Prussian move/attack if they win the T2 initiative roll. Of course I am not a master of strategy or tactics with this game (just a play tester) so this Austrian plan could be faulty…

Below is an image of the Austrian Center (and right blocking the river). It is very important to keep enemy units out of your Flank or Rear hexes else they get advantageous combat benefits. Units are faced to hex vertices and the 2 front hexes are considered the front of a unit. Two side hexes are flank, and 2 rear hexes the rear.



Below is the Austrian Left starting its movement to sweep around the Prussian Right.



There is no combat and no disordered units to rally so the Austrian portion of turn 1 is over.
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Art Bennett
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Sorry for the delay - had a freak power outage yesterday night preventing internet access.
Now for the Prussian turn.

Starts with ranged fire and the 2 long ranged Prussian Artillery units (Dohna/Lewhaldt) are range 6 and are in range of Austrian units. Basically each artillery unit fires independently and needs a 5 or 6 on a d6 (after modifiers) to cause target disruption. The LOS must be thru the 2 front hexes of the artillery and can be blocked by woods/town/combat units. Finally, if an Artillery unit conducts ranged fire, it cannot move that turn, but can change facing.

I've found 3 uses for Artillery:
1. Ranged fire which if successful disorders the target and sets up an attack in the combat round with a better chance of success and eliminating the unit - kind of like later artillery barrages.
2. Stacked with another combat unit adding its combat factor to attack or defense - when the lines finally contact this seems the best place for artillery.
3. Behind the line able to conduct ranged fire against enemy breakthroughs - usually don't consciously setup for this, occurs because the artillery unit is in the process of moving forward.

Dohna fires at an Austrian Infantry/Artillery unit stacked together - 4 after modifiers - missed
Lewhaldt holds fire because I want to shift it to the center to support the main foot battle instead of the dynamic right wing screening of the Austrian mounted units.

Next movement:
1. On the far left 1 cavalry unit screens the bridge hex to prevent the Austrians from crossing. No combat is allowed across river/steam/bridge hexes so this will remain a standoff for now. The rest of the cavalry goes south to cross over the stream and get in position to assist in defending against the Austrian attempt to sweep the Prussian right.
2. In the center move forward to contact - stacking foot and artillery as they move. Use the woods hexes on the center right as a pivot point between the center and the right screen.
3. On the right setup a screen against the Austrian sweeping movement.

Here are the Prussian positions after turn 1 movement:


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Art Bennett
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Sorry for the delay - real life gets in the way.
Turn 2 Initiative Roll - Austrians win
Start with Ranged Artillery Fire - to fire and wait or not to fire and move up - that is the question…
Austrian artillery are at extreme range (4 hexes) so a +1 DRM applies meaning they need to roll a 6 to hit. Not good odds and with 5 Artillery maybe get 1 hit by the odds. Instead the Artillery will advance with the Austrian infantry bolstering their strength for when the lines collide.



On the Austrian left the Cav/Cuir will thunder down towards the bottom of the Prussian line looking for an opening.



The lines are about to impact…
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Art Bennett
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Now it’s the Prussian's turn.

Range is down to 2 hexes so the Prussian Artillery that can fire (clear LOS to Austrians) will fire. The targets will be Austrian Infantry stacked w/Artillery to get a 2 for 1 effect if possible. The Austrian units that are disordered will become the focus of the follow on foot attack.
5 rolls - only 1 hit. Not a good ROI.

Next the center moves forward.
Key is to maintain a solid line and not expose any flank/rear hexes. No problem on the left with the stream serving as an anchor. On the right a different matter - next Austrian move an infantry unit could enter the woods hex for a flank attack on the Prussian Grenadier - unless the Prussian's get the initiative next turn.
Also notice I keep the Prussian 2nd line of Infantry 2 hexes back - provide space for the front units to retreat and also to be able to react to any Austrian breakthroughs. Sounds good at least…



On the right the line shakes out in preparation for receiving the Austrian charge.

Combat resolution is two parts. First a roll is done to determine the "winner" of the combat (w/various DRMs) . Then a second 2d6 (one die for attacker/defender) roll is done to determine the losses for attacker and defender. There is even a possibility that the attacker could "win" the battle but still have more losses, meaning frontal assaults are somewhat unpredictable. If at least one attacker is in the Flank/Rear of the defender then it is less likely for the attacker to take losses - more likely for the defender. Hence getting in the flank/rear of the enemy is something to work hard for or avoid if defending.

All frontal assaults - with the focus on the disordered stack. If units are disordered they defend at half strength and if they receive a second disordered result they are eliminated. So the first attack is against the disordered Austrian's lead by Frederick with 2 Infantry. The Prussian's "win" the battle and the Austrian's roll poorly for losses and are eliminated. Frederick is awesome - no need to run from the battlefield yet. The Prussian's could advance into the vacated hex but the Austrian's are still strong and also have some Cuirassiers in the rear that could charge the hole so for now just maintain the Prussian line and continue to attrition the Austrian's.

Two other attacks go in on the Prussian center left and right but not at as good "odds." On the left the attack succeeds in disordering the Austrian Infantry and forcing it to retreat 2 hexes. Once again to advance or not? And once again the Austrian's still have a powerful 2nd line that could potentially get a flank attack against an advancing Prussian - so hold off and hope for Prussian Init roll win on T3 to take advantage. The attack on the right got a bad roll and both sides are considered losers and roll on the losses table as losers (kind of an "exchange" result). This roll also goes badly for the Prussians - all units in 1 hex disordered and retreat - no loses for the Austrian.



Now comes the Prussian Rally phase - morale check for disordered units. Need an 8 or higher on 2d6 w/various DRMs. Only the 1 Grenadier from the failed combat on the right is presently disordered - the roll is 9 so recovered - tough unit.

That's it for turn 2 - now who will get the initiative on turn 3?
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Art Bennett
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Turn 3 and initiative goes to…
Tie - again - Tie (weird) - again - Austrians!
On tie init rolls rules are keep rerolling.

All Austrian Artillery units are in the EZOC of Prussian foot so they are pinned and cannot do ranged fire - but they will combine w/the foot units in their attack. Pinning means if a combat unit is in the EZOC (front hexes) of an enemy foot and/or artillery unit the combat unit cannot move or change facing w/o passing a morale check. If the unit fails the morale check it is disordered and can't move/face at all - and is prime for an enemy follow-on attack. Therefore you have to be somewhat desperate to try to break a pin and think twice before entering a pin situation.

On the center/main line the Austrian's will plug the holes with follow-on infantry while on the left try to slip around the opening on the Prussian right center and carry out a rear attack on the end Prussian units. A bit aggressive and possibly giving the Prussians a chance for a return counterattack - but let's start a free for all…



Harrach and infantry are living on the edge getting behind the Prussian line. If they win the combat and force the Prussian's to leave the hex they can advance and change facing to prevent the Prussian's from getting on their flank/rear during the counterattack.

On the Austrian left it looks like the Prussian's will be able to seal off their far right before the Austrian's can get around it - Prussian setup their flank too fast and initiative rolls did not create the right situation. The Austrian's could keep the mounted units demonstrating on the flank to tie up the Prussian's and prevent them from intervening in the center battle - probably the conservative/wise move for the next turn or two. But for this game I am just going to go for it to illustrate the rules. If the charge fails it could be the end of the game due to loses leading to rout and/or freeing up the Prussian's to add their weight to the center and overwhelm the Austrian's. Choices choices…

Basically if a mounted unit starts its turn not in an enemy ZOC (2 front hexes) and then ends its turn adjacent to an enemy unit that it then attacks it gets a charge marker and a +2 DRM on the combat winner/loser roll. The joker is it is tougher to charge enemy foot units - the mounted unit must undergo a morale check if it ends in the EZOC/Front hex of an enemy foot unit. If it succeeds it stays, fails it is disordered and returns to its starting hex. That is why on the Prussian right I alternated foot and mounted units to force the morale check on any charging units.

And the charge goes in starting with the mounted unit stacked with Romer (2 CF) since he goves a +2 DRM to the morale check roll. And they barely pass morale and can stay.
Another unit charges to the right of Romer (to take advantage of his +2DRM) but fails the morale check, is disordered, and goes back to its start hex.
Same hex another unit - Pass!
Another to the left - Fail!
Same hex another unit - Pass!
Going to stop here since further hexes will not get the leader DRM (have to be adjacent) and I need to protect the flank of the charging units.



Now to combat. Let's start with the left and charging units.
Romer and an adjacent one of charging units go after the Prussian Cavalry unit.
They succeed in disordering and causing the Prussian Cavalry to retreat - and in goes Romer and the Cuirassiers into the hole. Will they last?
Next the other Cavalry unit attacks the now surrounded Prussian Infantry.
They win the attack but the combat result roll for both sides is no effect. Romer and friend will have problems with the Prussian counter attack.

Now the attack on the Prussian center right. First the attack on Pr Leopold/Grenadier/Artillery from the rear/flank. They automatically win the battle and a flank/rear attack is the only cases when the results die roll is modified - +2 DRM. The Prussians are eliminated - big win. Harrach advances into the vacated hex and changes facing to protect its flank/rear from counter attack.
Adjacent attack wins but results die roll is no effect for both sides.



That's it for the Austrian turn - did some damage but not decisive. The charge on the left may be doomed to failure…
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