Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Battle of Haberdorf - 1760

James was in town for a few days and had an inkling to game, so he grabbed his 15mm SYW figures from the garage and we had a pickup game last Saturday. We have of late been using Honours of War by Osprey Publishing for our Seven Years War fix. I have played HoW several times and enjoy the rules immensely, in particular when played with the 15mm figures (more room to game).

For this battle, James (left flank) and Steve (right flank) controlled the Prussian army of (from left to right), a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments, an Infantry Brigade of five battalions and a light battery, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions, an Infantry Brigade of five battalions and a light battery, and a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments. Finally they had an Independent battery of medium guns.

Chris (left) and I (right) ran the Russian Army. It was composed of (left to right) a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions and a light battery, a Grenadier Brigade of six battalions and a light battery, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions and a light battery, and a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments. Finally we had two independent batteries of medium guns and a cossack regiment of inferior quality.

Each side had an Army break level of sixteen, and the crossroads objective was worth two army breakpoints. While the Prussian army received a +1 to their move initiative roll and their cavalry was efficient at maneuvering, the Russians had two more grenadier battalions and one less inferior battalion than the Prussian side, they had two battalions of Saxons (who of course are always inferior in any ruleset).

We set up the table and roughed out our battle plans … then we rolled for our brigadier command ability. We have found that this makes for a much more exciting game by rolling the quality of the brigadiers after the setup. In this case both Prussian cavalry brigadiers were Dithering, while the trailing Prussian infantry brigadier was Dashing. The Russians only had one Dithering brigadier, and the rest of the leaders on either side were deemed Dependable.


The Russian right flank was pretty congested, and I soon realized that I needed to get the far right infantry brigade out of the way of the cavalry that was bringing up the rear of the column.

But true to form the dithering commanders on both sides failed to advance at the start of the game. In particular this really hurt the Prussian left flank cavalry brigade as they had a chance to really clog up the Russian right. They rolled so badly that it was in fact the Russian cavalry that moved through the gap and charged home. However, after the dust settled it was the Russians who were decimated! One lone Dragoon regiment was all the stood between the beat up Prussian cavalry brigade (sans 1 dragoon rgt) and the flank of the Russian battle line.

The cavalry on the other flank also clashed, while not as decisive nor as bloody as the other flank, it did keep both sides cavalry out of the rest of the battle. The Russians for the most part rallied enough regiments to push the Prussian cavalry off the battlefield by the end of the battle.

In the center, the two infantry battle lines slowly advanced towards each other (the Prussians deployed earlier than expected), and so the only sounds of combat were some sporadic artillery fire from both sides artillery batteries.

But the Prussian advance began in earnest once it had formed two lines of infantry. Sadly the two units of Saxons were in the center brigade and once they clashed with the Russians quickly collapsed leaving a large hole in the Prussian line.

The Russians had two medium batteries, an infantry brigade and the grenadier brigade to hold off the approaching three Prussian Infantry brigades (a couple of Grenadier battalions in each of the flank brigade). The two sides spent the bulk of the next couple of hours hammering away at each other, with the Prussians ever so slowly pushing the Russians back. The Prussian side controlled the objective for most of the battle and this brought the Russian army close to breaking. Once the Russian line fell back to a line that had a copse of woods that anchored its left flank, the tide started to turn the final fresh brigade of russian infantry finally got into action.

The far right Prussian brigade of infantry tried to turn the Russian left flank, but it just took to long to develope and they spent to much time worry over cossacks! It was successful up to a point, as it forced the Russians to fall back to protect their flank. But by this time the last fresh infantry brigade was crashing into the depleted Prussian center.

The third Russian infantry brigade had to wait a bit to find room to deploy. Though this allowed it to arrive in the nick of time! It swung to the right and came into action and soon swept away the depleted Prussian battalions trying to hold on in the center.

We played for almost five hours before the Prussian army broke. The game ended seventeen to twelve for the army morale, as the Russians were able to recapture the crossroads and rout several battalions on the last turn.

As is becoming the norm with these rules, I had a blast playing and am already looking forward to the next time we can game. I highly recommend the rules to anyone interested in the Seven Years War, though I think it is best using 15mm figures as you can have units march on, a second battle line, turning movements and a reformation area et... which is much more difficult (impossible) to do in 28mm.


  1. I have the rules and look forward to playing them.

    1. Hope you have as much fun as our group does. One of the better Osprey rules IMO.