Monday, September 14, 2009

Dennewitz - Third Replay

This is the third time I've run this Dennewitz game. The first time was a play test in my basement, the second was at my club's game night. Both of those playings left us a little short on time to play to completion, so this time I hosted it at our club's game day, knowing that this venue presented plenty of time to play the game to completion.

Although our club events are usually well attended, we've had a lot of Saturday events this year and I think the club much prefers our normal Friday night schedule. We originally had three games scheduled, but one game master had to cancel due to other commitments. Because of these two factors attendance was very light. I was only able to get six of the eight players my game was designed for, and that was with the game master of the other game playing as one of my players. We pressed on, and had a good time regardless. I was fortunate that our club has a lot of experienced V&B players who aren't overwhelmed by having to push a corps or more of figures at a time. Since some of the players had played the scenario before, I asked those players switch sides in order to give them a fresh view of the game.

In the photo above you can see the terrain lay out. The French deployment zone is marked in red cord. The Prussian advanced guard deployment zone is anywhere North of the river and east of the bridge, including the Town of Dennewitz. Below you can see the initial deployments for both sides. Prussian on the left and an overview showing both on the right. Of note in the Prussian photo is my new 6mm windmill that I purchased at Historicon and painted for this game. Although 6mm terrain isn't in the figure scale, it better matches the ground scale and still looks quite snappy with the figures.

After seeing this scenario twice, both sides had a good idea of how they wanted to approach the battle. The French took the initiative by pressing the western part of the battle, away from the river while contesting the Dennewitz area initially with only the Italian division and artillery. This thrust proved overwhelming to the Prussian cavalry division initially deployed in that area and the Prussian cavalry gave way falling back on upcoming infantry reserves.

As the French continued to deploy their arriving army they pressured the towns of Neder-Gohlsdorf, Wolmsdorf and Rohlbeck. On the east end of the battlefield the Prussian Landwehr made two solid attacks on Rohlbeck, but neither dislodged the Wurtemburg troops holding it. In the center the Prussians were eventually able to push the French out of Neder-Gohlsdorf after several turns of back-and-forth fighting which saw the town change hands three times in a bloody exchange that threatened to exhaust divisions on both sides. On the west, the overrun Wolmsdorf was kept in French hands for the remainder of the game.

The telling blow actually came when the Prussian 4th division (in the right-hand photo above with blue labels on their stands), after holding that flank since the opening blows of the game, finally collapsed. Until this point holding Windmill Heights had kept the Prussians in the battle. This loss put the French on the winning side of the casualties and at this point the French drew up a solid defensive position. The Prussians, while still having most of their army un-exhausted, conceded that attacking the French in this position wouldn't improve their situation and both sides opted to call the battle at this point. The result of the game was actually quite historical, with the one exception that the French attack didn't cost the players of the game nearly as much as it did in the real battle. Had the French in the game taken more casualties, the Prussians may well have counterattacked late in the battle as they did historically. This battle ended in a Minor French victory.

I'd like to thank all the Northern Conspirators who came to the game and stayed and played it to completion. I'm actually hoping that some day I can bring this game to one of the larger HMGS conventions now that I'm confident that it's well balanced and well designed and that I can host it competently. For those interested in more photos, they can be found on the Northern Conspiracy Events Galleries.


Mike said...

Dennewitz is my favorite of all of John Holtz's scenarios. I need to run this at Origins.
Great report. I like your blog.


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I didn't realize there were others. I'll have to look for them. If any are even half as good as this one then they'll be worth a try!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Very nice write up and I wish you luck at bringing it to a larger convention.