Sunday, March 19, 2017

Vienna 1683, Defending the Hills

Austrian defenders

The Battles for Vienna 1683 - Defending the Hills

By now we are well on our way with our new theatre of war - Vienna 1683.  We have painted up a Turkish and an Imperial German/ Austrian force.

The historcal events these games are basen upon took place in 1683. The Turks Siege Vienna and a relief force was sent from the rest of the German empire(and Poland) to break the Siege. IT all culminated with the battle of Kahlenberg on the 12th of September 1683. The Turks were utterly defeated and the siege was lifted. The battle of Kahlenberg was also one of European history's greatest cavalry battles. Especially the Polish contribution consisted of large contingents of cavalry. The perhaps best known part of this contribution was a force of Winged hussars - the last armoured knights of Europe.

The initial stages of the battle - the Austrians have just deployed on the hills in front of the village

The Austrian Commander Colonel Wolfram von und zu Kessel with his pet pig

After the siege followed a campaign hat would oust the Osman empire from much of present day
Hungary.  It is also in this campaign that the name Eugene of Savoy was first made known.

In our games thus far we have had two very different armies pitted against each other. One highly mobile(the Turks) and one that relies more on cohesion and fire power(the Austrians). If the Austrians stick together and first delivers a coordinated volley the result is often devastating on the other side. If the Austrians fight in piece meal then the execellent close combat fighting abilities of the Turkish side turn the whole Austrian effort into Shish-kebab.

The ambition of the  Miniature Mayhem team is to create a set of rules that would span from the late 1600 century to the mid 1800. The name given to these rules is Musket Mayhem. Unfortunately we have to change the name eventually, since name may already been used for a gaming app on IOS.
 A slight change of the otters and the addition of an extra word might do the trick. Since the project is still in development we will not make any name changes just yet.

When changing theatre we have to consider amendmens to these rules in order to make the rules fit into a new situation. After all the ambition is is to create a set of rules that somehow mirrors the general themes of musket combat prior to the advent of rifle dominance. The Turks are given very
good close combat fighting values and a firing doctrine that allows them to fire at will(but with slightly lower effect). The Austrian army relies on volley fire and fire discipline. There are som really good close camp at unit on the Austrian side, but the painter has not yet made ready for the field. There are for example the Austrian grenadiers as well as the heavy cavalry of the Poles(especially the
 Winged Hussars).

The Scenario "Defend the Hills"

The field of battle. Two hills in front of an Austrian village

The Austrians deploy with the heavy cavalry defending the flank

The Turks are moving in...

Another view of the battle field

The heavy cavalry was the key to defend the flank. They soon got caught up with other tasks....and the Austrian defence fel apart

The Austrians retreat in order to stage working defensive line...

The heavy cavalry tries to plug the holes

The retreat soon turned into a rout...
The attacker took some beatings fromt he Austrian heavy cavalry, but this is the last picture in which the Austrians preformed well...the author stopped taking pictures after this....

This village was about to be sacked...

In our games to this date most battles have been won by the Turk. The Austrians have failed to coordinate their efforts. A good example is the game that took place last week.  The game situation are as follows. The Austrians are to defend a village. In front the village there are tow hills. A third of the Austrian command are supposed to be deployed by the hills, the rest in the village. The Turks arrives on the short side of the table on the opposite side seen from the village. It is essential for the Austrian player to swiftly move up the main force to the two hills in order to form single cohesive force, if they are to stand a chance against the Osmans. Another alternative would be to let the lone third abandon the hills and move to the village. The later alternative is punished by the victory conditions of the game. The initial order for the Austrians is to hold the hills or suffer victory points. However one loses victory points if one looses units. Thus the Austrian player has to make an important decision. In our game the Austrian tried the first alternative. Unfortunately the force in the village got stalled and the defends of the hills deployed a bit too exposed.  It ended in major disaster and the game was clear Turkish victory. The hill defenders got mauled instantly and the slow main force could not turn the tide. Instead they ended up in an other debacle - they got flanked. The high mobility of the the Turks makes this a tough scenario for the Austrians. 

The scenario itself is a good one borrowed from one of the scenario books of CS Grant. However we need to do few adjustments in order to make the scenario work for this particular  theatre of war. The Austrian players( they were two in this game, among them yours truly) also need to rethink their basic tactics until next time. More games are to follow.....


  1. Excellent looking figures. I shall be following this project with interest!

    1. Thank you Ray! I can assure you that more will follow. We have other game on wednesday.

  2. Looks great Jeppan. You really make it happen and one gets inspired. :-)

    1. Glad to hear! ;) I have more sessions that I need to publish......hopefully they also provide inspiration


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