Christchurch's annual wargaming convention, 'Conquest', is being held this weekend at the St Albans - Shirley Workingmens Club. This year the Southern Strategists put on a 28mm Seven Years War demo game (well, really Chris Packer did all the work by providing the rules, figures and most of the terrain). We used the Die Kriegskunst rules that are based on the General de Brigade system which provided a free-flowing and very enjoyable game....but of course I'm bound to say that I was on the victorious side (which is very unusual !).
The scenario Chris put together was not based on any actual battle which allowed the commanders of both the Austrian and Prussian armies the freedom to fight as they pleased.....or as well as their dice throwing allowed! The luckless Prussians were commanded by Rodger 'John Bell Hood' Wood and Chris 'Tiny' Packer, while the Austrians were led by Adrian Powell, Seamus Stack and myself. The Prussians had an advantage of having a strategically placed battery placed on a hill in the centre of the line, while the Austrians held a town on their right flank. The terrain ensured that the cavalry could only fight on one flank, leading to a substantial clash of sabres that helped to determine the outcome of the battle.
Being exposed to the Prussian guns in the centre the Austrian infantry was forced to charge the battery from the outset or face destruction. Thanks to some fortunate dice throwing from Seamus the battery was destroyed early on, while a massed cavalry melee on the Austrian left flank led to the elimination of the Prussian cavalry, thus exposing the Prussian infantry in the centre. The Prussians advanced on their left flank but became exhausted after failing to capture the town due to a wall of effective Austrian musketry. The Austrian artillery proved very effective against the Prussian grenadiers who were decimated. However, the Austrians didn't have it all their own way.....an unfortunate dice throw saw the Austrian brigade commander in the centre being captured after his horse bolted in the direction of the enemy. The Prussian infantry took advantage of this and pushed back several Austrian battalions before the collapse of the Prussian right flank that determined the final outcome of the engagement.
Great fun had by all and there was plenty of interest from follow gamers and members of the public. There were about 110 gamers registered in the Flames of War, DBA, 40K and other fantasy based competitions, with the two halls packed with gaming tables. There were about 8 blokes playing in a Saga competition, with a Grand Manner Dark Ages castle providing an attractive centre-piece in their area. Tim Driver (owner of Comic Compulsions and sponsor of the convention) and friends put on a very colourful 'Pike and Shotte' English Civil War demo game next to ours which equally proved popular with the public. Tim very kindly sponsored new tape measures for every gamer playing at the convention....much appreciated, Tim !
|Rodger's Prussian infantry stemming the Austrian advance|
|Adrian's Austrian infantry and artillery providing a sold defence|
|A cavalry skirmish in Tim's ECW game|
|Chris's Prussians approach the town on the Prussian left flank|
|The hand of God (with ruler attached) orders another Prussian advance in the centre|
|Hungarian infantry advancing|
|Another doomed Prussian attack in the centre|
|Prince Rupert's foote (in blue) take on the Parliament rabble in Tim's ECW game|
|The Grand Manner Dark Age castle in the Saga area|
|Rodger's sole -surviving Prussian unit about to receive the coup de grace on the Prussian right flank|
|Seamus sends his Austrian infantry to deal with the Prussian guns|
|The cavalry melee on the Austrian left flank. The Prussian cuirassiers wait in the rear for an opportunity to enter the fray.|
|The battlefield from the Austrian left flank. Tim's is playing his ECW 'Pike & Shotte' game next to us.|
|The Austrians hold the town while the Prussians advance screened by light troops. Rodger 'John Bell Hood' Wood pensively looks on. The beard is just right for the Gettysburg game next July !|
|Chris's Prussian infantry advance on the town.|
|A fire-fight in the forest in the centre of the field.|
|Austrians looking solid defending the town|
|Seamus's Old Glory Austrian infantry charging the guns...fortune favours the brave !|
|Adrian's Austrian centre about to be attacked by Chris's Prussians.|
|The masters and the apprentice....left to right: Rodger, Chris, Vinny (with pint), Adrian and Seamus|