|11:30 and Frederick is on the move|
During the 11:30 turn the Prussians, noting the move around their left and especially von Louden's advance on Leitha, begin a move to change their front. Frederick really can only use Mortiz's wing for this though, since Forcade's wing is engaged against St. Germain at Schortau. The absence of these troops will be keenly felt as the day wears on.
|The Franco-Imperial army all finally advancing in column|
Loudon however has better luck attacking Rossbach with his Croats. Croats are light troops that evolve into the Grenzers of the Seven Years War and Napoleonic wars. An optional rule allows Croat units to snipe rather than engage in close combat. Combined with their designation as "fast units" this means that they can move in close, fire at regular infantry, and then get out of the way before being counterattacked in the next turn. Louden's Croats do exactly this, disordering the Prussian grenadiers occupying Rossbach.
Unfortunately for the Allies, Seydlitz has made short work of their Advance Guard cavalry while maintaining most of his horse in good order. Seeing the Reichsarmee coming on in column, Seydlitz unleashes his heavy horse on them.
|The Allies have really low Effectiveness ratings|
Imperial infantry are not well drilled. The Prussians win the roll, and Seydlitz's troops crash into the Reichsarmee columns. The Ferntheil Infantry Brigade is completely routed, the Prussians manage another sweeping charge and force a step loss and disorder on the Holstein Infantry Brigade, including the Blau Würzburg regiment. I don't know why I didn't grab a picture of this action!
From the Franco-Imperial perspective, it now seems highly unlikely that they can force their way to Reichertswerben in the two hours remaining before they will lose the morale bonus. Getting charged by the Prussian cavalry or bombarded by the Prussian artillery now in Rossbach while in column doesn't seem terribly attractive either. At this point the only way to retain the morale bonus seems to be to deploy into line and attack, getting three Allied line infantry units adjacent to the Prussians.
|Franco-Imperial attack on Rossbach|
In reality, there was no real advantage for the Prussians to hold Rossbach. It seemed to me that the Prussians with their superior infantry would be able to crush the Franco-Imperial attack and rout them. Unfortunately doing this allowed the Allies to close and meet the conditions for maintaining the morale bonus. Simply pulling back a hex or two would have caused an immediate drop of eight points to Allied morale, putting them very close to having to roll for being demoralized. Instead Allied morale stayed high - and the Prussians would come to regret it.
|Run, run, run, run, run away...|
The Prussians, though, are starting to take losses. Artillery and an attack by Swiss brigades eliminate the grenadiers in Rossbach. Worse, the Prussian line infantry has taken some step losses even though victorious and Prince Moritz of Anhalt is wounded. The Prussians are winning but they are badly outnumbered, and all losses are felt.
|The moving walls advance|
|Striking the Allied left in Oblique Order|
Finally convinced that St. Germain is not going to do much of anything, Forcade begins to move men and guns toward Rossbach to support the attack by Moritz's wing.
The Allies have concentrated their artillery batteries on their left to oppose the Prussian attack. They are opposed by the Prussian artillery. The guns roar and the Prussian muskets crackle, and when the smoke clears the Prussians have carried the position, capturing all of the Allied guns deployed on this flank!
But in the melee, Frederick has fallen. Not dead but wounded severely enough to have to be taken off the field. This is a grievous blow to the Prussians; not only is the army without any commander now (Moritz would have replaced Frederick were he not already wounded) a wounded Frederick is worth a whopping ten victory points to the Allies, the same as if they had managed to capture their original objective of Reichertswerben!
|Soubise stops the Prussian advance|
The Franco-Imperial infantry pull back behind a screen of the French horse. In a final throw of the dice, the rallied Advance Guard cavalry charges the left of the Prussian horse, routing half the squadrons and disordering the rest.
|Captured Allied guns and wounded/killed Prussian leaders|
|Charge of the French cavalry at the end of the day|
|The Prussian cavalry earned their keep today|
|The final tally|
The Prussians in the end did manage to cause enough casualties to demoralize the Franco-Imperial army. Given Frederick's wounding that was enough to save them from a serious loss, but no more. The final tally had the Prussians at 20 VPs and the F-E at 17 and demoralized; a minor Franco-Imperial victory.
I think this battle ended up being an excellent illustration of some of the finer points of generalship in this era. The key for both sides was timing. The Prussians attacked too early, or at least should have avoided contact for another turn. If they had, they would have almost certainly won, even with Frederick being wounded as the Allied army would have become demoralized and therefore unable to engage.
For the Franco-Imperial army, the timing was in when to deploy from column and when to shift the objective. They did both of these at the right time, and staved off the defeat that they historically suffered.
Artillery and cavalry both played a more significant role in this game than in previous games I've played in this series. That's not because of the scenario but more because I have a better idea how to use them now. I'm still far from satisfied about my skill in coordinating infantry-cavalry attacks. I felt I used artillery pretty effectively this time though, particularly for the Prussians.
I continue to really enjoy these games. They capture the period nicely and play quickly, even when playing solo. My tendency is too often to try and replicate the historical actions when playing games of this period, to see what really happened. When I can pull myself away from that, these are great games and simulations of Frederick's battles.
Now, time to graduate to some Battles of the Age of Reason.