Thursday, February 2, 2012

Assault on Llamastadt

"We will advance with all haste and have llama by nightfall."

Encouraged by various intrigues, the mighty Prussia was convinced to ally itself with the Principality of Fleisch-Späzlestadt and launched an attack on the town of Llamastadt. Austrians and Saxons position themselves to defend against the aggressor. What follows is our first foray into playing a 28mm SYW themed imagi-nation game with the Black Powder rules.

This was a half size play test of a larger game planned for Cold Wars this coming March. That's a bring a brigade affair, but there will be additional forces available for those pre-registered. If you're reading this and interested, navigate over to the Cold Wars PEL and you'll see the event listed as S-103 "The Clash at Llamastadt and Hobau 1755". There is more in depth discussion on the planning of the game on the WD3 Wargames Forum where the idea was first germinated, and indeed the final product will be the work of several of the WD3 forum members.

The Rules
One of the local groups I have the pleasure of gaming with has greatly enjoyed Hail Caesar and was very interested in trying Black Powder. In writing up the scenario or them, I also wanted to incorporate much of the rules suggestions in the Black Powder supplement, Last Argument of Kings. In this battle the following was added: artillery move restrictions, single move limit when shooting, Prussian forming on line on head of column vs. others, infantry vs. cavalry rules, no assault columns, and capture the colours. For army stats, the national charts in LAoK was used. What I did for optional unit abilities was allow the brigade commanders to select a unit and roll for them 3+, 4+, 5+ and 6+ for successive unit attributes. Any failure and that brigade was done rolling. I allowed platoon fire as an option and as it was being rolled for, only a few battalions had this upgrade.

Prussian Order of Battle

Cavalry Brigade (Orders to enter from Northeast Llamastadt road turn 1)
  • 5 Cuirassier Units
Infantry Brigade (Orders to enter from North center turn 1)
  • 2 Grenadier Units
  • 2 small Jäger Units
  • Battalion Gun
  • 2 Field Guns
Infantry Brigade (Orders to enter from North center left turn 2)
  • 4 Musketeer Units
  • 1 Battalion Gun
  • 1 Field Gun
Infantry Brigade (Orders to enter from North far left opposite Llamastadt turn 2)
  • 2 Musketeer Units
  • 2 Fusilier Units
  • Battalion Gun
Austrian Order of Battle

Cavalry Brigade (Orders to enter from Southwest turn 3)
  • 3 Cuirassier Units
  • 1 Dragoon Unit
Infantry Brigade (deployed center left)
  • 3 Musketeer Units
  • 1 Grenadier Unit
  • 1 Battalion Gun
  • 1 Field Gun
Infantry Brigade (deployed within and west of Llamastadt)
  • 4 Musketeer Units
  • 1 Battalion Gun
  • 2 Field Guns
Saxon Brigade (Orders to enter from South Llamastadt road turn 2)
  • 2 Musketeer Units
  • 2 Fusilier Units
  • 1 Grenadier Unit
  • 1 Battalion Gun

Click on the map here to see the table layout and dispositions of deployed troops and entry points fro the various brigades from turns 1-3.  This map and subsequent maps in this battle report were put together with a neat program called Battle Chronicler. Do check it out.

Turn 1 

The Prussian Cuirassiers thundered down the road toward Llamastadt. From the North an advance of the main army was led by Jägers and Grenadiers along with 2 batteries of artillery.

The defending Austrians suffered some confusion. One unit came up the road in column but was unable to finish deployment into line. Then the brigade commander's order to defend Llamastadt was misinterpreted by the local battalion commander as an order to retire from the town!! In the center things went smoother and the Austrian brigade shifted lines to the left.

Here's some early pictures from the Prussian side.

The Austrian defended town of Llamastadt is on the left in this picture, which is the extreme right of the Austrian deployment. The llama corral is shown on the graphical maps a bit further away than it was in the actual game.
The initial entry of Prussians with cavalry on the right. The grenadiers with Jägers and 2 field guns enter in the center, which will become the right of the main Prussian force.

Turn 2

Prussians press forward slowly and are joined by the rest of their army. That's a field battery in the front. Another brigade was also entering on the left.

The Austrians are supported by the Saxon brigade marching up the road to protect the vital livestock of Llamastadt. And with another blunder,  the Austrian battalion that retired from Llamastadt continued to move out of the town, while on the other side of the brigade another battalion that had been unable to form line took some encouragement from the cannonballs of the Prussian field gun batteries on the heights to the North.

Turn 3

The Prussians spent this turn rushing to the town which was now totally undefended. The entire Prussian line crept forward and the cavalry on the right flank moved to cover any possible advance by the opposing Austrian infantry.

The Austrians now unleashed their cavalry which had been slowly working its way around the river off table and entered per previous pre-battle orders on turn 3. The Prussian cavalry was caught unaware and two units were ridden down before the battle stabilized into a back and forth.

Tough break for the Prussians here! Luckily for them the next two turns resulted in the total loss of only 2 units and the brigade was not broken. The Austrians lost one unit themselves in the later melee.

Turns 4 and 5

The Prussians took the town in turn 4. Another blunder for the Austrian Brigade on this flank. The commander was rated highly aggressive, highly decisive, and low independence which collectively resulted in some interesting command results when opting to reroll failed command checks. Another blundering battalion went into an assault, and unsupported broke itself against the well defending building blocks.

The turn map on the right shows final positions. We played 5 full turns and the result with all in agreement was a minor Prussian victory given the taking of the town. One of the Prussian cavalry colours was captured on the west side of the battle, however the Prussian cavalry had bounced back to prevent the flanking of the army. Both sides were slow to engage in the center,  with the battle being decided solely on what happened on the flanks.


We were all collectively novice to Black Powder, and had to unlearn some nuances of Hail Caesar a few times. Luckily the mistakes did not favor any one side too heavily... We'll  be playing again in the near future, and with one game under our belts, I'm sure the next will be even more fun. 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great battle report, armies look real good

    -- Allan

  2. A most enjoyable read. Thanks for taking the trouble to post.

    Best wishes, Keith.