Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Clash at Llamastadt and Hobau

On a warm day in 1755, the Prussians (instigated through their alliance with Fleisch-Späzlestadt) invaded the gentle lands of Llamastadt once again. This time their attack would be directed at both Llamastadt and neighboring Hobau, along with a third objective the corral full of Llamastadt's fabled but mysterious black llamas.

Llamas? Yes, indeed. This particular breed of llama, prized for its thick dark wool, was originally smuggled into continental Europe and auctioned off by Spaniard explorers to the New World and bred by clergy outside of what would later become Llamastadt.  The Swede, Carl Linnaeus, first attempted to document these magnificent beasts in his Systema Naturae . It was whispered in the streets (amongst various agitators against authority,) that Carl had received a visit from local constables who seized his original research. Perhaps he will be able to revisit his work on these animals to be published in a subsequent edition.

What follows is a battle report of a Black Powder game played on Saturday at the Cold Wars convention in Lancaster, PA this past weekend. Most of the rules suggestions from The Last Argument of Kings were  in use.

Scheduled initially as a "bring a brigade" battle amongst WD3 forum participants, an alignment of real life conflicts conspired to prevent several from making it to the convention. Two gentleman from WD3 were able to attend, and it was great meeting both Patrick, Peter, and Peter's wife as well as a pleasure to have them in the game.  Eight players participated in all, including two folks from my local gaming group. I provided the majority of the figures and terrain, an exception being made with a large unit of Austrian infantry taking the field painted and played by one of my local gaming buddies.

The tabletop battlefield was 6x22 allowing quite a bit of room. Along the central axis of the long table, I had the two towns of Llamastadt and Hobau, along with the llama corral. With the exception of their advance force of Jägers, the Prussians entered on turn 1.

Prussian Order of Battle

Prussian Right Flank Cavalry Brigade
  • 4 Cuirassier Units
  • 2 small Jäger Units (started advanced into woods)
  •  1 Field Gun
Infantry Brigade
  • 5 Musketeer Units
  • 2 Battalion Guns
  • 1 Field Gun
Infantry Brigade
  • 1 Musketeer Unit
  • 2 Fusilier Units
  • 2 Grenadier Units
  • 1 Battalion Gun
  • 1 Field Gun
Prussian Left Flank Cavalry Brigade
  • 3 Cuirassier Units
Austrian Order of Battle

Cavalry Brigade (Austrian Left Flank)
  • 3 Austrian Cuirassier Units
  • Saxon Grenadier Unit
Saxon Brigade (South of the Llama pens)
  • 2 Musketeer Units
  • 2 Fusilier Units
  • 1 Field Gun (in a redoubt)
  • 1 Battalion Gun
Austrian Infantry Brigade (South, between Llamastadt and Hobau)
  • 4 Musketeer Units
  • 1 Large Musketeer Unit (in a redoubt)
  • 2 Battalion Guns
  • 1 Field Gun (in a redoubt)
Anglo Infantry Brigade (Austrian Right Flank - deployed South of Hobau)
  • 1 Musketeer Unit
  • 1 Light  Infantry Unit
  • 1 Small Light Infantry Unit
  • 1 Battalion Gun
Initial Turns.

The Austrians had set up with their infantry anchored on the rivers on the far side of the towns from the Prussian attack and with the Austrian cavalry in reserve. The Prussians came on slowly due to some unfortunate command rolls. The smaller of the cavalry wings however quickly engaged the small Anglo force guarding a ford South of Hobau. The Anglo Light troops rushed into the town and as the Prussian Cuirassier units crashed into the line and gun defending the ford, these light troops poured a murderous enfilade fire into the Prussian ranks.

On the Prussian right, the larger cavalry formation initially floundered with two blunder rolls in the early turns. The infantry East of Llamastadt was broken up in its advance by disordering effects of the Austrian field batteries. The Prussians own guns advanced limbered ahead of some of the infantry battalions due to this disorder. One unit occupied Llamastadt unopposed.


The Prussian infantry brigade with the grenadiers advanced cautiously, but in good order on the other side of Llamastadt, with the river on their  left flank. On the other side, the Prussian Cuirassiers had almost won the ford, but the Austrians brought up a fresh unit to reinforce their Anglo allies. Inevitably the volume of fire and shaken status of the cuirassiers led to the small brigade being broken by the 4th or 5th turn.

In the center, the  Jägers and half of the infantry brigade advanced to exchange volleys with the firm Austrian and Saxon line.


The Prussian left had advanced in good order and this had caused the Allies the most concern.

However the left flank cavalry brigade had been broken by this time, allowing the Allies the option to reinforce or even flank the Prussian advance with the Anglo light troops. On the other side, the larger Prussian Cuirassier brigade had charged into a narrow frontage and been repulsed by a volley from the Saxon grenadiers. The neighboring Prussian infantry lost a few units in the center to the massed fire of the Austrians and Saxons. Having played 8 turns, it was clear that the Prussians would have to retire from the field having lost a brigade and 5 units, especially with the Austrian line still intact in a strong position. Llamastadt would be liberated, and the llama grounds would be safe.

"Until next time!", the Prussians yelled, twirling their mustaches as they headed home.


  1. So enjoyable and pleasantly illustrated: thanks for sharing!

  2. fantastic battle report! What a great logistic in employment and control of the armies. I hope you could win this turn!