Saturday, 2 January 2016

Battle of Kolin - Part 1

We have just had an enjoyable day re fighting the Battle of Kolin using the 40mm semi flats.

Setting up the Game

The table size?

This was the club 'Christmas Game', so I decided to put on something big for the occasion. To make the best possible impression I decided to find a battle which would need most/all the 40mm figures we have.

Having added up all the units we could field I decided we could just about fill a 16' or possibly a 20' wide board.

I looked through the books and came to the conclusion that Kolin would fit nicely onto a 16' x 6' table. There is an excellent description of the battle on Jeff Berry's Obscure Battles blog; which also has some useful maps and an order of battle.

As you can see the 16' x 6' table fits nicely over the map, so next to scale

Game Scale

Without going into too much detail, Having decided on the battle and table size, I arrived at the figure scale by looking at the frontages of infantry formations (deployed in line) as shown on the map, and then figured how many 160mm wide wargames units would occupy that same space on the table, which worked out at a 2/3 scale (i.e. 2 wargames units equals 3 actual battalions).

The troop density is about right, and the Prussians strung out in march on the Kaiserstrasse are the right length - so far so good.

Rules - King of the Battlefield

My preference for gaming the period is currently 'Field of Battle', although 'Maurice' are good for two player games. However as this was going to be a big game, with inexperienced players, and limited time I decided to go for the 'King of the Battlefield' rules; a few of us have played a 'practice games' with these rules and they seemed to be just the job for what was wanted.

The rules are actually aimed at 15mm games with lots of units, so we scaled up the distances in proportion to frontages, KoB uses 90mm frontages with moves in inches; whereas my units are on 160mm, so scaling up gives 160/90x25=44mm. I opted for 40mm as the basic distance, and made movement sticks to suit. The choice of 40mm was also influenced by the fact that it put the Kaiserstrasse just out of range of the Austrian artillery on the ridge.

The Armies

The actual battle was between Prussians and the Austrians, supported by a few units of Saxons. However we don't have enough of those types, so we opted to have the Russians support the Prussians, giving a dark hue, and the Austrians gained support from the French and Saxons, so mainly white.

  • Infantry - 19,500 in 32 batallions, so 2/3 x 32 = 22 battalions
  • Cavalry  - 14,000 in 116 squadrons, KoB assumes 5 squadron units, so 2/3 x 116/5 = 15 units.
  • Heavy guns (battalion guns counted in infantry) -  28; KoB assumes 10 guns per model, so 2/3 x 28/10 =  2 batteries

  • Infantry - 30,000 infantry in 51 battalions and 43 grenadier companies, so the equivalent of about 60 battalions, we used 39 (not all came on). 
  • Cavalry - 17, 700 in 171 squadrons. Austrian squadrons seemed smaller, so I assumed cavalry pro rata numbers. 17,700/14,000 x 15 =  19 units
  • Heavy guns  - 60; so 4 batteries (not all came on). 

So we had about 1,000 figures on the table.

I'll post a battle report in the near future............


  1. Fantastic looking armies and table. Looking forward to seeing the battle report.

    1. Thanks, it is nice to have the opportunity to see them out en mass on a big table.

  2. Ah, new heads and new casts to the fore.

    We did the Grant version of Lobositz on a 6 x 20 a few years ago with similar nunbers. The PA are a good fit for big battles.

    Looking forward to more on this.

    1. Not just the new casts, we pulled out just about everything we own. Just France's Swiss, Irish and Grenadiers de France left in the boxes!

  3. This is going to be good. I look forward to seeing more !

    1. I loaded up Part 2 on 3rd Jan - hope you enjoy it?