Thursday 26 January 2023

Seven Years War action at Kolin

John treated us to a bout of Seven Years War tricornes: Frederick the Great's Prussians attacking Field Marshal von Daun's Austrians at Kolin, near Prague, in 1757. Historically this was a Prussian defeat: FtG's attempt at outflanking the Austrian position failed as the Austrians detected it in time to simply shift to their right. The Prussians ended up assaulting a solid line of Austrians with formidable batteries on high ground, protected by villages and crops teeming with Grenzer light infantry in front of the main line.

The ruleset was our friend Keith Flint's Honours of War (not Die Kriegskunst as I wrongly advertised in my previous post). Last time I tried HoW was in 2018 and I think that may have been the last time John ran a game too: Spittelwitz. Consequently there was a certain amount of fumbling through rulebook and charts, plus John had set the armies up a bit far apart, so it was a while before we even got to grips. Also, HoW uses a system of alternating brigade activation. As there were six of us and we'd had a slow start, we soon binned that and just went by alternate sides, which worked perfectly well and was three times as fast.

On the Austrian right, our horse got the worst of a cavalry melee but usefully delayed the Prussian left's advance. My Grenzers also fought a successful delaying action, diverting the Prussian centre, which never came fully into action. On the Prussian right, Dave finally got impatient and marched into the teeth of the Austrian guns just to demonstrate the combat rules, which he did, with predictable result.

Part of my Austrian command. General Wied surveys his grenadiers, backed up by some line infantry and a cannon. 10mm Pendraken figures from John's collection, I believe, but I could be wrong.

And here's what happens when 10mm figures fight on a 28mm battlefield - they're very spread out and have to march a long way before the fighting starts! Dave's Prussian brigade marches towards Nick's Austrians comfortably ensconced on defensible heights in superior numbers. What do we think's going to happen?


Well, this was just a bit of fun and variety, really. Even though we didn't exactly know what we were doing, we all had a good time and it was nice to do something different. I don't have anything more profound than that to say this week.


  1. Keith also has a stripped-down SYW rules set called Post of Honour, worth a look. Fast and furious.

  2. I love HoW, so great to see you guys playing them. Yes, with the slow movement of the linear age, you do need to start fairly close together, so a 3' x 2' table is usually more than enough, equating to 6' x 4' in 28mm.

  3. Replies
    1. Indeed, though I didn't show you the ones where John accidentally picked up the white primer spraycan instead of the varnish - they look a bit ghostly ... You should approve of this Austrian victory as it is the reason the Austrian armies of the 1790s go into battle chanting their warcry, "Colin! Colin!". (I believe this is true as well as funny.)


Comments welcome!