Monday, 17 October 2016

Might & Reason: Mollwitz

 The Austrian defence viewed from the Prussian end:
infantry to the left and cavalry to the right.
My club comrade Chris put on and umpired an introductory game of Sam Mustafa's Might & Reason. The game was an abridged version of the Battle of Mollwitz (1741) scenario. The real battle was fought between Prussia and Austria during the early part of the War of the Austrian Succession. The Prussians had to dislodge an Austrian scratch force sitting on their supply line. The game featured Chris's balsa block armies which were enhanced by authentic flags and worked very well. My fellow club member, Kim, was given command of the Austrians, a difficult assignment, while I got the Prussian killing-machine and an exceptionally lucky run of high dice throws.

The Austrians deployed first along the objectives which were a bridge and the town nearest to the bridge. The Austrian cavalry was more numerous and better than mine. The Austrian infantry were neither. My deployment area was inconveniently bisected by a wood which forced me to make certain choices about what I would place either side of it.

From left to right: artillery, line infantry, Guards/grenadiers, cavalry. The Prussian Guards/Grenadiers and cavalry (right) move off, but the Prussian line infantry (left) make a slow start.
Prussian Guards and Grenadiers open out for the assault. The Austrian cavalry is creeping up to meet them.
The Prussian artillery (far left) has unlimbered. The Prussian line infantry have finally finished breakfast. The Prussian right is refused because I am worried about being outflanked by the Austrian cavalry. Had I fully appreciated just how powerful the Prussian infantry were, I would have endeavoured to present a first line of wall-to-wall infantry with the cavalry in reserve.
The Austrian cavalry pull back or are beaten back (I can't remember exactly what happened now). The Guards/Grenadiers make for the town as I always intended.
The Line Infantry assault the fields (left) while the Guards/Grenadiers assault the town. Under M&R the defenders enjoy the same cover value in both instances, i.e. the town provides no advantage over other cover. On reflection I think this is a justifiable function of the scale. Towns are not all buildings but will have avenues and other open spaces.

The Line Infantry are beaten back and would have done better to firefight rather than assault. But the Guards/Grenadiers gloriously take the town.
The Austrian cavalry finally move up to counter-attack.
As far as I can remember the Austrian cavalry do inflict some damage on the Prussian cavalry but there is no prospect of retaking the town and the Austrian player concedes the game.
This was my first game of M&R. I've since played another one. As you would expect from author Sam Mustafa, the rules played well, and I would be very happy to play them again. The obvious question for me, however, is how do the rules compare with Sam's Maurice? For recreating historical scenarios, I believe M&R is more appropriate.

Maurice suggests a lower-level game. It is possible to refight large battles but only by 'bath-tubbing' which creates unrealistically long ranges in relation to unit width. Nevertheless I prefer Maurice as a game. There is no reason, however, why the same armies cannot be used for both games. Indeed, some Maurice players organise their units with two bases, like M&R.


  1. Hmm, I like those blocks! Reminds me of a project that's on the backburner.

    1. It would be very useful to have a source of smallish, ready-made and even ready-coloured blocks. I'm always on the lookout but never found quite found the right thing.

  2. Replies
    1. None of it's mine, but I think it's very convincing.

  3. Looks nice and interesting!