Month: October 2011

Strike of the Eagle Board Game Review

By Harvey Mossman

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A Gourmet Achievement for the Discriminating Palate

As a young child, I watched my grandmother cook for all the holiday family get-togethers. She told me that the secret of a good chef was to use the best ingredients and keep each in balance with the other. Academy Games must have had this in mind when they took a prior recipe, the Eagle and the Star designed by Robert Zak, added a touch of this and pinch of that and, as Chef Emril would say, “Bam!” produced a gourmet meal.

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Strike of the Eagle is a game to be savored. From the moment you open the sturdy box revealing the beautifully illustrated mounted map, you realize this game was produced with epicurean care. The map shows stylized cities each connected by paths or railroads. There is a player’s aid sheet, two decks of well-illustrated cards (one each for the Polish and Soviet players) , a card with tracks for Victory Points and Initiative and finally, clearly illustrated sticker labels for the blocks which take the place of the usual cardboard counters. Yes, some assembly is required. The rules are printed on magazine quality glossy paper and are extremely clear and profusely illustrated. They can be digested in less than 30 minutes. Professional chefs know that an exquisite meal can be ruined if the presentation is poor. Academy Games gets extremely high marks in this regard.


The Recipe

As for gameplay, the designers have taken tried-and-true ingredients and blended them to create a tension packed, and decision filled, challenging delicacy. Let’s examine their recipe a little closer.

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Fog of war is a huge element of this design. Units are represented by blocks that stand upright facing the player with unit type and strength hidden from your opponent. Additionally, step loss reduction is secretly administered by turning each block 90° for each loss suffered. Therefore, you are never quite sure of the enemy forces combat potential. Furthermore, units are given secret orders by placing order markers face down on the playing board. Orders include Move To, Move Out, Force March To, Force March Out, Withdraw, Defend, Reorganize, Recon and Rail Move. The player with the initiative decides who places the first order which can be a big advantage as it may give imprecise hints as to your opponent’s operational plans for the turn. However, with facedown orders there is plenty of room for bluff and misdirection. This is one of my favorite aspects of the game.

In brief, Forced March Out and Move Out orders are placed on a space with friendly units and activate all units in the space to march out in any direction. Infantry move 1 space, cavalry moves 2 spaces and a Forced March Order gives each unit type an additional space to move. Move To and Forced Marches To orders are placed on any space with the requirement that units following these orders end their movement in the target space. Withdrawal orders lets you retreat if your units are attacked at the cost of one strength point lost. Defend orders allow friendly units to ignore the first loss in combat and negates one enemy flanking attack. Units gain one strength point under a Reorganize order but they may not move and fight at half combat strength rounded down if attacked. The Rail Transport order allows units to move along a friendly rail line up to eight spaces. Finally, the Recon order is a mandatory order that must be placed in each operations phase and allows you to look at enemy unit strengths. However, since it can be placed within three hexes of a friendly unit, it is sometimes best utilized as a crafty misdirection by placing it on a friendly or unoccupied space to make your opponents think that some other order will be executed there.

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While Fog of War is the sauté to whet the appetite of gamers, the meat of the game is the cards. I cannot say that Strike of the Eagle is card driven a la We the People because players can take actions without the use of cards, but it is intensively card dependent. You simply will not accomplish anything of great value without utilizing cards.

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A player can have seven cards in his hand. Each card can be utilized in one of four different ways. In the upper left-hand corner is the Order Modifier which gives the player additional orders beyond the 2 he gets at the start of each operation phase. This can be critical because one of his 2 orders will be the mandatory Recon order, leaving him only one order to move or defend. A player who does not utilize the Order Modifier will most likely cede the operational initiative to his opponent for that phase.

In the upper right-hand corner of the card there is a red Combat Modifier. This value is added to the player’s combat strength to determine the losses that he inflicts on his opponent. In the middle of each card is text which represents historical events, battle effects or battlefield events. Finally, at the bottom of each card are a number of squares representing Reinforcement Cubes which can be accumulated over the course of the turn to be cashed in in the reinforcement phase to form new units or augment depleted units.

Proper use of the cards is one of the most tense and challenging aspects of the game. Cards with higher Order Modifiers tend to have high Combat Modifiers, highly effective events and a multitude of reinforcement cubes. Deciding the priorities for using the card is of utmost importance to effective gameplay. Is play of the event more important than operational maneuverability? Have you taken such significant losses that getting reinforcement cubes are paramount? Do you save this card for an important battle to take advantage of its high Combat Modifier? There are no easy answers to these questions which makes this game so exciting.


The Ingredients

As I now have your digestive juices flowing let’s run through a typical turn so that you can see how all these wonderful ingredients has been combined into a gourmet meal. The turn is divided into five operational phases. Each phase starts with players replenishing their hand by drawing new cards from their respective decks. At the beginning of the first Operation Phase each player draws six new cards. Thereafter he gets two cards on phases two through four. A player can have a maximum of seven cards and must discard down to that limit by the end of this phase.

Following the Replenish Cards Phase is the Initiative Phase. The game map is divided horizontally into northern and southern fronts for each player’s Army. The initiative is determined for each front. The player with the highest initiative on his front decides who places the first order during each operation phase and who executes each order type first. This is critically important.

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Once the first player is decided, it alternates back and forth until all orders are placed. Allowing your opponent to place orders first may give you a hint as to where he might be making an offensive thrust. Even more critical is the ability to decide whether you or your opponent executes each type of order first. Sometimes you want to move before your opponent to get to a critical city space before he does. Other times you would prefer that he tips his hand so that you may best react to it. This adds another aspect requiring tough decision making and problem solving. Initiative is increased by certain event cards and by winning battles. However, the higher your initiative the more difficult it becomes to raise the initiative further. You must inflict more strength point losses than your current initiative level to increase your initiative. This wonderfully simulates how the friction of war impedes the buildup of your momentum. Any lost battle will reduce the initiative but the initiative level cannot increase or decrease by more than one point for each battle.

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The players now have the option to play a card face down to garner additional orders, trigger a historical event or accumulate reinforcement cubes. It is not mandatory to play a card at this point. After historical events have been resolved, the number of orders increased and reinforcement cubes distributed, players then place orders. The map is divided into a Northern and Southern front for each player so that the game can accommodate up to four players. The player with the initiative on each front decides who will place their orders first. In certain circumstances leaders can then contribute additional orders if activated. Next orders are executed in a strict sequence. Force March orders are executed first. As orders are revealed they are executed with one player executing all of his forced March orders followed by the other. Next, all recon orders are executed followed by movement orders then withdrawal orders.

If opposing units now occupy the same space, combat ensues unless the defending units are under a Withdrawal order. If attacking units entered the space from more than one direction, they gain a Flanking Bonus which reduces the defenders combat value by two strength points for each additional path of entry above the first. The Flanking Bonus can be mitigated by having a Defend order which allows the defender to ignore the first strength point loss in battle and negate one enemy Flanking Bonus. Certain cities on the map have fortifications. If all attacking units are coming through the fortifications symbols, these act like an additional Defend order negating one flanking bonus and allowing the defender to ignore one strength point of loss. Finally, if the defender has Supporting Units moving into the battle space then, for each path that these supporting units enter, one Flank Bonus is negated.

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Combat is now resolved. Each player may play a Battle Card which often adds or subtracts strength points or losses to the attacker or defender. Next, the players must play a combat modifier card. If played from his hand the Combat Modifier Value is augmented by one. Otherwise, the player uses the face value of the Combat Modifier of a card drawn from his deck. Note that the battle card and the Combat Modifier card are played before combat unit strengths are revealed. Therefore players don’t know how strong his opponent’s forces are before making decision on how to play his cards. Now unit strengths are revealed and totaled taking into account modifiers for fortifications, Defend orders, Flanking Bonuses, Battle Card effects and Combat Modifiers.

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There are no dice utilized in combat resolution. Each player’s total combat strength determines how many losses he inflicts on the opponent. A value of 4-6 inflicts one loss, 7-9 inflicts 2 losses, 10-12 inflicts 3 losses, 13-17 inflicts 4 losses, 18 or more inflicts 5 losses. Losses may be reduced by previous played Battle Card or the play of Battle Event cards which occurs immediately after losses are determined. The player who suffers the most actual losses after modification from Battle Cards and Battle Events must retreat. Ties cause the attacker to retreat. Successful attackers must move at least one unit into the captured space. Others can return to the spaces from which they came. Losers must retreat towards a friendly Key city.

After combat, Reorganization orders are executed followed by Rail Movement orders. Then supply is judged. Infantry units must be within three spaces of a friendly Key city that can trace supply back to a supply source which is Warsaw for the Polish and the Soviet Eastern links for the Russians. Cavalry can trace five spaces. Units out of supply are marked by an out of supply marker and suffer one strength point of attrition.

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There are five operations phases to each turn and when all are complete, the reinforcement phase begins. In this phase players get additional reinforcement cubes from cities they control and add that to any reinforcement cubes they collected by play of cards during the operation phase. Friendly units can now absorb or detach strength points to consolidate units, place Garrison markers on Key cities they occupy, expend reinforcement cubes to augment one unit one strength point in spaces that are adjacent to the enemy (frontline units), freely augment friendly units not adjacent to the enemy and finally, spend 2 reinforcement cubes to build a new one strength unit.

The victory conditions are then checked and a new turn begins. Victory points are gained by capturing Key cities or play of certain Historical Events. Additionally, eliminating out of supply units or destroying units who lack a legal retreat gives one victory point per unit destroyed. A victory point is gained by winning Great Victories if you inflict at least 4 real losses to your opponent in a battle. There is a victory point track which shows the victory point advantage one player has over the other. If a player’s advantage reaches 15 points he wins the game.


The Meal

So how does the game play? We assembled 4 players and jumped right into the full campaign scenario. On the Northern front the Poles must play cautiously and pick spots carefully to attack. The Soviet forces are at least their equal and Soviet reinforcements rapidly accumulate on the Northern front. The situation is reversed in the South. The Southern front Poles are stronger and can launch an offensive that pushes the Soviets back towards the key city of Kiev. The Southern front Soviet commander must use Withdrawal and Defend orders carefully so that he can keep his line intact while using his cards to accumulate reinforcement cubes. He does get a significant reinforcement in the Soviet Cavalry Corps which consists of 4 full strength cavalry divisions and 1 cavalry brigade. However, the entry of these units is somewhat random based upon pulling the correct Combat Modifier value from the deck until they automatically come in on the second operation phase of Turn 2.

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It is important that players pick specific axis of attack since broad front offensives often result in significant losses and little movement towards one’s objectives. The key decisions are whether to play your cards for additional orders, historical events or reinforcements. Typically, players will wait until the fourth and fifth operation phase to play for reinforcement cubes since by this time units are spent and hand sizes depleted. This wonderfully simulates the exhaustion of offensive momentum. A player also has to be careful lest his opponent achieve a large advantage in numbers of orders during a given operation phase. Operational pacing and balance is paramount to achieving your objectives or successfully defending. Each operation phase we found that we were constantly challenged how best to utilize a given card. Hand management is critical because a player going into battle without Battle Cards is severely handicapped.

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By the mid-game, Soviet reinforcements tend to swing the momentum and the spent Polish player must make a decision when to cut and run back to the Curzon defensive line. While the Soviets give chase, the Polish player must accumulate reinforcements and prepare to counterattack. At this point in the game, my Polish compatriot and I had bitten our fingernails down to the cuticle. As the Soviet logistical tail lengthens, the Polish player has a chance to counterattack. Once again multiple frontal attacks will achieve little. We used brilliant misdirection by order placement to punch a hole in the Soviet lines causing them to reel back. Although the game ended with the Soviet victory it was a “near run thing”.

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The game uses simple straightforward concepts that we have all encountered in other games. Initially, there was some confusion about the interpretation of MOVE TO and FORCE MARCH TO orders. The rules seem to indicate a strict interpretation whereby units executing these orders must end up in the targeted city. However one of the rules illustrations suggested that these orders could be used simply to have units move towards the objective even if they could never actually reach it. This created a lot of confusion as to what defined moving towards the objective. The designers rapidly responded that the strict interpretation was indeed what was intended. In summary, MOVE TO and FORCE MARCH TO orders must be executable at the time of placement. During Orders Execution they are voided if no unit could possibly reach the targeted space because of intervening enemy units. Any unit executing a MOVE TO or FORCE MARCH TO order must end in the targeted space.


Conclusion

We have played this game many times now with various players and different strategies. Each time the game played differently yet remained exciting and challenging for all. My one concern is that Historical Events tend to be underpowered and situational making it less likely that players will forego the additional orders or reinforcement cubes on the card to play the Historical Event. This is only a very minor caveat to an otherwise exceptional game.

It is rare that a game so delights the senses and stimulates the appetite for more. I’ve played this game several times now and remain un-satiated. While the full campaign game can take 8 to 12 hours to complete, there are smaller scenarios to whet your appetite. However, Academy Games has served up a truly gourmet meal; one that should be leisurely enjoyed and truly savored. Bon appétit!

Battle Line: Discussing Strategy with Reiner Knizia

A Battle Line Strategy Session with Designer Dr. Reiner Knizia

Battle Line Designer Reiner Knizia

Battle Line Game Box

Battle Line has always held a special position on my game shelf, which is remarkable because I’m primarily a half-inch-hex, hundred-page-rulebook, hardcore-war-game type of guy. I love the mechanics of Battle Line and often (loosely) compare it to playing nine simultaneous hands of poker. It was the first card game that I ever bought (on a whim) or played. And, brace yourself, my wife will actually play this game with me; another first. I have a shrink-wrapped “backup” copy should disaster strike the original, a distinction it shares with only one other game in my collection (Victory Games’ classic Korean War).
Continue reading “Battle Line: Discussing Strategy with Reiner Knizia”

“High & Tight” Board Game Preview

Delivering a Hight & Tight Pitch

By Hermann Luttmann

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“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are, you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.”– Tommy Lasorda

Game Design

I have always been a baseball fan. From the days of going to the Mayor’s Trophy Game with my father (the only time the Mets and Yankees played each other back then) to being at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and through to today, baseball has been an important part of my life. I even named most of the Heroes in my recently-published Dawn of the Zeds game after former New York Mets players. So when Terry Coleman of VPG asked me to design a game to follow his TC Tennis game for their fledgling Sports Game Line, I could not resist attempting a baseball game. I decided to try and design a game that was more accessible to the non-baseball fan, but one that still oozed the necessary baseball theme and strategy.

Despite being a huge fan of Strat-O-Matic, I consciously tired to avoid doing a clone of that style of game. More to the point, my actual design influences were Avalon Hill’s Pennant Race and Slapshot games. Why? Well, I loved the unique vision used in Pennant Race, as the player could simulate an entire game with one roll of the dice and thus complete a full season in one sitting! And with Slapshot, there was a prevalent tongue-in-cheek “fun factor” and ease of play that was missing in the other simple sports games that I had tried.

So I started designing High & Tight with the idea that this game would be a card-and-dice game that wives, daughters, sons and non-baseball fans alike could play and enjoy. But just as importantly, it still had to appeal to the dedicated hardball fan and provide a viable outlet for his hardcore baseball desires. The heart of the game became a simple statistical model that breaks a ballgame down into basic percentages. So if there’s a 10% chance to score a run in a situation, High & Tight resolves that situation withone die roll instead of the three or so rolls used in the more detailed baseball games. The central “percentage-setter” is the pitcher. Pitchers are rated by their ERA’s (called “Stuff” in the game) and this is expressed as a number of die rolls along with a target number (expressed as a Roman Number to avoid confusion). The target number is the sum that needs to be rolled on the two dice to score a run. For example, a pitcher with an ERA of 3.00 would have Stuff of “2 / VII”. This means that the pitcher will roll a pair of dice two times each inning and the batter will score a run with each roll of “7”. This will result, on average, in scoring 3 runs over the course of 9 innings (a total of 18 rolls with a 1/6th chance to score with each roll) and therefore a 3.00 ERA. Pitchers are also numerically-rated for “K”, “Control”, “Gopher”, “WHIP” and “Clutch” skills, which are utilized in certain circumstances with the Strategy Cards.


Strategy Cards

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Ah yes, the Strategy Cards! In order to add to the feel and narrative of the game (and to cut out multiple die rolling events), the game uses Strategy Cards. Each card is titled with a baseball slang term or phrase that describes the action. The players use these cards offensively and defensively to simply increase or decrease the odds of scoring (as they will alter the pitcher’s percentage mentioned above).

Each inning has its own assigned Strategy which dictates which cards can be played. The inning Strategies are intentionally set up in the normal skill order of a typical baseball lineup – a fast leadoff hitter (1st inning is Speed), a good contact hitter second (2nd inning is On-Base Percentage), the best pure hitter third (3rd inning is None, meaning you need a good Offense rating to have a positive affect), the star “cleanup” hitter fourth (4th inning is Clutch) and your big-boppers bat fifth and sixth (both innings are Power).

The next inning is the “7th inning Stretch” where you get to draw additional cards to gear up for the last third of the game. The 9th inning is, of course, a “Clutch” strategy inning as well.


The Ballplayers

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The ballplayers themselves are also numerically-rated in certain important skills – “Offense”, “Defense”, “Power”, “Speed”, “On-Base Percentage” and “Clutch”.

In each of the nine innings, one of your nine ballplayers will be assigned to be the batter and the fielder that inning. In this sense, the game is like Slapshot’s “mano-a-mano” matchup system – the two opposing ballplayers will match their skills against one another in that inning only. They will take turns both batting and fielding against one another. You, as the manager, have to be clever deciding which player is assigned to the inning (each player can only appear once in the game) and how to play your Strategy cards.

After the cards are played, a final adjusted number of die rolls are made along with a possibly new target number. Whether the number of rolls and target number are higher or lower than existed at the start is dependent on how well the managers manipulated their lineups and how well they played their cards.

These final scoring die rolls are made by the batting player and each successful roll will score a run for that half of the inning.


Summary

High & Tight does take a significantly different approach to baseball simulation. Instead of the 100+ die rolls of the more traditional detailed games, the Strategy cards act as a catalyst for all those other events and instead provide a narrative of the action, concentrating on the one or two significant aspects of each player’s contribution to the game.

Essentially the game takes a “mega-view” of what the ballplayer does to help his side win (or lose) and the cards provide the storyline to help place that contribution in the context of a baseball game. It’s up to the manager (i.e. you) to take the cards dealt him, analyze the situations that arise and utilize his ballplayers and pitchers skills to maximize his odds of winning.

I’m hoping that these elements will make High & Tight a successful combination of a card management/dice-rolling family game and a flavorful baseball simulation.

The Battle of Mollwitz

A Complete DTP Game

By Christopher Salander

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Overview

The Battle of Mollwitz, April 10, 1741, was the first field battle between the Austrians and the Prussians in what the Prussians called the First Silesian War. While the Austrian Empire was in the throes of a succession crisis and was threatened by other countries, “Frederick the Great” (Friedrich II of Prussia) seized the Austrian province of Silesia. When the Austrians did react, they placed an army between Frederick and Prussia. Frederick turned and approached the Austrians in a snow storm. He had to defeat the Austrian army to re-establish his lines of communication.

The Austrians had been asleep, but Frederick gave the Austrian commander Niepperg time to rouse and deploy his troops. Just before the battle started, the Austrian light cavalry rushed the Prussian army and overran their rear area, looting and causing much mayhem. Frederick left the field and the battle was fought by the most senior Prussian commander, von Schwerin.

When the Prussian army advanced, the left wing Austrian cavalry circled around and hit the Prussian right flank. Although the Prussian infantry was very well drilled, the Prussian cavalry at this time was definitely inferior to the Austrian cavalry. Frederick knew this and interspersed infantry with his right wing cavalry, but that did not prevent the Prussian right wing cavalry from losing and fleeing the field. The Prussian infantry formed a square with multiple regiments, drove off the Austrian cavalry, and then defeated the Austrian infantry.

Editor’s Note: I played around with Chris Salandar’s Desk Top Publishing (DTP) game,The Battle of Mollwitz and thought it was an interesting beginner-level hex game. We all felt that it would be useful for introducing non-gamers to the basic concepts of wargaming. It also has enough depth to make it enjoyable for an experienced gamer.This is the first game (DTP or otherwise) that we’ve ever published on The Boardgaming Life, but it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while.

We’re grateful to Chris for allowing us to publish Mollwitz here.Download Chris’s Battle of Mollwitz, April 1741, rules and graphics in one 469k PDF file.


Game Rules

Stacking

You can only have one unit in each hex.

Historical Set-up

Units are placed on the letter that matches their troop type (cavalry, infantry, artillery, light infantry, light cavalry). Austrian units are placed on hollow letters, Prussian units on solid letters. The Austrians are placed first, the Prussians move first. Do not place the Austrian light cavalry unit. Grenadier units can be placed on any “I”.

Free Set-up

The two sides alternate placing one unit at a time, starting with the Austrians. Austrian units are placed on a hollow letter, Prussian units on a solid letter. The unit type does not have to match the letter.

Counter Key

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Terrain

Units must stop when they enter a town, woods, or marsh hex, unless they are using the optional road movement. Cavalry units cannot attack enemy units from town, woods, or marsh hexes. Town and woods hexes block line of sight and add 2 to the defense value of a unit. Units in town and woods hexes that are flipped do not have to retreat.

Turn Sequence

Both sides alternate, beginning with the Prussian turn. On his turn a player may first move up to three units. Then he may attack with up to two units. No unit with a range value greater than 1 may attack after movement. Flipped units may neither move nor attack. At the end of a player’s turn he may flip any of his flipped units back to their active sides if they are not in an enemy zone of control.

Movement

A unit may move up to its movement in hexes. Units may not end their movement on another unit. You may move through units from your side, but not enemy units. The six hexes surrounding a unit are its zone of control. Flipped units do not have a zone of control. Units have to stop when they enter an enemy zone of control. Units may not move from one zone of control hex to another in one turn.

Attack

The defending unit must be within the attacker’s range in hexes. Other units block line of sight. If an attacking unit is in an enemy zone of control, it may only attack adjacent unflipped enemy units. If two units attack the same target on the same turn, their two combat factors may be added to one die roll.

Sum the attack factors and the roll of 1d6 and compare it to the defending unit’s defense factor. If the attack sum is equal to or greater than the defense factor, flip the defending unit over, and if possible, it has to retreat one hex away from the enemy and not into an enemy zone of control. If the defending unit was flipped over already, it is eliminated. If the attack sum is two or more greater than the defense factor, eliminate the defending unit. Defeated units may only retreat into empty hexes. Units that cannot retreat are eliminated.

After the retreat or elimination of a defending unit, one attacking unit with a range greater than 1 that is adjacent to the abandoned hex and not in an enemy zone of control may enter the hex.

Victory Conditions

One side has won as soon as the other side has only two unflipped units left on the map.

Special Scenario Rules

If at the start of the Prussian turn no Prussian units are within their attack range of an enemy unit, at least one Prussian unit must be moved to within attack range, if possible, or the Prussians lose the game. (The Prussian army had to attack or it would be cut off and in trouble.)

Additional Optional Rules

  • 1. Cavalry cannot attack town or woods hexes.
  • 2. Road Column Move – Units that follow one continuous line of roads and do not enter an enemy zone of control can move one more hex than usual. Units moving this way do not have to stop in any type of terrain.
  • 3. During set-up, place the Austrian light cavalry unit next to any already placed Austrian unit.
  • 4. The light infantry unit does not have to stop when it enters any terrain type, just zones of control.
  • 5. Snow Storm. Start the game with all of the units flipped over, representing their concealment. Use a 90 degree rotation of a counter to represent “flipping” (disorder). Units cannot be attacked at distance. A unit cannot be revealed or attacked until an enemy unit moves next to it. All units become visible at the beginning of turn 3.

Map and Counter Graphics

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Mollwitz Design Notes

The design for the Battle of Mollwitz was inspired by the postcard game Hohenfriedberg, which was done by a guy in Germany who, in turn, was inspired by the “Postcards from the Revolution” series of two AWI battles. I liked Hohenfriedberg, and kept waiting for another similar game, but it never appeared and he brought down his web page. So, I decided to make my own, using the same rules.

My first goal was to stay as close to the system used in Hohenfriedberg as possible. Prussian units may have been able to shoot more quickly, but Austrian units were 1/3 larger. So no infantry value changes. Units represent about 1.5 brigades each.

The light infantry unit represents the famous Croatians. The higher defense value for that unit reflects the light troops’ ability to use any available cover and to avoid combat if necessary. The attack factor for the Prussian cavalry is 2, to reflect their poor performance.

Since I find no value in fitting a game onto a postcard, I made the map one entire page in size to make it easier to play on. I used the most common national coat color on the counters. I chose 18th century fonts for the map and counters. I cannot draw figures, so I used the NATO unit symbols on the counters instead. I also am not skilled enough to decorate the map with shrubs and farms. But I feel that a white map is reasonable, since the ground was covered with snow during the battle.

The Austrian light cavalry was not available for the main battle, but players may want to see if the battle would have gone differently if the Hussars had stayed with their army.

The optional rules are ideas that I thought were reasonable and interesting, but which were not in the original “postcard” rules.


Advice to Players

Austrian: Support your cavalry with your infantry or your cavalry will die quickly and late in the battle you will find yourself with only infantry left; i.e., not much striking power. In the free set-up, take steps to protect your artillery unit.

Prussian: Mix your different troop types close together to support each other. Avoid attacking a town or woods.