Sometimes Piquet throws up one of those games that defy the laws of probability and give a result that would be unobtainable with any other rule set. The account of this game, which will be played again tonight with the players retaking their positions for a restart, is a prime example of just how Piquet can throw up a real curve ball (out of a possible 21 infantry move cards the Prussians turned just three and failed to turn their Charismatic Leader card at all; such was their lack of prowess in rolling a d20).

It was the Prussians who began the action by advancing their infantry under a desultory artillery barrage and starting to turn their cavalry towards the threat from Römer’s cavalry. Römer was quick to respond, ordering his command forward, his cavalry crashed into the flank of the Prussian cavalry and sent them racing towards the rear. He reformed them quickly. On the other side of the field, the Austrian cavalry advanced towards the stream and the opposing Prussian cavalry with confidence.

The Prussians responded by breaking their infantry box, attempting to form a line supported by artillery with which to beat off Römer’s cavalry. The move was inadvisable, but the over confident Prussian command was sure they could perform the task before tackling the Austrian infantry lined up in front of Mollwitz, it was a move for which they would pay dearly.

Römer’s cavalry charged into the scattered Prussian infantry and artillery units with élan. One by one they were sent hurtling to the rear, and each successful charge was prevented from turning into a meaningless pursuit.

On the other side of the field the Prussians were faring no better; here their cavalry, even though it was supported by grenadiers firing into the Austrian cavalry’s flank as they charged, barely gave any resistance before routing.

The Prussians were now in dire straights. As the Spring day turned to evening the Guard were routed and only the early sunset saved the remaining Prussian infantry from falling prey to the rampant Austrian cavalry. They withdrew, tail between their legs, led by a crest fallen Frederick. It would take a miracle now for him to ever be called “The Great”.

The game will be re-fought this evening. I for one look forward to at least an even spread of impetus pips (even the Austrian players, once past the joy of their initial victories, were looking a little bored of killing Prussians with so little resistance - no sport at all!), rather than the 9 to 1 difference in the encounter above. It will be interresting to see how two games, using exactly the same starting dispositions and scenario, can look when using Piquet.

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