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Friday, 26 June 2020

Königgrätz 1866

Some years ago I bought copies of WARGAMING IN HISTORY VOLUME 3: GETTYSBURG 1863 – BRANDY STATION, BARLOW’S KNOLL, SICKLES’S FOLLY AND PICKETT’S CHARGE and WARGAMING IN HISTORY VOLUME 8: THE AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR OF 1866: THE OPENING BATTLES by John Drewienkiewicz and Andrew Brentnall. When the fourth book that this pair of authors had written was published – WARGAMING IN HISTORY VOLUME 12: KÖNIGGRÄTZ – I failed to buy a copy, but recently I decided to fill that gap on my bookshelves ... and I am very pleased that I have!


The book comprises:
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Days of Destiny
  • Chapter Two: The State of the Armies
  • Chapter Three: The Historical Battle
  • Chapter Four: The Holawald Wargame
  • Chapter Five: The Problus Wargame
  • Chapter Six: The Swiepwald Wargame
  • Chapter Seven: The Nedelist What If? Wargame
  • Chapter Eight: The Entire Battle Wargame
  • Chapter Nine: Conclusions
  • Chapter Ten: The Battlefield Today
  • Appendix A: Detailed Orders of Battle
  • Appendix B: Later Careers
  • Appendix C: Bibliography
  • Appendix D: The Reilly Memorandum
  • Appendix E: Rulesets for the APW
  • Appendix F: Place Names Then and Now
The book contains numerous maps and illustrations, all of which help the reader to follow the action.

One aspect of this book that I particularly liked was the way it helped a wargamer who was considering how to refight the battle to look at it as either a number of related actions taking place at the same time or as a whole battle. The former would appeal to those wargamers who like to fight corps-level wargames where the manoeuvre units are infantry battalions, cavalry regiments, and artillery batteries, whereas the latter is aimed at those who like to think about battles in terms of infantry regiments/brigades, cavalry brigades, and massed artillery.

I am really pleased that I decided to buy this book, especially since my interest in this war has been rekindled by my recent online battle against Gary Sheffield. I have a couple of small Austrian and Prussian 15mm-scale that I bought via eBay some years ago, and they deserve a bit of an airing, and this book might just be the excuse I ned to do so.

WARGAMING IN HISTORY VOLUME 3: GETTYSBURG 1863 – BRANDY STATION, BARLOW’S KNOLL, SICKLES’S FOLLY AND PICKETT’S CHARGE was written by John Drewienkiewicz and Adam Poole, and published in 2011 by Ken Trotman Books (ISBN 978 1 907417 18 4).

WARGAMING IN HISTORY VOLUME 8: THE AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR OF 1866: THE OPENING BATTLES was written by John Drewienkiewicz and Andrew Brentnall, and published in 2013 by Ken Trotman Books (ISBN 978 1 907417 43 6).

WARGAMING IN HISTORY VOLUME 12: KÖNIGGRÄTZ was written by John Drewienkiewicz and Andrew Brentnall, and published in 2016 by Ken Trotman Books (ISBN 978 1 907417 43 6)

PS. Before anyone points it out, I have noticed that two of the above books have the same ISBN! I did check, and according to all the sources I looked at, this information is correct. It appears that this is not as unusual as one might think, and often happens when a publisher reuses the ISBN of a book that is no longer in print.

20 comments:

  1. The Bruce Weigle rules/books are a must for this period, as well as Bloody Big Battles rules IMHO. With the above book you should be a happy gamer!

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    Replies
    1. Steve J.,

      I’m actually thinking about trying to refight the battle using my PW rules. It’s certainly given me ideas that I’d like to try out as well as some potential scenarios.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Hi Bob,
    Was Koniggratz -1866 - a battle from the Franco-Prussian War?
    If so do you have the 15mm Figuers to do a PWG...Cheers. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson (Kev),

      It was the final major battle of the Seven Weeks War between Prussia (and her allies) and Austria-Hungary (and it’s allies).

      I have 15mm-scale armies for the Prussians and the Austrians ... although I am lacking cavalry for both sides.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Hi Bob,
      Thank you for the reply. Yes, good that you have the figures on hand- something else to add to your to do list along with WW2 Barbarrosa...Stay well and safe there in London. Cheers. KEV.

      Delete
    3. Kev Robertson (Kev),

      I used some of the figures in my recent online battle with Gary Sheffield ... and I hope to use them again in the near future.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Volume 12 is a good one! Too bad the series is ending with this volume. I would have especially enjoyed seeing other volumes for the mid-19 Century conflicts.

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    Replies
    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      I agree! I would love to have seen more books in this series published, but I suspect that the market is too small to justify it.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. What? These books are not printed solely for you and I?

      Delete
    3. Jonathan Freitag,

      Apparently not.

      It was a shock to me as well!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. G'Day Bob, a great purchase mate. Looking forward to seeing the two 15mm forces in action. Cheers Greg

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    Replies
    1. Delta Coy (Greg),

      They have appeared on my blog in the past, most recently in my latest online battle with Gary Sheffield.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. The APW is one of my favourite nineteenth century campaigns. I ran Koennigratz as a single (huge) battle but it is eminently feasible to run it was a series of Corps sized engagements. Control freak gamers might find the actions of Benedeks right wing a little hard to ztomach:)

    The preliminary actions in Bohemia and the southern German states are also a nice series of brisk Corps sized engagements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martin Rapier,

      I think that the APW has been rather overshadowed in the minds of many wargamers by the FPW, but to me it has more appeal as it is not a series of large battles one after the other, but a number of inter-related actions over quite a large area.

      I certainly have enough stuff to fight the larger battles ... just as long as there is no cavalry involved!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Very interesting looking volume, though quite an investment financially. A nice one to add to your library.

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    Replies
    1. Maudlin Jack Tar,

      It isn’t cheap, but as we’ve not been going out much for the last three months, I had some spare cash available ... and it does fill a niche on my bookshelves.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. Bob,

    Picking up on your postscript about ISBNs, I found this surprising and a bit odd.

    Given the rip off price of a single UK ISBN, I could understand a writer who buys their own (rather than getting it in a package from Lulu, Amazon or whatever) thinking about reusing it and saving £89. However, in these days of POD wouldn't most writers want to keep there books in print permanently?

    As an ISBN costs less than £1 when bought in blocks of a 1,000, larger publishers have no obvious need to re-use an ISBN in any circumstances and my understanding is that the industry is gradually moving away from the whole idea of books going out of print by setting things up for eventual POD with someone like IngramSpark at the time the book is originally published.

    In fact, I've just noticed that Bowker (whose business is ripping off USA authors at $125 a time for a single ISBN) claim that "once a title is published with an ISBN on it, the ISBN can never be used again. Even if a title goes out of print, the ISBN cannot be reused since the title continues to be catalogued by libraries and traded by used booksellers." Of course, they have a direct interest financial interest here but their point about libraries and used booksellers seems a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike Hall,

      This was the first time I’d come across an ISBN being reused. I checked online, and the single ISBN came back with two titles from the same publisher.

      I then queried online to see if this was a one-off, and discovered that it was much more common than I expected. I can understand that it might happen if a book is definitely never, ever going to be reprinted, but as you state in your comment, this is not something that is likely to happen now that POD is so common. In fact, my copy of this book was POD ... but I don’t know if the ‘other’ book is also still available using POD.

      It sounds as if there are some real sharks out there in the self-publishing industry, and although I’ve had my problems with Lulu.com, at least they didn’t try to charge me for the ISBNs I’ve used.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Sharks yes, but legitimate sharks as they have the monopoly right to issue ISBNs for the countries. It's just that the country monopoly lets Nielsen UK charge you £89 for what they sell to Lulu for £0.949. It really should be a free government service as in Canada.

      Delete
    3. Mike Hall,

      I agree that it should be a free service ... or at least, the charge should be minimal. £89.00 does sound like a lot of money for not a lot of work on their part.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete

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