Kriegsspiel pieces on a map. Some battalions attempting to cross a bridge.

IKS Kriegsspiel Problems: Defense at Hotzenplotz

The IKS Kriegsspiel Problems are designed like training tools for officers in the classical manner of “Tactical Problems” published by Moltke, “Mastering tactics” by the US Marine Corps Gazette and other similar formats. Presenting a tactical or strategic problem, their readers were meant to develop a feasible approach, discuss their solutions with each other and refer to the author’s explanation of what might have happened most likely in an actual combat situation.

The International Kriegsspiel Society is continuing the tradition by offering Kriegsspiel Problems to be solved by the reader. Read the briefing carefully, consider the options and lay out your plan. Submit it in the comment section below this post or over on the IKS Discord server, where a special section is dedicated to discuss possible solutions to the challenges presented.

Problem 1a: Defense at Hotzenplotz

A French Division is gathered between Hotzenplotz and Neudorft to guard the flank of a larger French invasion some distance to the south of the Pfaffen-Fluss and driving east. The area has been secure for some days, but now your cavalry videttes to the north east have reported contact with a Prussian Advance Guard in brigade strength and advancing on Hotzenplotz from the northeast.

The commander of the Division has repulsed the enemy’s advance guard on the heights above Hotzenplotz with light losses but sees them reforming at 1015 as further enemy reinforcements approach from the north and northeast. Based on scouting reports he judges the enemy to be present in a strength of 1-3 divisions and expects an attack in renewed vigor in the next few hours.

Unconfirmed reports from the local farmfolk advise the presence of a fifteen-mile Prussian column approaching from the north and your own mounted pickets advise contact with an intensifying cavalry screen pushing in from the east.

The division’s line of communication runs to the south and west, through Olbersdorf and off to the west.

The nearest friendly command is a Corps laying somewhere to the south of the Pfaffen-Fluss, approximately 2-3 days march away by your estimate.

Kriegsspiel pieces sorted by command structure to lay out te order of battle.
Historical map with roads, hills, rivers, mountains and towns.

The commanding General requests his General Staff Officer to report:

  1. How the division should develop and define the enemy strength, goals, movements and line of advance into the area.
  2. Terrain and positions key to maintaining control of the operational area against the known threat approaching from the north east.
  3. In what manner the forces available should be employed in this enterprise.

The answers to these questions may be detailed through a written response and the optional inclusion of a sketch detailing a few key features of the relevant area(s) in your mind. A screenshot may be used.

French Order of Battle

11 Battalions, 8 Squadrons, 2 Batteries, 7 Wagon Sections

Division Headquarters

1 Bn Chasseurs (Ind)
1-2 Sq Dragoons

4 Wagon Sections General Baggage

2 Wagon Sections Ammunition Supply

1 Wagon Section Medical

1e Bde

1-2/1e Ligne
1-2/2e Ligne
1-2/3e Légère (Reduced)
½ Bty Foot Artillery (4x 6-pdr.)

2e Bde

1-2/4e Ligne
1-2/5e Ligne
½ Bty Foot Artillery (4x 6-pdr.)

3e Bde

1-4 Sq Hussars
1-2 Sq Lancers
1 Bty Horse Artillery (8x 6-pdr.)

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