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Monday, August 8, 2016

My Latest Hobby Adventure: The Seven Weeks' War...It's what's on the workbench!........Part 1

..that title is a little deceptive. It should be more like on the workbench, then off the workbench and into storage, then back on the workbench again! I have been trying to get this wargaming project off the ground for a couple of years, and I figure if I toss it onto my blog it may motivate me to finish it.

Was it the Seven Weeks War, Austro-Prussian War or the Unification War? Or maybe the Prussian-German War, Brothers War or Fraternal War? Whichever term one chooses to use, the Seven Weeks' War as I prefer to call it, was a brief war in 1866 fought in both Austria as well as some Western German states . What was at stake was control of Germany and her various states, with Austria and Prussia as the main, but not the only protagonists. I will flesh out the "story" of the war in later posts.

Before you dive into any long term hobby project one must do the homework first. In this case I have compiled a pretty good collection of books, magazine articles and internet posts on the topic. There are two books generally viewed as

required reading on the war, and I managed to pick both of them up from for bargain prices. Geoffrey Wawro and Gordon Craig are the authors, and each has a bit of different focus from the other. Wawro's "The Austro-Prussian War" focuses on the complete campaign in detail, while Craig's "The Battle of Koniggratz" turns its attention toward the final battle of the campaign, Koniggratz (Sadowa).

I also found a collection of other reference books on The Miniatures Page for a fraction of their face value. Aside from accounts of the war itself I also acquired information on the uniforms and armaments used by each of the combatant nations. I have found patience really is a virtue when looking for second hand deals. 

The internet is an amazing thing, and there are amazing people who have sites that are helpful beyond measure for almost any hobby or craft endeavor one may have. In the case of the Seven Weeks War I have found a site called " Battlefield Anomalies " that does a more than thorough job of helping to explain the war. From weapons, to maps to individual battles, this site proved incredibly helpful to my understanding of the campaign. The interactive battle maps that show the actual battlefields as they look today are really quite something. A labor of love for sure!

As my ultimate goal is to wargame this conflict, I needed some rules, and I chose Neil Thomas' "Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878". The rules are simple, and the scenarios presented in the book include two for the Seven Weeks War. Thomas also provides national characteristics for all the armies that fought in the war. These characteristics help to represent the positives and negatives of the armies that fought in a given battle. Also there is a Yahoo Group dedicated to discussing Thomas' rule books, and this has proven to be a valuable resource as well.

In subsequent posts I will go over my thoughts on the war itself, my plans to recreate the battles on the tabletop as well as posting my progress in painting figures and creating terrain. I'm hoping to have it all banged out by the first of the year, but we will see!

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