Assaulting Schoktau Ridge 1758
12th February 2023, 2 Comments
The Seven Years War, Honours of War, 28mm
We missed last week’s club game de to the weather – getting into town involves crossing storm-lashed causeways – The Churchill Barriers. So, Sean 2 and I made up for this by having a wee game at my place. We opted for a Seven Years War clash. While Sean had used Post of Honour before, a set of rules by Keith Flint, this time I introduced him to the more popular Honours of War. Keith wrote these one too, and they’re similar, only they’ve got a little more depth. We found a scenario for the rules which didn’t involve too many troops. After all, this was a learning curve game. In it, a smaller Red force was holding a ridge against Blue force, with a second Red brigade on the left flank, and an outpost in a hilltop church. For Reds we used my western Allies, which meant the Blues were French. I gave Sean the choice of sides, and he picked the French.In this one the Western Allies had four battalions of line infantry, two light infantry battalions and a heavy gun battery. One of the light units was posted at the hilltop church. The French had five line infantry battalions, including a Swiss one, two cavalry regiments, and two medium gun batteries. the “X” boxes on the map show the starting positions of the rival commanding officers, the Count of Saint-Germaine and the Hereditary Prince Karl of Brunswick.As they were the attackers the French went first. Sean sent his infantry brigade straight at the hill, while the Swiss of La Planta regiment marched up onto the church hill. His cavalry advanced across the plain, to screen the small Allied brigade ahead of them. Then, for the next two turns, Sean failed to activate his infantry brigade. His guns could fire though, and peppered the enemy on Schoktaukamm – or ridge.I expected the Swiss to be first into the fight, but amazingly it was the French cavalry, led by the Duc de Brissac. Rather than simply screen the enemy brigade in the plain they decided to attack it. Well, I did say this game was all about trying out the rules. They were met with a crashing defensive volley, and the Bourbon-Busset regiment turned tail and retired. The second French regiment, the Talleyrand regiment got to melee with the Hessian Leibregiment, but then they too were forced to fall back to the French lines. Before they got there though, the Hanovarian battery on the hill hit them again, and the Bourbon-Busset regiment routed. The remains of the French horse pulled back to the table edge to lick their wounds. By then though, the Swiss were in action at the church.Their assault went in after taking just one hit from defensive fire. then though, Sean rolled badly for the melee, and the Hanovarian Freytag jaegers stood firm. The battered Swiss pulled back to their starting line, to recover their composure – and rally off their hits. The only good news for the French was that their infantry brigade had finally got itself moving. They advanced solidly towards the hill, in two lines, each of two battalions. Waiting for them on Schoktau ridge were two Hanovarian battalions and a heavy gun battery. It would be touch or go, but I reckoned canister fire would help soften the enemy up before they reached the ridgeline.
Then, over on the left wing I got a bit too cocky. I’d advanced by Hessian brigade (two infantry battalions and a jaeger battalion), and they now moved into the centre of the table. Supporting them on their left were the Hanovarian jaegers, who had come down from the church, and were now harassing the rallying Swiss troops. Amazingly, their fire proved a hit – literally – and the Swiss routed.The Talleyrand cavalry regiment had rallied by now, and turning round it charged the pesky jaegers. Sean got a double move with them, and so I fired off my muskets and evaded into the nearby woods. Sean’s cavalry almost caught me, but fell an inch short. Then, the action switched back to the ridge, as the assault was about to go in. Clearly Sean forgot the line “Nothing comes to no good up on Schoktau ridge..:”Actually, it didn’t – not quite. The front rank got badly shot up, and pulled back out of range. Both of the leading units were weakened, and looking very vulnerable.. So, I advanced off the hill and shot at them. the 2nd battalion of the Lyonnais regiment routed, but the 1at battalion’s fire broke my own Hanovarian von Scheither’s regiment. The French though, withdrew, and that was that. the game was a clear Allied win, at least on points, as the ridge had stayed firmly in Allied hands. Still, despite all that Sean declared that he really liked the rules, and will happily play them again – once he’s finished painting up his first Prussian unit. So, the game is afoot!
To attack with the cavalry against formed line infantry is a very strange decission. But the game was all about learning. It’s nice to see you using HoW again. I prefer these rules.