The Seven Years War, Honours of War, 28mm
This week we returned to what’s probably my favourite period, and a small club-night clash near a village somewhere in High Germany. So far, Sean 1 has raised a Prussian infantry brigade of four battalions. So, they formed the core of the Allied force, backed up by a couple of battalions of Hanovarians and two brigades of Hanovarian or Hessian cavalry, plus a gun battery and some jaegers. For my part I had a matching force of six infantry battalions, four cavalry regiments, a battalion of light infantry and a gun battery. This was a straightforward clash, set – thanks to a die roll – late in the war, and saw both sides facing each other off near a small village. The game was played on a 6×4 foot table, with me taking charge of the French, and the two Seans leading the Prussians. It began – as it always seems to do – with a general advance to take the village. Sean 1’s Hanovarian jaegers got there first, while my Chasseurs de Fisher occupied a second part of the place. A general firefight followed, but those pesky jaegers proved hard to dislodge. Meanwhile Sean 2’s left hand cavalry began advancing – three regiments in line, one behind the other. The first one stopped its move just short of my infantry line and gun battery, and so they were shot up badly, and forced to retire with four hits. One more and they’d rout from the table. That’s when my own French cavalry – two regiments – smashed into their flank, and routed both regiments at a single stroke. That was a pretty good start to the game – at least for the French! Over in the centre though, a Prussian infantry battalion charged into the building (or “built up area”) held by my chasseurs, who evaded out of harm’s way. Not to be outdone, my own Grenadiers de France did the same to the Hanovarian jaegers. So, while the fight for the village was still undecided, both sides now had a firm toehold in it, and wouldn’t leave without a major fight. I’d spent a couple of turns rallying off hits to my cavalry on my right flank, but they were led by a “Dashing” leader, who rolled a “1” for command performance, which meant he had to lead his cavalry in a two move charge-fest. We took out the last of the enemy cavay on that flank, but the supporting regiment got taken out in turn by Hannovarian canister fire. So much for “Dashing” and “Insipiring”!For the rest of the game they dodged the arc of fire of the covering Hanovarian regiment, while trying to line up a flank charge on the guns. the French guns (sorry for the blurred photo) had hit them hard, inflicting three hits, but the two sides never managed to out-dodge their opponents, and the moment of gun-trashing truth never came. Over on the French left the cavalry clashed, but both sides were repulsed with four hits. I spent the rest of the time licking my wounds, unable to launch another charge. However, both lines of two infantry battalions over there never tried to get to grips either, so that flank turned into a quiet, inactive part of the battlefield. Instead, the centre, around the village of Mülldorf , remained lively.Again though, the decisive crunch never came. The two armies were too evenly matched, you see, and both were too well-placed to risk an all-out assault on the enemy. My Grenadiers de France though, were forced to retreat through after suffering 4 hits, which effectively ceded most of Mülldorf to the Prussians. Still, the firing was effective from both sides as the firefight continued. So, it was all down to the French cavalry on the two wings – especially the French right – who never quite got their decisive charge in. If they did, I’m pretty sure the Prussian left flank would almost certainly have evaporated. It was one of those very familiar cases where another turn would have made all the difference! However, it was now 9.30pm, and we all had to pack up and head home. So, the game petered out, with the French ahead handsomely on points, but no clear victor emerging. The main thing though, was that we all enjoyed ourselves, and became even more familiar with these smooth-working rules. Perhaps it’ll inspire Sean 2 to raising some Prussian cavalry of his own, and a battery of guns .. and some jaegers .. and some more infantry .. and .. and ..!