The Seven Years War, Post of Honour, 28mm
With just Sean 2 and I this week due to funerals and sports events, we played a game at my place rather than the club. That made sense as otherwise it’s a 30 mile round trip for both of us. He had to act as a taxi for his son later, so we knew this would be a quick game. So I delved into an old Stuart Asquith scenario book for something quick, and came up with this one. His “Rear Guard” scenario has a small force trying to delay the advance of a much larger one, as the rearguard was covering the withdrawal of their main army. I set it in 1758, with a Western Allies covering force under the Prinz von Pils-Holstein, trying to hold off a French advance guard, led by the Compte de Clermont near Driburg. This small game was played out on a 6×4 foot table. We changed the terrain and forces slightly to suit my toy and scenery collection, but the basics were the same. The Allies, with three foot battalions, a light cavalry regiment and some jaegers started in the Blue box between hills B1 and B2, while the French came on on the western small table edge between R1 and R2. The first three units ( two cavalry regiments and light infantry) came on at the start, while the rest followed as reinforcements, arriving according to die rolls. In this one, Sean played the French and I had the Allies. The first clash came when the French Bercheny hussars clashed with the Prussian Reusch hussars on the northern hill (R1). The Prussians had the better of the clash, and countercharged downhill to see off their French rivals. This was good as far as it went, but it left the Prussians “worn” and dangerously exposed. I got the next initiative, and tried to pull back. However, it was too late. On the next turn when Sean won he initiative he saw off the Prussian hussars with a charge by the Bourbon-Busset regiment of French line cavalry. He even got to them before the Prinz von Holstein-Pils, who was riding up to try to rally his fellow Prussians. In fact, he was lucky not to have got himself captured! With that it was all about timing. The Allied infantry were centred around a British battalion in the hamlet between the two hills, a Hessian one on their left by the cornfield and a Hanovarian battalion on hill R2. The British 25th Foot pulled back, but had to stop and engage in a firefight, first with the Chasseurs de Fisher and then with a Swiss battalion in French service from the L Planta Regiment. On the other side of the hamlet the Hessians fired at another unit of French light infantry, and then at a battalion of the Tourraine regiment behind them. In both cases the French took casualties, and stopped to regroup. This allowed the Allies to pull back again, and withdraw their Brunswick jaegers from the hamlet at the same time. It was now a race back to the next defensive line to the east. That though, wasn’t to be so easy. In an inspired move Sean sent his remaining regiment of French cavalry around the top of the Allied line, bypassing the Hessian regiment withdrawing through the cornfield. This was bad news, as it meant they could cut off the Allied line of retreat. It also meant my infantry now had to fight the enemy both in front of them and at their rear. that was the situation up above, after the next turn. The Hanovarians on the hill had turned to face the cavalry, as had the British and Hessian battalions. We were hoping that the French infantry which were now behind them couldn’t intervene in time. Sure enough, Sean couldn’t contain himself, and launched his cavalry at Von Wangenheim’s Hessian regiment. They took fire as they came in though, and more importantly they also got fired on from both the British and the Brunsqick ajegers, whoio were a little further to the east, ensconced behind the walls of a farmyard. The Bourbon-Busset cavalry had already suffered casualties, and this firing was just enough to break them. So, the French cavalry threat dissolved in a hail of last-second musketry. That pretty much ended the game. Without the threat posed by the French cavalry, their infantry would be hard-pressed to catch up with the Allies. It was now turn 15, and the rearguard’s orders were to keep the French at bay until Turn 18. So, we ended the game there, as it was almost time for Sean to play the part of “Taxi Dad”. It was close though – until that last charge. Most important of all, Sean declared he really liked the period, and plans to ask Santa for some Seven Years War Prussians. Huzzah!