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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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The Battle of Emmerthal, 1759

The Seven Years War, Honours of War, 28mm

I hadn’t been at the wargame club for ages, so it was a  pleasure to make it this week, and to have a wee game with Sean. [Note: He was ‘Sean 1’, but he’s back to ‘Sean’ again, as ‘Sean 2’ has moved away!] Anyway, he wanted a Seven Years War game, so I brought along two matched forces, for a small game – just four battalions and four cavalry regiments a side. Sean had the edge though, as his Western Allies were generally of better quality than my French. We set up facing each other – so, matched forces AND matched deployment – with out infantry in the centre, and our cavalry divided between the two flanks. We both had a light infantry battalion too, which I tucked away on my right flank, and Sean kept with his main body of infantry. That was my first mistake. my second, after deploying my infantry facing his, was to unleash my cavalry…The first clash was on the French left, or Allied right. It was an even contest, with a brigade of two regiments a side, both of heavy cavalry. While both of mine were rated ‘regular’ though, Sean’s Hessian Leibregiment was classed as ‘superior’. In fact, it was the Hanovarian regiment which routed its French opponents – the Orleans regiment – while the Hessians only drove their counterparts of the Bourbon-Busset regiment back to lick their wounds. Meanwhile the two infantry lines had advanced to within long musket range of each other, and we both started blazing away. Honours in the fight were fairly even, but the Allies had their light infantry in the game too, which screened the Hessian grenadier battalions, but gave a very good account of themselves,  shooting at the Lyonnais regiment facing them.Eventually though, one of my two Lyonnais battalions reached ‘5’ hits, and so it broke and ran.Those are the miscreants pictured above! Memo to self – don’t use steel pins for flags – they rust in my garage! I’ll replace them with brass at some point. Anyway, this was the unit anchoring my left flank, and with my cavalry wing beaten, it wasn’t looking very good over on that side of the table! Over on the other end of the firing lines the British held sway, with a battalion of grenadier and a line battalion, the 21st Foot taking on the Germans of LA Marck regiment. I did fairly well against the British – both of my German units were rated ‘regular’, but ‘superior’ for shooting, as were the British line. the British grenadiers though, were superior in everything, and it showed. Eventually one of my battalions had to pull back to lick its wounds. At that point I unwisely threw caution to the wind and unleashed the cavalry on my right flank – my French brigade. It was made up of the La Reine dragoons and the Royal Nassau hussars, which matched my opponents – the Hanovarian Breidenbach dragoons and the the Prussian von Reusch Hussars. Here though, everyone was rated ‘regular’, apart from my hussars, which were classed as ‘inferior’. In this one, it worked out fairly better than the other flank – at least at first. In the charge, the La Reine dragoons broke the Briedenback dragoons, and swept them from the field. However, the ‘Black hussars’ easily did the same with the Royal Nassauers. Colourful uniforms, it seems, are no guarantee of victory! We both had our remaining unit pull back to regroup, and to rally off their 4 ‘hits’ apiece.Back in the centre though, the firefight was still raging.  There was big gaps in my line the left though, as the 1st battalion of the Lyonnaise on my far left had routed, and in the centre the 1st battalion of La Mark regiment had pulled back to recover its hits. So, for the moment it was two battalions against four. Eventually though, my Germans recovered, and marched forward to plug the gap. Sean’s Allies were having some problems too, as all of his units had suffered two or three hits, and were on the cusp of being lost. So, he wisely withdrew his British, to recover their hits, while I withdrew slightly to do the same, and to reform my line. So, I still thought I had a chance. |then though, the Black hussars charged again, and piled into my still reforming dragoons. They were swept from the field, which meant I’d lost all of the cavalry on one flank.We did a quick tally, and I’d lost four units, while Sean had lost one. We’d set 4 as our Army Break Point. that was when my commander, the Compte de Saint-Germaine decided to pull back what remained of his army, so it could fight another day. So, victory went to Sean and his Western Allies – a very well-deserved win. As usual the rules worked really well, and the game fairly sped along, and was great fun to play. I’ll look forward to a rematch soon! 






7 Responses “The Battle of Emmerthal, 1759”

  1. Peter Verduyn
    24th March 2024 at 5:01 pm

    Another superb AAR. Very inspiring indeed.

    happy gaming,

    • 24th March 2024 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks Peter!

  2. Peter Weston
    29th March 2024 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks for your work on this site Angus. It’s much appreciated to keep the enthusiasm going. I have had Black Powder for years. I recently bought Honours of War, but need to study the rules. Worth doing, by the sounds of it

    • 29th March 2024 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks Peter – glad to help fan the wargaming flames! I’ve used Black Powder a lot, mainly for SYW and Napoleonics, but I think the period specific rules I use – both from the same author – have the edge.

  3. Joseph
    31st March 2024 at 6:11 pm

    Beautifully painted armies, very colorful. Too bad the French lost. 🙂

    • 31st March 2024 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks Joseph!

  4. 16th April 2024 at 1:54 pm

    I love the period and Hanoverians vs. French is just a match for me. I still prefer Honours of War.

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