The Seven Years War, Honours of War, 28mm
I didn’t go to the club this week as I had a meeting in town, but fortunately Sean 2 came out for a game over the weekend. He wanted to use his newly-completed brigade of Prussians, and so I was happy to oblige. the game was a simple encounter affair, played out on a 6×4 foot table, with two matched armies (six battalions, three cavalry regiments, a light unit and a gun battery). Both sides marched onto the table from opposite ends of the long table edges – the Prussians augmented by some Hanoverians, and my more homogenous French. Sean got the drop on me at first, as my leading brigadier was “Dithering”, and took his time deploying. Still, within a few turns our leading units were in action near the sweet little hamlet of Güllestreuer.Sean’s grenadiers had raced up there, but found the road blocked by my leading battalion from the La Marine regiment. In the firefight that followed I had the worst of it – taking four hits – and was forced to withdraw. The regiment’s second battalion though, marched up and gave fire, forcing the Prussian grenadiers to pull back too. Still, both sides were now filling the table, and deploying into line. My left flank was anchored on the hamlet, which was occupied by my light infantry – the Volontaires de Clermont-Prince. They spent the rest of the game taking potshots at anyone within range, including the Prussian grenadiers. Sean though, simply pushed his cavalry round the back of the village to threaten my left flank and rear. He’s getting more dangerous each game we play! One of his cavalry regiments though – a Hanoverian one – launched an impromptu charge at my cavalry, and got chopped up by the French horse. That though, left me dangerously exposed, and Sean deployed his Prussian foot into line and let rip. Both of my cavalry regiments were shot up – 4 hits each – and forced to retire in disorder. They spent the next few turns rallying themselves behind a hill. Over in the centre, my guns seemed to be a magnet for Sean, nd he kept trying to attack them. The first assault was by the Hanoverian jegers, who closed within point-blank range and fired into the guns. However, canister fire and a slight wheel and then a volley from a battalion of the Lyonnais regiment beside them sent the Allied light infantry packing. So far so good. My big advantage was that the Allied’ line wasn’t fully formed, but units were deployed in a slightly piecemeal way. So, it took time for the Allied infantry to march up and support any assault on my guns. Those Prussians though, were standing steadfastly on the two ends of Sean’s line. By now my cavalry had pulled themselves together thanks to a stern talking too from my commander, the Count of Saint-Germain. Suitably inspired, they formed into a series of double lines and advanced around the hill towards the enemy’s left flank. First though, they were met by the fire of the Prussian (12th) von Finck regiment, whose volley halted my dragoon regiment in its tracks. Back on the other flank the Allied cavalry were moving too, after coming round the back of Güllestreuer hamlet. The Hanoverian Reden dragoons charged home into the La Marine regiment, but the Frenchmen stood firm, and the cavalry were forced to retire and lick their wounds. Fortunately for me the second Hanoverian cavalry regiment there – the Jüngermann horse – didn’t join in the attack.On the other side of the hamlet the firefight was hotting up. the Prussian (1st) Zeuner regiment had the worst of a musketry exchange with the French Cambresis regiment, and then when my light infantry joined in the Prussians broke and ran. Then, in the centre, Sean launched two regiments at my line – the Hanoverian (2b) Meding regiment facing my guns, supported by a Prussian battalion. The unfortunate Meding regiment was promptly hit by canister, and then eviscerated by a volley from the Lyonnais regiment. With that the supporting Prussian retired in good order. That though, left Sean’s left exposed, and I launched my two line cavalry regiments charged into the unsupported von Finck battalion, which broke under the pressure. With that Sean’s losses had reached 40%, so we ended the game, and the Allies withdrew from the field. It actually didn’t matter by then, as it was such a fun game to play – and a pretty one. As usual, the rules worked a treat. The worry though, is that with each game Sean becomes more dangerous!