Go to ...


The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


RSS Feed

The Battle of Munchhausen, 1757

The Seven Years War, Honours of War, 28mm


This week we staged a Seven Years War game, using the new Honours of War rules. The gamers are divided over these rules – some like them, others don’t. the nay-sayers claim – with some justification – that artillery is far too effective, and they’re slower than Black Powder. Others – me included – think they do quite a good job of reflecting the period, and I quite like the command and control mechanism, which is reminiscent of Fire & Fury.img_3062What the naysayers dislike the most is the bounce rule, where roundshot has a good chance of hitting units behind the one being aimed at. This is particularly effective as we all tend to deploy with reserves, which are now just as vulnerable as the troops in the firing line. Anyway, this game was a relatively straightforward encounter between my own French army and a polyglot force serving the British cause in High Germany.img_3065We fought on an 8×6 foot table, deploying on the long edges. In this battle a fordable river bisected the table, which effectively meant that the French left and the Allied right were separated from the main battlefield.  In the end it was there, on the far (north) side of the river, that the main battle was played out. Campbell took the French left, Dougie the French right and I commanded the centre, while in the Allied camp Ken commanded the left (or southern force), which was largely British, while Michael’s Hessians were deployed to the north, on either side of the river. The Allies had a couple more units of infantry than the French, but the French had the edge in light troops and in cavalry.img_3069The battle got off to a slow start, as both sides rolled poorly for their command rolls, which meant that several brigades didn’t get to move. This wasn’t helped in the French camp which had its fair share of commanders rated as “dithering”. On our right Dougie’s cavalry moved forward, and then sort of froze. On our left the gallant Bercheny Hussars were much more enthusiastic, and advanced with alacrity, to melee with their Hessian counterparts. The Hessian cavalry was of better quality, but after one minor setback the French hussars (who outnumbered their opponents horse by 3 to 2) managed to win the day. Michael ignored this setback and advanced a brigade of Hessian foot.img_3070 It met the la Mark regiment deployed into line, supported – crucially – by two gun batteries. In two turns the Hessian columns were shredded, largely thanks to the “bounce through” rule. By the end of the game the Hessians were down to two battered battalions, who fell back to the east of the bridge over the river. So, on the north side of the river the battle was an emphatic French victory, with the HEssians losing the bulk of their force, including their guns.img_3061On the Allied centre and left the advance was a slow one, and in the centre the two sides never drew close enough to do more than engage in long range cannonading and musketry. This proved effective though – one of my battalions was destroyed by artillery, as was a corresponding Hessian one. We also lost the Chasseurs de Fischer, a light infantry battalion that suffered from getting too close to the British firing line. Over on the French right Dougie’s sweeping cavalry charge came to naught when the British deployed in an unbroken line to face them off, and so here too the battle fizzled out. All in all the fictitious Battle of Muchhausen was something of a let-down, as most of the two rival armies didn’t really get to grips. img_3072All in all though, the game was declared a minor French victory, thanks largely to Campbell’s magnificent cannonading, and the charge of the Bercheny Hussars, who also won the award for the most colourful unit on the table. The French army were all mine  – mainly Front Rank – while Michael’s Hessians were from the Perries, while Ken’s troops were from Minden Miniatures. Minden are a bit like the rules we used – you either like them or you don’t. They’re a bit skinny for my tastes, and so nice though they are, when I get round to expanding my French army I’ll stick to Front Rank. These guns below are Minden (available from Crann Tara in the UK), as are the infantry beside them, while the French line two pictures above are Front Rank. Two different looks, but both equally effective. Its all a matter of preference.


More Stories From The Seven Years War