Thursday, August 4, 2011

Battle of Middendorf

The French were growing impatient.  "When will they attack us?" was on the minds of many the officer and ranker standing for hours in place.  In time they came to regret their desire for action.  Somewhere in Hanover, 1750-something, twenty-three "French" battalions (French, Germans, Swiss and Irish), eight cavalry regiments and five batteries were set with the cavalry forming the left wing and the six brigades deployed in a double line of brigades.  Some difficult ground, though still passable, was on their right where they also hoped for reinforcements.  Opposing them came sixteen Hanoverian battalions, plus four Hessian, four Brunswick and the mighty Lippe-Schaumberg battalion, relieved for once of their horse watching duties.  Six batteries and five good cavalry regiments completed the force.

Allied deployment from the right.
French deployment from the left.

With the ranks of grim killers arrayed, the combat began as the Germanic types stepped off.  On the French left the outnumbered Hanoverian cavalry boldly advanced, as did their guns.  Outstripping their slower infantry supports.  A potentially dangerous gap opened between their forces.

St. Germain eyes an opportunity developing.

On the French right, the Brunswickers and Hessians attempt a broad flanking maneuver while watching the side road entry point.  They had been warned that there may be a surprise in the game.  And there was, but I digress.

On the left, the French cavalry had withdrawn in the face of the Hanoverian advance.  Emboldened and confident, the latter continued the advance.  Suddenly the trumpets sounded and in supporting ranks the French cavalry charged their surprised opponents.  Of the three charges only one target managed a counter-charge, with unsurprising results.  The French dragoons, unaccustomed to success, carried on towards the limbered Hanoverian guns.  Disordered, they impacted the guns.... and lost.  In game terms, that's why we use dice.

After the successful charge, with the shaken dragoons center.

Now, with the left temporarily held up, the focus of action shifted to the center and right where the infantry aggressively came on.

The Swiss await on the left-center.

French line form the defense on the right-center.

On the far right the senior regiments face the Brunswickers.
 On the French left a sort ennui seemed to infect the Hanoverians.  Left-center the Swiss waited passively while the enemy sorted themselves out and engaged in counter battery fire.  With the difficulty of hitting unlimbered artillery plus firing uphill it was ineffective.  On the right however, a real dog-fight ensued.

Volley firefights, wheeling fire and charges were the norm.

The French advanced on the right to meet the enemy.

Routers were streaming towards the rear on both sides though the majority seemed to be wearing dark blue coats.  The Prussian hussars attempted to charge and although enjoying initial success they ultimately were eliminated as a fighting force. 

The French grenadiers and la Marck counter-attack.

Reformed, the French cavalry seems to have the enemy cowed.

Bercherny Hussars got in among the Allied guns!
Judging the time right, the French commander Robert Rondeau threw his last available reserve into the center with good results.  The Allied army was split in two with no reserves available to plug the gap or counter-attack.  Although their brigades were deployed in two lines, they were no army reserves.  The price of a double-envelopment plan.

The Swiss roughly handle the Hanoverians as the artillery replenishes.

The Brunswickers are successful.  But...

It doesn't really matter.
Having seen off their opponents, the Swiss begin to flank the Hanoverians and highlanders on their left as the Irish eagerly move forward.  Realization that the battle was lost began to sink in and without orders, the Brunswickers began to withdraw to preserve their remnant force.

The final act on the left.

Till the next battle.  Wiedersehen!

From his carriage, the French commander looks on.

All told a brisk action, quickly played.  Rules were Final Argument of Kings by Dean West.
Figures are 15mm from my collection and Todd Prochniak's.  And for the surprise?  There was an Austrian brigade of infantry and cavalry that could have arrived on the right hand road.  However we didn't start dicing for them till turn seven and then it required "boxcars" on 2d6 to get them.  It got one pip better each turn but by turn ten when we finished they still weren't in sight.


  1. Nice job with your presentation. I always like it when the good guys win. You have His Majesty de St. Maurice's complements. - Mike

  2. Mike,

    I should have never clicked on the link. My dice are calling to me...

    The figures look as good as ever. Keep up the good work.