Friday, February 24, 2012

Volleys Rolling on the River

Some scheduling and communication issues lead to having only three players for our SYW game and no cavalry for the Hanoverian side.  Making the best of it we determined that all the French and Hanoverian cavalry was off battling on better ground.  Rules were Final Argument of Kings 2nd Edition (play test version) with the French fielding 23 battalions of 12 and 16 figures with 6 batteries against 17 Hanoverian, all 16 figures and 5 batteries.  The river was a disorganizing feature.  You could move up to it, then place yourself on the other side in good order, move across and dice to be disordered, or charge across and automatically be disordered.  It has a big effect on play.  The French had to evict the enemy from the river line.

As the French commander, observing the enemy behind the town on the left I determined to move forward as the artillery on the hill prepped the enemy line, then turn right and descend upon them, rolling up the line.  Or, that was my plan.

On the right I delayed the advance of my small brigade, hoping to get more Hanoverian battalions engaged first.

My two grenadier battalions and Regt. la Marck got well stuck in against the river line, absorbing a lot of punishment, though the potential was mitigated by some horrid dice on the part of my opponents.  The Hanoverians behind the town rapidly reacted to the turning attempt, advancing to bring flank pressure of their own.  The French artillery park were ordered up by the commander in chief to create a new killing zone.

As the Irish moved up behind the embattled grenadiers and Germans, the battle became general across the whole front.  The honor of the first charge of the day went to the Hanoverians though it failed.  Musketry and limited artillery continued to whittle down the Hanoverian defenders till an opening appeared.  Old regiments with long traditions like Picardie, Normandie and Auvergne fixed bayonets and readied themselves.  Splashing across the river the line was ruptured and the enemy guns scattered.  Hanoverian counter-attack caused great harm but another charge put an end to the fighting, before the Irish even got stuck in.  We did get to see the rare exchange of lines as the battered but unbroken grenadiers and Germans disengaged to allow the following Irish brigade to take their place.

Though the French had a bit more of a numeric advantage than I expected the battle was exceptionally hard fought with both sides attacking somewhere.  Tip 'o the three-cornered hat to Andrew and Jake for the gallant effort.  Game finished in about three hours after a delayed start.



  1. Excellent stuff, I have French and am building British/Hanoverian/etc. I am such a sad sack that I can even tell which French regiments you are using from their flags :)

  2. That's not being a sad sack, it's just being a thorough historian! Indeed, my enjoyment of vexillology is one of the attractions to the SYW period. And the reason I rarely paint up two battalions from the same French regiment. I want more "colored" flags on the table!