Monday, February 11, 2013

Kickin' it Old School!

For the final game of the SYW campaign in Europe it was decided to pull out our "old school" figures and units for the "Batailles de l'Ancien Regimes" game.  Figure ratio was adjusted up to 20:1 making infantry battalions either 24 or 30 figures for the most part.  The engagement had Prussians against French, Irish, Swiss and Saxon infantry.  The cream of both sides cavalry was present with gleaming cuirasses everywhere.

The Prussians, under der Alte Fritz, deployed all of the Prussian armored cavalry on the left with some dragoons and superior hussars on the right, where I had the honor to command.  Our center was the weakest, something the French picked up upon.  It appeared the French cavalry was mostly divided on each wing, with the bulk of the French and allied infantry on our left.

The left, with good cavalry ground

The center as the Swiss advance

Initial deployment on the right

A massive, swirling cavalry scrum developed on the left, punctuated by the sound of steel on steel and the scream of horses.  In the center the Swiss boldly marched at the Prussian center.  At first thought to be a sacrificial lamb they proved themselves to be of the stuff of their ancestors.  On the right the mass of heavy cavalry visible on the back table caused me to take a cautious approach.  Looking to whittle them down and soften the infantry before throwing in my own.

Cavalry melee intensifies

Prussian left center as things go bad in the upper right

To the surprise of our side and possibly the French, the Prussian center was ripped open and I had to shift my small reserve brigade to staunch the wound.  Confused charge and counter charge raged there as our numbers (and finally a bit of luck with the dice) gave the advantage to the Prussians.  On the right we had finally soften the French infantry to the point where I thought it right to turn loose the hussars.

One of many complicated melees in the center

Hussars eye their prey...

...and charge home for melee

Saving throws were not kind and the weakened French repelled the hussars not once but twice.  At that the French cuirassiers began to deploy and charge, having been somewhat weakened by the fire of the Prussian "Brummers."  On the left the Prussian cavalry prevailed but was largely a spent force.  As Saxon grenadier guards and others began to shift to the center the Prussian infantry on the left advanced.

Now the French cuirassiers charge

Having stabilized the center, new foes appear

Beautiful battalions march forward

As playing time elapsed or perhaps fatigue set in, the Prussians were advancing on the left, heavily engaged but thought to have an advantage in the center, and on the right had miraculously turned back the French heavy cavalry.  Judging their infantry, which had been engaged heavily as well was not going to do anything, the cavalry turned about and road off to fight another day.

The smaller units were noted to be much more maneuverable but much more brittle compared to the 60 figure units we are used to fielding.  Cavalry was run more as regiments than the usual squadrons and they dominated play wherever they were.  I had played some smaller games (as in fewer units) before using the smaller battalions but it was nice to confirm that BAR plays just as well with small units.

For  the players bringing figures it was a chance to use units that had seen little use since the 80s in my case.  Most of the infantry were old MiniFigs, Hinchcliff or even Scruby figures.  All except for some lovely Mindens fielded by der Alte Fritz.  Six players kept the game spirited and fast moving.  Wine and cigars contributed to the "old school" feel.

A couple more pictures of the action as we close.

J├Ągers nip at flanks and survive

Saxon and Prussian grenadiers in action



  1. Excellent battle report Michael. Your served the Houe of Brandenburg very well this weekend what with your repelling the French on the right and stabilizing the centre.

  2. Very nice pictures and batrep!

  3. Looks like a great time! Did you use the 15mm charts, or the 25mm charts?

  4. We used the regular charts for big figures. Worked fine and didn't take any mental adjustment.

  5. Walking around with your knees-bent behavior