“In Jesu Nahmen, Marsch!”: Kesselsdorf 1745 (A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’)

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.  Or if Thou wilt not help me, do not help these scoundrels, but leave us to try it ourselves.  In Jesu’s name, March!” 

– The prayer of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau (‘The Old Dessauer’) prior to the Battle of Kesselsdorf, Saxony, 15th December 1745.

I promised at the start of the year that there would be more scenarios for various periods, but here we are in June and they’ve been rather thin on the ground thus far!  So here’s a War of Austrian Succession (2nd Silesian War) scenario for Tricorn (my 18th Century conversion of Shako).  It’s a fairly big ‘un (though fairly average-sized for the period) and requires a 10 x 6-foot table when using 15mm figures, though there is a bit of space between units and formations, so it could be compressed into an 8 x 6-foot table without too much trouble.

At present I don’t have a ‘proper’ 18th Century Saxon army; all I have painted are a single general, the three Polish Chevauxléger Regiments and the Carabiniersgarde Regiment who served as an auxiliary corps with the Austrians during the Seven Years War.  However, a dozen Saxon infantry battalions plus artillery have been waiting to be painted since Christmas, so they’re at the top of my ‘to do’ list once my eyes sort themselves out.  This scenario will hopefully serve as a spur to getting them done.  I’ll then ‘just’ need to get another dozen battalions, a load of heavy artillery, five cuirassier regiments, four dragoon regiments… and God alone knows where I’ll find some decent Polish uhlan figures…

As it might therefore be quite some time before I have sufficient Saxons, I may well play this in the near future, using my French army as proxies for the Saxons.

Historical Stuff

Yeah, this one goes on a bit and may cause drowsiness, so under no circumstances drive or operate heavy machinery while reading this article.

A sensible blogger would have written up the battles in historical order, so that the Second Silesian War could be presented piece-by-piece in bite-sized chunks.  But this is me…

In Peace, Prepare For War…

King Frederick II (1745)

At the conclusion of the First Silesian War in July 1742, Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria had been forced to cede almost all of the rich province of Silesia, plus the County of Glatz to the victorious King Frederick II of Prussia in return for peace.  However, the War of Austrian Succession was still very much raging and Prussia’s separate peace treaty had left Frederick’s former Bavarian, French and Saxon allies firmly in the lurch!

With her northern flank now secure against the Prussians, Maria-Theresa was now able to bring her armies to bear against her remaining enemies in Germany and Italy.  Within a year Bohemia and Prague had been recovered, the French had been driven back over the Rhine and Bavaria was overrun and occupied, with the new Emperor Charles VII being forced into exile in Frankfurt.

Archduchess Maria-Theresa (1744)

So despite the loss of Silesia and her humiliating defeat at the hands of Frederick of Prussia, Maria-Theresa’s strategic position, both militarily and diplomatically, was arguably stronger than it had been since before the start of the war.  Her overall strategic objective remained unchanged; the recognition of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and the recognition of her unchallenged right to rule Habsburg lands, with her husband, Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine being elected to rule alongside her as Emperor (thus avoiding the original sticking-point of having a woman as the Imperial candidate).  In addition, she was committed to reversing the defeats of 1741-42 and to regaining Silesia.

In September 1743, Austria concluded a new treaty with Great Britain, Hanover and Sardinia-Savoy (the Treaty of Worms) and was enjoying increasingly warm diplomatic relations with Russia.  Frederick consequently felt increasingly threatened by what he saw as an ever-growing anti-Prussian alliance that almost completely surrounded his borders.

Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII (1742)

In response, in May 1744 Prussia concluded its own alliance with Bavaria, Hesse-Cassel, Sweden and Pfalz (the League of Frankfurt) and made a separate treaty with France, dedicated to recovering Emperor Charles VII’s lands in Bavaria and Bohemia.  In return for its service, Prussia would then receive all Bohemian lands north of the Elbe from a grateful Emperor.  The Elector of Saxony, Frederick Augustus II (who also held the title of King Augustus III (‘The Fat‘) of Poland) remained notably neutral this time around, though Saxon neutrality was about to be sorely tested.

On 7th August 1744, Prussia once again declared war on Austria and crossed the border during the following week.  The Second Silesian War had begun.

The Second Silesian War

Francis Stephen Duke of Lorraine, latterly Emperor Francis I (1745)

One Prussian column, commanded by the old war horse Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau (The ‘Old Dessauer’) violated Saxon borders as it advanced up the Elbe, utterly outraging the Elector of Saxony!  However, the Saxon Army was unable to immediately do anything about the Prussian incursion and Prince Leopold’s column quickly marched on into Bohemia.  Within a month the Prussians had captured Prague and were advancing on Vienna.

However, the French had completely failed to hold up their side of the bargain in pinning down Prince Charles of Lorraine’s Austrian army in Alsace and as a consequence, Prince Charles had by early October reached Bohemia and was approaching Prague from the south-west.  Even more problematic for the Prussians was the fact that the Saxons had also now mobilised, having declared common cause with Austria and were marching on Prague from the north.

Elector Frederick Augustus II (1745)

Frederick’s army meanwhile, was beset by supply problems, his lines of communication being constantly cut by Austrian forces.  He was also unable to bring the local Austrian army, commanded by the wily Otto von Traun to battle.  After many fruitless weeks of manoeuvre, he was once again forced to abandon Prague and retreat to Silesia.

While some monarchs collected palaces, great gardens, menageries, great works of art, ornate furniture, Roman treasures, tulip-bulbs or Meissen porcelain, Retreating from Bohemia was starting to become a life-long hobby for King Frederick II of Prussia…

Early in 1745, Austria’s diplomatic and military position was strengthened further by a new ‘Quadruple Alliance’ with Great Britain, Saxony and the Dutch Republic.  However, the raison d’être of the Quadruple Alliance evaporated only a few days later on 20th January, when Emperor Charles VII, having just recovered his capital from Austrian occupation, promptly and rather inconveniently died.

Elector Maximilian III Joseph (1750)

A new Emperor would now need to be elected and the new Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian III Joseph, quickly began fortifying his newly-liberated country in order to bolster his claim on the Imperial throne.  However, it was all for naught as the Austrians attacked again, defeating the Bavarians on 15th April 1745 at the Battle of Pfaffenhofen.  The young Elector was immediately forced to sue for peace with Maria-Theresa; giving up his Imperial claim and instead supporting the Duke of Lorraine’s election to Emperor in return for peace.

With Bavaria knocked out of the war, Maria-Theresa brought her forces to bear against Prussia and in May 1745 a large Austro-Saxon army invaded Silesia, once again with Prince Charles of Lorraine in overall command.  However, on 4th June 1745, this allied army was decisively smashed by Frederick at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg.

The Saxon rout at Hohenfriedberg, 4th June 1745

Prince Charles of Lorraine (1743)

Prince Charles’ defeated army retreated back into Bohemia with the Prussians pursuing, as far as the city of Königgrätz, where the two armies settled down into yet another ‘Bohemian Standoff’ on either side of the River Elbe.  In the meantime, Francis Stephen had been elected as the new Holy Roman Emperor and on 13th September was crowned as Emperor Francis I, making Maria-Theresa, the real power behind the throne, Empress by default, thus achieving two of Maria-Theresa’s primary strategic goals (as the great philosopher Von Hackbraten once said, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”).

In the meantime, supplies were once again again running low in Frederick’s camp and he was forced yet again to retreat from Bohemia (I did say that a pattern was developing…).  However, at Soor on 29th September, Frederick was able to turn the tables on the Austro-Saxon army, when their attempt at a surprise attack on the Prussian camp ended in disaster with yet another defeat for Prince Charles (another pattern was starting to develop…).

Frederick Augustus Graf Rutowsky (1740)

Despite their victory at Soor, Prussian supplies were now thoroughly exhausted and Frederick was unable to press his advantage, instead being forced to continue his retreat into Silesia, where he could resupply, rest and rebuild his forces.

Astonishingly and despite two recent drubbings, the Austro-Saxon alliance was still determined to press the issue, particularly as they still had Graf Frederick Augustus Rutowsky’s main Saxon army positioned in western Saxony, poised to invade Brandenburg and advance on Berlin.  Standing in Rutowsky’s way was the Prussian corps of  Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, ‘The Old Dessauer’.

At 69 years of age, The Old Dessauer had been a Prussian Feldmarschall since the War of Spanish Succession and was a contemporary of those other legendary Field Marshals, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugène of Savoy.  He had been one of the architects and drillmasters of the Prussian Army under Frederick II’s father King Frederick-William, to whom he became a close personal friend.

Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, ‘The Old Dessauer’

However, Prince Leopold and the young King Frederick II did not warm to each other and their relationship became increasingly difficult.  The young Frederick repeatedly berated The Old Dessauer for being slow and ponderous on campaign, but then Leopold never seemed to suffer the same catastrophic supply difficulties as Frederick.  At Mollwitz in 1741 it was also The Old Dessauer (along with Feldmarschall von Schwerin) who saved the young king’s bacon and won the battle, despite the rout of the Prussian right wing and the premature departure of the king from the field.  Perhaps as a result of this animosity, Prince Leopold was relegated to defending Brandenburg, though that now placed him in the perfect position to intervene in this campaign.

Rather curiously, a complex and somewhat baffling arrangement of defensive alliances with Russia meant that Russia had promised to enter the war on the side of the defender if either Prussia or Saxony were invaded!  Consequently, the Saxons (fearing for their vulnerable Polish possessions) proved reluctant to invade Brandenburg and the supporting Austrian corps under Feldmarschallieutenant von Grünne was therefore left to march alone against Berlin.  However, on 22nd November 1745, Frederick defeated Prince Charles’ main Austrian army once again at Hennersdorf, destroying the supporting Saxon corps and forcing Prince Charles to retreat yet again.  Without the support of Prince Charles’ army, Grünne was therefore forced to cancel his invasion only seven miles from Berlin and retreat back to Torgau in Saxony.

Johann von Lehwaldt (1750)

The Old Dessauer now invaded Saxony, striking from Halle, driving back Graf Renard’s Saxon corps and capturing Leipzig at the end of November 1745.  King Frederick now expected Leopold to advance directly on the Saxon capital Dresden and to that end, had dispatched a reinforcement corps under Johann von Lehwaldt to rendezvous with The Old Dessauer at Meissen on or around 9th December.  They would then march on as a combined force to seize Dresden.  Frederick’s main army, then at Bautzen to the east, would also march on Dresden once he’d fended off any further efforts by Prince Charles to march north.

However, contact between Prince Leopold’s column and the retreating Saxons was soon lost, with the Saxon-Polish uhlans and chevauxlégers, led by the talented Polish cavalry commander Johann Sybilski, frequently running rings around the Prussian hussars.  Instead of advancing directly toward the Saxon capital Dresden, Leopold was resolved to first remove all the threats to his lines of communication, starting with Torgau, thus establishing defensible bases and keeping his lines of communication secure, given that there could be any number of Saxons running around undetected on the west bank of the Elbe.

When news reached Frederick on 9th December that Prince Leopold was still at Torgau, he flew into a rage and a series of increasingly bitter messages then flew back and forth between the two headquarters!  Frederick was even more incensed when Prince Leopold proposed bringing his column across the Elbe to join with Lehwalt on the east bank, thus avoiding the possibility of being attacked by as-yet-unknown Saxon forces on the west bank.  As Frederick’s main army was already on the east bank, this would simply not do!  The King’s plan required TWO columns to be converging on Dresden from BOTH sides of the Elbe!  The Old Dessauer clearly thought that Frederick’s ‘fast and exciting’ way of war was what had brought repeated strategic defeat in Bohemia, which isn’t actually all that inaccurate or unfair.  However, on the approach to Torgau, Prince Leopold’s corps had only covered nine miles in nine days, so Frederick may also have had a point!

Clearly stung by the bitter exchange of letters, The Old Dessauer marched his corps from Torgau to Strehla in a single day on 11th December and it only took one more day for his corps to finally reach Meissen on the 12th.  Once there they repaired the half-heartedly-sabotaged bridge and Lehwaldt’s corps marched across to join them on the 13th.  However, while this was going on, Sybilski’s Saxon-Polish cavalry ambushed the Prussian rearguard which was badly cut up, suffering the loss of two standards, two kettle-drums and the death of Generalmajor von Roëll.  This action does therefore suggest that The Old Dessauer was at least partly correct in his concern for the security of his lines of communication.

In the meantime, the Saxons were in a state of panic following Grünne’s retreat from Berlin, the defeat at Hennersdorf and now The Old Dessauer’s slow, but seemingly inexorable advance up the Elbe.  Dresden was deemed to be indefensible due to lack of investment in the defences and it was found that military supplies were completely inadequate to the task.  However, it was eventually determined that a blow needed to be struck against one of the two converging Prussian columns and the easiest target (also the greatest threat) was judged to be The Old Dessauer’s.

The Battle of Kesselsdorf, 15th December 1745

Rutowsky and Grünne marched out of Dresden in freezing weather on 13th December and took up position on high ground to the north of Dresden, arrayed on a total frontage of some 7-8km, with their front largely covered by the soggy Zschoner-Grund and their flanks secured on the village of Kesselsdorf in the west and on the Elbe in the east.  The line was thin and over-extended (a yawning gap of almost 3km separated Rutowsky’s Saxons on the left from Grünne’s Austrians on the right), though Prince Charles of Lorraine, whose army had finally escaped Frederick and was now encamped in the Grosser-Garten at Dresden, promised to provide immediate reinforcement once Prince Leopold’s army appeared.

As with his rapid advance from Torgau to Meissen, it seems that the King’s criticism had stung The Old Dessauer into getting to grips with the enemy as soon as possible and he wasted no time in driving back the Saxon cavalry picquets and advancing to meet the enemy army.  As the Prussians marched onto the snow-covered ground on the morning of 15th December, the Saxon and Austrian commanders remained completely passive as a large Prussian force established itself on the flank opposite Kesselsdorf, thinking that what was in front of them was only a part of Prince Leopold’s army.

Rutowsky didn’t therefore call in Grünne’s Austrians from the right flank, as he was afraid that a Prussian corps might still march down the shortest route to Dresden, along the Elbe.  His decision-making process was also affected by the firmly-held belief that Prince Charles was about to reinforce him at any moment, whereas in reality, Prince Charles was still at Dresden, waiting for his rearguard to catch up and refusing to believe the reports coming from Kesselsdorf, only a few miles away!

Even more astonishingly and despite having been in the position for the previous 48 hours, the Saxons had not dug any earthworks or made any other improvements to their defensive positions.  At the last minute, at 10am on the morning of the 15th and with the Prussians already lining up opposite them, the Saxon regimental carpenters were ordered en masse to assist General Von Alnpeck’s Grenadier Corps in loop-holing and barricading the houses and streets at the western end of Kesselsdorf.  The commander of the Saxon artillery and engineers, General Von Wilster also deployed a large battery of artillery in front of the town, which then engaged in a sharp artillery duel with the Prussian heavy guns that had now been placed forward of the Prussian line.

The Old Dessauer could see that Kesselsdorf was the key to the Saxon position; once that village fell, the rest of the line could be rolled up.  However, it would be a tough nut to crack, so he gathered together what he considered to be the best infantry in his army; the grenadier battalions of Kleist, Plotho and Münchow in the first line, the three battalions of his own Anhalt-Dessau Regiment and the Plotho Dragoons in support and the scarred 60 year-old veteran, Generalmajor Hans Caspar von Hertzberg in command.

As the Prussian guns prepared the ground for the attack, The Old Dessauer rode over to Hertzberg’s grenadiers, clasped his hands in prayer and famously called out to the Almighty, saying “O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.  Or if Thou wilt not help me, do not help these scoundrels, but leave us to try it ourselves.  In Jesu’s name, March!” 

At 1400hrs the Prussian heavy guns began to fall silent as Hertzberg’s infantry advanced.  Almost immediately, the Prussians ran into a storm of shot and canister from the Saxon battery, which had manifestly not been badly damaged or suppressed by the Prussian bombardment!  Prussian battalion guns were deployed to the flanks to take the Saxon battery under canister fire, but still the Prussian infantry were suffering a horrific level of casualties.  Nevertheless, the survivors closed ranks and pressed on until at last, Hertzberg personally led the Anhalt Regiment in a charge that overran the gun-positions, putting the Saxon gunners to flight.  However, the Saxon and Austrian grenadiers, positioned among the houses and gardens of Kesselsdorf, now added their volleys to the carnage.  The Prussian infantry finally started to falter and as fire from the Saxon and Austrian grenadiers enveloped their flanks, the Prussians finally broke and ran, leaving almost 1,500 of their comrades dead or wounded on the battlefield and Hertzberg being counted among the dead.

General von Wilster, the commander of the Saxon artillery and engineers, seeing the catastrophe engulfing the Prussian assault and seeking to recapture his guns, then had a rush of blood to the sabre and did something rather rash…

General von Alnpeck, the commander of the Saxon-Austrian Grenadier Corps, was nowhere to be seen, so Wilster grabbed hold of the commanders of the two grenadier battalions on the right flank of the Grenadier Corps (Gfug’s Battalion and the Austrian La Fée Battalion), and ordered them to mount an immediate counter-attack!

The two grenadier battalions immediately left their defences and quickly wheeled out to re-take the guns.  Any surviving Prussians in the vicinity were quickly scattered or cut down and the guns were soon recaptured.  The Saxon gunners dashed out of Kesselsdorf and quickly resumed their fire against other approaching Prussian formations.  However, Saxon blood was up and the grenadiers pushed on beyond the recaptured guns, aiming to take Holtzmann’s Prussian battery.  The Brüggen, Ütterodt and Gersdorff Grenadier Battalions were also now swept up in the heat of the moment and they too left their defensive positions to join this insane attack!

Until this moment, General von Alnpeck, positioned on the left flank, had been unaware of this turn of events, but from his position he could now see his grenadiers advancing up the Freiberger-Straße toward the Prussian guns.  At this point, he could have ordered his grenadiers to halt their foolishness and resume their defensive positions in Kesselsdorf, but no… Drawing his sword, he now ordered his two remaining uncommitted battalions (Friesen & Winckelmann) to join the attack!

Frederick Leopold Graf von Geßler (1751)

The counter-attack very quickly started to unravel as the two leading grenadier battalions ran into a hail of canister from Holtzmann’s battery, as well as musketry from Lehwaldt’s infantry.  Wilster was quick to identify the threat posed by Lehwaldt and had his gunners pour a withering hail of fire into the Prussian battalions.  However, with the Saxon and Austrian grenadiers starting to falter, the Prussian Bonin Dragoons struck!  Executing a text-book charge, the dragoons plunged into the Austrian La Fée Battalion, which immediately collapsed.  The Gfug Battalion initially held its ground, but was soon overwhelmed by the vengeful dragoons, closely followed by the Brüggen Battalion!

With the situation rapidly unravelling for the Saxons, things now took an even worse turn, as General von Geßler’s Prussian cavalry division thundered down their exposed flank.  Sybilski’s Polish uhlans quickly scattered, pursued by Dieury’s hussars.  One of Alnpeck’s two remaining intact grenadier battalions and the 1st Battalion of the Nikolaus von Pirch Regiment (which had been posted as a flank-guard at the southern end of Kesselsdorf) were now utterly crushed by the Prussian cuirassiers.  The Saxon gunners abandoned their guns for the second and final time and joined the mass of fugitives fleeing through Kesselsdorf.

With the Saxon grenadiers starting to crumble, Lehwaldt sent the Jeetze Infantry Regiment in to clear the village.  Quickly passing through the now-unmanned defenses, the Prussian infantry advanced through the streets before finally meeting resistance near the southern end of the village, where the still-intact Winckelmann Grenadiers had managed to rally along with General von Alnpeck.  However, the Saxon grenadiers were outnumbered 2:1 by the Jeetze Regiment and these odds deteriorated as the rallied remnants of Hertzberg’s brigade joined the fight.  Facing overwhelming odds and with Alnpeck himself becoming wounded, the Winckelmann Grenadiers finally broke and joined the tide of fugitives heading to the rear.

Carl Siegmund Johann von Arnim (1765ish)

Somewhat astonishingly, Arnstedt’s Saxon-Polish chevauxléger brigade, standing on the east side of Kesselsdorf remained completely unaware of current events and even refused to believe a Polish uhlan when he arrived to inform them of the collapse on the left.  Nevertheless, Arnstedt had observed that Lehwaldt’s Prussian infantry were becoming disrupted by the soggy ground as they approached and judged that it would now be a good time to charge.  However, the terrain quickly worked against the chevauxlégers and their order fell apart almost immediately.  Then, as they charged the final few yards against the Prussian line, they were quite simply destroyed by the Prussian volley!

Despite the loss of Kesselsdorf, the destruction of Arnstedt’s chevauxlégers and the impending threat to the Saxon left-rear, Rutowsky still scented victory!  Convinced against all evidence that the Prussian right wing was defeated, Rutowsky ordered General der Infanterie Johann Adam von Diemar to mount an infantry attack across the same ground so recently occupied by the chevauxlégers!

Diemar immediately rode over to General von Jasmund (commanding the left wing of the first infantry line) and commandeered the brigade of General von Neubauer on the left flank (the Grenadiergarde, 2. Garde and Königin Regiments).  The 60 year-old Jasmund, as much a veteran of old campaigns as The Old Dessauer, was utterly furious but could do nothing to stop half of his division, the cream of Saxony’s infantry, from being taken away to its destruction!  The supporting Saxon battalion guns provided excellent support, but it was all for naught as the three infantry regiments, the elite of the Saxon Army, were steadily crushed by Prussian firepower and were eventually broken when Prussian infantry emerged from Kesselsdorf to take them in the flank.

Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau (1760)

The leading regiments of Prussian cavalry had now passed around Kesselsdorf and were emerging from the Steinleitengrund.  The collapse of the Saxon army now began in earnest as the Prussians rolled up the flank.  Many Saxon units, particularly in General von Arnim’s cavalry division, managed to make a brave show of things on an individual basis, but the labyrinthine command-structure, lack of a coherent plan and near-complete lack of control by any commander above brigade level had doomed the Saxon army before the first shot was fired.  Much of the left wing was now either fleeing outright or was fighting its way off the battlefield in small groups.

Meanwhile, the infantry of the Prussian left wing, under Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau (the 5th son of The Old Dessauer), had begun to advance.  The Prussian cavalry of General von Wreech however, were unable to join the advance due to the very poor nature of the terrain to their front (the soggy Zschoner-Grund).  Prince Moritz was astonished to find that the village of Steinbach was unoccupied and his infantry quickly occupied the village, enabling his artillery to deploy closer to the Saxon lines.

Adam Friedrich von Wreech (1740-46)

A few miles away near the Elbe, General von Elverfeldt, commanding the Austrian Corps in lieu of Grünne (who was taking a sickie) could hear the sounds of battle and was watching the advance of the Prussian left wing with increasing concern.  He sent a message to Rutowsky, requesting permission to move his corps closer to the Saxon right flank, thereby closing the yawning gap and enabling the Austrians to provide better support for the Saxon right wing.  Astonishingly, Rutowsky refused this request, presumably being still convinced that the main Prussian thrust would come along the Elbe valley!

With Steinbach secured, Prince Moritz’s Prussian infantry pushed on into Zöllmen.  Once again, General von Haxthausen, commanding the infantry of the Saxon right wing, had completely failed to occupy the village, so it proved no obstacle to the Prussians.  However, the Prussians were suffering at the hands of the Saxon artillery (which it has to be said, had performed superbly throughout the battle), so Haxthausen decided that this was an excellent moment to mount a limited attack with a couple of regiments.  However, Rutowsky had other ideas and rode up to Haxthausen to demand a full attack against the Prussian grenadiers now occupying Zöllmen.

Georg Wilhelm von Birkholz (1730ish)

The inexhaustible Diemar had also demanded that General von Birkholz mount a counter-attack, but these demands fell on deaf ears and the cavalry of the Saxon right wing remained motionless.  This was possibly because Birkholz actually outranked Diemar.  Rutowsky (of equal rank and also commanding the army) also rode over to demand that the cavalry attack and even offered to lead the charge, but when he and his staff rode forward, the cavalry remained where they were!

Haxthausen’s attack meanwhile, rapidly fell apart in the face of determined opposition from the Prussian grenadiers now occupying Zöllmen and counter-attacks from the Prussian infantry on either flank.  Prussian cavalry, probably from Wreech’s division, also got drawn into the chaos.  The two Austrian cuirassier regiments (Hohenzollern and Bentheim) posted as a second line under Birkholz’s command, attempted to intervene but only succeeded in mistakenly riding down a Saxon battalion!  Arnim’s Saxon cavalry continued to try to restore the situation, but were eventually swept away, taking Birkholz’s men with them.

With the army now in full retreat, Haxthausen attempted to mount a rearguard at Pennrich for a while, but was eventually broken by the relentless Prussian onslaught and the entire army was fleeing back to Dresden, where they found Prince Charles’ Austrian ‘reinforcements’ still sitting in their camps.

However, there was to be no pursuit of the defeated Saxons, as the Prussians were exhausted and simply halted and slept on the frozen battlefield.  The Prussians had lost a little over 5,000 men dead and wounded, roughly 17% of Leopold’s army, leaving him with around 27,000 men still under arms.  Rutowsky’s Saxons had been shattered, suffering the loss of over one-third of their number dead, wounded or missing and leaving only a little over 11,000 (though many were fugitives and might therefore return to the colours).  When added to Grünne’s corps of just over 5,000 men and Prince Charles’ corps of just over 20,000, the allies could still theoretically have put around 37,000 men into the field against Leopold’s 27,000.  However, the Austro-Saxon alliance was catastrophically short of supplies and the relationship between the two armies had broken down, with the Saxons accusing Prince Charles of leaving them to fight alone.  The allied armies therefore abandoned Dresden and continued retreating to Pirna.

King Frederick meanwhile, had arrived at Meissen on the day of the battle and by the following day had received news of The Old Dessauer’s victory at Kesselsdorf.  The king was overjoyed by the news and all previous animosity was forgotten as the king sent Prince Leopold a warm letter of congratulations, signed off with “Your affectionate cousin.”  

The Old Dessauer after Kesselsdorf

On Christmas Day 1745, Prussia, Saxony and Austria would sign the Peace of Dresden, with Great Britain and the Holy Roman Empire as its guarantors.  No territory would change hands on this occasion, but Prussia had again removed the most critical threats to its continued existence and especially to its possession of Silesia.  Austria had not regained Silesia, but had successfully defended Bohemia and would now have breathing-space in which to finally conclude the ongoing War of Austrian Succession, which would continue to rage against the ‘Galispan’ Alliance in Italy until 1747 and against France in the Low Countries until 1748.

But in the meantime on 17th December 1745, King Frederick II arrived at the battlefield of Kesselsdorf, where Prince Leopold was waiting to give him the official battlefield tour.  Frederick immediately dismounted, removed his hat and warmly embraced The Old Dessauer, firmly burying the hatchet and finally ending the animosity between the two men.  This was to be The Old Dessauer’s last campaign; he died peacefully at home in Dessau nearly 18 months later, on 7th April 1747.

Scenario Notes

1.  The scenario will last 15 turns.  As usual, this number is completely arbitrary, but as daylight is short, it doesn’t give the Prussians too much time to get their attack in and break the Saxons.

2.  Victory will be awarded to the side that breaks the opposing army.

3.  See the Saxon-Austrian order of battle below for optional Saxon-Austrian reinforcements.

The Prussian Army

Generalfeldmarschall Fürst Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau
(Good – 2 ADCs)

Avantgarde – Generalmajor Hans Kaspar von Hertzberg (Excellent)
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Kleist’ (16/g1)      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Plotho’ (10/27)      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Münchow’ (?)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 3) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 3) (elite)      [5/2]
III. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 3) (elite)      [5/2]
5 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Bonin’ (DR 4)      [5/2 – Large Unit]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Right Wing Cavalry – Generallieutenant Friedrich Leopold von Geßler (Excellent)
5 Sqns, Leib-Regiment zu Pferde (CR 3)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Leib-Carabinier-Regiment (CR 11)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Bredow’ (CR 7)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Stille’ (CR 6)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Roëll’ (DR 7)      [5/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Jung-Möllendorff’ (DR 10)      [5/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Holstein-Gottorp’ (DR 9)      [5/2 – Large Unit]

Left Wing Cavalry – Generallieutenant Adam Friedrich von Wreech (Average)
5 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Buddenbrock’ (CR 1)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Markgraf Friedrich von Brandenburg-Schwedt’ (CR 5)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Rochow’ (CR 8)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Kyau’ (CR 12)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Stosch’ (DR 8)      [5/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, I. Bn, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Bayreuth’ (DR 5)      [5/2 – Large Unit]
5 Sqns, II. Bn, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Bayreuth’ (DR 5)      [5/2 – Large Unit]

Right Wing of First Line – Generallieutenant Johann von Lehwaldt (Good)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Jeetze’ (IR 30)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Jeetze’ (IR 30)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Leps’ (IR 9)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Leps’ (IR 9)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Moritz von Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 22) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Moritz von Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 22) (elite)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Hertzberg’ (IR 20) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Hertzberg’ (IR 20) (elite)      [5/2]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Left Wing of First Line – Generallieutenant Prinz Moritz von Anhalt-Dessau (Good)
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Schöning’ (8/30)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Leopold Maximilian von Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 27)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Leopold Maximilian von Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 27)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Dietrich von Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 10) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Dietrich von Anhalt-Dessau’ (IR 10) (elite)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz von Preußen’ (IR 18) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz von Preußen’ (IR 18) (elite)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bonin’ (IR 5) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bonin’ (IR 5) (elite)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bredow’ (IR 21)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bredow’ (IR 21)      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Second Line – Generallieutenant Otto Friedrich von Leps

Right Wing of Second Line – Generalmajor Hans Siegismund von Lestwitz (Average)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Erbprinz von Hessen-Darmstädt’ (IR 12) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Erbprinz von Hessen-Darmstädt’ (IR 12) (elite)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Prinz Georg Wilhelm von Hessen-Darmstädt’ (IR 47)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Prinz Georg Wilhelm von Hessen-Darmstädt’ (IR 47)      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Left Wing of Second Line – Generalmajor Ernst Ludwig von Götze (Average)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Polenz’ (IR 13) (elite)      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Polenz’ (IR 13) (elite)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Ferdinand von Preußen’ (IR 34)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Ferdinand von Preußen’ (IR 34)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Württemberg’ (IR 46)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Württemberg’ (IR 46)      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Light Troops – Generalmajor Peter von Dieury (Average)
5 Sqns, I. Bn, Husaren-Regiment ‘Dieury’ (HR 7)      [4/1]
5 Sqns, II. Bn, Husaren-Regiment ‘Dieury’ (HR 7)      [4/1]
5 Sqns, I. Bn, Husaren-Regiment ‘Soldan’ (HR 6)      [4/1]
5 Sqns, II. Bn, Husaren-Regiment ‘Soldan’ (HR 6)      [4/1]

Artillery – Oberstlieutenant Johann Friedrich von Merkatz
Heavy Battery ‘Holtzmann’      [3/0]
Heavy Battery ‘Merkatz’      [3/0]
Heavy Battery ‘Herzberg’      [3/0]
Reserve Heavy Battery      [3/0]

Prussian Notes

1.  I’ve been unable to identify the regiments that the ‘Münchow’ Grenadier Battalion was drawn from. Unlike the grenadier battalions of the Seven Years War, where battalion organisation remained constant, the grenadiers of the War of Austrian Succession were constantly being split up and regrouped with different regiments and battalion commanders, resulting in a bewildering array of battalion groupings.  I’ve counted no fewer than 60 different Prussian grenadier battalion groupings during the War of Austrian Succession, as opposed to only 30 during the Seven Years War (plus a further five formed in 1756 from the captured Saxon regiments).

2.  Destroyed reserve artillery batteries of Merkatz’s artillery reserve are counted against overall army morale, but don’t count against formation morale.

3.  Generallieutenant Leps’ Second Line was very widely split between the two wings and isn’t really viable to include in the scenario as a single, unified command.  I’ve therefore split it into its two constituent brigades, commanded by Generalmajors Lestwitz and Götze.

4.  The Prussian commander may alternatively remove the ‘Bonin’ Dragoon Regiment from Hertzberg’s command and return it to Geßler’s cavalry division prior to the start of the scenario (adjust the formation breakpoints accordingly).

5.  The ‘Anhalt-Dessau’ Infantry Regiment (IR 3) was most unusual in having three battalions instead of the usual two.  Otherwise, only the Garde-Regiment (IR 15) and some of the Garrison Regiments had more than two battalions.

Prussian Formation Breakpoints

Division                                    FMR     ⅓     ½     ¾
Hertzberg                                        39        13     20     30
Geßler                                              39        13     20     30
Wreech                                             39        13     20     30
Lehwaldt                                          40        14     20     30
Prinz Moritz                                    55         19     28     42
Lestwitz                                            20         7       10     15
Götze                                                 28        10      14     21
Dieury                                               16          6       8      12
Merkatz (Artillery Reserve)          12          –        –        –

Army                                          FMR      ¼      ⅓      ½
Prussian Army                               288        72     96     144

The Saxon-Austrian Army

General der Cavallerie Frederick Augustus Graf Rutowsky
(Average – 1 ADC)

Light Troops – Generalmajor Johann Paul Sybilski (Excellent)
8 Banners, Uhlan-Pulk ‘Błędowski’      [3/0]
8 Banners, ‘Blue’ Uhlan-Pulk ‘Rudnicki’      [3/0]
8 Banners, ‘Yellow’ Uhlan-Pulk ‘Bertuzewsky’      [3/0]
8 Banners, ‘Red’ Uhlan-Pulk      [3/0]

Avantgarde Cavalry – Generallieutenant Moritz Heinrich von Arnstedt (Poor)
4 Sqns, Chevauléger-Regiment ‘Prinz Carl’      [4/1]
4 Sqns, Chevauléger-Regiment ‘Rutowsky’      [4/1]
4 Sqns, Chevauléger-Regiment ‘Sybilski’      [4/1]

Right Wing Cavalry – General der Cavallerie Georg Wilhelm von Birkholz (Poor)
13 Coys, Austrian Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Hohenzollern’ (CR 3)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
13 Coys, Austrian Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Bentheim’ (CR 25)      [6/2 – Large Unit]
3 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Bestenbostel’ (CR 7)      [6/2]
3 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Ronnow’ (CR 4)      [6/2]
3 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Minckwitz’ (CR 6)      [6/2]
3 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Königlicher-Prinz’ (CR 2)      [6/2]
3 Sqns, Leibregiment zu Pferde (CR 1)      [6/2]

Left Wing Cavalry – Generallieutenant Carl Siegmund Johann von Arnim (Average)
4 Sqns, Carabiniersgarde-Regiment }      [6/2 – Large Unit]
1 Sqn, Garde du Corps }     [combined with above]
3 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Rechenberg’ (DR 1)      [5/2]
3 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Plötz’ (DR 4)      [5/2]
3 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Sonderhausen’ (DR 2)      [5/2]
3 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Arnim’ (DR 3)      [5/2]

Commanding the Infantry – General der Infanterie Johann Adam von Diemar

Grenadier Corps – Generalmajor Johann Adolph von Alnpeck (Good)
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Winckelmann’      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Friesen’      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Gersdorff’      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Ütterodt’      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Von der Brüggen’      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Gfug’      [5/2]
Austrian Grenadier-Bataillon ‘La Fée’      [5/2]

Right Wing of First Line – Generallieutenant von Haxthausen (Poor)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Alnpeck’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Alnpeck’      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Cosel’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Cosel’      [4/1]
I. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Rochow’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Rochow’      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Left Wing of First Line – Generallieutenant Karl Andreas von Jasmund (Good)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Brühl’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Brühl’      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Weißenberg’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Weißenberg’      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Königin’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Königin’      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment 2. Garde zu Fuß      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment 2. Garde zu Fuß      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment Leibgrenadiergarde      [5/2]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment Leibgrenadiergarde      [5/2]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Battery      [3/0]

Second Line – Generallieutenant Aemilius Friedrich von Rochow (Average)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Niesemeuchel’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Niesemeuchel’      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Franz von Pirch’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Franz von Pirch’      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Nicolaus von Pirch’      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Nicolaus von Pirch’      [4/1]

Artillery – Generallieutenant Johann Jacob von Wilster
Heavy Battery      [3/0]
Heavy Battery      [3/0]
Light Battery      [3/0]
Light Battery      [3/0]

Optional Troops

Aside from two cuirassier regiments and a grenadier battalion deployed with the Saxons, the bulk of the Austrian Corps was deployed some 2.5km distant from the Saxon right flank and remained completely inactive during the battle.  However, some players might like to include them as a ‘what-if’ option, so I list them here and have also included the modified army breakpoints below.  However, their inclusion in the scenario will probably make it too difficult for the Prussians to win.

If you insist on using the Austrians, I suggest bringing them on to table no earlier than Turn 8, on the eastern table-edge, south of the Zschoner-Grund, provided that an ADC has reached the eastern edge of the table, has then travelled on for one my turn and has successfully delivered the order.

Austrian Corps – Feldmarschallieutenant Ferdinand Maria Graf von Grünne (Poor)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Wurmbrand’ (IR 50)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Wurmbrand’ (IR 50)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Waldeck’ (IR 35)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Waldeck’ (IR 35)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Kheul’ (IR iii)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Kheul’ (IR iii)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bethlen’ (Hungarian) (IR 52)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bethlen’ (Hungarian) (IR 52)      [4/1]
III. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bethlen’ (Hungarian) (IR 52)      [4/1]
IV. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Bethlen’ (Hungarian) (IR 52)      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Saxon Heavy Battery      [3/0]
Saxon Heavy Battery      [3/0]
I. Bn, Warasdiner Croats      [3/0]
II. Bn, Warasdiner Croats      [3/0]

Saxon-Austrian Notes

1.  The Austrian Corps was actually commanded by Generalfeldwachtmeister Hermann Freiherr von Elverfeldt, as Grünne was sick.

2.  Querengässer lists the Saxon ‘L’Annonciade’ Cuirassier Regiment (CR 7) in Birkholz’s division. However, according to Pagan, the regimental title had changed from ‘L’Annonciade’ to ‘Bestenbostel’ in the year before Kesselsdorf, so I’ve used the latter name.

3.   The Austrian Corps also included Morocz’s hussar brigade (the ‘Ghilányi’ (HR iii) and ‘Esterházy’ (HR 24) Regiments), but these troops were scouting well forward of the right flank of the army.

4.  Destroyed reserve artillery batteries from Wilster’s artillery reserve are counted against overall army morale, but don’t count against formation morale.

5.  Saxon cuirassier regiments spent much of the war as small, two-squadron affairs and in game terms would ordinarily be paired up to make a combined unit.  However, by the time of Kesselsdorf they had managed to make good their losses from Hohenfriedburg and Soor and had actually managed to bring their regiments up to the full wartime establishment of three squadrons and 621 men apiece.  In October 1745 and for the first time, they paraded for the Elector at full strength.  The Carabiniersgarde however, was already a stronger unit, having four squadrons.  For game purposes I’ve also attached the single-squadron Garde du Corps, so this combined unit is classed as a Large Unit.

5.  The Saxon-Polish Chevauléger Regiments are rather difficult to quantify in game terms.  Theoretically light cavalry, the troopers were also termed ‘Dragoons’ and during the Seven Years War proved to be excellent battle cavalry when serving under Austrian command.  I would therefore class them as ‘Dragoons’ (Morale 5) during the SYW.  However, during the War of Austrian Succession they seem to have been used more in a lighter, advance guard/rear guard role than the Saxon Dragoon Regiments and proved fairly ineffective on the battlefield, being utterly shocked by their experience against Prussian infantry, so I’ve classed them as Light Cavalry (Morale 4).

6.  The Polish uhlan pulks are classed as Irregular Cavalry (Morale 3).  It’s not clear how they were organised; the basic sub-units were feudal companies/squadrons known as ‘Banners’ (Hof-Fahnen), which were frequently raised and disbanded at very short notice, each numbering some 75-100 men.  The ‘Red’ Pulk and ‘Blue’ Pulk are both mentioned as operating with eight Banners and up to 800 men apiece in 1745, though there is no information on the other two pulks, so I’ve speculatively shown them here as also having eight Banners apiece.  It’s not clear who the titular colonel of the ‘Red’ Pulk was prior to 1750, when they became the ‘Graf Renard’ Regiment (possibly Sybilski?).  This of course, is all rather academic from my point of view, as I can’t find any decent 15mm Saxon uhlan figures, so will have to use hussars or cossacks as proxies. 🙁  Then again, I suppose that the uhlans could simply be ignored, as they didn’t do much more than provide a picquet line that was immediately driven away.

7.  The Croat battalions of the Austrian Corps may each alternatively operate as two Skirmisher stands.

8.  The battalion guns from the second line have been gathered together to form the two light batteries in Wilster’s artillery reserve.

9.  The 1st Battalion of the ‘Nicolaus von Pirch’ Regiment from Rochow’s Second Line is initially deployed as a flank-guard at the southern end of Kesselsdorf.  This does place it well beyond the normal command-span of a divisional commander, but this is fine provided that Rochow’s division remains on Defend orders.

Saxon-Austrian Formation Breakpoints

Division                                FMR     ⅓     ½     ¾
Arnstedt                                       12        4        6       9
Birkholtz                                      42       14      21     31
Arnim                                           26        9       13     20
Alnpeck                                        35       12      18      27
Haxthausen                                 28       10      14      21
Jasmund                                       51       17      26      39
Rochow                                         24       8       12      18
Sybilski                                          12       4       6        9
Wilster (Artillery Reserve)         12       –        –        –

Army                                       FMR    ¼      ⅓      ½
Saxon-Austrian Army               242      61      81     121

Saxon-Austrian Formation Breakpoints Including Optional Austrian Corps

Division                                  FMR    ⅓      ½      ¾
Grünne (Austrian Corps)           56       19     28      42

Army                                        FMR    ¼      ⅓      ½
Saxon-Austrian Army                298      75     100   150

Terrain Notes

The table is 6×10 feet when using my usual ground-scale for Tricorn (infantry battalions having 60-80mm frontage).  You could probably compress the frontage down to 8 feet by reducing the gaps between units and formations, but any less than that is going to be tricky!

As it’s a mid-winter battle with some fairly unusual terrain considerations, I thought I’d detail the terrain here, rather than simply leave it to the usual Terrain Effects chart.

Snowy Ground

Although the terrain was largely frozen and covered in a light dusting of snow, it doesn’t seem to have affected mobility, other than where units had to traverse the icy banks of streams and the soggy ‘grunds’, which are covered below.  There is therefore no effect caused by the snow in open ground.


These are gently rolling, do not confer any advantage to the defender and only serve to block line of sight.  Note that the ‘Grunds’ are at a lower level than the surrounding landscape, so units may observe over any units positioned in a ‘Grund’.


These were narrow, soggy valleys, interspersed with patches of scrubby woodland and brambles, made even more difficult to traverse in places by steep banks that were covered in ice.  I would treat these as ‘Marsh’ (1/2 speed for infantry and impassable to artillery), though the cavalry did eventually manage to pass through such terrain, so perhaps allow cavalry to pass through at 1/4 speed and apply an automatic Stagger to any cavalry unit entering a ‘Grund’, which must then be rallied off after leaving.

Cavalry will fight in ‘Grunds’ using their Demoralised morale rating.


These were very full, with steep, icy banks and plenty of soggy ground on either side, so I’d make them a rather more severe obstacle than in the standard rules; 4″ penalty for troops and a full turn for artillery.

Battalion guns may not fire during the turn following that in which they forded a stream.

Roads & Fords/Bridges

As usual, roads do not affect tactical movement and largely serve merely as decoration, though they do allow troops in column/limbered formation to pass through streams, ‘Grunds’ and villages at normal speed.


Once again, I’m not really convinced that the ‘Built-Up Sector’ (BUS) concept defined in the original Shako rules is the way to go here and I’d be inclined to treat them more as ‘area terrain’ in the same manner as woodland, etc.  You can see from the map that Kesselsdorf was defended by a perimeter of grenadier battalions, whereas in Shako, this would probably be boiled down to a single BUS, which would then only be defended by a single battalion.  The BUS idea works better for small, fortified positions (such as all-round redoubts, Leuthen Church, Hougoumont, etc), but I don’t think it really works for straggly villages and towns.

Villages of the period and region tended to be very open, with well spread-out buildings and lots of gardens and open spaces between.  Villages are therefore passable to skirmishers and infantry in line at half speed and impassable to other troop types.  However, any units in column/limbered formation may pass through villages along roads at full speed, though may not charge while doing so.

Infantry in line have a -1 Protective Cover modifier when targeted by artillery or musketry (roundshot penetrates 2″ into the village) and a +1 defensive melee modifier.

The Saxon & Austrian grenadier battalions defending Kesselsdorf will receive a +2 defensive melee modifier if they remain in their original positions and facing.  This will be lost if they move and will not be regained.

Infantry may not receive any Flank or Rear Support Modifiers when defending a village (either on the edge or deep within).

Infantry attacking a village (either on the edge or deep within) may claim only the Rear Support Modifier, not Flank Support.

Infantry deep within villages may only see/shoot 2″.  Infantry on the edge of villages may fire without penalty.

Umpire’s Eyes Only

In a ‘normal’ game, it’s quite unlikely that the Saxon commanders would be quite as unpredictable or ‘offensively-minded’ as they were in reality!  So for a bit of ‘fun’ (for the umpire, anyway…), apply the following event, ESPECIALLY if you feel that the Saxons are doing rather better than they did historically:

In the event of the first Formation Morale failure by a Prussian infantry formation, Alnpeck’s Saxon-Austrian Grenadier Corps and Arnstedt’s Chevauléger Brigade will immediately go onto Attack orders.  The grenadiers’ attack-arrow will extend for 18 inches along the main Freiberger-Straße road, north-westward toward the Lerchenbusch valley, with that of the chevaulégers running parallel on their right.  This impetuous counter-attack may only be halted by a successful order-change or a Formation Morale failure, at which point the grenadiers and chevaulégers may withdraw back to their original positions and assume Defend orders.

And if you’re feeling particularly cruel…

In the event of the first Formation Morale failure by a Saxon formation, General von Diemar (Poor) will unilaterally order the left wing of General von Jasmund’s Division (the Grenadiergarde, 2. Garde zu Fuß and Königin Regiments, plus two battalion guns) to immediately go onto Attack orders against any Prussian formation of the Saxon player’s choice.  This detached group therefore becomes a new formation under Diemar (30 Morale Points), leaving the remainder as a separate formation under Jasmund (21 Morale Points).  Again, this order may only be halted by a successful order-change or a Formation Morale failure.

Anyway, that’s all for now, folks!  (and there was much rejoicing…)

In the meantime, I’ve still not painted anything since Christmas, thanks to my bloody eyes, so this year’s Annual Review is probably going to be a little sparse!  🙁  However, I’ve recently bought a couple of excellent board-games, Napoleon 1806 and Napoleon 1807, which I’m really enjoying from a solo-gaming point of view and look forward to playing with an actual human.  They’d also make cracking campaign-management systems for miniature games.  I now need to get the third and last game currently in the series, Napoleon 1815 and write some reviews…

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules), Tricorn Scenarios | Leave a comment

80 Years Ago Tonight…

I posted this five years ago, on the 75th anniversary, but I’m sure that my surviving reader won’t mind me repeating myself (they’re used to it by now)…

I’m just having a drink to the memory of my late father-in-law, Chief Petty Officer Harry James RN, chief engineer of a Royal Navy Landing Craft Flotilla, who 80 years ago tonight was being fished out of Portsmouth Harbour by the crew of a US Navy DUKW…

With the flotilla being held in total security lock-down in Portsmouth Harbour, he and his No.2 decided to row across from Portsmouth to Gosport, to ‘look for spare parts’. Having unsuccessfully searched most of Gosport’s licenced premises for spare parts, they realised that needed to get back to LCT(E) 413 in time to sail for Normandy, so made their way unsteadily back to His Majesty’s Rowing Boat… Only to find that some [insert an appropriate lower-decks naval epithet of your choice here] had nicked it…

Being trained Commandos and bolstered by the Courage bestowed on them by the Dutch, they decided to swim for it…

Had the USN not happened to be passing by, they might have become D-Day’s first casualties…

God Bless you Harry, and thanks for telling me that story… You certainly never told Jean or Sue! 🙂

Above:  Harry’s vessel on D-Day – LCT(E) 413.  This was a very rare vessel – only four LCT(E) were employed during the Normandy Landings and this (Harry’s photo – taken at Port Said in 1946) is the only photo I’ve ever seen of one.  It was the Emergency Repair (E) variant of the Landing Craft Tank (LCT) and instead of the tank-deck it had workshops for the at-seas repair of landing craft.  Unlike the standard LCT, there was also an upper deck with offices, cabins and stores, plus stowage and davits for its own motor-launch (and presumably Harry’s rowing-boat).

Posted in World War 2, World War 2 - Normandy 1944 | 2 Comments

Murfreesboro 1862: The Northern Flank (Scenario for Fire & Fury 2nd Edition)

As discussed last time, I’ve been using the northeast corner of my Battle of Murfreesboro/Stones River terrain boards (i.e. the highlighted area of the map below) to play a small ‘what-if’ scenario based on the northern flank of the battle, which is based on Troy Turner’s original Murfreesboro scenario from the Fire & Fury 2nd Edition Great Western Battles scenario book.

This is an interesting little scenario that’s ideal as a small club-night game, perhaps as an introductory game for new players of Fire & Fury 2nd Edition rules.  Thus far I’ve played it four times, with three victories for the Confederates and one victory for the Union.  The Union have a slight numerical superiority, as well as a firepower and leadership advantage, though the Confederates have the qualitative edge, so it’s pretty balanced.

Clearly, not many other people have bespoke terrain boards for the battle and might not in any case want to play on a triangular battlefield!  I’ve therefore drawn a stand-alone map for the scenario (below).  The table is 5 feet square when using the standard Fire & Fury ground-scale for 15mm figures, or 4 feet square if you’re using my smaller scale for 10mm figures.

If you wanted to cut down the table size, you could chop off the right-hand quarter or third of the table, perhaps using the Sinking Creek to define that table-edge and bringing Jackson’s brigade on to table as reinforcements on Turn 2.

The Nashville-Chattanooga Railroad defines the right-hand edge of the table, but doesn’t need to be included on the table.  It’s actually out-of-bounds to both sides and no units may march between Wagner’s and Peagram’s starting positions, as there are other neighbouring units blocking that route.

Historical Outline


On 30th December 1862, the Union Army of the Cumberland under ‘Old Rosie’ (Major General William S. Rosecrans), marching south-westward from Nashville, moved into positions facing General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee, which for the past month had been encamped along the Stones River, just to the west of Murfreesboro.

Rosecrans had 41,000 men to Bragg’s 35,000 and was generally better equipped, though Rosecrans’ army was largely inexperienced and was plagued by Confederate cavalry-raids against its lines of communication.


Assessing that they had an advantage over the other, Rosecrans and Bragg both decided to launch a ‘left hook’ attack against their enemy’s right flank on the morning of the 31st December.  Rosecrans in particular had decided that Wayne’s Hill, on the Confederate right flank, would make an excellent position from which the powerful Union artillery arm could enfilade the Confederate army.  He therefore ordered Major General Thomas L. Crittenden’s Left Wing Corps to take two of his divisions (Thomas J. Wood’s 1st Division and Horatio P. Van Cleve’s 3rd Division) across the Stones River and eject the Confederate forces positioned there (Wayne’s Hill being occupied by elements of Major General John C. Breckenridge’s Division of Lieutenant General William J. Hardee’s 2nd Corps).


In reality, the Confederates got their attack in first and rapidly rolled up the Union right wing and centre, before finally running out of steam along the line of the Nashville-Chattanooga Railroad.  With the situation rapidly deteriorating, Rosecrans therefore cancelled Crittenden’s attack and it was these troops who were instrumental in halting the Confederate rampage.

This scenario therefore examines what might have happened, had Crittenden’s attack not been halted and if he had been given free reign to attack Breckenridge at Wayne’s Hill.  Of course, this would historically have been catastrophic for the rest of the army, but what the heck…

Scenario Outline


This scenario lasts 12 turns.  The Union side moves first.

Wayne’s Hill is classed as a Key Position.  The Confederate side will suffer a -1 Manoeuvre Modifier if the Union side manages to unlimber an undamaged and unsilenced battery anywhere on Wayne’s Hill.

Victory will go to the Union side if they have an undamaged and unsilenced battery unlimbered on Wayne’s Hill at the end of Turn 12.

Victory will go to the Confederate side if the Union victory conditions are not met.

The Heavy Losses threshold is 14 stands for both sides (25% for the Union and 30% for the Rebels).

On Turn 8, the Union side will automatically apply the penalty for Heavy Losses due to the deteriorating situation on the rest of the battlefield.  If they also reach their Heavy Losses threshold, this will then become Greater Losses.

Orders of Battle

The following number of stands is required:

Infantry – 45 Union & 33 Confederate
Infantry Command – 7 Union & 5 Confederate
Cavalry – 4 Confederate
Cavalry Command – 1 Confederate
Dismounted Cavalry – 3 Confederate
Dismounted Cavalry Command – 1 Confederate
Horse-Holder – 1 Confederate
Artillery (gun with limber) – 6 Union & 2 Confederate
Corps Leader – 1 Union
Division Leader – 2 Union & 1 Confederate
Exceptional Brigade Leader – 1 Confederate

The following orders of battle use the same strengths and stats as Troy Turner’s original scenario, with the exception of Peagram’s cavalry brigade, which I extrapolated from a history of the cavalry operations surrounding the battle.  Note that the Union forces have the advantage of numbers and firepower, but the Confederate forces generally have better training and better morale (in most cases the Union brigades will become Worn and then Spent more quickly than their Confederate counterparts).

The unit labels can be found at the bottom of this article.  Just right-click on the labels and save as a picture.

Union Order of Battle

Left Wing Corps – Major General Thomas L. Crittenden (Corps Leader)

1st Division – Brigadier General Thomas J. Wood (Division Leader)
Hascall’s Brigade – Green 8/6/4 (Rifled Muskets)
Wagner’s Brigade – Green 8/6/4 (Rifled Muskets)
Harker’s Brigade – Green 9/7/5 (Rifled Muskets)
8th Indiana Battery – Experienced (Rifle & Smoothbore)
6th Ohio Battery – Experienced (Rifle & Smoothbore)

2nd Division – Brigadier General John M. Palmer (elements)
Battery H, 4th US Artillery – Veteran (Rifle & Napoleon) [off-table artillery support]

3rd Division – Brigadier General Horatio P. Van Cleve (Division Leader)
S. Beatty’s Brigade – Experienced 6/5/3 (Rifled Muskets)
Fyffe’s Brigade – Experienced 4/3/2 (Rifled Muskets)
Price’s Brigade – Green 9/8/7 (Mixed Muskets)
7th Indiana Battery – Experienced (Rifle & Smoothbore)
3rd Wisconsin Battery – Experienced (Rifle & Smoothbore)

Army Troops
Morton’s Pioneer Brigade – Green 8/5/3 (Rifled Muskets)
The Chicago Board of Trade Battery – Green (Light Rifles)

Confederate Order of Battle

II Corps – Lieutenant General William J. Hardee (Elements)

Breckenridge’s Division – Major General John C. Breckenridge (Division Leader)
Adams’ Brigade – Experienced 7/6/4 (Mixed Muskets)
Jackson’s Brigade – Experienced 4/2/1 (Mixed Muskets)
Palmer’s Brigade – Experienced 8/6/4 (Smoothbore Muskets)
Preston’s Brigade – Experienced 10/8/5 (Smoothbore Muskets)
Hanson’s Brigade (Exceptional Brigadier) – Veteran 9/6/4 (Rifled Muskets)
Cobb’s Battery – Veteran (Smoothbore)
Washington’s Battery – Crack (Rifle & Smoothbore)

Army Troops
Peagram’s Cavalry Brigade – Experienced 5/4/3 (Shotguns & Hunting Rifles)

Scenario Stuff



Deploy both sides as per the map.  This is for the most part self-explanatory, though note that most of T. Wood’s Division (Harker’s & Hascall’s Brigades, plus divisional artillery) starts the scenario marching north in Field Column formation, intending to cross the Stones River at McFadden’s Ford.

The artillery batteries shown on the map as being unlimbered may be rotated in position before the start of the scenario.

Washington’s Confederate Battery may alternatively start the game unlimbered.

Optional Rules

Charging Confederate infantry do use the Rebel Yell optional rule.

Confederate artillery batteries do not apply the Faulty Fuses optional rule.

Off-Table Artillery Support

Van Cleve

Battery H of the 4th US Artillery (Palmer’s Division) is firing from high ground to the west of the railroad and may fire at any target positioned on Wayne’s Hill with 3 Fire Points.

Confederate artillery deployed on Wayne’s Hill may conduct counter-battery against Battery H.  Cobb’s Battery will inflict 1 Fire Point, while Washington’s Battery will inflict 2 Fire Points.

Battery H may be silenced, damaged or destroyed by counter-battery fire and may run low on ammunition.  If silenced or low on ammunition, Battery H may be withdrawn to recover and will not be able to fire while withdrawing or being redeployed, though may of course be fired upon during those actions.  I suggest using a battery model and markers on the table-edge to illustrate the current status of Battery H.

Battery H is automatically assumed to be under the command of a general for the purposes of unlimbering after recovering from being silenced or running low on ammo.

Battery H will cease fire after Turn 8, due to the deteriorating situation to the south, forcing it to withdraw (remove from play).

Do not count Battery H when assessing Heavy Losses.

Morton’s Pioneer Brigade


Morton’s Pioneer Brigade was formed from the massed Pioneers from every infantry regiment in the Army of the Cumberland and did not therefore formally come under Crittenden’s command.  It may therefore be manoeuvred normally, but will not gain any Manoeuvre bonus from the presence of any general.

The Chicago Board of Trade Battery

This battery was the only ‘pure’ battery of rifled artillery in the battle, though was an army-level battery and did not normally come under Crittenden’s command.  However, for scenario purposes it classes as corps artillery and may be placed by any Union leader or brigadier.

Peagram’s Cavalry Brigade


Peagram’s cavalry had spent the previous days performing a rather ineffectual reconnaissance and on the morning of the battle was resting and in reserve, being camped roughly in the position shown on the scenario map.  Historically, this brigade played no part in the battle, though its proximity meant that it would surely have been engaged, had Union forces tried to roll up the Confederate right flank.

Therefore, at the start of each Confederate turn starting on Turn 2, roll a D10.  If the number is less than the current turn-number, Peagram’s brigade will be released (as usual, a rolled 0 counts as 10).  Peagram will be automatically released immediately after the first Union unit sets foot on Wayne’s Hill (however briefly).

As an army-level asset, Peagram’s brigade may not receive any Manoeuvre bonus from Breckenridge.

Peagram’s brigade may fight dismounted.

Terrain Stuff

Out-of-Bounds Areas – No Confederate units may cross the Stones River except Peagram’s Cavalry Brigade, which may only cross the ford near Adams’ Brigade’s starting position to reach the eastern side of the river.

Additionally, no units from either side may move along the railroad, through the ‘gap’ between the Stones River and the edge of the table, west of Wayne’s Hill.  This area is covered by other units and Confederate fieldworks

Woods – Although it’s the middle of winter, the woods are still full of underbrush, so the line of sight through woods is limited to 2 inches (4cm if you’re using my ground-scale for 10mm figures) and may be traversed as Broken Ground.  Woods provide a -1 Partial Cover shooting modifier and a +1 Favourable Ground defensive melee modifier.

Stones River & Fords – Stones River is impassable to all units except at the marked fords, where it may be passed by units in March Column formation, as Broken Ground.  Where a ford is defended, units may use Storming Column formation and the defender will receive a +1 Favourable Ground melee modifier.

Streams – Streams are passable to all troops as Broken Ground, though where the stream is within woodland it becomes Rough Ground.  A defender will receive a +1 Favourable Ground melee modifier for defending a stream.

Hills – The hills in this scenario are gently rolling and while they provide an elevated position for artillery (thus enabling Plunging Fire), they are traversed at the normal movement rate and do not provide a Favourable Ground melee modifier.


Fieldworks – Hanson’s fieldworks on Wayne’s Hill are only hasty scrapes (and perhaps not quite as impressive as I modelled them!) and provide a -1 Partial Cover modifier for firing and a +1 Favourable Ground modifier to any unit positioned behind them (note that these modifiers only work in one direction!).  An unit traversing the Fieldworks must do so at Broken Ground rate.

Roads – All marked roads are in good condition and units may use the Road movement rate when moving along them for the entire turn.

Friendly Table Edges – Confederate units will retreat toward the southern (bottom) edge of the map.  Union units will retreat toward the nearest ford to their rear and then to the western (left) edge of the map.

Unit Labels

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Fire & Fury (Brigade) Scenarios, Scenarios | 2 Comments

Murfreesboro 1862: The Northern Flank

As mentioned in my Review of 2023, I’ve repeatedly used one small corner of my Murfreesboro demo game terrain as a small, ‘what-if’ scenario to introduce new players to Fire & Fury 2nd Edition rules, though completely failed to record those games!  However, I recently dragged the scenario out again at W.A.S.P. and this time remembered to take some photos.

The original Murfreesboro (Stones River) scenario by Troy Turner can be found in the excellent Fire & Fury 2nd Edition Great Western Battles scenario book.  I slightly adapted and expanded that scenario for my own demo game and this small scenario uses the corner of the map highlighted below.  I’ll present the full ‘vignette’ scenario next time (once I’ve drawn a separate squared-off map), including unit-labels for those who want to give it a go, but for our purposes the game was fought on the triangular area bounded by the railway and the north-west corner of the table.

Historically, General Rosecrans’ Union Army of the Cumberland, marching from Nashville in the depths of winter, had encountered General Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee drawn up in defensive positions just outside the city of Murfreesboro.  Deciding to launch a left-hook against the Rebels on the morning of 31st December 1862, General Crittenden’s Left Wing was in the process of crossing over the Stones River at McFadden’s Ford, aiming to assault the Rebel right flank atop Wayne’s Hill.  However, the Rebels got their own left-hook in first, completely crushing the Union right wing!  Rosecrans therefore cancelled his own attack and those troops were then used to hold the line along the railway.

In this version of history, we ignore the disaster afflicting Rosecrans’ right wing and instead speculate as to what might have happened if Crittenden was permitted to press home his attack on Breckenridge’s Confederate division around Wayne’s Hill.  Crittenden’s Left Wing has already deployed Van Cleve’s Division (Price’s, S. Beatty’s and Fyffe’s Brigades) across to the east bank of the Stones River, while most of T. Wood’s Division (Harker’s and Hascall’s Brigades) is deployed in column, marching north toward McFadden’s Ford.  Wood has left Wagner’s Brigade to defend the Round Forest and the ford in front of it.  Each division consists of largely green troops, though they are reasonably well-armed and are well-supported by artillery.  In addition, there are two army-level assets in support of the attack; Morton’s Pioneer Brigade and the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, which is the only ‘pure’ battery of rifled artillery in the battle.  Battery ‘H’ of the 4th US Artillery will also provide support from a nearby hilltop, though for scenario purposes may not move from that position.  No other units south of the railway are involved in this scenario.

On the Confederate side, Breckenridge’s Division starts the scenario with three brigades on table; Hanson’s brigade of veterans defends some hastily-built breastworks atop Wayne’s Hill, together with Cobb’s Battery.  Hanson himself is an Exceptional brigadier.  In support to the rear are Adams’ and Palmer’s Brigades.  Preston’s and Jackson’s Brigades will arrive later as reinforcements, along with Washington’s Battery and Peagram’s Cavalry Brigade.  The Confederates are all experiences troops, though suffer from a lack of modern firearms, having a lot of smoothbore muskets and artillery.

Above:  The starting positions as seen from the northern end of the battlefield, behind Union lines.  Van Cleve’s Division is on the left, with Price’s Brigade deployed in column on the left flank, then the 7th Indiana and 3rd Wisconsin Batteries and S. Beatty’s Brigade.  Fyffe’s small brigade is marching up from McFadden’s Ford.

On the right, Morton’s Pioneer Brigade and the Chicago Board of Trade Battery are deployed near McFadden’s Farm, guarding the fords.  Arching up the road toward them come Hascall’s Brigade, the 8th Indiana Battery, Harker’s Brigade and the 6th Ohio Battery.  Wagner’s Brigade remains in the Round Forest, while Battery ‘H’ of the 4th US Artillery stands on the high ground.

Above:  A close-up of Morton’s Pioneers.  This brigade was something of a throw-back to the ‘converged’ elite battalions of previous wars, being assembled from the Pioneers of every infantry battalion in the Army of the Cumberland.  They would not have carried colours, so I’ve given them the flag that was recorded as being carried by the brigade headquarters in 1864; namely a rectangular pennant, vertically striped blue/white/blue, with a central device of blue crossed axes, surrounded by a blue wreath.

Above:  Hanson’s Brigade and Cobb’s Battery defend their breastworks on Wayne’s Hill.  As with many other Confederate formation-commanders in the Western Theatre, General Breckenridge had designed his own Battle Flag, which was carried by units under his command.  This consisted of a plain blue field, charged with a simple cross in red, studded with 13 white stars.  Some sources also show a white border.

One of the great advantages of wargaming the ACW is that it often only requires you to swap a command-stand over, to create a whole new unit! 🙂

Above:  A short time later, the Union artillery has all deployed and is hammering Wayne’s Hill at long range.  While Van Cleve’s Division advances on Wayne’s Hill from the north, Hascall’s Brigade, along with Morton’s Pioneers, crosses over the Stones River to support Van Cleve, while General Wood takes Harker’s Brigade down to Wagner’s position, intending to force a crossing at the ford in front of Hanson’s breastworks.

Above:  Another view of the Union advance.  On Van Cleve’s left, Price’s Brigade has deployed into supported line formation and aims to threaten the Confederate right flank.  Beatty meanwhile, is pushing directly toward Wayne’s Hill, with Fyffe close behind.

The sharp-eyed might notice that the Union generals are accompanied by red-white-blue horizontally-striped flags.  While we don’t know what headquarters flags (if any) were used by the Army of the Cumberland in 1862, they had formalised a system of flags by the middle of 1863.  By then, the Left Wing had become the new XXI Corps and adopted this headquarters flag.  The divisional headquarters carried a similar flag, displaying one, two or three black stars to show the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Divisions.

Above:  Although it’s firing at relatively long range, the sheer weight of Union artillery fire (six batteries) quickly silences Cobb’s Battery and then starts to take a steady toll on Hanson’s men.

Above:  Breckenridge deploys the rest of his division to face the Union attack.  On the right, Palmer’s Brigade wheels right to secure Hanson’s right flank, while Preston’s Brigade moves up in support.  On the left, Breckenridge decides to keep Adams’ and Jackson’s Brigades in reserve, in the dead ground behind Wayne’s Hill.

Above:  As Union forces push forward toward Wayne’s Hill, Breckenridge similarly pushes his right wing forward into the woods to meet them, hoping to negate the advantage afforded to the Union by their large quantities of modern, long-ranged rifled muskets.

Above:  Washington’s Battery has joined Cobb’s Battery on Wayne’s Hill, but is similarly being hammered by the Union guns.  Hanson is also being rapidly ground down by the incessant fire.  The Rebel guns reply, but only manage to silence one or two of the Union batteries for a short time.  Breckenridge meanwhile, continues to maintain a large reserve in the lee of Wayne’s Hill and this has now been reinforced by Peagram’s Cavalry Brigade.

Peagram has the option to dismount his troopers and fight on foot, though with only shotguns, pistols and civilian hunting rifles, they are unlikely to make much impact fighting as infantry.  He therefore decides to remain mounted as a counter-attack force.

Above:  The Union infantry continue to push forward and are now starting to form a coherent wall of blue in front of the Rebels.

Above:  As the Bluebellies get closer, Breckenridge does something rather unexpected… He orders Palmer’s and Preston’s Brigade forward to the edge of the woods!  His aide asks “Are you sure that’s wise, Sir?”  However, these is method in his madness; the Union infantry have now masked their supporting artillery and the Rebel infantry will still gain the benefit of cover from the trees, while the Bluebellies will be very much in the open.

Above:  Another view of the gathering storm… On the right of the Union line are Price’s and Fyffe’s Brigades from Van Cleve’s Division, then Morton’s independent Pioneer Brigade and Hascall’s Brigade from Wood’s Division.  Plunging into the woods and crossing the tributary ahead of Hascall is Beatty’s Brigade from Van Cleve’s Division.

Above:  On the other side of the Stones River, Harker’s Brigade of Wood’s Division waits, hidden in the riverside woods, formed into a column and ready to assault across the ford when the order is given.  Wagner’s Brigade stands by to back them up.

Above:  Hanson’s Brigade meanwhile, is being ripped apart by the Union guns and is now ‘Spent’ in Fire & Fury terms.  The breastworks provide scant cover and it’s only their experience and the presence of their exceptional brigadier that keeps them from running.  However, movement in the trees to their front signals that the Union assault is imminent.

Meanwhile, on Hanson’s left, Adams’ Brigade moves forward to cover the ford.  Adams becomes the target of every Union gun as he crosses the crest, but by some miracle, manages to reach the safety of the riverside trees unscathed.

Above:  Breckenridge continues to observe developments from Wayne’s Hill.  By some miracle, both of his batteries are in action, though have been hammered by Union counter-battery fire.  Nevertheless, the Rebel gunners still manage to silence some of the Union batteries at extreme range.

Above:  At last and after considerable artillery preparation, Crittenden launches his assault!  Hascall’s and Morton’s Brigades throw themselves against Palmer’s Rebels on the edge of the tree-line.

Above:  On the Union left flank, Price’s and Fyffe’s Brigades are reluctant to close with Preston’s Rebels and instead exchange desultory fire through the trees.

Above:  There is no such reluctance at Wayne’s Hill however, as General Wood draws his sabre and leads Harker’s Brigade in a frontal charge through the ford and up the slope to the breastworks!  Generals Crittenden and Van Cleve similarly join Beatty’s Brigade as they charge from the woods against Hanson’s right flank.  Wagner’s Brigade meanwhile, moves forward from the Round Forest to engage Adams with musketry from across the river.

Above:  Back on the Union right flank, Price gets the worst of his firefight with Preston’s Rebs, while Morton’s Pioneers are stopped in their tracks by the weight of fire from Palmer.  However, Hascall’s Brigade has managed to avoid Rebel fire and now charges home against Palmer’s left flank!

Above:  On Wayne’s Hill, a devastating flanking volley from Adams causes massive casualties on Harker’s column and comes within a whisker of killing General Wood, as an ADC takes a bullet meant for the General!  Harker’s column stops short of the breastworks in considerable disorder.  However, Hanson’s weakened and demoralised brigade is only able to offer up token resistance against Beatty’s Brigade, which is soon storming across the breastwork!

Above:  In the woods, Hascall’s charge initially bogs down into a brutal slugging match along the banks of the stream, as neither side breaks.  However, Palmer’s Rebels are eventually forced to give ground and retreat back up the slope of Wayne’s Hill, leaving Preston to fight on alone in the woods.

[In game terms, the mêlée was initially a draw, despite Palmer having the advantage of both ground and troop quality!  Bad luck meant that he then lost the second round of combat, despite still having a net +2 advantage.]

Above:  At the breastwork meanwhile, Hanson initially holds off Beatty’s charge, but attritional losses mean that Hanson is now outnumbered 2:1 and with the Union troops being personally encouraged by both their divisional AND corps commander, Hanson’s remaining men reluctantly retreat from their breastwork.

[In game terms, Hanson’s Rebels were on a net -1, due to being Veterans, led by an Exceptional Brigadier on Favourable Ground, though being Spent, Disordered and outnumbered 3:2.  Hascall’s Bluebellies were on a net +4 for being Fresh, Supported and having two Attached Leaders, though being Green troops.  By some miracle, Hanson managed to pull off a draw in the first round!  However, the associated losses meant that he was now outnumbered 2:1, so suffered an extra -1, though this was offset by the Union now also having an additional -1 for being Disordered, so it was net -2 v +3.  This time Hanson’s luck didn’t hold and his brigade was thrown out of the position with only 2 troop stands (and Hascall) remaining.]

Above:  The situation was now dire for Breckenridge’s Rebels.  Hanson’s Brigade was now hors de combat and both artillery batteries were damaged.  Adams and Preston were both now out on a limb, isolated on each flank.  Breckenridge’s only fresh reserves were Jackson’s tiny infantry brigade and Peagram’s similarly-weak cavalry brigade.  Although Crittenden had not yet fully achieved his victory conditions (to clear Wayne’s Hill and unlimber an undamaged battery on it), Breckenridge conceded defeat.

Thanks to Al and Jack for a great game!  Congratulations to Al for achieving the first Union victory in four attempts at playing that scenario and congratulations to Jack for a highly-creditable performance in his very first ACW game. 🙂

Scenario to follow!

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games | 3 Comments

Reinforcements for King Louis (Part 8: More Swiss, Artillery, etc.)

Apologies once again for the slow pace here of late.  The wargaming mojo has been at rock-bottom just lately, but I’m sure it’ll pick up again.  There is however, a vast raft of blog-stuff to catch up on, starting with these Swiss infantry and French heavy artillery I painted late last year for the Christmas Warburg game.

Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to paint anything since Christmas due to my bloody eyes and I was struggling to paint these troops, so they are far from my best.  I’ll stick them on here anyway…

Now as everyone knows, the Swiss regiments in the service of France wore red coats and as a result, I and virtually every other wargamer since the dawn of time, have painted them the typical poppy red shade, as per Funcken, Osprey, Blandford, et al.  However, since I painted these Swiss, an update has appeared on the excellent Kronoskaf website, showing five of the twelve Swiss regiments in French service as having worn coats of Garance red (namely a deep crimson shade), which is most interesting and I’d not read that anywhere before.

According to this new information, the Boccard, Reding, Castellas, Planta/d’Arbonnier and Diesbach Regiments wore coats of Garance red, while the Jenner/d’Erlach, Wittmer/Waldner, Courten, Salis de Mayenfeld, Lochmann, Eptingen and Hallwyl Regiments wore the more typical poppy red.  This is a bit of a bugger, as all four Swiss regiments in my collection (Reding, Planta, Castellas and Diesbach) are now dressed in the wrong shade of red…


Anyway, as usual these are the excellent Eureka Miniatures 18mm figures, though there might be the odd spare Blue Moon 15mm command figure mixed in there somewhere (15mm or 18mm, they’re exactly the same size and mix extremely well).  I specifically used the Eureka French infantry with coats turned back (code 300SYW401) for the Diesbach Regiment, in order to show the lacing of their waistcoats.  The flags are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The Castellas Regiment.  The French Army of the 18th Century was a strange milieu of non-standard organisational oddities and the Swiss regiments in French service were no exception.  At full strength, French infantry battalions (including the Scottish and Irish in French service) each comprised 13 companies, including one company of grenadiers, totaling 35 officers and 685 men.  The Swiss had only five large companies per battalion, totaling 30 officers and 690 men (both organisations therefore totaled 720 of all ranks).  Swiss grenadiers were mixed into the ‘line’ companies and would be grouped as a separate grenadier company in wartime.

The German, Walloon, Liégeois and Italian regiments of the French Army also had their own organisations of 6, 8 or 9 companies per battalion (with grenadier companies being formed in wartime, like the Swiss), though all organisations had roughly the same strength (which was very rarely achieved in wartime!).

Above:  The Castellas Regiment.  All Swiss regiments in French service had red coats of one shade or another(!) and white ‘metal’. All but one regiment had blue facings (Eptingen having yellow).  The Castellas Regiment as mentioned above, should be wearing Garance red coats with blue cuffs, coat-linings, small-clothes and shoulder-strap.  There was also very fine blue piping around the buttonholes, though these buttonholes are really too fine to depict in 15/18mm.  Equipment was ‘natural’ leather, though one source suggests white.  Gaiters were white.

Regiments in French service varied wildly from one to four battalions per regiment, being grouped in wartime into brigades, ideally of four battalions though brigades of five or six battalions are not unknown.  At the very start of the Seven Years War, the Swiss Jenner, Diesbach and Courten Regiments each had three battalions, but these were reduced in April 1756 to two battalions apiece; probably due to being understrength and in order to quickly field two full-strength battalions.  All other Swiss regiments had two battalions, except for the Hallwyll Regiment, which was a single-battalion curiosity employed by the Navy as marines in Louisiana and the Caribbean.

Above:  The Castellas Regiment.  As always, the livery worn by drummers is very difficult to discover, so for all four of my Swiss regiments I went with a simpler version of the style worn by the Swiss Guards; namely the same uniform colourings, though with white/silver lace.

However, since painting these, another wargamer sent me a description of a drummer of the Castellas Regiment wearing a blue coat with red cuffs and lapels, white turnbacks, white small-clothes and regimental lace of white, worked through with crimson, blue and yellow.  The drum body had red and white flames, with hoops in red and white diagonal stripes.  This is rather odd, as blue livery-coats were normally the preserve of Royal Livery and only therefore worn by Royal or Provincial regiments.

[Edited to add]  After posting this article, I suddenly remembered that on my phone is a photo of a surviving Ordonnance flag of the Castellas Regiment, which I photographed in Les Invalides last July.  The flag probably pre-dates the Seven Years War, as it lacks the motto Castella Tuetur Propugnacula, which was painted on the vertical and horizontal arms of the central white cross.

Above:  The Diesbach Regiment.  This regiment was one of four at the disaster of Rossbach in 1757, which managed to hold off the Prussian cavalry and march off the field in good order (the others being the Swiss Planta Regiment, the Imperial Blau-Würzburg Regiment and the Reichsarmee’s Hesse-Darmstädt ‘Prinz Georg’ Regiment).

Above:  The Diesbach Regiment.  Again as mentioned above, the Diesbach Regiment should be wearing Garance red coats.  Cuffs, collar, linings, shoulder-strap and small-clothes were blue.  The waistcoat had seams and buttonholes decorated with white lace.  Again, the buttonholes on the breast were decorated with fine blue piping, but this is too small to represent.  All I’ve been able to glean about the drummers is that they wore red coats and had red drums, decorated with the Diesbach arms.

Above:  The Marquis de Castries.  Our Warburg refight featured Charles Eugène Gabriel de la Croix, Marquis de Castries.  At Warburg he participated in a relatively small role, commanding the massed companies of grenadiers and chasseurs; initially against the Légion-Britannique on the French right flank, but then marching to face the emerging threat posed by the British grenadiers on the extreme left flank.

I had a spare French cavalry officer figure, so decided to paint him as the Marquis de Castries, wearing his red regimental uniform from the Gendarmerie de France, as shown in his famous portrait (shown on the right)…

Above:  The Marquis de Castries.  However… I must confess that he wasn’t actually appointed as Commandant of the Gendarmerie de France until 1770 and would not therefore have been wearing this uniform during the Seven Years War!  He probably therefore, wore the standard blue uniform of a French Lieutenant-Général or the unusual iron-grey regimental uniform of the Mestre-de-Camp-Général Cavalry Regiment, of which he was Commandant from May 1759.  This figure will therefore continue to serve as the commander of the Gendarmerie de France whenever that massive regiment appears on table.

Above:  12-pounder Heavy Artillery.  Regular sufferers will know that I’ve covered the French artillery arm before, but I needed to expand it further for our Warburg refight, so here are another three de Vallière 12-pounder guns.

Above:  12-pounder Heavy Artillery.  The Eureka French artillery figures are stripped down to their red waistcoats for their heavy work on the guns, so would actually be useable as artillerymen of almost any nation.  However, this time I’ve mixed in some artillery officers, who are still wearing their blue coats.

Above:  12-pounder Heavy Artillery.  As discussed before, the soft metal used by Eureka gives fantastic detail, but the thin artillery tools are therefore impossibly floppy and need replacing with brass rod.

Anyway, that’s it for now!  Last month at the Wargames Association of South Pembrokeshire (W.A.S.P.) I put on my small ‘what-if’ vignette scenario for the northern flank at Stones River (again), but this time remembered to take photos for an AAR, so I’ll try to post that soon, along with the scenario.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War French Army, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 10 Comments

‘King George Commands And We Obey’ (Part 6: Regiments of Horse and Dragoon Guards)

Please try to control your excitement and do not adjust your set, but here are some more British cavalry regiments for the Seven Years War!

As discussed last time, I had the sudden urge late last year, to paint all the British cavalry regiments for the Battle of Warburg, essentially doubling what I already had painted (for the Battle of Minden, as shown in Part 3).  That now leaves me with only one British cavalry regiment left to paint; the 15th Light Dragoons (Eliott’s) and once that’s done I may as well paint the remaining ten British infantry battalions as well (the 5th, 8th, 11th, 24th, 33rd & 50th Regiments of Foot, Daulhat’s Grenadier Battalion and the 2nd Battalions of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Foot Guards).

In Part 5 I looked at the three extra Dragoon regiments (1st, 7th & 11th) I painted for Warburg, as well as Colonel Edward Harvey of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons.  This time I’m looking at the 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards (‘The Bays’), 3rd Horse (‘Carabiniers’) and 4th Horse (‘The Black Horse’).  These are all Eureka Miniatures 18mm figures, with flags by Maverick Models.

If you’re interested, the painting (by Simkin) above shows the 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards at Warburg, being led forward in the charge by the Marquess of Granby (the distant figure dressed in blue).  If you weren’t interested… I don’t care… 😉

Above:  The 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards (‘The Bays’).  The three regiments of Dragoon Guards originally started life as regiments of Horse (i.e. heavy, shock cavalry, the equivalent of Cuirassiers in other armies) and were still known as such during the first half of the 1740s.  However, with the War of Austrian Succession becoming ruinously expensive, the Army was desperate to save pennies wherever it could and the regiments of Horse were becoming an expense that could no longer be sustained.  They cost far more to maintain than the regiments of Dragoons, who were increasingly being asked to perform the same shock cavalry role and performing it admirably.  Therefore, in 1746 the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Regiments of Horse became the new 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments of Dragoon Guard (some sources say that Christmas Day 1745 was the actual date of transformation).  They would still perform the same role, though would now be paid exactly the same as the Dragoons.  The title ‘Dragoon Guards’ was created as a salve to their wounded pride.

However, not all regiments of Horse were converted to Dragoon Guards.  The 1st Horse (‘The Blues’) became the new Royal Horse Guards.  The 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th Regiments of Horse meanwhile, were part of the Irish Establishment and Dublin simply refused to allow the change.  These regiments therefore became the new 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Regiments of Horse, though remained junior in order of precedence to the Dragoon Guards.

The 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards by Simkin (after Morier)

The 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards (‘The Bays’), despite having the formal title ‘Queen’s’ and the nickname ‘Bays’, were frequently referred to in the old manner, by the name of their Colonel.  The Colonel at the start of the war was the Honourable William Herbert, though when he died in 1757 the title passed to Lord George Sackville.  However, following Sackville’s disgrace and dismissal from the Army following the Battle of Minden in 1759, the title passed to the Honourable John Waldegrave.  I profiled my Sackville figure in Part 2 of this series; I should have said then that he could equally be used on-table as Waldegrave, who became a key cavalry commander in the latter half of the Seven Years War in Germany.

The regiment was organised the same as most other British cavalry regiments of the period; in six troops, grouped into two squadrons.  As in the Dragoon regiments, a seventh (Light) Troop was added during the 1750s.  In 1759 and just before deployment to Germany, the regiment is recorded as fielding 390 men in the six ‘heavy’ troops, though it isn’t clear if this includes the officers, SNCOs, musicians, etc (these were often not included in strength-returns and the term ‘men’ often just refers to a regiment’s non-specialist Privates and Corporals).  This was probably augmented again before deployment, so the regiment probably fielded around 400 men in Germany, much the same as most other regiments.  The Light Troop at full strength is recorded as having 100 men of all ranks, though this wasn’t deployed to Germany, instead staying in Britain and occasionally being deployed with other Light Troops on amphibious expeditions around the French coast.

Above:  The 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards (‘The Bays’).  Although it’s true that their role didn’t change when they became Dragoon Guards, the uniform did change to the Dragoon style, though with the addition of infantry-style lapels to the coat.  The British Army actually called these ‘half-lapels’, to distinguish them from the ‘full’ lapels, extending down the full length of the coat, as worn by the regiments of Horse.  Buttonhole lace and aiguillettes were the same as the Dragoons (though now displayed on the lapels), including the chevrons of lace on cuffs, sleeves and coat-tails.  They also wore the single Dragoon-style cross-belt, buckled at the front (as mentioned before, I should have used Dragoon figures and painted on the lapels, but I foolishly bought Horse figures with their double, unbuckled cross-belts).

The regiment had buff facings and yellow ‘metal’.  The regimental lace (edging the horse-furniture and decorating the musicians’ uniforms) was yellow with a black central stripe.  Although their role had not theoretically changed from that of the Horse, there is no record of the Dragoon Guards ever receiving an issue of breast-plates when they were deployed to Germany, whereas the Royal Horse Guards and Regiments of Horse most definitely did.  They may however, have worn ‘secrets’ (iron skull-caps) in their hats, as possibly did the Dragoons.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, the regiment rode bay horses, hence their nickname of ‘The Bays’ or ‘The Queen’s Bays’.

The Dragoon Guards did not have trumpeters.  Instead they had Dragoon-style drummers, plus kettle-drummers and oboists.  These musicians wore livery-coats in reversed colours, with lots of regimental lace, topped off with mitre-caps.  Musicians of all regiments typically rode grey horses and kettle-drummers’ horses typically had undocked tails, whereas the rest of British cavalry horses had docked tails (a detail observed in these lovely models by Eureka)

In terms of flags, the 1st Squadron of each regiment of Dragoon Guards carried a square, crimson King’s Standard (as seen in the painting at the top), while the 2nd Squadron (and 3rd Squadron in the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards) carried a swallow-tailed Regimental Guidon matching the facing colour.  I’ve given these fellas the buff Regimental Guidon.

Above:  The 3rd & 4th Regiments of Horse.  I’ve mentioned it before, but as most British cavalry regiments were rather small affairs, consisting of six troops, organised into two squadrons and typically numbering around 350-400 men in the field, I group two such units together to make a ‘unit’ in Tricorn.  The same goes for Hanoverian Horse and Hessian Horse.

Regiments stationed in Ireland were typically maintained at a very low establishment and in 1759 the 3rd and 4th Regiments of Horse had only 120 men apiece (this probably doesn’t include sergeants, officers, regimental staff and musicians).  However, this was increased in 1760 in anticipation for their move to Germany and each troop was brought up to around 60 men of all ranks, for a total of 360-370 men in each of the two regiments.  This was further augmented at Dublin with men and horses from regiments not being deployed to Germany, so they were probably deployed to Germany with around 400 men each.

Above:  The 3rd Regiment of Horse (‘Carabiniers’).  This regiment had a long history, being first raised in 1685 as the ‘Queen Dowager’s Regiment of Horse, ranked 9th in seniority.  By 1691 the regiment was ranked 8th and known as ‘The King’s Regiment of Carbineers’.  Following the War of Spanish Succession, the regiment was transferred to the Irish Establishment and ranked 7th, sometimes being referred to as the ‘Irish Horse’.  However, from 1740 to 1742 it was briefly known as ‘His Majesty’s 1st Regiment of Carabiniers’, before reverting to the ‘7th Regiment of Horse (Carabiniers)’.  At last, in 1746, following the conversion of the 1st to 4th Regiments of Horse into the Royal Horse Guards and Dragoon Guards, the 7th Horse was renumbered as the 3rd Regiment of Horse.  The Colonel of the regiment throughout the Seven Years War was Major General Louis Dejean and the regiment was sometimes therefore referred to as ‘Dejean’s Horse’.

Above:  The 3rd Regiment of Horse (‘Carabiniers’).  The Regiments of Horse wore coats with ‘full’ lapels; i.e. extending all the way down the front of the coat.  These are often hidden when the skirts of the coat were turned back to form ‘tails’, but it can be clearly seen on officers’ coats, which weren’t normally turned back.  The lapels were decorated with buttonhole lace all the way to the bottom.  The tails were also decorated with buttonhole lace, though this was in straight ‘bars’, not arranged in chevrons like the lace of the Dragoons and Dragoon Guards.  The cuffs were decorated with four vertical lace buttonholes and there was no lace on the sleeves.  The coat had two red shoulder-straps and no aiguillette.  The Horse wore two buff cross-belts without buckles; the extra belts suspended the sword-scabbard, which was worn outside the coat.  Small-clothes were in the facing colour and the waistcoat was decorated with buttonhole lace.  On campaign, an iron breastplate was worn beneath the coat, plus an iron ‘secret’ (skull-cap) under the hat.

The 3rd Regiment of Horse (Carabiniers) by Morier (sadly these is no colour version available)

The facing colour for the 3rd Horse was pale yellow and the ‘metal’ colour was white.  Regimental lace was white with a red central stripe.  I haven’t been able to discover the colour of the regiment’s horses, but regiments of heavy Horse typically had dark horses and the black and white photo of the Morier painting (above) looks very dark, so I’ve gone with black horses.

Above:  The 3rd Regiment of Horse (‘Carabiniers’).  Regiments of Horse were served by trumpeters and kettle-drummers.  These wore livery in reversed colours, heavily decorated with regimental lace, though wore hats instead of the mitre-caps worn by the musicians of Dragoons and Dragoon Guards.

Regiments of Horse carried square standards.  The 1st Squadron carried the crimson King’s Standard, while the 2nd Squadron carried the facing-coloured Regimental Standard.  I’ve used the Regimental Standard here.

Above:  The 4th Regiment of Horse (‘The Black Horse’).  This regiment was first formed in 1688 as ‘Devonshire’s Regiment of Horse’, ranked 10th.  By 1690 this had become ‘Schomberg’s Horse’, ranked 9th and by 1691 it had become ‘Leinster’s Horse’.  Within a year, the Duke of Leinster became the Duke of Schomberg, so the regiment reverted to being ‘Schomberg’s Horse’ and in 1694 was ranked 8th.  In 1713 the regiment was transferred to the Irish Establishment and in 1721 became ‘Ligonier’s Horse’.  In 1746, with the creation of the Royal Horse Guards and Dragoon Guards, the regiment became the 4th Regiment of Horse, with the semi-official nickname of ‘The Black Horse’ for the colour of its facings.  In 1754 the Colonelcy passed to Major General Henry Seymour Conway and in 1759 it passed again to Major General Phillip Honeywood.

Above:  The 4th Regiment of Horse (‘The Black Horse’).  As mentioned above, the regiment’s facing colour was black and this was displayed on cuffs, ‘full’ lapels and cloak-linings.  However, most unusually, the linings of the coat (revealed by the tail-turnbacks), small-clothes and horse-furniture didn’t match the facings and instead were coloured buff (often depicted as a fairly dark buff, almost brown).  The ‘metal’ colour was yellow and regimental lace was white with a central black stripe.  On campaign an iron breastplate was worn beneath the coat and a ‘secret’ was worn beneath the hat.  The regiment’s horses were (unsurprisingly) black.

The 4th Regiment of Horse by Morier (note the ‘full’ lapels, extending all the way down the front of the coat, though partly hidden by the turnbacks)

Above:  The 4th Regiment of Horse (‘The Black Horse’).  As with the coat-linings, small-clothes and horse-furniture, the ‘reversed colour’ livery-coats of the regimental musicians most unusually didn’t match the black facing-colour and were instead coloured buff, heavily decorated with the regimental lace.

Again, I’ve used the 2nd Squadron’s Regimental Standard, which was black.

Right, that’s it!  I’m off to Italy now! 🙂

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 23 Comments

‘King George Commands And We Obey’: My 15mm SYW British Army (Part 5: Dragoons)

As discussed in Part 3 of this series, I was originally using the Allied order of battle for the Battle of Minden 1759 as my painting ‘To Do’ list for the ‘Western Allied’ armies (Great Britain, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Brunswick and Schaumburg-Lippe).  However, as discussed in Part 4 this can be rather limiting, in that the British Army in Germany more than doubled in size following the victory at Minden, so the later battles often have a very different mix of British units.  This was certainly the case at the Battle of Warburg 1760, as only half of the the British cavalry at that battle had been present at Minden.

The first wave of British cavalry sent to Germany in 1758 comprised the following regiments:

3 Sqns, Royal Horse Guards (‘The Blues’)
3 Sqns, 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards (Bland’s)
2 Sqns, 3rd Dragoon Guards (Howard’s)
2 Sqns, 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons (‘The Greys’) (Argyll’s)
2 Sqns, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (Cholmondley’s)
2 Sqns, 10th Dragoons (Mordaunt’s)

The second wave of British cavalry sent to Germany in 1760 consisted of these regiments:

2 Sqns, 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards (‘The Bays’) (Waldegrave’s)
2 Sqns, 3rd Regiment of Horse (‘Carabiniers’) (Dejean’s)
2 Sqns, 4th Regiment of Horse (‘The Black Horse’) (Honeywood’s)
2 Sqns, 1st (Royal) Dragoons (Conway’s)
2 Sqns, 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons (Cope’s until 1760, then Mostyn’s)
2 Sqns, 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s)
3 Sqns, 15th Light Dragoons (‘Eliott’s Light Horse’)

[Edited to add that Frédéric Aubert recently corrected me; a very small third wave of cavalry was added to Granby’s command in 1761.  This consisted of just 50 men of the 18th Light Dragoons (Hale’s Light Horse).]

For our recent refight of Warburg, I therefore had to paint an additional six regiments of British cavalry as all but one of the British cavalry regiments deployed to Germany were present at that battle.  The 15th Light Dragoons were the sole absent regiment and are therefore the last remaining unpainted regiment.

I’ll cover the new Dragoon Guards and Horse next time, but here are the new Dragoons.  These are all 18mm Eureka figures, with flags by Maverick Models.

Above: At Warburg, the 1st (Royal) Dragoons (Conway’s) and 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons (Cope’s) were assigned to Spörcken’s Corps, brigaded with Hanoverian Dragoons and Hessian Horse and weren’t therefore involved in famous charge of the British cavalry led by The Marquess of Granby.  They did however, make a decisive, albeit little-known charge of their own on the left flank of the French army at Warburg that destroyed several French battalions.

As discussed here before, British regiments of Dragoons, Dragoon Guards and Horse were (with a few exceptions) pretty small, usually consisting of only two squadrons, each of three troops, totaling some 357 men at the start of the war.  This was soon expanded to around 390 men in 1758/59 and expanded again when transferred to Germany.  The average strength on campaign would appear to have been around 400 men and the 1st Dragoons are recorded as reaching 450 men (544 men when the undeployed Light Troop are included).  By contrast, there were only around 240-280 men in a two-squadron French cavalry regiment.

Dragoon Regiments also added a Light Troop just prior to the start of the war.  However, this was not normally deployed with the main part of the regiment, often being grouped with other Light Troops in support of amphibious operations around the French coast.  I’m not aware of any Dragoon Regiment Light Troops being deployed in Germany.  Light Troops initially consisted of 71 men, though were soon expanded to over 100 men.

In Tricorn, a 12-figure ‘unit’, as shown above, therefore represents two (6-figure) Dragoon Regiments, totaling around 750-800 men.  However, for the sake of clarity, I’ll show each 6-figure regiment individually below.

Above:  The 1st (Royal) Dragoons Even though the 1st Dragoons had the title ‘Royal’, the regiment was still sometimes referred to in the ‘old manner’, by the name of it’s Colonel.  The 1st Dragoons were therefore known as ‘Hawley’s’ for Major-General Henry Hawley until 1759, then ‘Conway’s’ for the Hon Henry Seymour Conway for the rest of the war.  While the main part of the regiment was in Germany, the regiment’s Light Troop was detached and took part in two amphibious expeditions to the French coast.

1st (Royal) Dragoons by David Morier

Above:  The 1st (Royal) Dragoons.  All regiments of dragoons had coats without lapels, though with facing-coloured ‘gorget-patches’ where the top of the front-seam meets the collar (as clearly shown on the painting above).  Cuffs and linings were in the regimental facing colour.  The breast of the coat was decorated with buttonhole lace in the regimental ‘metal’ colour (the number and spacing of lace loops varied from regiment to regiment).  Buttons were placed in a single vertical row up the sleeves and up the tails, with a chevron of metal-coloured lace extending on each side of the button.  A metal-coloured aiguillette was worn on the right shoulder and a red shoulder-strap on the left.  Small-clothes always matched the facing-colour and the waistcoat was also decorated with buttonhole lace.  Hats were edged in ‘metal’ colour and had a black cockade secured with a button.  Neck-stocks were white.

Above:  The 1st (Royal) Dragoons.  The 1st Royal Dragoons had dark blue facings, yellow ‘metal’ and rode black horses.  The horse-furniture would normally be coloured in the facing-colour, though the 1st Dragoons were an exception, having red horse-furniture, reflecting the Royal Livery worn by the regiment’s drummers (red coats with blue facings and heavily laced in strips of gold-yellow with a central dark blue (or possibly purple) strip.  The drummers’ bandoliers and the edging of the horse-furniture were always coloured to match the lace.

Drummers wore short mitre-caps with a red ‘bag’, blue band and blue front-piece, piped gold-yellow and heavily embroidered, typically with a crowned drum, Order of the Garter, GR cypher or other badge, surrounded by foliage and piled trophies of war.  Above the brow was the usual red ‘false flap’, decorated with the white running horse of Hanover and edged with the motto ‘NEC ASPERA TERRENT’.  The cap-band was also often decorated with foliate embroidery and a drum badge.  The lace and embroidery of drummers’ uniforms and caps was often made of very expensive metallic wire; some colonels spared absolutely no expense!  Drummers were also normally mounted on grey horses.

Above:  The 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons.  This regiment was sometimes known as ‘Cope’s’ for Lieutenant-General Sir John Cope until his death on 28th July 1760, then as ‘Mostyn’s’ for Lieutenant-General John Mostyn until the end of the war.  While the main part of the regiment was in Germany, the regiment’s Light Troop was detached and took part in two amphibious expeditions to the French coast.

7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons by David Morier

Above:  The 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons.  The regiment had while facings and white ‘metal’, while the regimental lace was yellow with a central blue stripe.  This means that the regiment’s breeches should have been white, though Morier’s painting from the 1740s (above) shown non-regulation red breeches (I’ve done them white anyway).  Morier’s painting also shows a curious little black-feather plume.  The regiment rode horses ‘of different colours’ and the horse furniture was white, edged in regimental lace.  The drummers had coats in reversed colours, decorated with the regimental lace.

All dragoon regiments wore a single buff cross-belt with a prominent brass buckle on the front.  This was worn over the left shoulder, supporting a buff cartridge-pouch and carbine, while the sword-scabbard was suspended from a buff waist-belt and worn beneath the coat.  Cloaks were rolled behind the saddle and were normally rolled with the facing-coloured lining facing outwards (as shown in the Morier painting above), though in a moment of weakness, I followed the Kronoskaf plate and painted them red (it always pays to check multiple sources).

Above:  The 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons.  The 1st Squadron of each dragoon regiment carried a King’s Guidon, which was always coloured crimson.  The 2nd Squadron carried a Regimental Guidon, which was coloured according to the regimental facing colour, in this case white.  With such small regiments, I only give them one flag and I tend to use the Regimental Guidon, as the different facing colours look a bit more interesting than fielding a load of the crimson version.  However, for the larger 3-squadron (12-figure) regiments (RHG, 1st KDG & 15th LD), I give them both a King’s and a Regimental Standard/Guidon.

Note that in British parlance, a Guidon was always a swallow-tailed flag, while a Standard was always a square flag.  Regiments of Horse carried only Standards, while Dragoons and Light Dragoons carried only Guidons.  Dragoon Guards carried a King’s Standard (reflecting their origins as Horse) and a Regimental Guidon (two guidons in the case of the three-squadron 1st KDG).  The Life Guards, who stayed in Britain during the SYW, though who had been deployed during the War of Austrian Succession, had both a Standard and a Guidon in each troop!

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  This regiment didn’t have a title, so was just known by the name of its Colonel, namely William Henry, Earl of Ancram, who held the title throughout the Seven Years War.  Again, the regiment’s Light Troop remained in Britain, though took part in two amphibious operations to the French coast.

11th Dragoons by David Morier

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  This regiment had buff facings and white ‘metal’.  Kronoskaf describes the regimental lace as white with a green central stripe, though every other source says that the central stripe was blue (it’s hard to tell either way from the Morier painting above).  I’ve opted for blue.  I did however, foolishly follow Kronoskaf (again) and rolled their cloaks the wrong way round, red side out!  I’ve absolutely no idea why I did this… Again…  The regiment is recording as riding ‘dark brown horses, though other colours were used when dark brown was scarce’.  Horse furniture was buff, edged in regimental lace.

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  A close-up of the rear rank, including the drummer, to compare to the picture below.  As typical, they were dressed in reverse colours, heavily decorated with regimental lace, as shown in the painting below.

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  I accidentally ordered a crimson King’s Guidon for this unit, but no matter.  The Regimental Guidon would be buff.

Above:  Colonel Edward Harvey.  I decided to add this officer to my collection last September, when we refought the Battle of Clostercamp, as Colonel Harvey commanded a large British-Hanoverian-Hessian cavalry brigade of 12 squadrons at that battle.  He also went on to command brigades at Vellinghausen and Wilhelmsthal, so is a handy chap to have in my collection.  He was initially commissioned as a Cornet in the 10th Dragoons in 1741, before gaining a Captaincy in the 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons in 1747.  In 1754 he became Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and was promoted to full Colonel in 1760 and to Major-General in 1762.

Lieutenant Edward Harvey, 10th Dragoons by Allan Ramsay 1740s

Above:  Colonel Edward Harvey.  I’ve based Harvey’s uniform on the portrait above, showing him as a junior officer of the 10th Dragoons, sometime between 1741 and 1747.  As it happens, the uniform colourings would have been exactly the same when he was Colonel of the 6th Dragoons during the Seven Years War (yellow facings and silver metal).  Interestingly, the portrait shows Harvey wearing a plain ‘campaign coat’, with plain red cuffs instead of regulation yellow and completely devoid of lace.  The yellow gorget-patches and the placement of buttons show that he’s a dragoon, while the silver aiguillette indicates that he’s an officer.  Perhaps with this portrait he was making a statement that he was a ‘fighting officer’?  His yellow waistcoat however, retains its fancy silver lace.  Note that Harvey is also wearing non-standard red breeches instead of yellow, which again might be a campaign ‘thing’.

Above:  Colonel Edward Harvey.  I’ve used a Eureka mounted infantry officer figure for Harvey.  This in theory is slightly wrong, in that he’s wearing his sash ‘infantry-style’ over the right shoulder, whereas cavalry officers were meant to wear theirs on the left.  However, there are a few portraits of senior cavalry officers wearing their sash over the right shoulder, while the famous portrait of George Washington as a Colonel of Virginia infantry shows his sash being worn over the left shoulder, so I’m not bothered.

Right, that’s it for now.  More British cavalry, (French) Swiss infantry, scenarios and battle-reports to come, as soon as I get back from Italy!  🙂

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 5 Comments

Reinforcements for King Louis (Part 7: More French Infantry)

My apologies for the slow pace of articles thus far in 2024, despite my stated best intentions!  Unfortunately, various illnesses in my immediate family, a drastic change in my work shift-pattern since the New Year and a general Winter Malaise have taken their toll on my time.  I also haven’t managed to do any wargaming or painting yet this year!  Bah!

I do have a few half-written game-reports and scenarios lined up, but I needed to get something finished before the end of the month…  As mentioned in my review of 2023, there are a load of units that I painted for last year’s Clostercamp and Warburg games that I haven’t yet profiled, so here’s the first batch; three French infantry regiments for the Seven Years War.

These are all 18mm figures by Eureka Miniatures, with flags by Maverick Models.  I should also add that when I painted these late last Summer, I was really suffering with my eyes so I picked some of the simplest uniforms from the Minden orbat, yet the painting is still pretty poor compared to my usual standard.

Above:  First up is the Aquitaine Regiment.  In previous articles about my French army I said that I was using the Rossbach order of battle as my ‘To Do’ list.  However, that’s largely gone by the wayside and I’m now mostly painting regiments from the Minden order of battle, with various units of light troops sprinkled in as and when I need them for specific games.

Above:  The Aquitaine Regiment was raised in 1604 and as such was ranked 19th in order of seniority by the time of the Seven Years War.  The regiment raised two battalions during the Seven Years War and both battalions spent the entire war fighting in Germany, where the regiment was most notably engaged at Minden, Vellinghausen and Wilhemsthal.

Above:  The Aquitaine Regiment wore the usual unbleached off-white coat and breeches, with blue cuffs, collar and waistcoat and yellow ‘metal’.  Belts and pouches were natural leather and gaiters were white.

As the Aquitaine Regiment was a Provincial Regiment, the regiment’s drummers wore the Royal Livery of blue coats with red facings, decorated with crimson & white lace, with red small-clothes and drums being painted light blue.

The Colonel’s Colour was the usual plain white cross on white field, but the Ordonnance Colours were of a unique pattern, featuring radiating rays of blue, red and aurore, superimposed with the usual white cross.  Unlike Swiss flags, the radiating rays were straight instead of wavy and they had a border of blue, red and aurore rectangles.

Above:  The Vastan Regiment was raised in 1674 as a ‘Gentleman’s Regiment’.  During the Seven Years War the regiment was numbered 58th in order of seniority and fielded two battalions.  In 1762 the regimental title changed briefly to Bouillé de Chariol (some say 1761, but the Marquis de Vastan wasn’t killed until 1762), though with the general reorganisation of the army, the regiment became a Provincial Regiment and the title changed again to Vexin.

The regiment served initially in Germany, though was almost destroyed at Minden and was then rebuilt in France.  The regiment returned to Germany in 1760 and at Warburg managed to avoid the disaster due to its position in reserve, some four miles to the south.  The regiment fought at Vellinghausen, though in October 1762, the regiment’s 1st Battalion, along with the Marquis de Vastan himself, was attacked in its camp and was captured after losing around half its strength killed, including the Marquis.  What was left of the regiment then passed to the Marquis de Bouillé and it spent the rest of the war on coastal defence duties in western France.

Above:  The uniform of the Vastan Regiment was very plain, with coat, cuffs and small-clothes in the usual off-white colour, with black collar and yellow ‘metal’.  Some sources (such as the painting above) show a red waistcoat.  Equipment was natural leather and gaiters were white.

Drummers’ livery is unknown, though the dominant heraldic colour for the Marquis de Vastan was yellow.  I’ve therefore gone for yellow coats with black facings.  The dominant heraldic colour for the Marquis de Bouillé was red, though when the regiment became a Provincial Regiment in 1762, the drummers would then have worn Royal Livery.

The Colonel’s Colour was the usual plain white cross on a white field.  The Ordonnance Colour was quartered yellow and black, superimposed with the usual white cross.

Above:  The Mailly Regiment was first raised in 1589 as a Gentleman’s Regiment and by the time of the Seven Years War was numbered 11th in order of seniority.  At the start of the war, the regiment seems to have had only two battalions, but this had increased to four battalions by the time it was sent to Germany in 1757.  The regiment suffered catastrophic losses at Rossbach and in 1758 was withdrawn to France and re-titled as the Talaru Regiment.  The regiment remained on coastal defence duties (with a detachment serving as marines) until 1761, when the regiment was re-titled as the Chatellux Regiment and all four battalions returned to Germany, fighting at Vellinghausen and remaining in Germany until the end of the war.  In 1762 the regiment officially became the Provincial Guyenne Regiment, though curiously kept the title Chatellux (for the Chavlier de Chatellux) until 1771.

Above:  The uniform of the Mailly Regiment was very plain, consisting of a plain off-white coat, lacking any contrasting facing colour.  Breeches were also off-white, though a small splash of colour was added through the regiment’s red waistcoats.  ‘Metal’ was yellow.  Equipment was natural leather and gaiters were white.

The drummers would have been dressed in the livery of the regimental Colonel, which ‘probably’ followed his main heraldic colours.  In the case of the Marquis de Mailly, the heraldry was predominantly yellow and red, so I’ve gone with yellow coats and red lace.  In 1762 the regiment’s drummers should have adopted Royal Livery, though they apparently wore the (unknown) livery of the Chevalier de Chatellux until 1771.

Above:  The Colonel’s Colour of the Mailly Regiment was the usual plain white cross on a white field.  The Ordonnance Colours were quartered violet and red, superimposed with the usual white cross.  However, sources disagree as to which way round the violet and red quarters were.  In this instance, Maverick Models followed the old Kronoskaf depiction, showing the violet quarter uppermost at the hoist and the colour as dark blue.  I therefore repainted the blue corners in Vallejo violet acrylic, though they still look quite blue.  The new Kronoskaf depiction shows the red quarter uppermost at the hoist, as does David Morfitt’s version.  I may therefore, decide to replace these flags (if I can be arsed).

Anyway, that’s it for now; more soon!  In the meantime, my play-by-email Franco-Prussian War campaign is just getting interesting.  For reasons of operational security, I can’t give too many details (French eyes may be reading…), but at the end of the campaign’s first turn, my Prussian 2nd Army has successfully breached the French line on the River Saar at Saarbrücken and has pushed the French II & III Corps back to the town of St Avoid where they seem to be making another stand.  The French I Corps meanwhile, managed to avoid the two Bavarian Corps at Wörth and is falling back toward Strassbourg, while the French V Corps has abandoned Bitsch.  The Prussian 3rd Army meanwhile, has won a resounding victory against the French VII Corps on the east bank of the Rhine, following a rather daring French invasion of Germany.  This is shaping up to be a very interesting campaign…  On to Paris!


Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War French Army, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 10 Comments

“Going At It Bald-Headed!”: The Battle of Warburg 1760 (The Refight)

As mentioned last week in my Review of 2023, during ‘Chrimbo Limbo’ we played my Battle of Warburg 1760 scenario at the Wargames Association of South Pembrokeshire (W.A.S.P.) in Pembroke Dock.  We had originally planned to do this at a local tabletop game show in November, but sickness stopped play on that occasion.  Sadly, my mate Andy pulled another sickie on this occasion (I think he must have become allergic to me), which meant that we didn’t have him or his walled town model for the game, but we cracked on anyway.

A good crowd turned up for the game:  Al Broughton, Kirk French and Dave Llewellyn took the Allies, while Bruce Castle, his son Tane and brother Mark joined me in fighting for King Louis.  So while we didn’t have a walled town, we did have a load of Castles…

I thangyou, I’m here all week, try the veal…

While we didn’t have quite enough space for the full 12-foot table, as per the map above, we did manage to get a 10-foot table and didn’t have to compress the map too much (in the scenario I provided an alternative ‘compressed’ 8-foot version of the map).

One slight change to the scenario was that I allowed the French to re-deploy Castries’ brigade of massed grenadiers and chasseur companies to a position roughly to the rear of the La Tour-du-Pin Regiment.  Otherwise, it would be almost impossible for Castries to get involved in the fight for the Hein-Berg, as he was historically.  I will add this, along with some other scenario-balancing options to the original scenario later.

Above:  A view of the, table oriented the same as the scenario map.  In the right-foreground is Bülow’s Légion Britannique, on the high ground, facing Warburg.  You’ll note that my lovely printed terrain-cloth is only 8 feet long, so I had to dig out my old green parachute silk for this end of the table!  It’s not all that obvious in the photos, but the hills are underneath the cloth for this game.  I also didn’t put the full array of roads on the table, as I simply don’t have enough roads!

Above:  David Morfitt very kindly re-drew his sheet of hypothetical Légion Britannique flags to include orange and light blue regimental colours for the 3rd and 4th Battalions, so I carefully removed the old flags and replaced them with the new designs in time for their first game…  Which of course with this lot is just like casting pearls before swine!  Dave Llewellyn immediately deployed the whole lot in skirmish order and consigned the formed troops and those lovely flags back to the toolbox for the rest of the game! 🙁

Above:  The Chasseur à Pied Companies of the Chasseurs de Fischer prepare to defend the crumbling walls of Warburg.  I frantically painted these in the days before the game, along with Fischer himself (who can just be seen hiding behind a house at the back), the Marquis de Castries and the massed grenadiers and chasseurs (who can be seen at the top-right of the photo).

Above:  Maupeou’s infantry division consists of eight battalions and forms the right wing of du Muy’s army.

Above:  The French centre is formed by four cavalry brigades (each of which is treated as a regiment for game purposes, as French cavalry regiments were absolutely tiny) and two dragoon regiments.  To their rear is a small reserve, consisting of a single infantry brigade of four battalions.  To the left of the cavalry is d’Amenzaga’s Swiss infantry division of eight battalions and on the far left are another eight battalions under the Marquis de Ségur, forming a ‘fish-hook’ around the end of the ridge.

Above:  The Allied advanced guard (Colonel Beckwith with the two British grenadier battalions and two Highland battalions) makes a bee-line for the Hein-Berg, which dominates the French bridges over the River Diemel.  On Beckwith’s left is General Spörcken, with three Hanoverian grenadier battalions and five Hanoverian infantry regiments.  However, I must confess that I’ve only painted one battalion each of British and Hanoverian grenadiers, so I used the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Hanoverian Fußgarde as proxies.

Above:  In support of Spörcken’s division is a mass of Hanoverian dragoons, British dragoons and Hessian regiments of horse under General Hardenberg.  These move forward to cover the Hanoverian left flank.

Above:  The Allied commanding general, the Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz) observes the French position from one of the Allied battery positions on the Fürsten-Berg.  On his left, Zastrow’s division (three Brunswick grenadier battalions, three Hessian grenadier battalions and three Hessian infantry regiments) begin its attack as Bork’s Hanoverian cavalry watch the left flank.

Above:  On the ridge, the French artillery opens fire on the approaching Allied lines.  General du Muy knows that he’s onto a sticky wicket.  Although numbers are similar, his flank has already been turned and his only hope is to capture and hold the Hein-Berg feature, to keep his line of retreat open.  He’s already called de Castries’ elite corps and Maupeou’s division back from the right flank and has turned half of Ségur’s division (the Bourbonnais Regiment), to face the approaching threat, but that won’t be enough!  He therefore orders Travers’ reserve brigade and d’Amenzaga’s Swiss to pull out of the line and extend the left flank.

Above:  With all the French infantry marching to the left flank, the French cavalry and dragoons are now charged with guarding du Muy’s right flank.  Du Muy still doesn’t know where the main part of the Allied army is.

Above:  Beckwith’s British grenadiers and Highlanders march up the steep slopes of the Hein-Berg.  This hill was actually topped by a mediaeval watch-tower, but we sadly don’t own a model of one of those!

Above:  Spörcken’s Hanoverians advance on the French left flank, climbing the northern end of the Haum-Berg and pinning the Bourbonnais Regiment in place, thus preventing the French infantry from moving south to block Beckwith’s advance on the Hein-Berg.

Above:  The range is long, but British, Hessian and Hanoverian heavy artillery positioned on the Fürsten-Berg hammers the French left flank.  The French heavy artillery replies, but is remarkably ineffective.

Above:  As Zastrow’s Brunswicker and Hessian grenadiers advance, Bork’s Hanoverian cavalry remain stationary on the left.

Above:  Zastrow’s first line, formed by the three Brunswick grenadier battalions and the Hessian 4. Garde-Regiment, start to climb the ridge to get to grips with the French.  The French artillery switches to canister, but still seems unable to hit anything!  Perhaps their elevated position on the ridge is making them fire too high?

Behind Ségur’s line, d’Amenzaga’s Swiss can be seen pulling back and marching to cover Ségur’s left flank.

Above:  The French cavalry swings left to cover the gap left by the Swiss.  Behind them, Travers’ reserve marches up the road toward the left flank, followed in the distance by de Castries’ elite corps and Maupeou’s division.

Above:  With the French line already softened up at long range by the Allied heavy artillery and battalion guns, Spörcken wastes no time on a firefight and instead gets stuck straight in with the bayonet!  However, the Bourbonnais Regiment stands firm and halts the first charge through firepower.

Above:  However, the Allies have achieved a massive concentration of force against this point on the battlefield; Ségur’s eight battalions face seventeen Allied battalions (many of whom are elite grenadiers) and the Allies also have a massive superiority in artillery and cavalry massed at this point.

Above:  Nevertheless, the Allied artillery has now been masked by their own advancing infantry and their cavalry won’t be able to achieve a great deal until the French line has been disrupted by the Allied infantry.

Above:  The Erbprinz confidently watches his attack go in.  However, seeing the French cavalry begin to threaten Zastrow’s left, he sends orders to General Bork, requesting that he move his cavalry forward to counter the French horse.

Above:  As Zastrow’s division commences a firefight with the French line, he splits his third line (the Hessian grenadier brigade) in order to extend his flanks.

Above:  Another view of the battle for the flank.  As can be seen by the many casualty and disorder markers behind the Bourbonnais Regiment, the French line might have halted Spörcken’s first charge, but they have been badly hurt and might not be able to stand for long.

Above:  In the French rear, Travers’ reserve brigade has arrived and is now ordered by du Muy to drive between the Haum-Berg and Hein-Berg, then swing right to turn Spörcken’s right flank.  This manoeuvre will expose Travers to flanking fire from Beckwith’s brigade on the Hein-Berg, but de Castries will soon arrive to (hopefully) deal with that threat.  D’Amenzaga’s red-coated Swiss meanwhile, will attack into the gap between Travers and Ségur.

Above:  The situation is now getting desperate for Ségur, as his infantry is now fully engaged and is taking heavy losses.  The worst-hit part of the line is the ‘angle’, where the right flank (1st Bn) of the Bourbonnais Regiment meets the left flank (2nd Bn) of the d’Aumont Regiment.  These two battalions have been hit especially hard by artillery and the Hessian horse seem poised to exploit their weakness.

Above:  The view from behind the French left flank; d’Amenzaga’s Swiss continue their march to the left flank, but at this rate Ségur’s front line may well break before they get there!  Nevertheless, the French show they still have teeth, as the Hanoverian Post Regiment, on the left of Spörcken’s line and the Hessian 4. Garde-Regiment, on the right flank of Zastrow’s first line, shredded by a sudden storm of canister and musketry, suddenly break and run from the fight!  Nevertheless, despite this small victory, the French infantry know that this is only going to end one way…

Above:  However, help is on the way for the beleaguered French infantry!  Maupeou’s division is almost in place to form a new line behind Ségur.

On the left of the photo, de Castries’ massed grenadier companies have formed a large column à la Ordre Profonde and are advancing on the Hein-Berg, preceded by a mass of chasseurs in skirmish order… If this works, the idea might catch on…

Above:  Beckwith’s grenadiers and Highlanders feel secure in their position atop the Hein-Berg, but now start to be stung by fire from de Castries’ chasseur companies and a section of battalion guns firing from the Haum-Berg.

Above:  Ignoring the fire from Beckwith’s battalion guns, Travers redeploys his reserve brigade into two lines (Rohan-Rochefort Regiment in front and Rouergue Regiment to the rear) and swings his line to the right.  In response, Spörcken refuses his right flank, wheeling the Wersabé Grenadiers back through 90 degrees to face the new threat.  But it’s to no avail, as the Swiss throw back both Wersabé’s and Bock’s Grenadiers and Travers advances over the crest of the Haum-Berg!  Thankfully, both Hanoverian grenadier battalions quickly rally and form up at right-angles to Spörcken’s second line.

Above:  Ignoring the emerging crisis on the Haum-Berg, Spörcken’s Hanoverians charge again, this time in concert with Hardenberg’s cavalry and Zastrow’s Brunswick grenadiers on their left.  After a valiant stand, the 2nd Battalion of the Bourbonnais Regiment is finally broken by the Hanoverian Estorff Regiment, while the entire d’Aumont Regiment is crushed by the Hessian horse and the Brunswick Witdorf Grenadiers.  Nevertheless, the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Bourbonnais Regiment stand their ground and the 1st Battalion manages by the skin of its teeth to beat off an opportunity charge by the Hessian horse!  On Ségur’s right flank, the La Couronne Regiment is also managing to cling on, despite heavy casualties.

Above:  To their rear, Maupeou deploys his infantry into line.  Ségur’s line may be crumbling, but the injection of this fresh division, along with the attack on the Hanoverian flank, might be enough to save the day…

Above:  A groan ripples along the French line as a new formation appears over the horizon…

Above:  The Marquess of Granby has arrived!  Galloping across the battlefield at the head of a great mass of  British cavalry (three squadrons of Royal Horse Guards, four squadrons of Horse, seven squadrons of Dragoon Guards and four squadrons of Dragoons), Granby makes a bee-line for the long line of French cavalry arrayed along the ridge.  As he gallops forward, his hat and wig fly off.  The sun shining off his bald head make an excellent marker for the British cavalry to follow!

Above:  In the meantime, Ségur’s division goes down fighting!  The La Couronne Regiment is at last overwhelmed by Zastrow’s Brunswick and Hessian grenadiers, while the 1st Battalion of the Bourbonnais Regiment finally succumbs to a combined attack by the Brunswick Witdorf Grenadiers and Hardenberg’s cavalry.

Above:  On the French left flank, the 3rd & 4th Battalions of the Bourbonnais Regiment manage to crush two of Spörcken’s Hanoverian regiments, before they too are overwhelmed.  However, Travers’ reserve brigade and d’Amenzaga’s Swiss are steadily crushing the Hanoverian right flank.  With losses rapidly mounting, Spörcken suffers a crisis of confidence! [In game terms, Spörcken’s command is now Demoralised]

Above:  Another view of Ségur’s last stand.

Above:  With Ségur’s infantry cleared away, Zastrow now turns his guns on the left flank of the French dragoons… With devastating results.

Above:  The great mass of British cavalry continues to thunder toward the ridge.  The French cavalry nervously hold their ground, hoping that the slope will give them some advantage in the coming melee.

Above:  Bounding alongside the British cavalry are two batteries of British artillery, commanded by the noted artillerist, Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe.  He has ordered the gunners to be mounted on every available horse and limber; even on the guns themselves!  They gallop onto the battlefield alongside the British horse and now pour a deadly fire into the waiting French horsemen.

Above:  Almost forgotten on the far flank of the battlefield, the ruffians of the Légion Britannique advance, crossing the ground previously held by the French right wing.  Du Muy had hoped that Fischer’s corps of chasseurs (particularly the Chasseurs à Cheval) would hold these marauders at bay, but the legion’s dragoon squadrons made short work of Fischer’s Chasseurs à Cheval and are now keeping the Chasseurs à Pied penned up within the walls of Warburg.

Above:  Meanwhile, on the extreme western flank of the battle, the Marquis de Castries has finally reached the foot of the Hein-Berg.  With his chasseurs already keeping the British grenadiers pinned down, he launches his massed column of grenadiers up the steep slope!

Above:  Travers continues his assault on the Hanoverian right flank, though resistance is stiffening as Travers’ charge is halted by fire from Bock’s grenadier battalion and one of the Swiss battalions is repulsed.  However, the Swiss manage to outflank and destroy the Hanoverian Scheither Regiment.

Above: At last, the two great masses of cavalry clash on the ridge!  However, the French Royal Dragoons, on the left flank of the French horse, have already been routed by fire from Zastrow’s infantry and artillery.

Above:  On the Hein-Berg, the French grenadiers charge home on Maxwell’s grenadier battalion!  The French chasseurs have done their job, as the British grenadiers are already disordered by fire.

Above:  Against all odds, the French grenadiers smash through Maxwell’s battalion and established a foothold on the crest of the Hein-Berg!

Above:  In the centre, Maupeou has established a new line in the nick of time and masses a large concentration of artillery, who now rip great holes in Zastrow’s ranks.  Witdorf’s Brunswicker grenadier battalion, standing on the right flank of Zastrow’s first line, comes in for particular attention and is quickly broken up by canister fire.

Hardenberg’s British dragoon brigade meanwhile, spots an opportunity in the gap between the d’Amenzaga’s Swiss and Zastrow’s division; the advancing Swiss have left a section of battalion guns isolated and unprotected!  The dragoons charge through the gap, but astonishingly, are beaten off by the gunners!  The British dragoons retreat with the jeers of both their enemies and allies ringing in their ears!

Above:  Travers continues his assault on the Hanoverian right flank, but just can’t break the Hanoverian grenadiers!  To add to his woes, Spörcken has brought his heavy artillery forward and is now pummeling the French battalions exposed on the forward slope of the Haum-Berg.

Above:  Zastrow’s division pushes forward against Maupeou’s division, in the face of intense canister fire.  On the right, Mirbach’s Hessian grenadier battalion moves forward to take the place of the broken Brunswickers.

Above:  Despite having the advantage of the high ground, the cavalry battle is a near-total disaster for the French.  The Bourbon Brigade is destroyed outright, while the Royal-Piémont Brigade is thrown back.  However, the La Reine and Royal-Étranger Brigades on the French right flank manage to gang up on the British 3rd & 4th Regiments of Horse and throw them back.

Above:  Having defeated the British 3rd & 4th Horse, the La Reine Brigade sadly run into the Royal Horse Guards and are in turn defeated… Whereupon the retreating French cavalrymen have the misfortune of running into the cutthroats of the Légion Britannique…

Above:  The Royal-Étranger Brigade however, have rather better luck and charge on, successfully sabering one of Schaumburg-Lippe’s ‘flying’ batteries!  This idea of mounting gunners on horseback is clearly a silly concept that will never catch on…

Above:  Having weathered the storm of shot and canister, Zastrow’s grenadiers finally charge home on Maupeou’s infantry and are joined on the flank by some British dragoons.  The result is a complete disaster for Maupeou as four of his eight battalions, along with most of his heavy artillery, are immediately overwhelmed!

Above:  At last, Travers’ reserve brigade and d’Amenzaga’s Swiss finally destroy the last of the Hanoverian grenadiers, though on d’Amenzaga’s right flank, the Hanoverian Breydenbach Dragoons  charge once again.

Above:  The Breydenbach Dragoons break the right-flanking Swiss battalion, along with the battery that had earlier repulsed the British dragoons.  Flushed with success, the Breydenbach Dragoons charge on into the La Tour-du-Pin Regiment of Maupeou’s division!

Above:  By some miracle, the French infantry manage once again too beat off the Allied cavalry in this sector.  Hardenberg’s cavalry have had very little tactical success, but they keep on rallying and keep coming back!

Above:  Meanwhile back at Warburg… The Chasseurs de Fischer are wondering what all the noise is over the hill and decide to wander out to take a look…

Above:  However, Hattorf’s Amazing Technicolour Dragoon Regiment is watching from the heights and would LOVE for them to come out into the open ground…

Above:  A final charge by Zastrow’s grenadiers and Hardenberg’s brigade of Hessian Horse finally ends Maupeou’s brief stand on the ridge.  Du Muy’s headquarters is almost overrun, but he and his staff successfully break out for the Diemel bridge, escorted by the Thiange Dragoons.

Above:  On the Hein-Berg meanwhile, Beckwith’s grenadiers and Highlanders mount a counter-attack against de Castries’ French grenadiers.  Daulhat’s British grenadier battalion suffers very heavy casualties due to supporting fire from the chasseur companies and artillery and flees the field, though the 87th and 88th Highlanders press home their attack and successfully drive back the French grenadiers!

The loss of their toe-hold on the Hein-Berg is potentially disastrous for French morale, though Beckwith has now suffered 50% casualties…  By some miracle, Beckwith manages to maintain control of his men, the Highlanders remain in control of the hill and then proceed to make extremely rude gestures at the Frenchmen below…

Above:  Spörcken meanwhile, has lost all but two of his eight battalions (plus his two supporting batteries of heavy artillery) and finally breaks.  However, this small victory is cold comfort to the French, as their entire army is crumbling.

Above:  The French cavalry meanwhile, having taken catastrophic losses in their first clash with Granby’s British cavalry, now break and run for the Diemel crossings.  This is all too much for the French army, which is now in total collapse!

So a decisive victory to the Allies!

Du Muys makes a note in his campaign diary… “Merde…”

All in all, a great game, despite the catastrophic hoofing inflicted on our side!  My thanks to Al, Gareth, Kirk, Dave, Bruce, Mark and Tane for an excellent game in excellent company!

Scenario Balancing Options

As might perhaps be clear from the above account, this is a VERY difficult scenario for the French to win and I offer the following suggestions in order to make it a better game:

1.  Allow the Marquis de Castries to alter his deployment position from that shown on the map to a position roughly to the rear of Maupeou’s division.  This will allow him to intervene in the battle for the Hein-Berg, as he did historically.  We actually invoked this rule for the game, but it’s not mentioned in the original scenario.

2.  Class all Swiss infantry battalions as Elite (Morale Rating 5).  They often are in many wargames rules, but in this scenario I only rated the Jenner Regiment as Elite (along with the French Bourbonnais and La Couronne Regiments).

3.  Remove the ‘Poor’ rating from all French cavalry and dragoon regiments, which means that they will be MR 6 and MR 5 respectively.

4.  Historically there was a race between the Bourbonnais Regiment and Beckwith’s grenadiers to the crest of the Hein-Berg.  However, this isn’t really possible given the starting positions shown on the map (which is based on the Prussian Grossergeneralstab map).  I therefore suggest pushing Spörcken’s and Zastrow’s starting positions back by 12 inches and shift the Bourbonnais Regiment to the left until is is in a position (in column of battalion lines) where it has exactly the same distance to reach the crest of the Hein-Berg as Beckwith’s brigade.

I think that’s enough to be going on with.

More soon.  I’ve currently got several Tricorn scenarios on the go for the War of Austrian Succession (Chotusitz, Hohenfriedburg, Soor and Kesselsdorf), as well as some old favourites of ours; namely rather large Napoleon’s Battles scenarios for the Battles of Lützen and Bautzen in 1813, so we’ll see what turns up first…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 9 Comments

Jemima Fawr’s Review of 2023

Well here we are once again, bewildered and wondering “Where the hell did that year go?!”

I hope that wherever the last remaining reader of this blog is, they’re enjoying themselves and not sitting in work on the night shift, trying to paint Seven Years War Brunswickers with one good eye…

It’s been a good year for me on the wargames front.  I managed to get lots of wargaming done, almost all of which involved cocked hats in one way or another; either displayed on the troops or being beaten into one… Sometimes both.  This year I returned to being something of a ‘promiscuous wargames-slut’, wargaming at lots of different clubs and with different groups of old and new friends, especially at my ‘Alma-Pater’ in Pembroke Dock, the Wargames Association of South Pembrokeshire (WASP).

Aside from the open day of the Haverfordwest Gaming Club I didn’t manage to get to any wargame shows this year (again!), but that was largely down to work shifts coinciding with the dates of shows I wanted to attend, so there’s not a lot I can do about that (as if I’m ever going to leave a reasonably well-paid job that allows me to paint figures on their time…).

Great Britain and the Defence of the Low Countries 1744-1748 : Armies, Politics and DiplomacyI did however, manage to get to a military history lecture at the Bloody Awful National Army Museum in London last week.  This was by Dr Alistair Massie on the subject of General Ligonier and his quite astonishing political and command problems leading up to the Battle of Rocoux in 1746.  This had all the potential to be a very dry topic, but it was superb; both informative and entertaining.  This inevitably tied into the release of his snappily-titled new book ‘Great Britain and the Defence of the Low Countries 1744-1748’, which of course I then HAD to buy (so expect more War of Austrian Succession scenarios…)!

The most entertaining part of my trip to London was queuing up outside the lecture theatre next to a group of lovely ‘Chelsea Ladies Who Lunch’, who attend all the free military history lectures at the museum.  I heard the following conversation;

“Well you see Deidre, the Tiger, while having excellent firepower and armour protection, was completely over-engineered and a nightmare to maintain in the field.” 

“Why yes Angela, the Germans would have been far better off using their resources to build far more tried-and-tested medium tank designs such as the Mark IV.  What do you think, Sandra?” 

“Well I’ve always thought that the simplicity of maintenance of the Sherman, enabled British squadrons to turn up daily with a full squadron of tanks, when the Germans could only field platoons after the first day of any given battle…”

I definitely want to go to more lectures if they’re going to be there… 🙂

Anyway, how did I do on the painting front during 2023?  I only started seriously counting everything when I did my annual review of 2021.  That was the year in which I was really getting back into 15mm SYW and had planned a large 10mm ACW demo game, so had stacks of motivation to paint.  I therefore managed to do rather well, with 963x 15mm Foot, 114x 15mm Horse, 17x 15mm Guns, 588x 10mm Foot, 82x 10mm Horse, 21x 10mm Guns and 13x 10mm Horse-Drawn Vehicles.  The value of models painted amounted to £1,080.23 at 2021 prices.

2022 wasn’t quite so good.  Some big demo game plans were cancelled and my painting was fairly aimless.  I also got bogged down in painting 28mm AWI figures, which seemed to take forever.  It still wasn’t a bad year though.  Total painted 15mm figures: 308 Foot, 274 Horse & 19 Guns.  Total painted 28mm figures: 90 Foot, 5 Horse & 1 Gun.  Total monetary value of painted models at 2022 prices: £737.60.

So here’s what I painted this year.  Most of the pictures will link you to the relevant article, but I’m still catching up and some units don’t have an article or even a decent picture yet!

Right at the start of the year, I was painting a heap of SYW Prussian Hussars for our January Kolin refight:

I also needed some other bits and pieces for the Kolin refight; most pressingly, I needed some more SYW Austrian Artillery & Staff:

Once all the troops had been finished for Kolin, I had a brief return to Napoleonics, starting with the sudden urge to buy and paint the brand-new Russian Mounted Jäger (or Chasseurs à Cheval if you prefer) that had been released by AB Figures:

While rummaging around in my Napoleonics collection, I discovered that my Swedish artillery and corps commander had disappeared from their box.  They must be long-gone, so I cobbled together a Swedish corps commander from some spare figures and bought some new artillery from Old Glory 15s:

With that brief flurry of Napoleonics over, I got back to expanding my SYW armies.  The Reichsarmee was within sight of being finished, so I set myself the target of refighting the Combat of Strehla, which featured 90% of the Reichsarmee.  After re-flagging a few of my older older regiments with some lovely new flags by David Morfitt and Frédéric Aubert, I cracked on with painting some Imperial Auxiliary Regiments:

I also needed a few new Prussian units for the Combat of Strehla, namely the first few units of Kleist’s Freikorps, along with ‘Green’ Kleist himself.  I haven’t done a blog-article about these yet, as I’ve only painted half of the Dragoon Regiment, half of the Hussar Regiment and the Jäger Companies.  Kleist’s Freikorps did get to be rather large and I’ve still got the second battalions of those regiments to paint, along with the ‘Croat’ Regiment, the Uhlan Regiment and the corps’ artillery.  I’ll hopefully finish those units off in 2024, but in the meantime, here are the finished troops:

Then it was time for More Reichsarmee Units!  Here are the Kurmainz Regiment. Kurköln Regiments and the Kurpfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment:

And then Yet More Reichsarmee Units!  Here are the Württemberg Dragoons, Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons, Pfalz Leib-Dragoons and the Pfalz-Zweibrücken Infantry.  I also painted a stack of artillery and grenadiers for all the different contingents:

And then, once Strehla had been fought, I STILL needed to paint a few more units to finally finish off the Reichsarmee; mostly Franconian infantry, grenadiers and artillery:

With the Reichsarmee finally finished, I decided to make a concerted effort to expand my SYW French and Anglo-Hanoverian-Allied armies, which I started in March 2021.  I had enough of both sides to play a random ‘pick-up’ game, but not enough troops of the right types to do any historical scenarios.  I therefore picked a couple of modestly-sized historical battles, intending to use their orders of battle as my target for painting.  I wasn’t too bothered about matching the exact list of regiments, just so long as the mix of unit-types was ok.  The first task however, was to fix an earlier mistake I made with the French artillery (giving them red gun-carriages instead of light blue) and then I needed to give each side some light troops:

For the Allies, I got a bit carried away with light troops, painting the entire Légion Britannique, including all the skirmisher options and the massed dragoon squadrons!  I think it was the bizarre array of uniform colours that appealed to me, but they take a starring role in our refight of Warburg.  The red and blue-coated skirmishers can also do double-service for generic army picquets:

Having already painted plenty of British and Hanoverian troops, it was time to expand one of the major players in the Allied coalition; the Landgraviate of Hesse-Cassel.  I had previously painted a solitary Hessian regiment, but I’ve now added another three regiments, as well as Dragoons, Horse, position artillery and battalion guns:

For our refight of the Battle of Clostercamp, I wanted more ‘bog-standard’ grey-coated French Infantry regiments, so that we wouldn’t then have to rely upon using my red-coated Swiss and blue-coated German regiments as proxies.  I therefore added another eight battalions from the Mailly, Vastan and Aquitaine Regiments.  You can NEVER have enough French infantry…  However, I still haven’t profiled these units:

Another French unit that we needed for Clostercamp was the spectacular (and huge) Gendarmerie de France.  This is the first of two exceptionally-large French cavalry regiments on my immediate ‘To do’ List; the second being the Royal-Carabiniers, which I’ll be painting in 2024:

For Warburg I needed to double my contingent of Swiss Infantry, so I added another four battalions; two each from the Diesbach and Castellas Regiments.  However, once again, I haven’t profiled these units yet:

I actually painted two units of Hanoverian Cavalry in 2022, but never got around to profiling them on the blog.  However, I recently added a third unit, so thought it was about time I did a blog-post:

For Clostercamp we needed some Highlander skirmishers and since then I’ve added a pair of formed battalions for our Warburg game:

For Warburg I needed to massively expand my contingent of British Cavalry, so painted another 36 figures, equating to three regiments of Dragoons, one of Dragoon Guards and two of Horse (6 figures per regiment).  Again, my apologies, but I haven’t yet profiled these regiments:

I needed to paint a second regiment of French dragoons for Warburg and with Christmas approaching, it HAD to be the Mestre de Camp Général Regiment:

Some last-minute painting for Warburg has included the Marquis de Castries and his ad hoc corps of massed French Grenadiers & Chasseurs:

I also managed to get Johann Fischer and his Chasseurs à Pied finished in time for the game.  I will at some point in the future, have to add some skirmishing Chasseurs à Pied and the squadrons of Chasseurs à Cheval (we had to use proxies in the game):

And to finish off the year, I painted the very first units for my SYW Brunswick contingent; the ‘Imhoff’ Infantry Regiment and a battalion gun.  OK, I haven’t QUITE finished them yet, but I will have by midnight tonight, so I’m taking that…

So the totals for this year are:  752x 15mm Foot, 234x 15mm Horse and 26x 15mm Guns, for a total cash value of £919.40 at 2023 prices.  Not bad at all! 🙂

So to my wargaming for the year…

As mentioned above, it was a pretty good year for wargaming, 🙂 though a VERY bad year for actually writing up my games (or winning them)! 🙁

We started in spectacular style in January, with a massive refight of the SYW Battle of Kolin at Phil Portway’s house (also including Andy James and Rob Pritchard), which again tested Tricorn to its absolute limits as a rules system with which to play large 18th Century battles (and I’m pleased to say that it passed the test – especially as I was for once on the winning side):

In March, I had a pick-up 28mm AWI game with my new chum Kirk French, using his wonderful collection of 28mm Front Rank figures and Eclaireur‘s British Grenadier! rules, though sadly I have thus far failed to produce a game report (sorry Kirk).  Claims that I didn’t write it up due to my complete trouncing are entire unfounded…

The above game was in preparation for a much larger (and much-postponed) refight of Cornwallis’ attack at the Battle of the Brandywine (below) with Kirk French and my old mate Anthony Oakley.  Again, I have completely failed to produce a game-report (yet), so no spoilers, but suffice to say that I was once again left wondering if this is perhaps the hobby for me…

In April, we went back to the Seven Years War.  As I’d finally finished painting the Reichsarmee, it was time to get it all (well, nearly all) on the table with the Combat of Strehla.  Andy James and Kirk French led the Reichsarmee to victory against my Prussians…

A few members of the Carmarthen Old Guard had been asking about playing the ACW 2nd Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone’s River) on the terrain I’d built for Warfare 2021.  This is definitely a full two-day game, so I booked the hall for a whole weekend in June.  However, a few of the lads had never played Fire & Fury, or had never played the 2nd Edition, so in advance of the big game, I set up part of the table as a small club-night training scenario.  This was a ‘what-if’ scenario based on the situation of the northern flank at Murfreesboro.  This assumed two counter-factual things:  1.  That the Union side had not cancelled their flanking attack and 2.  That the Confederate General Breckenridge actually did his job that day.  Again, I haven’t written up this small game (sorry), though I really should write up this small scenario:

Following the trial game, we set up the full scenario and played it over a whole weekend in June.  This time I actually managed to play… And got a kicking… Again, I MUST get around to writing up the game!  I’m actually going to be setting the game up again in February for some more friends and that might be the last outing for Murfreesboro:

In August, my old RAF mate Bruce was down in Pembrokeshire with his family.  Back in our Officer Cadet days, Bruce and I were often the only ones left on camp when everyone else went home for the weekend (New Zealand and Pembrokeshire being equally difficult to reach from Lincolnshire) and games of Risk, Diplomacy, Junta, Turning Point: Stalingrad, Air Cav and Empires in Arms were cheap entertainment.  He then joined W.A.S.P. when stationed down here during his pilot-training and ended up marrying a Pembrokeshire girl, so is a frequent returnee to this neck of the woods.  Anyway, his lads are now teenagers, so it’s about time they were led astray by lead soldiers…  So the Murfreesboro mini-game got another run-out at his in-laws house:

In September, a local club, the Haverfordwest Gaming Club (HATS), was having a club open day.  We’d never been there before, so Andy James, Kirk French and I decided to put on a refight of the SYW Battle of Clostercamp.  This time, I once again managed to avoid defeat through the medium of umpiring:

In October I went back to the Haverfordwest Gaming Club again for yet ANOTHER run-out of that Murfreesboro mini-game; this time with Andy Williams.  The photo below shows my ‘brave’ attack with my pioneer brigade, through a ford, uphill against an entrenched, elite enemy with absolutely zero artillery support.  And I lost!  Can you believe it…?

In November I was back at W.A.S.P. and had my first Tricorn game with Gareth Beamish since the 1990s.  It was Gareth who first turned Shako into Tricorn, so it was great to play a game with him again.  The scenario was the War of Austrian Succession Battle of Mollwitz.  Once again, I’ve completely failed to write up the game (yet), but as in the actual battle, my Prussians did better when the King wasn’t there…

Then Gareth Beamish put on a brilliant 6mm Samurai game, utilising his spectacular 6mm collection and his Tenka-Fubu rules.  This time I didn’t lose and with my record, forcing Gareth into a grinding, attritional bloodbath is something to be proud of!

In December I did a re-run of my Combat of Zinna 1759 scenario with Al ‘Skippy’ Broughton.  As in the previous game against Andy James, the scenario was a proper nail-biter, though this time with victory going (undeservedly) to my Prussians, thanks to some very lucky dice-rolling by my solitary dragoon brigade and some very unlucky dice-rolling on Al’s part, when rolling for army morale, just as his cavalry was about to roll up my left flank.  I’m not proud, but I’ll take that one…  Sadly, having taken a couple of photos at the start of the game, I completely forgot to take any more, so there won’t be a game report:

Finally to round off the year, we refought the SYW Battle of Warburg, which was a great game, in excellent company.  My thanks to Al Broughton, Kirk French, Bruce Castle, Mark Castle, Tane Castle, Dave Llewellyn and Gareth Beamish.  Commiserations to Andy James, who once again pulled a sickie (get well soon, mate).  The game-report will be on here soon and no spoilers, but once again I was left wondering if this really is the hobby for me…

There were some other games throughout the year, but they were mostly board-games and I didn’t bother photographing those!  I lost them for the most part…

Aside from the painting and the wargaming, I also posted some profiles of my 28mm AWI collection, featuring some units painted 15-20 years ago, as well as some painted in late 2022, starting with the British Elite Corps:

Then some Rebels:

And some More Rebels:

Then there was the Grand Parade of the completed Reichsarmee:

On the scenario-writing front, I’m afraid that this year it was all Seven Years War and War of Austrian Succession.  I wrote scenarios for the Battle of Mollwitz 1741, the Combat of Pretzsch 1759, the Combat of Strehla 1760, the Battle of Warburg 1760 and the Battle of Clostercamp 1760.

I had hoped to post a load of scenarios, orbats and profiles from other periods, but never got around to it!  So my apologies to the ACW, Napoleonic and 20th Century enthusiasts.  I’ll try to do better in 2024 and I’ve already made a start on writing up the above-mentioned Murfreesboro mini-scenario, as well as my megalomaniacal scenario for the colossal Battle of Bautzen 1813, which we did as a demo-game in the mid-1990s.  I’ve also found a forgotten Normandy scenario that I’d never got around to publishing on the Fire & Fury Games (Battlefront: WWII) page, so that will also be here soon, along with another flurry of WAS and SYW scenarios for Tricorn, some of which are already written.

Additionally, I’ve recently found a load of old photographs, including our 1999 AB Figures Mega-Game of the Battle of Eggmühl 1809, so I’ll get those scanned in and posted up (once I’ve photoshopped Dave Brown out of most of the shots):

I’ve also recently started a Franco-Prussian War of 1870 campaign via e-mail, so expect some reports from that once it gets going.  It would also be nice to do some Napoleonic games again, as well as some ACW battles other than Murfreesboro!

And perhaps this will finally be the year that I finish the 255th Indian Tank Brigade article and fix the blog to restore the sign-up function… 🙁

Anyway, Happy New Year!  Here’s hoping that you all have a wonderful 2024 (unless you’re Russian, obvs)!

Slava Ukraini

Posted in Annual Reviews | 15 Comments