‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’ (Part 8: Hanoverian Cavalry)

Having shocked the surviving readers of this blog last week by publicly playing with Gareth’s nobori and having caused palpitations by making people read Japanese names, I thought I’d better post the blog equivalent of Mogadon to calm everyone down.  So here are some SYW Hanoverian cavalry regiments.   The figures are all 18mm British Dragoons by Eureka Miniatures and the standards are by Maverick Models.

These are particularly bland; all with white coats and most don’t even have lapels… I can sense some of you starting to snore already, so pull up a pillow…

Above:  Dragoon Regiment ‘Breidenbach’ was one of four Hanoverian dragoon regiments.  It actually started the Seven Years War with the title ‘Heimburg’ for its inhaber (i.e. Colonel-Proprietor, alternatively Chef) Friedrich von Heimburg.  However, by the time of the regiment’s first engagement at the Battle of Hastenbeck on 26th July 1757, the title had passed to Johann Christian von Breidenbach, so I’ll therefore refer to them as the ‘Breidenbach’ Dragoons below.  However, Breidenbach died in September 1759 and regiment was then known as ‘Reden’ for Ernst Friedrich von Reden.  Following Reden’s death in action at Grunberg in March 1761, the title transferred to Georg von Walthausen.

Following the Seven Years War the regiment was given the regimental number 6, being the 6th cavalry regiment in order of seniority (the eight small regiments of horse were paired up to become regiments 1 to 4 and the dragoon regiments were numbered 5 to 8).  As with other nations’ armies, Hanoverian regiments in the Seven Years War are sometimes referred to in histories by their anachronistic post-war regimental numbers, as it makes it easier to keep track of regiments with constantly-changing titles.

Above:  Dragoon Regiment ‘Breidenbach’.  As in the Hessian and French armies, Hanoverian dragoon regiments were roughly double the strength of the line cavalry regiments, having four squadrons instead of two.  Each squadron had two companies, each of 87 men.  However, as an added complication, eight men from each company would then be detached to the Horse Grenadier Company, which had its own permanent staff of five men (1 lieutenant, 2 NCOs and 2 drummers), so in the field, the regiment would have nine companies, for a total of 712 men at full strength.

Aside from the red-coated Garde du Corps and the Grenadiers à Cheval, all Hanoverian line regiments of dragoons and horse wore white coats.  The dragoon regiments were distinguished by the fact that they had lapels on the breast, an aiguillette on the right shoulder and buttonhole lace on lapels and cuffs.  They also had the aforementioned Horse Grenadier Company standing on the right flank, wearing grenadier mitre caps.

Above:  Dragoon Regiment ‘Breidenbach’.  The regiment’s coats had light blue lapels, cuffs, aiguillette and tail-turnbacks, with white metal buttons and white shoulder-strap and buttonhole lace.  Neck-stocks were red and the aiguillette had red tips to the cords.  Small-clothes, belts, gauntlets and cartridge-pouches were light buff, with light blue lace edging to the waistcoat.  Hats had white lace, black cockades and were often adorned with a sprig of oakleaves or other greenery.  Scabbards were black with iron fittings and swords had iron hilts.

Officers had silver lace and yellow sashes, worn ‘British-style’ over the shoulder, though there is some evidence to suggest that they may have worn them over the right shoulder, like British infantry officers.  A British infantry officer figure might therefore be better than the dragoon officer used here.

As for musicians, I made a mistake here and included a trumpeter.  Dragoon regiments only had drummers and oboists!  They wore heavily-laced livery-coats in reversed colours and headgear was the same as the rest of the company (mitre caps for the Horse Grenadiers and hats for the rest).  Eureka Miniatures don’t do a British dragoon drummer (or oboist) in hat (they have mitre caps), but their French dragoon musician figures would be perfect for the job, so I’ll use those next time.

Above:  Dragoon Regiment ‘Breidenbach’.  The regiment’s Horse Grenadiers wore a mitre cap with a white bag with light blue piping and a red-over-light blue pompom.  The front-piece and headband were light blue.  The front-piece was decorated with the crowned Badge of Hanover, flanked by white foliage.  Below that was a red false-flap, decorated with a white or silver grenade badge.  There was another grenade badge worn centrally on the rear of the headband.

Horse furniture was light blue, edged with white lace, shot through with narrow red stripes.  I’ve simplified this to a single red stripe (as did the artist who painted the picture shown above).  The holster-caps and rear corners of the shabraque were further decorated with a wreathed and crowned Badge of Hanover, though I haven’t painted these (as mentioned before, I tend not to paint too much shabraque decoration, as it obscures the ground colour of the shabraque).  Cloaks were white and when not worn, were rolled at the rear of the saddle, with the facing-coloured lining showing outermost.

Hanoverian dragoon standards were square, like those of the regiments of horse.  The 1st Squadron carried the white Leibstandarte, while the other squadrons each carried a blue Eskadronstandarte.  These were fringed in gold and carried a different design for each squadron.  All depictions of the Eskadronstandarten show a darker, deeper blue than the facing colour, but this may be just a matter of interpretation and it may have been the same colour.

A note about horses; Hanoverian dragoons may well have ridden darker breeds, as shown in the picture above.  It is certainly recorded that they would put the larger, darker horses in the front rank.  However, given the similarity of their uniforms with those of the regiments of heavy horse, I decided to use the ‘Prussian approach’ and mount the dragoons on browns and chestnuts, keeping the darker colours for the heavy horse.

Above:  The ‘Dachenhausen’ Regiment of Horse (left) and ‘Gilten’ Regiment of Horse (right).

The ‘Dachenhausen’ Horse were named for their inhaber Carl Gustav von Dachenhausen.  However, in 1758 the title changed to ‘Bremer’ for their new inhaber, Christian Friedrich Bremer.  In 1761 the regiment became known as ‘Alt-Bremer’, to set it apart from the newly-titled ‘Jung-Bremer’ Regiment.  In the post-war numbering scheme, the ‘Alt-Bremer’ Regiment was given the designation 2A (being one half of the new 2nd Cavalry Regiment).

A Trooper of the ‘Pöllnitz’ Regiment of Horse, circa 1749 by David Morier.

The ‘Gilten’ Horse were actually titled ‘Pöllnitz’ at the start of the Seven Years War, but in 1757 changed to ‘Gilten’ (for Wilhelm August von Gilten’) before their first engagement at the Battle of Hastenbeck.  The regiment then went through multiple changes of inhaber and title, becoming ‘Breidenbach’ for Georg Carl von Breidenbach in 1758, ‘Veltheim’ for Adrian Dietrich von Veltheim in 1758 and then remaining ‘Veltheim’ in 1761 for Carl August von Veltheim.  In the post-war numbering scheme it was given the designation 4B (being one half of the new 4th Cavalry Regiment).

Hanoverian regiments of horse were small units, consisting of only two squadrons, each of three companies, for a total of 358 men per regiment at full strength.  I therefore pair them up to make a viable unit for Tricorn, in the same manner as my British and Hessian cavalry.  Oddly enough, this is exactly what the Hanoverian Army did immediately following the Seven Years War; combine each small unit into a viable unit of four squadrons.

Above:  The ‘Dachenhausen’ Regiment of Horse (left) and ‘Gilten’ Regiment of Horse (right).  All Hanoverian regiments of horse wore white coats without lapels or aiguillette.  I’ve therefore used yet more British dragoon figures by Eureka Miniatures and have filed off the aiguillettes.  The coat had three pairs of buttons down each side of the breast and three buttons on each cuff.  The cuffs and tail-turnbacks were in the regimental facing colour.  Shoulder-straps were white.  Small-clothes were buff, with the waistcoat being edged in the facing colour.  Hats were edged in the button colour and had a black cockade, being often adorned with a sprig of oakleaves or other greenery.  Horse furniture was in the facing colour and was edged and decorated with often quite elaborate embroidered designs.  Cloaks were white, lined in the facing colour and rolled behind the saddle with the facing colour outermost.  Belts were buff, though should be flat at the front (I’ve mistakenly painted on the front belt-buckles modelled on the British dragoon figures).

The ‘Dachenhausen’ Horse had apple green as its facing colour and had white metal buttons and black neck-stocks.  The horse furniture was decorated with the crowned Badge of Hanover and was edged with a complicated pattern of red, blue, yellow and white leaves.

The ‘Gilten’ Horse had medium blue as its facing colour and also had white metal buttons and black neck-stocks.  The horse furniture was decorated with crowned ‘GR’ cyphers and was edged in wide yellow lace, edged red and superimposed with a wide, wavy lace band of lace in a complex pattern.

Above:  The ‘Gilten’ Regiment of Horse (left) and ‘Dachenhausen’ Regiment of Horse (right).  Officers of horse had metallic lace edging to cuffs, collar, hat and horse furniture, as well as a silver gorget worn at the throat and a yellow sash worn over the shoulder.

Regimental musicians consisted of trumpeters and a single kettle-drummer.  These all wore a livery-coat in the regimental facing colour, heavily decorated with lace.  Headgear was a cocked hat.

Standards were square, as for the dragoons.  The Leibstandarte was carried by each regiment’s 1st Squadron and was white for both regiments, fringed and embroidered in silver.  The 2nd Squadron in each regiment carried an Eskadronstandarte (called a Regimentstandarte in some sources) in the facing colour, again fringed and embroidered with silver.  Each side of each standard had a different motif, as detailed on the Kronoskaf site.  As these are such small regiments, I’ve only shown the Eskadronstandarte for each regiment.

Above:  The ‘Zepelin’ Regiment of Horse (left) and the ‘Reden’ Regiment of Horse (right).

The ‘Zepelin’ Horse started the Seven Years War with Johann Friedrich von Zepelin as inhaber.  In 1757 the regimental title changed to ‘Skölln’ with the accession of Gerlach Friedrich von Skölln, though it isn’t clear if this took place before or after the Battle of Hastenbeck.  Note that in some sources the regiment is listed as ‘Scholien’, which seems to be a spelling-mistake or mis-transcription.  In any case, Skölln died in April 1758 and the title became ‘Heise’ when the regiment passed to Otto Wilhelm von Heise.  The title changed again in 1761 to ‘Estorff’ for Emmerich Otto August von Estorff.  In the post-war numbering system the regiment was given the designation of 1B (being half of the new 1st Cavalry Regiment).

The ‘Reden’ Horse actually started the war as the ‘Bothe’ Horse (for Johann Arnold Bothe), but by the time of the Battle of Hastenbeck in 1757 had been re-titled ‘Reden’ for their new inhaber, Ernst Friedrich von Reden.  After the Battle of Minden in 1759, the regiment was re-titled ‘Walthausen’ for Georg von Walthausen and changed title a final time in 1761 to ‘Behr’ or ‘Alt-Behr’ for Johann Friedrich von Behr.  In the post-war numbering system, the regiment was given the designation 4A (being half of the new 4th Cavalry Regiment).

Above:  The ‘Zepelin’ Regiment of Horse (left) and the ‘Reden’ Regiment of Horse (right).

The ‘Zepelin’ Horse started the war with orange as its facing colour and yellow as its ‘metal’ colour.  Neck-stocks were red and hat-lace was yellow.  Horse furniture was orange, decorated with the crowned Badge of Hanover and edged with a double band of lace in a complex patter of green, yellow and orange (for simplicity’s sake, I’ve just used green).  However, in 1760 the colourings changed dramatically, with cuffs and neck-stocks becoming black and the tail-turnbacks becoming white.  The horse-furniture also became white and was now edged in a double band of plain yellow lace (with badges as before).  The cloak-roll changed to black.

The ‘Reden’ Horse had dark blue facings and yellow ‘metal’.  Neck-stocks were black and hat-lace was yellow.  Horse furniture was also dark blue, being decorated with the crowned Badge of Hanover and edged in a strip of yellow & white lace, with an interior edge of green, white and crimson leaves.

Above:  The ‘Reden’ Regiment of Horse (left) and the ‘Zepelin’ Regiment of Horse (right) again dressed their musicians in livery-coats matching the facing colour and heavily decorated with lace.

The ‘Reden’ Horse followed the usual pattern of a Leibstandarte in white and Eskadronstanrate matching the facing colour, both fringed with the button colour (gold).  However, the ‘Zepelin’ Horse differed somewhat in that its white Leibstandarte was fringed with silver, while the Eskadronstandarte was yellow, fringed in gold.  Note that again, I’ve given both these units an Eskadronstandarte.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for now.  I’ve just got back from enduring the execrable Napoleon film, so now need a stiff drink and a lie down…


Just. Don’t.

More anon…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 6 Comments

‘Getting Your Nobori Out In Public’: a 6mm Samurai Game

It was something a bit different for me last week, as I went down to W.A.S.P. and had a 6mm Samurai game with my old mate Gareth.  I’ve been admiring his astonishing 6mm Samurai collection for the last few years and his Tenka-Fubu blog is definitely worth a visit if you’re even remotely interested in Samurai warfare, or if not, just go for the eye-candy (a sample of which is shown above).

Sometime around 1994-1998ish, Gareth and I (along with our mates Jason and Doug) did a lot of 15mm Samurai gaming and put on a series of large demo games at shows such as Colours, Partizan, Warfare, Crusade, Warcon, Marston-Magna and WMMMS.  They even appeared in the pages of Wargames Illustrated and Miniature Wargames, thanks mainly to Gareth’s astonishing castle models (that were eventually sold to a bloke from Dublin, thus saving me the job of driving the terrain home from Colours ’98!).

Doug, Gareth and me at Marston-Magna ’96 with Gareth’s first castle model. The second castle was MUCH better…

To be honest, I’ve no idea how we found the time, as we were also doing a lot of large 15mm Napoleonic and Seven Years War demo games at around the same time.  I’m sure that there must have been a tear in the space-time continuum sometime around 1994 that allowed us the time and money to fit all this in…  Anyway, I’ve still got my old 15mm Samurai collection here (the Uesugi clan), along with Jase’s collection (Takeda clan); around 1,000 figures all-told, which I must dig out for a photo-shoot one day.

Anyway, back to last week’s 6mm game:  The game was played with Gareth’s own Tenka-Fubu: Warfare in the Age of Nobunaga rules (follow the link to his downloads page), which are an adaptation of For King & Parliament by Simon Miller (itself an adaptation of To The Strongest!).  These are designed for large-scale battles and I found them to be quick and easy to learn and play.  Unlike the modified version of DBR we used in the 1990s (and every other set of rules used to play Samurai warfare), Tenka-Fubu doesn’t break units down by weapon or troop-type.  Instead, each unit represents an entire combined-arms Sonae (‘brigade’ or ‘regiment’ being the nearest western equivalent).

Sonae have two ratings, first indicating their ‘Command’ ability (organisation, communications, training and drill) and second their ‘Military’ ability (skill at arms, small-unit tactics, weapons, armour and experience).  These factors range from 1 (Good) to 3 (Poor).  Some lucky Sonae will also include guns, which provide defending units thus equipped with an initial strike against an attacker.  Several Sonae are then grouped into a Shū under the command of a Bushō.  Several Shū then make up the army, commanded by the Taishō.  For a fuller explanation of the rules, go to Gareth’s download page, though note that a copy or knowledge of For King & Parliament will also be required.

Above:  A small Shū of only two Sonae, belonging to Oda Nobunaga’s army.  This is the Akechi clan, commanded by Akechi Mitsuhide (identified by the ‘F’ marker on the Sonae bases).  The clan’s two Sonae are average across the board, with both Sonae having a factor of 2 for both Command and Military ability.  The right-hand Sonae (to which Akechi Mitsuhide has attached himself) also has a dot above its Command factor, indicating the inclusion of guns.

Anyway, before we go onto the battle report, here’s some of Gareth’s scenery.  I should add that Tenka-Fubu is a square grid-based game, so each terrain-piece and Sonae neatly fits one square on the board.  The grid itself is marked by very subtle dots painted on the cloth, marking the corners of the grid-squares:

Above:  Peasants work in the paddy-fields.

Above:  In the nearby village, more peasants hang out the washing and do a spot of fishing.

Above:  Other peasants take a stroll with the kids.

Above:  Two peasants play Go in the shade of a pine tree, while a third looks on, probably offering ‘helpful tactical advice’.

Above:  I thought I’d add this coin to show the scale of Gareth’s incredible modelling and painting.  His figures are mostly by Baccus Miniatures, with a few 3D-printed models mixed in.  The scenery is all scratch-built.  For the purposes of our game, the scenic items (aside from woods and hills) were purely for decoration and were simply moved aside as troops moved through.  The underlying terrain cloth is a golden-brown ‘teddy-bear fur’ rug, painted with large patches of green.  This harks back to our old demo games, which used the same colour scheme in an attempt to match those wonderful Japanese folding screens (such as the famous Ōsaka Screen), which use gold leaf as the ground-colour, with large patches of green grass.

Above:  The opening positions, showing the army of Oda Nobunaga on the left and the army of Mōri Terumoto on the right.  The Mōri army is slightly stronger, but the Oda have the qualitative edge.  Here’s Gareth’s outline of the scenario, together with a rough order of battle showing the ID letter for each Shū, the clan to which they belong and the name of the Bushō.  Each Shū has 2-4 Sonae.  Most Shū have one Sonae equipped with guns.  I must add that this period is not my my area of expertise, so any errors below are entirely Gareth’s… 😉

Harima 1574

The basic and rather tenuous, premise is a ‘what-if’ scenario where Oda Nobunaga attacks the Mōri in 1574 after defeating the Azai-Asakura.  The battle happens somewhere in Harima province.

Oda Army (Gareth):

ID Letter – ‘Clan’ – Bushō
A – Oda – Oda Nobunaga (Taishō)
B – Oda – Sassa Narimasa
C – Oda – Oda Nobutada
D – Shibata – Shibata Katsuie
E – Hashiba – Hashiba Hideyoshi
F – Akechi – Akechi Mitsuhide
G – Maeda-  Maeda Toshiie

undefinedMōri Army (Me):  

ID Letter – ‘Clan’ – Bushō
A – Mōri – Mōri Terumoto (Taishō)
B – Mōri – Fukubara Sadatoshi
C – Kobayakawa – Kobayakawa Takakage
D – Kikkawa – Kikkawa Motoharu
E – Minor clans – Awaya Motonobu
F – Harima clans – Bessho Nagaharu
G – Murakami et al – Murakami Motoyoshi

Above:  Mōri Terumoto’s headquarters is situated on top of a hill near the right flank.  Terumoto gains a bonus when transmitting orders provided he remains within his headquarters, but will lost that bonus if he decides to mount up and move.

Above: To the rear of Mōri Terumoto’s headquarters are his household troops (A), consisting of three high-quality Sonae.  On the forward slope is the Shū of Fukubara Sadatoshi (B) with two Sonae.  On the right flank stands the large Shū of minor clan contingents (E), consisting of four Sonae under the command of Awaya Motonobu.

Above:  In the centre of the Mōri line is the Shū of the Kikkawa clan (D), resplendent in their black-and-white-striped sashimono.  This formation consists of three Sonae, commanded by Kikkawa Motoharu.

On the left of the Mōri first line and nearest the camera are the distinctive red sashimono and nobori banners of the Kobayakawa clan (C).  This Shū consists of four Sonae, commanded by Kobayakawa Takakage.

The Kikkawa and Kobayakawa clans are among the more powerful Mōri  contingents, consisting mostly of Average (as opoosed to Poor) troops and a slightly higher complement of guns.

Above:  The Mōri left wing is refused, lurking in the dead ground behind a hill.  This wing comprises mostly Poor troops and is therefore kept as far away from the enemy as possible!  Behind the Kobayaka clan are the Murakami and their retainers (G).  The Sonae of Murakami household troops (with the brown sashimono and nobori) comprises average troops, but the two retainer Sonae on their right are universally poor.

On the left flank and nearest the camera is a Shū made up from the local Harima clans (F), consisting of three Sonae, commanded by Bessho Nagaharu.  These are all Poor troops.  The fences indicate that they are defending their starting positions, for which they have a combat bonus.  This bonus will be lost if they move from their starting position.

Above:  Gareth’s overall view of the Mōri army.

Above:  Oda Nobunaga has also positioned his headquarters on a hilltop, to get a good view of the action.  In front of him stand the three Sonae of his household troops (A); two Sonae with black sashimono and nobori banners, plus one Sonae (on the right) with yellow.  On the left flank stands a Shū of four Oda household Sonae (B), under the command of Sassa Narimasa.

Above:  To the right of Oda’s headquarters is a third Shū of Oda household troops (C), comprising three Sonae, commanded by Oda Nobutada.

Above:  To the right of the Oda household is the Shū of the Shibata clan (D) commanded by Shibata Katsuie, with two Sonae carrying red sashimono and white nobori.

To their right are the blue banners of the Akechi clan (F), commanded by Akechi Mitsuhide.  This Shū also has only two Sonae.

Above:  In front of the Akechi clan is the Shū of the Maeda clan (G), carrying white banners.  This clan again has two Sonae, led by Maeda Toshiie.  Toshiie himself is easily identifiable on the battlefield thanks to his famous gold catfish-tail helmet and his personal banner depicting ‘Shoki the Demon-Queller’.

Lastly, on the Oda right flank and nearest the camera are another two Sonae belonging to the Hashiba clan (E), led by Hashiba Hideyoshi and including some exceptional troops.

Above:  Gareth’s overall view of the Oda army.

Above:  With a wave of his tessen, Mōri Terumoto orders his right wing (the small Shū of Mōri  troops under Fukubara Sadatoshi and the large, rag-tag Shū of Awaya Motonobu to advance rapidly, to take up more advantageous defensive positions on the high ground to their front.  The respective Būsho are marked with a circular base of pack-mules, indicating that they are under March orders.

Above:  The rest of the Mōri army remains stationary in their original positions under Defend orders (as indicated by the fence markers).  Terumoto-sama has decided to refuse his left flank and anchor it on dense woodland, but now starts to regret his decision, as the hill forward of the left flak might have been more defensive ground.

Above:  Oda Nobunaga meanwhile, knowing the quality of his troops, decides on a much more aggressive approach.  His entire right wing moves forward in echelon, hoping to destroy the poor-quality troops on the Mōri left flank and then rolling the Mōri army up from there.  The tip of the yari is formed by the excellent Sonae of the Hashiba (red banners) and Maeda clans (white banners).

Above:  Next in the echelon are the Akechi and Shibata clans.  Note the marker with a mounted tsukai-ban (messenger) figure, wearing a voluminous red horo on his back (looking rather like a Ninja Turtle).  This marker indicates a Shū on Attack orders.  A marker with a single nobori banner-bearer indicates a Shū on Regroup orders, but there are none of those on the table yet.

Above:  The Hashiba clan quickly closes to contact and charges the leftmost Sonae of the Harmia clan.  The Harima are not good troops and casualties quickly mount, despite despite their reasonably good position.

Note the marker with a tuft of grass; these indicate ‘hits’ on the Sonae.  Each Sonae can withstand three hits, but will be destroyed on the fourth hit.  Hits can be recovered if the Shū as a whole adopts Regroup orders or if the Bushō gives a temporary Regroup order to an individual Sonae.

I don’t know if Gareth was invoking Matsuo Bashō when he had the idea of using grass tufts to represent casualties, but it makes me think of Bashō’s famous haiku;

Natsukusa ya
Tsuwamono domo ga
Yume no ato

“Summer grasses, all that remains of stalwart warrior’s dreams” (there are other translations, but I like that one best).

Above:  Despite Bessho Nagaharu’s best efforts, his leftmost Sonae quickly collects a critical number of grass-tufts, but inflicts only one in return!

Above:  The view across the battlefield from the endangered Mōri left flank.

Above:  The view from the opposite flank.  In the foreground, Awaya Motonubu’s mixed Shū has occupied the hilltop and adopted Defend orders in the nick of time as in front of them, Sassa Narimasa’s Shū is moving to attack the hill.

Above:  Back on the Mōri left flank, the Harima clans are collapsing in the face of the ferocious Hashiba attack!  Bessho Nagaharu has thus far managed to escape death or capture, but now he makes his last stand with his household Sonae.

Above:  The ferocity of Hashiba Hideyoshi’s attack has been so astonishing and rapid that Murakami Motoyoshi has not managed to organise a counter-attack to save his neighbour!

However, in the distance, Mōri Terumoto has spotted an opportunity.  While the Oda left wing has charged rapidly forward to get stuck into the Mōri left wing, a large gap has opened up in the Oda centre, covered by only the two Sonae of the Shibata clan (red sashimono and white nobori).  With another casual wave of his tessen, the Taishō orders Kikkawa Motoharu’s powerful clan (with black-and-white-striped sashimono) forward to destroy the Shibata and cut the head off the snake!

Above:  The Akechi (light blue) charge home on the Kobayakawa (red)!  However, Oda plans quickly unravel as both Akechi Sonae suffer heavy casualties while assaulting a single Kobayakawa Sonae.

Above:  Over on the Mōri left flank, Bessho Nagaharu is still holding out with the last remnants of the local Harima clans.  However, the leading Maeda Sonae has charged home on the left-flanking Murakami Sonae, inflicting heavy casualties (at some expense to the Maeda).  The second Maeda Sonae meanwhile, wheels to outflank the Kobayakawa, who are already hard-pressed by the Akechi! [edited to de-gibbish]

With his left flank going to nezumi no tawagoto, Mōri Terumoto starts composing his death-haiku

Above:  Over on the right flank however, things are going rather better.  Awaya Motonobu’s Shū is still managing to hold his hilltop against Sassa Narimasa’s Oda troops, while on his left Fukubara Sadatoshi has charged into the fight with his Shū of Mōri household troops, inflicting significant damage on the right-hand Oda Sonae.  All they have to do is hold their ground…

Above:  In the centre, the black-and-white striped banners of the Kikkawa clan charge through the paddy-fields to strike home on the Shibata!  However, Shibata Katsuie proves to be a wily foe and wheels one of his Sonae to outflank the Kikkawa assault.  In turn, Kobayakawa Takakage orders his clan to counter-attack and succeeds in outflanking the outflanking Shibata Sonae!  However, the Kobayaka are now being outflanked by the Maeda…

Got all that…?

Above:  Back on the left flank, Bessho Nagaharu’s heroic resistance finally ends as he goes down fighting, having inflicted heavy losses on the Hashiba in sweet revenge.  The brown-bannered Murakami Sonae has also gone down fighting, beset on two sides by Hashiba and Maeda Sonae.  However, Murakami Motoyoshi is starting to get his act together and has managed to turn one of his Sonae to face the threat on the flank.

Above:  Over on the opposite flank, Awaya Motonobu’s mixed bag of minor clans is starting to be pushed off his hill!

Above:  At last, the Mōri army has some success as the Shibata clan is destroyed by the combined efforts of the Kikkawa and Kobayakawa!  However, One of the red-bannered Kobayakawa Sonae has been destroyed by the combined efforts of the Maeda and Akechi clans, while the hoped-for Mōri breakthrough in the centre has now been blocked by the intervention of a fresh Shū of Oda household troops led by Oda Nobunaga’s son and heir, Oda Nobutada.

Above:  “Amaterasu on a jitensha!  Do I have to do everything myself?!”  Alarmed by the deteriorating situation on the left, Mōri Terumoto calls for his horse and leads his personal household troops to stabilise the situation!

“And don’t forget to roll up the wind-breaker! “

Above:  Determined to push Awaya Motonobu off the hill, Sassa Narimasa presses home his attack.  However, Sassa Narimasa’s right-flanking Sonae is destroyed by Fukubara Sadatoshi… The battle for the hill could still go either way.

Above:  Suddenly, the gods smile on the Mōri!  By some miracle, the Murakami, hard-pressed on the left flank, manage to repulse yet another Hashiba attack, breaking one of the two Hashiba Sonae!  Shocked by the repulse, the rest of the Hasiba clan break and run, closely followed by one of the two Maeda Sonae!  The astonished Murakami immediately advance, hoping to crush Maeda Toshiie in concert with the Kobayakawa and roll up the Oda right flank.

Perhaps the Tasihō‘s reserves aren’t required after all?

Above:  However, Oda Nobutada soon pisses on the Mōri osumi…  The injection of a third Kikkawa Sonae into the battle at the village makes little difference as the other two Sonae are destroyed.  The lead Kobayakawa Sonae is similarly destroyed by the Akechi and yet another Kobayakawa Sonae flees the field in response to the unfolding disaster!

A huge, four-Sonae gap has suddenly appeared in the centre of the Mōri army… Thankfully, Mōri Terumoto is perfectly placed to plug the gap with three elite Sonae!

Above:  As the Taishō leads the charge against Oda Nobutada, the Murakami advance to roll up the Oda right flank.  However, Maeda Toshiie escapes the trap, ‘advancing to the rear’ with his remaining Sonae to regroup.  The Akechi meanwhile, find themselves in trouble, having suffered heavy losses and now beset by the remnants of the Murakami and Kobayakawa clans, as well as fresh Mōri household troops!  In the distance, Oda Nobunaga has also mounted up and is riding to join the battle…

Tragically, that was where we had to leave it!  The battle was on a knife-edge and the loss of one Sonae to either side would have secured (a rather Pyrrhic) victory!

My sincere thanks again to Gareth for a superb game and a wonderful introduction to his magnificent collection and to Tenka-Fubu rules.

There’s another AAR with Gareth to follow (Mollwitz 1741) and yet more SYW.  Sadly we had to cancel our Warburg game due to illness, but we’ve re-booked that one as our Christmas game (which gives me time to paint more scenario-appropriate units). 🙂

Posted in 6mm Figures, Games, Samurai, Sengoku-Jidai, Tenka-Fubu Rules | 24 Comments

‘First Blood’: The Battle of Mollwitz, 10th April 1741 (A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’)

As mentioned last time, I’ve got another Tricorn game coming up next week at the Wargames Association of South Pembrokeshire (W.A.S.P.), though this time it’s set in the War of Austrian Succession (or First Silesian War if you prefer), rather than the Seven Years War; namely the Battle of Mollwitz.

Regular sufferers of this blog might remember that in December 2020 I used a compressed version of Mollwitz during one of many lockdowns, as a solo playtest game to refresh my knowledge of Shako rules and our 1990s-vintage ‘Beta’ version of TricornTricorn has come a long way since then, so it’s about time I revisited this battle and wrote up the scenario.

Historical Background – The First Silesian War

King Frederick II in 1740

On 31st May 1740, the 28 year-old Prince of Prussia became Frederick II, ‘King in Prussia’ (he would eventually become King OF Prussia in 1772, following the First Partition of Poland and Prussia’s acquisition of swathes of former Polish lands).  The young king inherited an impressive army, whose infantry were famed throughout Europe.  However, although Frederick’s father had lavished resources on his beloved infantry, the other arms had suffered from a period of neglect; neglect that within a few months was almost to prematurely cost Frederick his kingdom.

Frederick’s kingdom also suffered from a lack of territorial integrity, with many scattered enclaves, as well as a historically weak economy.  Frederick therefore needed land; preferably land that joined up his scattered territory and with resources from which to establish a solid economic base.

Emperor Charles VI

The new King in Prussia was immediately thrown into a crisis that would eventually grow into arguably the world’s first ‘world war’.  The Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI was ailing and the vultures were circling.  The title of Emperor, although theoretically elected by a vote of the nine Prince-Electors (Hanover, Bavaria, Saxony, Pfalz, Bohemia (held by Austria), Brandenburg (held by Prussia), Mainz, Trier & Köln), had actually been awarded to the senior member of the Habsburg Monarchy for more than three centuries.  However, Charles VI was the sole surviving male member of the Habsburg line and had no male heir.  As a consequence, in 1713 (two years after succeeding his brother Joseph I as Emperor) Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, being an edict that permitted the accession of a female heir to the Habsburg throne.  In 1713 the female heir to the Habsburg line was Archduchess Maria Josepha, eldest daughter of Joseph I.  However, in 1717 Charles VI was blessed with a daughter of his own, Maria-Theresa, who now became the Habsburg Heir.

Maria-Theresa in 1740

While the Pragmatic Sanction might have been fine as an internal Habsburg-Austrian matter, the rest of the Holy Roman Empire didn’t necessarily agree and were deeply divided as to whether this should also apply to the title of Holy Roman Emperor!

When Frederick II became King in Prussia he also inherited an Electoral Cap as Margrave of Brandenburg and therefore had to adopt a position on the matter of Imperial succession.  Frederick had long resented the powerful political influence that Austria held over Brandenburg-Prussia and saw the rich industrial Austrian province of Silesia as ripe for the plucking, with excellent lines of communication to Brandenburg, yet being separated from the rest of Austrian territory by a range of mountains.  Frederick therefore declared himself opposed to the Pragmatic Sanction and supported the rival claim of Duke Charles of Bavaria, who claimed the title as son-in-law of Emperor Joseph I (having married Joseph’s second daughter, Maria Amalia) and as great-grandson to Emperor Ferdinand II.

When Emperor Charles VI died on 20th October 1740, Frederick seized the opportunity with remarkable speed.  Mobilising and concentrating his army within just six weeks, on 16th December he crossed the Silesian border without even observing the nicety of a formal declaration of war.  The Prussians rapidly overran Silesia, taking the entire province except for three fortresses in the south; Brieg, Breslau and Glogau.


Shocked by Frederick’s duplicity, Maria-Theresa (now titled Queen of Bohemia, Queen of Hungary and Archduchess of Austria, but denied the title of Holy Roman Empress), immediately dispatched an army of 20,000 men under Wilhelm Reinhard von Neipperg.

Neipperg’s march north completely wrong-footed Frederick, who suddenly found his lines of communication cut by Neipperg’s army!  However, fortune favoured Frederick, as a captured Austrian gave him an accurate location for Neipperg’s camp outside the city of Neisse.  Despite appalling weather and unseasonal blizzards, Frederick stole a march on the Austrians and in a snowy dawn on 10th April 1741, found himself looking at Neipperg’s camp near the village of Mollwitz, where the Austrians were still cooking their breakfast.

The Austrians meanwhile, were in complete panic, as the Prussians had appeared in their rear, forcing them to deploy in an unthinkable (for the 18th Century) reversed deployment (the shame)!  However, perhaps due to inexperience and caution, Frederick decided to deploy his army instead of charging headlong into the panicked enemy, thus giving the Austrians time to recover their composure and await the Prussian advance…  And wait… and wait…


Frederick’s deployment took hours to complete, yet despite the time spent in deployment, he still managed to balls it up!  With Frederick having misjudged the distance from his position to a river on the left flank (the Kleiner-Bach), the front line of the infantry was compressed so much that a battalion of the ‘Prinz Leopold’ Infantry Regiment was forced to drop back and form up between the two lines.  Posadowsky’s entire cavalry division was also forced to cross over the river and deploy on the opposite bank, thus essentially removing themselves from the coming battle.  As was often the case when monarchs decided to lead armies in the field, even the presence of such experienced commanders as Feldmarschall von Schwerin and Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau (‘The Old Dessauer’) couldn’t seem to sort out the mess.


Finally at around 2pm, following hours of painful manoeuvring and re-dressing of ranks, the Prussians finally got within engagement range and commenced a bombardment on the Austrian lines with their heavy 12pdr and 24pdr guns.  The Austrians curiously hadn’t used the time to re-orientate the army, so were still deployed in reverse order and this for some reason seemed to cause as much consternation among the ranks as the cannonballs.  Nevertheless, the Freiherr von Römer, commanding the six cavalry regiments on the left flank was made of sterner stuff and spotted an opportunity.

Despite the difficulty of moving through snow, the Prussian heavy artillery was unencumbered by having to dress ranks and had managed to deploy well forward of the main line.  This brought them within effective range of the Austrians, but left them exposed and a juicy target for Römer’s cavalry.  Saddled with orders to maintain their alignment with the infantry and further encumbered by the presence of a pair of grenadier battalions interspersed in their line, Schulenburg’s Prussian cavalry of the right wing made no attempt to intervene as Römer’s horsemen first moved off to the flank and then launched their charge.


Some sources suggest that the Prussians lost sight of the Austrian cavalry due to a sudden snow-flurry, but whatever the reason, the Prussian cavalry received the Austrian charge at the halt and were smashed!  Schulenburg attempted to organise a counter-attack, but first lost a horse and suffered a cut to the face.  He attempted to staunch the flow of blood with a handkerchief, but as he mounted a fresh horse, his head was smashed by a cannon-shot!  The King himself attempted to rally the panicked troopers of the Leib-Carabiniers (as pictured at the top of this article), but to no effect as the Prussian cavalry broke and fled the field or sought refuge among the infantry.  While this was happening, the Austrian cavalry also managed to give the Prussian gunners a good sabering.

The King managed by the very skin of teeth to escape to the safety of his infantry (history at that moment came within a whisker of being VERY different!), but faced with what appeared to be an utter disaster, Schwerin urged him to ride to safety, which the King reluctantly agreed to do.  Some sources say that he fled the field, but that seems rather harsh as it is clear that his subordinates begged him to do so, as the prospect of the King being killed or becoming a captive was completely unthinkable.  Frederick later said that he deeply regretted agreeing to leave the battle, but it has to be said that this ‘regret’ didn’t stop him from buggering off early on a number of subsequent occasions…

With the King out of the way, the battle started to turn in the Prussians’ favour as the Prussian infantry did what it did best.  Römer’s cavalry smashed themselves against the blue wall and were cut down by unending, rolling volleys.  As the Prussian first line continued to advance on the waiting Austrian infantry, an attempt by Römer to turn the Prussian flank was stopped cold by the the infantry of The Old Dessauer’s second line, with Römer himself being slain.

At last, with the Austrian cavalry were beaten off and the Prussian battalion guns brought forward, the Austrian infantry were crushed by the weight of fire and were reportedly reduced to panicked knots of men clustered around their colours.  At last, the coming of night allowed Neipperg’s army to slip away, leaving the Prussians masters of the field.

When the King finally returned to the army, he was clearly a man on a mission.  The shortcomings of his cavalry arm were manifest and despite the war in Silesia still going on, he immediately implemented a programme of reforms and training, often conducting the training in person.  In the meantime, the Silesian Campaign remained locked in a stalemate and on 9th October 1741 he agreed to an armistice that ceded Lower Silesia to Prussia.

Frederick enters Breslau, 10th October 1741.

However, Frederick wasn’t satisfied with only Lower Silesia.   With Austria kept busy fighting France and Bavaria, he continued to build up his army in Silesia and in February 1742 resumed his offensive, this time ‘going for broke’ and aiming to capture Vienna, via the Austrian province of Moravia.  His hussar scouts even came within sight of Vienna, but the actions of Moravian partisans and isolated Austrian garrisons cut his lines of communication and so he was forced to withdraw into Bohemia.

The Old Dessauer

On 17th May 1742, an Austrian army under Prince Charles of Lorraine almost ‘did a Mollwitz’ on Frederick, surprising the Prussians in their camp at Chotusitz.  The Prussian cavalry performed better this time thanks to their period of re-training, successfully defeating their mounted opponents on each wing of the battle.  However, one Prussian cavalry wing left the battlefield in pursuit of their defeated opponents, while the other wing was then defeated by the Austrian infantry, so there was still much room for improvement!  In the meantime, the King was once again slow in deploying his wing of the army, leaving the Old Dessauer’s wing in the lurch for some considerable time.  However, the Old Dessauer held his ground and as the King’s troops began to engage, the Austrians withdrew from the field.

Having secured his victory and with Austria still under pressure in the west, Frederick sought terms from Austria and at Breslau on 11th June 1742 was rewarded with the entire province of Silesia, as well as the neighbouring County of Glatz.  The First Silesian War was over and despite a shaky start at Mollwitz, Frederick’s star was rising.

Frederick receives the homage of the Silesian nobles at Breslau.

Scenario Notes

The table is set up as per one of the two scenario maps above.  I’ve scaled the maps to 5′ x 7′, based on the frontage of the units in my own collection.  If you want to play the long, tedious version of the scenario, by all means use the first map showing the initial deployments (bear in mind that with the movement restrictions caused by the snow, it will take an AGE to get to grips!), but I recommend using the second map, which shows the situation at around 2pm, when the action started to happen.  So assuming you take the sensible option and use Map 2:

1.  The scenario will last for 20 turns.

2.  Victory will be awarded to the army which breaks the opposing army.

3.  All artillery starts the game unlimbered.  The Prussian heavy batteries may not therefore be moved from their initial positions, though may pivot on the spot and may be turned to face any direction before the start of the game.  Battalion guns are deployed within their parent formation as desired by the player.

4.  The Prussian army starts the game during one of its interminable periods of dressing ranks.  Any Attack orders issued may not therefore be acted upon until the start of Turn 3.  The Austrian army may act on its orders from Turn 1.

5.  As soon as the first Prussian formation breaks, Schwerin will use the excuse to spirit the King away from the battlefield ‘for his own safety’, thereby giving him the freedom to get a grip on the battle without royal interference!  The C-in-C then becomes Schwerin with a rating of ‘Good’ (2 d6).

6.  The thick snow almost certainly reduced the effectiveness of artillery, considerably reducing the ability of shot to ricochet, thus reducing damage effects and maximum range.  Therefore, class both Prussian heavy artillery batteries as light artillery in terms of range and firepower, though targets within 4 inches (musketry range) will be attacked with the normal full cannister effect of heavy artillery.  Battalion guns use the normal range-bands and factors, though will have no bounce-through effect.  See the Terrain and Weather Notes below for other effects of snow.

7.  The Austrians at this time certainly suffered from a disparity in infantry firepower effectiveness, given that they were still using wooden ramrods and simply didn’t have the intensive training in platoon-volleys that the Prussians had received, courtesy of Fred’s ol’ Dad.  However, they are significantly outnumbered and outclassed in this scenario, so I’m tempted to leave them as they are.  However, if you feel the need, apply the following rules to Austrian musketry:

  • A roll of 6 will only cause one casualty, not two.
  • In order to stagger a unit, their musketry roll needs to EXCEED the MR of the target unit, rather than equal it.  However, a roll of six will always stagger the target unit.

The Prussian Army – King Frederick II

(Average – 1 d6)

Right Wing, First Line – The King

Division of Generallieutenant von der Schulenburg (Poor)
4 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Schulenburg’ (DR 3) (1st Line) (poor)*      [4/1 – Large]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Bolstern’ (3/27)      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Winterfeldt’ (5/21)      [5/2]
5 Sqns, Leib-Carabinier-Regiment (CR 11) (poor)      [5/2 – Large]
5 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Schulenburg’ (DR 3) (2nd Line) (poor)      [4/1 – Large]

Division of Generallieutenant von der Marwitz (Excellent)
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Kleist’ (1/25)’      [5/2]
I. (Leibgarde) Bn, Garde-Regiment (IR 15)      [6/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Kleist’ (IR 26)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Kleist’ (IR 26)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Markgraf Karl’ (IR 19)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Markgraf Karl’ (IR 19)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Kalckstein’ (IR 25)      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Left Wing, First Line – Feldmarschall von Schwerin

Division of Generallieutenant von Kalckstein (Excellent)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Truchsetz’ (IR 13)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Truchsetz’ (IR 13)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Leopold’ (IR 27)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Leopold’ (IR 27)†      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Alt-Schwerin’ (IR 24)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Alt-Schwerin’ (IR 24)      [4/1]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Reibnitz’ (13/19)      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Buddendorf’ (20/22)      [5/2]
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Puttkamer’ (12/24)      [5/2]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Brigade of Oberst von Posadowsky (Average)
5 Sqns, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Prinz Friedrich’ (CR 5)      [6/2 – Large]
5 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Platen’ (DR 1)      [5/2 – Large]
6 Sqns, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Bayreuth’‡ (DR 5)      [5/2 – Large]
3 Sqns, Leibhusaren-Regiment ‘Zieten’‡ (HR 2)      [4/1]

Second Line – General der Infanterie Prinz Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau

Right Wing of Second Line – Generalmajor Prinz Heinrich von Preussen (Average)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Dietrich’ (IR 10)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Dietrich’ (IR 10)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Alte-Borcke’ (IR 22)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Glasenapp’ (IR 1)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Graevenitz’ (IR 40)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Füsilier-Regiment ‘Graevenitz’ (IR 40)      [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Heinrich’ (IR 12)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Prinz Heinrich’ (IR 12)      [4/1]

Left Wing of Second Line – Generalmajor von Bredow (Good)
Grenadier-Bataillon ‘Saldern’ (8/36)      [5/2]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Braunschweig-Bevern’ (IR 7)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Braunschweig-Bevern’ (IR 7)       [4/1]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Sydow’ (IR 23)      [4/1]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Sydow’ (IR 23)      [4/1]

Artillery Park
Batterie ‘Lehwaldt’ (12pdrs)      [3/0]
Batterie ‘Dohna’ (24pdrs)      [3/0]

Prussian Notes

* One squadron is actually from the Gensd’armes Regiment (CR 10).

† The 2nd Battalion of the ‘Prinz Leopold’ Infantry Regiment (IR 27) was squeezed out of the first line due to the army’s poor deployment and therefore formed up to the rear of the regiment’s 1st Battalion, between the two lines.

‡ The ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons and ‘Zieten’ Hussars actually belonged to Prince Leopold’s Second Line, but were placed under Posadowsky’s command once the battle started. Similarly, part of the ‘Schulenburg’ Dragoons belonged to Prince Leopold, but were placed under Schulenburg’s command.

1.  The Prussian cavalry under Schulenburg’s command behaved very badly at Mollwitz, so have been downgraded to ‘Poor’ status (i.e. their Moral Ratings have been dropped by one level).  However, I’ve left Posadowsky’s cavalry ratings alone.  Feel free to downgrade them as well, if you feel the need.

2.  The young Frederick’s inexperience manifested itself in a number of areas during this battle; most notably in throwing away the advantage of surprise with his failure to immediately attack the Austrian camp and then compounding this with a botched deployment that resulted in a compressed infantry line and Posadowsk’y cavalry being deployed on the wrong side of a river!  His desire to keep immaculately-dressed lines then resulted in one of the slowest advances to contact in military history.  I’ve therefore classed him as ‘Average’ (1 d6), but he might also qualify as ‘Poor’ (0 d6) if you’re feeling harsh.

3.  Prussian artillery strength varies from source to source.  The total number of guns is variously described as 50 or 58 guns, while the number of heavy guns within that number could be 16 or 18 (divided into 10x 12pdrs and 8x 24pdrs).

4.  Prussian regiments weren’t formally numbered until 1806, but as usual I’ve followed the common convention of using the anachronistic numbers to make units easier to label on the map.

Prussian Formation Breakpoints

Division                  FMR      ⅓      ½      ¾

Schulenburg                 23         8       12      18
Marwitz                         35        12       18     27
Kalckstein                     43        15      22      33
Posadowsky                  20        7        10      15
Prinz Heinrich              32       11       16      24
Bredow                          21         7         11      16
Artillery Park                6           –         –         –

Army Breakpoint  FMR   ¼      ⅓      ½

Prussian Army             180      45     60      90

The Austrian Army – Feldzeugmeister von Neipperg

(Average – 1d6)

Right Wing Cavalry – Feldmarschallieutenant Freiherr von Berlichgen (Average)
13 Coys, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Batthiányi’ (DR 7)      [5/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Liechtenstein’ (DR 6)      [5/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Cordua’ (CR 14)      [6/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Württemberg’ (DR 38)      [5/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Hohenzollern-Hechingen’ (CR 3)      [6/2 – Large]

Right Wing Infantry – Feldmarschallieutenant Graf Browne (Good)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Karl Lothringen’ (IR 3)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘O’Gilvy’ (IR iv)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Baden’ (IR 23)      [4/1 – Large]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Baden’ (IR 23)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infantry Regiment ‘Kolowrat’ (IR 17)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Harrach’ (IR 47)      [4/1 – Large]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Harrach’ (IR 47)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Grünne’ (IR 26)      [4/1 – Large]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Left Wing Infantry – Feldmarschallieutenant Baron Göldy (Poor)
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Browne’ (IR 36)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Botta’ (IR 12)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Schmettau’ (IR i)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Franz Lothringen’ (IR 1)      [4/1 – Large]
II. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Franz Lothringen’ (IR 1)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Thüngen’ (IR 57)      [4/1 – Large]
II. Bn, ‘Thüngen’ Infanterie-Regiment (IR 57)      [4/1 – Large]
I. Bn, Infanterie-Regiment ‘Alt-Daun’ (IR 45)      [4/1 – Large]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Left Wing Cavalry – Feldmarschallieutenant Freiherr von Römer (Excellent)
13 Coys, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Hohen-Ems’ (CR 4)      [6/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Scherr’ (CR 12)      [6/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Althann’ (DR 1)      [5/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Birkenfeld’ (CR 23)      [6/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Cuirassier-Regiment ‘Lanthierry’ (CR 25)      [6/2 – Large]
13 Coys, Dragoner-Regiment ‘Römer’ (DR 37)      [5/2 – Large]

Hussars – Unknown Commander (Poor)
10 Coys, Husaren-Regiment ‘Splényi’ (HR ii)      [4/1]
10 Coys, Husaren-Regiment ‘Ghilányi’ (HR iii)      [4/1]

Austrian Notes

1.  Austrian cavalry regiments were not organised into squadrons until 1751, so are listed in terms of companies.  This number includes the elite company (Carabiniers for Cuirassier Regiments and Horse Grenadiers for Dragoon Regiments).  There is no indication that the elite companies were separated from their parent regiment and massed into temporary elite regiments, as was common during the Seven Years War.  Similarly there is no mention of massed grenadier battalions.

2.  The Austrian army was extremely weak in terms of artillery.  Sources vary between ’10 guns’ and ’19 guns’ and these seem to have all been light battalion guns.

3.  Most sources list Neipperg as a Feldmarschall at Mollwitz.  However, he wasn’t actually appointed to that rank until 12th April 1741, so was still a Feldzeugmeister at the time of the battle.

4.  Austrian infantry battalions at this time were still using the four-ranked line formation, as opposed to the three-ranked line used by Prussia (and adopted by Austria at the start of the Seven Years War).  So despite being classed in Tricorn as Large Units, Austrian battalions are no wider than a ‘normal’-sized battalion.  This is a bit of a bugger for those of us with battalions permanently fixed to single bases, but I’m sure we’ll manage…

5.  Austrian regiments weren’t formally numbered until 1769, but as usual I’ve followed the common convention of using the anachronistic numbers to make units easier to label on the map.  The Roman numerals (e.g. HR ii) are used for regiments that were disbanded before the formal numbering system was adopted.

Austrian Formation Breakpoints

Division                     FMR      ⅓      ½      ¾

Römer                              34         12      17      26
Göldy                               34         12      17      26
Browne                            34         12      17      26
Berlichgen                       27         9       14      21
Hussars                            8           –        4        –

Army Breakpoint FMR       ¼      ⅓      ½

Austrian Army              137         35     46      69

Terrain and Weather Notes

Some accounts of the battle only mention the significant snowfall in passing, though witnesses describe it as being about two feet deep or ‘waist’ deep, so it’s clear that it had a significant effect on the battle; slowing movement, reducing the effectiveness of artillery and fatiguing the cavalry horses.  Occasional snow-flurries also reduced battlefield visibility.


At the end of each Movement Phase and before the Musketry Phase, the umpire or a random player rolls two d6.  On a roll of double-six the battlefield is suddenly obscured by a blizzard.  The effects of the blizzard are:

  • No musketry in that turn.
  • No new orders may be transmitted that turn.
  • No artillery fire in the following turn.

This means that a charging unit may suddenly gain the benefit of charging home under the cover of a blizzard without receiving defensive fire, but it’s not something that a player can plan to take advantage of.

Built-Up Sectors

If the Austrian player feels the need to fall back and take cover among the houses of Mollwitz, divide the village into four BUSs, each of which may accommodate one battalion.  Each BUS has a cover modifier of -1 against shooting and a defensive modifier of +1.

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules), Tricorn Scenarios | 29 Comments

‘Auvergne, Voici Les Ennemis!’: The Battle of Clostercamp 16th October 1760 (The Refight)

As discussed last time, we (i.e. Andy, Kirk and me) recently put on a refight of the Battle of Clostercamp for the club open day of one of our local wargame clubs, the Haverfordwest Gaming Club (HATS).  I posted the scenario last time, so it’s time for the battle report!  Please try to contain your excitement…

The rule set used for the refight, as always was Tricorn, being my conversion of Shako Napoleonic rules for 18th Century warfare.  The models are from my own collection, being almost all Eureka 18mm figures, with a few Old Glory 15s and Blue Moon 15mm figures thrown in.

As it happens, I didn’t have a single one of the French regiments from the orbat in my collection, so I painted the Gendarmerie de France, as well as a few more grey-coated French infantry regiments, so I wouldn’t have to use my red-coated Swiss.  On the Allied side, I already had most of the required units in my collection, though I needed to paint a few Hessian units, as well as some Highlanders.  I haven’t yet painted the Prussian ‘Malachowski’ Hussars, so the ‘Möhring’ Hussars acted as proxies.

I should also thank Andy, who very kindly scratch-built a lovely canal to go along the northern edge of the table… Which I then completely failed to photograph…

Above:  The bulk of the French army starts the game having just been alerted and in the process of forming up in its camping-grounds (Note to self: I must make some tent-lines…).  The Gendarmerie de France are in the foreground, with the remainder of the French cavalry and d’Auvet’s infantry in the background.

Above:  Ségur’s infantry, consisting of eight battalions from the Auvergne Regiment and the blue-coated Alsace Regiment (here represented by my German Brigade) are deployed in the straggling village and farmland of Rosenray, with a battery of heavy artillery to the rear.

Above:  Historically, Ségur was very aggressive, throwing his infantry forward to meet the Allies at Kampenbrüch.  However, on this occasion he’s happy to wait at Rosenray until Thiard de Bissy’s cavalry and d’Auvet’s infantry secure his left flank.

Above:  D’Auvet’s division has ten battalions from the Normandie, La Tour-du-Pin and Briqueville Regiments.  Aside from the aforementioned Gendarmerie de France, Thiard de Bissy’s cavalry consists of two brigades, each of four weak regiments (in game terms, two large (16-figure) units).

Above:  Seeking a better view of the situation, de Castries takes up position on the high ground, next to the heavy guns.

Above:  The French guns are presently facing north across the canal, covering the approaches to the bridge at Rosenray.  However, they will soon be slewed left to engage the approaching Allies.

Above:  Meanwhile in Kampenbrüch, the picked Highlanders of Keith’s 87th and Campbell’s 88th Regiments make short work of the French picquets.

Above:  The Highlanders push forward into the village, passing an old redoubt left over from earlier wars.

Above:  With the Highlanders making headway in Kampenbrüch, Waldegrave’s infantry swing right into the open ground south of the village.  The division is led by a British brigade of three battalions; the 20th Foot (Kingsley’s), 25th Foot (Home’s) and 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers.  A German Allied brigade forms the second line; the Hanoverian ‘Marschalk’ and ‘Reden’ Regiments and the Hessian ‘Erbprinz’ Regiment.  The two British grenadier battalions, Maxwell’s and Lennox’s, are formed on the extreme right flank.  The only artillery support is provided by a handful of battalion guns.

Above:  Elliot’s cavalry brigade forms up to the rear of Waldegrave’s infantry.  Elliot has two small British regiments; the 1st (Royal) Dragoons (Conway’s) and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (Cholmondley’s), which for game purposes are massed into a single unit.  On their right is a detachment of the Prussian ‘Malachowski’ Hussars; this theoretically small unit of only two squadrons has been reinforced to around 400-500 men, so I’ve represented it as a separate unit, rather than mass it with the dragoon brigade.

Note that we were very pushed for space, so I had to tape our game posters onto the table surface and some of the Allied troops were initially deployed on a poster!

Above:  The Gendarmerie de France move forward, determined to dominate the southern flank of the battle and threaten any Allied advance on Rosenray.

Above:  As Waldegrave’s infantry advance, Elliot’s cavalry take post on the right flank.  However, Elliot is outnumbered and outclassed by the Gendarmerie and doesn’t fancy his chances!

Above:  The Highlanders meanwhile, mop up the last French picquets in Kampenbrüch.

Above:  At Rosenray, French battalion guns begin to open a long-range fire on the approaching lines of infantry.

Above:  On the hill behind the village, Castries and his staff watch as the 12-pounders commence their bombardment of the approaching enemy force.

Above:  As the two formations close with each other, Elliot seizes the initiative and orders the ‘Malachowski’ Hussars to charge!  However, the leading squadrons of the Gendarmerie de France, their lineage and traditions going all the way back to the Hundred Years War, contemptuously repulse the Prussians with ease, sending them reeling back through the supporting British dragoons!

With the British dragoons disordered, the Gendarmes take advantage of the situation and immediately launch their own charge on the end of the line of British grenadiers.  Despite their disordered state, the British dragoons now have no choice but to ride to the aid of the grenadiers and charge into the mêlée.  As expected, the dragoons fail to make much headway against the Gendarmerie, but Maxwell’s grenadiers, being made of firmer stuff, manage by the skin of their teeth to beat off the French horse!

Above:  Retiring from the combat with only light casualties, the Gendarmerie are sure to rally…  Aren’t they…?  However, the Gendarmerie have succumbed to la malédiction de la peinture fraîche and they aren’t going to stop for anyone!  They break and flee past the rest of the French cavalry and d’Auvet’s infantry, who do their best poulet impersonations as they watch the cream of French cavalry run past in the general direction of ‘away’…

[Note the MDF arrow markers alongside the infantry.  These indicate that the French infantry are in column formation, marching from right to left.  Basing infantry battalions on single linear bases makes gameplay MUCH easier, but there are occasions when you need to form a column of march and these markers therefore come in very handy indeed.  These were very kindly produced for me as a special order by Charlie Foxtrot Models, who I can highly recommend.]

Above:  The British dragoons breathe a collective sigh of relief and reform their ranks alongside the grenadiers.  The ‘Malachowski’ Hussars also failed to rally, but the Erbprinz considers this to be a fair swap; two squadrons of Prussian hussars for four squadrons of elite French heavy cavalry!  The dragoons also don’t seem to be too bothered about the loss of their Prussian comrades, despite the mass of French cavalry building up to their front.

Above:  Thankfully for Elliot, Harvey’s reserve cavalry division has crossed over the canal and is marching to deploy on Elliot’s exposed right flank, just in the nick of time.  Leading Harvey’s column is a combined brigade formed from the British 10th Dragoons (Mordaunt’s) and a Hanoverian regiment of heavy horse, the Leibregiment.  These are followed by the Hessian ‘Einsiedel’ and ‘Prüschenck’ Regiments of Horse.

Above:  Bringing up the rear of Harvey’s column is the Hessian ‘Prince Frederick’ Dragoon Regiment, resplendent in their Prussian-style sky-blue coats.

Above:  However, the remaining half of the Gendarmerie de France are très énervé

Above:  The cavalry clash once again as the Gendarmerie de France charge the combined British-Hanoverian brigade.  Elliot’s British dragoons also get stuck in, but the Allied cavalry is thrown back by the vengeful Gendarmerie.  The British-Hanoverian brigade manages to rally, but Elliot’s dragoons keep running, carrying Elliot along with them.  A short while later, the brigade of Hessian horse also makes a charge, but too is defeated by the Gendarmerie!  The situation is starting to look bleak for the Allied cavalry.  In the meantime, the French Royal-Piémont cavalry brigade charges the right flank of the British grenadiers, but is beaten off and retires to rally behind the Royal-Étranger brigade.

Above:  As the cavalry battle continues on the flank, Waldegrave’s infantry press on and are soon engaged in a sharp firefight on the southern edge of Rosenray, with elements of Ségur’s and d’Auvet’s divisions.

Unseen by the camera, a large group of Hanoverian volunteers under the command of one Captain Winzingerode have crossed the canal and along with the Highlanders, are making life miserable for the right flank of Ségur’s division at the northern end of Rosenray.

Above:  Waldegreave’s confidence is soon shaken, as the French infantry are numerous and are closely supported by artillery.  Allied casualties quickly mount.

Above:  On the flank, the Allies have another crack at the Gendarmerie de France, again throwing in the British-Hanoverian brigade, as well as the fresh Hessian ‘Prince Frederick’ Dragoons.  The Hessian Horse move up in support.  This time the Gendarmerie are thrown back with heavy losses!

Meanwhile, the Royal-Étranger Brigade charges the British grenadiers, but are halted by fire before they can make contact.  Things seem to be swinging back toward the Allies…

Above:  However, Waldegrave’s Allied infantry are starting to suffer very heavy losses in this increasingly attritional battle.  This style of battle suits the French, as they have a lot more men to throw in to the fight.

Above:  At long last, Howard’s reserve infantry division has arrived at Kampenbrüch!  This division consists of three British battalions; the 11th Foot (Bocland’s), 33rd Foot (Griffin’s) and 51st (Brudenell’s), as well as the Hessian 2nd Guards, Müller’s Hessian Militia Battalion, some battalion guns and a position battery of Hessian 6-pounders.

Above:  But is Howard going to be thrown into the existing battle on the right?  Or is he going to open up a new axis of attack against Rosenray on the left?

Above:  The Highlanders continue to skirmish in front of Rosenray, but are only a minor irritation that would easily be swept away if Ségur decided to attack

Above:  A slightly more serious threat to Ségur are Winzingerode’s Hanoverian volunteers, who have inflicted losses on the 1st Battalion of the Alsace Regiment, as well as the heavy battery on the hilltop.

Above:  On the French left, Montbarrey’s division deploys to form a second line behind d’Auvet’s extreme left flank.  He also pushes a 12-pounder battery forward to provide close support.  In the foreground, the Normandie Regiment finally moves forward from its camp.  The regiment has remained inexplicably motionless for much of the day until now, but finally lurches forward to form a second line extending south from Rosenray.

Above:  With the Gendarmerie de France beaten off, the British-Hanoverian brigade exploits the situation, launching a desperate charge against the Royal-Étranger cavalry brigade, who had been disordered and halted by fire from the grenadiers.

The charge is a resounding success!  The Royal-Étranger brigade are utterly broken and flee the field!  However, this was something of a desperate move, as despite their success, the Allied cavalry are now left milling about in disorder, on blown horses, right in front of the Royal-Piémont cavalry brigade!

Above:  Allied worries soon prove unfounded however, as Andy’s dice once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  With the loss of the Royal-Étranger brigade, Thiard de Bissy’s division has lost 50% of its fighting strength and now decides en masse to quit the field!

Above:  With the French cavalry cleared away by Harvey, the threat to the Allied flank is removed.

Above:  A short time later, the British grenadiers, with the Hanoverian Marschalk Regiment in support, have advanced to plug the gap between Waldegrave’s line and the southern woods.  The Allied cavalry’s part in this phase of the battle is over and they form up to the rear.

Above:  The infantry lines become more generally engaged.  The Allies have the qualitative edge, but have taken more casualties.  The French also have a lot more battalions in reserve and also now have a battery of 12-pounders right in the firing line!  However, most of the French battalion guns have been knocked out by British musketry.

Above:  The Thianges Dragoons arrived with Montbarrey’s division and now form up on the left flank, ready to pounce on any Allied breakthrough.  With both flanks anchored and with stacks of reserve, the French seem set to win this battle of attrition, though Castries doesn’t look very happy about it!

Above:  Meanwhile, the Erbprinz orders Howard to open up a new axis of attack on the left, where the French Alsace Regiment, defending the northern half of Rosenray, looks much weaker.  However, Howard’s column has drawn the attention of the ever-present French 12-pounder battery on the hill.

Above:  With the French slowly winning the battle of attrition in the centre, the Allies MUST do something to break the impasse!

Above:  Waldegrave orders four battalions of his first line to charge!  In the centre, the 20th Foot and Lennox’s Grenadier Battalion are halted by fire from the two battalions of the Briqueville Regiment, but the two flanking battalions (25th Foot and Maxwell’s Grenadier Battalion) make it into contact with two battalions of the La Tour-du-Pin Regiment.

Above:  The British charge is a partial success; while the Briqueville Regiment stands firm in the centre, the two flanking battalions are smashed.

Above:  French retribution is swift!  The 1st Battalion of the Horion Regiment (on the left) and the 3rd Battalion of the Normandie Regiment (on the right) advance to plug the gaps and the French line charges the impudent Rosbifs!

Above:  However, the French charge is something of a damp squib as 1st Horion are stopped by the fire of Maxwell’s grenadiers, while the 1st Briqueville and 3rd Normandie are repulsed by the 20th Foot and 25th Foot.  The only successful French battalion is 2nd Briqueville, who throw back Lennox’s grenadiers, though only inflict light casualties.

Above:  The situation as viewed from the southern flank.  Lennox’s Grenadier Battalion has retreated, but manages to rally behind the cavalry.

Above:  The situation as seen from behind French lines.  The retreating battalions of the Briqueville and Normandie Regiments have managed to rally behind the second line.

Above:  Another view from behind French lines.  At present the French line appears rather ragged with two battalions destroyed and another two thrown back.  Another British charge at this point might break d’Auvet’s first line altogether.  However, the French still have sixteen battalions in this sector, nine of whom are completely fresh.  By contrast, Waldegrave has eight battalions, all of whom have suffered losses, some of them dangerously so!  Three of Waldegrave’s battalions are elite (so have a morale and combat grade one better than the French) and three are large units (so absorb an extra hit before breaking), but it’s unlikely to make a difference in the long term.

Above:  However, Castries’ main cause for concern is now on his right wing.

Above:  In front of Rosenray, Howard’s reserve division is advancing with grim determination against three battalions of the Alsace Regiment.  The Alsace Regiment’s 1st Battalion is still pinned down, fending off Hanoverian and Highlander skirmishers near the canal.

Above:  The Auvergne Regiment, deployed in the southern half of Rosenray, has been largely unengaged, aside from an indecisive firefight near the chapel with the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers and Waldegrave’s battalion guns.  The Erbprinz was terrified that these battalions might move to envelop Waldegrave’s left flank, but this for some reason hasn’t happened.

Above:  Sadly, that was where we had to leave the Battle of Clostercamp!  It was 3pm and the open day was winding down, with everyone else packing up to leave, so we thought we’d better do likewise… 🙁  As mentioned above, I blame myself, as Andy and I probably wasted FAR too much time talking to old friends (and a few new ones)…  However, we had played through fourteen turns in around four hours, so it wasn’t too shabby! 🙂

In conclusion, I think Waldegrave’s attack, despite some tactical successes, would have eventually run out of steam due to attritional losses.  Howard’s attack may have broken through, but at the end of play, Ségur’s division had not suffered any significant losses and was therefore a very long way from being broken.  However, the defeat of the French cavalry was a very significant blow for Castries and if Waldegrave could find a way to push back the French first line, Harvey’s cavalry would be straight through the gap to cause havoc on the French left flank.

I think this is definitely therefore, a battle to revisit with a little more time and fewer distractions!   My thanks again to Kirk French, Andy James and to the Haverfordwest Gaming Club for hosting us.

More Tricorn gaming coming soon: It’s been a while since I’ve visited my old mates at W.A.S.P., so I’m heading down there on 31st October.  We have a refight of the Battle of Mollwitz 1741 lined up for that visit.  Although I did a solo refight of Mollwitz during lockdown a couple of years ago, I’ve not posted the scenario here, so I’ll do that later in the week.  Then on 18th November we have a refight of the Battle of Warburg 1760 at the Tenby Games Festival and I’ll post that scenario here soon.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 6 Comments

‘Auvergne, Voici Les Ennemis!’: The Battle of Clostercamp 16th October 1760 (A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’)

Here’s a scenario I wrote for a refight of the Battle of Clostercamp, played at the recent open day of the Haverfordwest Gaming Club.  We were limited for space but wanted to do a historical battle, so this is a nice, small battle with a few divisions per side, playable in a few hours and ideal for a club night (as long as you don’t waste most of the available time talking to old mates you haven’t seen for years…  Sorry Kirk…).

This scenario is designed for Tricorn, being my conversion of Shako Napoleonic rules to 18th Century warfare.

Historical Background

Ferdinand of Brunswick

By September 1760, the Seven Years War in the theatre of West Germany had rumbled on for over three years.  The French (with their Imperial German allies) had won victories at Hastenbeck, Lutterberg, Bergen and Corbach, while the Allied Armies of Hanover, Great Britain, Hesse-Cassel, Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg and Prussia had won victories at Rossbach, Krefeld, Minden, Fulda and Warburg.  However, neither side had yet gained a significant advantage over the other.

In an attempt to break the impasse, the Allied Commander-in-Chief, Ferdinand of Brunswick was resolved to go onto the offensive on the Lower Rhine, with the limited objective of capturing the key fortress of Wesel.  By 3rd October the fortress was completely besieged by 15,000 men under the command of Prince Ferdinand’s nephew, the Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz) Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand of Brunswick.  However, the French were very quick to respond and by 15th October, the Marquis de Castries was camped only a short distance from Wesel with a relief-force of 20,000 men.  Castries was in a strong position, with his right flank resting on the Rhine at Rheinberg and his front protected by the Eugène Canal.

Erbprinz Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand

Only 7,500 men could be spared from the besieging force, but the Erbprinz was confident that he could cross over the canal by surprise and roll up the French left flank before they could react.  Initially the assault went well, with a crossing over the canal secured at Clostercamp Abbey by the 87th & 88th Highlanders, supported by Elliot’s British and Prussian cavalry.  The French Chasseurs de Fischer were driven off and General Waldegrave brought his column of British, Hanoverian and Hessian infantry over the canal.  However, one Captain Chevalier d’Assas of the Auvergne Regiment, detected the advance of the British Grenadiers in the pre-dawn darkness and alerted his men, shouting “Auvergne, voici les enemmis!” before falling to British bayonets.

Marquis de Castries

Word soon passed to the Marquis de Castries, who quickly ordered the Marquis de Ségur’s infantry into action.  As day broke, the houses, gardens and hedgerows around Kampenbrüch soon became a bloodbath as both sides fought to gain the upper hand.  Even the Erbprinz himself fell wounded in the confusion.  However, with surprise lost, with the Marquis d’Auvet’s infantry also now joining the battle and with more French troops marching from Rheinberg, the only hope for Allied victory lay with General Howard’s reserve infantry, but Howard was still nowhere to be seen.

At last, Waldegrave’s infantry broke under the pressure and fell back in considerable disorder, with one British colour being lost.  However, the jubilant French infantry also lost cohesion as they pursued the fugitive Allied infantry and thus became easy targets for Elliot’s cavalry.  Elliot’s charge was devastating; the left flank of the French infantry was destroyed, with two battalions being badly cut up and losing two colours.  However, French cavalry of the Comte de Thiard de Bissy now launched their own charge and sent the Allied horse packing.  Nevertheless, Elliot’s charge had allowed the Allied infantry to rally and retreat in good order.

With Howard’s reserve infantry now finally arriving, the Erbprinz was able to withdraw his corps back over the canal without further incident.  The battle had been an Allied defeat and a very bloody one, with 1,170 men being killed or wounded and 462 captured, along with a gun and 14 ammunition wagons.  The butcher’s bill for the French had been even higher, with 2,661 being killed or wounded.  The battle had also been very costly for both sides in terms of senior officers being killed, wounded and captured.

The defeat at Clostercamp meant that the Erbprinz was now forced to abandon the siege of Wesel.  However, the defeat was now about to become a disaster as he learned that his line of retreat, a bridge over the Rhine, had been washed away by floods!  However, due largely to their heavy losses at Clostercamp, the French decided not to pursue the defeated Allies and the campaign ended with both sides settling into winter quarters.  The Erbprinz remained very bitter about his defeat, casting much of the blame onto his British subordinates and vowing never to have British troops under his command again.


Both sides set up their forces as per the map above.

The Allies have the initiative, owing to their surprise dawn attack, so may adjust their initial deployment positions by moving up to 6 inches to the flank or rear and may occupy the old redoubt.

The French however, are still forming up in their camping grounds and may not alter their initial deployment.  The one exception to this rule is that a single battalion of the Auvergne Regiment may be deployed forward to Kampenbrüch in response to the Chevaliers d’Assas’ shouted warning.  The battalion may be deployed within Kampenbrüch, approximately 2-4 inches to the rear of the skirmish line.

The French heavy battery is on the high ground, but starts the game facing across the canal, so may not be brought to bear on the Allies on Turn 1.

The Allied objective is to cause a collapse of the French army by the end of Turn 20.  If they fail to achieve this goal, the rest of the French army will arrive to restore the situation.  The French will win if the Allies fail to achieve this objective.

The Allied Army

Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
(Good – 2 ADCs)

Avantgarde – Major General Elliot (Excellent)
2 Sqns, Prussian Hussar Regiment ‘Malachowski’ (HR 7)     [4/1]
2 Sqns, British 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (Cholmondley’s)     } [5/2]
2 Sqns, British 1st (Royal) Dragoons (Conway’s)     } [combined with above]

Main Body – Lieutenant General Waldegrave (Good)
Picked Highlanders from 87th Highlanders (Keith’s)     [2x Skirmishers]
Picked Highlanders from 88th Highlanders (Campbell’s)     [2x Skirmishers]
Maxwell’s Battalion of British Grenadiers     [5/2]
Lennox’s Battalion of British Grenadiers     [5/2]
British 20th Regiment of Foot (Kingsley’s)     [4/1]
British 25th (Edinburgh) Regiment of Foot (Home’s)     [4/1]
British 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers     [5/2]
Hanoverian Infantry Regiment ‘Marschalk’     [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hanoverian Infantry Regiment ‘Reden’     [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hessen-Cassel Infantry Regiment ‘Erbprinz von Hessen’     [4/1 – Large Unit]
British Battalion Guns     [2/0]
Hanoverian Battalion Guns     [2/0]

Reserve – Lieutenant General Howard (Average)
British 11th Regiment of Foot (Bocland’s)     [4/1]
British 33rd Regiment of Foot (Griffin’s)     [4/1]
British 51st Regiment of Foot (Brudenell’s)     [4/1]
British Battalion Guns     [2/0]
Hessen-Cassel Infantry Regiment ‘2. Garde’     [5/2 – Large Unit]
Hessen-Cassel Landbataillon ‘Müller’     [4/1]
Hessen-Cassel Battalion Guns     [2/0]
Hanoverian Light Artillery Battery     [3/0]

Cavalry Brigade – Colonel Harvey (Good)
2 Sqns, British 10th Dragoons (Mordaunt’s)     } [6/2]
2 Sqns, Hanoverian ‘Leib’ Regiment of Horse     } [combined with above]
2 Sqns, Hessen-Cassel ‘Ensiedel’ Regiment of Horse     } [6/2]
2 Sqns, Hessen-Cassel ‘Prüschenck’ Regiment of Horse     } [combined with above]
4 Sqns, Hessen-Cassel ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Regiment of Dragoons     [5/2]

Screening Force – Captain von Winzingerode
Hanoverian ‘Volontaires’     [4x Skirmishers]


1. The squadrons of the Prussian ‘Malachowski’ Hussars had been strongly reinforced to around 250 men apiece.  This was therefore a sizeable unit and warrants being represented on table.

2. The bulk of the two Highland Battalions are just off-table, screening Fischer’s corps of Chasseurs, who had been ejected from the bridgehead.  They aren’t therefore included in the scenario, but I mention them here for those who know the battle and are wondering where they are.

2. Given their amazing performance at Minden, you might be expecting more of the British battalions to be rated perhaps as MR 5.  However, at Clostercamp they were down to only around 250 men apiece, hence the downgrade in most cases to MR 4.  Note that the British and Hanoverian infantry still get their +1 firing bonus against enemy units charging to contact.

3. Hessen-Cassel infantry regiments actually consisted of two battalions from 1760 onward.  However, these reorganised regiments were no stronger than the previous single-battalion regiments, so for game purposes are still classed as single Large Units.  The exception is Landbataillon ‘Müller’, which is a ‘normal’-sized unit in Tricorn.

3. With the exception of the Prussian ‘Malachowski’ Hussars and the Hessen-Cassel ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons, the Allied cavalry regiments are all rather small and are brigaded together into combined units for game purposes.

4. Winzingerode’s screening force of Hanoverian ‘Volontaires’ act as independent skirmishers, harassing the French right flank along the canal.  They do not need orders, do not require formation morale tests and do not contribute to the overall army breakpoint.  These seem to have been volunteer picquets taken from the Hanoverian line infantry regiments present with the army.

5.  The Landbataillon ‘Müller’ was a militia unit and you might therefore expect it to classed as MR 3.  However, the Hessian militia regiments fought well at a number of actions and I’ve therefore rated them as MR 4.  Note however, that the Hessian militia are not classed as Large units.

Allied Reinforcement Arrival Schedule

Turn 2 – Harvey’s Cavalry Division.

Turn 4 – Winzingerode’s ‘Volontaires’.

Turn 8 – Howard’s Reserve Division.

Harvey’s Cavalry Division and Howard’s Reserve Division arrive in march column in the order listed, at the western ford.

Winzingerode’s ‘Volontaires’ arrive in skirmish order, at the bridge adjacent to Rosenray

Allied Formation Breakpoints

Division         FMR      ⅓      ½      ¾
Elliot                     9           3        5        7
Waldegrave        45         15      23      34
Howard               28        10      14      20
Harvey                 17         6        9       13

Army              FMR      ¼      ⅓      ½
Allied Army        99         25     33     50

The French Army

Lieutenant-Général Marquis de Castries
(Good – 2 ADCs)

Left Wing – Lieutenant-Général Marquis de Ségur – (Good)
1st Bn, Alsace German Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Alsace German Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
3rd Bn, Alsace German Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
4th Bn, Alsace German Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Auvergne Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Auvergne Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
3rd Bn, Auvergne Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
4th Bn, Auvergne Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
Chasseurs & Grenadiers of Auvergne Infantry Regiment      [2x Skirmishers]
Picquets of the Army      [2x Skirmishers]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]

Right Wing – Lieutenant-Général Marquis d’Auvet – (Average)
1st Bn, Normandie Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Normandie Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
3rd Bn, Normandie Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
4th Bn, Normandie Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Briqueville Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Briqueville Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, La Tour-du-Pin Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, La Tour-du-Pin Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
3rd Bn, La Tour-du-Pin Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
4th Bn, La Tour-du-Pin Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Cavalry Division of Lieutenant-Général Comte de Thiard de Bissy – (Good)
Royal-Piémont Cavalry Brigade (Royal-Piémont, Descars, Balincourt & Poly)      [5/2 – Large Unit]
Royal-Étranger Cavalry Brigade (Royal-Étranger, Bourbon, Crussol & Royal-Pologne)      [5/2 – Large Unit]
4 Sqns (Right Wing), Gendarmerie de France      [6/2]
4 Sqns (Left Wing), Gendarmerie de France      [6/2]

Elements, Far Right Wing – Lieutenant-Général Comte de Montbarrey – (Average)
1st Bn, La Couronne Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, La Couronne Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Horion Walloon Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Horion Walloon Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
4 Sqns, Thianges Dragoon Regiment      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]


1. French cavalry regiments were very weak at this time.  Most had only two weak squadrons, with an average campaign strength of only 240-280 men.  Consequently, in Tricorn a unit represents a brigade of three or four such regiments.  The two brigades listed here are four-regiment units, so are classed as ‘Large’.  Note however, that these are classed as Poor Cuirassiers, so are MR 5.

2. The Gendarmerie de France was a very large regiment of eight squadrons, totaling some 1,400 men.  They are therefore represented in Tricorn as two units.

3. French Dragoons are classed as Poor Dragoons, with MR 4.  However, they may dismount and fight as infantry with the same MR, or as 2x Skirmishers.

French Reinforcement Arrival Schedule

Turn 2 – Montbarrey’s Right Wing.

Montbarrey’s Division may arrive anywhere on the eastern table-edge, in any formation.

French Formation Breakpoints

Division         FMR      ⅓      ½      ¾
Ségur                   48         16      24      33
D’Auvet               44         15     22      33
Thiard de Bissy  22         8       11       17
Montbarrey        52         18      26      39

Army              FMR      ¼      ⅓      ½
French Army    166        42      56      83

The canal is passable to Allied units only, at the bridges and fords, but only in column, skirmish or limbered formation.

The villages and farms are very scattered affairs, within a dense network of hedged fields. They are therefore classed in game terms as Woods, rather than as Built-Up Areas.

The ‘Ancient Redoubt’ is shown on one map of the battle as a four-bastioned, all-round defensive feature from some earlier war.  I would therefore class this as a Built-Up Area with a defensive modifier of +1, large enough to accommodate a single battalion and a battery.

Anyway, that’s me for now!  As you might have guessed, WordPress has been fixed!  That means I can finally start posting the scenarios and game reports that have been stacking up, as well as more of the usual unit photos.  More soon!

[Edited 21/10/23 to correct a mistake in the French breakpoint numbers]

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules), Tricorn Scenarios | 7 Comments

Reinforcements For King Louis! (Part 5: Gendarmerie de France)

As mentioned in the last few articles, I’m presently expanding my ‘western’ armies for the Seven Years War (France, Saxony, Great Britain, Hanover, Hessen-Cassel, Brunswick and Schaumburg-Lippe), with plans to refight the larger battles in western Germany, such as Minden and Vellinghausen, as well as earlier battles from the War of Austrian Succession, such as Dettingen.  In the meantime, I’m using some smaller battles such as Lutterberg, Clostercamp, Warburg and Corbach as objectives for painting.

We actually fought Clostercamp two weeks ago at Haverfordwest Gaming Club‘s open day (pictured below) and I did manage to paint a lot of new units for the game, including the Hessian troops seen last time, as well as Highlanders, additional French infantry and the rather spectacular Gendarmerie de France (the red-coated cavalry in the foreground).

The Gendarmerie de France were considered (not without some justification) to be an elite corps, being classed as senior to all French troops excepting the guard regiments of the Maison du Roi.  The regiment’s senior company, the Gendarmes Écossais, in particular could trace its unbroken lineage all the way back to 1422!  During the War of Austrian Succession they had re-affirmed their reputation as a hard-fighting elite regiment, being distinguished at a number of battles, most notably at Fontenoy.

During the Seven Years War their finest hour was arguably at Minden, where they, along with the Royal-Carabiniers, launched the third cavalry charge on the Allied infantry and unlike the first two charges, managed to charge home and break through the Allied first line (before coming a cropper on the second line, however).  They were present at a number of other engagements, most notably at the bloody little battle of Clostercamp, where the regiment achieved some success and contributed to the French victory, but suffered heavy losses in the close terrain that was not well-suited to cavalry.

Note that the Gendarmerie de France should not be confused with the Gendarmes de la Garde, which was a far smaller regiment (only a single company), forming part of the Maison du Roi.  The Gendarmes de la Garde also wore a red uniform, though with black facings and gold lace.

Above:  The Gendarmerie de France had a unique organisation and was very strong indeed.  It wasn’t the strongest in the French Army; that title was held by the Royal-Carabiniers, but it still weighed in at a whopping sixteen companies, organised into eight squadrons!  At full strength, the regiment had 1,240 enlisted troopers, so once the company, squadron and regimental staff are added, the regiment had around 1,400 men of all ranks.

By contrast, almost all French line cavalry regiments until late in the war had only two squadrons apiece, with 400 men of all ranks when at full strength (the notable exceptions being the Colonel-Général Regiment with three squadrons and the Royal-Carabiniers with ten squadrons).  However, the endemic poor leadership, corruption and inefficiency of the French cavalry arm meant that even at the start of a campaign, 240-280 men per regiment was more typical, just as it had been during the War of  Austrian Succession.  However, the Gendarmerie de France and Royal-Carabiniers seem to have suffered less from these problems and are recorded as being on campaign at near to full strength.

Above:  Due to the colossal size of the Gendarmerie de France, I’ve represented the regiment as two tactical ‘wings’, in much the same manner as the ten-squadron Prussian Hussar Regiments and larger Dragoon Regiments.  However, I must confess that I have cheated slightly, in that I’ve made each wing a ‘Large’ unit of 16 figures.  I’ve done this for purely aesthetic reasons, as I wanted the frontage of the entire regiment to be divisible by eight, so that the sequence of squadron bandolier colours looked ‘right’ across the front of the regiment.  In game terms they should really be two 12-figure units.  I’ll make it up to the Allies…

For the Gendarmerie de France I’ve used the 18mm French Chevau-léger figures by Eureka Miniatures.

Above:  As mentioned above, the eight squadrons of the Gendarmerie de France consisted of two paired companies.  Six of the sixteen companies were known as Chevau-légers rather than Gendarmes, but the title made no difference in terms of seniority, uniform, tactics or fighting ability.  The 1st Squadron consisted of the Gendarmes Écossais and the Gendarmes de Bourgogne.  The 2nd Squadron consisted of the Gendarmes Anglais and the Chevau-légers de Bourgogne.  The 3rd Squadron consisted of the Gendarmes Bourgignons and the Gendarmes d’Aquitaine.  The 4th Squadron consisted of the Gendarmes de Flandres and the Chevau-légers d’Aquitaine.  The 5th Squadron consisted of the Gendarmes de la Reine and the Gendarmes de Berry.  The 6th Squadron consisted of the Chevau-légers de la Reine and the Chevau-légers de Berry.  The 7th Squadron consisted of the Gendarmes du Dauphin and Gendarmes d’Orléans.  The 8th Squadron consisted of the Chevau-légers du Dauphin and the Chevau-légers d’Orléans.

Above:  Each squadron of the  Gendarmerie de France was identified by the colour of the central stripe of their bandoliers, sword-belts and shoulder-straps: 1st Squadron – Yellow.  2nd Squadron – Purple.  3rd Squadron – Green.  4th Squadron – Aurore.  5th Squadron – Cherry Red.  6th Squadron – Red.  7th Squadron – Dark Blue.  8th Squadron – Medium Blue.

Most of the regiment had the same uniform; namely a scarlet coat with matching cuffs, linings, breeches and horse-furniture.  Buttons were silver.  The cuffs, pockets, front-seams and rear-seams of the coat were edged with silver lace.  The coat was worn over a buff, sleeved leather jerkin, edged with silver lace.  The horse-furniture was edged with wide silver lace.  Belts and shoulder-straps were silver with a central stripe in the squadron colour, as discussed above.  Hats were edged with silver lace and had a black cockade, secured with a silver button.  Neck-stocks were black.  On campaign a breastplate was also worn; theoretically worn under the coat, though in practice the coat was often stowed behind the saddle, giving the troopers a very different appearance as buff-clad cuirassiers.  Officers wore a full back-and-breast cuirass over the coat and I should therefore have perhaps used Cuirassiers du Roi officer figures for the officers (true of all regiments).

Above:  The 1st to 4th Squadrons of the Gendarmerie de France.  Three companies had slightly different lace decoration on the coats:

The Gendarmes Bourgignons (3rd Squadron) had an additional broad strip of silver lace around the top edge of the cuffs (just below the narrow strip of silver lace common to all squadrons), which extended down the back seam of the cuff.

The Gendarmes Anglais (2nd Squadron) had the same additional lace, though with yet another narrow strip of silver lace placed just below the broad strip mentioned above.  They also had broader lace around the pockets and a narrow strip of silver lace going up the front seam of the sleeve, over the shoulder and down the back seam of the sleeve.

The Gendarmes Écossais (1st Squadron) had the same cuff-lace and pocket-lace as the Gendarmes Anglais and the same style of sleeve-lace, though the sleeve-lace was broader.  The Gendarmes Écossais also had buttonhole-lace down the front of the coat.

Above:  A rear view of the 1st to 4th Squadrons of the Gendarmerie de France.  The identifying belt-colour for each squadron was repeated on ‘rosettes’ attached to the horses’ manes and tails.  So from right to left we have yellow (1st Squadron), purple (2nd Squadron), green (3rd Squadron) and aurore (4th Squadron).  The regiment’s trumpeters wore the standard Royal Livery of blue with red cuffs and lace in a silver & red ‘chain’ pattern.

Above:  The 5th to 8th Squadrons of the Gendarmerie de France.  The regiment’s horses are recorded as being of ‘mixed colours’, so I’ve gone with a mixture of chestnuts, browns and bays, with greys for the trumpeters.

Above:  A rear view of the 5th to 8th Squadrons of the Gendarmerie de France.  Again, the horses’ manes and tails were decorated with ‘rosettes’ in the squadron colour, so from right to left we have the 5th Squadron (cherry red), 6th Squadron (red), 7th Squadron (dark blue) and 8th Squadron (medium blue).

Above: The Gendarmerie de France.  Each company had a standard, so there were sixteen standards in the regiment, in a dazzling array of designs.  Frédéric Aubert of Ad Hoc Editions very kindly sent me his sheet of standards for the Gendarmerie de France, which I then printed off on my own laser-printer.  As gorgeous as they are, sixteen standards might be a bit much, so I decided to use four standards… Although I’m slightly regretting this, as I now think I should have used eight…  In the end I decided to use the standards of the Gendarmes Anglais (white flag in foreground), the Gendarmes Bourgignons (white flag with Ragged Cross of Burgundy), the Gendarmes de Berry (blue flag) and the Chevau-légers d’Orléans (red flag).

Above: The Gendarmerie de France.  As mentioned before, I tend not to paint badges, crest, cyphers, etc, on horse furniture, as they tend to obscure the actual colour of the horse furniture.  But if you’re interested, the holster-caps and the rear corners of the shabraques were decorated with the crowned cypher or badge of the company’s Colonel-in-Chief, which was embroidered in silver.

That’s it from me for now.  More to come…

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) | 1 Comment

‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’ (Part 7: Hessen-Cassel Troops)

As mentioned last month, I’m currently undertaking a massive expansion of my French, Saxon and ‘Western Allied’ (i.e. Great Britain, Hanover, Hessen-Cassel, Brunswick & Schaumburg-Lippe) armies for the Seven Years War.  The long-term objective is to refight the larger battles of the war in western Germany, such as Minden and Vellinghausen, but I’m a LONG way off those goals!  Just looking at the number of French infantry battalions in my collection, I’d need to double my present number for Minden and triple it for Vellinghausen!

In the meantime I’ve set myself some short-term goals to keep the paint flowing, starting with the Battle of Clostercamp, which we refought at the Haverfordwest Gaming Club‘s open day last Saturday.  The scenario and game report for Clostercamp are coming soon, once WordPress fixes the current page-editing problems, but here’s a photo of the action.

On 18th November we have a refight of the Battle of Warburg planned for a tabletop games show in Tenby, so there’s lots more painting to do including Highlanders, more British cavalry, French dragoons, Swiss infantry and the Chasseurs de Fischer.  However, those are still to do; here’s what I’ve succeeded in painting (still with only one good eye!) in the last couple of months, starting with some units for the Army of Hesse-Cassel.

Landgraf William VIII

The long-suffering regular-readers of this blog might remember that in Part 2 of this series, I painted a single Hessian unit, the ‘Erbprinz’ Regiment (shown above), as they were part of the mainly-Hanoverian brigade I was painting.  However, it’s taken me two years to paint more Hessians.

During the reign of Landgraf William (Wilhelm) VIII of Hesse-Cassel, there were twelve regular Hessian infantry regiments and three militia regiments.  One militia regiment was disbanded in 1758, but a new 1. Garderegiment was raised in 1760/61.  Each infantry regiment was initially organised as single large battalion of ten companies totaling 950 men at full strength.  This therefore translates as a large unit of 16 figures in Tricorn (like the Hanoverians).

Each company included a corps of eight grenadiers, which on campaign would be formed into a grenadier company of 80 men.  These grenadier companies would then be detached from their parent regiments and grouped with other such companies to form ad hoc grenadier battalions of variable strength.  In 1759 there were two such grenadier battalions present at Minden (named for their commanders, Schlotheim and Donop) and even if they contained all the army’s grenadiers, they would only have amounted to around 480 men apiece, even at full strength.

However, in 1760 the new Landgraf Frederick (Friedrich) II, having served as a Prussian general, reorganised the army along Prussian lines, splitting each regular infantry regiment into two small battalions of five companies apiece.  The grenadier component of each regiment was expanded to two full companies.  In wartime the two grenadier companies would now be paired at the start of a campaign with the grenadiers from another regiment, forming one of six permanent, Prussian-style grenadier battalions.

Landgraf Frederick II

In theory, the infantry regiments were each expanded in 1760 by an additional 200 men, but in reality this strength-increase was almost totally absorbed by the massively-expanded grenadier component and the infantry battalions remained very weak.  There was therefore absolutely no tactical advantage gained from splitting the regiments into two battalions and the army’s Commander-in-Chief, Ferdinand of Brunswick actually commented that it made absolutely no difference if the Hessian regiments fielded one or two battalions.  In wargame terms, I’m therefore happy fielding the pre-1760 16-figure battalions to represent Hessian regiments right through the whole war and don’t plan to paint a separate late-war Hessian army.  I will however, need to add extra grenadiers for the post-1760 army (though I haven’t yet painted any Hessian grenadiers).

The two remaining militia regiments were also reorganised, becoming four single-battalion units (variously designated ‘Landregiment‘ or ‘Landbattaillon‘), each of four companies.  There were also a few independent companies.  One of the new militia regiments was formed from the massed militia grenadier companies, being designated as the ‘Landgrenadierregiment‘.  While originally raised to provide garrisons and to guard against raids, the militia were increasingly used in the field alongside the regulars and fought most notably at Sanderhausen, as well as Clostercamp and Warburg, so I might have to paint a few units (they’ll be ‘normal’-sized 12-figure units).

In addition to the organisational changes, the reign of Frederick II also brought about a lot of changes of unit titles, uniforms and flags.  However, while the regimental titles may have changed immediately, the uniforms were slower to change (probably appearing in 1761 at the very earliest) and it’s entirely probable that in 1763 Hessian units were still carrying the flags of William VIII, rather than the Prussian-style flags of Frederick II (as modelled by my American War of Independence Hessian troops)

Hessian uniforms were extremely Prussian in style (becoming even more so after 1760), so I’ve therefore just used Eureka Miniatures Prussian figures.  I’ve used Prussian dragoon figures for both arms of the Hessian cavalry.  When I eventually get around to doing the Hessian Jäger Corps, I’ll probably buy some AWI Hessian Jäger from Blue Moon.  The flags are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The Grenadierregiment was originally formed in 1672 as a combined grenadier battalion, but in 1702 became formalised as a regiment in its own right.  It kept the status of grenadiers and therefore continued to wear grenadier-caps, but was also granted the right to carry colours and a regimental Chef (Colonel-proprietor) was appointed.  By the time of the Seven Years War, it was therefore just another line infantry regiment (6th in order of seniority, although regimental numbers were not used at this time), albeit one with fancy headgear.  We could argue until the cows come home as to whether it should be classes as ‘elite’ or not, but it seems to have been a good, solid regiment and in 1760 Frederick II re-designated the regiment as 2. Garderegiment.

Flank Grenadier of the Grenadierregiment 1748 (Morier)

Above:  The Grenadierregiment wore the typical Prussian-style dark blue coat common to all Hessian infantry regiments, with red lapels, collar, cuffs, tail-turnbacks and neck-stocks.  The lapels, collar and cuffs were all edged with white lace, as were all buttonholes.  Buttons were white metal and belts were white.

The prolific Swiss artist David Morier (who was commissioned by many of the crowned heads of Europe to record their armies’ uniforms) depicted the regiment in 1748 as wearing buff waistcoats with blue breeches (as shown on the right).  Other sources suggest white breeches being worn by the time of the Seven Years War, but I’ve stuck with blue, as it makes them look a bit different from the Prussians and Brunswickers.  Those white bits at the top of the gaiters do look rather striking, but I’m not sure what they are.  Are they perhaps the white parade-gaiters being worn underneath the black field-gaiters?

The grenadier-caps had white metal front-plates and head-bands, with yellow bag and white piping and pompom.  NCOs had red pompoms.  Officers wore hats with silver lace and black cockades.  The detached ‘flank’ grenadiers had caps with red bags.  Curiously, Morier here shows a flank-grenadier wearing a brass-fronted grenadier cap (with pierce-work revealing the red cloth bag behind), which is odd for a regiment with white metal buttons.

Above:  The Grenadierregiment.  In 1760 the regiment was re-titled as 2. Garderegiment and the uniform was altered, removing the white lace edging from lapels, collar and cuffs and reducing the number of buttons and lace buttonholes.  However, the buttonhole lace bars had small tassels added.  A white aiguillette was added to the right shoulder and a red shoulder-strap was added to the left.  The colour of smallclothes was changed to lemon yellow.  This uniform change probably came into effect during 1761.

The regiment’s flank-grenadiers were now grouped with the grenadiers of 3. Garderegiment to form the Grenadier Battalion ‘Schlotheim’ (re-titled ‘Biesenroth’ in 1762).

Above:  The Grenadierregiment.  Reversed colours for infantry drummers had been discontinued in the late 1740s or early 1750s.  They wore the same coat as the rank-and-file, with the addition of red-and-white ‘national’ lace edging the facings and seams, as well as ‘swallow’s-nests’ on the shoulders and inverted chevrons down the sleeves.  Drummers’ pompoms were coloured red & white.

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment was the 2nd most senior infantry regiment in the army.  In 1757 the regimental Chef, Colonel Otto Friedrich von Haudring was killed at the Battle of Hastenbeck and so the regimental title changed to ‘Capellan’ for Colonel W. F. von Capellan.  In 1759 the regimental title passed again to Baron G. H. von Toll and yet again in 1760 to Colonel G. F. von Bartheld.

In 1760, Landgraf Frederick II changed the regiment’s designation to ‘Fusiliers’.  The ‘Gilsa’ Regiment also became Fusiliers at this time.  In practice this meant little other than a change in headgear to the Prussian-style fusilier-cap.

Flank Grenadier of ‘Baumbach’ Infantry Regiment 1748 (Morier)

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment again wore the typical Prussian-style dark blue coat, this time with orange lapels and cuffs.  Some sources describe the tail-turnbacks as red, but Morier shows them as orange in 1748, when the regiment was titled ‘Baumbach’ (shown on the right) and they were again orange during the American War of Independence.  One source also describes them as orange in 1761 and I’ve taken the view that they were actually orange for the entire period, with the ‘red’ description being a misinterpretation.

The lapels had white lace edging and there was more white lace edging to the cuff-flaps.  ‘Metal colour was yellow.  Neck-stocks were red.  Hats had white lace edging, orange pompoms and black cockades.  The colours of waistcoat and breeches aren’t recorded for this period, though Morier showed white waistcoats and blue breeches being worn in 1748 (shown on the right).  I therefore went with this colour-scheme; the white waistcoats were certainly being worn with the 1761 uniform and as mentioned earlier, I like the look of the blue breeches.

The regiment’s detached grenadiers wore the same uniform with Prussian-style grenadier caps.  These caps had a brass front-plate and headband, with an orange bag, white piping and an orange (or possibly mixed orange/white) pompom.  From 1760 the grenadiers were permanently grouped with the grenadiers of the ‘Prinz Ysenburg’ Regiment as Grenadier Battalion ‘Papenheim’ (‘Knoblauch’ from 1761).

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment.  In 1760 and as mentioned above, the regiment was changed to a Fusilier Regiment.  The basic uniform didn’t change very much; the white lace disappeared from the lapels and cuff-flaps, the neck-stock changed to black and the breeches were confirmed as white.  Once again, sources are split over whether the tail-turnbacks were red or orange.  The newly-authorised fusilier-caps had brass metalwork with an orange ‘bowl’, though these may have been slow to arrive and one source describes hats with green pompoms.

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment.  Again, the drummers wore the same coat as the rank-and-file, though with the addition of red-and-white lace decoration.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ (on the left) and ‘Miltitz’ (on the right).  The four senior Hessian heavy cavalry regiments were organised very similarly to those of Hanover and Great Britain, each consisting of two squadrons of three companies, for a total of 362 men.  This was increased in 1760 to 412 men.  One regiment on it’s own is not therefore really viable as a Tricorn unit in its own right, so I ‘brigade’ two regiments together to make a 12-figure unit, though from 1760, these units might tip the scales into 16-figure ‘Large’ unit territory.

The Hessian cavalry regiments had been cuirassiers until the 1740s, but then lost their armour, in common with the Hanoverians.  However, following the accession of Landgraf Frederick II in 1760, the Hanoverian cavalry regiments reverted to being cuirassier regiments during the following year, with uniforms and equipment changing radically to very closely match the style of Prussian cuirassiers.  However, their cuirasses didn’t actually arrive until 1764, after the end of the Seven Years War.

In 1760, a fifth heavy cavalry regiment was raised, namely the Garde du Corps.  However, this only consisted of a single squadron and never took to the field.

The ‘Miltitz’ Cavalry were the 3rd Cavalry Regiment in order of seniority and are sometimes referred to as such, but regimental numbers were not used during this period.  They changed their title in 1759 to ‘Oheimb’ and then changed again in 1760 to ‘Einsiedel’.

The ‘Ysenburg’ Cavalry were 4th in order of seniority.  The regiment was titled for their Chef, Count Ysenburg-Birstein.  However, in 1757 the title passed to Wilhelm Reyn von Prüschenck.  The title changed again in 1761 to ‘Wolff’.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ and ‘Miltitz’.  All Hessian Cavalry Regiments wore the same style of uniform, namely a white coat, waistcoat and cloak, with the regimental facing colour displayed on the lapels, collar, Swedish-style cuffs, shoulder-straps, tail-turnbacks, aiguillette, waistcoat-edging and cloak-lining.  The facing colour was repeated on the horse-furniture.  Breeches were straw or ‘pale straw’, neck-stocks were black and belts were white and ‘Prussian-style’, with the buckles at the back.  Hats had lace edging in the button colour, with a black cockade.

The ‘Miltitz’ Cavalry had medium-green facings and the ‘Ysenburg’ Cavalry had sky-blue.  I’ve gone with the majority view that both regiments had yellow ‘metal’, though Morier shows white (both could be correct at different times).  These Eureka Prussian dragoon figures annoyingly don’t have their aiguillettes moulded on, so they have to be painted (in direct contrast to the Hanoverian Horse Regiments, for which I used British dragoon figures and have to file the bloody things off!!!).

In 1761 the uniform changed radically to the Prussian cuirassier style of a pale straw ‘kollet’ coat, with facing-coloured collar, cuffs, shoulder-strap, cummerbund, sabretache and waistcoat.  The cuffs, tail-turnbacks, front-seam, waistcoat and sabretache were all edged with lace, consisting of two stripes of the facing colour and two stripes of yellow for ‘Miltitz’ and white for ‘Prüschenck’.  The sabretache was decorated with the crowned cypher of Frederick II, while the horse furniture was decorated with the arms of Hesse-Cassel.  However, their cuirasses did not arrive until 1764, which makes finding figures for this later uniform somewhat impossible!  I’ll therefore use my ‘early’ cavalry regiments for the entire war.

Above:  A cavalryman of the ‘Ysenburg’ Cavalry Regiment, painted in 1748 by David Morier.  The armorial details of the horse furniture had changed by the time of the Seven Years War and the button colour had (probably) changed, but the rest of the uniform was unchanged.  This painting gives an excellent indication of the shade of blue facings.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ and ‘Miltitz’.  Each cavalry squadron carried a fringed square standard; the 1st Squadron in each regiment carried the Leibstandarte, which had a white field decorated with the lion badge of Hesse-Cassel, either in a ‘metal’ colour or in ‘true’ colours.  The 2nd Squadron carried an Eskadronstandarte of the same design, though having a facing-coloured field.  The standards of the ‘Miltitz’ Regiment are recorded as having gold fringes and armorials, while those of the ‘Ysenburg’ Regiment had silver.  Staves are variously described as red or brown.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ and ‘Miltitz’.  Trumpeters are recorded as wearing ‘reversed’ colours in both the early and late versions of the uniform, but I’ve been unable to dig out any more details.  I’ve given them red & white ‘national’ lace edging on their collars, cuffs and lapels.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoon Regiment was one of two Hessian dragoon regiments.  I should clarify that this regiment was actually titled the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons until 1758, having Prinz Moritz von Sachsen-Gotha as its Chef.  However, by the time they were actively engaged in the war, the title had passed to Prinz Friedrich von Hessen, who owned the regiment for the duration of Hesse-Cassel’s active participation in the Seven Years War, so I’ll refer to them as the ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons.

Hessian dragoon regimental organisation was again very similar to that of Hanover.  They were considerably stronger than the cavalry regiments, being organised into four squadrons, each of two companies, for a total of 662 men at full strength, increasing in 1760 to 742 men.  In Tricorn terms, that comfortably weighs in as a ‘normal’-sized unit of 12 figures.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons wore a sky-blue uniform coat that was almost identical to that of the Prussian dragoons.  The lapels, cuffs, collar, shoulder-strap, turnbacks and waistcoat were all yellow with white metal buttons and a white aiguillette at the right shoulder.  Breeches were straw and neck-stocks were black.  Belts were white and the cross-belts had the buckles at the back, Prussian-style.  Unlike Prussian dragoons, the hats had white lace edging.  The horse furniture was yellow with a double strip of white lace around the edge.  A black sheepskin or bearskin covered the horn of the saddle and the tops of the holster-caps.  The cloak was white, lined yellow; this was rolled with the yellow lining outermost and stowed behind the saddle.

The only uniform changes in 1761 were the change of the tail-turnbacks to red and the addition of Frederick II’s cypher in white to the shabraque and holster-caps.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons had square standards with silver fringe and embroidery.  The Leibstandarte was white, with the arms of Hesse-Cassel in silver, while the Eskadronstandarten were of the same design with a pale yellow field.  Some sources describe the arms of Hesse-Cassel as being in ‘true’ colours, including a red & white-striped lion-rampant.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoon Regiment’s drummers were initially dressed in ‘reversed colours’, which I’ve interpreted as yellow coats with light blue facings.  These were decorated with ‘swallow’s nests’ of red & white national lace on the shoulders and possibly other lace decoration (I’ve edged the collar, cuffs, lapels and pockets with lace).  In 1761 the ‘reversed’ uniform was changed to the same colourings as the rest of the regiment, though still with lace decoration (i.e. Prussian-style).

Above:  At the start of the Seven Years War, the Hessian artillery arm occupied a very low status in the pecking order of the army and had not even been given official status as a ‘corps’.  As a consequence, it had fewer than 100 men of all ranks and very few heavy guns.  However, it slowly began to expand at the start of the war, initially providing a detachment of two 3pdr battalion guns for each of the eight infantry battalions contracted to serve in Britain.  With their departure, a further five 3pdr detachments were formed to serve the infantry regiments remaining in Germany.

In 1758 the ‘British Contingent’ returned to Germany and the artillery was officially united as a single Artillery Corps initially under the command of Lieutenant General von Diede, though he died soon after and was replaced by Major General von Schlueter.  However, Hesse-Cassel had in the meantime been overrun by French forces, there were only four Hessian 12pdrs remaining and there were no Hessian-made guns available for expansion of the corps or to replace losses.  The Count of Schaumburg-Lippe therefore offered a number of pieces, bringing the strength of the corps in 1759 up to 14x 12pdrs, 4x 6pdrs, 1x ex-French 4pdr, 5x 3pdrs, 1x 30pdr Howitzer and 2x 20pdr Howitzers. I presume that the 3pdrs assigned to infantry battalions were not included in these totals.

Later in 1759, Hanover provided additional guns and the totals then stood at 14x 12pdrs, 12x 10pdrs, 10x 3pdrs, 2x 30pdr Howitzers, 2x 16pdr Howitzers and 4x 60pdr Mortars.  The organisation becomes much more complicated later in the war, with some sources saying that it came to match that of the British and Hanoverian artillery: two Light Divisions, each with 12x 6pdrs and two Heavy Divisions; one with 12x 12pdrs and one with 8x 30pdr Howitzers, while others say that it was organised into five companies of mixed calibres and yet another source suggests that there were four battalion gun companies and five artillery companies.  This confusion is further complicated by the fact that some orders of battle only list position artillery and ignore battalion guns, while others count all guns.  Further complication arrives when historians count ALL position guns as ‘heavy’, regardless of calibre, even 3pdrs!

Above:  The uniform of the Hesse-Cassel Artillery Corps was very Prussian in style, comprising a dark blue coat with white belts and straw smallclothes.  However, unlike the Prussian uniform, the coat had lapels and the facing colour was crimson, being displayed on lapels, collar, cuffs, shoulder-straps and turnbacks.  The cuffs were Swedish in style, with two buttons.  Buttons were pewter.  Gaiters and neck-stocks were black.  Hats were edged in white lace and had crimson pompoms.  It was simple enough to paint the lapels onto these Prussian gunner figures.

For the guns I used a Prussian 12pdr (on the left with four crew) and a Prussian 6pdr (on the right with three crew).

Above:  Hessian gun-carriages were traditionally painted white with ironwork painted red, reflecting the red-and-white stripes of the national lion-rampant badge.  A bad batch of Humbrol 60 Scarlet (which is the colour of dried blood) always comes in handy for these red-painted guns! 🙂  It’s entirely possible that the guns supplied by Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe remained in their original paintwork, which for Hanover was red with black ironwork and for Schaumburg-Lippe was probably white with black ironwork (a surviving Schaumburg-Lippe 12pdr at Bückeburg Palace has been mounted upon a white-painted carriage as far back as records can ascertain).  However, I’ve gone with the traditional Hessian colours, as they look rather spectacular! 🙂

More SYW troops to follow, including a lot more Frenchmen such as these:

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 9 Comments

‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’: My 15mm SYW Hanoverian & German Allied Army (Part 6 – The Légion Britannique (continued))

Last time, in Part 5 of this series, I looked at the formation of the Légion Britannique, which was a ‘free corps’ raised by Hanover in 1759 at British expense, given a French name, fighting against France under the British flag, though under Hanoverian command, before finally being handed to Prussia… Confused…?

This time I’m going to look at the 4th & 5th Battalions, as well as the Legion’s massed Dragoon Squadrons:

Above:  DeLaune’s (4th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  Major William DeLaune (also sometimes spelled ‘DeLawn’, ‘De l’Ane’ or ‘DeLanne’) was unusual among the Légion Britannique, in that he was seconded from the British, rather than the Hanoverian Army.

He had originally been commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 20th Foot, though when the regiment’s 2nd Battalion was re-titled as the 67th Foot (Wolfe’s Regiment) in 1758, De Laune was promoted to Captain in the new regiment and accompanied it to Canada.  Wolfe was clearly impressed by the young officer and had him command 24 light infantry volunteers in the leading boat at the Battle of Québec, which he did with great gallantry and success.  De Laune was then one of two officers selected to accompany Wolfe’s body back to Britain.  There was also mention of him as a ‘Major’ in Canada, though this seems to have been a local acting rank, as he remained on the Army List as ‘Captain’ until his death.

It’s not clear as to exactly what happened next, but having arrived back in England as something of a hero, DeLaune was clearly considered to be just the sort of man to be commanding a light infantry unit such as the 4th Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  Perhaps John Beckwith (Commanding Officer of the 20th Foot), who would have known DeLaune from his time in the 20th, had something to do with the appointment?  In any case, this was a curious decision, as DeLaune spoke neither German or French!

Sadly, DeLaune came to a sticky end at Stadtberg on 27th January 1761 when, having failed to place picquets for the night, his battalion was surprised in its camp, with over 200 being captured.  DeLaune himself, despite being undressed, refused to surrender and was killed.  It’s not clear who commanded the battalion after this date.

Above:  DeLaune’s (4th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  This unit wore red coats with light blue cuffs and turnbacks and white metal buttons.  Hat-tassels were white.  Waistcoats were a pale shade of straw.

Above:  DeLaune’s (4th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  Again, I’m lightly in disagreement with David over his choice of flag colour, as he interpreted the facing colour as more of a blue-grey/turquoise/sea-green shade.  But as before, David does a wonderful job, so I’ve used the flags regardless (my 4th Battalion clearly had a misunderstanding over the colour swatches at their tailor’s)! 🙂

[Stop Press: David has just given us a preview of a new version of the 4th Battalion flag, in glorious light blue!  However, he’s changed the design to an even more pleasing version, with the badge of Hanover in the centre and the Roman numeral in the canton.  He’s changing ALL the flags, so I’ll have to go back and change the lot… You can go right off some people…]

Above:  DeLaune’s (4th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique in skirmish order.

Above:  The Dragoon Squadron of DeLaune’s (4th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  As usual, the Dragoon Squadron wore the same uniform as the parent battalion, with the addition of a button-coloured (white) aiguillette on the right shoulder.  Horse furniture was the same for all squadrons; red with button-coloured lace edging and embroidery.

Above:  Fircks’ (5th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  This battalion was officially commanded by Major von Fircks for the duration of the war, though executive command was actually exercised by a Major von Mauw for most of that time (for reasons that are unclear).

Above:  Fircks’ (5th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  This unit also wore red coats with white metal buttons, though this time with black cuffs, white turnbacks and white waistcoats.

Above:  Fircks’ (5th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  David’s lovely flags again follow the British regulations of the period, which stated that regiments with black facings were to have a Regimental Colour with a black field. superimposed with a red St George’s Cross.

Above:  Fircks’ (5th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique deployed in skirmish order.

Above:  The Dragoon Squadron of Fircks’ (5th) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  Once again, the squadron wore the uniform of the parent battalion, though with a button-coloured (white) aiguillette on the right shoulder and red horse furniture with button-coloured lace edging and embroidery.

Above:  The massed Dragoon Squadrons of the Légion Britannique.  As discussed in Part 5, each battalion of the Légion Britannique had its own organic Dragoon Squadron, comprising 101 men at full strength.  However, in battle the five dragoon squadrons were often grouped together as an ad hoc regiment.  One well-recorded example is that of the Battle of Warburg, fought on 31st July 1760, where the five squadrons were grouped together on the right flank of the Legion, under the command of one Major von Hattorf.  This grouping was formalised in October 1762, when the five squadrons were officially brought together under Hattorf’s command as Dragoon Regiment ‘Von Hattorf’.

Above:  The massed Dragoon Squadrons of the Légion Britannique.  Old Glory 15s do actually produce a dedicated Légion Britannique Dragoon pack, but as luck would have it, I happened to have 15 spare Old Glory 15s Austrian Dragoons, which would serve perfectly well as Légion Britannique Dragoons.  Each squadron works out at around two figures apiece, though my ‘normal’ unit size is 12 figures, so I added two extra figures to the 1st Squadron (in the centre).  Sue me.

Above:  The massed Dragoon Squadrons of the Légion Britannique.  I’ve already covered all the uniform details, so I won’t repeat myself here.  I wanted to use the 1st Squadron guidon as the unit standard, so 1st Squadron needed to go in the centre… Not very historical, but again, sue me…  So from left to right as we look at them, we have the 4th Squadron, 2nd Squadron, 1st Squadron, 3rd Squadron and 5th Squadron.

Above:  The massed Dragoon Squadrons of the Légion Britannique.  David Morfitt again came to the rescue with regard to flags, producing a very nice sheet of five squadron guidons.  They’re in typical British style; the crowned central panel has the letters ‘LB D’ for ‘Légion Britannique Dragoons’.  Two of the corner panels have the running horse badge of Hanover, while the other two panels have the squadron number in Roman numerals.  It’s just a shame to waste the other five guidons! 🙁

Anyway, that’s it for the Légion Britannique!  They’ll probably be getting their first outing on the wargames table in November, when we’ve got a refight of the Battle of Warburg planned as part of a tabletop game event to be held in Tenby.  There’s also a small wargame local club open day at Haverfordwest Cricket Club next Saturday (23rd September) and we’re going to be refighting the Battle of Clostercamp.  I’ve therefore been doing rather a lot of painting (despite now having the title ‘Monopthalmos’), including these rather spiffing Hessian gunners.  I just love those guns…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 13 Comments

‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’: My 15mm SYW Hanoverian & German Allied Army (Part 5 – The Légion Britannique)

As discussed last time, I’m presently in the process of filling out my French, Prussian, Hanoverian and British SYW armies with light troops, which were increasingly a feature of European armies during this period.  This week it’s the turn of the Légion Britannique.  I wasn’t quite sure which category to stick this lot under, as they were paid for by the British, given a French name, officered by Hanoverians and eventually transferred to Prussia!

I was originally going to post another big article, including all the sub-units.  However, as mentioned in the comments section of my last post, WordPress has bollocksed up its most recent update (version 6.3), which means that it’s extremely difficult to edit posts, especially large posts.  The problem is that the editing toolbar stays firmly at the top of the page and doesn’t scroll down as you type.  This means that if you want to insert a picture or a link, change font, insert a foreign letter, etc, you have to scroll all the way up to the top of the page to find the toolbar and then scroll all the way back down again… Needless to say, plenty of people are reporting the same problem, but WordPress are dragging their heels in fixing it.  🙁

Anyway, It’s been a month, so I thought I’d crack on with a series of very short posts instead of my usual insomnia-inducing epics.  So here’s the first half of the Légion Britannique, covering the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Battalions.  Part 6 will cover the 4th & 5th Battalions and the combined Dragoon Squadrons.

In December 1759, five ‘free battalions’ were formed from PoWs, deserters, foreigners and other assorted riffraff at Paderborn by the Hanoverian General von Spörcken.  Two months later in February 1760, 30 officers and NCOs were assigned to the new battalions from Hanoverian infantry regiments, while 10 officers and 20 NCOs were assigned from Hanoverian cavalry regiments.  Each battalion was then organised into four infantry companies, totaling 500 men and a dragoon squadron of 101 men.

In May 1760, the British Government agreed to fund the new free corps, which was therefore to be named the Légion Britannique.  Its officers were given Letters Patent in the name of King George II and therefore wore crimson sashes in the style of British officers, while its battalions marched under British colours.  Thus the Légion Britannique was a ‘free corps’ in the truest sense of the word: in British pay, but not formally a part of the British Army and fighting with the Hanoverian Army and led by Hanoverians, but not formally a part of the Hanoverian Army.

In November 1761 the Légion Britannique was dismissed from British/Hanoverian service.  However, the British Colonel Charles Frederick Beckwith (former commanding officer of the 20th Foot, who had spent the past couple of years as a Brigadier, commanding the massed British Grenadiers and the 87th & 88th Highlanders) suggested to King Frederick II of Prussia to accept the Legion into Prussian service.  Frederick at this time had a need for light troops to secure his Westphalian enclaves, so accepted Beckwith’s suggestion, giving Beckwith the Prussian rank of Generalmajor.  However, the strength of the Legion by this point had fallen to only 1,500 men and 156 horses.

In March 1763, with hostilities finally concluded, the Legion was disbanded at Magdeburg, where the seconded Hanoverian personnel were returned to their original regiments and the remainder were enlisted into Prussian service.

These figures are mostly taken from the Old Glory 15s Légion Britannique Infantry pack, with Eureka Prussian musketeer standard-bearers added.  The skirmishers are taken from the Old Glory 15s Prussian Infantry Firing pack and Major von Bülow is an Old Glory 15s Prussian general figure.  The conjectural flags were very kindly produced by David Morfitt of ‘Not By Appointment’ as a ‘special’ for Willz and me and are now available to download from his blog, along with the dragoon standards.

Above:  Command of the newly-created Légion Britannique was given to an adjutant of Ferdinand of Brunswick, the Prussian Major August Christian von Bülow (a great-uncle of the famous Napoleonic Bülow, the Graf von Dennewitz).  This talented officer achieved some remarkable feats during his time in command of the Legion, including the storming of the town of Warburg and would probably have made an excellent general.  However, he was severely wounded in the Combat of Rhadern on 13th September 1760 and died on 24th September.  Following Bülow’s death, command of the legion passed to the Hanoverian Adjutant-Major Emmerich Otto August von Estorff, who commanded the Legion until its transfer to Prussian service and Beckwith’s command.

In terms of uniform, Bülow might have worn either the uniform of his previous Prussian regiment (which I have been unable to discover), or that of a Prussian Flügeladjutant (as described here), or an unrecorded uniform unique to the Légion Britannique.  I didn’t want to give him a boring Prussian uniform, so decided to give him the uniform of an officer of the Legion’s 1st Battalion (Stockhausen’s), as described below.

Above:  Stockhausen’s (1st) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  As in pretty much all armies of the period (except the British Army), the battalions of the Légion Britannique were known by the name of their commanding officer and not by a number.  The commanding officer in this instance was one Major von Stockhausen, who remained in command of the unit for the duration.  However, there was an order of seniority within the Legion and the battalions are therefore referred to by number in most histories.  As has previously been discussed with regard to the Prussian, Austrian and Hanoverian armies, using anachronistic unit numbers makes battle-maps FAR easier to label!

Above:  Stockhausen’s (1st) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  While the Legion’s five battalions each had radically different uniform colourings, there were some uniform features common to all five battalions:

All units wore ‘dark straw’ or ‘buff’ breeches and had ‘natural leather’ or ‘buff’ belts.  The coats lacked lapels, collar or lace and had deep, Swedish-style cuffs with three buttons.  The cross-belts were flat, without the buckles seen on British and Hanoverian cross-belts.  Hats were unlaced, though were decorated with a green cockade, this being the field-sign of Allied light troops in the Western Theatre.  Neck-stocks and gaiters were black.  Officers’ sashes were crimson and were worn over the right shoulder, reflecting the fact that they were essentially in British service (note however, that the officer figures here wrongly have waist-sashes).

Stockhausen’s Battalion wore light blue coats with straw (or pale straw) cuffs and turnbacks and brass buttons.  Waistcoats were straw, matching the facing colour.  The hat had yellow tassels at the corners and a brass button securing the black cockade-strap.

Above:  Stockhausen’s (1st) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  The Legion is recorded to have carried flags ‘of the British pattern’, though nothing more is known about them.  After much badgering, David Morfitt very kindly produced a set of battalion colours and dragoon squadron guidons ‘of the British pattern’, using a Roman numeral to identify each battalion/squadron (in this case ‘I’).  The Regimental Colour here is straw/buff, matching the battalion’s facing colour.

Above:  Stockhausen’s (1st) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  As I was feeling keen, I decided to do a pair of skirmisher stands for each battalion, thus enabling each battalion to deploy in skirmish order.

Above:  Dragoon Squadron of Stockhausen’s (1st) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  As mentioned above, each battalion included a Dragoon Squadron of 101 men at full strength.  However, in reality the Dragoon Squadrons were usually massed together as a de facto regiment and this grouping was formalised in October 1762, with the formation of a Légion Britannique Dragoon Regiment under Major von Hattorf, who had previously commanded the informal grouping since of dragoon squadrons at least 1760 (being named as the commander of the massed squadrons at Warburg).

The dragoon uniforms basically matched those of the infantry, except for the addition of a button-coloured aiguillette on the right shoulder.  Buttons and aiguillettes were yellow metal for Stockhausen’s 1st Battalion and white metal for the other four units.  Horse furniture was red for all squadrons, edged in the button colour.  I have painted the massed dragoon squadrons, but I’ll show them in Part 6.

Above:  Udam’s (2nd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  Major von Udam remained in command of the 2nd Battalion for the duration of the war.

Above:    Udam’s (2nd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.

This unit had blue coats, described as ‘middle blue’, but sometimes depicted in art as quite a dark blue shade (see the dragoon plate below for one such example).  I went for a ‘French’ medium shade, roughly matching the plate shown on the right.  Cuffs and turnbacks were poppy red.  Buttons were white metal.  Waistcoats were white.

Note that the hat-tassels should be white, matching the button-colour.  However, in a momentary lapse of concentration, I mistakenly painted the hat-tassels as yellow, due to my misinterpretation of the plate shown on the right.

Above:  Udam’s (2nd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  As the facing colour for this unit was red, David has used the ‘St George’s Cross’ pattern of Regimental Colour, which was the pattern used for British regiments with red or white facings.  The St George’s Cross was also used with a black field for regiments with black facings.

Above:  Udam’s (2nd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique deployed in skirmish order.

Above:  The Dragoon Squadron of Udam’s (2nd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  Again, the uniform is the same as that of the infantry, except for the addition of a white aiguillette.

Above:  Appelboom’s (3rd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  Major von Appelboom remained in command of the unit for the duration of the war.

Above:  Appelboom’s (3rd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.

Appelboom’s battalion wore very distinctive white coats.  Cuffs and turnbacks were orange and buttons were white metal.  Waistcoats were orange, matching the facing colour.  Hat-tassels were white.

The exact shade of orange is a matter of some debate and some artistic interpretations (such as one on the Kronoskaf site) show a much more red shade, though I went with the depiction shown in the Gmunder Pachtwerk from 1760, as shown on the right.

Above:  Appelboom’s (3rd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  David went again with the St George’s Cross pattern for this Regimental Colour.  He was working from the view that ‘orange is a sort of red’.  However, I do have to slightly disagree here, as the British 35th Foot had orange facings and they carried an orange Regimental Colour.  However, beggars can’t be choosers and David has once again produced a magnificent set of colours, so I’m more than happy! 🙂

Above:  Appelboom’s (3rd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique, here deployed in skirmish order.

Above:  The Dragoon Squadron of Appelboom’s (3rd) Battalion of the Légion Britannique.  This plate, copied from the Gmunder Prachtwerk (the same source as the infantryman shown above), raises several questions:  First, the facing colour is a very dark shade of orange, bordering on red.  This may be caused by the contrast being cranked up by whoever scanned the original image and may also be the reason why the 2nd Battalion Dragoon plate above is shown in a very dark blue coat.  Second, the aiguillette appears to be red or orange, rather than the regulation button-colour (white).  Third, the cross-belt appears to have two bands of orange or yellow lace, though this may be a misinterpretation of the two stitched seams running along the edges of the belt.  Fourth, the valise is red, matching the horse furniture, whereas the previous dragoon had a blue valise, matching the coat.

It should be remembered that uniform books of this period were printed in black and white and would then be coloured by hand by several artists.  Discrepancies between books and especially between different editions were not uncommon.

That’s enough for now (the post is getting quite long [so much for the ‘very short post’!] and scrolling up and down the page to find the edit bar is becoming a little tedious… I do hope that WordPress corrects the fault soon)!  Part 6 will cover the 4th Battalion, 5th Battalion and Dragoon Squadrons.  Additionally, in the last month I’ve been expanding my British, French and Hessian armies, so more on those soon, but here’s a taster from my painting-table.

Continue reading

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Seven Years War Prussian Army, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 13 Comments

Reinforcements for King Louis! (Part 4: Artillery & Volunteers)

With the Reichsarmee finally finished, I’m still sticking with the Seven Years War for the moment, but now moving back to the Western Theatre and the expansion of my embryonic French and Hanoverian-Allied armies.  I started painting those armies in February 2021 with the ‘Frogruary Challenge‘ and by 2022 had enough to do some small games.  However, they need some serious expansion before I can play some decent-sized historical refights and first on my ‘To Do’ list are light troops.

Both sides in the Western Theatre of the Seven Years War made great use of light troops; not just in the petit guerre of raiding and scouting behind enemy lines commonly associated with the period (particularly in America), but also in close support of the field armies in central Europe.  We start to see the embryo of the light infantry tactics that would become commonplace during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the French army in particular using light infantry to screen the movement of columns of infantry.

At the start of the war, the French Army was fairly well-furnished with light troops when compared to its rivals; it had three regiments of hussars (Bercheny, Turpin and Polleresky), two battalions of ‘alpine’ light infantry (the Fusiliers de Montagne and Royal Cantabres Regiments) and five combined ‘legions’ or ‘free corps’ of light infantry and dragoons (the Volontaires Royaux, Volontaires de Flandre, Volontaires du Dauphiné, Volontaires de Geschray and Chasseurs de Fischer).  All but one of these regiments had originally been raised during the War of Austrian Succession or shortly afterwards (the exception being the Bercheny Hussars, who were raised in 1721).  Other such legions had been raised for the duration of that war, but disbanded immediately upon its conclusion.  In addition to these were the 16 regular regiments of Dragoons, who at this stage of their evolution were still acting very much as mounted infantry, rather than the ‘second-line’ shock cavalry arm they had become in other armies.

Following the outbreak of the Seven Years War, France raised at least a further 17 volunteer units as ‘free corps’, with some later being absorbed into the regular French Army.  Most of these were mixed legions of light infantry and cavalry, but some were pure infantry or pure cavalry.  I covered one of these newly-raised regiments in Part 3: the Royal Nassau Hussars, (pictured above) who were initially raised as a free-corps (the ‘Volontaires de Nassau-Saarbruck’), before being absorbed into the regular army in 1760.

Above:  The Volontaires Royaux were one of the oldest corps of light troops serving with the French army, dating back to 1745.  At the start of the Seven Years War in 1755, the unit was established as twelve mixed companies, each with 6 officers, 40 fusiliers and 30 dragoons, plus two grenadier companies with 48 men apiece and a worker company with 22 men, plus regimental staff, for a total of 1,022 men.

In February 1758 the mixed companies were increased in strength to 54 fusiliers and 44 dragoons and the worker company to 32 men, for a total of 1,304 men.

In May 1758 the unit was renamed ‘Légion Royale’ and was again expanded.   The two grenadier companies remained unchanged at 48 men apiece and the worker company of 32 men also remained unchanged.  However, each of the twelve mixed companies were increased to 64 fusiliers and 44 dragoons.  A new hussar company of 80 men was created, as was an artillery detachment of two ‘Swedish’ 4pdrs.  The Legion now numbered 1,537 men.

In February 1759 the legion expanded once again.  The two grenadier companies again remained unchanged at 48 men each.  The artillery detachment also remained unchanged.  However, the twelve mixed companies expanded again to 79 fusiliers and 54 dragoons apiece.  The worker company doubled in size to 64 men.  A second hussar company was created, with both hussar companies numbering 81 men.  The legion now totalled 1,918 men.  The organisation remained essentially unchanged until the end of the war.

The Volontaires Royaux/Légion Royale wore an unlaced blue coat with red cuffs, collar and tail-turnbacks and white metal buttons.  Dragoons wore a white aiguillette on the right shoulder.  The waistcoat was red.  Breeches were white.  Gaiters were black or white.  The fusiliers and dragoons initially wore cocked hats with false silver lace and white cockades.  The workers wore blue forage caps with red piping and a white fleur de lys badge.  However, the fusiliers and workers apparently changed to bearskins sometime around 1757, white the dragoons retained their cocked hats.  The grenadier companies wore bearskins from their inception, with a white metal grenade badge on the front.  Drummers wore the Royal livery.  Belts were white and cartridge boxes were natural leather.  Dragoons’ horse furniture was red, bordered with white and with white fleur de lys decoration.  There is no information on the hussar uniform.

Thus far, I’ve only done a pair of skirmisher stands for this unit, using Blue Moon French infantry figures.  It’s the first time I’ve used their infantry figures and I like them.  I still prefer the Eureka French figures, but these mix really well with them and they add variety.  The artillery figures match so well that I’ve mixed them in the same crews, but the Blue Moon cavalry is markedly smaller than the Eureka cavalry, so I’ll stick with Eureka for my horse.

Above: The Volontaires de Flandre were another one of the old, pre-war corps, having been raised at the end of the War of Austrian Succession in 1749, by amalgamating three older units; the Arquebusiers de Grassin, the Fusiliers de Morlière and the Volontaires Bretons.  At the start of the Seven Years War, the unit consisted of twelve mixed companies, each containing 43 fusiliers and 23 dragoons, for a total of 792 men.

In 1757, half the unit was split off to become the Volontaires du Hainaut (see below).  However, the remaining six companies of the Volontaires de Flandre were each reinforced by 10 additional dragoons, for 43 fusiliers and 33 dragoons per company, totaling  462 men.  By Christmas 1758 the unit had increased to eight companies of 43 fusiliers and 39 dragoons, for a total of 663 men.

By November 1759 there had been a major expansion and re-organisation.  The formerly mixed companies were divided into eight fusilier companies, each of 74 men and eight dragoon companies of 44 men.  In addition there was a grenadier company with 63 men and regimental staff of 7 men, for a total of 1,006 men.  This organisation remained in place until 1762, when the unit was amalgamated with the Volontaires du Dauphiné and was renamed as the Légion de Flandre.

The uniform was recorded as a blue coat, lined blue, with red lapels and cuffs, decorated with white buttonhole lace and white metal buttons.  Breeches were white and gaiters were black or white.  Headgear was a cocked hat with false-silver lace and a white or black cockade.  Belts were natural leather and the cartridge box was black.  The unit’s dragoons wore essentially the same uniform with a ‘Schomberg’-style helmet and blue horse furniture, edged red.

Again, I only painted a couple of skirmish stands for this unit, using Blue Moon French infantry figures.

Above:  As mentioned above, the Volontaires du Hainaut were formed in March 1757 from elements of the Volontaires de Flandre.  The unit initially consisted of 462 men, organised into a small regimental staff and six mixed companies, each with 43 fusiliers and 33 dragoons.  By February 1758 the unit’s strength had increased to 663 men, divided into eight mixed companies, each with 43 fusiliers and 39 dragoons, matching the organisational changes within the Volontaires de Flandre.

By November 1759 the unit had expanded to 1,006 men.  Like the Volontaires de Flandre, the formerly mixed companies had been divided into eight fusilier companies with 73 men and eight dragoon companies with 44 men.  A grenadier company of 63 men was also added.

Above:  The 1759 organisation remained in place until December 1762, when the unit was amalgamated with the Volontaires d’Austrasie.  The unit was then renamed in March 1763 as the Légion du Hainaut.

Above:  The uniforms of the Volontaires du Hainaut were very similar to those of the Volontaires de Flandre, essentially just replacing the red facings with black. To recap, the coat and waistcoat were blue with white metal buttons.  The coat had blue tail-turnbacks, black lapels and black cuffs.  The lapels, cuffs and lower breast were decorated with white buttonhole lace.  Headgear was a cocked hat with false silver lace and white or black cockade.  Breeches were white or black.  Belts were natural leather and the cartridge pouch was black.

Above:  When formed in 1757, the Volontaires du Hainaut were issued with the old colours of the Arquebusiers de Grassin.  This famous unit had been one of the units amalgamated into the Volontaires de Flandre at the end of the War of Austrian Succession and so the colours were still held by the Volontaires de Flandre.  New colours were eventually issued to the Volontaires du Hainaut during the course of the Seven Years War, but I’ve used the former colours of the Arquebusiers de Grassin, as I really like them.

These flags were designed by the supremely talented David Morfitt and can be downloaded from his Not By Appointment blog (linked), along with the latter version of the unit’s colours.

Above:  The drummers’ livery for the Volontaires du Hainaut is unknown, so I’ve just used the standard Royal Livery.  There’s no information regarding any specific items of dress for the grenadier company.

The unit’s dragoons wore slightly different uniform; the coat, waistcoat and breeches were all blue.  The coat lacked lapels and instead had white lace down the front seams of the coat, which continued around the edges of the blue tail-turnbacks.  The waistcoat was also edged in white lace.  The coat had black pointed cuffs and a black collar, all edged in white lace.  There was also a black, unlaced shoulder-strap.  Horse furniture was blue, edged white.  Headgear was a Schomberg-style helmet.

Above:  In addition to the formed Volontaires du Hainaut, I again did a couple of skirmisher stands.  Again, the Volontaires du Hainaut are all Blue Moon French infantry figures.

I haven’t yet painted any Volontaire dragoons, but I’ll probably do a base of six dragoons each for the Volontaires de Flandre and the Volontaires du Hainaut and field them as a combined 12-figure unit, using Old Glory 15s Schomberg Dragoon figures.

Above:  Waaay back in February 2021, having been led astray by an erroneous Osprey illustration, I gave my French artillery red gun-carriages…  However, I  soon found out that this was incorrect and that the French began painting their gun-carriages light blue with the introduction of the Vallière artillery system in 1732.

Above:  Rather than re-paint my existing gun-carriages red, I relegated the old guns to various Reichsarmee contingents and bought some new 12pdr and 4pdr guns from Eureka.  The 12pdrs (seen here) are particularly impressive and barely fit on a 40mm square base!  They also do a 24pdr model, which must be quite a beast, though I haven’t bought any of those (yet).

Above:  My French artillery figures are all Eureka models and are depicted stripped down for work, just wearing their red sleeved waistcoats.  In full dress they’d wear a blue coat with red facings and brass buttons.  As discussed in 2021, I had to replace the shafts of the longer rammers with brass rod, as the cast versions are hopelessly floppy.  Eureka uses a soft alloy that perfectly picks out the detail, but I think is far too flexible.  I much preferred AB Figures (now made by Eureka) when we cast them here in Wales, using a pewter that was ‘grainier’, but MUCH tougher.

Above:  Here are the French ‘Swedish’ 4pdrs.  These models are excellent value, as they come two per pack.  The barrels and trails are cast as one piece, which also means less sticking.

Above:  Again, I’ve used Eureka artillery crewmen for the 4pdrs, giving them the men with shorter rammers.  However, I do rather regret not replacing the shafts with brass rod, as I did with the longer rammers, as again, they’re very bendy.

Above:  A last view of the French artillery.

Anyway, that’s it for now!  Hanoverian light troops to follow…

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) | 2 Comments