‘Going At It Bald-Headed!’: The Battle of Warburg 31st July 1760 (A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’)

As mentioned last time, we sadly had to bin our recent plans to put on the Battle of Warburg as a demo-game at the Tenby Games Festival.  Nevertheless, that’s given me time to finish a few of the missing units and we’re going to run it at WASP as our Big Christmas Game. 🙂

So here’s the scenario, as designed for Tricorn rules (our 18th Century variant of Shako Napoleonic rules), though it should be easily convertible to other rulesets.

I include two maps; the ‘full-fat’ 6′ x 12′ version and the compressed-frontage 6′ x 8′ map we were going to use at Tenby, due to limited table-space.  I’m not sure yet if the Big Christmas Game is going to be on the large map or the small map.

Historical Background

Marshal de Broglie

At the end of June 1760, the French Grande Armée under Marshal de Broglie, invaded Hesse, quickly capturing the city of Marburg.  Reeling from this blow, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick’s Allied army attempted to stop Broglie from combining his army with the French Armée du Bas-Rhin at Corbach, but was defeated and was steadily out-manoeuvred by the huge French force, which now threatened to take Cassel, the capital city of the Allied power of Hessen-Cassel!

Attempting to regain the initiative, Prince Ferdinand ordered the Hanoverian Lieutenant General von Spörcken and the Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz) of Brunswick to establish a bridgehead west of the River Diemel; this they succeeded in doing on 29th July.

Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick

Observing the Allied move over the Diemel, Broglie decided to counter it, ordering Fischer’s light troops to seize the crossing-point on the Diemel at the town of Warburg.  The Chevalier du Muy then led his corps over the river and establish his own bridgehead on a narrow ridge extending northwestward from the town.

The French crossing of the Diemel had not gone unnoticed, however.  The Erbprinz had carefully reconnoitered du Muy’s position and although the French force slightly outnumbered the Allied forces on the west bank of the Diemel, the Erbprinz was confident that he could use a line of hills to mask his troops’ march as they outflanked de Muy to attack his rear.  Prince Ferdinand broadly agreed with this plan, but insisted that the Erbprinz and Spörcken were not to begin their march until he could bring the rest of the army over the Diemel, thus bringing the full weight of the army to crush du Muy.

Chevalier du Muy

On 30th July, Prince Ferdinand’s army struck camp and set out on a night-march to join the attack.  However, although the following dawn brought a thick mist to aid the concealment of the Allied march, Prince Ferdinand’s army was very slow in crossing the Diemel.  With time and opportunity slipping away, the Erbprinz and Spörcken decided to go against their orders and started their march without Prince Ferdinand.  Although Spörcken was the senior officer, this was the Erbprinz‘s plan and Spörcken graciously deferred command of the operation to the Erbprinz.

Far from being angry at his orders being disobeyed, Prince Ferdinand realised that his column was never going to make it in time and clearly appreciated the initiative shown by his officers.  Consequently, he ordered the British Lieutenant General John Manners, Marquess of Granby, to take the massed British cavalry (24 squadrons) and make best speed to ride to the Erbprinz‘s aid.  Alongside them galloped the talented artillerist Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe with two batteries of British artillery moving at ‘astonishing’ speed; the gunners desperately hanging on to guns, limbers and horse-teams as best they could!

Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Erbprinz of Brunswick

In the meantime, Major von Bülow’s Légion Britannique had been making a nuisance of themselves in front of the town of Warburg, making a feint to keep du Muy’s attention fixed in that area.  As a consequence on the morning of 31st July, it was actually the French who made the first move, as the Marquis de Castries massed all the grenadier and chasseur companies from du Muy’s infantry battalions and with assistance from the Chasseurs de Fischer and some dragoons, drove back the Légion Britannique.

With French attention now fixed on their right flank and their reserves deployed to that sector, the Erbprinz now struck on the opposite flank!  Preceded by the 87th and 88th Highlanders, the Allied columns appeared between the villages of Ossendorf and Menne.  Most worryingly for the French, a pair of red-coated battalions was marching hard for the Hein-Berg.  This conical hill, topped with a mediaeval watch-tower, was situated deep in the French rear.  It dominated the main French crossing-point and therefore their line of retreat over the Diemel.

Marquis de Castries

The two red-coated battalions were Maxwell’s and Daulhat’s battalions of British Grenadiers and were being driven hard by Colonel John Beckwith, who had commanded the 20th Foot at Minden, but who now commanded the British Contingent’s Grenadiers and Highlanders.  Spotting the immediate threat to his line of retreat, du Muy ordered the Bourbonnais Brigade to pull out of the line and capture the Hein-Berg before the British did; the race was on!

Seeing the French counter-move, Beckwith called ten grenadiers to him and they sprinted to the top of the top of the Hein-Berg!  The gasping grenadiers then quickly established a tiny firing-line and delivered volleys into the first Bourbonnais battalion to climb the slope.  They were soon joined by another twenty grenadiers led by the Erbprinz himself and shortly afterwards by the rest of Daulhat’s battalion.  The initial French counter-attack was repulsed by this tiny force, but they soon rallied and attacked again!  Dalhaut’s hard-pressed grenadiers were on the verge of breaking when Maxwell’s grenadier battalion arrived and threw the Bourbonnais Regiment back for a second time.

Von Spörcken

The battle for the Hein-Berg quickly escalated as the Erbprinz ordered the 87th Highlanders, 88th Highlanders and two of the Hanoverian grenadier battalions into the fight and even managed to establish some guns on the steep hill.  Du Muys for his part, threw the La Couronne, d’Aumont, Rouergue and Rohan-Rochefort Regiments up the hill, while the Marquis de Castries brought his massed elite companies from the far right flank, leaving the Chasseurs de Fischer to hold Warburg.

With almost half of the French infantry now committed to recapturing the Hein-Berg, the Marquis de Ségur’s left wing of the main position was dangerously weakened; a fact that had not gone unnoticed by the Allies.  Covered by heavy artillery fire from the heights to their rear, Spörcken’s and Zastrow’s divisions assaulted the French left flank, utterly crushing it.

Marquis de Ségur

D’Amenzaga’s four Swiss regiments (the Planta, Lochmann, Jenner & Courten Regiments) attempted to stabilise the situation, but were also thrown back by the Allied assault.  Whole French battalions broke into disorganised mobs and fled south to the Diemel and the possibility of safety on the opposite bank, though many were cut down or captured before they reached safety.  A magnificent charge by the British 1st (Royal) and 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons completed the destruction of the French left wing.

Recognising that the day was lost, du Muy ordered his remaining artillery and the unengaged infantry of Maupeou’s right wing (the Enghien, Touraine and La Tour-du-Pin Regiments) to retire to the Diemel, covered by the cavalry and to hold the river crossings.  However, the Marquess of Granby had arrived…

Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe

As Granby deployed his cavalry, Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe galloped forward with his two batteries of British light artillery, laying down extremely effective supporting fire for the British cavalry.

Granby meanwhile, quickly formed his cavalry into two lines, extending roughly eastward from the village of Menne.  In the first line were the heaviest cavalry; three squadrons of the Royal Horse Guards, seven squadrons of Dragoon Guards and four squadrons of Horse.  These were followed by six squadrons of Dragoons.  Without waiting for further orders, Granby led them straight toward the French position at the gallop.  In so doing, his hat and wig flew off, leaving his bald head shining in the sun, which reputedly served as an effective reference point for the squadrons following behind!

John Manners, Marquess of Granby

This incident reputedly gave rise to the phrase ‘Going at it bald-headed’, meaning to rush straight in without heed of the consequences and is beautifully modelled in 18mm by Eureka Miniatures (see below).

As perhaps is clear from the above account, the French army was already defeated at this point, so Granby’s celebrated charge was perhaps too late in the day but it is a spectacular moment in history and worth seeing on the wargames table! 🙂

The bulk of the French cavalry had already begun to withdraw by the time Granby launched his charge, but two French cavalry brigades, the Royal-Piémont and Bourbon Brigades, were sent forward to meet them (French brigades were named for the senior regiment present.  Each brigade consisted of three regiments, each of two squadrons).  Sadly for the French cavalry, the Royal-Piémont Brigade fled before the British cavalry had even made contact!  The Bourbon Brigade however, was made of sterner stuff and made a successful charge on the flank of the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards.  However, the Royal Horse Guards (‘The Blues’) rode to the recue and the French cavalry were completely beaten within two minutes!  The British cavalry now fell upon the flank and rear of what was left of the French left wing.


In the meantime, Bülow’s Légion Britannique, having retreated from Castries’ elite battalions during the morning, now came back in strength and overwhelmed the defenders of Warburg.  The Chasseurs de Fischer sustained heavy casualties as they attempted the hold the crumbling mediaeval walls of the old town, but the survivors were soon forced to join the great mass of fugitives heading for the Diemel as Bülow’s band of ruffians stormed the town!

The French Touraine Brigade (consisting of two battalions each of the Touraine and Enghien Infantry Regiments) had been unengaged on the left wing and was now holding the river crossings, allowing the French cavalry and dragoons to retreat over the bridges.  They were soon joined by the four battalions of the La Tour-du-Pin Regiment  However, the bridges soon became blocked by baggage, forcing many of the retreating French units to swim the Diemel.

Von Hardenberg

To add to French misery, Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe now galloped up with his two batteries of British artillery and began bombarding the crossing-point, throwing the retreating units into utter disarray!  Du Muy now gave up any thought of trying to hold the Diemel crossings and ordered a full retreat to Volkmarsen, some 10km to the south.  There he encountered the head of de Broglie’s main army.  To his credit, de Broglie, his army having been delayed from coming to du Muy’s aid by thick fog, took full responsibility for the defeat.  The French had lost 1,600 men killed and wounded, 78 officers and 2,100 men taken prisoner (mostly from the infantry regiments of the left and centre), 28 ammunition wagons and 12 artillery pieces.  Part of the French baggage had also been captured off the battlefield by Scheither’s Hanoverian Freikorps.

On the Allied side, Frederick of Brunswick ordered Granby to take the cavalry and 12 battalions of infantry across the Diemel to maintain the pursuit, while the rest of the army settled into camp among the ruins of the former French camp.  The Allies had lost 66 officers and 1,173 men, mostly from the British contingent.  Although a decisive tactical victory for the Allies, de Broglie’s colossal Grande Armée still had a massive superiority in arms.  However, this victory allowed Ferdinand to clear his lines of communication and successfully escape the trap that Broglie was constructing.  For the British, the magnificent performance of both Granby’s cavalry and the two British dragoon regiments under the Erbprinz‘s command, completely restored their reputation and undid the shame of the British cavalry’s inaction at Minden the previous year.

Scenario Outline

This scenario lasts 20 turns.

Each army is deployed as per the scenario map (below), though refer to the Order of Battle notes for each side, where there are some clarifications and options for deployment.

Position Batteries start the game unlimbered and their facing may be adjusted before the start of the game.  Battalion Guns may be distributed within their formations as the owning player sees fit and may be limbered or unlimbered.

The main scenario map is scaled to 12 x 6 feet, assuming my usual scale of five battalions (without intervals) per table foot of frontage.

Granby’s command will arrive during the Movement Phase of Turn 8, anywhere between Points A & B on the scenario map.  Granby’s cavalry regiments will arrive in deployed in line formation, arrayed in two lines, as described in the order of battle below.  Schaumburg-Lippe’s two British batteries are deployed anywhere within Granby’s command-radius.  Granby’s command may move a full move on to table during the turn in which they arrive (the first line is completely made up of heavy cavalry regiments, which move 10 inches).

Although Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick isn’t represented in the game, he is close-by, observing the battle and will give Granby his orders as he arrives on the battlefield.  Granby’s orders may therefore be issued as he arrives on the table.

Any army that manages to break the opposing army will win a Decisive Victory.

French formations may be ordered to retreat from the battlefield between Points C & D on the scenario map (below).  Just give them ‘Retreat’ orders and a new command arrow ending at the table-edge between those two points.  Formations with ‘Retreat’ orders behave in the same manner as those on ‘Attack’ orders (i.e. must move at least half move toward their destination and may charge enemy units), but once ordered to ‘Retreat’, the order may not be changed.  Any artillery units within a Retreating formation and  not within 4 inches of the front of a formed enemy unit (blown cavalry don’t count) may limber up for ‘free’, though once limbered they may not be unlimbered.

Any French formation successfully retreated from the battlefield between Points C & D will not count against army morale.  The overall result will still be a French defeat, but this may prevent the defeat from becoming a Decisive Defeat.

Sole Allied possession of the top contour of the Hein-Berg will be the equivalent of 10 morale points suffered by the French army.

For those who can’t stretch to a 12-foot table, I’ve also done this compressed version of the map, adjusted to 8 x 6 feet (below).  I actually did this as the result of limited space at the show we were due to attend, but thought it might work rather well and I may well use this compressed version of the table for our Christmas game at WASP.

The Advanced Guard of the Allied Army

Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz) of Brunswick

(Good (2 d6) & 2 ADCs)

Vanguard – Colonel John Beckwith (Excellent)
British Grenadier Battalion ‘Daulhat’¹      [5/2]
British Grenadier Battalion ‘Maxwell’¹      [5/2]
British 87th Highlanders (Keith’s)²      [5/2]
British 88th Highlanders (Campbell’s)²      [5/2]

Right Wing Infantry – Generallieutenant August Friedrich von Spörcken (Excellent)
Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Wersabé’¹      [5/2]
Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Bock’¹      [5/2]
Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Geyso’¹      [5/2]
Hanoverian Infantry Regiment ‘Scheither’¹      [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hanoverian Infantry Regiment ‘Estorff’¹      [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hanoverian Infantry Regiment ‘Post’¹      [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hanoverian Infantry Regiment ‘Block’²      [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hanoverian Infantry Regiment ‘Monroy’²      [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hanoverian Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Hanoverian Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]

Right Wing Cavalry – Generallieutenant Christian Ludewig von Hardenberg (Average)
4 Sqns, Hanoverian Dragoon Regiment ‘Breydenbach’¹      [5/2]
2 Sqns, British 1st (Royal) Dragoons (Conway’s)¹      } [5/2]
2 Sqns, British 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons (Cope’s)¹      } [combined with above]
2 Sqns, Hessian Horse Regiment ‘Ensiedel’²      } [6/2]
2 Sqns, Hessian Horse Regiment ‘Prüschenck’²      } [combined with above]

Centre – Generallieutenant Georg Ludwig von Zastrow (Good)
Hessian Infantry Regiment ‘4. Garde’¹      [5/2 – Large Unit]
Brunswick Grenadier Battalion ‘Witdorf’¹      [5/2]
Brunswick Grenadier Battalion ‘Stammer’¹      [5/2]
Brunswick Grenadier Battalion ‘Redecker’¹      [5/2]
Hessian Landgrenadierregiment²      [4/1]
Hessian Infantry Regiment ‘Toll’²      [4/1 – Large Unit]
Hessian Grenadier Battalion ‘Mirbach’³      [5/2]
Hessian Grenadier Battalion ‘Papenheim’³      [5/2]
Hessian Grenadier Battalion ‘Rückersfeld’³      [5/2]
Brunswick Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Hessian Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Hessian Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]

Centre Cavalry (Average)
4 Sqns, Hanoverian Dragoon Regiment ‘Bock’     [5/2]
4 Sqns, Hanoverian Dragoon Regiment ‘Reden’     [5/2]
2 Sqns, Hanoverian Horse Regiment ‘Bremer’      [combined with above]

Left Wing (Légion Britannique) – Major August Christian Freiherr von Bülow (Excellent)
Hattorf’s 5 Sqns, Légion Britannique Dragoons (poor)      [4/1]
Stockhausen’s (I.) Battalion, Légion Britannique      [3/0]
Udam’s (II.) Battalion, Légion Britannique      [3/0]
Appelboom’s (III.) Battalion, Légion Britannique      [3/0]
De Laune’s (IV.) Battalion, Légion Britannique      [3/0]
Fircks’ (V.) Battalion, Légion Britannique      [3/0]
Hanoverian Battalion Guns      [2/0]

British Cavalry Division – Lieutenant General John Manners Marquess of Granby (Excellent)
3 Sqns, 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards (Bland’s)¹      [6/2]
2 Sqns, 3rd Dragoon Guards (Howard’s)¹      [6/2]
2 Sqns, 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards (The Bays or Waldegrave’s)¹      [combined with above]
3 Sqns, Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)¹      [6/2]
2 Sqns, 4th Regiment of Horse (The Black Horse or Honeywood’s)¹      [6/2]
2 Sqns, 3rd Regiment of Horse (Carabiniers or Dejean’s)¹      [combined with above]
2 Sqns, 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons (The Scots Greys or Campbell’s)²      [5/2]
2 Sqns, 10th Dragoons (Mordaunt’s)²      [combined with above]
2 Sqns, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (Cholmondley’s)²      [5/2]
2 Sqns, 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s)²      [combined with above]
British Horse Battery      [3/0]
British Horse Battery      [3/0]

Allied Order of Battle Notes

1.  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.  Nevertheless, the Landgrenadierregiment was organised as a single battalion of four companies (like the combined grenadier battalions), so doesn’t class as a Large Unit.

2.  The Hessian Langrenadierregiment was formed from the massed grenadier companies of the Landmilitia regiments.  While the Landmilitia regiments performed competently enough in the field, I decided to class this unit as MR 4 instead of MR 5.

3.  In most cases, the Allied cavalry regiments are rather small and are brigaded together into combined units for game purposes.

4.  The talented artillerist Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe led the two British artillery brigades in close support of Granby’s cavalry.  His guns followed the cavalry with a speed that ‘amazed all onlookers’ (presumably by mounting the gunners on horseback and/or on the guns and limbers) and succeeded in providing close and effective fire-support to the cavalry.  These two batteries may therefore be classed as Horse Artillery for the purposes of this scenario.

5.  The Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz) Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand of Brunswick should not be confused with his uncle, the Allied C-in-C, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick.

6.  I have no information as to the identity of the ’26 heavy guns’ present with the Hereditary Prince’s force.  They were commanded by a Hessian Lieutenant Colonel, though could be Hessian, British, Hanoverian or Schaumburg-Lipper, so take your pick.

7.  The term ‘heavy artillery’ was often used to describe position batteries of any calibre (as opposed to small detachments of artillery parceled out as battalion guns).  Some or all of these ‘heavy’ batteries could therefore be ‘light artillery’ in game terms.  However, given their position on high ground well to the rear, it does seem very likely that these were long-ranged heavy guns.

8.  The small numbers next to unit names indicate their line within the formation (1st, 2nd or 3rd Line).  Units are always listed from right to left along their line.

9.  The two Highland battalions and the five battalions of the Légion Britannique may each deploy as two skirmisher stands.

10.  The Hanoverian ‘Bock’ and ‘Reden’ Dragoon Regiments are brigaded with the two squadrons of the ‘Bremer’ Horse.  However, the ‘Bremer’ Horse aren’t strong enough in game terms to be represented as a unit in their own right and in my opinion, don’t add enough manpower to beef the dragoons up to Large Unit status.

11.  Spörcken and Hardenberg are Hanoverian officers, Zastrow was a Brunswicker (Hanover, Brunswick and Prussia all had at least one Zastrow) and Bülow was a seconded Prussian officer.  Beckwith and Granby are British.

12.  The British Royal Horse Guards and 3rd & 4th Regiments of Horse are classed as Cuirassiers.  The British Dragoon Guards, Hessian Regiments of Horse and Hanoverian Regiments of Horse are not equipped with cuirasses and are therefore classed as Heavy Horse.  In Tricorn this only matters in the event of a draw during mêlée.  British and Hanoverian dragoons are simply classed as Dragoons, though Hattorf’s Légion Britannique Dragoons are rated as Poor Dragoons, so are MR 4.

13.  The name of Colonel Daulhat of the British grenadiers is also spelled ‘Dalhaut’ or ‘Daulhatt’ in some accounts, but the Daulhat family had a long history in the British Army and I’m sure this is the correct form of the name.

Allied Formation Breakpoints

Division                FMR      ⅓      ½      ¾

Beckwith                    20          7        10      15
Spörcken                    45         15      23      34
Hardenburg               16          6        8       12
Zastrow                      54         19      27      41
Centre Cavalry          10          4        5        8
Bülow (Leg. Brit.)    21           7       11       16
Granby                       40         14      20      30

Army                     FMR      ¼      ⅓      ½

Allied Army              207        52      69    104

The Advanced Guard of the Grande Armée

Lieutenant-Général Chevalier du Muy

(Average (1 d6) & 2 ADCs)

Right Flank-Guard (Chasseurs de Fischer) – Colonel Johann Christian Fischer (Poor)
4 Coys, Chasseurs à Pied de Fischer      [3/0]
4 Coys, Chasseurs à Pied de Fischer      [3/0]
4 Coys, Chasseurs à Cheval de Fischer      [4/1]
4 Coys, Chasseurs à Cheval de Fischer      [4/1]

Grenadiers & Chasseurs Réunis – Lieutenant-Général Marquis de Castries (Excellent)
1st Bn, Grenadiers-Réunis      [5/2]
2nd Bn, Grenadiers-Réunis     [5/2]
1st Bn, Chasseurs-Réunis      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Chasseurs-Réunis     [4/1]

Right Wing – Lieutenant-Général de Maupeou (Average)
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]
1st Bn, Touraine Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Touraine Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Enghien Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Enghien Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]

Cavalry Right Wing – Lieutenant-Général Franz Walther von Lützelburg (Poor)
Royal-Étranger Cavalry Brigade (Royal-Étranger, Archiac & Saint-Aldegonde) (poor)      [5/2]
La Reine Cavalry Brigade (La Reine, Balincourt & Crussol) (poor)      [5/2]
Bourbon Cavalry Brigade (Bourbon, Beauvilliers & Montcalm) (poor)      [5/2]

Cavalry Left Wing – Lieutenant-Général Marquis d’Auvet (Good)
Royal-Piémont Cavalry Brigade (Royal-Piémont, Descars & Espinchal) (poor)      [5/2]
4 Sqns, Thianges Dragoon Regiment (poor)      [4/1]
4 Sqns, Royal Dragoon Regiment (poor)      [4/1]

Infantry Reserve – Mestre de Camp de Travers (Good)
1st Bn, Rouergue Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Rouergue Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Rohan-Rochefort Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Rohan-Rochefort Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]

Left Wing – Lieutenant-Général Marquis d’Amenzaga (Average)
1st Bn, Planta Swiss Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Planta Swiss Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Lochmann Swiss Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Lochmann Swiss Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Jenner Swiss Infantry Regiment (elite)      [5/2]
2nd Bn, Jenner Swiss Infantry Regiment (elite)      [5/2]
1st Bn, Courten Swiss Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
2nd Bn, Courten Swiss Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]

Left Flank – Lieutenant-Général Marquis de Ségur (Good)
1st Bn, La Couronne Infantry Regiment (elite)      [5/2]
2nd Bn, La Couronne Infantry Regiment (elite)      [5/2]
1st Bn, D’Aumont Infantry Regiment       [4/1]
2nd Bn, D’Aumont Infantry Regiment      [4/1]
1st Bn, Bourbonnais Infantry Regiment (elite)       [5/2]
2nd Bn, Bourbonnais Infantry Regiment (elite)      [5/2]
3rd Bn, Bourbonnais Infantry Regiment (elite)      [5/2]
4th Bn, Bourbonnais Infantry Regiment (elite)       [5/2]
Battalion Guns      [2/0]
Heavy Artillery Battery      [3/0]

French Order of Battle Notes

1.  The term ‘heavy artillery’ was often used to describe position batteries of any calibre (as opposed to small detachments of artillery parceled out as battalion guns).  Some or all of these ‘heavy’ batteries could therefore be ‘light artillery’ in game terms.  However, I’ve classed them all here as pukka heavy guns.  In reality the 24 French heavy guns were grouped into five batteries, though I’ve rationalised this for game purposes as four batteries, each of six guns.

2.  The battalions of the Chasseurs à Pied de Fischer, the combined grenadiers and the combined chasseurs may each alternatively deploy as 2x Skirmishers.

3.  Unlike the dragoons of most other nations, which had become medium-weight shock cavalry, French dragoon regiments were still very much roled as mounted infantry, with shock action as a secondary role.  They are therefore classed as Poor Dragoons, with MR 4.  However, they may dismount and fight as infantry battalions with the same MR, or as 2x Skirmishers.

4.  The majority of French cavalry regiments were very weak at this time.  Most had only two weak squadrons, with an average campaign strength of only 240-260 men.  Consequently, in Tricorn a unit represents a brigade of three or four such regiments.  Note however, that these are classed as Poor Cuirassiers, so are MR 5.

5.  Muy’s left wing is deployed on an extremely compressed frontage.  Maps of the battle show the battalions as being deployed in a single line, but it seems likely that the brigades stationed on the left wing might have adopted the typical French deployment of deploying the right-hand battalion in each brigade en potence; i.e. at right-angles to the main line, to protect the brigade’s flank should the brigade on their right collapse.  The left-most brigade would then deploy its left-hand battalion en potence to protect the open flank (either in column facing the front, or in line facing the flank).  This style of deployment was used at other battles (most notably at Minden) and would give the remaining three battalions in each brigade room to deploy fully in line.  I’ve shown this deployment on the scenario map.

6.  These is little information on the exact deployment of Castries’ temporary corps of massed grenadiers and chasseurs.  This formation had been formed early in the day, from the massed grenadier and chasseur companies of the army and had then driven Bülow’s Légion Britannique back from the high-ground immediately north of Warburg.  I’ve therefore placed them roughly where they would have been, having successfully driven off Bülow.  When the crisis emerged on the left flank, Castries immediately marched his corps over to the left flank to assist there.

7.  Similarly, there is little information as to the exact deployment of the Chasseurs de Fischer.  All I know is that they were occupying Warburg, but also assisted Castries in driving back Bülow during the early hours.  Following that action, they fell back to defend Warburg, but were eventually driven out later in the day by the resurgent Bülow.  The location of the mounted Chasseur squadrons is purely speculative and they may not have been present.

8.  Although Travers is not mentioned as commander of the Reserve (Rouergue) Brigade, he is mentioned as leading the brigade in a counter-attack against the Allied infantry, so I list him here as commander of the Reserve.

9.  Some sources place the two French dragoon regiments on the right flank with Castries’ command, engaging the Légion Britannique alongside the massed grenadier and chasseur companies and the Chasseurs de Fischer.  The French player may therefore place the two dragoon regiments, under d’Auvet’s command, within Castries’ or Fischer’s deployment area.  In which case, transfer the Royal-Piémont Cavalry Brigade from d’Auvet to Lützelburg’s command and re-calculate the divisional breakpoints.

10.  The German mercenary Johann Christian Fischer is sometimes referred to in the French form, ‘Jean Chrétien Fischer’ or ‘de Fischer’.  I’m not certain if he was ever raised to the nobility and therefore entitled to include the ‘de’ in his name.

11.  The Kronoskaf account of the battle refers to du Muy’s corps as the ‘Rearguard’ of the army.  I’m not sure I understand the logic of this, as they were definitely at the point of the French advance, having just established a bridgehead over the Diemel, with Broglie’s main army marching to reinforce them.

French Formation Breakpoints

Division                FMR      ⅓      ½      ¾

Fischer                        14          5        7        11
Castries                      18          6        9       14
Maupeou                   40         14      20      30
Lützelburg                 15          5        8        12
D’Auvet                      13          5        7        10
Travers                       18          6        9       14
D’Amenzaga              39         13      20      30
Ségur                          42         14       21      31

Army                    FMR      ¼      ⅓       ½

French Army           200       50      67      100

Terrain Notes

The battlefield terrain is for the most part, as defined in the terrain chart on Page 2 of the Tricorn Quick-Reference Sheets.  Here are some scenario-specific terrain definitions:

River Diemel – The River Diemel is impassable to all troop types.

Streams – Are passable to all troop-types, as per the standard rules.  A defender gains a +1 defensive modifier against any unit that crossed a stream during its charge (not cumulative with other terrain modifiers)

Farms, Mills & Watch-Tower – These are merely decoration on the table and do not affect play.

Gardens & Allotments – The town of Warburg is surrounded by a belt of gardens, allotments, orchards and smallholdings (marked on the map by green cross-hatching).  Class this area as ‘Orchards’ as per the standard rules.  The defender gains a +1 defensive modifier (not cumulative with other terrain modifiers).

Hills – The defender will gain a +1 defensive modifier during combat (not cumulative with other terrain modifiers).

The Hein-Berg – The top contour of the Hein-Berg is very steep.  For movement, class all units crossing the top contour-line the same as crossing a stream.  Instead of the usual +1 for defending a hill, any unit defending the top contour of the Hein-Berg will gain a +2 defensive modifier.

Warburg – The crumbling mediaeval walls of Warburg give a defender some advantage, though the walls have been breached in many areas by centuries of building-work, creating doors, windows and gateways and other points of entry for infantry.  Divide the town up into Built-Up Sectors (BUS), each of which may only be defended by a single battalion or pair of skirmisher stands.  I suggest 4x BUS for the southern part of the town and 5x BUS for the northern part of the town.  Where an attacked has to cross the outer wall, the defender gains a +2 defensive modifier.  If fighting within the town, the defender gains only a +1 defensive modifier.  Cavalry and Artillery may only pass through the town in column/limbered formation and only via the main gates; where a road meets the town wall (N.B. there is only one connecting gate between the northern and southern halves of the town).  Note that one historical map, in the Royal Collections Trust, shows Warburg as surrounded by modern bastioned fortifications.  This was definitely not the case.

Villages – Ossendorf comprises three BUS (only one if using the compressed version of the map), while Menne comprises one BUS.  These are not prepared for defence and only give the defender a +1 defensive bonus.

Woodland – Some maps show some small areas of woodland along the Diemel and around the fringes of the battlefield, but these didn’t play any significant part of the battle.  One map shows a wooded area (of approx 12 inches square in map-scale) directly in front of the French left wing (i.e. the La Couronne and d’Aumont Regiments), but this is the same map that shows the bastions and ravelins around Warburg, so I wouldn’t put too much faith in its accuracy.

That’s it for now!  I’m looking forward to playing this one.  As an aside, I’ve just begun a transatlantic Play-By-Mail Franco-Prussian War campaign with some very fine gentlemen.  Despite knowing absolutely nothing about the war, I’ve been placed in charge of the Prussian 2nd Army (i.e. the main Prussian striking-force).  We’re doomed…  Anyway, we’ve just submitted out first orders for the invasion of France, so I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  I will post the results here, once it becomes non-operationally-sensitive to do so (the French have their spies, I’m sure).

On To Paris! 🙂

This entry was posted in Eighteenth Century, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules), Tricorn Scenarios. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to ‘Going At It Bald-Headed!’: The Battle of Warburg 31st July 1760 (A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’)

  1. Fabulous scenario set up with everything needed for the wargamer to replicate this battle. Well, besides the troops and table space.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Jonathan! 🙂

      Something I was going to add, but completely forgot about, was the ‘long-play’ version; It basically starts with only the French army and the Legion Britannique deployed on table. Then Beckwith, Sporcken and Hardenberg appear around Ossendorf, followed by Zastrow to the west of Menne. It gives the Allied player a bit more freedom of deployment and the French player more fog of war, but in the long run it’s going to end up in the situation we see here anyway. 🙂

      I’m also tempted to shorten the game length to 15 turns, as that will give the Allies and especially Granby a greater sense of urgency to get ‘stuck in’, rather than wait for their artillery support to degrade the enemy first. I’ll have a better idea once we’ve played it through.



  2. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark

    Really looking forward to the AAR om this one. Incidentally will they be fighting the resultant battles on the table top in the Franco-Prussian campaign and if so which rules are they using?

    Cheers Paul

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Hi Paul,

      I’m a bit behind on my AARs at the moment! I must catch up with ’em! 🙁

      Yes, they’ll be playing the resultant battles using the 19th Century Europe variant of Fire & Fury/Age of Eagles. The lads at Timecast are organising the campaign and playing the battles. They’re in Shrewsbury, so not too far away for me to go and take part in a battle or two (about 3 hours from here). The King of Prussia is one of the Timecast lads, but our other fellow Prussians are in the USA, so I don’t think they’ll be popping over!


  3. Nick says:

    Another excellent article

    Looking forward to the reports from the FPW

    Will they be using historical oobs and free movement

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Nick,

      Yes, the OOBs are historical and movement is via a hex map (taken from an old boardgame), though tactical battlefields will be defined using original maps.

  4. Joseph says:

    Too bad you couldn’t play your original planned game but still looking forward to reading the AAR of this one. Hopefully it’s a closer rematch than the historical battle.
    You certainly design a very complete scenario, my own armies are way too small to do this battle, so I will have live vicariously thru your replay!

    Interesting too about the FPW campaign. Keep us informed when you can. No offense but I hope the Prussians lose though I doubt they will.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Joseph!

      Yes, I’m very much looking forward to it. We might have to do the 8×6-foot variant due to available table-space, but we’ll see how it goes.

      Re the FPW Campaign; If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll quickly recognise my unerring ability to inadvertently write the Staff College Directing Staff Solution on how to lose any battle… 🙁



  5. Pingback: ‘King George Commands And We Obey’: My 15mm SYW British Army (Part 4: Highlanders) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  6. Pingback: “Going At It Bald-Headed!”: The Battle of Warburg 1760 (The Refight) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  7. John Curran says:

    Great work on your various scenarios.
    Also really like the Commentary re Terrain, Deployment, Scenario balance issues, etc.

    You might consider moving these scenarios to Wargame Vault. They will sell them on line as PDFs. You won’t become one of the world’s billionaires, but it will give a small income to reduce net spending on the hobby (you are like most of us – start reading about a campaign, etc. and next thing, an order for more lead is placed!) (“My name is JC and I am a leadaholic!!”).
    Seriously, another, perhaps more compelling reason, is that it will spread the word about your excellent, well researched scenarios!
    Tim Tilson has a series of SYW scenarios on Wargame Vault. They are (IIRC) one set for the Western theatre and one for the East. Check them out. They might suit your games.
    I run into Steve, one of the guys who runs Wargame Vault, at the Seven Years War Con in South Bend, IN, USA, nearly every year. A straight shooter and respected by those who have done business with him. (No,I do not have any involvement with WV, just glad they exist). JC

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks JC, that’s very kind of you. 🙂

      Also thanks for the suggestion! 🙂 However, I’ve always said that I don’t do it for money, only for the adulation, free drugs and groupies…

      … Any day now…




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.