The Combat of Sanderhausen 1758 (The Refight)

Last time I posted a scenario for the Combat of Sanderhausen, which was fought on 23rd July 1758, between the French corps of the Duc de Broglie and the Hessian corps of Prince Ysenburg.  I covered all the history, orders of battle, etc then, so follow the link if you want a recap of the details.

So with the scenario scribbled on the back of a fag-packet, last Tuesday I headed down to W.A.S.P. in Pembroke Dock to play the game with Mike, who’d never played a SYW game before, let alone Tricorn or Shako.  I gave him the option of which side to play and seeing the larger army, he obviously opted to be French…

Ha!  He had fallen into my trap!  My Hessians had the better troops and as Obi-Wan Kenobi would appreciate, we also had the high ground!  Ahahahahaha!  Ahahahahahahahahahahaha!

What could possibly go wrong…?

Above:  Prince Ysenburg’s Hessian corps (on the left) has deployed on a hill astride their line of retreat to Münden.  The Hessians are outnumbered, but have their flanks secured by thick woods on each flank, as well as the River Fulda in the west and the fortified farm of Ellenbach in the east.

Above:  I must confess that I don’t yet have quite enough Hessians in my collection, so had to use some proxy units.  Two of the Hessian Militia battalions were represented by red-coated Hanoverians, the Invalid Battalion was represented by the Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Regiment, the Hessian Husaren-Corps were represented by the Prussian ‘Kleist’ Frei-Husaren and I used Prussian Jäger figures for the two Jäger-Corps.

Above:  Another view of Prince Ysenburg’s Hessian army.  Prince Ysenburg’s own infantry regiment is nearest the camera and is the most newly-painted unit on the table, having not yet seen action… And we know what that means… 🙁

Above:  The Hessian Jäger-Corps (here represented by Prussian ‘Kleist’ Frei-Jäger) lurks in the woods on the bank of the Fulda.  This elite unit should easily deal with the French light troops…

Above:  The Duc de Broglie’s French army forms up.  Nearest the camera, the Chasseurs de Fischer and volunteers from the ‘Bentheim’ Regiment push into the woods.  I must confess however, that I still haven’t painted the skirmishers for my Chasseurs de Fischer, so we were forced to use some more blue-coated light infantry when they deployed into skirmish order.

Above:  For once, I do actually have a few of the required French regiments in my collection; namely the ‘Royal-Deux-Ponts’ Regiment (the central battalion with the red & purple flag-corners), the ‘Apchon’ Dragoons (in red), the ‘Diesbach’ Swiss and the ‘Royal-Nassau’ Hussars.  As usual, I had to use random French regiments for the rest, though I used red-coated Swiss troops for the remaining Swiss regiment and a blue-coated German regiment for the ‘Royal-Bavière’ Regiment.

Above:  However, all the heavy cavalry regiments should have been wearing blue coats, but I’ve only got one such regiment; the ‘Raugrave’ Cavalry.

Above:  On the French right flank, the massed grenadiers of the ‘Royal-Deux-Ponts’ Regiment skirmish forward, supported by the ‘Royal-Nassau’ Hussars and the massed guns (I’d run out of light guns, so had to substitute a 12pdr for one of them).

As the game starts, the French guns immediately begin to pummel Ellenbach Farm!  This initially causes some discomfiture among the Hessian ‘Freywald’ Militia, though their commander manages to steady them.

Above:  As the French army begins to advance up the hill, Broglie decides to form a small tactical reserve in his centre from the ‘Royal-Deux-Ponts’ and the 2nd Battalion of the ‘Royal-Bavière’.  Somewhat remarkably, the Hessian artillery completely fails to do any damage to the approaching mass of Frenchmen!

Above:  With his artillery completely failing to make any impact, Prince Ysenburg decides to see if his cavalry can do any better and orders them forward against the French right flank, hoping to roll up the French right flank from there, or at least damage the French right wing and cavalry sufficiently that it will no longer be a threat.

Above:  Down on the bank of the Fulda, the ‘elite’ Hessian Jäger-Corps are having their arses handed to them by the French light troops.  It would seem that nobody in the Hessian army knows how to shoot!

Above:  As the French army closes to within range of the battalion guns, some gaps appear in the ranks on both sides, but the Hessian artillery seems to have received its marksmanship training from the same bloke who trained the Jäger! 🙁

Above:  With nobody apart from the French artillery bothering the garrison of the Ellenbach Farm, the Hanoverian Jäger sneak out to occupy the small copse on the spur, from where they start sniping at the French hussars.

Above:  On the French left flank, the Chasseurs de Fischer are very much gaining the upper hand over the Hessian Jäger-Corps, who are falling back on their grenadier supports.

Above:  On the French right flank, the Swiss ‘Waldner’ Regiment has wheeled to the right, forcing the Hessian cavalry to ‘run the gauntlet’ as they charge home.  The Hessian cavalry commander realises too late that he has been invited into a trap, but he has his orders and therefore must order the charge!

Above:  The Hessian ‘Prüschenck’ Horse and Husaren-Corps charge home on the ‘Royal-Nassau’ Hussars, but the French heavy horse counter-charge in support.  To make matters worse, the Swiss infantry and the French battalion guns succeed in emptying several Hessian saddles before they make contact.  The charge goes badly for the Hessians, who are beaten off with significant losses!

Above:  Having beaten off the Hessians, the French heavy horse are blocked by their own infantry, so opt to recall and rally behind friendly lines.  The ‘Royal-Nassau’ Hussars however, have only the ‘Prinz Freidrich’ Dragoons in front of them and the so their Colonel orders his trumpeter to sound the charge!

Above:  As the hussars charge home they suffer some disruption from the Hanoverian Jäger lurking in the copse, but with the Hessian dragoons having already suffered casualties from Swiss fire, they have an even chance of winning the combat.  Nevertheless, the Hessian dragoons manage to salvage some honour from the débâcle and send the hussars packing!

Above:  With more French cavalry massing behind the Swiss infantry, the ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons decide not to exploit their victory over the hussars and instead fall back to rally behind friendly lines.  All the retreating cavalry units also manage to rally… this time…

Above:  As the French infantry close the range, the Hessian artillery FINALLY manages to do some serious damage to the French infantry!  Then, as the French close to musketry range, one detachment of battalion guns is destroyed on both sides and the remaining gunners withdraw to relative safety behind the lines.

Above:  The opening volley from the Hessian infantry tears wide gaps in the French ranks, yet the French manage to do little damage in return.  The Hessians start to believe that they can actually win this battle!

Above:  The 1st Battalion of the French ‘Rohan-Montbazon’ Regiment has suffered particularly heavy casualties and falls back to rally.

Above:  However, things continue to go badly for the Hessians in the woods!  The Jäger-Corps have now been driven off by the French light troops, who now turn their attention to the Garrison-Grenadier Battalion.  Nevertheless, the grenadiers give as good as they get, inflicting losses on the Chasseurs de Fischer and the ‘Beauvoisis’ Regiment.

Above:  The cavalry of both sides rally as the Swiss reload their muskets and wait for the Hessians to comply with their orders and charge again…

Above:  Sure enough, they don’t have long to wait as the Hessian cavalry try again!  The ‘Prüschenck’ Horse strike at the 1st Battalion of the ‘Diesbach’ Regiment, which stands on the right flank of the French infantry.

Above:  Incredibly, the Swiss infantry this time fail to inflict any damage on the charging horse!  The French cavalry, masked by the infantry, can do little to assist the Swiss, but the ‘Apchon’ Dragoons immediately mount a supporting charge on the Hessian Husaren-Corps.  The honours are even; the ‘Apchon’ Dragoons succeed in sweeping the already-depleted hussars from the field, while the ‘Prüschenck’ Horse utterly destroy the Swiss battalion.  This time there are no bold attempts at exploitation; the cavalry of both sides retire to rally behind their own lines.

Above:  In the centre, the French infantry continue to get the worst of the firefight.  Confident that his line can hold, Ysenburg orders the reserve Invalid Battalion to march to the right flank, to help the Grenadier Battalion, which is being mobbed by light troops (note the arrow, which shows that the Invalids have formed a column to march to the right flank).

Above:  However, Hessian confidence is very short-lived, as the French infantry starts to recover its form!  In particular, the Swiss ‘Waldner’ Regiment is wrapping around the Hessian left flank and is starting to inflict significant casualties on the ‘Canitz’ Regiment.

Above:  There is another temporary pause as the cavalry of both sides take a breather between charges.  Over on the far flank, a pair of Hessian messengers gallop toward Ellenbach Farm, with orders for the ‘Freywald’ Militia to march out and intervene in the copse.

Above:  In a sudden flurry of violence, the Swiss ‘Waldner’ Regiment attempts a two-battalion charge against the ‘Canitz’ Regiment on the left flank of the Hessian infantry!  The 2nd Battalion is halted by fire, though the 1st Battalion successfully charges home, only to then retreat from the combat.  The French infantry has better luck at the opposite end of the line, as the 1st Battalion of the ‘Beauvoisis’ Regiment throws back the ‘Ysenburg’ Regiment, though the Hessians manage to rally.

Above:  The Hessian ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons meanwhile, charge once again against the Swiss ‘Diesbach’ Regiment, but this time are beaten off.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons need less than a 5 to rally…  Sigh… 🙁

Above:  The Swiss meanwhile, need less than a 4 to rally… 🙂

Above:  “Don’t look now Hans, but I think there’s someone behind you…”

Above:  The French infantry are absolutely determined to break the Hessians and to that end, mount a general charge all along the line!  The ‘Gundlach’ Militia (represented by the red-coated Hanoverians) manage to hold off the ‘Royal-Deux-Ponts’ and ‘Royal-Bavière’ Regiments in the centre with musketry, but two French battalions on either flank manage to charge home!

Above:  One the French left, the 2nd Battalion of the ‘Rohan-Montbazon’ Regiment charges home on the ‘Wurmb’ Militia (with the orange flag).  Despite the support of the Invalid Battalion (who have hurriedly turned back into line), the Militia break and flee the field!  However, things again go badly on the French right flank, as the 2nd Battalion of the Swiss ‘Waldner’ Regiment dashes itself to pieces against the solid ‘Canitz’ Regiment.  With losses mounting on both sides, the Hessian infantry, the Hessian cavalry and the French right wing (i.e. the Swiss and German regiments) are now officially Demoralised.

Above:  On the edge of the woods, the Hessian Grenadier Battalion is holding on by its fingernails, but is still inflicting considerable damage on the ‘Beauvoisis’ Regiment.

Above:  The French cavalry meanwhile, have been ordered to halt and are content to watch the remaining Hessian horsemen dash themselves to pieces.  The Grenadiers of the ‘Royal-Deux-Ponts’ Regiment attempt to push into the copse, but suffer heavy losses to the Hanoverian Jäger still lurking there.  Just out of shot, the ‘Freybach’ Militia have received their orders to march out to the rescue of the cavalry, but at that moment catch an accurate barrage from the French artillery, which inflicts a timely delay on their intervention in the battle!

Above:  The Hessian cavalry have suffered heavy losses, but are still managing to stay in the battle and are good for one more charge!  All they need are some fresh orders and to that end, a messenger rides over from Prince Ysenburg…

Above:  Oh, scratch that plan…  A shot from a section of French battalion guns puts an ignominious end to the Hessian horse…

Above:  Having seen off the entire ‘Waldner’ Swiss, the Hessian ‘Canitz’ Regiment is finally defeated by the ‘Royal-Bavière’ Regiment and as they flee, they carry away one of the Hessian position batteries.

Above:  In the woods, the Garrison-Grenadier Battalion continues to hold out against overwhelming odds!

Above:  In the centre, the ‘Ysenburg’ Regiment has re-entered the fight and stands alongside the Invalid Battalion as the French charge yet again!  In front of them, the heroic ‘Gundlach’ Militia continue to stand their ground as much of the rest of the army folds around them.  However, it’s Turn 11 and the Hessians only have to hold out until the end of the next turn!  They can still do this! 🙂

Above:  The ‘Freywald’ Militia finally march out of Ellenbach Farm to save the day!  Hurrah!

Above:  It’s the end of Turn 11 and with one-third of the Hessian army broken, it’s time for another Army Morale test…  All we need is a 3 or more and to hold out for just one more turn…


Once again, I ask the question “Is this REALLY the hobby for me?”

Anyway, that’s it for now.  As mentioned last time, there are a few Burma things brewing, as well as a Normandy scenario, more 18th Century stuff and probably something I haven’t even though of yet.

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Combat of Sanderhausen 1758 (The Refight)

  1. Donnie McGibbon says:

    Superb looking game, so many lovely miniatures on show, very colourful and the dice gods somewhat having a laugh at your expense!

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Donnie!

      Dead Deutschmeister Doug’s Dreaded Purple Dice of Doom frequently have a good laugh at my expense… 🙁

  2. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark
    Great report. Personally I always put that kind of result down to ‘beginners luck’. Just a thought.

    Cheers Paul

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Paul!

      We at WASP have learned never to underestimate the fickle malice of the Archdoug from beyond the grave!

      It’s also a club byelaw that Deutschmeister Doug’s Dreaded Purple Dice of Doom must be used in all games.


      (I’ve mentioned it before, but I should add that along with the dice, my SYW Austrian army once belonged to our much-missed friend Doug)

  3. Willz Harley says:

    Fantastic SYW eye candy and AAR, thanks for sharing.


  4. Andy says:

    😂😂😂 Sorry, as soon as I’d seen Doug’s dice I knew how it was going to end.

    Great looking game though.


  5. Joseph says:

    What a great game! Hard fought battle. I might try this scenario with that amount of troops although I don’t have the correct forces for this war. Dice…..we often hate ’em but can’t imagine games without them, might as well play chess.
    Oh and good to see the French win (I’m a long time Francophile in our group.)

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Joseph!

      We’re going to give it another outing in September, at the open day of one of our local clubs. Hopefully by then I’ll have the Chasseurs de Fischer skirmishers painted, as well as two more Hessian battalions to replace the Hanoverian redcoats.
      I think I might add a pair of skirmisher elements to the scenario (one on each flank) to represent the Hessian Militia skirmishers.

      Don’t worry about not having the right troops, though. I remember once fighting Aspern-Essling, but without Austrians! Instead we had a great alliance of British, Portuguese, Spaniards, Russians and Prussians! 🙂



  6. Nick says:

    Lovely looking game

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