Thursday, August 31, 2017

Basing Conundrums

British 8th (King's) Regiment
8th (King's) Regiment shown with GMB Designs Flags.

NOTE: click or double click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

Like searching for the perfect set of game rules, so too is it impossible to come up with the perfect way of basing your troops. I am sure that we all want to tinker with our basing system from time to time, and horror of horrors, once in awhile this leads to the decision to rebase a whole existing army.

I finished a 32-figure unit of British SYW figures, painted as the 8th (King's) Regiment of Foot. This has caused me to rethink how I want to base my figures going forward. I like the look of the figures packed in closer together in the proposed new basing system for 32-figure battalions, taking up a frontage of eleven inches. My existing basing system has 30-figure battalions with a frontage of twelve inches.

Please inspect the pictures below that compare the old system with the proposed new system.

My current basing system places six figures on a 60mm wide base.
The complete battalion has a frontage of about 12-inches.

A proposed basing system has a frontage of about 11-inches for 32 figures.

The proposed system (top) has 32 figures with a frontage of 11-inches, compared to the existing system that has  a 12-inch frontage. So the smaller frontage of the proposed system actually holds two more figures than the existing system.

I like the basing for the Highlander battalion and so when I decided to paint another British regiment, I went for the 32-figure arrangement. I would like to use this system for all of my infantry going forward. I like the shoulder-to-shoulder look of the 32-figure units. Perhaps my favorite thing about the new system is that there is room on the end bases to place 9 figures, rather than 8, on the base and have the ninth figure being a drummer that I can place out on the flank of the battalion, where it would have been historically.

I would take the time to rebase all of my Prussian infantry battalions (7 of them) and Austrian battalions (8 of them) but for one little problem: I used Super Glue to attach the metal bases of the figures to an MDF wooden base, and as God is my witness, I cannot remove the figures from the old base. I have tried prying the figures off with a wedge shaped Exacto blade; I have tried putting the base in the freezer to help break down the glue. This trick normally works, but not on the test figures that I used.

So rather than painting just two more new figures per regiment and rebasing, the inability to remove the figures from the old bases means that  I would have to repaint and rebase 15 battalions (30 figures per battalion) or 450 new figures. Thus I would in effect be repainting both of my core SYW armies of Prussia and Austria and probably selling off all of the old figures. I don't know about that idea.

Another solution is to keep the old units based in the old manner, but paint any new units in the new format of 32-figures. I compared the frontages of the two basing systems and found that there is only a frontage difference of one-inch in the two system. So I could keep both old and new battalions because they have near-identical figures and frontages so as to be compatible on the game table.

I would like to hear your thoughts and comments on the basing conundrum, which you can post in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

SYW Prussian Brigade Forcade

Forcade Brigade
IR15 Guards and Wedel and Kremzow Grenadiers
NOTE: click or double click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

Continuing with my series on the SYW Prussian brigades in my Minden Miniatures armies, I present to you the elite Forcade Brigade. The brigade consists of 2nd and 3rd battalions of IR15 Guards and two grenadier battalions: Wedell (1/23) and Kremzow (17/22).

The brigade commander is Lt. General Forcade de Baix, Colonel von Saldern - Guards Regimental Colonel, but there is no colonel of the two grenadier battalions.

Brigade commander Forcade de Baix and the color parties of the two guards battalions. Grenadier companies did not have colors and so it follows that the grenadier battalion carried no colors.

The Guard Regiment had three battalions, labeled in Roman numerals as I, II, and III. The first battalion was the ceremonial parade ground unit and it only fought in one action during the SYW, at Kolin. The second battalion's distinction is that it wears tricorn hats, while the third battalion wears a mitre with a yellow bag. All three guards battalions wore yellow breeches and waistcoats - the color yellow was the designation of all of the royal regiments in the Prussian army (IR34 - Prinz Ferdinand and IR35 Prinz Heinrich being the other regiments).

The second and third battalions of the IR15 Guards regiment. The regiment was commanded by a colonel, and each battalion was commanded by a Lt. Colonel.

Second Battalion of IR15 Guards - noticeable by their tricorn hats.

Third Battalion of IR15 Guards - noticeable by their grenadier mitres.

The Guards Regiment
The two Guards battalions were always a part of the "King's Army", that is, the army that was personally commanded by King Frederick II. Their grenadier battalions were told off to the converged grenadier battalion (15/18) von Kleist.

Leuthen was the most notable battle of the two Guards battalions, as they stormed the town and the walled church yard and drove out the Austrians. The cost came at the lives of 501 rank and file and 17 officers, including one of the battalion commanders, Lt. Colonel von Diericke. Six Pour-le-Merite were awarded to the regiment for their heroism at Leuthen.

Grenadier Battalions
The Prussian grenadier battalions in the army were made of two grenadier companies from each of two regiments. Prussian infantry regiments had two battalions for the most part and each battalion had five musketeer or fusilier companies and one grenadier company, Thus the two grenadier companies from the two battalions were hived off from the parent regiment and converged with two grenadier companies from another regiment.  Thus the two numerals, separated by a slash, designation that shows the components of the battalion. For example "1/23" tells you that the grenadiers in the battalion came from the IR1 and IR23 regiments. Grenadier battalions were of a single battalion and named after the designated Lt. Colonel. Thus the Wedell Grenadier Battalion, as it was officially known, had grenadiers from the first and twenty-third regiments.

The Wedell and Kremzow Grenadier Battalions on the parade ground.

The Wedell Grenadier Battalion (1/23)

Wedell Grenadiers (1/23)
The Wedell grenadier battalion consisted of two companies of grenadiers from each of IR1 and IR23, described by Christopher Duffy as "a famous battalion, used for a variety of dangerous enterprises in the Seven Years War."

The Kremzow Grenadier Battalion

Kremzow Grenadiers (17/22)
The Kremzow grenadier battalion consisted of two companies of grenadirs from each of IR17 and IR22. Christopher Duffy cites Warnery who says of these grenadiers at Prague, "the only ones who did not open fire, but pressed home the attack at bayonet point. After all, they are Pommeranians...who are beyond doubt the best infantry in the world."

Monday, August 28, 2017

SC Turn 7: Cornwallis vs. Gates at Cheraw

Turn 7 Map Moves. Click to enlarge.

The Main Event: Cornwallis versus Gates at Cheraw
Well, we finally have the match that all of the civilized world has been waiting for: a battle between Horatio Gates and Lord Cornwallis at the town of Cheraw, along the Pee Dee River. Hopefully, Cornwallis won't make the same mistake that Webster did by attacking an American army in a defensive position on the other side of a river. I doubt that this will happen.

Gates Makes a Tactical Blunder
On the other hand, it looks as if Gates could be in a serious pickle because not only does he have to engage Cornwallis in battle, but also, Tarleton is probably going to capture the Rebel supply base at Hillsboro, North Carolina, which is only three dots behind Gates. Thus, should Gates lose this battle, he would lose an additional SP for retreating, be out of supply with Tarleton in Winnsboro, and  have nowhere to retreat, possibly haveing his whole army captured by Cornwallis.

The Undercard in the Match
But wait, there's more!

DeKalb marched west from Catawba Town with 6SPs headed directly towards the British fort at Ninety Six. He has been reinforced by 2SPs from Sumter's force that was based in Augusta, Georgia. Also, the Rebel garrison at Fort Charlotte, just west of Ninety Six, has marched to join DeKalb's army, So with all three forces converging on Ninety Six, DeKalb will have an army of 9SPs surrounding Cruger's garrison of 3SPs. I will have to check my siege rules, but I think that a 3:1 advantage for the besiegers results in an automatic capitulation by the garrison. An American victory at Ninety Six would open up the whole string of British forts along the Santee River (Forts Granby, Motte and Watson) to DeKalb's army. Perhaps he could even make a move on the main British supply base at Camden, while Cornwallis is cavorting around in North Carolina, or even take the ultimate prize of Charleston.

Cornwallis is not Stupid
Lord Cornwallis left a small garrison of 3SPs at Camden while he took 8SPs with him to chase down Gates' army at Cheraw. In case things turned out badly for him, he ordered Rawdon to march from Charleston with a force of 4SPs and head for Camden. Rawdon will only make it as far as Nelson's Ferry on this turn, but by Turn 8 he will arrive in Camden and thus increase the force at Camden to 7SPs. Leaving Charleston garrisoned with 1SP carries some risk, so Stewart is transporting a force of 4SPs from Savannah, Georgia to replace the same number of SPs that are marching to Camden with Rawdon. This leaves only 2SPs in Savannah, under the command of Archibald Campbell, but there are no direct routes for any of the Rebel forces to close in on Savannah, at this moment.

Where Are the Partisans?
Once again, there was no Partisan Uprising in South Carolina, so we are still awaiting the activation of Thomas Pinckney's forces. Sumter sent two of his three SPs from Augusta to Ninety Six to assist DeKalb in taking that important fort.

Meanwhile, we still have Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox roaming around in the Tidewater region with 3SPs. After his failure to bluff the Georgetown garrison into surrendering, he fell back to Kingston. While he did not capture Georgetown, the mere threat of his doing so resulting in his tying down of 4SPs that could certainly come in handy for the British army elsewhere. You will note on the campaign map that one of the roads is a dotted line rather than a solid line. Only irregular partisans can travel over these roads whereas the regulars have to use the main roads.

Time Table for the Turn 7 Battles

I expect to lay out the terrain for the battle at Cheraw within the next couple of days with the aim of solo gaming it over next weekend. Ninety Six will follow the main event at Cheraw. This could end up being the most significant turn of the campaign for either side, based on the outcome of the battles.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

SYW Prinz Moritz Brigade

The Prinz Moritz Brigade

Continuing with the grand review of my SYW Prussian army, I present to you the Prinz Moritz Brigade, comprised of Minden Miniatures Prussians. The brigade commander is Prinz Moritz of Anhalt Dessau, one of the Old Dessauer's sons.

My infantry brigades include two regiments, each having two battalions, two 3-pound battalion guns, and one battalion ammunition supply wagon. I am considering adding a regiment baggage wagon as well, but that is a project for the future.

Itzenplitz in front and Prinz Moritz regiment in the rear.

The two regiments in the Prinz Moritz Brigade are the Itzenplitz Regiment (IR13) and the Prinz Moritz Regiment (IR22).

The brigade is deployed in battle formation - each line consists of one of the regiments
 with both of its battalions deployed side by side.

The brigade in a column of battalions. The two battalions at the front of the column (right) are from the Itzenplitz Regiment and the two rear battalions are from the Prinz Moritz Regiment. Trailing the regiments are the two battalion guns (3-pdrs) and the regimental ammunition wagon.

Itzenplitz Regiment ("IR13")

The Itzenplitz regiment was one of the premier regiments in the army of Frederick the Great. It was also called the Donner und Blitzen regiment, so you know that they had a sense of humor way back then. Its inhaber was Major General August Friedrich von Itzenplitz, who took over the regiment in 1750, refined it and led it in the most important years of the SYW.  MG von Itzenplitz died of wounds from the battle of Kunersdorf in 1760, but the regiment retained his name.

The Itzenplitz Regiment of two battalions and one battalion gun. The colonel leads the regiment from the front, where he was expected to be.

The regiment distinguished itself at Lobositz and Prague, where it dislodged the Croats from the Lobosch and created the gap in the Austrian lines, respectively. The regiment also fought at Rossbach, Leuthen, Hochkirch, Kunersdorf, Liegnitz and Torgau. King Frederick always had a high opinion of the regiment due to its steadfastness and ranked it and the Winterfeldt regiment (IR1) in priority after the Guard regiments.

The regiment was stationed in Berlin.

Prinz Moritz Regiment ("IR22")

Prinz Moritz of Anhalt Dessau, one of the sons of Leopold of Anhalt Dessau (" the Old Dessaurer") became the inhaber of the regiment in 1741 at the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession, serving with distinction at Mollwitz, Hohenfriedberg and Kesselsdorf. Prinz Moritz was severely wounded at Hochkirch in 1758 and invalided out of the army, dying 18 months later.

The Prinz Moritz Regiment of two battalions.

During the SYW, the regiment was a regular part of the King's army from Lobositz to Kolin, where it suffered great losses in the latter battle.  From there, the regiment was in the Pommeranian based army that fought the Russians at Zorndorf and Paltzig. It rejoined the King's army in 1760 and fought well at Torgau and Burkersdorf.

The regiment was stationed at Stargard in Pommerania.

Next Up - the Guards and Grenadiers

Friday, August 25, 2017

SYW Winterfeldt Brigade

The Winterfeldt Brigade in Formation. Click or double click all pictures to enlarge the view.

My SYW armies are organized into brigades of two regiments, each having two battalions, thus four battalions in each of my brigades. For every regiment of two battalions, I assign one 3-pound battalion cannon. The brigade also has one munitions wagon - in my Der Alte Fritz rules for the SYW, I limit the amount of ammunition that a battalion of infantry or a gun section in an artillery battery can fire before it runs out of ammo. The unit can replenish its ammunition by spending one full turn attached to the wagon. It can do nothing else while it is replenishing ammunition.

Each of my Prussian brigades has a brigade commander and he lends his name to the name of the brigade. Thus, my Winterfeldt Brigade is commanded by Major General Hans Karl von Winterfeldt. The Winterfeldt Brigade is comprised of IR1 - Winterfeldt and IR5 - Alt Braunschweig. During the SYW the regiments were only known by the inhaber's name. The "IR - Infantry Regiment" designation came about well after the conclusion of the SYW.

My regiments consist of two battalions. They are distinguished from each other by the flags that they carry (by the way, all flags shown on this posting are made by GMB Designs in the UK). The first battalion of a regiment carries the Colonel's predominantly white colored flag (Leibfahnen) and the colored regimental flag (Regimentfahnen). The second battalion in my organization carries two colored regimental flags. In actuality, the battalion would have carried five flags, one for each of the five companies that were in the battalion. However, like many wargamers, I have chosen not to use all five flags in my battalions.

The picture below shows the brigade's officers with the brigadier mounted on a round base and the two regimental officers mounted on the rectangular bases. The command stands are also shown below. Each of my battalions has five stands with six figures per stand.

General Winterfeldt (center) and his regimental commanders and color bearers.

The picture below illustrates the full brigade in a column of battalions. The Winterfeldt regiment is at the front of the column (on the right in the picture) and the Alt Braunschweig regiment at the back of the column.

The Brigade in a column of battalions.
The colonel of the regiment, called an Inhaber, gave his name to the regiment. The Inhaber would not necessarily be with his regiment while on campaign. For example, Major General Hans von Winterfeldt was commanding higher troop organizations of the army, such as a wing of the army, rather than his own regiment. In some cases, the inhaber title was given as a ceremonial gift as a courtesy to someone important or influential.

For example, Prinz Georg of Darmstadt was the ceremonial inhaber of IR12 during the SYW, but he was aligned with the Austrians. Crown Prince Peter of Russia, the future Tsar Peter II, was made the inhaber of one of Frederick's regiments to curry his favor.

The Winterfeldt Regiment (IR1)
The Winterfeldt Regiment  (IR1) was the senior infantry regiment in the Prussian army of the 18th Century. Coincidentally, it was the first regiment that I painted when I was creating my Minden Miniatures Prussian army. 

The regiment was held in high regard by Frederick the Great:

"It's true, I always considered the Winterfeldt regiment as brave, but today it has surpassed all my expectations. I shall never forget it."

[Frederick at Hochirch]

The Winterfeldt Brigade.

The Alt Braunschweig Regiment (IR5)
The Alt Braunschweig Regiment (IR5) is the second regiment in the Winterfeldt Brigade and Frederick rated it as a "good" regiment. Notably, the 15 of the regiment's officers were awarded the Pour le Merite medal for their bravery and conduct at the Battle of Rossbach. The regiment was garrisoned at Magdeburg during peace time and its inhaber was Lieutenant General Ferdinand of Brunswick (later promoted to Field Marshal).

IR5 - Alt Braunschweig Regiment

This concludes the summarization of my Prussian infantry organization in my Minden Miniatures army. My Prussian army has two other infantry brigades: Itzenplitz (IR13 and IR22) and the Guards & Grenadiers Brigade. A fourth brigade is a work in progress with only one regiment, IR49 von Diericke, painted and ready to fight on the wargame table for now.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

My Minden SYW Prussian Army

Frederick's Grand Review begins with the colour guards of each regiment passing him in review: IR15, IR1, IR13, IR5, IR22, and IR49. Click on all pictures once or twice to enlarge the view.

Fresh off his victory over Marshal de Saxe at Fontenoy, king Frederick II ordered a grand review of his army to celebrate the victory and to award honours and Pour-le-Merite's to the heros of the battle.

Today I am posting pictures of the parade of the infantry regiments in my SYW Minden army. My organization is to have two battalions per regiment, with 30 figures per battalion at approximately a 1:20 figures to actual men ratio,

The colour bearers march onto the parade ground in column formation.

On command, each company performs a right face, in unison. The King looks on with approval. His staff is taking notes on the King's comments about each regiment. Careers can be made or lost on the parade ground review.

Frederick photo bombs the colour guards and looks straight at the artist who is sketching the proceedings. He will eventually paint the review in oils.

Now the colour bearers march pass the King by sections: here we see (R-L) IR15 - second and third battalions leading the way; followed by IR1 - Winterfeld; and finally, IR13 - Itzenplitz (also known as the Donner und Blitzen regiment).

The Guards, Winterfeld and Itzenplitz make another pass of the review area. Staff are writing down notes as quickly as possible. However, all of the comments are positive because these three regiments are the cream of the Prussian army.

Eyes Left! IR5 - Alt Braunschweig leads the way, followed by the Prinz Moritz regiment (IR22) and the Diericke Fusiliers (IR49) bringing up the rear.

As before, the Alt Braunschweig, Prinz Moritz and Diericke regiments take another pass in front of the King.

The above pictures represent the regiments of my Minden SYW Prussian army. I also have the Wedell Grenadier Battalion (1/23) and the Kremzow Grenadier Battalion (17/22). I did not include them in the parade because they do not carry flags. I also have a Jager regiment, but these are in a loose formation and would not look very smart on the parade ground.

It takes a long time to pose all of the figures in front of the camera, and then edit the pictures. I was tuckered out after shooting the infantry pictures. I also took pictures of each individual regiment with all 60 figures and the colonel in the view. Then I took other pictures of my regiments marching with their assigned brigades. Each brigade consists of two regiments of two battalions, one ammunition wagon, and two battalion guns. There are also the two regimental officers and the brigade commander.

The Winterfeld Brigade consists of IR1 - Winterfeld and IR5 - Alt Braunschweig.

The Prinz Moritz Brigade consists of IR22 - Prinz Moritz and IR13 - Itzenplitz.

The Guards Brigade, under the titular command of Marshal von Schwerin, includes the second and third battalions of IR15 plus the Wedell Grenadiers and the Kremzow Grenadiers.

The von Diricke Fusilier Regiment is temporarily unassigned because I need to paint another regiment to pair with the fusiliers. I might paint the Prinz Heinrich - IR35 - regiment so that I can have an all-fusilier brigade.

In the coming days, I will present each of the individual regiments plus brigade photos so that you can view my infantry organization. After that, the Cavalry Review under the watchful eye of von Seydlitz and the King.

The King is desirous of your comments, which you may leave by clicking on the comment button at the bottom of this page.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fontenoy AAR - Part III

The town of Fontenoy was garrisoned with up to three battalions of Austrians, two 3-pounders and one 6-pounder cannon.

The left flank of the Prussian Infernal Column had to pass by the town of Fontenoy, which was packed full of Austrians who were armed to the teeth. Cumberland/Frederick did not want to allocate the troops and resources that would have been required to take such a strong position as Fontenoy.

Accordingly, Frederick told off the Anhalt Dessau Regiment, or IR22, to demonstrate in front of the town so as to draw the attention of the garrison on IR22 instead of the Infernal Column.

IR22 advances towards Fontenoy. Aren't they a stirring sight?

There really wasn't much action on this part of the table. The Prussians advanced towards the town and lost two stands of infantry from its lead battalion, but their morale held strong. Once the Prussians reached the entrenchments, they were able to deal with the two Austrian 3-pounders and kill off their crews with musket fire. 

Once that happened, the Anhalt Dessau - first battalion - moved in front of the entrenchments which oddly enough offered them some protection from Austrian musket fire. This is pretty much how the rest of the game went in this sector.

IR22 Anhalt Dessau regiment of two battalions launches an assault on the entrenchments at Fontenoy.

Things were pretty well in hand so the MacGuire Regiment was released from garrison duty in Fontenoy and sent to help the Austrian defense of the center ridge area.

Since they were not needed in the defense of the town, the brigade commander ordered the first battalion of the MacGuire regiment to depart from the town and redeploy in the gap just to the left of the town. The second battalion is barely visible in the upper righthand corner. They were held in reserve ready to enter the town if the garrison was having any trouble.

1st Battalion MacGuire Regiment marched out of Fontenoy's entrenchment and deployed as the right flank of the Austrian troops in the center. This was fortunate for the Austrians because the Prussian Winterfeld Regt. made a left wheel in the direction of the gap in the Austrian line (between the ridge in the center and the town) and MacGuire was there to stop them.

Late in the day, the MacGuires retired back towards Fontenoy in order to open up a lane for the Austrian cuirassier brigade that was moving up to attack the Winterfeld Regiment. The Anhalt Dessauers watched this development and decided that it would be wise to fall back so that the Austrian cuirassiers would not hit them in the flank after an inevitable win over the Winterfeld battalions.

The Alt Modena cuirassiers (blue flag and facings) and the De Ligne Dragoons (green coats) trotted forward to slaughter the depleted battalions of the Winterfeld Regiment.

Sometimes, though, things turn out a little bit different from expectations. Both battalions of the Winterfeld Regiment stood fast against the charge of the Austrian cuirassiers and won the cavalry versus infantry melees. They were, however, in "Shaken" morale status after fighting the melee, as are all units that survive a melee. This made them more susceptible to routing if they took more casualties and had to test morale again.

This is indeed what happened, resulting in both battalions of the Winterfeld Regiment routing to the rear seeking secour from the Austrian cavalry. Nevertheless, Frederick the Great was heard to say,

"Those men of Winterfeld's regiment are veritable lions in battle."

The Winterfeld Regiment, though severely depleted in men, somehow managed to fend off the attack of two Austrian cuirassier squadrons.

When the Austrian cavalry appeared on the battlefield, the Anhalt Dessau regiment retreated back towards its original starting position so as not to have its flanks exposed to a potential cavalry attack.

As the Anhalt Dessau regiment retired back towards its original starting point, they received the good news that the battle had been won in the center and that the remains of the Austrian army was in full retreat.

After the battle, the grim task of taking care of the fallen must begin. Casualty markers illustrate the ebb and flow of the battle.

Casualty Markers - why use them?

I know that some people have an aversion, for personal reasons, to using dead or wounded wargame figures and I completely understand that. Others don't see the value in taking the time to paint them when the same time could be spent on painting soldiers to march in our ranks.

However, there are other uses for the figures. I use them as markers - one casualty disk is placed on the table where ever a stand of figures takes place. For example, if a battalion of infantry has six stands of six figures, whenever the unit accumulates six casualties I remove the stand from the table and place a casualty marker in its stead. The marker does not follow the battalion around the table, but rather, it remains on the table ground in that exact spot where it was removed. This way, I can follow the course of the battlefield action and see where the hardest fighting took place. The picture above illustrates this and it is obvious where the heaviest fighting occurred - atop the ridge in the center of the battlefield.

This system is a bit more difficult for cavalry units.  I base my cavalry two figures to a stand and have 12 stands within each cavalry regiment. That would add up to many many stands needed to depict the cavalry actions. So instead, I use a horse casualty marker to designate where a cavalry melee took place.

Another use for the casualty markers is as a game token of sorts that can be used to determine victory conditions. For example, the side with the most markers on the table could be designated the loser or the number of markers could be but one of many factors that will determine the winner of the table top game. I sometimes use the red coated markers to show where a unit routed. The number of routs in the game could be another victory condition for the game.

Looking at all of the casualty markers in the picture above, it generates some ideas for after-battle vignettes such as civilians looting the dead, stretcher teams taking the wounded to the hospital area, some civilians digging a grave. Those ideas admittedly start to border on the macabre so I don't know if I would do some of them. Once I saw an ACW war game where there was a hospital vignette placed in an out-of-the-way area on the table. It had a pile of amputated limbs near a surgical table. That's too much for.

I'd be ok with a stretcher team of one soldier dragging off his mate in a blanket or a soldier giving a drink from his canteen to one of the wounded.

Other cleaner ideas would include broken cannon wheels and disabled wagons, maybe even an exploded ammo wagon or something like that to scatter across the battlefield.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fontenoy - Part 2, Battle in the Bois de Berry

Croats and Jager play The Most Dangerous Game in the Bois de Barry
While the main event was unfolding in the center of the war game table, one of two under cards was heating up in the Bois de Berry woods located on the right flank of the Prussian attack of the Infernal Column.

Historically, the woods were occupied by the Arquebusiers de Grassines - French light infantry - that held off Ingoldsby's brigade of British troops for much of the day. As a result, the Arquebusiers de Grassines were able to discomfit the British column as it moved towards the French center.

The Prussian player knowing this, deployed his jagers into two groups, one skirting up the periphery of the woods to protect the Itzenplitz (IR13) Regiment as it marched past the woods; the other group diving right into the woods in search of the inevitable Austrian light infantry that were frequently found in such environments. To add some weight to his attack, the commander of the jager contingent sent in a battalion of the Diericke Fusilier Regiment (IR49), looking very colorful in their bright orange togs.

Prussian jagers prepare to enter the Forest of No Return to screen the advance of the Prussian musketeers, seen in the middle distance of the photo.

Unbeknownst to the Prussian jagers, there was quite a surprise waiting for them, the  Redoubt d'Eu,  should they make it through the entire length of the woods.

Two battalions of Croats, in red and brown, waited in the woods for the jagers.
The Diericke Fusiliers (IR49) followed the jagers into the woods to lend the weight of steady formed troops to the  hunt.
The Prussian fusilier advance was relentless. The Croats could do nothing more than fall back. They took a volley of musketry which left them momentarily Shaken (see the red disk on the ground in the above picture).

Gradually, the Prussian fusiliers were able to push the Croats out of the Bois de Berry woods.
The Diericke fusiliers pushed their way through the woods, firing at the Croats and occasionally charging them. The Croats would melt away into the depths of the woods, but still the fusiliers came on until they emerged from the woods and found the Redoubt, and a battalion of the Austrian Luzon musketeers waiting for them, with muskets leveled.

However, the second battalion of the Itzenplitz (IR13) climbed the plateau in front of the Redoubt ahead of the fusiliers, so they took on the Austrians instead. The Diericke fusiliers formed into march column and moved behind the Itzenplitzers so that they could change into line formation and add more muskets to the fire fight.

Austrian Luzan regiment defends against the 2nd battalion of the Prussian Itzenplitz regiment, while more Prussian fusiliers march up the slope from the woods.

Marshal de Saxe pulled his wicker chariot up beside the Redoubt and watched the battle unfold in front of him. He had his escort squadron of uhlans to protect him.

Marshal de Saxe in his wicker chariot watches the enemy emerge from the woods.

At about the time that the Luzon musketeers and the Itzenplitz lads crossed muskets, the center of the Austrian battle line was collapsing and Marshal de Saxe gave a general order for the army to withdraw from the battle, covered by a still viable and largely untouched cavalry contingent.

I will post the Prussian attack on the town of Fontenoy within another day or two because I didn't want to make this post overly long.

 I am thinking that it might be fun to set up a very large wooded area on the game table and just conduct the fight in the Bois de Berry woods. I think that I have enough trees to cover and area of 6 feet by 4 feet for a small game within the game.