Slightly delayed no thanks to blogger and the internet not speaking to each other for a couple of days, or some other reason beyond the understanding of this Luddite, but finally we have the account of this week's game, kindly organised by my 40 plus years wargame buddy Paul. Some of the detail might have been lost to my memory since the game last week but hopefully it all makes sense. We used his gorgeous and venerable 15mm collection (some of which I sold to him 30-odd years ago), a mix of Peter Liang, Minifigs and others I think. Joining us for the day were Conrad Cairns, Paul Stevenson and painter extraordinaire Dave Jarvis. We were going to use Honours of War, so I umpired and provided the usual refreshments, while the Paul S and Dave played the Allies and Paul T and Conrad were the damned Frenchies, not that I am biased. Actually I didn't need to do much umpiring as everyone was getting better with the rules.
Battle begins, the Allies on the right and a mass of French horsemen in the bottom left corner.
Allied horse, about to be enfiladed by French batteries across the River.
The French right, with the cream of French cavalry ready to sweep the Allies from the field....yeah! Not.
The French had several batteries and a brigade of infantry across the river. The latter were to try and cross the river behind the English line and engage their rear, which would necessitate the withdrawal of an Allied brigade to counter them.
The French across the river on route to the bridge further downstream (or it might be upstream). The English artillery managed to break one battalion with artillery fire but couldn't stop the brigade departing. This meant the Allies had to detach a brigade to our rear to head them off. Exit the Austrian infantry.
French and Allied horse closing to contact.
The first rounds of melee went the way of the Allies.
But the combat developed into a see-saw of a battle, which continued to favour the Allies, just, thankfully down to Allied quality being better than French quantity.
The Allied centre facing not very much apart from an expanding hole in the French line as Paul fed troops to his left to counter the Allied advance opposite.
The cavalry battle on the Allied left rages. Both sides have taken heavy losses but the reserve lines are about to crash into each other.
A rare sight. The French infantry in a nice straight line. It didn't last and in fact only happened by accident when some of Paul's dithering generals failed to move while the others managed to, slipping neatly into the gaps! Not so the brigade seen at the rear which was rooted firmly to the spot.
English and Hanoverian Guards ready to unleash some deadly volleys into the flank of the French cavalry and a brigade of infantry that was wandering too close.
Meanwhile, the Allied right wing, three regiments of dragoons managed to draw off a brigade of French infantry to cover the exposed flank of the French centre and left.
The Allied centre advancing as seen from the French left.
.....and the cavalry fight on the Allied left is still raging!
The last time the front rank of this French brigade was seen before the Allies unleashed a series of underwhelming volleys that broke them.
As the French tried to close with the Allies their nice neat line broke up and started to loose heavily in the exchange of musketry.
With much of their infantry broken, retreating or generally out of it a lone French battalion vainly charged the Allied line, and was blown away by an English 12pdr.
The French looking seriously outnumbered.
The French left was now in complete disarray and separated from the right by a good two to three feet of table.
The allied dragoons meanwhile took in the scenery.
The unbroken Allied line in the centre.
One last attempt by the French to break the Allied cavalry failed.
At this point we agreed that with the French centre gone, their left in retreat and their right wing neutralised or fleeing that the Allies could claim a glorious victory.
It was a great game. Very fast, cut and thrust, and enjoyable, especially as everyone played to the period rather than the rules, which in themselves again proved they could cope with a pretty large game. Thanks to Paul for organising it and to the chaps for coming round to play.
Next time we shall do Fontenoy again (but this time with HoW) or Laufelt I think.