Sunday 18 February 2018

The Battle of Le Croisac - French Revolutionary War campaign.

Peter joined me on Friday night for a game and a beer or two, so the attack on Le Croisac would not have to be played solo. Peter was again in command of the English and Emigre troops while I took over the forces of liberty, freedom and equality.......or any two out of the three! 

The English objective was to take the coastal fort and the town/harbour. Sadly, as described in the last post, the Royal Navy was unable to offer the planned support as a French frigate was found to be lurking in the bay, making operations with a mere two unrated gunboats impossible, even for the RN! Commander Blowhorn of the cutter Bludgeon did succeed in luring the enemy frigate out of the harbour and thus it was unable to provide offshore gunnery support to the garrison or land any more seamen and marines. The lack of naval support left the attackers short by the equivalent of two small battalions but they were determined to continue and the attack began, with the English refusing their right flank and concentrating on taking the fort, on the basis presumably that if that fell the town would capitulate.

The English refused right flank.
The two main assault columns. On the right the 1st and 5th regiments formed up to attack the fort while  two battalions of the 4th foot make ready to assault the town.
Vendee irregulars were pushed forward to trade shots with the fort. A rash move as it turned out as they were charged by Republican cavalry and forced to flee.
Meanwhile the 1st and 5th regiments and Lowenstein's Chasseurs failed their command roll and stayed put.
the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 4th Foot chose to advance towards the town rather than supporting the attack on the  fort, thus dividing the attacking forces to the point of impotency.
On the French left two squadrons of the 7th Chasseurs charged the 19th Light dragoons. They succeeded in  pushing them back but were too badly hurt to follow up their victory and retired to rally.
Two more squadrons of the 7th Chasseurs charged the leading battalion of the 4th Foot, forcing them into square, effectively halting the English advance in the centre.
Next run the 1st Foot stormed the fort supported by the 5th. The English brigadier, Colonel Fox led the attack and was killed on the lip of the ditch, urging his men on!
2/4th on the left and 3/4th on the right continue their advance on the town having driven off the Republican cavalry, albeit temporarily as it turned out. Remember, both these battalions had been brought up to strength by volunteers from the Militia and were therefore less effective than the three other battalions in the brigade.
On the Republican left General Adhemer Patacaisse ordered his 84eme Demi- Brigade forward.
The assault by the 1st Foot was repulsed but in the next turn Peter threw the 5th Foot at the fort.
One battalion of the 84eme Demi-Brigade surged towards the open flank of the 2/4th Foot.
The 3/4th Foot (bottom right) were again forced into square by the now reformed Republican chasseurs.  Surprised by the fierce attack on their flank the 2/4th's defence collapsed and they fled the field.
The 5th Foot were no more successful in their attack than the 1st Foot and after loosing a round of melee failed their break test and were removed from play.
Peter was determined to take the fort. Now rallied the thinned ranks of the 1st Foot advanced towards the Republicans for a second time.
The now rallied Vendee skirmishers and Lowenstein's Chasseurs engaged the other two sides of the fort. The garrison was  by now badly damaged having suffered heavy losses holding their position.
Even copious amounts of Kwak Beer proved insufficient to overcome the defenders of the fort.
The 84eme Demi-Brigade was by now halted just out of shot to the right and was under effective fire from English artillery on the hill and the 1/4th Foot. The surviving squadron of the 19th Light Dragoons was also a threat to any further forward movement.  In order to divert the attention of the artillery away from my infantry I pushed a squadron of cavalry through the gap left by the defeated English infantry and charged the artillery. The Chasseurs took heavy casualties and were destroyed as an effective force but they had done their job.
The attack on the fort was stalled with the English unable to make any impression on the defenders.
The disordered 3/4th Foot were stuck in square when they were charged by a column of Republican infantry.
The battlefield (battlefield?) as seen from the East. 

General Adhemer Patacaisse just before he fell seriously wounded to a stray bullet.

The shattered Republican infantry in the centre had seen off two battalions of English but were in no  condition to  continue.
My chasseurs a cheval charged the attacking English in the flank but remarkably were driven back thanks to some poor saves on my part.
In a final act of desperation Peter launched the 1/4th Foot at the fort but the battle was by now over as the attacking English forces had been shattered, loosing three battalions, a squadron of cavalry and half their guns. Vive la Republique! Vive la France!

A super evening's entertainment and a great victory for the Republicans. It was always going to be a difficult game for the English, but more so once their expected naval support was negated by the presence of the Republican frigate. Peter was right to try and capture the fort but went about it the wrong way. A well-supported attack in column against two faces of the fort ought to have been successful. We shall never know....

The English have retired to Batz to reform and lick their wounds. The routed battalions will almost certainly return to the campaign at the end of the day but I will test to ascertain how long it will be before they are rallied sufficiently to fight. This delay will give the Republicans time to reform and perhaps reinforce the troops at Le Croisac.

I have another game planned for Wednesday so need to move the campaign on in order to ensure we have something to play!


  1. wonderful gaming Colin! Well done.

  2. Excellent game! The game ought to be replayed to satisfy our curiosity of whether the alternative plan of attack you suggest works. What do you say?

    1. We shall see. Starting to pack things up this week in prep. for the move so it might have to wait.....

  3. Well as suspected a tad tough for the Brits, but as Jonathan has suggested, a replay beckons to see what might have been? As always a wonderful looking game and a great campaign.

  4. Wonderful piece of work - a game that really took my fancy. I'm glad you were able to include a windmill - but do tell all about the crazy beer glass.


    1. Thanks Keith. There is a strong (8%) Belgian Beer named Kwak. It is traditionally se4ved in the weird glass, often bigger when in Belgium. There is a bar in Ghent where you have to leave a shoe behind the bar in case you break the glass and can’t pay €30, and they only allow you ONE! As much as you like of anything else but only one Kwak!

  5. Bravo les Français, bien joué les gars! A great looking game with colorful and beautiful minis, I enjoyed!

  6. Vive La Republique! Fine looking game and great report.

  7. Not looking good for the counter-revolutionaries! Great report of a stout defence against a determined attack.

    I am fascinated by that interesting looking vessel standing on the coast(er). A logistics element, no doubt?