Tuesday 24 December 2019

Retreat from Flanders winter 1794, Part Deux: Endgame

Prompted by Paul and Conrad after the game last Friday I found time to play out a few more turns to see if a more decisive outcome could be reached. It was interesting and to be honest it didn’t go the way I’d expected, which given that I was playing solo was perhaps a little weird. Here goes then with some more photos of the washup session of the game.

In the distance the French are advancing en masse along the causeway trying to outflank the English Guards Brigade. Ahead of them on the road is an Austrian 6pdr battery. Fire from the Guards and this battery caused heavy casualties on the columns but they weren’t stopped and co tinted to advance.
Over at the farm a further assault by this battalion was beaten back by the fire of the Hanoverian defenders, aided by artillery in the rear from the Austrians close to the bridge. These Frenchmen wouldn’t be taking any more part in the battle.

One battalion of shattered Hanoverians was retreating while the Emigre infantry started to deploy into line. The  Royal Etranger in Red were planning on sw8nging around the back of the farm while the Rohan Light Infantry (the small unit) supported by the Damas Legion infantry prepared to attack the farm.

The Damas Legion Chasseurs had infiltrated the wood and were now able to make a nuisance of themselves and shoot at the French cavalry. 
The cavalry of both sides was poised for yet another charge. This French heavy cavalry regiment  bore the brunt of the  Emigre Chasseurs’ firing.
At the town, the French attacked the English Guards brigade. Just for once the firing dice  were on my side and  their fire was devastating. The assaulting column was forced to recoil shaken.

The English cavalry on our left decided that sitting behind a dyke was most ungentlemanly so both regiments advanced with a view to breaking the French squares (formed by Levee en Masse, I.e. pretty poor).
Carrying out the charge, the 15th Light Dragoons had to suffer crossing fire from French Horse artillery and closing fire from the already shaken square (it’d been under artillery fire for a few turns). Both failed to make any impact on the Light Dragoons and the square failed its stress test and broke.
Choosing to avoid the Guards, the rest of the French veteran division made for the Austrian artillery. Sadly the leading column was enfiladed by another Guards’ battalion and the battery fired canister at point blank range. Amazingly the column passed all its tests and overran the battery. The column was by now permanently shaken and still taking fire from the Guards on their flank.
At the farm the Emigre regiments are readying themselves for the attack. 

The Rohan Light Infantry closing on the farm.
Assailed by musketry from the farm and cannon from the rear these French are close to breaking.
The Uhlans Britannique charge the French heavy cavalry while the Rohan Hussars (in red at the back) charged the other heavy cavalry regiment. The Uhlans failed to dent their opponents and as neither side took any casualties both sides recoiled. In the other combat the French beat the Emigre Hussars, pushing them back. Following up they were in turn beaten by their target, and some bad dice, and recoiled. 
The rather ineffective Uhlans Britaniques. If you get out of this it’s the Leeward Isles for you lot!

The Damas Legion Hussars (l) and the 1st Rohan Hussars are still a little nervous after the earlier melee.
The Austrian gunners fled , abandoning their guns but the  French columns were in no fit state to exploit this success.

Meanwhile the English Light Dragoons ploughed into the flank of a French battalion and rode it down. Sadly their rout didn’t cause any of their supporting battalions to follow them.
The town is about to fall to the Guards and the Dutch.
I decided that darkness had fallen and called it a night. On the Allied left, they were about to take the town and had wrecked several battalions of enemy infantry but their cavalry was taking casualties from close range artillery and musket fire and very exposed. Along the causeway the French attack had been halted but on the right the Emigre cavalry had covered themselves in indifference. As they’d failed to beat the French cavalry facing them and there were three more French regiments about to pile in I reckoned they would beat a hasty retreat with their tails between their legs. The Emigre attack on the farm never got started before the Hanoverians left in the farm were captured. All the Emigres could do was make a fighting retreat towards the town. I threw some dice and the result dictated that as well as all the Hanoverians being lost, the cavalry galloped off eastwards while most of the Emigre infantry were ridden down in the pursuit as darkness fell. The Royal Emigrants escaped relatively unscathed but two of the other units (The Damas Legion infantry and the Salm-Kirchberg infantry) were badly cut up, two (Rohan and Mirabeau) captured and the survivors summarily shot, and another, the Damas Chasseurs, dispersed and avoided capture.

So, it was still a French win, but due to the VPs attributed to the town and farm being equal, it was all down to broken units, of which the Allies had more. I can put the figures all away now.

So, Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020 to all. Back soon.


  1. These colorful and splendid units look great on the snow...Absolutly superb report!

  2. Oh well, you did try but it was not to be. The fates were against you.

    1. How would it have looked if the side Id originally been in command of won?