Feld-Marshal-Leutnant Von Freytag deployed his Hanoverian and Hessian infantry around Hondschoote. The cavalry brigade was held in reserve. I decided that due to the closed nature of the terrain the Hanoverians and Hessians could deploy using the ‘Fog of War’ rules and large pink cards were used to mark the locations (or not if they were blanks) of their units. A couple of Freytag’s units were already carrying casualties, received during the skirmishing earlier that morning as they withdrew from their outposts at Warum, but none critically.
In time honoured style I will let the photos take you through the key stages of the battle. Suffice to say it did not go at all as I had expected and has posed me some interesting issues to resolve before we move on to the next day or sets of orders and stuff. As is now usual we used General d’Armee, and the 28mm figures and terrain are all mine. Each turn represented half an hour of ‘Campaign Time’.
|The French massing to advance down the road towards Hondschoote.|
|This was the better of Jourdan's two brigades of infantry, tasked with advancing between the road and the marsh.|
|Hessian defenders quickly revealed themselves to open fire|
|The French advance on the left moves steadily forward.|
|The road to Hondschoote packed with French infantry.|
|Jourdan's cavalry had nowhere to go due to the closed nature of the terrain.|
|Hanoverian skirmishers of the 14th Light Infantry Regt.|
|The French put all their cannon on the right. Their fire was largely ineffective although the horse battery did inflict four fatigue casualties on itself during the game!|
|The French on the road get closer to their objective.|
|DISASTER! Gen d'Hédouville is killed by a stray cannonball. His brigade immediately falters.|
|In the centre a charge down the road is bundled back by Hessian musketry and canister. A second charge met the same fate.|
|The Coalition right flank was held by the Hessian brigade|
|French line up dinner in their sights|
|Hessian infantry and artillery threw back two assaults by the French, inflicting heavy losses.|
|The Hanoverian left flank.|
|The Hanoverian brigade|
|The French horse artillery galloped to a more advanced position.|
|The French had the upper hand in the skirmisher duel on their right but it was to make little difference.|
The Hanoverians and Hessians defended the town with relative ease as the French were dogged by bad luck from the start. Nothing worked for the French. But, it was a fun little battle and the outcome will certainly provide me with some interesting problems to throw at both sides. I had my fun during the game by sending both players a few emails from messengers arriving with news from elsewhere in the vicinity, namely around Dunkirk and Bergues. While the battle had been raging the Dunkirk garrison had sortied out to distract the Anglo-Hanoverians, and York had ordered troops south along the causeways over the marsh to try and cut off the attack on Hondschoote from Bergues, but these were driven back.
I shall now send a flurry of messages to the players as we start day 4 of the campaign.