Monday 17 June 2024

The Battle of Bertrand von Bassett’s Farm, 1808

John and I played a game last Friday, using the opportunity to give my new Napoleonic units a baptism of fire. The game was set in 1808 in Southern Sweden, and featured a defending force of Swedes, aided by a small British contingent, trying to throw the attackers, Spanish, Danes and the Kingdom of Holland back into the sea. John was the Swedes and we used GdA 2. The Swedes had deployed three mediocre brigade's of infantry along the main line, with one of cavalry on the right, and were supported by a brigade of British. My lot were deployed with the Danish cavalry on the right, then the Danish infantry, the Dutch in the centre and the  large Spanish contingent on the left, with their cavalry on my extreme left. I’d classed the Spanish as recruits which was a bit harsh given that these troops were professional soldiers and arguably the cream of the army. Most of the Swedes were classed as reservists.

The battlefield from the east, the invaders on the left.

The Danes. Looking pretty.

Swedish jäger and infantry in the farm/village.

The K of Holland brigade looked very business like as they trudged forward. When they weren’t hesitant that is.

The Spanish infantry made a right mess of deploying and with hindsight I should have ignored the built up area completely.

Denmarks finest - hesitant in turn 1, and again later in the game.

Facing the Danes were the best two Swedish units, a battalion of guard and another of grenadiers. 

And again, advancing rather menacingly towards the stalled Danes.

John had to put two battalions into square due to the presence of the Danish cavalry brigade.

Danish hussars and light dragoons. No way were they going to charge formed squares but I could have gone around them I suppose.

The Danes finally got moving and took the high ground.

A general view of the centre of the battlefield. The Dutch can be seen rushing forward.

The Swedish and Spanish cavalry clash! It was only ever going to go one way but the Spaniards held on as best they could. The good thing about the ‘fictional’ back story to this game and the forthcoming campaign is that I can field a reasonable amount of Swedish cavalry. They’re not very good, but they’re better than the Spanish is all I can say.

The Spanish del Rey cavalry are supported by the Almaza dragoons and the Villavicosa Dragoons. Did them no good against the Swedish Lifeguard and they were pushed back in retreat.

The other half of the Swedish cavalry brigade was outflanking my cavalry and were ready to pounce.

The Spanish got completely tangled up trying to deploy before attacking the village all the while taking losses from the enemy artillery and the garrison.

The Barcelona light infantry on the left were taking heavy losses.

Meanwhile the Dutch charged the Swedish centre, and made it into contact.

The retreating Spanish cavalry about to be overwhelmed.

And here they are being overwhelmed by the flanking force and driven off the field.

The Danes charged forward but a very lucky (not for me ) volley resulted in a double six, so as well as the casualties John rolled on the destiny table, throwing an 11. That spelt disaster for me as the brigade command staff were deemed to be casualties and the whole lot faltered! Bum!

The Dutch mad it into contact thanks to the Swedes managing a score of four, (fire discipline). Sadly in the melee it all went t*ts up and the Dutch recoiled.

The Swedes sending the Spaniards packing outside the village.

At that point it was clear that the Swedes were winning/had won. I had lost the Spanish cavalry and the Danes were faltering. My allied conglomerate were defeated but they won the prize for the prettiest army by a country mile.

We were rather rusty as far as GdA2 was concerned but it all slowly came back. Another few games and the rules will be clearer. They certainly gave us a good game, and I still prefer them to other rulesets, even Black Powder, and with reflection Valour and Fortitude, both ‘simple’ sets but lacking flavour. Anyway, I am a butterfly when it comes to rules so my favourites will have changed again by the next game.


  1. Lovely to see you back in the gaming swing and in a less often seen theatre. But, "Better than the Spanish...", talk about damned by faint praise!

    1. True and remember what I used to do for a living.

    2. And that you will answer for on Judgement Day...😉

  2. Great looking game, a riot of colour on the table, lovely!

  3. Looks great, lots of colour and not as much of a reach historically asd it initially appears. I think you were a bit rough on the Spanish as these units were more professional and seasoned than most of the army. I laughed about should have not paid attention to the BUA, been there done that!.

  4. Was unsure about the mix of troops but so pretty and they are your toys so what the hell? Look forward to the campaign.

    1. Bob, there really was a plan to invade Sweden by a joint French, Dani’s, Dutch and Spanish force, supporting the Russians who were invading Finland at the time. And there actually was a British force at anchor at Stockholm sent to help out.

  5. No bias at all but weren't the Spanish splendid! Nice to see a couple of cavalry regiments which are in my own collection. It's a great mix of uniforms across the board but I have to support my name sake's compatriots. naturally i look forward to more. [My GdA is version 1 but I like it too.]

  6. Probably the prettiest table that I have seen in a long time. Great fun to see Spanish and Danes and Swedish troops in the report.

  7. Rating the Princesa del Norte as recruits thats a grudging

    Nice battle and lovavle armies as always hope to see more of it