Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Annexation of Chiraz - Game #1 - Battle of Petreville - The Game

...and so to the game - you may wish to read the previous post to refresh yourself on the set up..

Just a last couple of pieces of administration before we started....

Firstly, DG and I rolled for 'first player', and perhaps in a portent of what was to come  (and you'll have to read on to find out if it was ) DG won the roll so he gets two moves before I can move; this could be important...

Second, we then organised our troops into brigades so as to allocate command figures and came up with the following - they're colour coded by brigade.

Allies (Me - 2 Brigadiers plus CinC):

The garrison in the Powder Mill were treated as a brigade in their own right and given their own command..

Country Unit Type Unit Name SP MP
British Cavalry Schomberg 5 5
British Cavalry Lumley 5 5
Dutch Cavalry Nassau Friesland 5 5
British Infantry Dering's 5 5
British Infantry Lord North and Grey's Regiment 5 5
Dutch Infantry Beinheim 5 5
Dutch Infantry Sturler 5 5

Franco-Bavarian (DG - 3 Brigadiers plus CinC):

Country Unit Type Unit Name SP MP
French Cavalry Orleans 5 5
French Cavalry Chartres 5 5
French Cavalry Souastre 5 5
Bavarian Hvy. Cavalry Weickel 5 5
Bavarian Infantry Lutzenberg 5 5
French Infantry Navarre 5 5
French Infantry Toulouse 5 5
French Infantry Royal Italiene 5 5
French Infantry Lee (Irish) 5 6
French Infantry Dorringtons (Irish) 5 6

The Game:

...and so to the game, and a little experiment in time lapse photography for this report... click on any of the following pictures to 'embiggen' as CK [clicky] would say

End of second move (below) - the guard unit in the powder mill are alerted to the arrival of the French flying column top right - 3 squadrons of cavalry burning horse shoes to get to the powder mill as quickly as they can in an attempt to pull off a coup de main.

Bottom left the allied force have just entered with the same aim but in their case, to scupper the French plan..  the race is on...

End of third move (below) - this was going to be very close... both sides have now started to bring their infantry on - it was about now I mentioned to DG that I might appreciate some of Jackson's foot cavalry...!

Good fun, and fairly tense...

End of fourth move (below) - SO close but I've brought my cavalry on in two columns so will have the benefit of numbers when it comes to the crunch - DG is hampered by the bridge which can only take a one column wide formation...

End of fifth move (below) - so about an hour in real time - both sides have arrived within striking distance of the mill at the same time -  DG has paused to deploy his second cavalry squadron into line, but has failed and they are milling about in a state of disorganisation... [Note: in our rules a change of formation requires a test; 6+ on 2D6. We add  a cumulative +1 to each subsequent move]  His cavalry are out of range of the garrison so no shooting..

End of sixth move (below) - I swing Lumley's into the powder mill yard without even pausing and deploy the other two squadrons into line (good dice throws!)...  DG is more successful in doing this with his first unit, but the second unit continues to mill about in a state of disorganisation ...  On my side, my ability to march in two columns is allowing me to concentrate my force quicker...

End of ninth move (below) - apologies for the gap in coverage - too damn exciting on the table and I forgot to take pictures! So a quick recap is in order:
  • The two cavalry forces clashed - and despite them being inherently better, the French squadron (Orleans) sees off Schomberg's (known as "the Black Horse", and one of my favourite units - dour beyond dour...) Quelle catastrophe! That was move 7 - in the picture you can see them with the red pin to the right of the hill...
  • In move 8, Orleans then charged the Allied second line (Nassau Friesland) and saw them off as well! The first laurels of the campaign are awarded.... Nassau Friesland rout - that's them with the red pin to the left of the hill... Bah!
  • The Allied infantry are entering the powder mill enclosure; I have their flank covered by Beinheim's Foot (who are covering the gap between the corner of the Mill and the hill to their left) 
  • Orleans are eventually seen off following a somewhat cheeky charge by Lumley's who, still in column, managed to charge them in the rear, and then caused them to rout. Lumley's then about turned and managed to get back into the yard..  a sweet manoeuvre if ever I saw one! Orleans can be seen top left of the action, with the red pin. That should stop them repeating their previous successes..
  • In the yard, Lumley's are mid-formation change (was trying to do an about turn after the successful charge)
  • DG's infantry are entering the village - it doesn't take a genius to see where the assault will come from..

End of eleventh move (below)

..and again too much excitement on the table to keep stopping for camera work...  I must apologise to DG for the lack of refreshments - we didn't seem to reach a natural break for me to get out the tea pot!

So - the British cavalry has recovered (for the time being) - they're still shaken (yellow pin) but they have at least stopped running.

Beinheim are edging forward, and DG is edging his cavalry back - a wall on one side, and the hill on the other is good flank protection.

Sturler's are beginning to line the wall on the right of the powder mill, the garrison has spent the whole game marching up and down the far wall trying to decide where to stop  and which way to face!

Derring's have entered the yard bottom left - Lord North & Grays regiment are providing support to Beinheim's.

I am at this point slightly perturbed by the thought that DG might not actually halt, and might carry on with his infantry around the bottom of the Mill in a flanking attack..

Close up of the action end of Move 11 - Derring's going over the wall - Lord North and Grey's regiment to the right, providing cover for Beinheim's (in front) - in the yard Lumley's are facing forward..
End of thirteenth move (below)

Back to time lapse... in the interim the Allied Nassau Friedland cavalry have failed two more morale tests and routed from the field...

I've got DG's guys coming at me from all directions and I am failing formation change rolls left, right and centre..  in the yard Lumley's and Sturler's are both disorganised (blue pin), and I've made an error with Derring's - they've advanced too far for me to be able to swing them the other way round the Mill building.

On the plus side Schomberg's has recovered - but are weak - and Lord North and Grey's regiment have changed into column with a view to moving to the right as a counter to any out flanking move..

End of game (below):

...and that was largely it...both Derring's and Sturler's were routed by DG's coordinated infantry assault from the village, while on the left the Garrison melted away like snow under a desert sun in the face of the Wild Geese (and I can't blame them!)

On the far side of the Mill Beinheim's have done a superb job holding off DG's cavalry (winning the second laurels of the day) but are clearly isolated...

A last ditch attempt by my cavalry (foreground) is clearly wasted time - DG has the objective and I pass the word to my Brigadiers "sauve qui peut"... the French have taken the day, and the objective..

Wild Geese assault column - two battalions of Ireland's finest - Lee's and Dorrington's with Toulouse on their right

Post Match Analysis:
  • Refreshment on the evening comprised Tanglefoot - in my view Hall & Woodhouse's [clicky] finest - but I can only cringe and fawn Uriah Heep'like for the lack of anything else offered, I really was just too pre-occupied with the game, which provided a fine mental tussle...
  • We both agreed that mentions in dispatches were well deserved for DG's cavalry Orleans, and my infantry, Beinheim
  • The forces were loaded slightly in the French's favour as I felt they needed the assistance, one because the scenario demanded it (or the campaign could end fairly quickly!), but two, as I assumed they would have to assault the Mill and casualties were likely - as it happens DG fought as fine a game as any I've seen, and the Allies were swept away with minimal fuss......   calls by myself that the dice gods weren't looking on me favourably is mere churlishness... 
  • The tussle in the Powder Mill was entirely engaging while being frustrating at the same time as manoeuvring battalions in such enclosed confines gave some special challenges! 
  • I made a couple of mistakes though - in the yard I errored with Dering's (as noted above) advancing them too far and leaving me with a bit of a complicated move to extract them. Similarly, I advanced Lord North and Greys regiment to far at the end of the game and covered the gap between the yard wall, and the village such that my cavalry couldn't engage.....

The Allied butchers bill was severe:
Country Unit Type Unit Name Starting 
Chiraz Infantry Garrison 3 1
British Cavalry Schomberg 5 3
British Cavalry Lumley 5 5
Dutch Cavalry Nassau Friesland 5 0
British Infantry Dering's 5 3
British Infantry Lord North and Grey's Regiment 5 5
Dutch Infantry Beinheim 5 5
Dutch Infantry Sturler 5 1

...for a total of 15 SP's lost - almost 40%  casualties...
The  French casualties were significantly less...
CountryUnit TypeUnit NameStarting 
FrenchCavalryOrleans 5 3
French Cavalry Chartres 5 2
French Cavalry Souastre 5 4
Bavarian Hvy. Cavalry Weickel 5 5
Bavarian Infantry Lutzenberg 5 4
French Infantry Navarre 5 5
French Infantry Toulouse 5 5
French Infantry Royal Italiene 5 5
French Infantry Lee (Irish) 5 5
French Infantry Dorringtons (Irish) 5 5

...for a total of 7 SP's lost - just less than 15%  casualties...

Good game - so now we move to the second game in the campaign which will hopefully be just before Warfare in November....


  1. Marvelous encounter, thanks for sharing...

  2. Clearly the dice were is the only possible explanation for a French victory!

  3. Bought this book myself a while back and was disappointed. The various games didn't seem to offer much inspiration.

    However, your adaption seems to have worked very well. A very interesting and absorbing engagement. Frankly, I'm not surprised you had to do some work on the scenario to make it worthwhile.

    Great post. Best wishes, Keith.

    1. Keith -- have had it a while and was vaguely disappointed myself... they're quite unusual scenario's - the next one involves a pontoon bridge comprising several sections - not many wargamers have those kind of resources at hand.... being a follower of Featherstone I shall of course "make do and mend" :o)

  4. Interesting account of your variant on the battle! Enjoyed reading that!

    1. Thanks David... bear with... next one in November