"I said DON'T roll a 1!"...after the opening salvo from the guns that failed to hit its mark.
On our side, the Franco-Bavarians that is, the Bavarians held the left, the French held the centre and the Spanish held the right. Facing the Bavarians were the English. Next to them, occupying a village, were the Austrians and then opposite the Spanish stood the Dutch and Danish.
A grand view of the table from the Anglo-Dutch right flank
As usual in these games the first action came by way of the cavalry. The Danish cuirassiers charged the two regiments of Spanish cavalry. The Spanish troopers stood their ground, halted the Danes with pistol fire, then drove them off and broke through onto another regiment of Danish horse, driving them off too.
The Spanish horse fight off the Danes
Desperately needing to maintain the momentum the Spanish cavalry pressed on to engage a battalion of Dutch infantry that the Danes had burst through. But here the Spanish cavalry ran out of luck and the Dutch repulsed them with heavy losses.
The unsuccessful attack of the Spanish horse on the Dutch infantry
On the opposite flank the Bavarian and English cavalry faced off.
A grim looking bunch of English horse
The English cavalry struggled at first to manoeuvre around a wood, but finally formed up with three regiments of horse abreast and charged forward against the Bavarian cuirassiers. In the resulting combat the English cavalry fought indifferently. The centre regiment beat the Bavarians, drove them back and then fell on them as they retreated dispersing the cuirassiers to the wind. But of the other two regiments one was beaten off while the other was held.
The English horse ready to charge
The Bavarian cuirassiers preparing to recieve the attack
The next turn the Bavarian dragoons, in the second line, turned on the English cavalry that had destroyed the Bavarian cuirassiers, catching them in the flank and drove them from the field, while the Bavarian cuirassiers that held the previous turn drove off the English horse.
Meanwhile the Bavarian Lieb battalions edged forward and drew the English line forward. The last regiment of Bavarian cuirassiers dashed forward against the exposed flank of the English line only to be halted short of their target by the fire of the English dragoons in a small wood.
The repulse of the Bavarian cuirassiers (on the left of the picture)
But the action distracted the English enough for the Bavarian Lieb battalions to launch an attack. The Kurprinz Battalion marched boldly forward and took the fire from the English.
Kurprinz presses forward
Four casualties would stop the attack and the English scored a total of seven hits. When the Bavarians rolled for saves, needed to a 4 or more to save, they rolled five saves!
THAT saving throw!
The English line was then driven back through their supports. The Kurprinz battalion pressed on catching the disrupted second battalion of English infantry, driving them back too.
Here the Bavarians ran out of steam. While the Bavarians paused the remounted English dragoons slammed into their flank and scattered Kurprinz and the nearby Lieb Grenediers. The dragoons, however, soon found themselves halted in the face of two fresh Bavarians battalions that opened fire and scattered the troopers.
A second Bavarian infantry attack, a little to the right, also met with success, driving back the two English battalions there too, while still further to the right three French battalions pushed back a third group of English infantry.
On the right the Spanish infantry took the fight to the Dutch infantry and drove the Dutch back, but failed to break them.
The Spanish prepare to advance
As a result of these attack the English and Dutch commands were badly knocked about and the Austrians, that has spent all day swanning around in a village in the centre, were compelled to come to the aid of the Dutch.
As the day was drawing to an end the English cavalry launched a final assault on the Bavarians, but were repelled by pistol fire.
The battle ended with the British and Dutch in tatters, holding on by the skin of their teeth. The Spanish were in an equally awkward situation, while the Bavarians were holding their own. The French still had five regiments of cavalry and five battalions uncommitted.
"Cheer up, mon cher général, we have won the day!"
The game lasted about five hours and involved six players with a total of seventy units in play. The homegrown rules worked brilliantly and caught the flavour of the period well.