Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Little General's Club: August Game, Battle report

So, this past Saturday, we had our monthly club meeting. I put on the game, but received a great deal of help from Brent, Ron, and Dave, as I do not, yet, possess enough painted figures or terrain to run a large game.

Ron brought French, Spanish, and Bavarian troops, with about equal proportions of cavalry squadrons to infantry battalions. Dave brough Dutch, Austrian, Prussian, and Minor German troops, having about 4:3 ratio of infantry to cavalry. Brent provided the very necessary cloths used to cover the tables.

Unfortunately, in the midst of getting everything together for the rules, QRSs, and piling my sons and nephew into two cars, I completely forgot to bring my digital camera. So, I have had to create a battle report from memory, using a program found here http://battlechronicler.com/. However, as the rules I used, Beneath the Lily Banners 1st edition, use simultaneous movement and Battle Chronicler models an IGOUGO movement system, I have had to generate a report by phases and not by turns. So, when reading the maps, you can consider what is being shown as occupying three to five turns of activity.

The scenario I created was a fictional force of Alliance troops (no English present) versus French, Bavarian, and Spanish forces. The setting I chose was the center of the action Blenheim, where, in this scenario, the Alliance force was attempting to push the center of the French Allied army back far enough to cause a rupture in their lines.

Basically, I caused two villages to occupy either flank, with a large area of clear ground in the center. I gave the French CinC three objectives, Hold the left village, hold the right village, and control the center of the field. I gave the Alliance commander three objectives also, take the left village, take the right village, and force the French out of the center area. We started the game at about 11:15 and had to about 4:30 to play the game and clean up (including a short meal break).

Here are the initial deployments. The Alliance commanders chose to reinforce their right flank, significantly, but their center was rather weak, especially since one brigade (the one center right) was composed entirely of Raw troops. Of course, I did not mention this fact to the CinC until after the brigade was placed.

The French decided to keep their entire cavalry force off the battlefield, with the proviso that when they did bring it on, they had to have enough movement orders available for them to do so AND that the force would be considered to be under a MOVE order and thus could not charge an enemy unit the same turn they arrived on the field.

During first several turns, the French had little movement to carry out, but the Alliance advanced boldly.

The Alliance commanders, attempting to use brute force on their right, closely coordinate their assault on the village on this side of the field. The infantry battalions held their fire until the final moment, as did the French defenders, and devastating casualties were received by both sides as a result. On the French right, the Alliance also pushed in heavily, but fate was against them here as the French volleys blew away the light artillery in a single salvo and numerous hits were taken on the infantry battalions, for little in the way of return casualties against the French.

The Alliance steamroller on the left, while suffering a few minor setbacks, was really unstoppable, by virtue of the cavalry support and good die rolling when it counted. The French had been initially very handy with their volleys, but quickly their fire combat and morale die rolls soured and units began breaking. On the French right, the Alliance battalions continued to take a serious pounding at the cost of a single garrison battalion receiving 16 out of 18 casualties, but with a tremendous morale roll, that French unit stayed stuck in.

Although the Alliance commanders feared the French cavalry were going to show up opposite them on their right, the French deployed every last squadron in the center, looking to land a decisive blow before their left crumpled entirely.

Yet, the French left did crumple and, while not shown here, every French/Allied unit on this flank was in rout or had routed off the field by the end of the game.

 This lacks about one turn of movement, but it is a good representation of how things looked at the time we called the game. Yes, the Alliance had completed one objective, decisively, but they failed completely on the French right and the center was not going well for them, aside from repulsing a French cavalry charge in the left of center. So, I gave the French a minor victory, accompanied by a slight bit of grousing by the Alliance, but when taken as a whole, I think the French had earned the palms for this game.

Feedback, post game, has thus far been fairly positive, with the only real gripe being that these rules do not allow infantry to fight back against cavalry in melee. I can understand the designer's purpose in this, but we may need to introduce a club rule in the future, just so the players do not feel there isn't any hope. I do want to purchase the 2nd edition of these rules, but have to await that for a time when my wallet can match my wants.


  1. Great batrep Justin! It looks like it was a great hard fought win for the French.

  2. Thanks! The French garrison on their right kept them in the game as the center was easily a French victory. It came down to a melee result where a French garrison battalion survived with a single figure and still won the combat.

  3. That battlechronicler system was brilliant, great batrep.