Sunday, 15 February 2015

Seven Years War - Koenig Krieg

Hanoverian Infantry
This month's meeting at the DWG, saw "Mr Steve" get his lovely SYW toys out on the table to fictional clash between an Anglo/Hanoverian - Allied army vs his Franco-Swiss using the rule set Koenig Krieg

The last time we played with these rules was back in September 2013, so needless to say we were a bit "ring rusty" when we got going, and some of us had never played the rules at all. If you want to get a better idea about them then follow the link to our previous game where Steve H posted a bit of an overview.

One of the principle drivers in the rules is the gaining of the initiative and using it to do something with your units immediately or to force your opponent to commit to an action before they necessarily would have chosen to do so. Actions are therefore not simultaneous and the classic situation is to fire before your opponent thus hopefully inflicting casualties that reduce the return fire, or to force an opponent to use his initiative with a force that allows you to approach to a closer range without interference.

In this battle the Allies were plus one on a d6 roll vs the French straight d6, giving the Allies a slight advantage.

French line to the left, Allied to the right - "here I am, stuck in the middle with you!"
As you can see in the picture above, the two sides faced each other across couple of valleys one with a town in the centre the others on each flank being broken with woods on the valley floor.

The French on the left of picture chose to keep their better Swiss infantry in reserve, with the Grenadier brigade nearest to camera, their basic French infantry and levies in the centre forming two brigades and their Foreign allied brigade further along, As with the Allies the French massed their cavalry on their left flank facing off against their Allied counterparts.

French Grenadiers hold the extreme French right flank

French line infantry with artillery support
The terrain caused both armies to choose a similar deployment. The interest in the game developed as the two armies wrestled to gain the upper hand in different sectors of the battle. The choices made in the initial deployment started to influence the success gained, or not, as the game went on.

French cavalry massed on the left flank
The only off table reserve force was held by the French, looking for an opportunity to force an advantage in the town sectors or to support an attack on the Allied left flank using the next best brigade in the French army, the Grenadiers.

Allied massed cavalry massed on the Allied right flank
The beginning of the battle saw the two armies seeking to grab a terrain advantage in the centre table area. The town sectors and hills gave advantages in protection and combat and became valuable pieces of real estate.

Hanoverian infantry and artillery massed in the centre
The French despite their initiative disadvantage managed to make good use of their successes by doubling up to the town and grabbing two thirds of the buildings, and their cavalry getting the best views out over the lower lying land.

A small but very effective British brigade of infantry with their heavy dragoons beyond the next infantry brigade

The French line infantry and Hanoverian Guards fought for control of the town

The Allied force had mixed success in the early clashes with their cavalry winning the first melees and pushing the French off their hills.

The French got possession of more of the town and had more artillery in support
The Hanoverian Guards sent into contest the town leaving their lower quality line comrades to defend in the open, had a torrid time as French guns and line infantry occupying more of the buildings poured on a withering fire that wore down the large elite battalions as the game progressed. The French were then moving fresh infantry into the towns to relieve damaged units and thus keep up the attrition.

More Hanoverian infantry held back to stop any flanking move on the Allied left 

The Hanoverian infantry had a small toe hold in each town sector 
The Allies sought to take advantage of their early success with their cavalry, by following up with the British infantry and break the Foreign brigade in the French centre.

The British and Allied infantry prepare to move forward in support of their cavalry to their right
Unfortunately the French grabbed the initiative pouring in galling cannon and infantry fire onto the British line and disrupting their attack.

The Allied cavalry make a general move towards the French

British cavalry break though onto the ridge forcing the French Foreign brigade to turn, whilst British infantry move forward
In addition the French cavalry started to win a few melees and cause the French left to stabilise just as the French Grenadiers and Swiss Line started to develop their attack to the right of the town.

In response to the cavalry attacks pressed on the French left, the Swiss and French Grenadiers attack the Allied left

The British infantry bring up artillery to support their attack in the centre right
French artillery played on the four battalions of Hanoverian line infantry, causing casualties on two of them as the eight battalions of Franco Swiss infantry closed on them. Meanwhile the fighting in the town was swinging to the French line infantry and with a rousing cheer the French charged in a bayoneted the surviving Hanoverian Guardsmen, clearing the sector nearest the French Grenadiers of Allied Infantry.

As the French infantry gain the upper hand with the Hanoverian Guards in the town, the Swiss lead the move to flank it
However it all proved too little too late as the janitor was threatening to lock us in and I had to get back to cook tea.

The Hanoverian line comes under French artillery preparation fire 
So based on the final situation who do you think would have grabbed the battle honour had we been able to play on?

Leave your thoughts on a comment.

The French attempt to stalemate the Allied cavalry attacks whilst their infantry start to apply pressure on the Allies left flank
Thanks to Mr Steve for bringing his figures along and running the game, or should that be "herding cats"? Also thanks to Ian, Steve L, Nick and Tom for playing.