Monday, 30 April 2018


John wanted to try out Brown Bess in an eighteenth century context, so put together this scenario covering Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession.

Tim C and I took the Allies (British, Hanoverians and Austrians) while Jerry took the wicked French.

The battlefield from the French side. The Allies are hemmed in by the impassable River Main on the right and forested hills on the left while the French have a nice stream to defend. To add to the misery, the Allies are cut off and trying to break through to restore their supply lines. Not a happy situation!

The French deploy. They clearly didn't get the memo about defending the stream, and (as in real life) are all set to attack the Allies with their outstanding cavalry massed on the right.

The Allies are more conventional. Infantry in the centre, cavalry on the flanks. The columns are the Austrians deployed in reserve. I had the right flank (mainly Hanoverians plus a couple of Austrian units including a brigade of Cuirassiers).

The French cavalry dash forth, led by the Maison du Roi. Our chaps move up to meet them. Very unfairly, the French have a gun on the far side of the Main where we can't get to it.

Over on the right, my chaps take advantage of a lack of enemy cavalry to ride along the front of our line. Well it seemed like a good idea at the time and will look great in the film.

A bloody melee ensues on the left. Sadly for us, the French are all cuirassiers. Luckily our gun managed to get off a volley of cannister before the French closed, which emptied a few saddles.

My chaps join in the fray, as a French cavalry unit peels off to meet them. Again, our centre battery manages to knock a couple of hits off the French before they close, which really helps.

The line will advance! The infantry on both sides start to advance to support the cavaly action. The French refuse their left flank, covered by a square, pinned by my reserve dragoon brigade.

To everyones amazement, we finally push the French cavalry back and plug the line with infantry. The allies success was soley due to that inital cannon shot which slightly weakened the French before contact. Both sides horsemen regroup as they are all a bit ragged now. Sadly George of Hanover died in the melee, so no George II.

The infantry lines close and fusillades of musketry ring out. In the centre my Austrian cuirassiers are still slugging it out with the French. It turns out the Allies musketry is rather better than the French.

Outgunned, the Swiss launch a desperate infantry assault, but are shot down by with withering platoon fire. It was very glorious though.

The tide has turned in the Allies favour and the French realise they can't win the infantry fight, so begin to fall back. We called it a day at that point. A very close run thing.

This was really good fun and the rules worked well. There were a couple of oddities around interpenetration and the duration of cavalry melees which we came up with some amendments for, but overall it felt right and produce the historical result. It also looked really nice. Good stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Nice report!

    Mr Handel is writing "The Funeral Music for King George II", which I'm sure will be good, but not as jolly as The Dettingen Te Deum and The Dettingen Anthem he would have written had the king survived.