Saturday, 16 March 2019

Castricum 1799

Tim had dug up this scenario featuring the little known Anglo-Russian invasion of the Batavian Republic in 1799. Local French and Batavian forces counterattacked the invasion force near the small town of Castricum in what is now the northern Netherlands (I've been cycling around there en route for Texel and Terschilling).

The battlefield from the east. The beach is to the right (north), as is the British army. The French and Dutch are left (south). A detachment of Frencn infantry and Dutch cavalry are across the stream, which is crossed by two bridges and a number of fords.

I took the French (as usual faced with crossing a river to attack) while John and Kevin took the British.

The British left, Guards and Grenadier Guards (masquerading as Highlanders). 

Some brave Batavians in their white uniforms. These chaps were rated the same as Portuguese, so not bad at all, but not as good as their French pals in melee.

Over on the French left, sand-dunes made movement difficult for artillery and cavalry (plus all those woods!). There was to be a surprising amount of fighting in this unpromising terrain.

British infantry and a unit of horse artillery massed behind the dunes.

The British centre (infantry, light cavalry and foot artillery) faced this single unit of unfortunate Frenchmen. I was determined to pull these guys back as soon as possible.

Ah, the best laid plans.... instead the Allies pushed their left forward, and I responded with a cavalry charge supported by artillery, which was a catastrophic failure (my Dutch cavalry being reduced to a single base).

I did manage to 'pull back' my chaps in the centre. Hit by artillery fire and musketry with multiple retreat results they didn't have much choice. They were lucky to only lose one base.

I retired the crippled Dutch cavalry on the right, and meanwhile massed all the French and remaining Dutch cavalry in the centre, led by no less than two Generals.

Over on the left the British advanced through the dunes and we both pushed our guns up to close range. Surprisingly the French came off better in the exchange of fire and British unit on the dune was reduced to a single base. 

In the centre, a Leadership card enabled a glorious Franco-Dutch cavalry charge over the canal bridges.

Which duly obliterated the opposing British light cavalry on the bridge.

And then pressed on to destroy or rout two more British cavalry. The British were suffering from not having advanced off their baseline. The French on the other hand were looking a little exposed.

So they pulled back, or possibly suffered multiple retreat results (Le Moniteur was a little vague about this). Ahem.

I pulled the back over the river and moved up some French and Dutch infantry in support, along with some guns (I think I must have had an Assault card to move all this stuff in one go).

The British moved up in pursuit and I unleashed the piece de resistance, Cavalry Charge! If only I still had four cavalry units left...

This actually went rather well as the last British cavalry unit was eliminated and the Grenadier Guards were pinned in square by a single base of French cavalry, killing a base of Guardsmen in the process (the little blue infantryman on the dice). Hurrah!

My last intact unit of cavalry then tried to overrun the British artillery. They came really close, rolling two hits and a retreat, but MacDonald managed to rally the remaining crews and the gunners held on.

The French then launched a mass infantry assault across the canal. The Dutch piled into the Guards square.

French line infantry led by a General assaulted the centre.

And a half regiment of French assaulted the canal on the left.

The Batavians reduced the Guards to a single base, losing one of their own in the process.

In the centre the British were thrown back to the village.

And to everyone's amazement the French fought their way across the stream on the left.

They followed up next turn with an assault supported by artillery on the British General on the hill, which duly rolled a swords required to kill him and get the last victory banner. Vive la France!

That was a great game, really hard fought and more even-handed than my Franco-centric account gives credit for (the Allies had killed an awful lot of Franco-Dutch units by the end). So, another very entertaining CnC Napoleonics scenario, with lots of of very pretty toys.


  1. I feel as if I am one of the few wargamers who has not experienced CnC .. that will have to go on the Bucket List for 2019

    Nice AAR

    1. It is a very easy game system to get into, and for Ancients is just a joy as there are tons of scenarios and the level of complexity in terms of troop differentiation and is 'just right'.