Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Minden 1759

Minden 01/08/1759

Allies (Ferdinand): Various Germans states + Britain (about 42,000 men in 48 bns, 65 sqns & 105 guns)
Main army:
British infantry FV 6: 8 stands
British cavalry CV 6: 8 stands
German grenadiers: CV 5: 8 stands
German line infantry: CT 4: 2x8=16 stands
German cavalry: CT 5: 8 stands
Artillery: 5 stands
Wangenheim's Corps (left flank):
German infantry CT 4: 3x8=24 stands
German cavalry CT 5: 8 stands
Artillery: 3 stands

French & Saxons (Contades) : (about 57,000 men in 84 bns, 85 sqns & 90 guns)
Main army:
Grenadiers CV 5: 8 stands
Line infantry CT 4: 4x8=32 stands
Saxon infantry RT 3: 2x8=16 stands
Cavalry CT 5: 2x8=16 stands
Artillery: 5 stands
Broglie's Corps (right flank)
Line infantry CT 4: 4x8=32 stands
Cavalry CT 5: 8 stands
Artillery: 2 stands

The map attached has no scale, but other maps indicate that it is 3 miles from Minden to Hahlen, so the 8x6 table matches the map at 30cm = 1 km. the OOB has been worked out to this scale. An infantry stand is about 2/3 of a battalion, a cavalry stand about 3 squadrons & a gun stand about 12 guns.

The French marched out of Minden & over pontoon bridges on the R. Bastau during the night to attack the Allies. The Allies got early warning from deserters & were able to deploy as fast the French.

Both armies have a main body & secondary corps (on the wing nearest the R. Wesser), so both have 2 Generals - a CiC with 3 dice & a Corps commander with 2 dice. Army morale tests apply separately to the main bodies & the corps as well as to the total. If a corps fails, it must retire if separated from the main body, or if not separated cease attacking. If the main body fails, or the total fails, the battle is lost.

Both sides must deploy with their small corps on the Wesser wing, otherwise, may deploy freely not closer than 20cm to a line running from Hamlen to Maulbeerkamp then east to the Wesser. Both sides are to mark their deployment on maps before deploying figures. The maps I have do not correspond to the OOB I have - the OOBs have more troops in the secondary corps than shown on the map. It seems that both sides swapped some units from the corps to the main body. The players can do this too. The OOB has CGs of 8 stands, but they can be split up differently.

Ferdinand (Mark) pushed the scenario rule about swapping CGs further than intended & making Wangenheim's (Renfrey's) corps all British, but we let it go.
Contades (SteveJ) deployed short of the limit in a defensive box.
The Allies attacked on their left with the British and in the centre launched a converging attack on the angle in the French line.
The French tried to disrupt the Allied attack by sending their cavalry forward on the left.
The British cavalry beat their opposite number, but the French had a line of squares behind to prevent exploitation.
The British infantry were held up for a while, but eventually got some good dice & the tide turned fir them.
In the centre, the French cavalry got into all sorts of trouble having been sent out unsupported.
The Allied attack on the centre was met by French grenadiers with artillery support. The grenadiers held out fro a time, but the falling abck of the French cavalry with Allied cavalry in hot pursuit caused mayhem in the area & they were defeated leaving the French line broken & their army morale test failed.

Features of the battle included:
The Allies' totally incompetent handling of their artillery - which did not fire a shot.
The Allies identified and exploited the essential weakness of the French position - the angle in the line.
The French defensive posture did not allow them to use their superior numbers - on a restricted front the Allied quality counted.
The French handled their cavalry badly.
The rules worked well. There were a couple of minor points I noted for improvement - mainly to do with artillery (this is the first battle we've had with significant artillery). The shemozzle in the centre looked very messy, but with the alternate move system with the routs done in the other side's turn it just sorted itself out remarkably well.
The pics are taken from the French right.
Pic 1: The British attack is in foreground from the right. The cavalry ahs just won, the infnatry is still struggling. The German attack on the centre is about to go in. French cavalry is scattered about no mans land.
Pic 2: The French line is crumbling.

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