Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Walcourt Scenario from the Pike & Shotte Book

The Pike & Shotte book has a scenario based on the battle of Walcourt 1689.  We don't have any 1689 figures so we adapted it for 7 Years War figures using roughly the same number of units.  We are happily using Hail Caesar ancients for rules so why not?  We also amalgamated the small brigades to make 4 divisions each.

We brought on 1 division each for the first 4 turns, each time dicing for which one and which 2' strip of the rear table edge it would come on in.  Steve & I commanded the Dutch/British & Mike & Chris commanded the French.
Both sides got a cavalry and an infantry division on early on the same flank - Jim's Dutch divisions on their left & Chris's French divisions on their right (pic taken behind the Dutch/Brit table edge).  The Dutch cavalry got only their front line over the fence, which was left unsupported when they were charged by French cavalry and was beaten back with some losses.
Mike's French infantry division came on the far corner while his cavalry division came on in the centre.  Steve's British divisions both came on in the centre.
The Dutch cavalry lost a unit then fell back behind the fence.  The French cavalry fell back as their infantry & artillery came up.  The Dutch infantry are moving into the wood near the church.  Steve's British cavalry is moving to the left while the slow advance of the French on the far flank has given him plenty of time to form a defensive line behind a hedge with his Scots infantry.
The Dutch & Brit cavalry has formed a combined mass and is advancing on the French foot in the left foreground.  In the centre, the French cavalry crossed the hedge and caught a musketeer unit in the open.  The foot failed to make it into hedgehog & was ridden down.  But a wood full of musketeers and pikemen has persuaded the French cavalry to halt. 
The French infantry in the distance continue a glacial advance while Mike's French cavalry are having second thoughts about taking on a line of Scotsmen behind a hedge. In the centre the French cavalry have fallen back & the Dutch foot are advancing again.   The French foot got into hedgehog & the massed Allied cavalry charge came to a halt pistols drawn.  The French guns were ridden down between the hedgehogs and the Dutch guns are being dragged up closer to the hedgehogs.
On the far flank the French cavalry are withdrawing as their foot finally come up.  The hedghogs are being whittled away by pistol & artillery fire.  The French cavalry has been partly surrounded by Dutch & British horse and is doomed.
The French infantry on the far flank is finally getting into action while Mike's cavalry is coming to help their right.  But it's far too late.  The Dutch infantry blunder beautifully to charge out of the field to finish off one hedgehog & the other has been shaken under heavy fire.  With half their while no enemy divisions are broken the French fail the army break test.

The random deployment made an interesting start for the scenario & ensures that every time it's played will be different. The French got the worst of the deployment with an infantry division coming on along way from the action & then was slow to advance.  But they also got no value from their 2nd cavalry division as they did a Grand Old Duke of York trick with it.  The Dutch/Brits saw the weakness in the French dispositions and despite early reverses exploited it.

The paper/scissors/stone of pike, shotte, artillery & horse is a feature  of this era & our slightly modified Hail Caesar replicates it beautifully.

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