Sunday, 12 June 2011

Durham Wargames Group Open Day.

8.15 on a slightly damp Saturady morning an Floating Jeff pulls up in his car to load the gear for the annual Durham show.
A samll event this so Old Glory don't trade as such- though we always take pre-orders for customers- the evnt is too small for us to get our trade stand in. No this is more of a "busmans holiday", we run a game at this very friendly show and as always its a pleasure to do so.So with my Umpire's white armband metaphorically in place we loaded up and awaited Garth then- ho! for Durham City and the Vane Tempest hall a one time Volunteer and Militia Drill hall. Good place for a wargames show.
Once there we set up and met Steve our 4th Player- Jim the Painter and Andrew cried off at the last minute due to work commitments so there were just the 4 of us. The game was to be "A sort of Fontenoy" basically just the middle bit from Fontenoy to the Bois de Barri and scaled to fit my collection. Not really a re-fight but more "use of the scenario"
Once we'd set up your author realised he'd left the box with most of the French Cavalry on the ****** packing table - Wrath and bad language ensued but not for long . After all this was a day off not work so relax man , take it easy dude !
Here follows the British OB .
His Britannic Majesty’s Army in Flanders.
Morning state
11th June 1745
Commander in Chief William Duke of Cumberland .+2

Cavalry Brigade. Commander Henry Hawley +1
1st Royal Dragoons 3 sqns. mv2 24figs 480 men.
Cobhams Dragoons 2 sqns. mv2 20 figs 400 men
13th Kerrs Dragoons 1 sqn.6 figs mv2120 men
Troop Horse Grenadier Guards. Mv 3, 3 figs 60 men .

The Foot.
1st Brigade Commander “Daddy” Huske +2
1st Foot (Royals) St Clair mv3 28 figs 560 men
3rd Foot (Buffs) Howard’s mv3 24figs 480men.
17th Foot Forbes mv3 32 figs 640 men
34th Foot Cholmondley ‘s mv3 32 figs 640 men.
1 light battalion gun to be attached to a designated battalion.

2nd Brigade Commander Brigadier Ingoldsby +1
36th Foot Fleming’s mv3 32 figs 640men.
50th Foot Hodgson’s mv3 28figs 560men.
87th Foot Kieth’s Highlanders mv3 28figs 560men
1light battalion gun which must be attached to either the 36th or 50th

1 heavy gun
2 medium guns.

Total British troops 1060 cavalry 4080 foot plus artillery and staff

The regiments and were not necessarily present at the battle-Scale as 30mm and all minis were either Old Glory or Jacdaw with asingle Eagle regiment and a scattering of Warrior "real" strengths are calculted at a 1-20 ratio.

Here is the "Dutch" OB actually mostly Hessians.
Forces of the United Provinces and the Landgrave of Hesse.
General Hertz van Rentals.

Garde Dragonder1 sqn 8 figs mv2 160men.
Hussars 1 troop. 4 figs mv2 80men

Dutch Infantry and artillery.
Gardes te Voet 24 figs mv2 480 men.
1 medium gun.
1 coehorn mortar.

Hessian Infantry brigade- British subsidy troops.
Commander FMH Claus von Konigsegegegeg.=1
Infantry Regt “Von Donop” 48 figs mv2 960 men
Infantry regt “von Konigsegegegeg” 24figs mv2 480men.
Fusilier regt “Von Schorthausen” 22 figs mv2 440men.
Combined Grenadier battalion 14figs mv3 280men

Free Companies 12 figs mv1 240 men.

Total Dutch and Hessian troops
240 Cavalry 2880 foot plus artillery and staff
OnlyVon Donop and the Dutch Guards are real - the rest are remnants of my Prussian army so the regimental names are - as you may have guessed ficticios for this game! The Dutch were a mixture of Old Glory Sash and Saber with a single regiment of Stadden.
and Finally the French OB

Army of the Meuse. Morning State June 11th 1745.
Commander in Chief Armand De Rochefort Duc de Brie +2
The Cavalry.
Commander. Auguste Chateaubriand ,Comte de la Plume de Matante +1
Cuirassier du Roi – 2 sqns. Armoured mv3 16 figs= 320 men
Fitzjames Cavallerie 1 sqn. Armoured mv3 10 figs =200 men
Chabriant Cavallerie 1 sqn . mv2 6 figs =120 men
Bercheny Hussars/Chassuers de Fischer 1 sqn.mv2 9 figs 180 men
The Foot.
Brigade “La Reine”
Commander General Remy Martin Comte Courvasier+1
Regt. La Reine 1st Bn. Mv2 24 figs 480 men
Regt. La Reine 2nd Bn. Mv2 24 figs 480 men
Regt Augverne 2nd Bn Mv2 24 figs 480 men

Brigade Piedmont.
General Jean deRicard Sieur de Pernod.+1
Regt Piedmont 1st bn mv2 30 figs 600 men
Regt Piedmont 2nd Bn(detachment) mv2 11 figs 220 men
Regt Royal Eccossais mv2 24 figs 480men.
Regt Auxerre mv2 16figs 320 men

Brigade Roth. The Irish Brigade.
General Patrick Murphy O’Guiness +1
Regt Roth mv2 (mv3 in melee) 28 figs 560 men
Regt Dillon mv2 (mv3 in melee)32 figs 640 men
Regt Clare mv2 (mv3 in melee)28 figs 560 men

Unbrigaded troops.
Arquebusiers De Grassin mv2 6 figs 120men.
Grenadiers de France mv3 42 figs 840men

3 medium guns
1 siege gun .

Force totals 5780 foot 820 cavalry plus artillery and staff
However with the exception of Fitzjame Cavallerie all the French hore were "lost on the road" - thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it!.
The French Army was again mostly Old Glory but with a couple of Jacdaw units and the Grenadiers De France were elite minis. there were afew Willies about !! The missing French Cav are also Old Glory and Jacdaw .I'd decided to put my Front Rank ones on the Bring and buy as they simply didn't fit in.

So after a quich Coffee and Bacon buttie we were off. Battle was joined. Rules were Warfare in the Age of reason with a good few local amendments - mostly doubling of ranges and halving of Artilley movements to bring the "spatial relationships" into some kind of order with a few other fiddly bits to discourage unhistorical tactics.
Steve commanded the Brits- a tall order for a chap who albeit a wargamer of many years was new to the 18th century and more especially new to the T.W.A.T.S way of doing things .
Liam- thats Garth to us- took the Dutch and Floating Jeff took the French. Your humble author was umpire and general pest.
The battle began with a French Cannonade and a Dutch advance againt "Nontenoy" . At first the Britsh approach was decidedly tentative though the Free Companies did enter the Bois de Pisse - possibly to divest themselves of the looted wine but, running up against the Grassins engaged in a firefight which they eventually won.
On the opposite Flank Von Donop advanced againt the village taking fire from the French guns therein and an enforeced moral check
"OK Garth " says I as umpire "3d6 score 6 or more and all's well "
Dice are rolled and up comes Snake and a Half - 3 ! Von Donop - still over 800 men strong retreat in consdierable dissarray. General Van Rentals- who had been accompnying the unit decided that the proximity of roundshot to his coiffure was too much and retired to a safer distance.
The french foot were also taking a bit of stick from the well served British guns and after considerable punishment Augverne broke and retired into Nontenoy- there to remain - sulking .
Now was the time for the british to mount a full blooded assualt but alas they were not ready. Kieth's Highlanders dashed in but after taking fire from the French guns and a couple of Volleys from the Grenadiers de France they retired cursing in Gaelic and reaching for the Talisker!doubtless wondering where their support was.
By now the Dutch assualt wave was going in .However fire from the houses of the Village as well as the French guns took a terrible toll and first Von Konigseggeggegg broke and then Von Schorthousen causing and army reaction and a general Dutch retreat covered by the now rallied Von Donop.
With the timely appearence of the Irish Brigade in the French centre there was little for the now outnumbered British to do but retire in good order covered by their cavalry. which due to the dilatoy umpire far far out numbered the French Horse.
By this time of course the show was dismantling itself around us- at least one trader fleeing precipitatly- almost "taking out" my camera in his hurry- bad cess to 'im!His Apologies being entirely absent .
The other games were largely WW2(not all FOW thank God) with a single rather nice medieval skirmish and apparently some GW game or other which I compleatly ignored.
Once we'd packed up we repaired to the Queens Head- a fine hostelry of my aquaintance -there to wrap my tonsils around a couple of pints of Black Sheep
All was then well with the world.
Safe to say We'll be going back next year . I always enjoy the Durham show small it my be but worh your time it is.

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