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Sunday 14 June 2015

Durham Show- the game.

One of the problems with running a big 25mm game is the sheer amount of stuff you have to shift to do it. 15 2foot by 2 foot MDF terrain boards, a couple of boxes of assorted lay ons- hills trees roads building etc etc . and over  800 figures including guns Generals , Grenadiers and the assorted paraphenalia of miniature War in the mid 18th century. None of these do you want to get a battering in the journey to the venue  This means loading up has to be done with a little care.
 Consquently we are a tad later than I'd have likes setting off for the Vane Tempest Hall in Durham city.
 Neved mind though, we arrived and had to hump all the kit into the smaller hall to our usual spot - no worries done in around 15 minutes. Floating Jeff was already there - shortly joined by Theatrical Steve so with Jim the Roofer Andrew the Tekkie and your Gentle Author an almost full complement of T.W.A.T.S would be present for the day- though Jim would be off to do a bit of Roofing meantime !

Table set up before "laying lead". Table is 10 feet by 6 feet "Blindhiem" nearest the camera "Unterglau" at the far end. The tents are the French Camp. 

 The games- as I have mentioned in previous posts was very loosly based upon the Battle of Blenhiem. Rules would be modified Warfare in the Age of Reason- hereinafter AOR and the Umpire's word is Law. .
 There were 2 player a side. Floating Jeff and Mechanical Shaun took the British while Theatrical Steve and Andrew the Tekkie took the French .
 Your Gentle Author would be - as usual Umpire .

The French stuffed Blinhiem with troops  fronterd by a massive 24pdr battery..

The French Briefing
Henri de La Plume de ma Tante
 Comte Camembert. (+2)

Your Army is encamped behind the ridge to the South west  of the River Nickar. The Allies have appeared on the far side of the river and are obviously offering battle.  Mort de ma vie et Sacre –Bleau!    Not to mention Merde!  Bit of a surprise that !
 You have  garrisons in the villages of Blindhiem and Unterglau which have both been fortified.
 These garrisons have orders to hold their positions.
 Staff officers are galloping about like madmen taking orders to brigades. You must issue orders to those units who have none. This will take time

In Unterglau.
 The Irish Brigade.
Gen. Murphy O’Guinness Comte Palatique (+1)
 Regt Roth  28figs  Line(2)
Regt Dillon 32 figs Line (2)
Regt Clare 28figs Line (2)
1 heavy Gun
Company Arquebusiers De Grassins 6 figs line (2) Open order.

In Blindhiem
Brigade “La Reine”
1st and 2 nd Battalions Regt.  “La Reine”
 24 figs each Line (2)
2nd Bn Regt Languedoc 28figs Line(2)
 In Front of Blindhiem under command of the Garrison
24 pdr siege gun
Schomberg Light Infantry 26 figs Line (2) Open order.

In Camp behind the ridge. Unformed No orders
Brigade Piedmont
1st Bn Regt Piedmont 28figs Grenadier(3)
2nd Bn Regt Piedmont 15 figs Grenadier(3)
Ist Bn Regt Augverne 16figs line(2)

Brigade “Grenadiers De France” formed in camp  No orders. You are currently with this Brigade.
1st Bn Grenadiers de France 42 figs Grenadier(3)
Royal Eccossais 24 figs Line (2)

3 medium Guns – orders to move to the ridge
 Deploying along the ridge. Unformed ,Orders to clear the ridge once formed and advance to the River.
Brigade “Curassiers du Roi”
 Curassiers du Roi
 2 sqns total 16 figs  class3
Regt Chabrilliant
1 sqn 6 figs Class 2
Regt Fitzjames
1 sqn10 figs class3

Behind Blindhiem – in reserve-    No Orders  but mounted and ready to move.
Dragoon Brigade Schomberg.
Regt Schomberg
2 sqns- total 15figs Line (2)
Red Dragoons 4 figs line(2)

Behind Unterglau
Hussars 9 figs  Light Cavalry  line 2 Self – ordering  can do what they like

Still in Camp – saddling up Disoredered No orders
 Brigade Royal Dragoons.
Royal Dragoons
3 sqns 21 figs Line(2)
La Reine Cavallerie
2 sqns 12 figs line (2)
Archaic Cavallerie
2 sqns 12 figs  line (2)

Force Total
 321 Infantry in 13 units .
103 Cavalry in 14 Squadrons
 5 guns
 Plus staff .

Your objective is to hold the Allied forces and deny them the villages-
 You really need to get your arse into gear or the Allies will have you by the short hairs !!
 You do outnumber them almost 2 to 1 in Cavalry and by a little in Infantry

 And the Allied Briefing.

His Britannic Majesty’s Army in Flanders.
Commander in Chief William Duke of Cumberland .+2

 You have caught the Frenchies with their trousers down !  Ha- Har ! 
Hark Forrard you Frogs !
 John Bull is having at you !
 The River Nickar is fordable at several points but will cause crossing troops to be unformed and may hinder artillery considerably . You should still be able to get amongst the French while they are getting up . The Two villages are garrisoned and fortified but only cavalry are visible on the ridge line- with – so your spies tell you, more troops encamped behind the ridge.

Cavalry Brigade. Commander Henry Hawley +1
1st Royal Dragoons 3 sqns. mv2 24figs.
Cobhams Dragoons 2 sqns. mv2 20 figs  men
13th Kerrs Dragoons 1 sqn.6 figs mv2 men

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

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

1 heavy gun
2 medium guns.
 204 foot in 7 battalions
 50 cavalry in 6 squadrons
5 guns including battalion guns.

Forces of the United Provinces and the Landgrave of Hesse.
General Hertz van Rentals.(+1)

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.
Combined Grenadier battalion 14figs mv3 280men

Free Companies 12 figs mv1 240 men.

Total Dutch and Hessian troops
12 Cavalry in 2 units
98 Infantry in 4 units
 1 gun
1 mortar

Allied force total
302 foot 62 Cavalry
6 guns
Plus Staff

  The French needed to buy time so early on the Curassiers du Roi brigade launched a charge against the British as they crossed the river-  The Brits managed to get into order in time and the whole thing became a bloody shambles. To say the brigade was roughhly handled woul be a massive understatement. They were slaughtered only a few scattered remnants making it off the field back to Paris.
The remains of the Curassier du Roi flee the field.along with Chabrillant and Fitzjames

 The time so dearly bought however allowed the French to get thier act together and begin to manouvre. After a hesitant start the dragoons Schomberg began a wild ride along the front of the ridge- fortunately out of musket range and once the rest of the French  troopers had got their buttocks onto their saddles the whole surviving mass of horse moved towards Unterglau with a view to threatening the Allied .
  right flank which as  up in the air . This however would take time ...
On the Allied left things were not going so well despite the Umpire dropping massive hints about how hard it would be to storm occupied villages the German contingent marched on solidally - getting a bit of a caning from the French battery  and light troops. However this didn't last and the lights were seen off and the  battery captured- not without cost.
Unterglau- garrisoned by the Irish Brigade.
 The Assualts upon Blindhien  occupied the whole of the German/ Dutch contingent for the whole of the game. Barring the loss of the battery and a few light troops the garrision were barely incommoded at all  whilst the Germans lost almost 25% of their strength.
The Britsh Infantry were now advancing against the French centre. The Irish were involved in a fearsome fire fight with the British right and things wre looking decidedly bloody on both sides- Grassins fled- what was left of them and another French battery was taken- but the cost was fearsome. On the ridge the French finally had an infantry line in place supported by a 3 gun battery which did major execution on the first Royals and halted them 
The Brish line advances
  Finally Jeff threw all caution to the winds and flung in a cavalry charge againt Piedmont- this was rather a re-trun of the French charge at the beginning of the game- if a little less bloody. Piedmonts second battalion was pushed back but that was it- The Brits had shot their bolt. The French could hold on certainly and had therefore succeeded in their objectives but had lost almost all of their artillery and were short a cavalry brigade. The Allies were battered and bloody and had lost a good number of men- the German especially looking a little fragile. As he was now desperate for a pint the umpire declared a narrow French Victory.
Only  a couple of niggles- one my fault. I think I was a bit kind to the French when working out their firing stats. At this time the French still formed 5 deep whilst the British and Germans were 3 deep. therefore a French unit should be around 30 percent shorter frontage than a british one of the same strength. Also British drill for reloading was significantly faster- whilst overall I was pretty satisfied with the rules amendment- which I show in full in a subsequent post- they still need work .
 Now also we had a goodly number of blokes taking photos of the game- nothing wrong with that as it happens but only one- Dave Jarvis the painter- an old friend of many years- was polite enough to ask if we minded... Manners apparently do no longer maketh many men at all.  . You get the same at Trade events too  blokes taking pics of the stuff in the display case- perhaps 10% ask if you mind ...... 
The British cavalry charge reaches regt Piedmont

As for the show itself as usual it was small but fun- theother large game was Durhams own Waterloo in 54mm- which looks as always pretty fine- there were a couple of other games- but what thay were I could not tell- One seemingly consisting of 3 or 4 polystrene hills on a green cloth with 3 blokes  around the table ....
 This show is one of the best on the circuit for catering  Decent Cha- and a respectable Latte and food on site . With a fine Bacon Buttie shop just around the corner.
 Trade- well nothing really for me- a few bases from Colonel Bills I must get around to getting a few Eagle minis- they do some nice stuff but the ECW range is very small .
 Nevertheless I'll  be back their next year  all being well with another game- might even get to play ....

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