Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Combat at Asch, 8th May 1759

Wilko and I caught up on the weekend for a small and most enjoyable Seven Years' War game. He was 'master of ceremonies' providing all for this small action which came from Volume 1 of Charles Grant junior's excellent scenario books.

Originally a rearguard-withdrawal by the Imperial-Austrian forces (quelle surprise!), Mark decided that they would not over-estimate the on-coming Prussians and we'd run it as a straight fight.

I took the Prussians, lead by General Finck (bringing to mind the "Wizard of ID") and Mark the Imperial-Hapsburgs.

I decided to use the subtle tactic of 'advance the whole line'. with 1st brigade's single grenadier battalion and Belling hussars trying to get around the Imperials left flank, while 2nd brigade's Szekely hussars, a battalion of the Puttkamer regiment and freies bataillon Collignon tried a left-hook through the woods on the enemy's right.

Meanwhile the centre advanced 'a les prussiennes'.

Things seemed to be progressing well, although the Belling hussars refused (twice) to charge the infantry ahead of them.
In the centre I had advanced the infantry ahead of the supporting Horn cuirassiers in what was to be a critical mistake.

Two wins for the underdogs!

Finally, the Belling hussars charged the infantry, taking fire on the way in, but winning the low-odds mêlée. They then sensibly withdrew behind the grenadiers.
(The Imperial dragoons seen in the distance later charged the grenadiers who sent them off with a 'bloody nose', thanks to better dice in a mêlée with dead-even factors).

Not to be outdone, the small unit of Imperial hussars charged the Horn cuirassiers in the flank, won their own low-odds mêlée and rode on to take out one of the Prussian batteries. They withdrew, having scored this considerable prize.

On the Prussian left, the flank force had done better than expected. The Szekely hussars and battalion of the Puttkamer regiment worked through the woods to emerge on the right of the Imperial army, while the freies bataillon Collignon harassed and drove off the lead infantry battalion—I did not get that one in a photo, so you'll have to take my word for it!

In the centre, the lines of infantry had been wearing one another down, neither side gaining the ascendency.

In fact, so much so that both armies needed to take a withdrawal test for 1/3 army losses, which both failed*!

With losses about even, the game was called a minor Imperial-Austrian victory as the captured/destroyed battery tipped the victory points in their favour.

A great little game, lasting a mere six turns, but which provided a lot of interest, nail-biting close combat decisions and loads of fun.

(*I omitted to take the end-of-game photos--oops!)


  1. Nice looking game James! Short games are often good!

    1. Thanks Mark. Probably five of the six turns had some level of action in them and 'twas a great little outing!

  2. Lovely figures and game; circa 1710 - 1780 must be about the pinacle of the "Professional Armies".

    1. Yeah, les guerres en dentelles look pretty good, don't they Peter?
      (Almost as good as Napoleonics, haha!!)

  3. Game looks good, James! Both sides opt to withdraw? That’s unusual.

    1. Thanks Jonathan.
      It's a game mechanic* and is called an 'army withdrawal test'. If both fail one could conceive it as a mutual 'cease fire' or combat petering out. Probably one army would withdraw and the other would stay to lick its wounds. Certainly as players we were happy that are armies were too fragile to continue, unless we wanted to beat one another to 'death', so the results delivered by serendipity were abut right!
      * In a simple set of rules, the roll is solely based on army losses, with the chance of success (avoiding withdrawal) declining as losses increase.